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THE

MYSTICS,
SAINTS

AND
A

ASCETICS,
OF

Study of Sadhuism,with

and
Sanyasis^
Bairagis^

INDIA

Account

an

of the TogiSy

other strange Hindu

Sectarians

BY

FORMERLY

PROFESSOR

OF

SCIENCE

NATURAL

AUTHOR

"INDIAN

LIFE,

GOVERNMENT

THE

IN

AND

SOCIAL"

"where

three

CREEDS

LAHORE

"

GREAT

THE

MEET

INDIAN

ETC.

OMAN,

j
I

A.R.I.B.A.

IMPRESSION

LONDON

FISHER

UNWIN

PATERNOSTER

SQUARE

1905

EPICS

BT

ILLUSTRATIONS
CAMPBELL

'

1
"

"

SECOND

T.

COLLEGE,

OF

RELIGIOUS

WITH
WILLIAM

OMAN

CAMPBELL

JOHN

All

FiiUs

Rtstrvtd]

19

Biologists

teach

aggregationof

an

cells which
destructive.

are

body i-'ofje
very

tliat the
various

innumerable

yet

we

retains to the end

corporeal and

mental

comparativelyshort-lived
Of

the

and

away
ones

latter,some

at

giving place

but

are,

the

race

undergoing mutation

as

each

units

of

to
a

peculiarlyhis
and

the

it is made

up.

of

race

which

men

of

moment

every

man,

passingyears, persistently
together
individuality,

characteristics

So, too, is it with

own.

and

the

marked

each

that

plainlysee

can

though perceptibly
changing with
with

protoplasmic

undergoingchanges,constructive

ever

And

and

being|is

human

time, passing

modified
slightly
whole, though thus
steadily
and

newer

perhaps sufferingdecay with the


fast certain physicaland
centuries, still holds
fleeting
traits,its specialheritageand
psychological
possession,
wliich

have

races,

and

in
will

the

"

"

past differentiated

continue

to

do

so

as

all other

it from

long

as

it

enjoys a

separate existence.
Thus
the

it

world's

happens

that every

populationhas

its

distinct ethnic
own

division

peculiarideals

of

and

PREFACE

its
aspirations,

own

intellectual and

own

philosophyand

and
religion,

also its

limitations.

moral

helpfulfor the
Obviously,then, nothingcan be more
condition,and prospects of
comprehensionof the history,
of those
any people than the discoveryand recognition
and
salient and
persistenthabits, mental
peculiarities
exhibited through
tendencies,which it has uninterruptedly
a
long periodof time.
Asceticism
and
Now
the study of Indian
Mysticism
affords,I believe, not only an admirable, but the very
desirable information
in
best means
of obtainingsuch
T hope, therefore,that
regardto the great Hindu race.
present volume, which

the

is concerned

with

the

results

of the most

and abidingideas and sentiments


deep-seated
of the Indian people,may,
its necessary
notwithstanding
with appreciation
in some
meet
imperfections,
quarters at
least,and help to interpretthe people of India to that
section of the English public which
or
is, more
less,
little understood
but
interested in a
most
fascinating
land, with whose fortunes are irrevocably
linked,for good
or
evil, the destinies of Great Britain and the Anglo-

Saxon

race.

the threshold

At

ought to explainthat
and minor differences of
peculiarities

of the

Hindu
into

ascetic

been

essential for the


been
A

such

all the

has

sub -sects

description

the innumerable
not

entered

important sectarian

more

noticed, and

such

details

the whole

as

seemed

subjecthave

omitted.

curious

ascetics of various

volume

and

comprehensionof

great many

about

sects

plan,though

my

divisions have

not

; but

I make

no

myths, legends,and

stories

been

in this

sects have

apologyon

this account, because

myths and stories reveal,far better


could possibly
do, the true nature of
vi

included

than

tions
any disserta-

Indian

asceticism.

PREFACE
well

as

Hindus
A

the intellectual level and

as

from
word

times

immemorial.
the

to

as

be

acceptable.In the
throughout this volume

the

Islam.

Indian

the

with

reader

him

word

book

to

should

sadhu

sect

that

state

stands

as

religious
and faquir

or

order ;

or

perhaps

may

ascetic,monk,

the

sadhus

present day. Old


of

ChaptersV.
ancient

VI.,

to

show

asceticism

is not

that sadhuism
of

be

to

and

Indian

appear

in

upon

has

been

life.

understood

to

tales and

drawn

are

of

it, and

they

as

dramas

travellers

ideas

root

call

themselves

persistentfeature

and

as

Indian

European

and

leading or

sadhuism

the

to

accounts

Hindu

place,I

Hindu

asceticism, or

introduce

the

first

the

for ascetics,etc., who


term
corresponding
profess
earlier chapters(I. to IV.) are
The
designedto

acquaint the

at

of

reference

mendicant, without
as

plan
the

for any

general name

ethical ideals of the

an

And

without

as
some

which underlie the philosophicoknowledgeof the principles


ideas of the Brahmans, these are
plained
exreligious
succinctly
in Chapter VII., and supplementedwith a brief
of the

summary

modifications

in the progress
a

thousand
In

Chapter VIII.
the

few

XI.

to

sadhus
of the

into actual

the

developmentthroughmore

than

the reader

I have

monasteries

touch,
if

as

so,

means

which
particulars

is taken

known, and

chaptersmay

to-day; and,
trouble,by no

ascetic
principal

sects

and

their

receivingespecialattention.

system

yoga

last-named

the

has undergone

described,the Yogis,commonly called jogis,

are

ChaptersIX.
of many

Hinduism

years.

subdivisions
and

of its

which

I have

help to

it were,

I shall not

into the company

of
precincts
visited. Probablythese
bringEuropean readers

with

within

the

sadhuism

as

regret the time

involved
inconsiderable,
I have embodied
vii

In

in them.

in

it exists
and

the

collecting

PREFACE

The

concluding
chapteris

the past
upon
prospectsof sadhuism.
For

son.

devoted

to

tions
generalobserva-

effects,
present state, and

all the illustrations and

in this volume
reproduced
Mr. William CampbellOman.

for many
I

am

of the
indebted

future

graphs
phototo my

J, C. 0.
London.

1
i'

viii

ll

CONTENTS
I

PAGK

Pkeface

i
1

..""..""

I
'(
I

INTRODUCTION

Early

Recollections

conspicuous

been

always

wandering
Jungles
They

strange Practices

The

"

ASCETICISM

Asceticism

the

Sinfulness
Belief

the

and

where
every-

Cities

through

'

and
"

indulge

is embodied

East

which

"

in

in the

of
India

from

the

the

the

up

of

PECULIAR

their

The

AND

of the

Ascetic

Practices

Power

acquired by
the

Ramayana,
Supreme
gives

Being

rise

Practices
ehishta

to

Legends

between
and

Visvamitra,

Asceticism

has

this
from

and

the

the

through

"

Purana

to

"

between
the

Th"

Ascetic

successful

Siddhas

Va"

18

Ethics
.

ix

the

of Sects

Rivalry

and

of

Examples

Mahabharata,

Conflict

Nanak

relation

no

on

Titanic

"

"

Vishnu

Austerities

between

OF

attainable

Notion

Conflicts, based

usually

in

-.

cited

Leaders
also

tion
propor-

Conditions

such

Nature
of

practises
of

social,

large

CHARACTERISTICS

over

Purana,

rival

....

ASCETICISM

Asceticism

Siva

Ascetic

"

II

Rationale

Himself

inherently
Hindrance

Destiny

of

times

recent

Power

The

"

underlying
is

great

adoption by

DISTINCTIVE

unbounded

is the

Existence

HINDU

Idea

Matter

its proper

CHAPTER

SOME

Ideas

"

geographical, political,and

to

to

that

Body

Soul

"

earliest

Religions

Human

Conditions,

Community

any

all

DEVELOPMENT

Doctrine

favourable

most

are

The

by

the

AND

in

"

that

Attainment

Practices, and

Hindu

seen

ORIGIN

Feature

"

The

"

ITS

common

Asceticism

Hindu

be

appreciated by Europeans

CHAPTER

to

May

"

have

......""!

Sadhu

bad

are

peculiar Opinions,

Spirit of

very

and

They

Mountain,

nor

Sects, hold

"

India

in

and

understood

of various

Faquirs

Figures

Plain

over

Neither

"

are

and

Sadhus

of

"

CONTENTS

III

CHAPTER

SADHUS

THE

BEFORE

PUBLIC

AT

FAIRS

AND

ELSEWHERE
PAGE

Sadhus
"^

Their Dress

Sect Marks and their Explanaat Fairs


tion
Various
and their
Ornaments
Hairdressing Rosaries
Significance Sadhus' Alms-bowls, Tongs, Arm-rests, Charaspipes,Bhang-mortars, etc. Hermitages Ascetic Practices of
and Degrees IMinor Asceticisms
various Kinds
Posturings
as

seen

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

WONDERS

THAT

SADHUS

PRESENT-DAY
SAID

ARE

.36

IV

CHAPTER

THE

"

"

Rites
StrangePurificatory

TO

AND

FAQUIRS

PERFORM

Visionists like the

Sadhus to some
extent what
SanyasiRamakrishna
have
Tales and
and
Necromancers
elsewhere
been
Magicians
Anecdotes
of the Wonders
performedby Sadhus and of Calamities
averted
of Metals by
Transmutation
on
or
by them
brought
Sadhus
Story of Muslim Thaumaturgist who was the Discipleof
Sadhus
made by Faquirs
Claims of Superiority
a Sadhu
over
Treatment
of
a
Strange
Faquir by a co-ReligionistSadhus as
"

the

"

"

"

"

"

"

and
Palmists,Fortune-tellers,
Physicians,

CHAPTER

SOME

Eight

Stories

GLIMPSES

from

famous

(1) Sakoontala

(4) The

Horned

hearted

Lady

OF

SADHUS

and

IN

Greek

and

AS

BY

Accounts

regardingSadhus
Works
"

of the

other

Sources

;
; (3) Disillusionment
restored ; (6)A Kind-

Cunning

VI

SOME

VISITORS

EUROPEAN

and

their Practices

10

"

INDIA

tions
Observa-

their Peculiarities recorded

in the

Tavernier, the PhysicianBernier, the


James Forbes, the Missionary
Ward, Colonel

Jeweller

Senior Merchant

Sleeman, and

and

Dramas

of Sadhus
and

"

Bishop Heber

52

FICTION

Rishi ; (5) The lost Son


(7) The Father duped ; (8) Woman's

DESCRIBED

Roman

INDIAN

Madhava

CHAPTER

SADHUS

Sanskrit

(2) Malati

Acrobats

.92

68

CONTENTS

VII

CHAPTER
A

OF

VIEW
OF

SUCCESSIVE

THE

THE

ORIGIN

RELATION

TO

THE

OF

PHASES

OF

THE

MODERN

HINDUISM

IMPORTANT

MORE

OF

DEVELOPMENT

HINDU

SADHUISM

IN

AND

SECTS,

IN

INDIA

PAGE

I.

Section

Some

"

fundamental

Pantheism

"

"

II.

Modern

"

Hinduism

Sakti
"

105

....

PrincipalDivisions" The Sivite


againstBuddhism

"

His Crusade

Acharya

Reformer, Sankara

Theology: My

YlI~continued

CHAPTER

Section

Karma

Metempsychosis

"

of Hindu

Doctrines

"

"

of Guzni's successful Invasion of India


Worship Mahmoud
Islam a stimulating
Factor in the Origination
of new
and rival
Siva and Vishnu
Sects
The Puranas
Ramanuja's Campaign
Basava
and his Doctrines
Krishna Worship
againstSivaism
Ramapreached by Madhavacharya His TheologicalViews
nand preaches at Benares the Worship of Rama
and Sita
Tendency towards Anthropomorphism in the later Sects
"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

CHAPTER
Section

III.
"

Modern

YII"

Democratic

and

109

continued

Reformers

Reformer

Kabir, his peculiar

"

importantposition
Vallabhacharyasets up
of
Krishna
Bala
as
Worship
Gopala" Chaitanyathe Mystic
the
Baba Nanak
and
preaches
Worship of Krishna cicm Radha
as

"

the

"

his

Teaching
"

the Ram
a

The

Sikhs

Devotee

Summary

of Krishna

Dadu

"

Sanehis founded

by

and

him

...

"

Ram

Cham

CHAPTER

and

Mirabai

Rajput Princess
of Latter-day
Hinduism

The Trend

"

his Sect

The

"

"

Brief

122

VIII

j
!

HINDU

ASCETIC

SECTS

AND

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

|
i

Section

I.
"

by no

Remarks
Introductory

means

Abnormal

Opinionsand

"

'"

The

"

Jain Monks

Habits

of Hindu
Multiplicity

Sects

Yatis interviewed

Their

or

"

.142

;
"

I
i

CHAPTER

Section II." Principal


Hindu

Ylll^continued

Sects

Saivas,Vaishnavas, and Sikhs

Particulars

Sanyasis,Dandis, Paramahansas,
regarding
and Aghoris
macharis,Lingaits,

"

xi

Brah.152

\
I

,1

CONTENTS

continued

CRATTERIYIII"

PAOE

III.

and

Yogis attractingattention
Ideas underlyingYogaisra
in the West
Philosophico-religious
Emancipation of the Soul the supreme Object of Hindu religious
Aspiration Yoga Vidya teaches how Union of the individual Soul
be accomplished Details and probable
with the All-Spirit
may
the
tensions
of
a
Origin
Disciplinend Practices of Y^ogaVidya The Preof the modern
Yogis History,Customs, and Rules of
108
the Yogi Sect

Section

Yogis

"

Yoga Vidya

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

.......

CHAPTEPv

Section

IV.

"

Vaishnava

andis,Kabir

Sects

Sri Vaishnavas, Madhavas, Raman-

and Chaitanites
Panthis, Ballavacharyas,

Mill"

CHAPTER

Section

V.

"

continued

YIU"

Three

Sikh Mendicant

1. The

EXPERIENCES

187

continued

Orders:

CHAPTER

PERSONAL

Udasis,Nirmalis,Akalis

194

IX

WITH

GOOD

SADHUS,

AND

BAD

of
Sauyasi Swami Bhaskarananda
4.
A
who
Bairagi.
Yogi
from the
protectedAmritsar from the Plague. 5. A Brahmachari
Tamil Country. 6. A Sadhu of European Descent at Simla.
7. A
Naked
and
his
A
Princess
of
B
8.
a
Sanyasi
Companion,
of Royal Lineage,Prince Bir Bhanu
Sadhu
Singh. 9. A Sadhu
who had found God.
10. A Sun-worshippingBairagi. 11. Yogis
and Pious Women.
12. A pseudo-Sadhu and his Adventures.
13. Yogi Guests.
14. A Sadhu as Restaurateur.
15. A Saint in

SwingingBairagi. 2.

Benares.

3. Gareeb

Das,

The
an

Urdhabahu

Chains

202

........

CHAPTER

SOME

1. A

SADHVIS

OR

VBMALB

publicLecturer,Srimati Pandita
of Annandgupha.
embraced
Christianity
the Recluse

DBVOTESl

Mai Jivan Mukut.


3.

......

xii

Premi,

young

2. Shri
Sadhvi

Maji,
who
242

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

HINDU

XI

MONASTERIES
PAGE

Monasteries

have

existed in India since the earliest times,and

are

at

and
presentto be found scattered allover the Country Religious
Motives
which
the
Foundation
of
Monasteries
Worldly
prompt
Management of Monastic Properties Monks not expectedto
"

"

"

labour in anyway
the Udasi Akhara
there

who

by

had not

Abbot

"

placeand

of the

single
good word

for Sadhus

Sect ; Sanskrit

Literature

great Monastery at Jogi


meet some
Acquaintances A
"

with Tilla

"

mimicated

Nudity

Particulars about

by

their

A Visit to

"

"

ated
toler-

History Respect
"

with another Abbot

Interview

"

The
;

described

Das; the Presence of Women

the Sect for Ashes

of the Nirmali
there

of Santokh

the Treasures

"

entertained

Abbot

Installation of an

"

Visit to
read

and

Dharmsala

expounded

Tilla ; Interview with the


romantic Story associated

placesof Pilgrimagecomfor
Yogi Sadhus' Partiality

certain

talkative itinerant

"

248

........

CHAPTER

XII

CONCLUSION

National

Ideals of Life

as

indications of National

Ideals contrasted

and American

with

Character

that of India

"

"

pean
EuroA Life

regarded by the Hindus as the only


involvingRenunciation
Life
Sadhuism
in its Religious,
Social,Political,
possibleHoly
and Industrial Aspects The probable Future
of
Intellectual,
"

"

Sadhuism

Index

considered

270

......

285

..,,,...

xiu

LIST

OF

ILLUSTRATIONS

FIG.

XV

THE

MYSTICS,

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

'^
"s.

are

and

in

India

have

Jungles
by

and

"

The

"

embodied

picture
years
which

the

dim,

to

Clear
distance
I

see

two

hand
the

lapse

at

sunny

together
A

of

though
of

over

less

much

time

in

winter

sacred

century

strange

the

of

East

is

is

evening

Ganges
has

vivid

"

not

long

picture
able

been

obliterate.
I

With

recollections.

girl

of

and

their

from

distance

through

indulge

memory

the

half

Sects,

in

almost

fail

this

at

fully identify myself with it, and


little episode which
part in the

to

my

hills

of

appreciated

various

Sadhu.

picture is,

the

children,
some

to

took

certainly

enshrined

banks

the

on

ago

and

and

Cities

nor

of

Spirit

of my
of

and

sadhus,

certain

of

are

very

the

in

background

far

They

"

wandering

through

understood

They

"

Figures

conspicuous

Mountain,

peculiar Opinions,

Practices

Faquirs

everywhere

seen

Neither

Europeans

hold

in the

be

and

been

always

May

"

Plain

over

Lingering

of Sadhus

Recollections

Early

dear

and

as

fields

in

the

mind's

boy, rambling

Colgong,
the

the

old

they

home
wander

yet
is
I

eye
hand
hard

in

by
back

quickly deepening

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

of trepidation
a
seems
feeling
twilight

them, for, infants though thev

of

murderous

well that

^infestedthe

days
"

possession
in those

"

which

them

outlines of
as

full

they know

are,

thuqs a fearsome name


Their eyes
countryside.

the dim

serves

to take

INDIA

anxietytowards
tree

OF

strain with

giganticbanian

homeward

landmark

; but

thin
a
as
receding,
very far away, and even
veil of white smoke
steals gradually
the landscape
over

it

seems

the

in

rapidlyfailing
twilight.Suddenly two gaunt
sadhus appear not ten yards off before the astonished
children. So unexpected
is their presence, so unaccountable
the apparition,
that it was
if the unwelcome
as
intruders had sprung up out of the groundbeneath their
Clothed

feet.

own

in

salmon-coloured

robes

these

are

-featured sadhus, with clean-shaven


heads
meagre, sharp
faces. They advance, and
and
and
with
soft words
endeavour

smiles
insinuating

^vith
approachthem, offering,

children to

river when

the wonderful

the

hang from their


little boy and girldid

various

alluring
of

Good

shoulders.
towards

race

the

the

there flashed upon their minds the


that the men
before them mightpossibly
horrible suspicion
be

all at

startled

the

contents

which

wallets

Lord ! how

them

show

to
promises,

ugly

entice

to

villainous

once

as
thugs disguised

sadhus !

the children to find themselves

were

the

wonderingand

bank, after
what

seemed

hot

run

rejoiced

at last safe

sympatheticboatmen

breathless

How

across

amongst

the

river

country, and

after

on

pursuit,
though probablyit

was

so

excited imaginations
!
only in their own
lect
Belongingto the same earlyperiodof my life I recolwell the highly
rocks of Colgong,
standing
picturesque
like bold
lone

Many

intruders in the noble

hermitage perchedamidst
tales of wonder

amongst those crags


the rocks and
the river bank

were

; and

river,with the faqui/s


their

boulders.
gigantic

told of the recluse who


when

the

dwelt

every year, in due season,


cut off from
completely

were
hermitage
and
fretting,
by the mightyflood,roaring,

The thiigs
secret sect, votaries of the goddessKali, banded
are
a
for the purpose of robberyby means
of cold-blooded assassinations
together
w
ith
and
under
rites
sanctions.
perpetrated
religious
religious
2

MYSTICS,

THE

about

From

November,

when

SAINTS

the

OF

INDIA

harvest

autumn

springcrop

committed

soil,till March, when the first-fruitsof the year


and
ready for the sickle,the Hindus
men,
women,

the

to
are

"

children

spend much

"

of their time
sacred

their innumerable

to

from

of miles

away
otherwise, for
and
a

AND

the seed for the

gatheredand

is

ASCETICS,

home.

cloudless

in

joyouspilgrimages

places,sometimes

hundreds

Hardly,indeed, could it be
sphere,
atmosky, a crispexhilarating

brightgenialsunshine

call them

forth with

that is irresistible. During this

periodevery
healthycirculation throughout

summons

year there is a livelyand


and
the land of all ranks and classes,

in these currents

of

large proportionof the sadhus fullyparticipate,


often moving about from place to place in considerable
partiesunder leaders and teachers of reputation.And
life

boundaries

beyond the

far

ascetics

Hindu

the

of their

wander,

as

vast

own

indeed

country do

they have

done

carryingto distant lands their


antiquity,
about the origin,
of
subtle speculations
nature, and destiny
and the universe to which he belongs.
man
but they may
As a rule sadhus are cautiously
reticent,
since remote

induced

be
occasionally

to

I have
strangeexperiences.
from

their way
ice-caves of
on

Puri

by

tell of
met

the

long wanderings and


of them

some

Bay

of

in Kashmir

Bengal to

the lone

Amarnath, and it need not be doubted that


range the whole Indian Peninsula,as these do,

men

who

and

wander

over

the

eternal

snows

of

Himalaya, find

loftythought and deep emotion in the mystery


which often meet
their gaze.
and grandeurof the scenes
the aesthetic charms
of
Indian poets early appreciated
food

for

nature

be

and

sure

that

amongst
admiration

soothingcalm

the
even

the

the

giant

upon

wayward moods,

of solitude ; and we
may
unsocial sadhu in his journeyings

mountains

looks

with

wondering

the vagueness and inscrutability


of their
their whispertheir vast silent snowfields,
ing
It is

impossiblefor any
indefinable feeling
of elation,
of
not to experience
an
man
air
pine-scented
buoyancy,as he breathes the pure, light,
of the highermountain
sun
ranges, and watches the rising
paint with rosy flush the icy pinnaclesaround him ; nor
and
rills,

furious torrents.

INTRODUCTION

lie avoid

can

weird

when
helplessness

completeisolation and utter


cloud-wreaths,surgingup from the

the

and

blur
valleys,

of

sense

the fair world

blot out

in all her various humours

bring them
peregrinations

view

and

to human
pallimpenetrable
sadhus commune
far-ranging

nature
in a
wrap surrounding
vision. But not only do the

with Nature

from

also into

and

aspects,their
touch, in crowded

with their fellow-men,and, by winningthe confidence


cities,
of peopleof all ranks,they become a potent agency for the
and the dissemination of
circulation of news, true or false,
ing
ideas, religious,
or
other,which might be fermentpolitical,
in the world with which
Yet

the

by

theymay be seea have come


understood
European eyes, theyare rarely
sadhus

thoughthe

to be familiar to

be
foreigner,

resident.
of these

Of

as

temporary visitor

he

stranger,as
their ill-clad forms, and too

or

permanent

ideas
philosophical
while
rule,knows nothing,

beliefs and

the
the

men

in contact.

theycome

subtle

often

grotesque appearance,
only excite his aversion and unreasoningcontempt.
How
much, and how deeply,the Indian peoplehave
peans
for habilitory
in the estim.ation of Eurosuffered,
reasons,
it would be hard to say ; but of this I have no doubt,
the
that the styleof their national dress,and particularly
in most
extreme
scantiness of their garments, which

hardly pretendto

cases

reduce

the persons of the wearers,


civilised Indians to the level

cover

the intellectual and

of naked savages in the eyes of the majority


of the people
of the West.
all but
And
the Indian sadhus,frequently

nude, and rubbed


amused

disdain of

these ascetics
The

as

Europeans,who

droll fellows

sadhu, such

modern

as

he

by Buddha
across

B.C., saw,

and

of

commonly look upon


sorry simpletons.
recent

no
importation,

in India, a
ffourisliing
time which

Christ,or

even

dates many
the preaching

eightfold
path leadingto enlightenment

of the

Macedon, in his wonderful


the plains
of the Punjabin the fourth century

deliverance.

march

no

been

indigenous
growth,from

centuries before the advent


and

or

is,is
has

but

excrescence,

veritable

ashes,undoubtedlyincur the

with

over

Alexander

took

sadhuism in his

an

day was

of

interest in, the Indian

sadhu ; but

hoaryv/ith antiquity.
already
5

THE

Sadhus

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

find

we

as

them

SAINTS

of

are

OF

various

INDIA

peculiar opinions,indulge in strange practices,and


themselves

in

disciplines. They come


the hereditary castes

cruel

to

cases

many

from

which

subject
fantastic

and

of life and

from

all

Hindu

society is divided.
of religiousopinion and
find all shades
we
Amongst them
philosophicalspeculation,and dietary habits ranging from
the

fastidious

most

in the

Though
the

that

respect and

unlimited
The

fact

that

are

well

aware

and

stories
all

current

faith

than

often, if

are

the

attests

the

their

of

of the

the

the

that
the

to

people

In the
he

has

date.

recent

sadhu, and
so

in the

the

believe

much

as

does

of the

they

sadhus^

at

study

feature
of

his

in

the

the

shaken

not
not

behaviour
the

the sadhu

more

of

the

position of

bulks
tales

largely,
of

more

is embodied
to

life and

characteristics

peans,
Euro-

make

rate

any

gaily immoral

India

hota,

as

not

have

unique place in the romantic


The
spiritof the East
very
much
it is perhaps not
too
a

almost

religiousascetics

injuriouslyaffected

have

important

that

India

habit

but

clergy.
of
ancient
legislation

Komish

is

who

countrymen,

discredit

India

over

about

tales

the

the

he

mand
com-

superstitiousveneration

Indians, quite

monks

the

sadhus

not

mediaeval

and

Indian

always, possessed of
for good or
evil.
supernatural power
common
proverb, Gervi Kapron se jogi nahln

they

are

the

even

multitude

vast

monk,

the

exceedingly numerous,

the
of

vegetarianism to revoltingcannibalism
later on.
egregious aghoris described

of the

case

into

hardships

all ranks

hold

sects,

assert

in
that

civilisation

and

his

of

relations

general population will not only afford considerable


people as they
light for the comprehension of the Indian
to

the

are,

will
wider

and

have

been

since

also, perhaps, be found


and

more

the
to

general nature.

earliest
have

historic

attractions

times, but
of

an

even

CHAPTER

ASCETICISM

Asceticism
"

that

the
of

ORIGIN

Feature

common

Sinfulness

Soul

ITS

The

"

its

in all

is the

geographical, political,and
Adoption
such

by

Religions

in India

Matter

is

Ascetic

"

from

of any

the

the

to

to

is

The

"

the

their

to

of

Existence

recent

feature
and

religious systems,

certain

of

phases

in

is the

of

practical expression
definite

by

Times.

common

Belief

Conditions,

the

favourable

most

up

The

"

Attainment

and

Community

earliest

bad

inherently

are

SCETICISM
all

underlying Asceticism

Practices,

social, which

large Proportion

Conditions

Ideas

"

great Hindrance

Destiny

proper

DEVELOPMENT

AND

that

Doctrine

Body

Human

religious

and

sentiment

philosophical
Probably
speculation.

the

earliest

towards

ascetic
from

came

self

neglected duties,^ and,


national
turned

and

propitiate them,

to

consequently,

troubles, when
in

away

communities

be

to

seem

and

The
the

Himself
^

The

Christians
des Trois

feeling is

same

Christian

doctrine

in man."

the

Premiers

manifest
that

Caird's

which

causes

of

"

the

Church

Sitcles, Quatrieme

"

in

it is

Evolution

favoured

primitive

in

of

times

great

by

become

more

whole

the

through

and

such

development
well

vol.

of
that

in

523-39.

self -sacrifice
God

reveals

ii. p. 258.

of asceticism

stated

Serie, pp.

idea

sacrifice

self-

for

austerities.'^

severe

Christian

of Religion,

are

mania

have

to

seem

abasement, self-imposed hardships,


^

for

intense, till sometimes


smitten

in

atonement

protecting gods
ascetic
practices

and

widespread,

common,

before

Powers,

the

wrath,

of

desire

Unseen
make

to

practices

humiliation

the
order

promptings

amongst

Pressens^'s

the

Histoire

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

Similar results

SAINTS

also sometimes

are

OF

INDIA

produced when intense


thrilling
expectations,
congregations,
believing

has awakened
excitement
religious
in the earlyChurch, when entire
as
the end of all earthly
thingsto be imminent, gave up their
and retired to the desert to await the second
possessions
of the Lord ; and as, indeed, that peculiar
Advent
sect,
the Russian Doukhobors, have done in the broad daylight
of our
of an
time, to the amusement
own
unbelieving

generation.
to

desire

ardent

An

the

on

enthusiasts
part of religious

imitate the life of the founder

sect, such founder beingalmost

of their

an
invariably

of the thingsof this vjorld,has

contemner

or
religion

own

aseetic and

also been

potent
of life,

and perpetuating
schemes
originating
which savour
of self-denial more
or
practices
particular
less rigid.
that all religions
It would
hold that in
appear

influence in

thoughts,desires,and
present elements

are
or

neutralised in

some

actions

of

individual

every

or

the

there

which, unless conquered,modified,


him from
or
other, disquahfy
way

that unending rest


attaining

or

tude
desirable beati-

that most

future state of existence which

world-prophets
so
disqualifying
freelypromised
elements
in
above referred to as hinderingthe religious
the realisation of their aspirations,
markably
realthoughdifiering
in

the

mankind.

have

in

included

Now,

the

in the
what

various
term

one

is the

The

for convenience

cults, may

be

sinfulness.

cause

of this sinfulness

so

disastrous

highestinterests of humanity ? That is a question


which has perplexedthe ages ; but of all the doctrines
to solve
which men
have propounded in their endeavours
has had
this permanent enigma of existence,probablynone

to

the

subtle

more

that

and

potent influence

These

ideas,of immemorial

influence in the East, found


earlv centuries
and
the
not

of

our

era

that which

holds

bad.
inherently
antiquityand far-reaching
their way
to Europe in the

and

is eternally
spirit
pure

than

matter

in connection

with

Manichseism

and suppressed
Gnosticism,and though condemned
by
Papacy,aided by the strongarm of the secular power, did
fail to make

on
deep impression

Western

thought.

ASCETICISM:

AND

ORIGIN

ITS

DEVELOPMENT

it is plainthat
questionbe accepted,
under condemnation,
frame comes
man's corporeal
directly
and it also follows that spirit
beingpure, the flesh and its
commits.
lusts are responsible
for the sins which man
Hence,
of the soul and the furtherance of its
for the preservation
it is necessary that the body, with its senses,
aspirations,
and
desires,should be kept under restraint,
appetites,
should be mortified and suppressed
outcome
; the logical
of this train of reasoning
so highly
beingthe ascetic practices
honoured
in all the great religious
systems.^
asceticism with
By the Hindu speculative
theologians,
is regarded,
of the animal passions
to the repression
a view
If the doctrine

in accordance
the

in

with

their dualistic

of the mind,
purification

knowledge of Brahman,

with

is,embodied

to

means

purgationbeing,as they

essential condition for the attainment

an

say,

such

theories,as

its attendant

existence,^which

of

complete

freedom

from

freedom,

samsara,

that

shall

objectof Hindu religious


is
the purification
of the body by ascetic practices
condition for
as
a necessary
by Hindu theologians

find,is the great aim

life. And
also held
that

even

and

temporary communion, in

this

life,of the human

which is the objectof the


Spirit,
in India.
man
religious

soul with the Divine

hope of

a
many
In the East

and
generally,

corporealframe

has

hindrance

attainment

whether

to the

been

we

in India

for ages

man's
particularly,

considered

of
by spirit

ecstatic

the

its proper

great

destinj^,

teach, a release
from the evils of successive rebirths with ultimate nirvana,
as

or,

that

destinybe, as

the Hindus

the Buddhists

into
hold,direct union with and absorption

the Universal

Spirit.And whatever ofcher views may have


been held,the human
zeal, been
body has, under religious
sacrificed in almost all countries to the supposed advantage
of the soul ; and this suppression
of natural desires,
often combined
of the body, for
illwith positive
treatment
^

prescribed
penances on other groundsalso,
stilldue,
that even
for sin duly repented of a temporalpenaltywas
holding
the
and, in order to afford a means
for the satisfaction of this obligation,
of
of
the
in
the
form
Church
made
penitential
discipline
fastings,
provision
and fines.
flagellations,
pilgrimages,
The Upanishads and Sri Sankara's
Commentary, translated by S.
Sitarama Sastri,B.A,, vol. i. especially
85.
p.
True, the Christian Church

"

THE

MYSTICS,

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

ends, is what we
now
spiritual
usuallycall asceticism,^
though, curiously
enough, amongst the Greeks it meant
that abstinence from sensual indulgences
which was
sary
necesfor the preservation
of the body in a fit state for
athletics.
Of those who

ever
whatthe majority,
undergomortifications,

their creed
to

an

occasional fast
kinds

found

may

their austerities

be, probablyconfine
or

abstinence from
periodical
everywherea minoritycan

of food ; bat

of sensitive natures,

who,

ticular
par-

be

deeplyaffected by

more

world-weariness,and

spurred on by the uncontrollable


excitement of intense rehgious
exhaust
enthusiasm,wilHngly
themselves
with cruel pains and
ingenuityin afflicting
penalties.Early Christian historyprovides abundant
to
examples of this latter type ; but they are not peculiar
Such heroic conChristendom, as we shall presently
tempt
see.
play
of pain and pleasureas these extreme
ascetics disthe wondering attention and
commands
respectful
homage of the multitude. The voluntarysufferers become
objectsof veneration ; fame makes itself busy with their
doings; wonders are attributed to them, and, by a curious
irony,spiritual
prideand vanityplay no unimportantpart
in encouraging
asceticism.
is obvious.
The reason
religious
The
pression
reputationfor sanctitywhich accompanies self-refrom
and detachment
the world
bringswith it
substantial
not onlypopularadmiration,but often so much
power

also,that

pubUcityare
order

It

to

attracted into

ranks

the

that
happensnot infrequently
the

luxury and

contemporaneous

the

result of the

success

of the many.

Strange as

In
it may

highlyemotional
example,says,

"

most

of the

by

seem,

natures, to

of

existence

be

alone
Suffering

can

regarded

desirable.

lifetolerable to

desii-eis to suffer.

Often and often I cry out to God from


soul,' Either to suffer or to die is all I ask of Thee.'
"

"

of the Saints,p. 168.


10

unbounded

being the

of the failure

in the

itself comes,
as

make

one

sented
pre-

ascetic,the renunciant,

the

in
suffering

siderable
incon-

is
spectacle

the

asceticism ;
of the few, the other
times

ascetics in

means

no

austere

such

seekers after

and

men

enjoy these congenialand


advantages.

of

ambitious

many

case

of

some

St. Theresa, for

My greatest
depthsof my
Joly'sPsychology

me.

the

THE

misery exist in this world.


ready to quicken whenever

It

In prosperous

the far-off heavens

lose

becomes

soon

calamitous

the discomfiture
still

nearer

to

the

INDIA

is

happen which
majoritytoo heavy for
times the attractions

of

something of their force in the


and more
tangibleallurements of
the fierce struggle
for existence
as
the major portion
of any community,

of the

embers

OF

circumstances

patientendurance.
of the
presence
the day, but, as

SAINTS

slumbers, perhaps,but

of life for the

the burden

make

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

many

once

revives

more

from

its

spiritof asceticism ; and


at least new
then, new
or
leaders,arise
religions,
religious
amongst the wretched and downtrodden, to teach againthe
expediencyand beauty of the renunciation of all worldly
and to point the way, perhaps a new
desires,
way, to a
the rushing
delectable existence beyond the grave.
Even
of modern
stream
European life has its quietbackwaters
into which the world-wearydrift silently
and unobserved,
resigningthemselves, in dismal monasteries and religious
establishments, to such austerities as they believe will
enhance the heavenlyreward to which they look forward
with childlike confidence or timid hope.
certain than that, when individuals or
Nothing is more
from widespreadcalamities and
communities
are
suffering
great national troubles of whatever nature, their thoughts
turn imploringly
towards their gods and longingly
towards
heaven, as surelyas the magnetic needle seeks the Pole.
For

warm

the

prosperous

dormant

this earth

has

rewards, but for the unfortunate

its attractions
and

and

downtrodden

its

there

only the promised hereafter. Hence it is obvious that


the conditions of life have
flourishes best where
religion
for the majority. Now,
been most
unfavourable
India
has for decades
of centuries suffered in no
slightdegree
from certain depressing
circumstances most
conducive
to
the productionof individual and
national despondency.
Religion of the gloomy type has consequentlyalwa3^s
flourished there, and with it asceticism also,exaggerated
and intensified by the fact that India is the head -centre
of the doctrine of the eternal antagonism between
spirit
is

and

matter.

The

most

cursory

consideration
12

of

facts

will

bear

ITS

ASCETICISM:
above

out

the

the

invasion

North

3rn

harmful

conquest of

and

proved

the

dwellers

conquerors

has

and

there

by

productivevalleys,each
had
to
give way before

warm

the

wide

plainsof
operation,

open

comparativelyeasy

for, enervated

DEVELOPMENT

often, for example,have

Too

statement.

India
to

AND

ORIGIN

baneful
indolent

an

successful

Kfe

those

energetic
fate. Again,

more

conquerors, destined in their turn to a similar


vast stretches of level country like those which
mountain

in

the

of invaders

race

and

new

to

even

lie beneath

undoubtedly
indeed the
suited for, are
of, despotisms,
of the finer qualities
under which individualism and many
And despotic
and races
of men
get graduallysmothered.
for many
have
governments, whether native or foreign,
From
these lands.
centuries ruled over
very earlytimes,
castes
was
adopted in
too, a rigidsystem of hereditary
of all classes
India, by which the spheresand occupations
defined
and
of the community were
enforced,
strictly
the ambitions and cramping the energies
therebylimiting
of the entire Hindu
people.

mighty Himalayan

the

and
Geographical

range
natural homes

are

climatic conditions have

also favoured

intervals,of appalling
and famines of stupendous
while,
proportions,
pestilences
the Sanskrit epicsclearly
show, for ages dense forests
as

the occurrence,

at

longeror

shorter

covered
considerable portion of
malarial swamps
a
it necessarily
the land.
such circumstances
Under
came
and

pass that in the warmth


of men
successive generations
to

of the

and

steamy plainsof

stimulated

were

women

India

earlymaturity and doomed to earlydecay, afflicted


fatigueboth physicaland
perpetuallywith a morbid
into

mental.
It is true

we

cannot

recall details of

the

prolonged
people have

night of trouble through which the Indian


passed,for they have written no historyof themselves,
left behind
the

them

no

chronicles.

But

this

fact

itself is

impressive,
convincing,and patheticproof of
their state of depressionand
hopelessness
through long
endued
since
nations
with
ages,
flourishing
energy,
reasonable
with
and
buoyed up
enjoying
liberty,
hope,
fail to hand down
the record
never
to admiringposterity
most

13

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

doings; while, on the other hand, in gloomy


periodsof stagnationand oppression,not only is the
healthy stimulus to the productionof historical writings
absent,but there is also ever present a powerfuldeterrent
in the dread of offendingthe oppressors which
paralyses

of

their

of the would-be

the Land

the
predisposing
already noted causes
habits of despondencyand rehgiousquietism,
the

Besides
Indians
there
the

to

end.

diet of

which

others

are
same

historian.

of

One

majority of

have

also

these

is the

the

contributed

towards

strictly
vegetarian

people,which

if
diet, even
have, in the
certainly

nutritious,would
always sufficiently
cumulative
of successive generations,
a
course
tendencyto
and probablydespondent
induce a patient,
inaggressive,
habit

of

indolence and
mind, with physical

Then, again,the Indian

train.

people have

apathy in

its
had

always

and the
profusionthe soporific
poppy
hemp plant,whose narcotic productswere discovered early,
and their drowsy fascinations extensively
appreciated.^
of
the
the
study
psychologyof the Indian
Finally,
with
intellectual
people reveals to us that, combined
acteristics
quahtiesof the highestorder, their most strikingcharare
emotionahsm, mysticism,
imaginativeness,
fervour and impressionability,^
all in
religious
credulity,
degree.
a
very exaggerated

amongst them

use

There

is a

of tobacco

in

popular belief that


after

the

the habit of

discovery of America
be the fact

with
smoking originated
at the end

the

of the fifteenth

regardstobacco, there is ample


may
century ;
and
of certain plants,
barks
leaves
that
the
also sawdust
evidence to show
of sorts, as well as opium and hemp, have since remote
and mushrooms
in the East and Africa,and in Europe too.
smoked
times,
Somebeen
antiquity
in the case
of the Scythiansdescribed by Herodotus, the smoke
as
used simply as a fumigant in a closed tent for producingexhilarating
was
effects,but more
commonly the pipe, with a bowl as we know it,was used,
have not failed to obtain
and, as might have been expected,archaeologists
these
ancient
tumuli
articles
from
and depositswhich
of
an
ample supply
Revue
centuries.
date back many
Encydopidique,3rd April 1897.
2 Dr.
in India some
James
Esdaile, so well known
fiftyor sixtyyears
under
mesmeric
successful
most
influence,came
surgical
operator
ago as a
the
to the conclusion, after certain experiments in Scotland, that only
disease
will
be
to
of
found
reduce
the
influence
to
Europeans
depressing
condition of the nervous
the Eastern
system so common
impressible
among
nations."
Dictionaryof National Biography.
but, whatever

as

"

"

"

ITS

ASCETICISM:
To

sum

DEVELOPMENT

that, under

appear

the

influence of the

and
social
political,
physical,
referred to, aided powerfully
by the intellectual
of the people,a dull stagnation
peculiarities

conditions
moral

the unenviable

for ages

been

has

AND

then, it would

up,

combined
and

ORIGIN

lot of the

of the

masses

people a state very conducive to mental depression


and
speculations,
leadingnaturallyto
gloomy religious
to pass that
abnegationand ascetic living.Hence it came
Indian

"

to

success,

model

basis of

wide

able, with

lawgiverwas

ancient

the

ordinarylife of

the

the

mendicancy and ends


scheme, which
following
Early yoiMh,which

1.

machari
2.

the Hindu

upon

retirement

from

with

superiorcastes begins

to
asceticism,
according

divides the

should

ordinary
span

periods.
passed as a

be

reUgiousstudent livingon alms.


Manhood, during which period the "twice

duties and

as

the

Middle

3.

of

of

Brah-

or

should,

man

three

existence into four well-marked

man's

hope

the sacred Shastras of the

in
prescribed

Hindus, the ideal life for


with

reasonable

poverty, renunciation,and
As

the world.

the

prasthaor

Grihasta,devote

rearingof
age,

which

to

household

family.
should

forest recluse,with

regardto food,

himself

-born"

the hermit

or

be

spent

without

should

as

Bana-

one's wife.

restrict himself

In

to the

spontaneous productsof the earth obtained by himself,


and should abstain,under all circumstances,
from partaking
of

anythinggrown

in towns

or

the

produce of

any

man's

labour.

closing
periodof life,duringwhich final stage
should become
the good Hindu
a
Sanyasi,abandoningall
sensual desires and Uviny by mendicancy
the charity
on
of
The

4.

others.
This
such
upon

is not
scheme

the

place to

for the conduct

would
generally,

character

and

discuss what

national

baneful

of individual

if acted
life,

produce upon
inevitably
resources,

have
would, in all probability,

and

been

such

of

ejects

national

considerations

quiteinsignificant

in the eyes of the Hindu


importance
lawgiver.Nor need
we
pause to estimate the extent to which this ideal scheme of
lifehas

broughtabout

the

acceptedlow
15

standard

of comfort

the

and

life

gives to

the

inevitable

feels ashamed

Hindu

INDIA

India.

But

from

abandon

to

or

and

ideal

result of this has

beg

to

it is

encouragement

divinelyappointed Hindu
mendicancyas well as retirement

world, because
no

the

to

OF

the

which

sanction

attention

draw

to

SAINTS

of livingin
simplicity

extreme

necessary

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

the

been
the

of

that
duties

he might be a productive
at an
citizenship
age when
worker for the generalgood.^
of life with
It has been argued that the ideal scheme
instituted reallyin opposition
its fourfold division was
to
sadhuism, as it postpones the adoptionof the ascetic life
a
to a time when
man
would, in ordinarycourse, be too
feeble to endure all its hardships.But, while it is doubtful
of

no

is any

there

whether

truth

will

unprejudiced
person
and

countenances

that the

be added

exercise
ordinarily

husband,
is

system

family

maintenance

the decision of

and

members

thereof.

without

its

of

of

mask

an

what

which

The

Indian

by

supporting

wide

sense

all the

"

male

under

the

convenient

of the
analysis
underlie religious
complex motives which
before concludingthis chapter draw
may

and

desire,which
"

pretenceof

any

attention to

under

them,
of

operative
co-

jointsystem, althoughnot

respectable
vagrancy

asceticism,I
reasons

Indeed, this

alike

the

religion.

Without
various

shared

in

home,

profitable
advantages,does undoubtedlyencourage unto the adoption
idleness,leadingin many
cases

life of

be

his

by

prevailsamongst

family
parent,

abandon

being understood

natural

of one's

amongst Hindus

which

this term

fall upon

would

paralleled
un-

superiorindividual

which, in ordinarycircumstances,the burden


"

itself
of

strongrestraint which

disposedto

considerablyweakened

the

scheme

of asceticism

every

upon

brother

or

son,

the

Hinduism.

solicitude for the comfortable


would

in this contention,

that

enjoinsa system

paleof

It may

deny

for it embraces

scope,

within the

whatever

Power

appear

prompt

to

Beauty

men

of

journahstin East and

to

me

by

Beggary

be

general

more

: (1) A
practices
personalor national

all
"

is the

West for December

i6

the

ascetic

to

is intensified
and

exhaustive

an

subject of
1901

an

article

(Bombay).

by

ORIGIN

ITS

ASCETICISM:

AND

the Unseen
troubles,to propitiate

the

on

part

footstepsof
wish

(3) A

of

Powers.

(2) A longing

the

to follow
intensely
religious
an
master, almost
invariably

their
to

DEVELOPMENT

work

one's

out

in the

ascetic.

futuresalvation,or

own

by conqueringthe evil inherent in himian


emancipation,
oneself
nature, i.e. the flesh. (4) A yearningto prepare
of mind
and body for entering
into present
by purification
with the Divine Being. (5) Despair arising
communion
from

disillusionment and

And

mere
lastly,

bestow

have, I hope, made

and
political
wherein

other

defeat

in the battle of life.

vanity,stimulated

the multitude

which

from

causes

the above-stated

upon

it
which

by

the

the

admiration

ascetic.

clear
sufficiently
induce

the frame

that

the

of mind

have
operative,
for ages existed in India in a more
than ordinarydegree.
and
What
other powerful,
Indian, motives
peculiarly
stimulate the ascetic practicesof the sadhus
will be
mentioned
in the next chapter.

reasons

17

are

most

CHAPTER

PECULIAR

SOME

Idea

of

HINDU

acquired by
the Siva

The

"

and

Purana,

practises Austerities
based
Titanic
and

on

Conflict
Siddhas

the

Power

cited

the

from

Hindu

and

has

usually

that

by

similar

referred

there

in

of

Hindu

asceticism

it from

that

the

lying them,
the

of

the

Gita-Govinda,

turgistsof
1

pp.

Hindi

Sketch

the

were

and

has

country
But

Ramayana,
Martial

of the Religious Sects of the Hindus,

41-43.

i8

sages

great poets, too,


ones,

and

such

Jayadeva,
and

Professor

H.

even

Tulasi

as

heroes, and
by

of

practised

have

religiousdevotees

highest order.^

mider-

attention.

esteemed
to

these

to

motives

invite

most

modern

more

Buddhism,

and

the

now

The

differentiate

with

Islam

believed

are

austerities.

of the

in

birth

Himalayas.

which

pecuHarities,and

Das, author

last

given

in the

form

associated

or
Christianity,

the

the

striking peculiaritiesabout

are

India

Ethics.

detail, it

some

chronic

south

All

to

fostered

have

"

Nanak

special circumstances,

to

to
a

the

to

Leaders

developments elsewhere,

owing

assumed

in

was

which

of Conflicts,

between

relation

asceticism

causes

rival

also
no

Himself

Legends

to

Power

Ramayana,

Being

show

to

chapter

that

rise

gives

ENDEAVOURED

to

Supreme

Visvamitra,

Asceticism

India

the

Practices, between

Ascetic

Vasishta

between

"

Sects

of

The

through
of

Examples

"

Mahabharata,

Purana

Rivalry

successful

"

of this Notion

the Vishnu
"

attainable

Nature

over

Rationale

Asceticism

CHARACTERISTICS

ASCETICISM

unbounded

the

Practices

Ascetic

DISTINCTIVE

AND
OF

Hindu

II

author

thauma-

demigods
H.

Wilson,

THE

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

AND

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

for the

of any definite object,


he
accomplishment
resort
to
austerities to gain his end. What
a
plentiful
crop of extravagantmyths and legendscould,
and did, spring
is clearly
out of such ideas,
shown in Hindu
be drawn upon for a few typical
which may now
literature,
for the exposition
of the subject.
examplesrequisite
power
would

In

Mahabharata

the

of
daitijas

the

of

course

a
"

of

object

themselves

of

race

the

severe

that

austerities with

the

the

solitude,upon

clothed

They

lone mountains, endured

hungerand
content

the

greatest

thirst.

arms

They stood for years on


and their eyelids
wide
uplifted

with

these

sore

they,in
penances,
flesh and threw them

of their own
zeal,cut off pieces
into the fire. The Vindhya mountains,
determined

momentous

matted
of trees, wore
smeared
hair, bewith dirt from head to foot, and in

their toes, with their


Not

three worlds."

took
they under-

the bark

in

of
privations

brothers,

two

great Asura,

the
subjugating

themselves

open.
their

it is related of

on

which

these

ascetics had

became heated
placedthemselves,
and the gods beholding
by the fervour of their austerities,
and alarmed for the consequences that might
their doings,
in their power to divert them from
did everything
ensue,
The gods tempted
the strict observance of their vows.
of every precious
the brothers by means
and
possession
"

the

^
but
girls,"

beautiful

most

celestials tried

without

Then

success.

"

their powers of illusion,"


making it
their sisters,
to the ascetics that
mothers,wives,

the

"

seem

and

relatives,with dishevelled hair and

other

and

robes,were

and

struck

And

runningtowards

down

by
that

it seemed

the

Rakshasa

Even
to shake
1

save

with

us

'

"

lance

of domestic

harrowingscene

the

constancy of the ascetics


"

in

hand.

Adi Parva, section ccxi.

the

this

Mahabharata

ornaments

in terror,pursued

imploredthe help of

women

'

brothers,crying, 0,

them

afflictionfailed

to their vows,

Babu

ProtapChandra

and
Roy's

translation.
2

This

severe

temptationof

austerities,is not

when engaged in |
ascetic,
especially
Hinduism, instances beingeasily;
the religions
of Asiatic origin,
not excluding

the earnest
confined

to

historyof all
and is an unmistakable
Christianity,
found

in the

indication of the

beUef in the potency of self-mortifications.


20

generaland

spread
wide-

SOME

CHARACTERISTICS

Brahma

was

and

powers

ASCETICISM

HINDU

OF

obligedto grant them very extensive


includingcompleteimmunity from
privileges,
last

at

danger except

other's hands.

each

at

ascetics returned

When

these

cessful
suc-

they arrayedthemselves

home

in

"

caused the moon


preciousornaments,
to rise over
their cityevery night,"and from year'send
to year'send
indulgedin continual feastingand every
kind of amusement.
Evidently,no thought of sin or
sideration
expiationnor any regardfor virtue entered into the conresolute
these
of the objectskept in view by
ence
the existdaityabrothers. The above story shows clearly
of an underlying
idea that the practisers
of austerities,
whoever
they might be, appropriateenergy, as it were,
thus
that
from
universal store, and
some
they are
strengthenedat the expense of the rest. Consequently,
when
their voluntarypenances
exceed certain limits they
become
terror
to all other
a
we
learn,
beings. Hence
without surprise,
that, when one of these dangerousascetics
his death, all nature
met
relieved
was
exceedingly
eventually
and rejoiced
accordingly.
Another
sacred epic tells of a king
story in the same

costlyrobes, wore

who

underwent

ascetic penances

is also recorded

of

to

the

same

secure

performanceof
One

to

of

that

the

god

child.^

It

did

the

he

Rudra

in the

great sacrifice.^

Aurva

of the

enced
influ-

Brighu race,

of
account
on
cravingfor vengeance
suffered by his ancestors, subjectedhimself

fierce

wrongs
direst

the

creature

monarch

assistance

rishi,the muni

by
some

certain

obtain

to

for

penances

in the

world,"

and

"

the

was

of

destruction

every

only persuadedto desist

from
or

his terrible purpose


by the intercession of the Pitris
souls of his forefathers.^
We

have

also the

case

of Princess Amva

who

practisedthe

years

for the destruction of Bhishma, and

the

most

god Mahadeva,

she should
hated

be

"a

Mahabharata
Ibid, section

promised that
who

Adi

Parva,

section

21

in

would

many

by
gratified
her

next

life

destroythe

ccxvii.
^

ccxxv.

was

faultless maiden

Upon this,that
"

for

terrible austerities

fierce warrior

Bhishma.

who

of Benares,

ii,id.section clxxxi.

of the

THE

MYSTICS,

fairest

Ka9i, procuredwood

from

and

blazingfire with

the words,

'

I do

so

reborn

princesswas

OF

daughter of

that

INDIA

King of
very sight

the

forest in the

in due

"

destruction ! '

for Bhishma's

and, needless

course,

of Bhishma's

the instrument

was

SAINTS

largefuneral pyre on the banks


having set fire to it,herself entered
wrath, uttering
a heart burningmth

made
greatrishis,

of the Yamuna,
that

eldest

complexion,the

of those

AND

ASCETICS,

The

to

say,

death.

Ramayana aifords us many instances of exceptional


and privileges
acquiredby ascetic practices.For
powers
example,the ten-headed Rakshasa, Ravana, had, by long
and
obtained from Brahma
the boon
painfulausterities,
should be able to deprive
him
that neither god nor demon
of his life. Protected by this decree of the Creator, the
The

ten-headed
he

Rakshasa

in his

had,

became

omitted
pride,

to

Taking advantageof

wien.

incarnate

became

as

terror

ask

this

the

to

world, but

for

protection
against
the
oversight, god Vishnu

Rama, and, after wonderful adventures,

destroyedthe
eventually

troublesome

demon-king.

similar story is told in the same


A somewhat
epicabout
the Rakshasa
Viradha, who had by his asceticisms obtained
of being proofagainstevery
privilege

the

kind of weapon.
of Rama, who overcame

However, he met his fate at the hands


and
him, not with weapo7is, but with his fistSj
him

into

deep pit.

In the Siva Purana


named

over

there is

the

him

to

frustrate the
The

ambitious

them

boon

for which

and
austerities,

he

told his

*'

no

that

hand

he

should

should
^

demon's

devise

be unrivalled
but

Proktp Chandra
22

that

this terrible
that

constrained

to

could
reward

after

What
in

of

he

grantingthe
much
suffering
upon
of
plan
ultimately

longlabours.

slayhim,

Babu

was

inflicted so

himself, he (Brahma) would


the
neutralising

admit

to

beseech

to

designsof

that,
petitioners

Tarika had

Brahma

to

Supreme Being had

resist such
but

gods that they went

lesser

ascetic.

was,

story of

daiiya(demon)
tinct
eleven disTarika, who, by voluntarily
undergoing
forms or methods of self-mortification,
each extending
hundred
Indra
a
periodof one
years, so alarmed

and

not

flung

Tarika

sought

and
strength,
a

son

Roy's translation.

that

of Mahadeva

CHARACTERISTICS

SOME

OF

(the god Siva)." This


it had

indeed

be, the

to

the

tyrannisedover
universe

of

be the father

never

lesser

that
confidently
a

having

demon, in

terror, himself

in

reckoned

boon

HINDU

been

his

conceded, as

prideof

and

power,

the

entire
gods,
kept
feelingperfectlysafe, as he

the

Mahadeva

austere

In

son.

would

calculated,
this,however, he mis-

in the fulness of time

and

ASCETICISM

his destruction

was

accomplished.^
above three

legendsof Ravana, Viradha,and Tarika,


besides beinggood examplesof privileges
by ascetic
wrung
from the reluctant gods,illustratethe appreciation
practices
which the Eastern has alwaysfelt for the crafty
ing
overreachof a dangerousfoe.
The

It is

related

the Vishnu

in

King Uttanapada had


a

One

son.

his knee

on

other

day

happened to
who

the

same

at

was

his

on

be

that

of whom

bore him

ling
throne,was fondof his favourite wife,while his

child of

only five years of age, who


to
present,attempted,quite naturally,
The
favourite queen, Suruchi,
privilege.
a

hand, lectured the littleone


fit seat for her son, but

and

littleDhruva
indignant,

mother's

apartments, and

heart of its

of
feelings

mother

recommended,

patienceand
Dhruva

well-meant

Mother,

tried
with

rather

haughtily

too

withdrew

consolation find

for him.

to his

his

own

bursting

tressed
anger and mortification. His disto
console the sulky child, and

true

Indian
a

deeply hurt

the exercise
feeling,
spiritof contentment
to

that you

have

of
;

accept his mother's

advice, and, infant though


the words

that the

not
certainly

there unburdened

the cultivation of
was

certain

his

on

was

Abashed

*'

son

unbecomingpresumptuousness,telHnghim

throne

but

wives, each

king,seated

the

Dhruva,

son,

share

the

two

Purana

he

addressed

was,
to

me

said,
for

place in a heart that contumely


has broken.
I will exert myself to obtain such elevated
rank that it shall be revered by the whole world.
Though
I be not bom
of Suruchi,the beloved of the king,you
shall behold my glory,
who am
Let Uttama, my
your son.
brother,possess the throne givento him by my father ; I
my

no

Moor's Hindu

Pantheon,London, 1810, pp. 51-63.


Professor H. H. Wilson's translation,
bk. i. ch. xi. and

23

xii.

THE

MYSTICS,

wish

for

no

other honours

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

than

such

OF

INDIA
actions

own
my
father has not

shall

as

acquire,such as even
enjoyed."
my
the
these
Cherishing
aspirations, very precociousinfant
followed
in quest of the highesthonour and glory,
prince,
with a similar
which no European child or man,
course
a
Dhruva,
objectin view, could dream of enteringupon.
who, it will be remembered, was
only five years of age,
left the city and entered an adjoining
thicket,where he
^
munis
seven
saw
sitting
upon hides of the black antelope."
Explainingto these holy sages the circumstances which
had drawn
him forth from his royalhome, and his ardent
he respectfully
wishes for the attainment of a lofty
position,
asked for their advice. The saints were
good enough to
the worship of Vishnu
listen to the child,to recommend
and
to
instruct him
in the path he should
pursue.
"

"

Prince,"said the rishis.

adoration of Vishnu
been

performedby

to his service.

devoted

the

deservest to hear how

thou

has been

forsake all external

to

"

His

mind

and
impressions,
being in whom

those who

first be made

must
a

have

then

must

man

the world is. By


that
on
steadily
him whose
thoughtsare thus concentrated on one only
is firmlyunder
objectand whollyfilled by it,whose spirit

fix it

control,the prayer
recited :
invariably

that
'

Om

is divine wisdom, whose

shall

we

gloryto Vasudeva,

form

is

Brahma, Vishnu,and Siva.'

as

To
to

work

out

his

holy placeon

followed
from

is to

whose

be

essence

is manifest
or
inscrutable,

"

of

the banks

the

Jumna,

instructions he

and

had

there

received

result that Vishnu


rishis,with the gratifying
this occurred, the
When
manifest in his mind.

the

became

earth itselfwas
ascetic.

The

disturb and

unable to bear the

"

weightof

the diminutive

alarm, and tried every art to


distract his meditations, but all their efforts
celestials took

ineffectual.

were

thee

the littleprincerepaired
great project,

the
carefully

very

repeat to

Still

alarmed

more

by

their want

of

with more
learned person, endowed
a holy sage, a pious and
and
divine nature, or having attained to it by rigidabstraction
mortification.
The title is appliedto the rishis,and to a great number
or

Muni

less of

"

for their wTitingsconsidered as inspired,


as Panani,
distinguished
Vyasa, etc." Dawson's Dictionaryof Hindu Mythology.
of persons

"

24

OF

CHARACTERISTICS

SOME

ASCETICISM

him
Vishnu, addressing
of the world, god supreme
of gods,sovereign

to
the lesser gods appealed

success,

thus

HINDU

"

God

and

distressed
infinite spirit,

we

have

thee

to

come

by

the austerities of Dhruva,

protection. As

for

the

moon

day by day, so this youth advances


towards
superhuman power by his devotions.
incessantly
of the son
of Uttanapada,
Terrified by the ascetic practices
Do
thou
to thee for succour.
have come
we
allaythe
increases in his orb

fervour of his meditations.

We

know

not

what

to

station

of the solar
to the throne of Indra,the regency
aspires,
of riches or of the
lunar sphere,or to the sovereignty
or
the affliction
deep. Have compassionon us, lord ; remove

he

from

To

Vishnu
the
to

breasts,divert the

our

in his

penance."

allaythe

fears of the

at

last

down

came

all others, and

one

Uttanapadafrom

gods,and
earth

to

to obtain

wish
boy-ascetic's

of

son

that

"

an

for the

severing
per-

generalgood,
and granted

in person

exalted station,superior

shall endure

for ever."

This

gratified
by Dhruva's exaltation to the
skies,as the fole-star
of the visibleuniverse.
from the previousones,
This legend differs somewhat
the idea of the almost
inasmuch as it bringsout very clearly
abstraction
of mental
from human
unimaginableefficacy
concentration of attention
affairswhen coupledwith profound
This is a decided
fication
modithe Supreme Being alone.
upon
of the original
doctrine, and will be referred to
again.
Myths and legendssimilar to those alreadygiven in
the precedingpages
be indefinitely
of this chapter may
multiplied,
showing that, accordingto the beliefs of the
the most effectual
Hindus, if one ardentlycoveted anything,
to follow was
to practise
self-denial,
course
rigidausterities,
and suffering,
in spiteof the lesser gods,the Supreme
till,
Beingwould be constrained,by immutable and primordial
ambitious

desire

was

laws,to grant the desired


also learn that
creation and

on

more
"

than
cause

course," endured, in the form

of

the

Supreme Being,

the greatest self-inflictedpenances


the Gandhamadana
mountains
on
and

But,

the

even

its

boon.

the banks

of the

for thousands

that, we
of the
a

rauni,

of years

by the lake Pushkara


Saraswati, apparentlyto obtain
25

all created

over
sovereignty

and

statements

of the

at the root

that

point out

to

were

doubt,

storyof

INDIA

as
Crucifixion,

these

that if the

note

idea

kindred

the

to

as

European

to

appear

profitably
pause

may

OF

SAINTS

things.^ Fantastical

notions, no

we
apprehension,

Hindu

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

to

seems

well

be

of the

as

that

assignedfor

humiliation
astoundingvoluntary
for the
the part of the Deity,it would be impossible
on
of the
unbiassed seeker after truth to deny the validity
and passion of the Redemption
cross
contention, since in the
of
find the notion of the efficacy
we
distinctly
and death,
poverty, physical
suffering,
voluntaryhardships,
motive

*'

of

for the attainment

"

great objectotherwise imachievahle

by the DeityHimself.^

even

I have

no

wish to labour this

but
point,

I may

passing
of
efficacy
in

fact that it is upon faith in the


self-inflicted hardshipsthat Hindu
asceticism,with

emphasisethe

its

and its marvellous legendsof


practices
superhuman feats,reallyrests, and that, according to

strange and
Christian

cruel

doctrine,mankind
of Evil

from the Powers

by

and
sufferings

the supreme
of the Triune-God.
No
and

doubt, the Hindu

its fruits other

cited

in

the

could
any

embodied

those

foregoingpages

for

as,

Sanatsujatasaid to Dritarashtra,
of munis) can
asceticism (practices
that this world

is for those

The

the

legends
example, when

words

esteem

exist

never

that

in

are

are

and

together.

candidates

esteem, while the other world is for those that


to

the bitter

arrived at ideas of asceticism

"

Know

than

means

rescued

of the second person


self-sacrifice
has

than

other

been

have

not

for

devoted

^
the object
of the asceticism contemplated
asceticism,"

in this passage

not
being spiritual
emancipation,
worldly
advancement
of desires of any kind.
the gratification
or
But the value of austerities for the attainment of practical
the reverse, and the power for good
ends, commendable
or
^

Mahabharata

Musenm,

South

"

Vana

Parva, section xii.

Kensington,figuredin

aa
an
representsthe four-headed Brahma
mendicant's
a
water-pot in another, a
so

A zinc statuette

Moor's

in the India

Hindu

Pantheon, plate3,
ascetic with a rosary in one
hand,
sacrificial spoon in a third,and

on.
^
^

The

usual accompaniment of temptationsis also not


Mahabharata
Udyoga Parva, section xli.
"

26

wanting.

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

INDIA

OF

for supremacy
between the
earlyand vigorousstruggle
castes they represented.
marvellous
The
legend of their enmity and warfare
related in both the great Indian
is to be found variously
lines
epics,as well as in the Puranas ; but only the main outof the story need be reproducedhere.
Accordingto
the chroniclers,
King Visvamitra had in one of his ordinary
hunting expeditionsbeen entertained very sumptuously
by the Brahman
sage Vasishta in his forest hermitage.
Discoveringthat the hermit was enabled to thus provide
feast,and costlypresentstoo, in the midst
a
magnificent
tlie

of

"

wondrous

and

he

wilderness,because

of the

cow

a
expressed

less than

of

wish

kingdom, for

million

he

But

or

cows,

his

even

entire

of

cow

whatever.

terms

any

"

part with his

to

unexpectedrebuff,Visvamitra was so offended


haughtilyresolved to exercise his kingly prerogative
the object
and forcibly
of his cupidity.
appropriate

this

At
that

covetous,

her.

"

on

possessor

king became

no
purchasethe animal, offering

Vasishta,however, declined

plenty

the fortunate

plenty,"the

to

hundred

was

had

he

miscalculated.
her

wonderful colloquywith
assailed

and, when
of her

not

the

armed

stand

of the

but

at

reduced

once

the

before them.

hundred

after

cow,

master, refused

to

teeth that the


In

sons
king's

to

etc., such

ashes

move,

king'sattendants, created

to

placeone
were

marvellous

sweat, urine, excrement,

own

strange warriors
could

by

The

out

hosts

of

royalarmy

the battle which

took

rushed upon Vasishta,


by a blast from the

Defeated and humiHated


by the Brahman,
sage'smouth.
the king turned to the only resource
to
him, and
open
resolved to acquiresuperhuman power by ascetic practices,
the Brahman
with a view to an eventual triumphover
solely
he abandoned
For this purpose
his kingdom,
Vasishta.
proceededto the Himalaya mountains, and there for a long
periodsubjectedhimself to the severest austerities. As a
the great god Mahadeva
appearedto him,
consequence,
presentedhim with celestial weapons, and instructed him
in

the

Elated

use

with

of

these

terrible instruments

pride,confident

in his
28

of

destruction.

newly acquiredpowers,

OF

CHARACTERISTICS

SOME

HINDU

Visvamitra

for vengeance,
thirsting

ASCETICISM

hurried ofi to

punish
and
his victorious foe. He burnt down Vasishta's hermitage,
all the dwellers in that quiet
drove away, in headlongflight,
and

retreat.

the

the

wondrous

by

even

Brahman

But

ensued, and

of
superiority
deadly weapons

the

the sacerdotal

; but,
destroyed

been

of the

demonstrated

was

of

the

be

to

earnest

overcome

gods. A battle
the unapproachable
in the

caste, even

Visvamitra

war.

at

not

was

weapons

more

once

sage

might

of

use

have

now

intercession of the

munis, the victorious Brahman

stayedhis hand and spared


his vanquishedenemy.
Taught by bitter experience,
of
Visvamitra now
fullyrealised that only the acquisition
could placehim on an equality
Brahmanhood
with Vasishta,
and

he

more

once

so

resorts

that

to

of

infallible source

for a thousand
By self-inflictedhardships
placein the heaven of royalsages, but
dissatisfied with this reward ; yet, seeingno
was
intensely
he renewed
his object,
and intensified
other way of attaining
which were, however, interrupted
his mortifications,
by
of them beingan exploit
the
various episodes,
one
on
part
the
celestial regions
to
of the royalascetic in translating
in his human
body one Trisanku, who, banned by the
for he]p. It was
had appealedto Visvamitra
priesthood,

power, austerities.
years he earned a

terrificaffair this introduction

opposedby
actively

for it was
it

not

was

astonished

accomplisheduntil
new
gods by creating

of Trisanku

into

heaven,

the celestialsthemselves,
and
Visvamitra
stars

had

and

terrifiedthe

constellations of

threatened,in his rage, that he would


another god Indra, or leave the world without any

stars,and had
create

at all.

Indra

to call

even

Indeed, the masterful ascetic actually


began

godsinto being,when

new

the celestialsyieldedthe

and came
to terms
mth
After this
him.
pointin dispute,
incidental war
againstheaven, the -royalascetic renewed
austerities for

his

to him

announced

By

no

thousand

that he had

contented

means

with

attained the rank


this reward,
but

his self-inflictedpenances,
into the
name,

of

snares

who

had

to
expressly

been

attract

lovelynymph
sent

down

Visvamitra'
29

when

vears,

to
s

for

the
short

Brahma
of

tinued
king con-

time

of heaven, Menaka
earth

by

attention

the

and

rishi.

fell

by

celestials

spoilhis

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

OF

liisself-command
recovering
nymph kindly,the king
fascinating

labours.
the

went

dismissing
through

of penances
for a thousand
years, and at
the dignity
of that periodreceived from Brahma

another

course

end

the

and

After

INDIA

(greatrishi).He learned from the Supreme


control
Being that he had not yet acquiredthat perfect
of mahdrishi

his

over

would

which

senses

entitle him

distinction of Brahman-rishi

So the indomitable

king,and
rigorouscourse

striven for.

himself

exalted

the

coveted

he

which

to

and

had

mahdrishi

now,

of austerities,

througha more
the most
involving
painful
bodilytortures,the maintaining
of breathingfor
of absolute silence,
and the suspension
put

hundreds
"As
from

of years.
he continued

his

worlds.

head,
The

the

The great muni


in various ways,

issued

suspendhis breath,smoke
great consternation

gods, rishis,etc., then

'

wish is not

to

to

Visvamitra

of

addressed

the

three

Brahma.

has been allured and

provoked
sanctity.If his

in his

but stilladvances

conceded, he will destroythe three worlds by

the force of his


are

austerity.All the regionsof the universe


confounded, no Hght anywhere shines ; all the oceans

are

tossed and

and

the

wind

crumble, the earth quakes


blows confusedly.We
cannot, 0 Brahma,
the mountains

guarantee that mankind


the

become

shall not

atheistic. Before

form resolves
greatand glorious
sage of fiery
"

to

destroy

let him be propitiated.'


(everything),
the gods,headed
Accordingly,
by Brahma, approached
the

mighty ascetic,hailed

pronounced a
had thus, by
and

stern

manhood.

blessingupon
thousands

"

him

as

him.

of years

Brahman-rishi
The

y^^and

Kshatriyaking

of intense

mortification

self-discipline,
attained the exalted rank of Brahand
Yet, curiouslyenough, his special

hope of triumphingover
suffered
voluntarily

and

Vasishta,for which in fact


endured

torments

of

final

he had

body

and

;
throughsuccessive millenniums,was never
gratified
of
the
the
mediation
he
for,through
was
eventually
gods,
reconciled to his still un vanquishedfoe.
For us, the noteworthy
pointsof this madly extravagant
(1) the excellent illustration it affords of the
legendare:

mind

Muir's Sanskrit Texts,vol. i.p. 409.

30

CHARACTERISTICS

SOME

OF

firm faith of the Hindus

HINDU

in asceticism

as

ASCETICISM

of

means

obtaining

of the most

kind ; (2) the all


astonishing
superhumanpower
but unapproachable
dignityof Brahmanhood, which was the
lesson the Brahman

of the

inventors

desired
storyexpressly

credulous countrymen.
grossly
As the above fantastic story relates to mytliical
events
of an extremelyremote
past, it might well be thoughtthat
the old world of marvels therein depictedhas long ceased

to

their

impressupon

Hindu

to exist for the

I shall

case,

of

this is not

the

legendwhich purportsto
of the pretensions

of its original
far

Yogis}

Nanak

Baba

which

that

(1469-1539a.d.),as againstthe

halt in

show

Sikh sect,in the person

Nanak

older sect of the

During

to

out
quiterecent date,arising

of the modern

founder,Baba

but,

outline another

now

record wonders

of those

one

loved to take

faithful attendant

Mardanah

for their dhoonee

or

extensive

in

wanderings

quest of wisdom, his


about

went

fuel
collecting

smoky fire. Not far from their


of
temporary camping-groundthere apparentlylived some
those perfect
as
Yogis known as Siddhas,^ and, as soon
Mardanah
had got togethera small quantity
of fuel,one
of these Siddhas
came
up and wantonly snatched it all
Mardanah, deprivedof the fruits of his labour,
back to his august master
and related what
had
went
occurred.
exhibition of temper,
Nanak, without
any
away.

fuel out

immediatelyproduced some
flowinggarments, and with
Mardanah

combustibles

and

these

kindled

vexed, the Siddhas raised

Nanak'
extinguish
scatter

their

own

the
a

of the

miraculouslyacquired
vesper

reduced

now

Chap. VIII.

Siddhas

in order to

dhoonee ; but its only effect was


to
fuel and
hearths.
quench their own

powers, the
to wanderingabout^to get wood

for themselves ; but


1

Baffled

fires.

violent storm

their superhuman
Notwithstanding
were

folds of his

as

Baba

class of semi-divine

Nanak

had

Siddhas
and fire

commanded

the

beingsof great purityand holiness,


who dwell in the regionsof the sky between the earth and the sun.
They
said to be 88,000 in number.
are
Dawson's
Classical Dictionary
of Hindu
Mythology,etc.
The Siddhas referred to in the text are some
of the eightyfour perfect
venerated by the Yogi sect described in Chap. VIII.
Yogisspecially
"

"

31

THE

or
geniusof
spirit

fire to

the Siddhas

end

the

himself, and

humbly

only

condition

on

obligedto
him

entreat

him

OF

to

come

of his

one

Siddhas, smartingunder

their

give them milk there and


by merelycommanding the
obedience

to

and
ear-rings

own

wellingup
from

the

miracle

next

Mardanah

well

milk

him

to

immediately
close by to be
took
place in
thus produced

behind

water
bringing
him
to
challenged

was

had

river-water

with

sent

was

for

look

to

him

back.

their

spade to

the distant river,and

account

any

further,the

so

transmutation

Siddhas

fresh

with

line from
on

in this contest

the

Ganges, as

provide them
bath.

in

water

did

one

of acknowledgment

the surface.

to

Nanak's

He

saint's behest, the

the

fuel for

asked
discomfiture,

then.

The

milk.

Baba

to

shoes, as, presumably,tokens


In order to test Nanak
of defeat.

into

the

in

their request
Goraknath, their much-venerated
consent

of his wooden

converted

INDIA

helpingthem,

ignitetheir

to

would

that

chief,should send

SAINTS

abstain from

were

However, Nanak

them.

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

As

trace

drew

of water

tinuous
con-

instructed not

was

he

morning

the

spade

followed

it, but,
when
the spot where his master
he neared
was
seated,
his habit of obedience,and,
his curiosity
over
prevailed
like Lot's wife, he turned his head round to look over
liis

along

The

shoulder.
advance
"

own

stream

stream

which

had

flowed

far ceased

so

to

farther.

any

Now,"

said the Siddhas

power,

cause

it to

"

we
boastfully,

along,"but

come

shall,by

our

their efforts were

all in vain.

Chagrinedby

these

opponents resolved
Some

own.

of the

their deerskins skim

of
displays

perform certain marvels of their


Siddhas began to flyabout, or make
through the firmament, like ordinary

of the air.

flames of

and another
fire,

horse.

his
superiority,

to

denizens

were

Nanak's

Nanak's

One

boastful Siddha
on

bit of

would

stone

wall

stolid indifference to their

of

ride
as

on

if it

displays

exasperatedthese thaumaturgists
extraordinary
power
and they openlychallenged
him to do something
greatly,
similar to the wonders
they had shown him, if only for
credit's sake ; but the Baba
his own
protestedthat he
32

CHARACTERISTICS

SOME

humble

was

to show
nothingstartling
if theywould hide themselves,

Siddhas

The

in the

acceptedthe

of the far

and

one

flew up into
sought concealment
third secreted himself

Himalayas,a
earth ;

of the

bowels

in the

all,and

but

Nanak

dragged them

which
by the scalp-locks
hiding-places
Then

of their heads.

it

Nanak's

was

fire,air, earth,
wdth

God.

and

water

while

"

Siddhas^ of

The

disintegrated
guru

the

to hide

What

their
crowns

himself,

he did

was

elements
pristine

his soul

course,

but he had

forth from

turn

into its

frame
corporeal

found

soon

adorned

and that of the others to seek for him.


to resolve his

the proposed

of them

One

there, another

hid

and

recesses

them,

they might be.


to
guru'schallenge

of hide-and-seek.

game
heavens

the

wherever

find them

would

ASCETICISM

had

and

man,

them, adding,however, that


he

HINDU

OF

could

told them

"

was

reunited

not

find

the

before his disappearance

back if they
they might get him to come
unable, as he foresaw they would be, to discover him.
were
at the foot of the tree
They were to placea small offering
where he usuallysat, and to pray to God for the return
of Nanak, when
he would reappear.
Utterlydiscomfited,
back.^
came
they did so, and the Baba graciously
how

There

whimsical

both

Hindu

and

Buddhist

story, no
contests, which, strange and

they may appear to the modern European,


all, only the deliriously
extravagant Indian

as

after

are,

in

similar marvellous

of

end

are,

of
equivalents

the

biblical contests

between

Moses

and

the

Egyptian magicians(Ex. vii. 8-12), and between


of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 21-40),or
Elijahand the priests
of the traditional struggle
between
St. Peter and St. Paul
the

on
^

one

Janam

side and
Sakhee.

Simon

Guru

(anotherof Nanak's

devoted

Magus

on

the other.^

Angad Sahib received- the account


and had Piramookha
attendants),

Muslim
from

Bala

to write it

down.
2

In this trial of

strength,carried out in the presence of the Roman


to hfe and in putting
a dead man
raising
to practical
the
of
claim
the
that
he
could fly. In the first
proof
magician
Simon Magus failed utterly,
case
while the apostles,
of course, succeeded.
Then the magician,to prove his power of sustaining
himself in the air,
leaped
from a high tower, and seemed, for a time, to float in the
atmosphere,no
doubt supportedby invisible demons; but, eventuallyovercome
by the
he fell to the earth,and, beingmortally
"superhumanpower of the apostles,

Emperor Nero, the

test consisted in

33

MYSTICS,

THE

hagiographyalso

SAINTS

the

on

INDIA

strengthbetween
with striking
displays

attended
people,

power

OF

in trials of

abounds

rival leaders of the


of miraculous

AND

ASCETICS,

part of the opponents.^It is

literature everywhere
say that religious
to striking
affords examplesof appeals
works in attestation

not

much

too

to

of the truth of the mission of the

the holiness

prophetor

of the saint.^
the

From

of the motives which

be formed

can

legendscited above, a

and

myths

the Hindu

sufficient and

proper for the most


and
terrible self-mortifications imaginable,
deemed

clear

day

as

that these motives

have

fair idea
mind

and
protracted
it is also

conscious

no

has

or

as
conscious
un-

relation to ethics.

Moreover, there is
from
Hindu

denyingthe fact that, regarded


of morals, the celebrated
the ordinarystandpoint
tion
admiracommand
especial
sages do not generally
no

outside the charmed

circle of their

countrymen.

own

was
This, naturally
enough,the Christian missionary

slow
of

discover.

to

On

this

subjectthe

Rev.

not

Ward

Mr.

Seramporesays
These
are
tupushivees
(ascetics)
supposed to
"

"

been

the authors
in

of

some

which

found

be

of the most

ancient of the Hindoo

do

honour

to

human

that these sages

injured,died
century)and

days

few

St. John,

out

came

that

nature.

were

are

But

to

it is

httle afiected

very

later.

several others

It may be added
certain redoubtable

ings,
writ-

which, it is admitted, sentiments

equallycertain
a

have

we

This story is told by St. Justin (second


amongst the earlyChristian writers.
learn from

magiciansin

tradition that St. Matthew

Ethiopia,and
triumphantfrom a contest with

defeated

that his brother


the

evangelist,
highpriestof Diana

Ephesus. Lives and Legends of the Evangelists^Apostles,and other


Early Saints,by Mrs. Arthur Bell (GeorgeBell " Sons, 1901).
^
A good example of this is the very wonderful
story of Sidi Ikhlef
givenin chap.x. of Colonel Trumelet's Les Saints de r Islam.
The monkish
historians pittheir heroes against
A recent writer says,
other.
orthodox
is balanced by the
each
What
Moschus
tells us of
monks
tales of John of Ephesus about the Monophosytes,and Thomas
of Marga is
the performances of his Nestorians.
not outdone by either when he recounts
The
and
ments
monks
their achievecompeted againsteach other individually,
boasted of by the adherents of the various partiesinto which
were
the later Christological
controversies rent the Church."
The Spiritand
Christian
James
O.
Origin of
Monasticism, by
Hannay, M.A., pp. 172, 173
at

"

"

"

(Methuen, 1903).

34

CHAPTER

BEFORE

SADHUS

Sadhiis

as

Hairdressing

Fairs
"

Their

Rosaries

Hermitages

"

"

/Alms-bowls,

Sadhus'
etc.

PUBLIC

THE

at

seen

Asceticisms

Minor

Dress

"

"

Various

"

Tongs,
Ascetic

"

III

AT

FAIRS

Sect

Marks

Ornaments

Arm-rests,

Posturings

and

their

and

their

Explanation

Kinds

"

Significance
"

Charas-pipes, Bhangof various

Practices

ELSEWHERE

AND

and

mortars,

Degrees

"

Strange Purificatory Pvites.

"

the

vast

of

army
who

sadhus
about
alone

roam

India,

either

with

panions,
com-

or

not

have

manysettled

any

home.

There

is

scattered

true,
the

over

it

are,

all

stantial
country, sub-

monasteries,
but

these

afford

abodes,

temporary
and,
are

far

so

only

as

available

know,
dences
resi-

as

only to
privileged few,
have

hereditary

some

claim

pecuniary

or

interest

in

who
the

establishment.
As

rule, the

indolence

and

festivals

is

well

to

how

adopt a life of easy,


Their
calendar
mendicancy.

time

fit in

with

their

usual

annual

on

and

comprehensive

them

where,

sadhus

all

their
the

devious

festal

round

events

of

of

each

of

fairs

They

accurate.

wanderings

irresponsible

so

as

know
make

localitywithin

pilgrimages to sacred
important occasions, they congregate
36

to

and

places,
in hosts,

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

AT

FAIRS

they may be studied to advantageas regards


and external appearance
of their costume
the peculiarities
generally.
Leavingout of account, for the present,the thoughts,
of the sadhus, let
motives, beliefs,
hopes,and aspirations
take a superficial
us
tives
representasurvey of these interesting
of Indian mysticism,
as
theyappear at, say, a great
the Ganges.
on
gathering
religious
Amidst
the bustle of the fair,amongst the moving
and cheerful holiday-makers,
crowd
of ordinary
pilgrims
about
the booths
and
in the flyingdust and
round
be seen
tents, may
quaint figuresrobed in peculiar
salmon-coloured
are
garments. These
usually sadhus,
salmon-colour
being the prevailing
though not universal
tint of the raiment worn
by such Hindu ascetics as care
in the somewhat
at all about
themselves, even
clothing
where

and

scanty fashion of Brahmanic

It is not,

India.

however,

alwayson foot that the sadhus are to be seen.


lordlyfashion,borne
they appear in more
the backs of tall elephants
in company
on
with,
attendance

aloft
in

or

considerable

of
the
abbot
some
upon,
the
or
high priest of some

monastery

times
Some-

important

temple.
great number

discard

of sadhus

scantiest of rags ; and amidst


to find that in their
surprised

much

so

the

case

from
protection
rubbed
the

skin

cloth tillquiteas

mere

pests,is usually
ascetics with

Wherever

of them

most

Some

have

Some

have

white

or

will
congregate,close inspection
on

their

foreheads

coloured marks,

folk-lorista suggest that Indian

ascetics rub

these substances

W. Crookes,PopularReligion
and Folk-lore

37

and

are

noses

neatlypainted.

the breast and

on
symbols also depicted

dust and ashes because

without

eyes.^

sadhus
many
the fact that

reveal

soon

of

impalpableas any toilet powder.


powder to a dark
greyish-white

of this
application
is not
which, I bejieve,
effect,
givesa peculiar

attractiveness in Indian

"

skin,for its

through folds
greatestcare, beingsifted repeatedly

The

the

is not

nudityone

the sun's rays and insect


with ashes, preparedby some

over

cotton

with

all attire but

arms.

their bodies

potent scarers

over

of demons.

of Northern India,pp. 29, 30.

THE

SAINTS

or
tikas,as the forehead marks
tilaJcSj
be beauty spots,but they are worth

The
not

they serve

his forehead

on

upwardsfrom
line red, and

the

of
preparation

ones

The

turmeric

are

three
trifalu^

the

meetingof

outer

Ramats.

of the

mark

the

near

OF

INDIA

called,
may

lookingat, for
For example,one

different sects.

of
insignia

as

bears

sadhu

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

lines drawn

the

eyebrows,the central
white, this being the sect
red line is paintedwith roli,
lime, the white lines with

and

from
a calcareous clayprocured
gopichandana,
to the Krishna
of a pool in which, according

Dwarka

out

the
legend,

in despair
drowned
themselves
gopis (milkmaids)
hearing of the death of their lover, the divine
upon
without
not
The triple
lines of the trifala
Krishna.
are
being emblematic of the three gods of the
significance,
Hindu
Vishnu, and
triad,the central line representing
Siva and Brahma.^
those on the rightand left respectively
Thus
the trifala
suggests and recalls to mind not only the
but also,at the
Creator, the Preserver,and the Destroyer,
frail

time, the

same

of the

amours

charcoal
sadhu's

Krishna

black
a
trifala

If for the red line in the

on

god

on

the

of the Yamuna.

banks

with

gay

from

incense offered to

forehead,he is

one

of the

one

(painted

Narayana) appears
sect
peculiar

of the

Madhavacharis.

tripundra^three lines along the forehead


from side to side, painted with vibuti or sacred ashes,
the
Sivaite followers of Sankaracharya.
distinguishes
The Kowls (extreme saktas)
usuallybetraytheir cult by
Again

the

"

paintingtheir

foreheads

Dakhinacharis

The

have

streak,in
perpendicular
the

with

vermilion

colouringmaterial being either

or

solution in

urdhapundra,or

generallyan
the central

ghi of

charcoal

dissolved in oil.

part of the forehead,


a
paste of sandalwood
obtained

from

horn

fire."

More
but

examplesof

it is necessary
1

That

need

not

sect
to

marks

need
that

state

not

such

be

givennow

marks

are

and accepted,
of the trifala
also offered,
are
interpretations
The
and their
Vide
Mr.
Gnostics
C.
W.
us.
surprise
King's

other

Remains, p. 301.
^

;
not

Dr. J. N.

Hindu
Bhattacharjee,

Castes and Sects,pp. 411, 412.

38

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

to professed
sadhus,and
peculiar

of Hindus

has

One

only to

assemblageof

look

of the

of the

crown

matted

locks loose and

FAIRS

the foreheads

secular life.

the

casual

most

that

sadhus to find out

their hair braided

have

in

also on

appear

abandoned

have not

who

AT

at

way

amongst them

an

':ome

and

the anterior part


coiled upon
head, and that others have their

who

shaggy. Men

wear

their hair

the head are, irrespective


of sect,
coiled up carefully
upon
in
their hair falling
called jhuttadarees
wear
; those who

This latter styleis


face,hhoureeahs.
of monks, who, if we
great number
may

disorder about

the

adopted by a
desire
judge by appearances, evidently
a
forbiddingand formidable look.^
Shaven

pates

also

may

of the
ascetics,particularly

or

Most

sadhus

carry

rosaries in their

the East,

that

Christendom

the nature

wherever

seen

advanced

more

stringsof

wear

from

be

givethemselves

to

beads

gregate.
orders,con-

about

hands, remindingone

probablyduringthe
borrowed

Hindu

their necks
that it

was

of the Crusades,

time

these aids to devotion.

From

worn
by them it is usually
prayer-beads
to distinguish
the followers of the gods
between
easy
Vishnu
and Siva respectively,
accordingas they favour
beads of the holy basil wood
{ocymum sanctum) or the
ganitrus).
rough berries of the rudraksha tree (elcBocarpus
If they wear
necklaces made of the wood of the basil
two
plant(thetulsi or tulasi of the Indians),they are probably
of the sect of the Swami
Narayanis,who worshipKrishna
(Vishnu)and also his mistress Radha.
It has been stated by the late Sir Monier Williams ^
and others,that the rosary {japa-mdld
or
muttering
chaflet)

of the
^

"

announce

of the

votary of Siva consists of

Magistratesin

Northern

their intention

of

India

32

are

or

64 rudraksha

often troubled

'

lettingtheir hair grow


injure. This, if one can judge by the

'

at

berries,

by people who
someone

whom

manifest terror exhibited


they desire to
be a very
this rite is directed,must
by the person against whom
form of coercion.
their hair
For the same
ascetics wear
reason
stringent
loose and keep it uncut, as Samson
idea probably
did ; and the same
for the rites of ceremonial shavingof youths,and of the mourners
accounts
after death."

"

W.

Crookes, Pojndar Religion and

India, i. 239.
2

Modern

India

"

Art

Indian

Rosaries.

39

Folk-lore of Northern

the follower of Vishnu

that

and

of basil wood.

But,

I have

as

I presume
berries,

108

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

affects

OF

of 108

one

rudraksha

seen

INDIA

beads

rosaries of

the rule referred to is not very

closely

observed.^
The sadhus" self-adornment
and

rosaries. Some
from

the neck

arms.

few

Others

wear

of them

emblems
phallic

wear

small

ing
depend-

threads,or fastened

woollen

by

have

is not restricted to necklaces

bells attached

on

their

to

the

arms.

of iron, brass,

Armlets
great ear-rings.

or

laces
adorningthese ascetics. Neckof littlestones glitter
the throats of a small number.
on
be met
one
having his hair embelUshed
Occasionally
may

copper

may

with

also be

metalhc

has

various

"

What

very

too, for

Palestine,and like

In the discussion which

pridein them

and

of the Christian friar returned

hand

the

different

the

of

is made
{chaurasi)
by the number of

108 ; but
up

the

"

"

rosary, the Saiva rosary of 84 beads and


84
learn that the sacred number
you

when

of the number

of the 12

signsof

the zodiac,multipUed

that the sacred number

7 planets; and

the

with

readingof a paper by the Rev.


The History of
Societyof Arts on
George Bird wood said, Nothing can be

followed

Rosary in all Countries,"Sir


simplerthan the art of the Hindu

made

larly
108 is simi-

and waning
full,
beingcounted as three the rising,
up, the moon
instead of one, then you understand
that every Hindu rosary symbolises
the whole
circuit of the hosts of heaven ; and
this knowledge

"

"

henceforth
numbers

in

them
transfigures
of the beads

strung

groups of 7, that the


Islamitic rosaries,
were
"

pewter medals

Thurston, S.J., before the

the Vaishnava

undoubtedly

; and with good


to their fellows they are, like

evident

the

moon

attempts
contemptuous

their adornments

simpleas

to them

in
palm-leaf

Herbert

wrist,and

barbarous

"

are, the sadhus have

(golden

devices,painted,or

and
eccentric,

queer,

Yet, quaintand

from

on

to his

says the European,with a


he takes stock of these strange-looking
philosophers.

smile,as

the

shell tied

his arms.^

at beautification !

reason

conch

maksh

swarma

quaintfiguresand

branded, on

even

called

substance

fly).Again one
another

seen

on

earhest

He
satisfied from the
was
eyes.
of division,
in 12
mode
and
their
them,
your

Christian

rosaries, Uke

derived from
originally

the

Baudha

and

the rosaries of the Hindus."

Journal
^

of the Society
of Arts,21st February 1902, p. 275.
It appears, however, that stamping the mark
with

"

commonly
knowTi
cross

on

to

in

the

use

in the Dekhin.

earlyChristians,and

the forehead

with

of the Hindus, footnote,p.

similar

practiceseems
baptizingwith fire was

hot iron."

28.

40

"

hot iron

to have

is

been

stamping the

Sects
Professor Wilson's ReligiotLS

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

AT

the mediaeval visitors to celebrated shrines adorned

wMch

their hats and dresses,^


precioussouvenirs
of

rude

Those

and

mind

armlets

monasteries
The

Badrinath.

goldenflies

of

visits to

wanderingsto

the

lofty
and
and

the shrine of

reduced

renounced

their

be

may

by
god

the incarnated

Having

branded

symbolicalmarks

obtained

of Krishna

where

sea,

recall to

copper

distant Beluchistan ; the white conch


in
the wrist indicates a pilgrimage
to Rameshwar

on

favour

mountain.

Kedarnath,
Pasupatinath,
of little gleaming stones

tell of far

far south ; and the


the arm
upon

the

signs
legible

Hingalajin

Kali at
shell

badges of

necklace
"

"

iron, brass, and

well-known

are

Himalayan

of

and

plainand

accomplishedby
holypilgrimages

the

FAIRS

the

ruled

by

minimum

the

days.^

the olden

in

ascetics have

world, the Hindu

to
belongings

of the

evidence

the

visit to Dwarka

spicuously
con-

yet beinghuman,

aside. As
everything
wanderingmendicants dependingfor their dailyfood upon
of their fellow-countrymen,
the charity
and often traversing

they

have

long distances
of

been

not

in the

them, though not

able

to

of their annual

course

all,have

necessityof possessingan
consist

These

calabash,but
be found

gourd

cast

in

alms -bowl

of, perhaps,a
in many

and

water

-pot.

cocoanut-shell

mere

or

if examined, will
shell,
lid,a handle,and a spout ; the

instances the

providedwith

will also

most
tourings,
the
practicerecognised

present evidences

improvement, being

of

while brass
shape for easy carriage,
imitations of the gourd will not be uncommon.
Some taste,
too, is often displayedin adorningthese very homely
into

cut

convenient

vessels.
races
Amongst many
virtue of scaringaway
both friend and
certainly

againstmore

substantial

iron

England, edited by

the

and

evil

"

"

Social

have

to

spirits
; it is
foe to evil-doers. As a protection
wild
enemies than wicked spirits
demons

beasts,for example the iron


^

is beheved

H.

fire-tongsto be found

D. Traill and

J. S. Mann,

in the

vol. ii. pp.

374, 375.
2

Marking or branding the body with the


bhajana. Amongst the earlyChristians,
many
upon

their foreheads.

41

Vishnu

symbols is

branded

the

name

known

as

of Christ

THE

ASCETICS,

AND

SAINTS

majorityof

these

ascetics

MYSTICS,

of
possession

since in many
effective,

they are

cases

OF

INDIA

ought to be
in
exaggerated

so

size and

weight as to become formidable weapons


in strong hands,^ especially
when
they happen to have
been sharpened
along the edges.
will be noticed tauAmongst the sadhu^s impedimenta
both

staves

used

chin-rests and arm-rests,known

as

as

hairaguns,^

of different sorts,adaptedto the various

favoured
positions
when silently
by the contemplator
engagedin his profound
and piousmeditations.
I understand that occasionally
one
of these bairagunsmay
conceal a sharpdagger. I have
not
across
myselfcome
any of this dangerouskind, but
have no reason
whatever to doubt their existence,
especially
I call to

when

crucifix of

Crema)

for
As

mind

that

has

cruel and

narcotic

charas-smokers

the crucifix itself

even

been

used
sacrilegiously
treacherous poniard.^
with

in favour

drugs are

amongst them

will

Hindu

as

(the
ceptacle
re-

ascetics,

have
naturally

their

about their persons ;


stowed away somewhere
(pipes)
and confirmed bhang-drinkers
will not find a stone mortar
and wooden
when wayfaring.
too burdensome, even
pestle
It would be an interesting
philosophical
studyto endeavour
to trace the influence of these powerfulnarcotics on
the
minds and bodies of the itinerant monks
who habitually
them.
known
We may be sure
that these hemp drugs,
use
since very earlytimes in the East, are not irresponsible
for
to
of its wild dreamings,*
whilst there is good reason
some
believe that theyhave often giventhe user protection
from
chillums

malarial and

other diseases.

Diminutive

idols in stone

and

metal

of the deities will be found

chapelswhich
while at
*

any

sadhus

some

convenient

set

spot ;

or

presentations
repictorial

in the miniature

they halt
and, alongwith the
up

when

for

idols

Vide initial letter,


Chap. VII. Section II.

An

Sketches and Studies in

arm

-rest is used

as

the initialletter of

Chap. VIII. Section II.


Addington Symonds,

Italyand Greece,by John

vol. i. pp. 219-21.


*
The Christian

"

of
remarks, A great number
missionarysarcastically
Hindu
modern
saints live in a state of perpetual
intoxication,and call this
which arises from smoking intoxicating
herbs,fixingthe mind
stupefaction,
on

God.""

Ward's

Hindus,

p. 283.

42

SADHUS

BEFORE

THE

PUBLIC

AT

FAIRS

various objects
associated with the
specially
pictures,
of Hinduism.
Of course
divinities in the holylegends
the
gods and the sacred objectspresent will,in each case,
sadhu's sect, his beliefs and
depend upon the particular
In this connection it may
be mentioned
that
preferences.
to be found : a
are
likely
amongst Saivas the following
skin,a trisula or trident,
lingam,a human skull,a tiger's
and

and

dameru

for the

or

drum.

Among
(a kind

emblematic
Sadhus

shell

conch
of the

may

be looked

of

ammonite), the tulasi


and the discus (chakra),
{sanJcha),

saligramstone

plant,the

Vaishnavas

sun.

their extensive

peregrinations
by halts,
often very long ones, especially
when
old age is creeping
them and longjourneys
become
insidiously
fatiguing
upon
sort by the riverand distasteful. A hermitageof some
side,
in the shade of a spreading
a cool place
or
peepulor
banian tree near
a temple,
may be the sadhu's quiethome
for months
maintains

vary

years. Here,
in the open air the wood
or

even

on

the selected
whose
fire,

spot,he
soft smoke,

useful in

some
keepingoff mosquitoesand other troublean
insects,seems
indispensable
accompaniment,as
well as an outward and visible sign,
of the sadhu's abode.
Here
he usually
sets up a tiny altar to his favourite or
and is himself visited regularly
tutelar deity,
by the religious
merit by charity
Persons
who wish to earn
to holy men.
his good offices for the attainment of
desirous of securing
definite worldlyends also find their way
to his
more
and here he lives on the alms of the neighbourhermitage,
hood
tillhis own
or inexorable death,puts a period
caprice,
to the sojourn.Whether
the march, sadhus
or
on
resting

most

who

are

strict observers of the rules of the order

theybelongto
sunrise to sunset

would

have

their time

in the

well

or

sect

occupiedfrom

of the many
detailed
performance
ritualisticduties and exercises prescribed
for them ; and as
most
of the present-day
ascetics are ignorantmen,
rarely
under the direct control of any superior,
they usually
neglector curtail their ceremonial obligations,
or, at any
them quiteperfunctorily.
rate, discharge
The illustrations (Figs.1 and 2) will givea fair idea
of the hermitages
of Indian sadhus, which, picturesque
43

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

though they may

be,

could be habitable

onlyin a warm
his longrest

To

man

that

he

had

INDIA

not comfortable,and
certainly

are

climate.
at

the foot of the

there in obedience

come

the goddess
Devi,whose

from

summons

that he would

and

OF

peepul

where he had established himself,the


(Ficusreligiosa)
in Fig.1, a sadhu of the Bairagi
order,informed
depicted

tree

me

for

account

SAINTS

move

on

when

the

to

gracious

templewas alongside,
of her good
divinity,

should direct him in a vision,as before,to leave


pleasure,
the place.Within his shed he had installed an image of
Rama
Chandra, before which he was enabled,throughthe
kindness of friends and admirers,to heap up every day a
small pileof rose
petals.Outside, as the illustration
shows, there lies a rather suspicious-looking
bottle,while
in a stone mortar,
the hermit himself is seen
busygrinding,
dried leaves of the hemp plant (cannabis
some
Indica)
to
infusion
in
cold
in
order
to
water,
preparatory
enjoyhis
favourite appetiser
and intoxicant bhang.
with averted
Of the men
in the group, Fig.2, the one
face was
not
actuated
by any feelingof modesty or
self-depreciation
from facingthe camera.
He joinedthe
others casually
while the instrument was
beingadjusted,
and, when asked to assume
a suitable attitude,
pompously
t
hat
he
man's
behests, recognising
no
replied
obeyed no
Rama
master
Chandra.
It requiredsome
little
save
the part of his brother sadhus to induce him
on
persuasion
and ungraceful
to take up
the ungracious
even
pose in
which he was
photographed.He might,perhaps,have
been a shady character wanted
and might
by the police,
have acted as he did for prudential
reasons,
or, which
is quiteas probable,
his rudeness may
have been due
the ground
to be photographed,
on
merelyto an objection
that any likeness taken carries away
with it some
virtue
from the original
soul
a
possibly
portionof the living
"

"

this

beingby no
Lay Hindus

to

cow,

of the ethical

for

reasons

or

of

an

often

are

for

penances

of
killing

means

offences
or

for

some

ceremonial

their

own

superstition.
subjectedby the Brahmans

uncommon

such

as

the

ill-treatment

or

equallyserious breach
law. And occasionally
sadhus,
voluntarily
alreadyindicated,
other

44

73

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

AT

FAIRS

terrible tortures.
pains,and even
undergoinconveniences,
In doingso they follow the traditional path,and do not
in the invention of methods
exercise any special
ingenuity
of self-torment.
of

favourite mode

One

the flesh is
mortifvinoj

to

sit

of heaven girt
about with five small
under the open canopy
^
the sun
fires.
Sometimes
only four fires are lighted,

overhead

the fifth

beingregardedas

fire he

of India.

is,too, on
As

rule this

cloudless

; and

one

an

day in

summer

able
intoler-

the

plains
sincerity,

arrangement is devoid of

Yet the fires,


show.
or
performance
the very practical
though they be, serve
insignificant
admirers
the sadhu and attracting
objectof advertising
known
and clients. Sadhus who follow this practice
as
are
fanchadhunis.
and subduingthe body is
of afflicting
Another
way
bed of spikes.I have even
to sit and sleepon
seen
a
a
inside with a close crop
shoes bristling
sadhu's wooden
of pointednails. That the discomfort in such cases
due
with some
contact
of acute spikes
to the constant
portion
be
other of the almost naked body is real,there can
or
littledoubt, but it need not be very injurious
to health.
in connection with this practice,
to Bhishma,
Referring,

is indeed

and

of the

one

writes

heroes

"To

mere

the

of the
Hindu

Mahabharata,

nowadays

Mr.

is

he

Crookes

W.

known
chiefly

tragiccircumstances of his death. He was


at
covered all over
discharged
by the innumerable arrows
him by Arjuna,and when he fell from his chariot he was
and lay on a couch
upheldfrom the groundby the arrows
by

the

of

darts.

This

or
sara-sayya
is probablythe originof the
'

couch
couch

of

some

modern

arrow-bed

studded

with

it must

be admitted

the

assured
ascetics,

nails."

of Bhishma

kantaka-sayyaor

whg
Bairagis,
^

'

To

lie and

'

thorn-

sleepon

the discredit of human

and impostures
deceptions
in asceticism are
inevitable. An
even
unfortunately
Indian gentleman,not, however, too favourably
disposed
nature

towards
that

sadhu whose

that

me

it was
practice

that

he

to sit in

once

For illustrations of this and other forms of asceticism vide

The

Folk-lore

45

out

publicon spikes

Popular Religionand

found

Frontispiece.
of Northern India, vol. i. p. 92.

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

to protecthis buttocks
taken the precaution
cunningly
made with irregular
surface
with thin iron plates
so
artfully

had

deceive almost

to

as

onlooker

any

into the behef that his

cruel

the

points.
called
tharasri they are
who
sadhus
There
are
kind of rest for days or weeks
will stand leaning
on
some
and hardship
it is easy
with what painful
fatigue
together,
in this form of self-torture only
to imagine.Occasionally
one
leg is used, the other beingdrawn up.
of some
A prominentfeature in the ascetic practices
sadhus is hanging head downwards
suspendedfrom the
bough of a tree or a suitable framework, for perhapshalf
flesh

being pittedby

was

"

hour at

an

time.

"

Such

sadhus

are

known

urdhamukhiy

as

I have

come
across
rare, as
Fig.3, but must be exceedingly
example of this class,described later on in
only a single
Chap.IX.
torture are also known, as
Severer forms of voluntary
to a supportsuch as a light
tieshis arm
when a man
bamboo,
at last,
the disused limb,
so as to keepit erect overheard,till,
and rigid
reduced to a shrunken
condition,refuses to be
lowered again to its natural position.
When
both arms
dealt with, the subjectbecomes
a
are
so
helpless
cripple
the kindness of
dependentfor everything
entirely
upon
of austerity
who
this form
others. Sadhus
are
practise

known

urdhabahus.

as

practiceis

mentioned

modification

of

last-

the

the

closingof the hand till it


talons
becomes useless and the longnails grow like curving
find their
from the cramped and atrophied
or
even
fingers,
throughthe flesh between the metacarpalbones of
way
the hand.

Burying alive,or
is

performingsamadh
well-known

yet
very rare
devotees. The
religious
a

few

days to

lives out
grave

an

five

the fixed

is attended

with

cunning

and

the
the

The
more

an

may be from
if the buried man

from

his

temporary

tion
objectof popularvenera-

advantagesin
ambitious

gravestrisks,even

view

are

great

sadhu ; but samadh


when undertaken

designingimpostorsfor
46

called,
Hindu

inhumation

weeks, and,

saint and

afterwards.

enough to tempt

six

practiceamongst

time, he emerges

undoubted

ever

by

or

periodof

it is

as

their

own

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

and profit.Two
glorification
described by
are
fatally,
India

Modern

FAIRS

ing
instances,both end-

Sir Monier

Williams in his

(pp.50-53).
well -authenticated

and

well-known

recent

AT

instance of

is the
lasting
fortydays and endingsatisfactorily
of the yogiHaridas in the time of RanjitSinghof the
case
Punjab1 (A.D.1792-1839).
attends what is known
Great hardship
the ashtanga
as
of the body, involving
the perdanddwat, or prostration
formance
of a pilgrimage
by a slow and most laborious
in fact,the application
of eight
mode of progression,
parts
of the body the forehead,breast,hands,knees,and insteps
determines to traverse
to the ground. The
the
vower
noted placeof
distance to his destination,
a shrine or
some
himself full lengthon the road,
by prostrating
pilgrimage,
then crawling
alongtillhis heels touch the spot where his
himself again,
and so
forehead last rested,then prostrating
tillhis goalis reached.
on
repetitions,
on, with repetitions
and is not conof great humility,
The performance
savours
met
fined to short distances. I once
a
youthfulsadhu at
ll
in Bengal,
the Grand Trunk Road of Northern
Burdwan
on
India, moving in this leech-like fashion from Juggernaut

samadh

"

"

"

to

Benares,

have

of

heard

toilsome

distance of about

thus measuring,
as
pilgrims
towards

way

six hundred

the eternal

the

sacred

source

miles,and

it were,
their
of the Ganges,

of the

Himalayas,pursuingfor
months, and even
years, with patient
courage a journey
of accomplishment
almost impossible
in such inhospitable
^
under the imposedconditions.
regions
There are others also who cHmb
the mightyHimalayas,
not to visit the source
of the Ganges,but to reach the faroff heavens beyond. In the olden time, so the storygoes,
King Yadhisthera,weary of Ufe and its disappointments,
journeyedtowards Mount Meru, and, after many painful

amongst

vicissitudes
^

Described

on

snows

the way,

after Dr.

arrived at the celestial mountain,

Honigberger in

my

Indian

Social (T. Fisher Unwin), pp. 28-30.


^ It is
fact that ashtanga is sometimes
a curious
the

objectof collecting
money
instance of this kind in December

for

Life,Religiousand

undertaken

dowry.
daughter's

1898.

47

came

simply with
across

an

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

admitted
finally

into swarga, the abode of bliss ; ^


directed
sadhu has resolutely
since then many
and ever
a
towards the same
his footsteps
goal,has gone alone upon

and

was

the

same

has

not

ruggedmountains, and

the

great journeyacross
hack.

turned

Fastingis too
by sadhus

looked
penance to have been overof macerating
the body ; and
a means
and meditations,
carried to
with vigils

obvious
as

abstinence,combined

have led amongst them to those


in many
cases
enfeebled constitution
hallucinations and ecstasies of an
must

excess,

which

of the saints of
history
Asiatic religions.

familiar in the

as

are

in that of other

as

of silence

Vows

not

are

and, however

uncommon,

in the observance,may be very convenient


circumstances.

only I

Once

the

made

of
acquaintance

pounds,and he was a Muhammadan.


(Fig.4) of this man,
page is a photograph
refer

again in

later

knowledge,in

did,

to

His

deserted wife had

my

to

means
^

The

an

learned

to whom

I shall

as
cruelly,

of

one

temper.

great gathering

few

entreated him to
many,
of the ascetics within earshot

in

the

regardto
into

sadhu

new

fever of rage,
knife and a dangerous

that
subsequently

the

case

by

was

unusual one.^

story is retold from

(1899),pp. 194,

opposite

hearingof

which stung him


predicament,
cooled onlyby the sharpedgeof a

haemorrhage.I
no

her.

him

his

to be

the

ungovernablefit

an

observations
jeering

made
and

with

home

massive

five hundred

On

themselves

followed

of ascetics,
and, in the
return

with

chapter.
mutilate

sometimes

Sadhus

ascetic who

an

by loadinghis person
chains,weighingin the aggregate about

iron

trying
ceivable
coneasily

under

afflicted himself

had

dom
Christen-

the Mahabharata

in my

Great Indian

Epics

195.

Self-mutilation

fanaticism
prompted by religious

thing of the past in Christian Europe. As


instance recorded in the Daily Mail
following
FANATICAL

(From

an

is not

example,

of 7th

May

even

I may

now

cite the

1901.

SELF-MUTILATION
our

own

Correspondent).
St. Petersburg,

Friday, "ird May.

Ivan Plotnikoff, a peasant,twenty-eight


at Bieyears of age, residing
there
lovodsk, in the government of KharkoS, called at the publiclibrary

48

FAQFIK

WEIGHTED

WITH

UEAA'Y

CHAINS.

To

face

'page.

48^

AT

PUBLIC

THE

BEFORE

SADHUS

FAIRS

in the
periodsof the year, particularly
of the lower castes observe
of April,
month
men
many
of the ascetic sects, and may
the discipline
temporarily

certain

At

be

then

of

cheerfully
undergo self-inflictedtortures
kind, as, for example,passingthick metal skewers

cruel

to

seen

cheeks,or the skin of the arms,


sides,^
walking upon live charcoal,and
the

through the tongue,


the neck, and

thorns.

rolling
upon
ascribed

the

Amongst

temporary low-caste

these

to

the motives

most

commonly

ascetics

are

the

of vanityand the desire for the pecuniary


gain
gratification
there
their performances
which
usuallybring them ; but
be

can

of them hope, and look for,


that many
rewards
for their self-inflicted
less obvious

doubt

no

and

other

sufferings.
Not

is it

all men

to

to the
voluntarily

submit

givento

and therefore,
as
might have been
tryingausterities,
of minor asceticisms indulged
find a number
we
expected,
attention and perhapsgaining
in for the sake of attracting
some
advantage. For example,a sadhu whom 1
pecuniary
at a religious
a
saw
festival,
big and powerfulfellow,had
more

framework

strong wooden

jarprovidedwith

earthenware
from which

there

at

were

asked

for

of water

stream

to

support
the

at
perforation

could flow out.

Round

huge

bottom,
about

plenish
twenty-five
largepots of water, to rethe
Under
jar the
great jar when in use.

the
and

erected

least

book

which

expressedhimself. He
a rumour
spreadabout

was

would

teach

giventhe

him

"

to live in

Holy Gospel.

A few

truth," as he

days afterwards

placethat PlotnikoS had cut off his hand.


Gospel that populartext, And if thy
it
offend
out
thee, pluck
(Matt. v. 29), he took it in a Uteral
righteye
decided then and there to proceed
sense, and, beingin a state of exaltation,
of removing his own
Not finding,
with the operation
however, an awl
eye.
the

"

Plotnikoff had read in the

When

"

with

which

began

coolness

do it, he got hold of an axe, and with remarkable


to chop the wrist of his hand, which he out off after the

he could

fourth blow.
Plotnikoff is
on

foot.

fifteen
^

or

now

lyingin

the

Hospital,whither
Starobielsky

It is amazing that he could manage


to walk a
twenty miles after having lost so much blood.

These

he went

distance of about

although very real,and seeminglycruel,do not, I


piercings,
I have
must
admit, appear to be attended with serious inconvenience.
and
always seen them carried out by a master upon his chelas or disciples,
occasion
received
at
the
I
the
time
that
the
chelas
on
was
impression
every
under hypnotic influence
idea strengthenedby my
were
an
knowledge
of the fact that practical
hypnotism is not a new thingin India.
"

49

sadhu

habit of

in the

was

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

flowingdown

his person

over

time, and very cold work


he

admirers

INDIA

three o'clock till

falhngon
the ground.

to

his head
It

and

winter

was

doubt, but the sadhu had his

no

for in the eyes of his numerous


from
Siva himself with the Gangesfalling

vanity;
gratified

in

reward

about

of water

stream

OF

during the night,parsitting


ticularly

in the small hours, from


with
daybreak,

SAINTS

was

his head and flowingthence to bless and


upon
of his peculiar
account
fertilisethe earth.^ This man,
on

heaven

ascetic

would
practice,

Sadhus

who

my

extensive,I have

known

as

jaladharatapaski.

in water
night immersed
nightwanderingshave not

sit all

but, as
jalashayi,

be

not

seen

called

are

been very
of these pecuharnocturnal

any

soakers.
I
would

of
put pieces

sadhu,

across

came

once

Uve

charcoal

that they
them, pretending
He

usual food.
whose
There

only
are

was

an

claim

to

bran, others who

pseudo sac^Aw,who
-

into his mouth

notice

give out

this

stupid practice.
pretendto live only on wheat
that the water
they drink is

jarari)who

eat

subsist

who

eat

never

take

the

fruits and

on

milk

salt with

Amongst

the

form

Some

West.

was

sadhus

there

of these
a

cases

kind not

are

nothingelse,others

(known

known
unas

(dudhahari)

alone, while those known

as

aluna

their food.

devices
of

chew

were

ashes. Some
with wood
mixed
invariably
of
are
appetite
merely instances of depraved
in the

and

savoury morsels and his


and an ignorant
fellow,
agriculturist

ascetics who

some

or

for

attractingattention

self-inflictedpenances,

all

are

which
not

so

the ones
as
unobjectionable
justreferred to.
For
to
example, lusty fellows often go about affecting
keep a restraint upon their sexual desires by mechanical
A sect given
arrangements which they do not conceal.
is noticed by Professor H. H. Wilson under
to this practice
of kara
the name
lingis} On the other hand, certain
sadhus (Bairagis)
credited with effectually
are
keepingtheir
themselves to a cruel
desires under control by subjecting

innocuous

or

The storyof the descent of the Ganges,reproducedfrom the


Great Indian Epics (1899),pp. 87-90.
Sects of the Hindus, p. 151.
Beligious

is givenin my
-

50

Ramayana,

BEFORE

SADHUS

THE

PUBLIC

AT

FAIRS

destructive of particular
nerves
entirely
discipline
muscles of tlie body.^
also in some
As aids to meditation,possibly
cases

and

as

for the mortification of tbe flesh,a great number


of
indsans, or postures,with such fantastic names
as, for stance,
the padma dsan or lotus posture,have been de vised.^
means

of them

Some

are

acquiredby

be

art,

will be

as

the attitudes
This

reallyvery difficultcontortions,
only to
to the
long and painfulapprenticeship

understood from
readily
of the sadhus in Fig.5.

chaptercannot

be

consideration of

closed without

reference to

rites,which are practised


purificatory
by some
sadhus : for example"
and one
of
1. Drawing a thread throughthe mouth
with the objectof cleansing
the nostrils,
the nasal fossae:
certain

this process is called neti harm.


2. Swallowinga long stripof
reached

out
cleaning

3.

drawing it

the stomach

the stomach

the
Cleaning

cloth,and

again:

out

after it has

this process of

is dhoti karm.

throat with

longbrush

called Brahma

dotan.
Two

purificatory
processes

known

as

harm
hrajoli

and

that I will
ganeshhriyaare, to say the least,so peculiar
them beyond stating
that the latter is a
not particularise
the colon without instrumental
aids.
process of flushing
in order to lay stress on
I only allude to these practices,
the fact that the cleansing
of all the reachable interior
to have been nothingshort of
portionsof the body seems
a

mania

with

sectarians in India.

some

Hindu
Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies,by the Abbe
part ii. chap, xxxiii,
1

not
them

is,I

There

are

dsans

all connected

and dsans known

with

sadhuism

quite the reverse.


believe,on the Index

nor

book

people,and they
practices; many
religious

to the Indian

with

J. N. Dubois,

are

descriptivebf these latter exists, but


lihrorum prohibitorumof the Indian police.

51

of
it

CHAPTEK

and

on

or

averted

of Muslim

them

by

Sadhus

Thaumaturgist

who

been
and

what

extent

some
"

Tales

and

the

dotes
Anec-

of Calamities

of Metals

Transmutation

"

to

elsewhere

performed by

Wonders

of the

AND

PERFORM

Sadhua

"

have

Necromancers

SADHUS

TO

Sanyasi Ramakrishna

like the

Magicians

SAID

ARE

FAQUIRS

Visionists

PRESENT-DAY

THAT

WONDERS

THE

IV

brought

Sadhus

by
Story
Claims
of
Disciple of a Sadhu
of a
by Faquirs Strange Treatment
the

was

made
Sadhus
Superiority over
Faquir by a co-Religionist Sadhus

"

"

"

as

"

Physicians,Palmists,

tellers,
Fortune-

Acrobats.

and

0 N

S T

Indian
of

ascetics

day

our

are

the

some

the

there
like

"

highly

emotional

and

tearful

Bengali
krishna,^
Rama-

Sanyasi

subject
hysteria,

to

and

trances,

catalepsy
"

see

who

visions,

believed
been

to

have

favoured

with
visits

are

personal
from

the

gods and
selves,
goddesses themvery

"I..,..

and

reputed
^

both

Of

this sadhu, who

in

Professor

Europe
Max

and

died

America.

Miiller.

in 1886,

good

Ramakrishna

52

deal
:

has

His

to

are

be

recently been heard


Life and Sayings, by

SADHUS

WONDERS

such

performances
apart from

excite attention
knows

and

sadhus
these

sometimes

do, even

the witch
ban

the

mantle

saints,who

found

have

fection.
per-

always

sects, every

new

the

nearlyso powerfulas

has

in

degenerate
days,work wonders,

our

with

grown

beneficent

extent, is the sadhu in India.


and

to

the

kind.

centuries,
What

the

been, in other countries,


that,to

has

magicianis,or

thinking

fame

always of

not

so,

in the way

such neurotic

that, though not

ancient rishis,whose
many
and

hindrances

are

But

Hindu

PERFORM

FAQUIRS

to do
miracles,
thoughindisposed

able to work
that

AND

been

Elsewhere

in

the

some

necromancer

antagonismwith, and

under

but in India the ecclesiastical


of, the hierarchy,
has

cerers,
sorprovedelastic enough to cover even some
not
all.
though certainly
The Christian Church has alwaysadmitted, on biblical
It has
the existence of wizards and witches.
authority,

abhorred
Heaven

of
the vengeance
^
for their deeds,

their dread

power, and, when


overtake them
directly

did not

them
persecuted

command,

"

Thou

death, in obedience

the

to

shalt not

suffer

witch

xxii. 18 ; Lev. xx.


27).
Mediaeval history
is painfully
blurred
of the
the

penalfires which

suppressionof

attributed

attest

witchcraft, whose

Of

course

between
of

the

without

with

live "

(Ex.

the smoke

successes

to

been

not

to

the divine

the zeal of the Church

diabolical agency ; but in


earliest times,magic and sorcery, however
have

to

certain

in

were

India, since the


much
dreaded,

bility.
acknowledgedrespecta-

there has been in India the inevitable


and
hereditary
priesthood

witchcraft,but

rivalry
lay professors

the

Brahmans, with their wonderful


of adaptation
themselves adopted,
to circumstances,
faculty
at a very earlydate, the role of sorcerers
(as the Atharva
Veda amply proves),
and by so doinghave inevitably,
though
^

The

with

the

wicked, if we

the vengeance

believe the chroniclers,were


may
For
of God in a startling
manner.

visited

sometimes
"

i\Iatilda

example
bound
the devil was
to obey.
greatand potent witch, whose summons
One
day she aspired,alone of all her sex, to say mass ; but when the
moment
for sacring the elements,a thunderbolt fell from the clear
came

was

sky and reduced her to ashes."


by J. A. Symonds, ii.179.

"

Sketches and

53

Stvdies in

Italyand Greece,

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

the calling
of the lay magician
;
dignified
unintentionally,
of
which
is
elsewhere
for
the
much
attainment
since spells
base, immoral, and impioushave not been
as
stigmatised

excluded from
"

the sacred

of the Hindus.

canon

"

witchcraft,"says Mr. Bloomfield, is part of the

Even

and
religion
; it has penetrated

Hindu's

with

blended

the

hohest

Vedic

rites ;

become

intimately

the broad

current

has infiltrated itself


superstition
that
through numberless channels into the higherreligion
and it may
be preis presented
by the Brahman
priests,
sumed
neither able to cleanse their
that the priests
were
beliefs from the mass
of folk-beliefwith which
own
religious
that they found
it was
surrounded,nor is it at all likely
of

and
popularreligion

it in their interest to do so."


What

the sadhu

is credited with

doing or beingable

peoplethink of him as a wonder-worker


and very unpleasantly
and a person capableof signally
from worldlings,
will be apparent
resenting
any disrespect
from the following
characteristic littlestories pickedup in
in India.
my wanderings
In the Deccan
certain sardar,or chief,who
a
openly
disbelief in the existence of hhuts (goblins)
was
expressed
assured by a sadhu that theyreally
did exist. The sardar
wanted some
evidence in proofof this assertion,
so
tangible
the sadhu offered to givethe sceptic
ocular demonstration

to

do, what

the

of the truth of his statement, on condition of his receiving


hundred
The offer was
one
rupees for his trouble.

accepted.A lonelyspot in the junglewas selected for the


exhibition.
Here, at midnight,the sardar and two
or
three of his friends,together
with the sadhu, assembled
within a space ringedin with a conspicuous
line traced on
the ground. Outside this boundaryor magic circle no one
to move
was
on
painof death or the most serious trouble.
When
all were
into the
seated and were
peeringanxiously
darkness which surrounded them, the sadhu keptrepeating
his
of

muntras

lo
till,
(spells),

in the

mirk,

at

the

distance

musket-shot,there appeareda lot of fantastic baldheaded urchins,jumping about with lighted


of wood
pieces
a

Veda.

Introduction (pp.xlv,xlvi.)
to Bloorafield's translation of the Atharva
"

Sacred Books

of tlieEast, vol.

xlii.

54

WONDERS

in their hands.
hhuts all
sardar

AND

SADHUS
In

little while,however, the

and challenged
the
sceptical,
sprites
again. The wise man

his uncanny
but, in consideration of the

capering

after this demonstration

disappeared.Even

was

PERFORM

FAQUIRS

presentof

sadhu

the

reproduce

to

himself ;

excused
valuable

goldkurra
(bracelet),
repeated the performancethe following
night.
On this second occasion the imps of darkness who appeared
and
giil-bhuts,

were

instead of

sticks
lighted

charaghs(terra-cotta
lamps)in
waved

about

make

them

enclosure
Needless

carried

hghted
These they

their hands.

could
darkness,but no inducements
approachthe spectatorswithin the enchanted
in the

than

nearer

add

to

that,as

of

distance

the
my

musket

-shot.

informant,a learned pundit,

assured me, the sardar's scepticism


the important
on
subject
of the existence of goblins
was
entirely
dispelled
by this
second

demonstration.

The

extract from an
following
Anglo-Indian
newspaper
will serve
another exampleof what is currently
as
reported

about

((

"

in

sadhus

The

time.

our

Extraordinary

orthodox

Tale

Hindus

Jogi.

of

Trevandrum, a correspondent
writes to a Southern contemporary,have lately
been much
excited about a jogior sanyasiwho for some
time past has
of

been

literally
worshippedand

down

to

from, or

No

men.

to what

supposedto
banyantree,on

was
a

reverenced

race
particular

be

Hindu.

caste

or

god

come

where this man

appears to know

one

as

came

belongs
; but

he

he

his arrival he sat under

On

the northern bank

of the Padmatheertham

tank, and there he remained


week

or

so

partookof
times

after he had

no

milk

some

week.

tillafter three
to

one,

for three years. For the first


he
taken up his arboreal residence,

and

nightand day

Then
or

two
or
plantain,

or

he

graduallyextended

four months

passed his
for three

the face ; he heeded

he took

time

no

huddled

longyears.

He

twice

food
up

the
at

intervals,
all,spoke

before

looked

three

or

no

a
one

fire
in

nothing. The
question,
Maharajahof Travancore on one occasion stoppednear the
the
sanyasiand addressed him, without,however, obtaining
no

sounds, no

55

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

AND

OF

INDIA

tliecold and wet, to the


without partaking
morsel of
heat and dust, the sanyasi,
a
existence in divine contemplafood, passedhis three years'
tion,

Exposedto
recognition.
slightest

morningand eveningnumbers of
peoplepaidhim homage,he appearedoblivious of all external
Civil and Military
A few daysago he died."
circumstances.
Gazette,Lahore, 23rd April1895.
and, although
every

"

Calamities
a

in

bazaar

of

property and
had

The

bazaar.

sadhus.

to

few

khatri

out

For

example,

night in

one

lives

It

too.

alms from

shop to
merchants, puffedup

of

sadhu

appears

June

loss

Amritsar, causinggreat

at

askingfor

been

due

extensive fire broke

serious and

1899

often

are

another in this

one

with

the

pride

of them
him with sharp words, one
wealth, repelled
sayingto him, You are dressed grandlyenough ! why

of

"

do

for

pesterme

you
Now

the sadhu

fice?

"

robed

was

in

new

sheet which

some

had kindlypresented
likelya woman,
Irritated by the mahajurCs(merchant's)
to him.
taunts,
he removed
the cloth from his shoulders,and, having
burnt the offending
procured a bit of fire,deliberately

liberal person, most

his way.
sheet to ashes in the open street,and then went
from the
Hardly had the mendicant sadhu disappeared
of liisoperations
when

scene

of the

merchant

that

once

had

who

the

flames broke
affronted

the
displeasure,

khatri

him.

result of

the

calamitywas

out

in the

shop
Realisingat
the

sadhu' s

hurriedlydespatched

merchant

in

all directions to find the offended man,


messengers
in order that he might propitiate
him if possible
; but the
saint
of

not

was

the

to

person

all burnt
who

facts
interesting
well known

to

his

down

to

me

those
to

the
in

me

father,who,

at

shop

of his immediate

ground.
of
possession

also another

likewise connected
own

the

anywhere, so

and

kindlyput

narrated

one
past generation,

it

discovered

niggardlyhunneeah

neighbourswere
The

be

story of

with Amritsar
the

these
a

and

time to which

himself a dweller in that city.


relates,
was
A sadhu, as is not
unusual
with
these gentlemen,
entreated a pansdri (druggist
to givehim the
or
herbalist)
56

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

INDIA

OF

knowledgethat the scanty water-supply


in one
of the cities of Upper India
Umballah, if I
of a
remember
rightly is the result of the curse
wandering faquir.He had gone from house to house
had attended
to his
No one
askingfor a drop of water.
modest
request. One, indeed,had said,by way of excuse,
I have
use."
The
only a little water for my own
to be quiteuntrue, became
faquir,
knowing the statement
of

matter

common

"

"

"

and

incensed

shall you

water

and

the

curse

How

henceforth have in the wells of your


was
duly fulfilled.

advantageoussuch

very

wanderingsadhus
be pointedout.
Beneficent

in their

actions

with sadhus.
When

One

in

of the

than the felldisease

and

anxietyamongst

the

yogiscame

to

great tank
the

the

upon

of
the

poor.

Amritsar
the

that most

in

that, so

far

Amritsar

that year,

as

discredited case
about

my

thoughone

near

he
the

called
means

of actions,feasting

visit to

this

doubtful

worthy yogi
here

mention
not

and

appear

in

subsequently

reportedto the officials.

the herbalist

of
on

metals, alluded

to

previouspage,

is

mysterious subjectswhich
A

of

city. He let it be known,


the objectof his visit was
to

chapter,but I may
know, the plague did

was

sect

established himself

later

transmutation

mind.

of the

sadhu

meritorious
of

account

will be found

The

and

great excitement

and
to this end
pestilence,
and charitable to afford him
religious

An

to

its ance
appearand
the
Punjab,

dreaded

out
carrying

need

not

much
sanitaryauthorities,

people,a

that
throughhis followers,
avert

the

to

plague made

created
itself,

the

outside

be

"

observation.

own

my

district of the

measures
precautionary
more

under

bubonic

Jullundar

city!

connected
also,though rarely,

came

the

stories must

does
peregrinations,

are

case

1898

in the

uttered this malediction," Little

immediately

still fascinate

in the

story

of those

one

the

Oriental

learned Hindu

related to me, in all good faith,


the following
of one
of his intimate friends and
experiences
sa"?/m-alchemist.
a
This

become

friend,when
a
sadhu, and

young

attached

58

man,

was

himself to

most
a

anxious

to

Bairagiwho

WONDERS

had

SADHUS

from

come

and

Hurdwar

holy
At

the

the

FAQUIRS

solitudes of the

Rikhikesh.

and

man,

AND

The

last the sadhu noticed him

of silver,givinghim
the bullion and

the

at

silverin this way,

very

assiduously
upon

him.

to hand

as

him

piece

time instructions to sell

was

for their food.

necessary

time to time he intrusted the

From

seemed

far

same

what

buy

so

Himalayasbeyond

sadhu

waited

youth

PERFORM

boy with

him
onlyrequiring

bits of uncoined

bringback, with

to

the

purchasedfood -stuffs,some
supplyof

silver never

aroused

was

to such

where

guru

the

who

Hindustan

The
with

ardour

rebuked

man,

such

am

silver into

youth'shumble
did not flag,
but

and

learn this valuable

art,

but his
pleasures,
he

not

was

secret

"

one

unworthy

an

than
entirely

assiduous

revealed to

attentions to

the master's

he

committed

very

grave

attempt

any

concealment

nate
unfortu-

one

the meretricious charms


a

effected,

were

; and

of

loose

indiscretion. When

presentedhimself next morning before


ordered to go
promptlyand peremptorily

useless to

the

havingbeen allowed to sleep


abode, probablybecause it was in

to shift for himself in the town

woman,

was

of

never

night,temptedby
he

he,

gold."

the hours of darkness that the transmutations


he had

in

silver out

mischief if intrusted to

better be lost

thus

only one man


a
Rajah, but

manufacture

to

the

one.

near

or

sadhu

the guru, who told him


be admitted to so great a

to

that it had

in

is

to ask

by

fraughtwith

so

sadhu

can

all eagerness

was

yet morallyfit

The

superior.I
convert

can

There

The

of future
glittering
possibilities

was

indeed

said,

is my

he

boy

its

and

"

he ventured

from.

came

Maharajah. I

; but

copper

degreethat

treasure

questionedsmiled
indeed, is

coins. The
regular
copper
failed,and at last the boy'scuriosity

from

the sadhu, he
It was
away.
the omniscient

for forgiveness
sadhu, so the youth beggedearnestly
; but
the

sadhu

own

hand

and
spurned his unworthy disciple,
set fire to the

temporary shelter

and

littlehut

which

contained all his

had

with

afforded

his
him

worldlypossessions.

Carryinghis huge chimfta(tongs)in his hand, which had


been sharpened
alongthe edges so that it might make a
very formidable weapon,

the alchemist strode away


59

towards

of the

abode

the

follow him

eternal

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

The

snows.

while, but

OF

INDIA

cliela ventured

to

the

Bairagi,
lookingback,
threatened him with his keen-edged
tongs,and the fallen
youth thoughtit prudentto retrace his steps,haunted
than ever
with an unsatisfied cravingto know the
more
great secret of making silver out of baser metal.
^ told
of an equally
A granthi
unfruitful experience
me
Nirmali sadhu.
This man
made
he had with a gold-making
for

".

friends

with

granthi,and

the

his confidence.

himself

insinuated

first cautiously
hinted,and

He

under the seal of


revealed,

secrecy, that he

was

into

afterwards

acquainted

metals. The granthi,


transmuting
his scriptural
notwithstanding
knowledgeand semi-sacerdotal
friend
much
excited at finding
that his new
was
functions,
with

was

the occult art

them
be

of

potent alchemist,and he felt the bonds between


is not to
strengthen
; for,after all,this sort of man

of metals
day'sjourney. The transmuter
seemed to live very well,yet occasionally
borrowed money,
favour to the granthiin this matter ; for
showingspecial
he had no hesitation in placing
himself under temporary
to his most
confidential friend. And, of course,
obligations
it was
all right
a
and, when his
gold-maker,
; he was
his profitable
matured, would resume
arrangements were

pickedup

in

teach the granthi


the
business,and, better still,
his
a

mysteriousart.
bronze

common

One
double

day the
pice,or

sadhu

showed

half-anna

secrets

the

of

granthi

coin,and then

in his presence put it into a small furnace along with


various leaves and roots he had collected. After an hour
he

goldenfac-simile of
the double pice. The granthi,
not to be taken in even
by
his dear friend,
asked to be allowed to have it tested by a
goldsmith.Permission was givenand acted upon, with the
result that the expertsin the bazaar pronounced
it gold of
the purest quality.The granthiwas
now
agog to learn
the importantsecret of gold-making,
and many
the
were
lent the sadhu, in the hope that he
rupees he willingly
would
of
man
accept him as a pupil. But the saintly
science suddenlyand unexpectedly
decamped.
or

so

"

producedfrom

Alas ! "
^

said the

his crucible

granthiafter

One learned in the

he had

of
Scriptures

60

narrated

the Sikh sect.

these

AND

SADHUS

WONDERS

circumstances

lost more

"I

to me,

as

Nirmali

drop of

sixtyrupees through

he fooled me, but


has, since those days,had so much

sadhu
from

water

than

PERFORM

since learnt how

that impostor.I have


never

FAQUIRS

hand

my

!"

thereabouts,Calcutta knew
Hassan
interest in one
and took much
Khan, who had the
of beinga greatwonder-worker,thoughI believe
reputation
hne, and his story may be fitly
only in one particular

thirtyyears

Some

here, as it

recorded
of

pecuharand
Several

throughthe

was

remarkable powers

very

European

Khan,

It is

homes.

own

and

and not from Indian sources,

which I

initiation

acquiredthe

attributed to him.

friends of mine

with Hassan
acquainted
in their

favour and

this Muhammadan

that

sadhu

Hindu

or

ago,

had

been

witnessed

from
directly

personally
ances
performthese gentlemen,
his

that I derived the details

reproduce.

now

wizard, nor even


professional
but he could be persuadedon
occasion to
a
performer,
to a small circle his peculiar
out
display
powers, and this withFor example,he would
reward.
call
any pecuniary
upon any person presentat such a meetingto ask for some
one
ordinarywine, and on the particular
being named
Khan

Hassan

not

was

put his hand under the table,or


maybe behind a door, and, lo ! a bottle of the wished-for
well-known
Calcutta firm,
wine, with the label of some

would

request him

would

be

thrust

company.
who
one
be

him
and

his

or

was

extended

hand.

would

present,the supply of comestibles

exhausted.

raised

into the

producearticles of food, such as


cakes, and cigars
too, enough for the assembled
On a certain occasion,so I was
informed by

he
Similarly
biscuits

to

Several

members

Hassan
laughagainst

seated

Khan,

round

seemed

the

to

table

and

jeeringly
challenged
Much
champagne.
agitated
alwayshad an impedimentin

bottle of

producea
stammeringbadly
speech Hassan Khan
to

"

he

into the

verandah, and in
unseen
some
agent to bringthe
angry tones commanded
He had to repeat his orders two or
champagne at once.
three times, when, hurtling
the required
throughthe air,came
"

bottle.

went

It struck the

magicianon

broke into
to the floor,
force,and, falling
6i

the chest with

thousand

pieces.

"

power,

my

but

SAINTS

I have

OF

INDIA
"

Khan, much

There," said Hassan

shown

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

excited,

enragedmy

I have

djinn by

my

importunities."
friend of mine

happened to travel,quite
with Hassan
in a railwaycarriage
Khan, and,
casually,
with him, asked him to produce
acquaintance
havingsome
somethingto drink.
A

"

European

your hand
while the train was
Put

His

requestwas

of the

out

window," said the Muslim,

travelling
along.
compliedwith,and

wine thrust into the outstretched hand

bottle of excellent

rewarded

this

slight

exertion.
Another
the modus

of my

anxious
friends,exceedingly

operandiof

interest
special
objectin view

learn

to

these

in Hassan
cultivated

took a
strange performances,
Khan, and with this important
his

society.Drivingon one
occasion alongwith him in the bazaar,the wizard expressed
at the shop of a money-changer.The
wish to alight
a
was
stopped,and Hassan Khan, attended by his
carriage
if he had any sovereigns.
companion,asked the money-changer
An affirmative answer
beinggiven,he requested
that theyshould be produced,
and, when theywere brought
out of the money-changer's
strongbox, Hassan Khan, after
askingthe priceat which theymight be purchased(forin
those days their value had not been fixed by law),thoughtfully
his
the
coins
fingers,
passed
gold
through
sayinghe
would

call for them

the morrow,
bargainelsewhere. The
on

if he

could not

make

following
morning he
before by my
went
to the shop, attended
friend but
as
which he had seen
and
only to learn that the sovereigns
handled the day before had all mysteriously
disappeared
Khan
after being placed in the strong box.
Hassan
affected to disbelieve the story,but, as he did so, slyly
cast
so
a
significant
glanceat his companion,that the latter
in such suspicious
to be seen
prudentlyresolved never
a

better

"

company
Yet

again.
this incident

onlyput a

keener

edgeupon

Mr.

's

and
he assiduously
with
curiosity,
pliedHassan Khan
questionstill he obtained from him the following
story,

for the sake of which,

more

than
62

anythingelse,I

have

set

AND

SADHUS

WONDERS

PERFORM

FAQUIRS

ported,
rewhich, if correctly
particulars
and possiblynot
are
seeminglyquiteincredible,
the cleverest legerdemainists.
ever,
Howby even
explicable

forth in tliis narrative

ances
having witnessed the Muslim's strange performand not being a wizard, I leave the matter
myself,

not

without

further

Hassan

Khan

he

"

there

was

boys

crowded

up

On

part

a
village
gaunt

him, but

mocked

though

even

later

in the

I seemed

on

proved
re-

should

The

sadhu

littletime.

some

towards

the

I could.

as

for
frequently,

met

we

The

they

Hindu.

drawn

often

as

that

for
village

be

to

visited him

One

strange

day

he

importantsecret power, if
and
would follow his instructions faithfully
implicitly.
o
f
promisedto do whatever might be required me, and
confer

offered to

and

him

man,

man,

sadhu

repulsiveaspect.
altogether

and

his abode

he took

and

my

and
closely,

me

native

rudeness, telhng them

respect a holy

my

to

round

their

observed

day

locks

matted

lad," said this remarkable

mere

one

came

with

wondrous

acquiredthe

When

man,

the story of how


with which
powers

to

on

pass

credited.

was
"

to

comment,

an

directions

sadhiCs

the

under

me

on

commenced

system of

with fastingwhich lasted many,


perhapsforty,
discipline
to
instructor
taught me
repeat many
mystic
days. My
spellsand incantations,and, after imposinga very strict

fast,commanded
and

tell him

to enter

me

what

returned

only thing visible


That
huge flaming eye.
the

'

what

power

each
'

mentor,
your

mandate

is

well

the

familiar to

been

me

one.

shut

Away I went, in a
lockingmyselfin my
djinn to bringthose
my

in

to

made

sadhu

mysticalsignupon
said my
command

with

trepidation

the information
the

gloom

state

so.

door

of

your

to

uttered,when,
63

home,'

room,

and

to

you.'

excitement, and,

nervous

me

go

stones

chamber, commanded
stones

stones

particular

Now

bring these
of

been

some
a

'

I did

began wondering

make

me

was

has

success

"

acquired. Pointingto

had
the

lying about,

much

remark, and

the sadhu's

achieved,'was

in the hillside

cavern

With

there.

saw

I obeyed his behests, and


that

dark

at

to

once.

my

the

unseen

Hardly

amazement

had

and

terror, the stones


told the sadhu of my

lay

secret

and
have

which

upon

power
which you

you,

but

success.

the

INDIA

I went

Now,' he said,

they

mysticalsignI

have

be, acquiredthrough your

may

be accumulated

cannot
spirit,

by

but must

you,

you

everything

over

taught
giicis
things,

your

quaHfiedby

back
'

exercise

can

you

OF

feet.

my
'

make

can

at

SAINTS

for my
power with discretion,
the fact that, do what you will,the

use

whatever

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

familiar
soon

pass

fied
of your hands.' And the sadhu's words have been verihas not been an unmixed
and his gift
in my life,
blessing,

out

for my djinnresents my power, and has often tried to harm


his time is not yet come."
me
; but happily

bringsout
explanation

This

in

esteem

still held

of

the Indian
dominant

once

even

on

of

the

sadhus

high
are

conferred upon

him

mendicant.
religious

Hindu

But

powers

abilitieswere
thaumaturgic

remarkable
a

occult

clearlythe

by Muslims, since a follower of Islam


to acknowledge,
that his own
voluntarily,

even

could be found

by

the

which

very

Muhammadan,
race,

as

usuallyloves

becomes

to claim

superiority

member

this ground.

to me
the subject,
admitted
on
Mussulman, speaking
that the Hindu
sadhus, by their austerities and pecuhar

acquirea strange mastery


practices,
"

nature.

But," said he,

on

by
of

one

the
some

the

never

forces of

the

able to

enter
'^^

faquir.

with such matters had told him that


acquainted
occasion a sadhu flying
through the air recognised,
which filled the atmosphere,the proximity
aroma
alightedon
great faquir.He stayedhis flight,
well

ground,but

was

unable

saint,
approachthe MusHm
t
he
diffused,although invisible,
glory

about

whom

of the

Almighty. The

he

they are

over

Presence, unless by the favour of

the Divine
Persons

"

would

was

Uke

to

sadhu

sent

word

to

the

faquirthat

him, but that he could not pass


visitors
or saloon where
beyond the threshold of the haithak,
that God
Himself was
were
received,for he perceived
to

meet

there.
"

Come

"

protectionthe
two

said the
sadhu

ascetics met, the

and under his


faquirconfidently,
able to approach.When
the
was
in his visitor a
Muslim recognised

64

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

sages, as recorded in the old books, and those attributed


there is,as the reader will
to their modern
representatives,
off.
falling

sad

immeasurable

noticed,an

doubtless have

But,

in mediaeval

as

India is full of marvels and


there
apologists,

Hindu

Europe, the

in bazaars

with

be met

Hoomi

and

other

air in

may believe
in this sinful age,

still live,even
and

the

in

mahatmas}

the

not

are

ordinaryhaunts

Blavatskydiscovered

Madame

where

and, if we
mysteries,

potent wonder-workingsadhus, only they

very
but

with
difierenoe,

to

of men,

her elusive Koot


lone

solitudes of

mysteriousTibet, or the grim snow-fastnesses of the


unexploredHimalayas. However, since exhibitions of
of rare
miraculous powers
in
are
occurrence
necessarily
abilities of many
sadhus
are
in less striking
displayed
cians
ways : for example, as physi-

degeneratetimes, the

these

of which
to the sick,drugsand simples
administering,
or
they have acquireda knowledgein their wanderings,
to them
had solemnlycommunicated
by perhapsa dying
are
Many remarkable cures
justlyattributed to
guru.
a
sadhus, but they make
mystery of their knowledge,
and
secrets
from
the
jealously
guard their therapeutic

Sometimes

herd.

common

with

ailments

and

their

weaknesses

practiceis

which

call for

connected
the exhibition

and
resort
to spells
calculated
a
love-philtres
heart. In such cases, no
to influence a cold, impassive
command
a considerable
doubt, the sadhu's skill can easily
pecuniaryreward.
mendicants
meal or a penny
earn
a
Many religious
by
and interpreters
of
as
fortune-tellers,
disclosing,
palmists,

of

dreams, the hidden thingsof the future.


the world

by

the Allahabad
"

who

acrobatic feats
"

Pioneer will show

wonderful

the

extract
following

from

"

in view

faquirwas

astonish

in the main

street,

all the time he says his prayers goes

performancesthat
^

as

Others

"

Mahatman

would

earn

him

throughacrobatic
fortune in England.

then high-minded,noble,
literally
great-souled,
as
a
simply
compUmentary term, much
reverend
as
we
use
or
honourable, but it has also been accepted as a
technical term, appliedto a class of men
who
in the ancient languageof
India are well known
of Samnydsin." Professor Max
to us by their name
Muller,Lifeand Sayingsof Ramakrishna, pp. 2, 3.

and

all the rest.

means

It is often used

"

66

SADHUS

WONDERS

As

AND

lie
approaclied

we

was

PERFORM

FAQUIRS

standingon

one

leg with

tlie

his waist ; in another second he was


on
his
and
head
round
his
neck
his hands,
downwards,
legs
;
tied up in something
left him he was
when we
resembling
other curled round

reef knot

p) One

and

of these

induced

named
religious
posturists,

few years ago to


to exhibit himself at the Westminster

Das,

was

"

From

7th

come

Bava
across

Lachman
the

Aquarium to

ocean

ing
admir-

the very strange attitudes


of a well-illustratedarticle
form the subject

assume

in the Strand

The

thousands.
he could

clove hitch combined."

man

and

Magazine for February 1897.


March

habad),
through the Cow-riotingDistricts,"Pioneer (Alla-

February1894.

67

CHAPTER

GLIMPSES

SOME

koontala

homed

(2)

Rishi

(5) The

Lost

duped

restored

Son

other

Sources

(1 ) Sa-

(4) The

Kind-hearted

(6) A

Lady

life,

fiction, sadhus
familiar

in

so

and

II.)

how

bulk

in

Indian

faquirs are

forms.

It

has

shown

been

the

sadhus

sacred
the

ture
litera-

Hindus,

epics, Puranas,
I

but

shall

should
less

Indian

-pseudo

and

sadhus
my

world.

while

purpose,

glimpses
The

Ring,
and

its

the

sacred,

sources

of

the

figure prominently,
time

same

inner

world

story entitled
first

come

with
with

the

fact

that

sentiments

of

its

Sakoontala,
of

68

its

earliest
very

peaceful

asceticism.

ideas

say
for
saints
which

will

serve

esting
inter-

of

ments.
senti-

and

or

or

affording some

of Hindu

account

on

being chronologicallythe

together

draw

now

following eight stories, in

sadhus

at

of the

celebrated
may

The

"

perhaps

pictures

"

etc.,

secular,

upon

ready
al-

(Chap.

largely
of

of the

Cunning.

Indian

in

FICTION

Disillusionment

(3)

(8) Woman's

and

Dramas

Madhava

and

Father

(7) The

Sanskrit

Malati

INDIAN

IN

SADHUS

OF

famous

from

Stories

Eight

Lost

the

intrinsic

charm

those

selected,

atmosphere
retirement

is
and

charged
sur-

mild

GLIMPSES

OF

I. The

Story

SADHUS

the

Chap, IL,

there

or

FICTION

Lost

the

learn,as

we

was

alreadystated in
a
Kshatriyaking named
of overcoming
famous
a

once

Visvamitra,who, for the purpose


Brahman
he had
sage, Vasishta,with whom
of
underwent, for thousands
unequal conflict,
most
terrible austerities,
which eventually
led
honour
caste.

While

named

Menaka

of his advancement

the

Ring,

Kalidasa.i

Ramayana

that

INDIAN

Sakoontala,

of

BY

From

IN

into

come

the

years,
to

the

precedented
un-

to the Brahmanical

king was

of his
engagedin the rigours
of his
tortures,the god Indra became jealous
self-imposed
sent
a
increasing
lovelynymph of heaven
power, and
him

from his
had

for many

distract his meditations

to

Visvamitra,unable

vows.

the beautiful

to

and

to

seduce

ments,
resisther allure-

temptressto share his hermitage

years.

Accordingto

the

great Hindu

the result of this union

heroine of his

was

dramatist

Kalidasa,^
Sakoontala,the
daughter,

world-famous

play. The girlwas


reared in a picturesque
and delightful
or
hermitage,
colony
of hermits,under the guardianship
of Kanwa, the chief
of the anchorites. In this retired spot Dushyanta,of the
Hneage of the renowned Purus, king of India, when out
of his frequenthuntingexpeditions,
on
discovered
one
into a lovelygraceful
maiden
Sakoontala,now
in
grown
her earlyprime. Although the king had many
royal
consorts, he was
large-hearted
enough to fall desperately
in love with

now

the fair recluse when

he met

her with

two

girl-companions,
Priyamvadaand Anasuya,under the most
charmingand opportune circumstances ; for Sakoontala at
the moment
in trouble from the too aggressive
and
was
attentions of an angry bee whom
she had disturbed
persistent
With the
amongst the flowers she was gathering.
maiden

too

it

was

case

of love at first sight.

the Lost Ring, an Indian drama, translated into English


SaJcoontala,
or
and
from the Sanskrit of Kahdasa
verse
prose
by Monier Williams, M.A.
(Hertford,1855).
2

Kalidasa

was

one

of the

"

Nine

Gems

famous

"

of the court

of

Vikramaditya,

king,who, accordingto the most recent reckoningsor guesses


lived in the sixth century of the Christian era.
Europeanchronologists,
a

69

of

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

victims to Kama's

Both

darts suiiered

their emaciated

fever, as

SAINTS

forms

only too

OF

INDIA

badlyfrom loveand too


clearly

terference
inif officious,
evinced.
Through the affectionate,
quickly
of Priyamvadaand Anasuya,a pairof delightful
about
little schemers, it came
quite casuallythat the
lovers were
by mutual confessions of affection relieved
from all the hauntingdoubts that had tillthen disturbed
hearts.
their susceptible
It would seem
that, while the hermit colonywas under
also a holymatron
the control of a chief or abbot,there was
Gautami, who had especialchargeof the
there, named
of this rural settlement.
and girls
women
But, perhaps
for royalty,
her watchfulness
because of her reverence
to

seems

by

soon,

been

have

mutual

fault in the

at

present case, for very

and without
consent, quitesecretly

monies
cere-

kingand Sakoontala
united in wedlock
were
by the form of marriageprevalent
Indra's celestialmusicians."
The king,after a brief
among
his
(Hastinapur),
leaving
honeymoon,returned to his capital
wife with her friends in the hermitage.
new
Sakoontala was
much
at this early
Naturally,
depressed
from her lord,and, while lost in absent-minded
separation
formaUties

or

of any

sort, the

"

reverie

her

near

arrived

Durvasas

sage

sage
curse

which

so

that

he

vented

"

to

did

incensed

than

person

claim

to

Apparently,Sakoontala
omission

less

cottage,no

the

usual

not

notice

the

affronted

his angry

the

great

hospitality.
coming, an

his

and

in
feelings

irascible

this terrible

"

thee, maiden, for daring to slighta guest like


here unwelcomed
I,
; even
A very mine
of penitential
merit.
Worthy of all respect? Shalt thou, rash maid.

Woe

Shall I stand

Thus
Of

set at nought
? and
hospitality

the cherished

Upon
While

He,

the

ties

thy thoughts
objectof thy love,

present?

am

sacred

ever

fix

he of whom

Thus

curse

thee, then

thou

thinkest,he
Shall think no
of thee, nor
in his heart
more
Retain thy image. Vainly shalt thou strive
To waken
his remembrance
of the past ;
He

even

shall disown

Roused
The

from

words

he

thee,

as

even

his

the

sot,

midnightdrunkenness, denies
uttered in his re veilings."
70

"

me

GLIMPSES

Sakoontala,too deeply absorbed


did not

hear the

even

FICTION

INDIAN

IN

SADHUS

OF

in her

sage'smalediction

thoughts,

own

shrewd

her

; but

did, and, fearful of the


girl-friends
pleadedwith the terrible Durvasas to pardon
consequences,
and inexperienced
offender. Their entreaties so
the young
and

-watchful

ever

far molhfied
"

him

word

My

that he condescended

must

but
falsified,

be

not

to

say

at the

"

of
sight

the

shall cease."
the spell
ring of recognition
Having said this, he disappeared.The girlswere
the fact that
to mind
reassured by his words, recalling
when
takinghis departurefrom the hermitagethe king
Sakoontala's fingera ringwith his own
had placedon
it.

engraved upon

name
"

"

said,
as Anasuyasagely
therefore,"

She has

for her misfortune

at her

their dear

curse

and

to

friend all

reticence the two

knowledgeboth

to which

the extent

remedy

command."

own

However, with wonderful


from

he had

been

girlskept

of Durvasas'

prevailed
upon

modify it.
While

these

Sakoontala's
from

away

incidents

When

chief of the

and
foster-father,

home, having

Destiny,which
calamity."
Kanwa

"

to

gone

hermits,was

Soma-tirtha

to

his daughterwith

threatened

returned and

duringhis absence he

taking place,Kanwa,

were

learned what

approvedof the
fully

pitiate
prosome

had

happened
marriagewhich

consummated, and, deemingit the proper course,


sent
hermits, to join her
Sakoontala, escorted by some
As became a saint,Kanwa
royalhusband.
gave his fosterchild much
such rules of life as the
good advice,including
had

been

following
"

"

Honour
those

To

above

thee

and

be

respectful

should

others share

husband's

love, ne'er yieldthyselfa prey


be a friend,
ever
jealousy
those
who rival thee
lovingfriend,to

Thy
To

thy betters,ever

but

In his affections."

As

Sakoontala

took

most

touchingfarewell

of

the

of her
hermitagewhere she had passed the springtime
Priyamvada
days,those dear companions of her girlhood,
71

Anasuya,mindful

and
that

should

the

she should

on

of Durvasas'

curse,

OF

by

her.

hermits,Sakoontala

few

and
capital

personalcharms of
before him
claimingto
the

admitted

proceededto

his presence ;
malison,the king had lost

was

the

beautiful

be

his wife.

of the hermits

one

her

to
whispered

to

but, in fulfilment of Durvasas'


all recollection of her, and, conscientious man
not
declined to receive her, though he was

conduct,

INDIA

her,
any chance, have forgotten
fail to producethe ring,his
account

no

her husband's

SAINTS

king,by

partingpresent to
Attended

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

thus

that he was,
insensible to
stood

who

woman

Indignantat his
addressed the king in

loftystrain
"

"

Beware

Beware

how

thou
how

Remember

Thy

how,

with

union

secret

And

insultjthe
holy sage
he generouslyallowed

He

sought to

He

should

his foster-child :
did'st rob

thou

when

furnish the excuse,


cursed thee for

have

of his treasure.
rather
when

him

ravisher."

was
Dushyanta'smemory
reallyclouded, and he
neither acknowledgenor
In
would
receive Sakoontala.
her great sorrow
and
deep humiliation the poor girl
referred to the signet
ringher royallover had givenher ;
pressible
to her inexbut, on beingasked to produceit,discovered,
dismay and the king'sill-concealedamusement,

But

that it

lost.

was

The

hermits

who

king'spresence now
hermitage
; while,on
who

had

noticed

into
receiving
another

had

accompaniedSakoontala

to

the

back

to

the

refused to

her

his house

conduct

her

the other hand, the virtuous

condition,would
who

one

was

not

be

king,
guiltyof

the
evidently

wife of

man.

In this most

domestic priest
painfuldilemma the king's
generouslyoffered to give the lady an asylum in his own
house until the birth of her child.
led away
"

bewailed
When

while

fate,

suddenlya shiningapparition

In female
Near

her cruel

Sakoontala

the

shape descended from the skies,


nymph's pool,and bore her up to
72

heaven."

being

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

play,not mth timid pets,but with lustyyoung


drawn
The king feels himself strangely
towards the

INDIA

lions.

to

child,and after

handsome

will of the

the

in the

of

garb

littlewhile,in accordance

Sakoontala

gods, meets
widow.

of
strange repudiation

To

her

her
that

on

he

now

memorable

arrayed
explainshis
day when

at Hastinapur.He
sought his protection
and
with
the permissionand
forgiveness,

also, to

son

"

leaves
Hindu

prayer

own

Indra, takinghis wife and

to

the purple self-existent god,


may
Wliose vital energy pervades all space.
future

this

charming drama

yet

I may

of

his

blessingof

And

saturated

terror

of

her

"

From

How

car

obtains

capital.The pious king


Peak," breathingthe characteristically

return

Golden

"

the

with

herself

she

Kasyapa reascends

fearfess

with

recall to
the

that led to the

save
transmigrations

gods

the

at

soul."

asceticism
feelingof peaceful

is,does
the

my

not

need

to

be

pointedout

that it was
the
reader's memory
Visvamitra's
dreadful austerities

of
temptation

the

ascetic and

the birth of

passed blamelessly
early years were
of
restful
well-ordered hermitages,
a
quiet
group
sort of pastoral
monastery under an easy tolerant rule.

the

heroine, whose

amidst
a

The

heroine's misfortunes

were

the result of the

affronted ascetic,and, when

curse

nounced
pro-

she is

rejected
that
king,it is to the haven of a celestialhermitage
by
she is translated from Dushyanta's
capital.
by

an

the

Throughoutthe poem the undoubted power of


the unquestioned
of
and importance
dignity

and

his

calling

amplyrecognised.

are

II. Malati
In

Bhavabhuti's

written

probablyin

glimpseof
a

the ascetic

one

and

Madhava.^

drama, Malati and Madhava^


eighth century a.d., we have a

famous
the

aspect of Indian asceticism wliiclistillhas

great and permanent fascination for the Hindus, viz. the


^

Select

Specimens of the Theatre of the Hindus, translated from the


Sanskrit by Horace Hayman
Wilson, vol. ii. (Calcutta,1827).
original
74

GLIMPSES

exercise of
If

only

OF

SADHUS

INDIAN

IN

FICTION

ascetic

by
superhumanpower acquired
illustrate this

to

charming drama

Bhavabhuti's

practices.

important point,the
be

may

plot of

sketched
briefly

in

this place.
Kamandaki
rises upon
Avalokita her desire to bringabout
disciple
curtain

The

Madhava

by

and

These

Malati.

two,

as

her

revealingto
a

mere

union between

infants,were,

compact, destined for one


by their parents. The projected
arrangement
but

solemn

secret

other
anwas

partiesmost interested ; and now


favourite,an old and ugly
a difficulty
arose, for the king's
fellow named
Nandana, had apphed to his royalmaster for
revealed

never

of

the hand
of her

Malati,and

father.

offence to his
the

To

sovereignhad

the

frustrate this

her

demanded

without giving
project,

majestythe king,Madhava's

father enhsted
of

of Buddha, nurse
Kamandaki, priestess
The
plan was
preceptressof Madhava.

services of

Malati

and

bringabout
and

the

to

effect

a
a

to

affair between

the young
people,
position
clandestine marriagewithout the direct inter-

purelylove

of the

parents,and

without

to all appearance

their

contrived to make
knowledge.To this end it was artfully
for the young peopleto see each other ; and,
opportunities
bethinks her
to helpin carrying
out the plot,Kamandaki
of

former

pupilof hers,one

Mount
on
Sandamini, residing

Sri Parvata,
"

Power

The
vowed

won

than

more

and
priestess
to

interest in
of the

where,

by desperatepenances,
earthlywaits upon her v/ill."

take
celibacy,

an

the desired result. The

about
bringing

play extends

disciples,
though themselves
ardent and trulyfeminine

her

over

only a

of the

plot,it

few

action

days,but they are

brimful of incident.
In

should

pursuance
see

Madhava

from

her

falls desperately
in love with

drawinga
in the

likeness of him.

makes
plot,cleverly

is contrived

window.

him, and

Of

that Malati
course

solaces herself

she

by

who is
foster-sister,
Mandarika, the servant

This her
over

of the convent

to

transfers it to
(veharadasi),who naturally
the hands of her own
lover Kalahansa, Madhava's
servant.

75

THE

MYSTICS,

Thus

one

Kamadeva's

beauty,and

that
unmistakably

fortunate

some

one

of

Madhava
of the priestess,
disciples
goes to
temple,where he sees Malati in all her virgin
straightwayfalls in love with her. Her appearance

shows
with

INDIA

OF

step is gained.Now, by the advice of

female

the

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

attendants,when

youth

she is herself in love


her

other ; but

or

eyes on Madhava,
seemed to say
amongst themselves,
whispering

they cast

female

and
laughing

"

"

The

Fates

have

behold

Lady

"

favoured

us,

there ! "

him

tion
ladyon her part did not fail to reveal her admiraand her feelings
towards the young man
by expressive
mute
glances,
yet eloquent.As she moved away with her
train of attendants,
of them, her foster-sisterLavangika,
one
on
pretence of admiringthe garlandof flowers Madhava
let him know the name
and rank of the lady
was
wearing,
the maid's
At
he had been admiringso passionately.
request, he presentedthe garland to Lavangikafor the
The

acceptance of her fair mistress.


Madhava

relates these events

to

his friend

Makaranda,

and, while he is doingso, Kalahansa


them

and
approaches
by Malati.
painted

the

of Madhava
portrait
Makaranda's
Madhava
suggestion,

At

shows

draws

now

of his inamorata.
Mandarika, the veJiara dasi,
portrait
in
the scene, pretending
to be
on
appears opportunely
search
and

is

of the

Kalahansa

picturewhich

had

carried off,

of Malati justdrawn
it,the portrait
by her ardent lover. Thus, through the instrumentality
of Lavangikaand the others,the hero and heroine fall in
love with one
another,and also have their mutual passion

given,instead

revealed each
Thus

far

to

well ; but

to
infalUbly

arranged,^vith
To

the other.

all goes

troubles have

Malati in

of

the formal

marriageto

the

come,

the

consent

of

Nandana

without

lovers'
proverbial
Idng having duly
her father,to give

delay.

frustrate the

accomplishment of this undesired


and her disciples
instil into
union, Kamandaki
insidiously
Malati's mind feelings
fully
of revolt against
her father,and artsuggest that Sakoontala and other ladies in the past
76

SADHUS

OF

GLIMPSES

selected their

had

own

IN

INDIAN

husbands.

The

FICTION

also
conspirators

makes a personal
meeting,at which Madhava
his lady-love
his heart and life,
ing
offerdeclaration,
an
offering
which Lavangikaacceptsfor her bashful friend,
saying

bringabout

"

"

for my

answer

friend

deems

she

"

the gifts

Deserving her acceptance."

his

upon

serious

king'sdesire

the

Besides

favourite,there

own

other and

were

of Malati
even

more

dangers threateningthe accomplishmentof


There

lovers.

of the two

union

confer the hand

to

the

was

"

skull-bearing
seer, Aghora Ghanta,
but
dwellingnow
wandering mendicant,
Amidst
the neighbouringforest,"
a

who, for
terminate
solemn

fulfilment of

the

all his

vow,

to

powerfulrite

which

had decided, in accordance


toils,

sacrifice to

the

goddessChaumandra

would
with
"

the

of womankind."

gem

object,he had enhsted the


services of his disciple
Kapala Kundala, herself a priestess
This priestess
of the dread goddess is
of Chaumandra.
freed from all perishable
described as
bonds," and she
wonderful powers, for she first appears
possessed
obviously
ridingthroughthe air in a heavenlycar,
upon the scene
with human
skulls.
dressed in a hideous garb and girdled
stood alongside
cremation
The temple of Chaumandra
a
ground,into which Madhava had gone in the dead of night
flesh in his hand to win the favour,
with a lump of human
of the goblins
who infested that
or
compel the assistance,
tress
spot. While pursuinghis objecta cry of disgruesome
to him from within the temple,
comes
and, recognising
To

fulfil this dreadful

"

with horror the voice of


Inside the

Malati,he hurries thither.

temple,dressed

stands Malati,the
garland,

in scarlet and

destined

adorned

with

and round about


sacrifice,

the
quicksteps,addressing
in such prescribed
terms
of praise
be
dread goddess
as would
to her.
KapalaKundala was in attendance,and
acceptable
the trembUngvictim,said
at the proper moment, facing

her circles Aghora Ghanta

with

"

"

Think
For

upon

him

death
pitiless

whom
is

thou
near

77

Fair maid,
in life hast

thee."

loved,

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

Aghora Ghanta's sword could fall upon


her lover had sprung to her side and
the unhappy girl,
preventedthe bloody rite. Meanwhile, by the
forcibly
of Kamandaki,
of Buddha,
the aged priestess
command
the
with Madhava's
and quiteunconnected
interposition,
fane was
surrounded,and the exciting
templescene comes
before

But,

to

close with

an

Madhava.

and

unfinished

However,

we

fightbetween Aghora Ghanta


in the next
learn incidentally,
ing
fatal to the wander-

act, that the result of this conflict was

mendicant, and

find

we

Kundala

for the death

againstMadhava

vengeance

Kapala

vowing

of her venerable

guru}
artful

The

of Kamandaki

resources

are

exhausted.

not

Malati,dressed for her marriagewith Nandana, the king's


in state to a
favourite,is conducted
temple,where,
and his friend Makaranda
unknown
to her, Madhava
are
The girl
is in despair,
concealed.
and, wishingto take her
reveals her purpose to Lavangikaand asks her to
own
life,
As

consent.

the

distracted

lady kneels to^iher,


Madhava
takes her place.

fair and

and
Lavangika moves
away,
is presently
The deception
detected,and a pretty love
Kamandaki
results. The
now
scene
steps up,
priestess
and
Fate
instrument
of
the
as
Love,
and, interposing
confers

Makaranda
swain.
her enamoured
upon
the bride's attire and personates Malati.

Malati

dresses up
The lovers

in

proceedquicklyto the garden


of events, the
of the sanctuary, where, in anticipation
for the perhad alreadybeen made
formance
necessary provision
are

bid to

then

of their bridal ceremonies.

Makaranda

playshis part as

woman

quitedeceives Nandana, but, when


handles

the

astonished

leaves the house


to

comes

in

remonstrate

so

installed

bridegroomso

rage. Nandana's
with
her dear

well that he
as

his

severelythat he
sister Madayantika
friend

upon

unseemly conduct, but to her astonishment,and


dehght,finds in the supposedMalati the youth who
^

That

after

should
Aghora Ghanta and his disciple
the
as
propitiating goddess
they did, is

commentator

of

some

either to their wickedness

part of the ritual. Note


"

or

bride,

her
secret

had,

have failed in their object,


attributed

by

the Hindu

their inaccurate pronunciation

to p. 60 of Professor Wilson's translation.

78

at

FICTION

rescued
life,gallantly

his

tlie risk of

INDIAN

IN

SADHUS

OF

GLIMPSES

her

from

mutually in love these two,


and their strangemeetingin Nandana's
palaceends in an
elopement the lovers making for the place to wliich
Malati
and
had alreadygone.
Madhava
Fate, however,
tiger.They

ferocious

were

"

had

yet

in store

adventures

more

for them.

On

the way

stoppedby the town guard. Makaranda


they were
singly
keeps the guard in check while his bride and attendants
On
learningthe state of affairs,Madhava
get away.
off

hurries

his

help
a
coupleof
despatches

of events, and

lord and

implorehim

Lavangikadoes
and
her

after

return

not

while the

Malati

friend.

attendants

course

of the
her

to

to

directs

Lavangika to

bride,unable

lord,follows him.

to

wish,

bear the absence

is met, alone and

She

danger.

Malati could

quicklyas

as

overtake

all needless

shun

to

thoughtfully
appriseKamandaki

of

unprotected,

Malati, terrified,
by her arch-enemy Kapala Kundala.
To
cries in an undertone,"Ah!
husband!"
instinctively
of Chaumandra
which the cruel priestess
replies
tauntingly
"

"

is your

Where

youthfulparamour

Let

liim

"

hovering hawk

There
Torn

to

piecemeal

had

before

Malati

painfuldeath.
just revenge."

of my

the ruthless

off.

this abduction
routed

marked

hope, long

Sri Parvata,

to

me

can.

tauntingand menacingwords

carried
priestess
While

to

victim

if he

behold

thou

canst

thee with

consign thee
"

these

what

"

I bear

prey

pious.

?
girls

husband
save
you,
your
of the wild, that tremblest
to

The

With

of the

of wanton

"

My

him.

Yes, call upon


the murderer

"

The

Bird

who

love

the town

the
takingplace,

was

guard

were

two

heroes

nevertheless taken

the

king, charged with having borne away the


Minister's daughter.
The king,however, beingrather pleased
at the prowess
treated
the matter
displayedby the two young men,
and
lightly,

the offenders

their return

that Malati

Overwhelmed
the mountains

by
in

were

had

Hberty,to find on
disappeared
mysteriously.
set

at

his loss,Madhava

fit of

accompaniedby

which
despair

wanders
knows

no

to
away
tion,
consola-

his ever-faithful friend Makaranda.


79

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

indulgeshis grieftill both


threatened.
Makaranda
is so deeplyand life are
reason
sad fate and desperate
condition
moved
by his companion's
that he distractedly
suicide,and is in the
contemplates
himself from the rocks when
he
very act of precipitating
In replyto his inquiry
who she
is arrested by Sandammi.
might be, Sandamini tells him that she is a yogini, the
mistress of supernal
power,"and she shows him the garland
she disappeared.
been wearing when
which Malati had
breezy mountains

the

On

he

"

later Madhava

minutes

few

learns from

her that Malati

had been carried off

she stilllived,

and that for her

exert

"

powerfulknowledge

The

observance, and

Devout

of

matter

which

mystic rites

sainted

and

prayers.

teacher

her with."

armed

Had

As

by KapalaKundala, that
Sandamini
would
protection

rescued the girl


fact,she had actually

vengefulhands of her inveterate enemy.


to accompany
her, they both
Callingupon Madhava
disappeared.A little later,at a most critical
instantly
the

from

moment,
on

when

funeral

Malati's father
pyre

on

about

was

to commit

of her

account

suicide

supposed death,

Sandamini, the wonder-working


yogini,
conveyedthe lovers
the consent
of the king
to their friends,
and, by securing
and

the union

their

parents to
respective
Malati, bringsabout a happy

Many

are

awakens.

We

Hindu

of this old
driven

this

by

play.

untoward

charming drama

devices

resorted to in the

European romancers
heroine

usual

find all the

and

denouement.

reflections which

the

of Madhava

We

of

the

plotsand
have

the

circumstances

and

modern
plots
counter-

and

hero

fiendish

and then opporto the very brink of despair,


conspiracies
tunely
rescued justin time to obviate the most
serious
with them in their
do we
rejoice
Scarcely
consequences.
and
when they are involved in new
safetyand happiness,
even

serious troubles than

more

that

all will end

So
disappointed.
we

watch

far

the drama

the framework

of

we

well,and
are

unfolded

and
society
80

before ;

yet

we

feel

fident
con-

on

are
expectations
familiar ground. But

we

are

our

alwaysconscious

the conditions and

modes

not
as

that
of

"

Only rice and

"

You

ask for

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

milk every

shall have

the child.
day,"replied
the benign
it,"responded
goddess,
"

importantthan

somethingmore

the

little Brahman,

The

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

extremelylimited,had
handed
graciously

him

horizon

other

no

that."
of whose

ideas

was

Devi
so
request to prefer,

amritphalor

an

but

fruit

conferring

immortaUty.
too good for one
widow, deeming this giftmuch
in their humble
circumstances,advised her boy to present

The

it to the

Rajah,who

for it

return

would

as

doubtless make

would

enable

them

to

such

pecuniary

live the remainder

of their lives in

and
comfort.
Ushered
into the
peace
the child handed
him the wonderful fruit

king'spresence,
told the

and

After
donor
fruit

in

story concerningit.

and rewarding the little


acceptingthe offering
suitable manner,
the Rajah put the wonderful
a

aside,thinkingin his heart that the


too

were

great

to

make

it worth

cares

while

of his
to

position
prolong

but he decided mentally that his


indefinitely,
and
beloved Rani should be presentedwith the amritphal,
having eaten it enjoy perpetualyouth. To her, therefore,
he gave the fruit that same
day ; but she, consumed with
love for a certain darogah,secretly
made
it over
to that
the paramour
of the Rani, this
officer. Though he was
in the town, and that
darogahreallyloved a courtesan
same
nightshe was made the possessor of the Devi's gift.
To prolongher sinful life did not seem
a
very inviting
prospectto this Rahab, and thinkingover the matter she
kind
arrived at the conclusion that the Rajah, who was
a
would
and justruler,and the father of his people,
be the
most
of such an important
worthy recipient
giftas a fruit
of immortality
; so, in the morning, she carried it to his
life

his

majestyand
"

Where

laid it
did

at his feet.
respectfully
inquiredthe
get this ?
you
"

the strangefruit which


Rajah,recognising

was

astonished
raised in

no

terrestrial orchard.
"

From

reluctant
In

an

the

darogahof
reply.
instant

the

the whole

horses," was

truth
painful

disillusionedking.
82

the courtesan's

flashed upon

the

"

SADHUS

OF

GLIMPSES

What," mused

when
dignity,

Rani

my

to

courtesan

those

Overwhelmed

can

and

happinessor

kingly

thus

betraymy

honour, and

can

preferthe

favours

of

"

of

queen !
by these bitter reflections upon that
the good king abandoned
all is vanity,"
a

turninghis

back

it does
as
story appears here, affording
illustration of

Hindu

FICTION

upon the
this step of his is the reason

his throne,and,
sadhu ;

"

theme

well-worn

is human

plebeian
paramour

her

when

"

he,

INDIAN

IN

sentiment

world,became

why the present


characteristically

cruel disillusionment

"

"

in all
than any other has driven men
countries to jointhe ranks of the discontented contemners
which

probablymore

of the world's hollow

pleasures.

IV. The
There

was

lived in

horns). He

knowing nothingof
of

ways

the lifeof towns

years, tillat

many
When

Rikh
Shringhi

the

manner

lengtha

(having

forest,worshippingGod

dense

In this

men.

named

sadhu

once

Rishi.^

Horned

and

and

of the
or
villages,
hermit passed
solitary

dire famine

visited the land.

the king naturallyasked his


calamitycame,
what
to be done
to alleviate
vazir (primeminister)
was
and that highofficerprudently
of his people,
the sufferings
should be formally
advised that the Brahmans
consulted with
of some
suitable course
of action.
a view to the adoption
sent for by the king,and
quested
reThey were
accordingly
this

much-needed

the

the famine

how

to say

rain

was

to

was

to

be

stayed,and

be obtained

to

how

fertilisethe

fields.
thirsty

pHed

that

due

to

the

earth

"

horned

having considered the matter, rethe famine was


not
a
judgment from Heaven
sins committed
by the king himself,and that

wise Brahmans,

The

any

would

be
certainly

"

rislii who

the
Substantially

same

blessed

with

dwelt in the forest could

story,but in

somewhat

if the

rain

by any

means

different form, is told

in the Baital Pachisi.


2

This and the four

Singh,which

contains

stories are
following
no

less than

from the Granth

four hundred

the wiles of women.

83

and

of Guru

four tales

Govind

respecting

be induced

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

to take

his abode

up

SAINTS

in the

OF

for
city,

INDIA
so

it

was

holy Shastras.
Rajah,losingno time, sent

written in the
The

ascetic to

the

them

heeded

to induce
messengers
his capital
saint
; but the horned

to

come

not,

the

so

went
sovereign

in person

to

the

he could not prevailupon


anchorite ; but even
Shringhi
his
forest-home
and
the
asceticisms in which
Rikh to leave
he

engaged.

was

this difficult crisis,


a

In
with

her

lipsreddened

harlot,gaudilydressed and
with the pdn she was
eating,
presented

herself before the


"

king,I

Rajah

and

said to him

will

that when

bringShringhiRikh
do so you will giveme

If you agree to this I


shave ofi his matted locks and put on

kingdom.

to

jauntily

you,

"

on

dition
con-

half of your
the saint
shall make
one

turban,and, having

quitesubdued him, I shall lead him into your majesty's


With my beautyI can
do
adding confidently,
presence,"
I like."
anything
for the benefit of his lieges,
The worthy Rajah,acting
these extravagantconditions,
and the fair wanton
accepted
of? to the jungles
where the sadhii lived. Taking
went
with her a party of beautiful women
arrayedin fineryand
she prepared
dressed to perfection,
a habitation for herself
"

in the woods, and


she

hung

ludoos

The

the trees around

and

her

temporary abode
other delicacies,
and, when all her

complete,commenced
singingto the
accompanimentof musical instruments.
and hearing
rishi,seeingthese unaccustomed
sights,

arrangements
dulcet

on

sweet

were

before reached
sounds,the like of which had never
became
came
astonished,and in his perplexity

his ears,
to the conclusion that

they must be due to visitants from


another world.
Feelinghungry, he ventured to pluck
of the novel fruits (ludoos)
he discovered growingon
some
the trees near
and
sweet
by. He found them deliciously
fruits had
quiteto his taste, and, wonderinghow such
appearedthere,attributed them to the god Indra.
the sadhu, the god has been
Perhaps,"soliloquised
down
graciously
pleasedwith my austerities and has come
"

"

"

in person to witness them."


^

A Ivdoo is a well-known

84

Indian sweetmeat.

"

GLIMPSES

INDIAN

IN

SADHUS

OF

FICTION

he noticed a woman
reflecting,
beautifully
dressed and decked with costly
jewellery
standinga little
she that the mere
sightof her
way off. So lovelywas
He wondered
who she could possibly
removed allhis cares.
While

thus

"

asked

be, and

what

From

himself,

distant world

is this

"

visitant ?
enchanting
he approachedthe
Suspendinghis austerities,

woman,

her ; then growing


and, filledwith wonder, sat down near
bolder went up to her,and, bowinglow, said to her
"

"

thou

Art
Tell me, who
art thou ?
TeU me."
of Vishnu ?
or
Shiv-ji
"

I have

"

not

am

Hearingof

rishi.
wide

said,

She

but
goddess,

the

of

consort

the wife of Oodaluk

for your fame has spreadfar and


to make
you my husband."

you

come

"

Having thus spoken,she lavished flatteriesupon him,


her seductive charms
and in a short time, by exercising
him

upon the recluse,she subdued


before long brought him away,

her purpose,

to

and

to the
captive,
willing
nearest
When
she conducted
ShringhiRikh into
village.
the Rajah's
domains the rain beganto fall,
as the Brahmans
and the hearts of the people
had predicted,
rejoiced
greatly.

The

rishi

then

married

continued

to

was

and
daughters,

which
territories,

for

to

live in

good fortune from his


his
pass that eventually

to

caused

an

lure him

of

excess

back

rain, and

his old mode

to

it

the

greatest

presence. However, it
residence in the land

benefit and
came

Rajah's

his father-in-law's

derived

long time

of the

one

thoughtdesirable

was

to

of life. So the services of

and
againcalled into requisition,
she successfully
the sadlm to return to his former
persuaded
woodland
haunts, where he resumed his long-interrupted

the courtesan

were

once

austerities.^
^

Faith

in the

help

of

of
extinct amongst the Hindus even
"
With the progress of the season

becoming narrowed
States

in

Punjab,

Central

are

and
India

of

saintlysadhus during seasons

defined.
and

involved,though

our

the

area

failure in India

of crop

Bombay,

some

consumption.

Rajputana, vath. adjoiningportions of the


it is still doubtful

whether

the loss of both

over

Relief

measures

is

of the native

There are
complete
very considerable tracts.
food stocks in the country, and rising
priceswill secure
economy
harvests will be

not

times,

own

Northern

drought is

are

ready.

8s

One

feudatoryState

sufficient
in their

discovered

MYSTICS,

THE

V.
Tliere

at

was

His

Singh.

AND

ASCETICS,

The

Lost
time

one

Rani's

very

name

Jewankala.

was

born ; but for some


reason
to his unnatural
satisfactory

not

flungthe baby
that

into the

carried him

tigerhad

his wife's

story, comforted

(God) will give you

passedafter

more

To

mother,

them

she

so

informed

her

a
was

quietly
husband

The

off.

Rajah,beheving
her, saying, Permashwar
sons."
Yet twenty-five
years
"

this event, and


child.

with another

Sukret

other the infant

or

and

sea,

INDIA

greatRajall named

was

son

OF

Restored.

Son

SAINTS

the

Rani

blessed

not

was

day about this period that is,twenty-five


years
after the disappearance
of her infant the Rani
a
saw
very handsome
young man, and, her heart becomingcaptive
to his beauty,
she sent a hichauliya
(a female go-between)
One

"

"

to invite him

to

clandestine interview.

He

at the

came

Rani's

her wicked desires. With the


request,and gratified
cunningof the serpent she confided to her new lover the
and how she had
true story of her baby'sdisappearance,
stated
falsely
"

that he had

been carried off

said the Rani

Now,"

to

to understand

form

of

by

her paramour,
carried away by

that you were


that instead of
tiger,

reared you
son, he had

himself,and
disclosed to

tiger.

a
"

I want

you

jogiin the

destroying
you the sadhu
that,knowing you to be a king's
facts of your
you these important

before goingaway
history

on

journeyto

very

distant

land."
The
to

act

Rani

thus

taughtthe

in accordance

day or

two

young man,
with her wishes.

afterwards the Rani

and

he

said to her

agreed

husband,

therebysecured a special
surroundingdistricts remained drought-stricken.
A wandering Brahman
of peculiar
followed by crowds, who
sanctitywas
gave him no peace tillhe consented to apply his occult powers to the relief
of their parched fields. Worn
at
the holy man
out by their importunities,

resource

denied to the British Government, and

rainfall all to itself while

last sat down


In two

and vowed

hoiu-s the brazen

he would

not rise tillthe water

overcast, rain

set

flowed

in, and

sky was
later the Brahman
was
ankle-deep. The situation was saved
furnished by the
This, at least,is the report semi-officially
October
officer."
7th
1899.
political
SaturdayReview,
"

"

86

over

his feet.

hours

twelve
and the
State

man.

to the

"

who

baby son,
by

jogiin

was

very

the form

of

but
tiger,

His chelas broughthim

child.

FICTION

for you.
Our
importantnews
carried away by a tiger,
taken
was
really

strangebut

I have

INDIAN

IN

SADHUS

OF

GLIMPSES

he did not

devour

other children for his

sparedours because he was a king'sson.


lost child."
our
myselfseen and recognised
with astonishment to these
The Rajah,Ustening

and

feasts,
I have

he

said
assertions,
Send for him, and let me

our

ful
wonder-

"

storyfrom his

hear the

"

lips."
Thereuponthe young man was summoned
and questioned.
What
really
happened,"said he, how

to the

"

"

know

but what

"

And

relate."

taughthim.

the

jogitold

palace

can

that will I

me,

own

possibly
truthfully

proceededto repeat what the Rani had


She, actingher part well, appearedto be
he

man's statements,
young
and in the very presence of the
wept false tears copiously,
ately
Rajah,making her lover her son, embraced him affectionwith

overcome

emotion

the

at

him

kissed
and, lamentingtheir longseparation,

lipsagainand again. She

the

in her

own

could not

and

room,

had

bed

bear

on

for him

made

out
her lost darling

for a few minutes.


even
During the eight
sight,
watches of the day and nightshe guardedhim from further
danger,and enjoyedherself rightwell.
of her

VI.
In

the

cityof

Lady.

Kind-hearted

Sirhand

there lived

joginamed

Sri Chhah Man


ganath and also a certain woman,
in love with him.
who fell desperately
in her house when it was
One day the jogiwas
to her that her husband
known
was
^on the pointof
home

"

in

quiteclose

fact,was

"

Take

thief who

her lover
up

your

Mati,
made
ing
return-

at hand.

she
serious situation,
Graspingthe decidedly
addressed

Swar-

thus

hastily

"

sword

has robbed

me

at

once

and

shout

has entered here.

'

angrily,The
You

have

cealed
con'

At

"

kill him !
him ; drive him away ; I will certainly
the same
hid upon the premises
time she actually

87

THE

MYSTICS,

ASCETICS,

the

chela,a
jogi'^s

fellow who

AND

SAINTS

used to

OF

INDIA

with his master

come

bodyguardand had been appointedto the post of


and sentinel during his guru's surreptitious
door-keeper
if fair,
visits to the frail,
lady.
matters
While
the
were
being thus hastilyarranged,
his

as

his

home.

arrived

simulated

the words
wrath, repeated

after

but

at

in

his sword
brandishing
"

to

he had

been

much

taught,

yet furious howl

short

jogi,with

The

husband

of rage he went
menacingfashion.

away,

the situation
husband," said the lady,explaining
her bewildered lord, that jogiwas
burningwith anger
Dear

"

owing to

mistake

some

to kill him, and

made

would

afforded him.

by
done

have

He

was

but for the

so

going

asylum I

poor fellow to hide


himself in our
of
house, and thus avoid the consequences
let us release him.
his guru^swrath.
Now
He is hidden
have

his chela.

permittedthe

corner,"pointingto the placeof concealment.

in that

pleasedwith the thoughtful


kindness displayedby
charmingwife. So the man
who had been concealed in the house was
hurried
quietly
and
off the premises,
went
to rejoinhis
joyfully
away
indeed,that
jogi,
worthy guru the amorous
very gratified,
matters
had in the end turned out so satisfactorily
for
husband

The

was

very
his

"

himself.
VII. The
There

was

Father

Rajah named

Duped.^

Nilkate of

Popeewutee city.

Mangubechater,his wife, was like an incarnation of the


Sri Algungoddess of love, and their daughter,named
jamuttee,so beautiful that it might be said of her that she
in brilliancy
excelled the moon
and appearedto have been
fashioned by the hand of Brahma
himself. There was
a
Srimantilk
too
handsome
to
Rajah,
neighbouring
by name,
be

described.

indeed, was
incomparable,

became
seeing his perfection,

sun,

Once
^

So

Sri

In

went
Algunjamuttee

this and

to

ashamed

garden to

he
of

that the
himself.

while away

the followingtale the text of the originals


has been
than in the precedingstories,though the giossness
literally
of languagewhich is characteristic of so many
of these productions
has been

rendered

more

avoided.

^2"

THE
"

sir,I

You,

can

written this is

has

OF

fallen in love

have

see,

she who

beauty; but

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

INDIA

with

my
times

thousand

lovelythan I. Come with me and feast your eyes."


of the
The Rajah, enticed by this glowingdescription
her faithful
charms of the princess,
agreed to accompany
He forgotall about his own
and, filled
affairs,
messenger.
he put the handsome
with the idea of the lovelyprincess,
bichauUyainto his chariot and drove where she directed
The
him
to go.
was
long,but at last they arrived
way
the palaceof the love-sick princess.The Rajah now
near
himself as a sadhu and lit his fire within sight
disguised
of her father,
of her window.
Daily,with the permission
to come
and piouslyfeed the good sadhu
used the princess
At night,
hands.
when everyone
with her own
was
asleep,
more

she would

visit him
No

happy.

very

what
suspected

goingon.

her father and

went

to

knew

would

the

was
princess

One

day

or

Sri

Algunjamuttee
thingswhich she
succeeded well enough,

said
deliberately

excite his anger.

king became

for the

this way

the disguised
Rajah
recognised

one

was

In

also.

She

enragedthat he ordered his vazir


to turn her out of doors into the jungle.When
she heard
this royal command
Sri Algunjamuttee
pretendedto be
though secretly
rejoicing
very unhappy, and cried bitterly,
The
incensed
in her heart.
and
implacable father's
so

"

peremptory command,

and
obeyed implicitly,

course

to

Take

the

forest,and
in

But

very

her,and, after

her away
of
at once," was
the princess
was
conveyed

left there.

short time

theyhad

her lover

enjoyedthemselves

content, he carried her off

to his

VIII. Woman's
the

Jogsainwas
name

Sri

was

he

who, when
over

which

on

of

one

yet she found

up,

love with

hearts'

Cunning.
certain

Sanyaspati. She
grew

joined

to their

city.

own

was

very
there
ruled
was
Jogsain

in
desperately

used,

name

and

came

the young

had

Rajah,and
a

son

born

beautiful.
a

Jat

his Rani's

woman

In

to

her,

the

city

who

fell

and though she


prince,
pretence or another,to see him every day,
of attaining
her wishes. To
no
opportunity
90

GLIMPSES

SADHUS

OF

IN

INDIAN

FICTION

she disguised
herself as a jogi,
and went to
gainher object,
the Rajah'spalace,
givingout that she was well versed in
and magic rites).
manter, tanter (tahsmans,spells,
janter,
the pretendedjogisaid to
Seizinga favourable opportunity,
the

Rajah'sson
"

show

If you

"

will

me

The

princeand jogitalked over


was
curiosity
greatlyexcited,and
"

I have

to

lonelyplace,I

shall

that will astonish

wonders

some

you

with

come

the

you."
proposal
; the prince's

he said

"

pany
night,but I will accomif you promiseto raise the
jogi,

been out alone at

never

since you are


of the dead in my
spirits

you,

presence."
The pretended
jogiengagedto performthis greatmiracle
to pleasure
the king's
son, and the two started out together
their strange,unholybusiness. When
on
they had penetrated,
side by side,some
littleway into the lonelyjungles,
the jogi,
and taking
turningsuddenlytowards the prince,
him entirely
said sharply
by surprise,
do as I bid you, or I will kill you on this spot."
Now
"

"

The
became
The

any

prince,quiteunpreparedfor
alarmed

contingency,

of mind.

lost his presence

-pseudo-jogi
thereupon stated

her

wishes

without

and her companionwilly-nilly


circumlocution,
yielded
her wicked

to

and

such

The

desires.

depth of

woman's

created her ; but Himself

cunningis

unfathomable !

God

repentsit.

tales speak for themselves, and, while


foregoing
throwingsome
Hght upon the conduct of love affairs in
The

the

East, show, amongst other things,that althoughthe

Indians

they are

feel that sadhuism


none

the less

of the sadhu's habit,as


of

is honourable

and

respectable,

quitealive to- the great convenience


for the successful conduct
a disguise,

amatory intrigues.

91

VI

CHAPTER

BY

DESCRIBED

AS

SADHUS

VISITORS

Greek

and

regarding

the

Tavernier,

Jeweller

the

Forbes,

James

and

their

Physician

Colonel

Observations

"

Works

the

in
"

the

Bernier,

Ward,

Missionary

Practices

recorded

Peculiarities

their

and

Sadhus

INDIA

TO

of Sadhus

Accounts

Roman

EUROPEAN

SOME

of the
"

Merchant

Senior

and

Sleeman,

Bishop

Heber.

ISTORTION

arisingfrom

ignoranceand prejudice
is unavoidably present
in all pictures of
an
alien

by

civilisation

visitors

countries

drawn

coming

from
both

remote

tellectua
in-

geographicallyand

yet these

pictures have their value,


affordingas they often do
important facts wrongly
"

interpreted,perhaps,
of
of

judgment

desirable

in
the

regard to

India

of

benefit

With
Romans

of

what

sadhus

separated

for

growth

the

and

this

For

European

formation

development
it

reason

particularsand

such

admiring

invader
from

as

"

travellers,or

seems

sions
impresresidents

record
for
placed on
bygone age, have
their contemporaries and
succeeding generations.

regarded

Macedonian

mind

to

facts

the

to

institutions.

recall

to

still

respect

and

customs

in

in

but

the

India

its

and

lifted

the

wonderment

the

strange people after


veil

nations

Western
92

Greeks

which
that

had

for

mysterious

and
the
ages

land

DESCRIBED

SADHUS

VISITORS

classical literature amply


tranquilcivilisation,

its

and

EUROPEAN

BY

testifies.
and institutions
the many
unaccustomed objects
attracted the attention of European visitors beyond

Amidst
which

and

(Brahman
InduSjthe ascetic philosophers

the

Buddhist)

not
the least interesting.
were
peculiar
ways
of these philosophers
stories of the wisdom
Appreciative
the Greeks called them
have come
down to
gymnosophists
of the curious penances to
of some
us, with descriptions
From
themselves.
these narratives
which they subjected

their

and

"

"

held in the very


their rulers,
lived

learn that the ascetic sages, who were


honour by both the peopleand
highest
we

life,often in communities ; that they studied


self-control,
spent much of their time in serious discourses
to others,teaching that the
wisdom
and in imparting
austere

an

"

best doctrine

from the mind."


and

Roman

that

was

which

removed

and grief
pleasure

As to their self-mortifications,
the Greek

show

accounts

that in their nature

similar to, though probablynot so


in India at later periods.For
practised

severe

very

lie naked

they were
those

as,

of

example,one

his back

in the open air,


vicissitudes of scorching
sunshine and

these ascetics would

on

enduringall the
rain ; another would stand for hours on
chilling
with both hands above his head a beam
supporting
some

three cubits

long;

third would

one

leg,

of wood

fix his gaze upon

the

rising
sun, and stare at the great luminaryall day tillhe
below the western horizon. And, when afflicted
disappeared
with disease
sometimes

tired of life,
these wise

or

erect

pyre

and

in
voluntarily
perish

in the presence of the multitude.


Having satisfied ourselves,from
sources,

of the

of India would

men

of
antiquity

Greek

the ascetic

the flames

and

Roman

of
practices

the

Indian

centuries,
ably
profitmany
sages, we may, passingover
of the facts and impressions
take stock,even
cursorily,

of
regardingsadhus which some
European visitors to India,and

there, have
When
a

recorded

M.

dealer in

in their

the

modern
comparatively

officialor

works.
published

Ta vernier travelled in the

stones, about
precious
^

other residents

Mogul Empire as

the middle

of the

Strabo,M'Crindle's Ancient India,p. 71.

93

seven-

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

century,the land he saw was


importantrespectsfrom that which

duringthe

very

hero.

strikingchanges had

and

Many

INDIA

different in many
had met
the eyes of

teenth

the Macedonian

OF

thousand

two

years

which

naturallyoccurred
had elapsedsince
had
world-religions

century before Christ. New


arisen since then, and the followers of the latest born of

the fourth

these
of

creeds

there.

Yet the sadhu

life,and

Central

"

was

India,"

stilla

ascetics were,
everywhere,for

infinite multitude

Asia

the

Hindu

evidence

the

from

great part of India when

in

ahens

"

masters

were

"

Frenchman

travelled

in
prominentfigure
in Greek

as

times, much

Tavernier

M.

Indian

speaks of

of

all over
faquirsthat swarm
and quite
generally
moving about in largeparties

naked.
These
"

were,

faquirsfor
"

he

tells us,

so

he

sadhus
designates

of all sects

imitators of

Ravan, the

followers

or

demon-kingof Lanka, who abducted the fair Sita from her


This, of course, is
hermitagein the woods of Dandaka.
Ravan
had
incorrect; for though,
to the legends,
according
been a great ascetic in his time, and acquired
superhuman
of the ascetic sects set up
none
power by his austerities,
for beinghis followers.
But thoughTavernier's knowledge
of the sadhus was
of the origin
a par with that of most
on
our
own
European visitors to India up to and including
of what came
took intelhgent
note
time, stillhe certainly
observation in regardto the severe
under his own
terities
ausIn
of
them.
the
version
practised
English
by some
in 1684, there is a
of his travels,published
in London
curious engravingillustrating
of these self-inflicted
some
tortures.^

This

for many reasons


plateappearedto me so interesting
that I reproduce
it (Fig.6), together
with the following
notes
explanatory
by our author :
"

painttheir idols ; such as Mainaniva,


part where the Bramins
Siva, Madedina, aud others, whereof they have a great number.
of Mamaniva,
which is in the pagod.
No. 2 is a figure
No.

1 is the

No. 3 is another

pagod

near

and within stands the

the former.
of
figure

their

There

stands

cow

god Ram.

Travels in India,part ii.book ii.chap.vi.

94

at the

door,

THE

MYSTICS,

ASCETICS,

AND

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

to the
relate,the contagionof sadhuism, indigenous
to have
affected the Muhammadan
rulers
soil,seems
so
of India, that, besides the peripatetic
Hindu
ascetics,
to

Tavernier

bands

met

the

wanderingover
of the dominant

of almost

naked

Mushm

dervishes

country,sometimes,as became

members

exceedingly
haughtyand overbearing
in their demeanour.
One such band, consisting
of about
few who
a
forty-seven
persons, all well armed, including
had held very highpositions
in the Imperial
Court,is specially
mentioned
on
foot,
by our traveller. Althoughproceeding
this band

race,

Mushm

of

ascetics had

fine horses led


many
bridles adorned with gold

before them, their saddles and


and

silver ornaments,

and

they had also ten or twelve


to carry their sick. Arriving
at the spotwhere Tavernier
oxen
his camp
he
had pitched
in the most
convenient position
could find,the armed
and wealthydervishes desired him
to vacate
it,as they needed the placethemselves,and the
Frenchman
thoughtit prudentto yieldto their request
without

demur.

their pomp
these
and self-assertion,
Notwithstanding
wanderingascetics lived upon alms obtained by begging,
for were
it
they not faquirs?However, in aU probability
fear which made
the peoplecomply,as did Tavernier
was

himself,with their demands.


This
as

picture of

it does

contrast
striking

ascetics known

has, as

from

the

of the

index

an

truculent

Muslim

affording
faquirs,

that of the mild

to

earliest times
inwardness

to

our

Hindu

day,

own

of Islam,

an

obvious

value.
The
of the
in

Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb

India, and

mention
he

Fran9oisBernier,who
physician

"

the vast

encountered.

most

M.

met

Tavernier

number

travelled

there, does

endless

extensively
not

fail to
"

of faquirs
variety

made
to have
jogisseem
or
sophical
philoimpression
upon him, not by their religious
but
professions,
by their repulsiveappearance.

From

his

holding the
common

common,

one

Of

and

duringthe reign

narrative
arms

with

these

the

it is

evident

that

perpetuallyabove
the

sadhus

in

his

I should say, than it is at the

96

the

the

of
practice
head

day,
"

was

much

more

present time,
"

but

BY

DESCRIBED

SADHUS

this

only feelingwhich

the

of

one

for.

disgust
;

"

says,

conceived

be

regionscan
with

their naked

long

twisted

and

more

black

nails,and

VISITORS

self-torture

of the French
those

alludingto

attitude, he

unnatural

cruel

in the mind

awakened

have

EUROPEAN

No

to

seems

was
physician

who

adopt

fury in

the

horrible than

the

this

infernal

jauguis,
skin,long hair,spindlearms,

fixed

in

the

posture I have

mentioned."

informed that he realised


correctly
union with God ; and he
that the objectof the jogiswas
of the jogis^
of some
relates that one
evidentlya man
that he could
assured him
at pleasurefall
reputation,
be blessed with a
into a trance, during which he would
vision of God and transportsof holy joy beyond
ravishing
that
were
description.Bernier understood
penances
definite
commonly endured for the attainment of some
birth, for example,reappearance
on
advantagein a new
also acquaintedwith the
earth as a Rajah, and he was
sadhus set up claims to the possession
of
fact that many
admitted
magicalpowers, and that such claims were readily
by the people.
ing
corroboratThe testimonyof this enlightened
traveller,
Bernier

far

so

was

"

"

of his

that
that

hundred

and

abounded

in

two

devotees

contemporary Tavernier,leaves

fiftyyears

Mogul Emperor'sdominions ;
in considerable bands, and
freely

they wandered about


walked throughlargetowns
and
girlslookingat them,"
than

emotion

through

our

seas

may

"

stark

naked,
says Bernier,

men,

"

when

be created

"

women,

without
hermit

any

passes

streets."

Christian power
from beyond
overlords of India,
supplantedthe Muhammadan

In the
the

rehgious

the

that

more

Hindu

ago

doubt

no

of time

course

yet the sadhu

still held

his

own

under

the

new

and

sympathetic
un-

regime.
and
sagacious,intelligent,
pious Christian, James
unctuously,
That

Forbes, who

spent

in Western
India
from
1766
to
a.d.
years
East India Company's service,
^in the Honourable

seventeen

1783

quaintly,perhaps

"

iBernier's

"

Travels

(a.d. 1656-68), pp. 316, 317 (ArchibaldConstable

" Co.).
G

97

having attained

and

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

the

SAINTS
"

of

rank

OF

INDIA
"

senior merchant

in

retired at
employment of that famous corporation,
of thirty
-three years with a disordered
the early age
liver and
an
ample fortune, did not fail to observe,
during his exile in the East, the sadhus and faquirsof
the

his da

v.

his valuable Oriental Memoirs,

publishedin 1813,
learn that in the latter portion of the eighteenth
we
in great force throughout
century the wanderingsadhus were
These
he says,
the western
gymnosophists,"
country.
bodies and perform pilgrimoften unite in largearmed
ages
to the sacred rivers and celebrated temples; but they
Hke an army
more
are
marching through a provincethan
to a temple,and often
an
assemblyof saints in procession
tion
lay the country through which they pass under contribuFrom

"

"

"

i. p. 68).
(vol.

author

Our

on

island of

the

marvels
and

and from

Comorin

to

Kashmir
ascetics

Bombay

placesthey had seen,


their praiseof beautiful

One

of

"

Forbes
and

witnessed

these

he

"

the

pleasant

both Hindus

Brahman, informed

lived under

had

travelled

stav-at-home

spent many

venerable

he

different governments

travelled in many
countiies,but had never
generaldiffusion of happinessequal to that
the

mild

and

Hastings,at

that

time

of the natives under


Mr.

than

these

mendicants
religious
461).
(ii.

men,

that

found

with
"

and Mohammedans

to Malabarhill

and

men

confesses that

improvinghour

to

(i.286), that they had many

liberal-minded

more

of

"

pererrations

the confines of Russia

the borders of China

relate of the

Hindus, and

Mr.

from

lavish in
especially
{ii.459). Mr. Forbes

were

and

that in their

aware
"

went
peripatetics

these

Cape

also

was

tion
equitableadministraGovernor-General

of

Bengal."
"

"

the words of this


cannot," adds Mr. Forbes, forget

pilgrim
;
respectable
durbar
the

court

burr

when

tree,

one

were

we

he

thus

of

the

near

concluded
noblest

banian

the
'

As

productionsin nature,

for the comfort

branches

of all who

its shelter, is emblematical

98

in

his discourse

by extendingits
seek

tree

and

refreshment
of the

deity,

DESCRIBED

SADHUS

EUROPEAN

BY

VISITORS

resemble
do the virtues of the governor
to the remotest
he extends his providence

so

the burr tree ;


and
districts,

far and wide, to afford protection


his arms,
' "
isMr. Hastings
to his people.Such,sahib,
and happiness
!

stretches out

ii. 462).
(vol.
Accordingto

author,it would

our

of the sadhus, however


propensities
conducive

not
were
intellectually,
of them
led a by no

husbands

to

terrors

that the

seem

roving

beneficial to themselves
for
rightliving,

to

many

chaste

hfe, being veritable


they went (ii.234),and,

means

wherever

renounced
the world and its
though they had professedly
mendicants often contrived
the wandering
vanities,
religious
^

to the
to

greatannoyance
for their

on,

carry

similar

Mr. Forbes

"

that

many
yogees and
to cruel penances

"

themselves
professors subjected
"

and mortifications.
solemn

included,

Httle illicittrading
in

no
profit,

own

also learn from

We

Mr. Forbes
officials,

214, 215).
(ii.
objects

valuable

into

of the

of them," he tells us, " enter


continue
for life in one
unvaried

Some

to

vow

posture; others undertake


chain ;

drag a heavy

to

crawl

some

on

cumbrous

carry

their hands

load
and

or

knees

for years around an extensive empire; and others roll their


bodies on the earth from the shores of the Indus to the
of

banks

Ganges,and

the

collect money

enable them

to

dig a well,or to
swing during their
a

slow

for

humihating posture
either to build a temple,to
sin. Some
some
particular

atone

for

whole

life,in this torrid clime, before

fire ; others

downwards,

that

in

suspend themselves,with

certain time

their heads

the fiercest flames

over

"

(vol.i. p. 69).
came

across

the sadhu

who

his

head, and, reduced to


helplessness
by his voluntaryasceticism,is fed by

carries his useless


utter

piousHindu
the

Forbes

his travels Mr.

In

women

cross-beam

even

swing round

who

men

above

arms

by

of
a

He also saw
good position.
loftypole suspendedfrom a

of iron hooks

means

fixed in the muscles

of the back.
A

far

described
of the

and

rarer
"

saw

more

curious form

another of these

of

is thus
austerity

devotees,who

of Seeva, and who,


phalhcworshippers
99

not

was

one

content

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

wearingor adorningthe symbol of that deity,had


iron ringinto the most
to fix every year a large
made a vow
tender part of his body, and thereto to suspend a heavy
chain, many
yardslong,to drag on the ground. I saw
saint in the seventh year of his penance,
this extraordinary
when he had justput in the seventh ring; the wound
was
that he was
then so recent and so painful
obhged to carry
with

the chain upon his shoulder,until the orificebecame


callous " (vol.i. p. 70).
that

ascertained

was,

from

that
inquirer

observer and
Forbes, intelhgent

Mr.

Hindu

the

all classes of the

devotees

community

"

he

recruited

were

except the

fail to realise that

did not

more

of

caste

highstandard
demanded
and self-repression
of abnegation
was
theoretically
and he was
of the professed
ascetics,
preparedto admit
of the sadhus fellfar short of the
that,thoughthe majority
of the rules of their sects, there were
at least
requirements
He

Chandala."

some

enthusiasts

lives and

blameless
miraculous
About

in solitude and

who

powers.
hundred

meditation

credited with

were

the

passed

of
possession

Christian
ago, the well-known
Saugor Island at the head of
visiting

years

Ward,
missionary
certain Hindu
ascetics in
the Bay of Bengal,came
across
the extensive,dreary,and
tigerhaunted jungle which
of these were
from the
covered that place.Two
Bairagis
-

"

Upper Provinces," who

loghuts.
burningon
skin,was

Ward

The
the

a
one

Christian

saw

in his chillum.
smoked
presently
entered into conversation with
missionary
him

hermit, and learned from


sin

expiateany
that he

had

no

the

from

their

he

nor

that

isolation from

life of abstraction and

of

them

separate

customary fire was


and before it,seated on a deer
sandy ridge,
all but quitenaked, preparing
of the ascetics,

When

ganjah,which

some

lived in the wilderness in

to

secure

desires and

any
no

of
agitations

he had

adopted a

the worJd

neither to

reward.

hopes,but
the

He
that

worldlylife he

averred
moved
beingrewas

full

tranquil
joy.
Near

templeMr.
neighbouring

Ward

discovered

two

ascetics covered

with

ashes,each

one

other almost

naked

havinghis longmatted

hair tied in
100

knot

upon

the

top

H
i-i

^*

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

INDIA

OF

carried out by one-tenth


beingefl"ciently
of the number
of men
formerly
employedby the rival native
the ranks
of swelling
the cause
was
rulers,
very considerably
mendicants.
of the religious
Colonel Sleeman records from personal
knowledgesome
and sadhus,
incidents connected with faquirs
very interesting
here ; ^ but one
which, however, need not be reproduced
feature of sadhuism of which he affords us a glimpse
peculiar
soldiers'work

was

is too instructive to be overlooked.


"

"

The

which

Mahadeo
in the

hills,"
says Colonel Sleeman,

sandstone

Sathporerange

the Nerbudda

overlook

south,rise to between four and five thousand

the

the level of the

of those

who

feet above

highest
parts a fair
held for the enjoyment
is perhapsstill,
; and

sea

and
formerly,

was

to

assemble

in

one

of the

the self-devotion of

witness

to

who
offer themselves
men,
young
of their mothers ! When
fulfilthe vows
few

sacrifice to

as

is without

woman

to all the godswho


ofierings
of stillgreaterin
can, she thinks,assist her, and promises
Smaller promises
case
theyshould grant what she wants.
her first-born,
beingfound of no avail,she at last promises
if a male, to the god of destruction,
Mahadeo.
If she gets

children she makes

she conceals from

son,

the age of
him
enjoins

puberty;

considers himself
any

puts on

him

soul
living
the habit

all the celebrated

tillhe has attained

vows

beUeves

He

mother's

it to

it to be his

call,and from that

devoted

as

her

she then communicates

to fulfilit.

duty to obey his


to

votive

to the

god.

him, and

paramount
moment

Without

he

breathing

of what she has told him, he


syllable
of a pilgrim
mendicant, visits
or
religious
templesdedicated to this god in different
a

parts of India,and
himself from

at the annual

fair

on

hills

the Mahadeo

perpendicular
heightof four or five
hundred feet,
and is dashed to pieces
upon the rocks below !
If the youth does not feel himself quitepreparedfor the
sacrifice on the first visit,
he spendsanother year in pilgrimage,

throws

and
next

fair. Some

The

fulfil his mother's

vow

been known
have, I believe,

to

returns

the sacrifice to
^

reader may

to

third fair ; but

102

Eambles

and

the

postpone

the interval is

consult Colonel Sleeman's

vol. i. chap,xiii.,
vol. ii.chap.xxvi.

at

always

Recollections,

BY

DESCRIBED

SADHUS

EUROPEAN

in

the

to
painfulpilgrimages
1
god."

spent
the

BishopReginaldHeber, who
India during 1824-26, records
devotees

Hindu

the

coming

India

to

p. 111). Of
has littleif

an

templesof

extensive tour

the

in

that
at finding
surprise

so

common

before his

as

had

he

those

not

were

celebrated

made
his

VISITORS

expected to find them


come
Bishop did actually

(vol.i.
across

he

anythingto say, and his narrative is singularly


deficient in just appreciation
reasonable comprehenor
sion
of sadhuism.
From
the missionary
point of view he
ascetics
of the Hindu
the importance
certainly
recognised
hindrances to the conversion of the jjeople
to Christianity,
as
and in this connection refers to one
nearlynaked man,
walking with three or four others, who suddenlyknelt
after the other,and, catchinghold of his foot,
down
one
kissed it repeatedly."
under his own
tion,
observaAmongst other cases which came
the Bishop mentions
who had vowed
to use
a
man
only one leg,the other being shrunken from disuse ; a
"

devotee who
the power of
and a hermit

held his hands

bringingthem
naked
sitting

tillhe had

lost

above

his head

down

again(vol.i. 110, 111);


his hands joinedand his

"

with

"

(i.266).
eyes half shut
The Bishop was
told about
in
quitesafely,

yet
that

one

of these

yogiswho
and
jungle,
tiger-haunted
visited every nightby
was

men

who
to lick the ascetic's hands
came
tiger,
by him (vol.ii.265-68); but the storydid
the prelate.
on
impression

Heber
"

small

also

was

(ii.373). Once
and

of

...

emaciated

he

body

and
not

formidable
be fondled
make

much

no

covered

holy yogi,his naked


with white powder, and
a

across
over

iron

implement,like a flesh-hoOk,
is frequently
carried by devotees in
iii.p. 55).
(Baroda) (vol.
an

"

"

came

was

apart,

assured

great interest in,


mendicants
or
viragies
religious

shown, but evinced

college

lived

two

in his

hand, which

part of India

this

"

Colonel

Sleeman's

vol. i. chap.XV.

The

Rambles

and

Recollections of

referred
practice

suppressed.
103

to

has, of

an

course,

Indian
died out

Official
y

or

been

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

brief references to
foregoing
impressionsof travellers and

The

and

honoured
often

Yet
former

the

his native

placein

land

that

the

throughall the

vicissitudes of fortune which


painful

the sadhu
times.

rovinghabits
of

experiences

show

presenttime too prominenta feature


has also occupied
world to escape attention,

in the Indian

and

the recorded
others

INDIA

OF

is at the

sadhu, who
an

SAINTS

Indian

of

to-day is

It is true

have

not

that

many
it has experienced.

the
necessarily

sadJm

of

and
nakedness,austerities,

characteristics
outward
persistent
through at least five and twenty

been

sadhu

centuries ; but it has to be noted that these peculiarities


of their very obviousness,helpedto conceal
have, by reason
from

the casual observer the fact, which

will be established

that the religious


ideas of which sadhuism
chapter,
is the outward expression
have, in the progress of time,been
importantchanges.
undergoing
many

in the next

104

CHAPTEK
VIEW

SUCCESSIVE

THE

OF

AND

HINDUISM

IMPORTANT

I.

"

OF

HINDU

DEVELOPMENT

Section

"

MORE

RELATION

IN

Theology Mya
"

"

Karma.

"

is necessary

for

prehension

of

that

THE

TO

INDIA

of Hindu

Metempsychosis

THE

OF

IN

Doctrines

MODERN

OF

ORIGIN

THE

SADHUISM

fundamental

Pantheism

PHASES

SECTS,

OF

Some

VII

the

full

cora-

sadhuism
should

student

approach the subjectwith


some
knowledge of the
fundamental
evolved

early

in

India

and

we

of such

around
and

them, the

the
logians
theo-

trines
doc-

happilynot

are

ignorance.

In presence

phenomenalworld

by

Brahmanical
;

left in

doctrines

of the mysterious

worldngs of the
and the incomprehensible
of life
tragedies
bewildered
Hindu
tMnkers, being human

intellectual,were

driven

explanationof
plausible

the

perforceto
mighty

of

riddle

conceive

some

of existence

"

being,suffering,
decay,and dissolution which confronted
in its appallingand majesticsilence. To solve their
them
profounddifficultiesfor themselves,they naturallyfell back
their imaginations,
and, thus far, did not differ much,
upon
except in the

"

nature

of their

105

fancies,from

their brethren

[E

MYSTICS,

AND

ASCETICS,

it has to be noted

But

of otlier creeds.^

confidence

in their

pronouncedthe senses to be
and arrived at
ignorance,
world, as revealed by the senses,

(Mya),and

the

that

reached

INDIA

that in their

bounded
un-

the Hindu
of

misleadingcause

the

conclusion

all pure
the real
consequently

could only be
knowledge,

that

the

deception,

was

world,true

suppressing,
by neglecting,

To this verdict
behind the senses.
getting
be traced the pretheological
philosophy
ponderance
may
of introspective
find
which
we
contemplation,

and, as it

were,

of Hindu

favoured

OF

dream-world

own

sages
man's

illusion

SAINTS

by

of

the various schemes

Hindu

sectaries. Subtle

earlier

cult,and

life adoptedby
religious

about
pliilosophical
speculations
the origin
of the world,about spirit
and matter,
and destiny
of their
could hardlycoexist with the joyousphysiolatry
into

the Hindu
"

abstract nebulous

an

and

has

that

even

mind,

much

so

consequentlybecame

this

so,

scientific researches

on

verted
graduallycon-

which
pantheism,

coloured all its


the

what

fascinated

subsequentideas

recent
very
he calls the

and

delicate

"

of

response

matter," carried out by a clever and well-known Bengali


Professor of Science,
Dr. J. C. Bose, have very appropriately
led him
"

It

to

sav

when

was

self-made

"

came

witness of these

the mute

upon

phase of a
pervadingunity that bears within it all things; the mote
that quivers
in ripples
the teeming life upon
of light,
our
earth, and
then

records, and

the radiant

that I understood

in
perceived

suns

that

them

shine above

for the first time

proclaimedby my ancestors on
Ganges thirtycenturies ago : They
message

'

in all the

changingmanifoldness
belongsEternal Truth, unto

them
else !

'

of

Beingfrom
^

the

who

us,

it

"

was

littleof that
banks
see

of the

but

one

this universe, unto

else,unto

none

none

"

This pantheism,
F^|recognising
onlyone
or

one

Guessingat

which

the

came
everything

originand

indefinite substance

and into which

every-

constitution of the material universe in its

logians
confined to the theowonderfullyvarious aspectsis a process by no means
and
be traced,with important differences
but may
philosophers,
of them long since
no
most
doubt, in the host of theories and hypotheses,
which
discredited,

science has

presentedto
1 06

the world.

SUCCESSIVE

PHASES

thingwould

which

Professor

as

found

favour

characterises it

such

asceticism which

an

faith

"a

as
"

with

gulf

the ethics

only the negative

was

renounced

the world and

drew
with-

empty illusion."^

an

centuries

had

tenets

HINDUISM

lost,"adding that

was

springfrom

from it

Long

Caird

all difference

could

ethics of

MODERN

not
return, has, naturally,

Christians.
in which

OF

priorto

taken

firm

the Christian
in

root

two

era

India,

important

and

they

are

there to this day. One of these is behef in


flourishing
the other what
is known
as
metempsychosis
{samsdra),
karma.
Accordingto the former, death does not release
the soul permanentlyfrom
its connection with matter,
for it may have to return againand again,
endless
even
an
succession of times,animating
other bodies,human, bestial,
^
and
even
while, accordingto the doctrine of
vegetal
;
karma

(the Sanskrit word

for

it
action),

is upon
actions in this life that will depend the condition
in which
of

the soul will be

reincarnated.

man's

or

state

After the death

individual his soul may pass for a time into a place


of enjoyment a heaven of bUss, in fact ; but, unless its
an

"

has
purification

been

it will in
complete,

be

reincarnated
inevitably

In

and

mundane

new

existence.

word, the presentstate is the result of past actions,


the future depends upon
the present. Now, the

ultimate
^

for

the fulness of time

hope of

the Hindu

should

be

Caird's Evolution of Religion,vol. i. p. 263.

so

to

live that his

In connection

with this

As we
read in the
subject,the followingwill not be without interest :
Katha
self
The
the
-existent
Upanishad,
pierced
openings(of the senses)
so that they turn forward
looks forward,not backward, into
; therefore man
himself.
Some
wise man,
however, with his eyes closed and wishingfor
The wise, when
he knows
that
immortahty, saw the Self behind,'
that by which he perceivesall objectsin sleepand in waking is the great
As the sun, the eye of the whole
omnipresentSelf,grieves no more.'
the
world, is not contaminated
external
seen
by
impiu-ities
by the eyes,
thus the one Self within all thingsis never
contaminated
by the misery of
the world, beinghimself without.'
There is one eternal thinker,thinking
non-eternal
The
thoughts,who, though one, fulfilsthe desires of many.
wise who perceivehim within their Self,to them belongseternal
peace, not
"

"

'

'

'

'

to others.' "
^

The

"

Caird's Evolution of Religion^vol. i. p. 355.

doctrine of the

of souls was
held by the ancient
transmigration
in
Greece
and
the
footing
amongst the Jews
Kabbalists.
The Manichseans
heretical Muslim
recognisedit,and some
sects also adopted it.

Egypti^iis.It

found

"

107

MYSTICS,

THE

soul may

be

freed
eventually

reincarnated,and may

Spiritfrom

which

it

"

now,

and

from

SAINTS

the

OF

INDIA

of being
necessity

in the end be reunited to the Infinite

As, however, that

sprang.

is very remote, the Hindu


desires and his efforts to
time

AND

ASCETICS,

in his next

not

the

uncommonly
attainment

appearance

stage.

1 08

upon

of

goal

limits his
"

this

good
earthly

THE

MYSTICS,

ASCETICS,

AND

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

the close of the

Towards

of the
eighthor the beginning
ninth centurya.d. Siva worship
attained a prominent
position
and considerable success, mostlythroughthe exertions of an
unmarried
Brahman
who
named
Sankara Acharya,
carried
It would seem
on
a
vigorouscrusade againstBuddhism.
every form

that he countenanced
Sankara's

faith may

own

"

of

ever
Hinduism, but, whathave been, his followers are

Sivites."
practically
Of the reUgious
of this transition period
peculiarities
have
in a
we
fortunately
interesting
particulars
many
work
entitled Sankara
Giri, a
Vijaya,by one Ananda
of Sankara
himself. The broad divisions
reputeddisciple
of Saivas,Saktas, and Vaishnavas
all be recognised
can
at that time, but the sects described by Ananda
as
existing
Giri can
hardly,if at all,be identified with those of the
present day ; and it is noteworthy that in no portion
of the Sankara Vijaya is any allusion made to the separate
worshipof Krishna,either in his own person or that of the
infantine forms in which he is now
so
ated
eminentlyvener"

in many
Sita, of

and

as

adoration."

parts of India,nor
Lakshmana

enjoyingany

or

are

the

Hanuman,

portionof

once

distinct and

larised
particu-

specific

followers
Siva,regardedby his special

as

the

Supreme

their adoration

in many
different and
characters ; but he is usually
contradictory
seemingly

Being,commands
even

of Rama

names

worshippedunder the impersonal


symbol of the phallusor
lingam,an undoubtedly
very ancient Oriental cult,though
to the East.
not confined exclusively
The spiritualisation,
and
exaltation,

even

of natural desire,of the


deification,

sexual instinct in fact,has been in the East


times

objectof

from the earliest

certain sect

founders,impressed,
no
doubt, and fascinated by the mystery of generation.And
it has come
about that this mystery, which the West
so
an

Vishnu
and Siva have
regard to all the rest. As in modern Hinduism
of the country, so in Egypt of the firstChristian
engrossedthe religion
and Cnuph had become
the sole objects of Egyptian
century Anubis
veneration,
their
Remains, pp. 101, 102.
King'sThe Gnostics and
^ Hindu
Castes and Sects,by Dr. J. M. Bhattacharjee,
p. 375.
^ Sketch
of the ReUgiousSects of the Hindus, by Professor H. H. Wilson,
"

pp. 11, 12.


IIO

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

has

the

with
regarded

invested

of

garment
sanctifying

mysticismof
cult

the

and

ascetic sects, it should

Sankarite

the Orient

with

the

of
practices

the

rehgion.

with

connection

In

HINDUISM

and dread,has been


greatestsuspicion

the subtle

by

MODERN

OF

be

borne

that

in mind

regardedby the Hindus as the Destroyer,


India he is worshipped
under the symbol
yet throughout
althoughSiva

is

of the

lingam,because

deaths

to

in the endless round

of births and

to the doctrine
which, according

of

chosis,
metempsy-

all sentient

mysticto

in

see

beingsare subject,it is easy


destruction onlythe precursor of

for the
renewed

existence.^

I.

the

am

The

symbols

fire

sensuous

all nature
and

of death

of birth and

of man's

desire,
are

mine

the circlet of bones.

organs
the lightloves carved

And

divine

in forms

springs of change in the world

The
The

of the

god

moulds

That

the

on

temple stones.

IL

lord of

the

am

delightsand pain.

the pest that killeth,of fruitful joys;


of heart and vein ;
I rule the currents
Of

touch

In the heat
Is the

look

gives passion,a

destroys;

and

might

cold of my
breath
lightest
incarnate
of Lust and Death.

V.

And

shrine below.
the strong swift river my
its unending com-se.
Uke man,

It runs,
the

To

That
And

boundless
is the

Mine

spurs

all nature

image

my

from

sea

eternal

Fountain, and

ceaseless

to

snow

the Force

mine

strife ;

is Death

at the gates of Life.


(From Sir Alfred LyaU's Siva.")
"

Under

the

influence of the

ascetic

Siva, the
life,

in the

later Hinduism

Great

For

the

admiration

(Maha-dev),stands

of the Puranas

(Mahatapah,Mahayogi),a
^

God

Hindu

of the
forth

the great ascetic


fact of especial
in
significance

modern

as

lingam worship the principalauthorities


Skanda, Siva,Brahmanda, and Linga Puranas.
Ill

are

the

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA
"

In
subjectof the present work.
he appears quitenaked
this character
with
(digamhara),
being,with ashonly one face like an ordinaryhuman
hair
besmeared
(whence his name
body and matted
in profoundmeditation under a banian
sitting
Dhurjati),
Buddha, under a
tree, and often, like the contemplative
head.
There he is supposed
canopy formed by a serpent's
the trunk
to remain
motionless,immovable
as
passionless,
of a tree, perhapsrooted to the same
spot for millions of
^
years."
also commonly associated his consorts
Siva are
With
connection

Siva, as

Professor Wilson
the

appeared in

the

purpose

of

pointsout,

beginningof

the
benefiting

Himalaya

mountains

and

the

Kali

Brahmans.

is stated to have
age
He

as

for

sweta

resided

on

taught the

yoga^ Now the


word sweta means
white, and all images of Siva, as well
or
as
representations
livingpresentments of the
pictorial
god, are always coloured white.
for the fact that
The legend referred to will account
the god of the Brahmans.
Siva is especially
Sankara Acharya's crusade againstBuddhism
originated
but
Sankara
himself
his
in Southern India,
preached doctrines
from Malabar, where he was
far and wide, travelling
born,
in the Himalayas,
where he died
to the valleyof Kashmir
He
has been raised by
at the early age of thirty-two.
His
of an incarnation of Siva.
his followers to the dignity
in such
held to have
sanctitywas
repute that he was
miracles
several
worked
amongst others, transferring
soul for a time into the dead body of a King
his own
the husband
of the king's
Amru, that he might become
and so learn by experience
for a brief period,
how
widow
with the wife of a Brahman
to argue on amatory subjects
the only person he had
named
never
Mandana, who was
This
is described in a poem
conquered in argument.
is
called Amaru-Sataka, to which a mystical
interpretation
the

"^

the

his bull Nandi.

and

"

with

SAINTS

"

"

given.
^

Brahmanism

and

Hinduism, by Professor Sir Monier

(thirdedition).
-

Ihid. p. 56.
112

Williams, p. 83

in life

aim

Sankara's
in

Brahmanic

cult.

to

have

revive

and

chief doctrine

His

and
Spirit

HINDUISM

to

seems

and

India

Buddhism

MODERN

OF

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

been

establish

old

an

the essential unity

was

He

soul.

the human

destroy

to

held,indeed,
that ail nature is but a manifestation of the Universal Soul,
absorbed
from that soul,and is eventually
takes its origin
therein. In order to impressthis doctrine upon his mind,
of the Divine

"

the Sivite is
then

and

now

his

requiredby
is

he

that

religionto

Siva

"

assert

Sivoham

every
I am

"

Siva.
the

For

held

Sankara

Atman,

the

of

attainment

realised

that

final

emancipation,muJcti,
of
knowledge of the oneness

self,with the Absolute,or

or

Brahman,

was

essential.
The

of Hindu

nature

elucidated

somewhat

known
"

in

Baha

the

as

soul is of the

same

of
properties

universal

of

water

be

followingdialoguefrom

the

Lalis

nature

the

when

this

of

Persian,written in the middle

the soul, life,and

Are

subjectmay

on

century, explanatoryof the

the seventeenth
sect

the

by

unnikat^a book

Nadir

views

:
"

body merely shadows


God, and

as

life

like the

"

latter

of the

tenets

"

The

of the many
and
a
drop

one

sea,

joinsthe former,

it also

is

sea.
"

do the Paramatma

How

soul)differ ?
(living
pain ascribable to
in the body

(supremesoul)and Jivatraa
and
They do not differ,and pleasure
the
its imprisonlatter arises from
ment
the water
of the Ganges is the same

whether

the

"

"

it

run

in

river's bed

or

be

shut

in

up

decanter.
"

What

of wine

difference should that occasion ?


"

added

flavour to the

to the water

in the decanter

whole,but it would

Great ;
will

drop
impart its
a

be lost in the river.

The

Paramatma, therefore,is beyond accident,but

the Jivatma

is affiictedby

looselyon

fire will

beingthe
1

is

Hindu
H

and

passion.Water

the fire;
extinguish

and
boiler,

which

sense

put that

water

cast
over

the fire in

the fire will

a
a

the water.
So the body
evaporise
cauldron, and passionthe fire,the soul,
confining
compared to the water, is dispersedabroad.

Castes and Sects,by J. N.

M.A., D.L., p.
Bhattacharjee,

113

371.

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

of
incapable

soul is

The

one

and

is therefore only obtained


happiness

greatsupreme

dispersedand

the

when

hence, althoughGod

yet the slave

that

is

separatedfrom

Blessed
perpetually,
veil from

ofi that

beloved is the dust of my

The veil of the face of my

face.

it,

portionscombine

he

exclaim

may

properties,

with the parent stream ;


the service of His slave,

I shall lift the

when

the moment

not

remember

should

by the bod}^alone,and

God
be

needs

water

these

INDIA

in reunion with

individualised

dropsof

the

againwith it,as

OF

body.
"

What

have
a

of
feelings

the

are

been, they are

not

What

asked me.

person

When
replied,

Sankara

not

are

you

founded

at

to

the

referred to later

on

"

be, described

the sensations

are

as

of

it is said,
I

lover ?

lover you v/illknow." ^


least four importantmonasteries,^

established various orders

and

faquir? They
perfect

of

wandering friars,to

but, unlike Buddha,

be

admit

he did not

to his orders.

nuns

worship,that is,the worshipof the femaleenergy


in nature, having the yoni and
yantra for its accepted
cult
symbols,is not perhapsas old in India as the phallic
it was
of Siva ; but we know
there in the eighth
flourishing
Sakti

centuries a.d., and has


The
the present time.

and

ninth

ing

at

this cult is based

which

the Brahma

are

verv

considerable follow-

written

authorities

certain Puranas

Vaivartha, Skanda, and Kalika

"

for

; but

upon

example,
the most

of the Saktas are the Tantras, which


importantScriptures
they regardas a fifth Veda.
As worshipof the goddesses
Devi, Durga, and Kali, the
with the grossest
Sakti cult prevails,
sometimes
combined
immoralities,mostly in the eastern portionsof India,
and
where
emotionalism
Behar, Bengal, and Assam,
mysticism are very prominent features of the national
character ; the instance under consideration being a good
are
example of the fact that, where these mental quahties
of
found in excess, they usuallycoexist with a deficiency
"

"

self-controlwhich
1
-

awar,

may

lead to sexual

depravity.However,

Wilson, ReligiousSects of the Hindus, pp. 225, 226.


At

in Mysore, Badrinatli
Sringiri
and Jagganath in Orissa.

in the

114

Himalayas,Dwarka

in Katti-

Since

far back

as

against the

eleven

avaricious
famous

Muhammadan

of Somnath

arkote, but Somnath,

riches,was

well

as

the

to

In

far

as

of

land

where

temple of Somnath
reUgious feelingsof

Hindus

the

defended, it fell

into

the

of

an

the

had

and

of

Nagits sanctity

his fanaticism
Arabian

the

to

by

Mahmoud

ruled

Krishna

appealed

and

Thaneswar

sacred

Gwalior

wealth

of the fame

account

a.d.

after

as

Guzerat.

in

less

Ghazni,

this time

prizewhich excited
cupidity.Situated by the

his

of India.

enormous

temples

on

or

attracted
the

secure

already destroyedthe
and

of India

of

waves

more

ruler of

more,

once

desire to

temple

beatingwith

boundaries

successful invasions

Kanauj, returned

successive

a.d.

been

western

the

Mahmoud,

636

as

had

invasion

Mussulman

1024

HINDUISM

of this book.

the scope

effect

MODERN

it is outside
naturally
producesno ascetics,

the Sakti cult

as

OF

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

as

Sea, close

and

died, the
cherished

most

but, though desperately

hands

of

the

invader,

contemptuously shattered in pieces the object of


worship there a gigantic lingam and carried off in
of centuries of Hindu
treasures
triumph the hoarded
who

"

"

piety.
"

lingaworshipof Siva, we

The
"

Wilson,
Hindu
and

faith when

rovingsof
quicklythe news
the

the Mohammedans

the Indian
of that

destruction

of

sadhus

Somnath,

the

have

must

The

day.

struck

painful doubts
sack

of the

in

Eternal

the

fifth

century

the

pagan

cults

and

have

must

of

been

by the
other peregrinating
ascetics
it spe(Jthrough the land
of

milhons

City by
a

carried

India

dismay everywhere, and

gave
of the

less
rest-

easilyimaginehow
striking
catastrophe,

can

breadth

as

news

India,"^

the extensive

terrible and

throughoutthe length and


wanderingSivite friars and
of

first invaded

acquaintedwith

all

at

anyone

says Professor
predominantform of the

everywherethe

was

know,"

hearts,

Alaric

shock

and

to

empire from

awakened
when

as

his

Roman

which

the

Goths

in

pride and
they never

recovered.
An

ominous
^

storm-cloud

was

gatheringover

Preface to his translation of Malati

and Madhava.

Hindu

dark

India, throwing a
cherished behefs.
the

periodsin
ings of

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

It

indeed

historyof
give rise

hearts

of

shadow

was

INDIA

OF

distrust

old

over

of those critical

justone

nation

SAINTS

universal search-

when

revisions of

long-established
faiths and to the formulation of new
hopes and
rehgious
In the gloom of those troublous days the
aspirations.
Vishnu
Puranas, with their extravagant legendsfor the
of their chosen divinity,
been
to have
seem
glorification
of the eleventh
about the middle
compiled,somewhere
to

coeval,no
century,from old traditions,

doubt, with Sivaism

and Buddhism.
the

During

hundred

of these

beingconsolidated

which

years
Puranas
the
in the

followed

the

pilation
com-

Muhammadan

Punjab,and

was
power
feehngof unrest at

which threatened Hinduism


have
must
peril
the remainder of India.
Such
been experienced
tliroughout
conditions are alwaysfavourable to the advent of
political
reformers, and new
religious
prophets,
systems. In due
time, therefore,
appeareda rival to Sivaism in the form of a
the imminent

cultus.

Vishnu

Sivaism,

the

from

had

but

as

no

petus
alreadystated,had received a great imof Sankara Acharya,
teachingand preaching

doubt

been

discredited

in men's

minds

by

events.

recent

Vaishnava
(Vishnuvite)
prophet of the new
Brahman
of
Southern
was
India,who
Ramanuja, a
religion
his campaignagainst
about 1150 A.D. commenced
Sivaism,
from panteachinga monotheism
hardlydistinguishable
theism.
Instead of the much
venerated lingam,symbol of
to the Hindu
Mahadev, he presented
world, as objectsof
adoration,Vishnu,^Krishna, and Rama ; also their
special
to
wives,Lakshmi, Rukmini, and Sita. Contrary
respective
The

the views

of

Sankara, he taught that the human

distinct from
and

the

and
Supreme Spirit,

separate consciousness
^

The

in nine

god Vishnu, accordingto

even

soul

retained its

when

the Puranas, has

was

identity

absorbed

in the

appeared on

the earth

different incarnations,
of these being Rama
one
Chandra, and he is
Kalki " at the end of the present age of sin for
once
more
as

to appear

rescuingthe
Hindu

land

of the

Aryas

from

Castes and Sects,p. 415.

Ii6

their

oppressors." Bhattacharjee's
"

THE

established

Basava

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

ascetic mendicant

an

with his sect, named


a

the

from

Jangamas

lingamenclosed in
neck by a cord. The

they wear

SAINTS

or

metal

OF

INDIA

order in

nection
con-

because
Lingaits
casket suspended

order referred to is well

of it are rarely
India,but representatives
with in the country north of the Vindhyahs,
although
in Southern

known
met

are

some

established at Benares.
continued

clouds
poUtical

the

But

gatheroverhead,
Islam was
steadily

to

dangerto Hinduism stillincreased.


was
triumphing.What better course
open

the

than to

forgettheir sectarian

to

the Hindus

differences and unite

together

Kjishna, the central figureof


that great Hindu
epic,the Mahabharata, ^ and the very
all Hindus could find their
god Vishnu ^ himself,in whom
in the thirteenth century Madideals satisfied. And
so
havacharya,a Kanarese Brahman, born in a.d. 1199,
preachedthe special
vigorously
worshipof Krishna, but,
in the

worshipof

the divine

ever
whatRamanuja, without displaying
any hostility
to Sivaism,his objectbeingto effect a union of Sivites
banner.
and Vishnuvites under a new
rehgious
To this end the imagesof Siva, Durga,^and Ganesh *
are
worshippedalongwith those of Vishnu in the temples
of the sect established by Madhavacharya.

unhke

present time the Krishna cult seems


and
favour amongst the Indian people,
in especial
As

in the

spreadin
it

certain forms

be

as

its

of austerities,
practice
the popularbeliefs

affect the

must

desirable to

seems

to

consider

this god.
respecting
In

the Mahabharata

full of

guile. He
unmistakablyreveals
and

earlier Puranas

he is

king,wise,subtle,
Supreme Being,and

warrior

is also the
himself

representhim

such.

as

in

the

same

Some

of

the

light.But

forms a portionof my Great Indian


epitome of the Mahabharata
Epics (GeorgeBell " Sons).
2
the eighthincarnation
Krishna is regardedby some
as
(ofVishnu),
Vishnu
but accordingto the more
orthodox view he was
himself,and wai
not
Castes and Sicts,
incarnation."
Dr. Bhattacharjee's
Hindu
mere
a
*

An
"

"

p. 416.
^

The

wife of Siva.

The

god

corpulentman

of

wisdom,

son

with four hands

of Siva

and

and

Parvati,representedas

the head

Ii8

of

an

elephant.

short

MODERN

OF

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

HINDUISM

to his
legendsdevoted especially
youthful
years dwell upon the dangersto which in infancy
fears of his royal
his lifewas
uncle,
exposedfrom the jealous
beauty,and revel in the sensuous
expatiate
upon his personal

later and

favourite

more

details of his various

amongst

favoured

lover.
sung

the

gopis(milkmaids),
Radha,

was

devoted,body
passionately

woman

as

the most

whom

with

amours

married

and soul,to her divine

and tears,
loves,not unmixed with jealousies
tion,
by the poetsof India,have met with ecstatic appreciaTheir

soberby the more


their unblushing
under a diaphanous
minded to cover
carnahty
Whither
all this dallying
veil of devotional mysticism.^
and sensuous
with warm
voluptuouspassions
imageswould
lead the frailer devotees does not need to be
inevitably
explained.
while

attempt has been made

an

the

When

Krishna

is
originated

cult

doubtful.

very

be very ancient,but there can


be no doubt
may
in a new
that it was
form that it appearedin India in the
Its roots

thirteenth

century.

Madhavacharya, the prophet who preachedKrishna,


believed,like his predecessor
Ramanuja, in the independent
existence

absorptioninto

its
or

of the human

after death.

He

the

denied

Universal

Spiriteither

held that there is

one

the

of
possibility

soul,and

in this life

Eternal

Supreme

Being,Vishnu, and that Siva, Brahma, and all the ocher


gods are subjectto decay and dissolution ; that there are
God and the Human
eternal principles,
two
Soul, or rather
the latter dependent. With
souls,the former independent,
regard to the visible world, he taught that its elements
in the Supreme Being,and were
existed eternally
onlycreated
by Him in the sense of beingshaped,ordered,and arranged
by His power and will." ^
The sect established by Madhava
has, like the rest, its
"

mendicant

own

The

led to

success

their

orders

and

its

of Vaishnava

promulgationin

monasteries.

own

doctrines in Southern
the

India

Gangeticvalley,princi-

this process we in the West are familiar in the very far-fetched


the glowwhich "has been put by Christian theologians
interpretation
ing
upon
of the Song of Songs.
sensuousness
^

With

Professor Sir Monier

Williams, Brahmanism
119

and

Hinduism,

p. 131.

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

pallythrough the preachingand teachingof


Ramanand, who

named

India, returned

to

priestor
wanderingshe

having

over
extensively

of his sect, when


objectionthat in his

the

raised

possiblyhave observed the rule


meals to be strictly
the Ramanuja sect,requiring
private.
these grounds Ramanand
was
requiredto eat apart
could

not

sect, and,

new

lowest ;

necessary

into

this

and

his

show

to

freelyadmitted
the

In

the rest of the brethren.

from
a

travelled

of

one

of the monasteries

one

other

some

On

in the thirteenth

lived at Benares

Ramanuja's successors,

of

Brahman

century. It is said that Ramanand,

fourteenth

or

INDIA

concession

all castes,

probably a prudent or

was

the

receive all into its communion

to

on

even
even

than

more
popular feeling,
old yoke, since Islam

to

unwillingto accept

of

men

tions,
distinc-

for caste

contempt

it

founded

he

resentment

ever

was

prepared
footingof

equality.
Ramanand's

and

Rama

to

reverence

followers

especial
political

taught to

were

pay
his wife Sita ; for,mth

natural than
dangerslooming on the horizon, what more
one's thoughtsto the faultless princewho, while
to turn
character
incarnation of deity,had been in his human
an
a
wandering ascetic in the forests of Central India for no
less than

fourteen

capableof avenginga
the

terrible ten-headed

Again, what
could
all

good men
Sita.
peerless
The

the

more

found

be

than

worship of

withal
even

wrong

successful

when

the evil-doer

that ever-faithful and

by

Ramanand

was

incarnated in human

God

warrior,
was

demon-king of the Rakshasas.^


acter
admirable charcharming and more
the love and
to arouse
homage of

instituted

cult

and

years,

tender

an

wife,the

example of

form, similar

to

which
had
a
religion
Christianity
alreadybecome familiar to the Indian people; for Roman
CathoHc
missionaries had long been established amongst

that

which

in

have

we

"

them.
If Sivaism
^

The

to

was

story of Rama

Ramayana,

of which

be

superseded
by Vishnuism, surely

subjectof the famous


given an epitome in my

is the

I Lave

(GeorgeBell " Sons).


120

Sanskrit

epic,the

Great Indian

Epics

PHASES

OF

adoration

should

SUCCESSIVE

the
a

objectof

model

and

son

an

warrior

and

There

both

monks

sect

of the

Ramanandis,

throughout Northern

be

HINDUISM

leader

and
who

India.

121

nuns

have

of

like

god-man

exemplary husband,

redoubtable
are

MODERN

but

Rama,

above

all

avenginghosts.
connected

with

the

monasteries
flourishing

CHAPTER

III.

Section

position

important
of

Worship
the

Worship

The

Sikhs

founded
The

Reformers

Democratic

Modern

"

as

Krishna

Reformer

Bala

as

of Krishna
Dadu

continued

y II"

Gopala
Radha

cum

Baba

Nanak

his

the

by

The

him
"

of

Hinduism

Latter-day

Mirabai

Princess

Rajput

"

Brief

this

to

of Krishna

heresiarchs

the

they

really

this

tendencies

of

caste

which
their

exhibiting
distinctions.

of

the

the

the

the

in

of

latter

the

warriors

Kshatriya

under

arose

time,

manifest

sects

marked

very

same

and

these

gard
disre-

morphic
anthropoextensive
Krishna

Rama.
In

Kabir

Sanskrit

for

At

plainly

worsliip

in

guidance,

ditary
here-

the

more

successively

to

democratic

became

apparent

more

popular

men

belonged

priesthood,

are

from

and

they

privileged

the

leanings

"

Rama-

to

Brahmans

were

were

sketch,

Acharya

Although

caste

"

education.

of

new

Sanehis

Ram

Devotee

all

in

Sankara

nand,

time

mentioned

and

"

Summary.

such

for

"

and

preaches

Teaching

"

Trend

for

the

up

Mystic

and
and

Charn

"

sets

the

Chaitanya

"

"

Ram

Sect

his

and

Vallabhacharya

"

and

peculiar

his

Kabir,

"

type
more

have

we

literature,
amongst
than

and

Hindu

passing

low-caste
a

unacquainted

man

reformer

of

such

religious leaders
notice.
122

This

man,

that

there

with

strikingly
he
is

calls
reason

OF

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

MODERN

HINDUISM

be numbered
believe,may
amongst the principal
slavish follower
of Ramanand, thougb he was
no
disciples
to

of the

is

It

master.

and
to

only at about
the Ganges to

obtain

followers and

have

low -caste

could

weaver,

great teacher, because

the

to

access

at

doors,
stayed all day ino'clock in the morning went
his bath and
perform his

two

the

Kabir,

devotions.

lived

Ramanand
He

in the strictest seclusion.

Benares

down

that

related

never

master's

the

him

drove
disciples

contemptuouslyaway.
went
knew, however,
nightlyto the
sacred river for his bath, and so he used to lie in the path
and watch
him as he passed. One night Ramanand,
on
his way to the Ganges,stumbled against
Kabir, and instead
of askingwho he was, or making any apology,
merelysaid,
! Ram
ko Ram
bolo ! (Riseup !
as he passedalong, Goth
Ramanand

that

He

"

"

to Ram
say Ram
Kabir
was

he met
and

had

all

and
delighted,

communicated

with
and

and

the

his

said,

"

had

the

to the Bhakta

brought by
takingnote of

father

the

with

to

fact that she

course

The

gave

with

shame, secretlyabandoned

found

by

weaver

offspring.
Judgingfrom

to

and

it.

the

Dabistan,

But, according
request

own

who,

without

she

might

saint's words,

virgin widow

in

be

once

due

cliild,and, overwhelmed

male

his wife

the works

mantra

widow, saluted her

the

pleased,

story,and,

one

at her

was

the effect,that

Of

son.

is

givenin

was

Ramanand,

greater

Ramanand,

time

denied

was

What
This

one

see

irrevocable.
birth

master

materiallyfrom

benediction,to
were

the

"

mala, Kabir' s mother


her

favoured

before

The

chela !

of God

name

differ very

not

uttered,

is my

this,

desired to be confronted

occurred.

identical with

though not

about

part maintained

his

on

conducted

was

Yes, he

is there than

Kabir

man.

He

guru.
related what

with

the

of his statement, and

truth

does

acceptedhim as his chela^


The
to him.
mantra
initiatory

sundry reproaches.Ramanand

knowledge of

the

tellingeverybody

him
great teacher questioned

the

mthout

not

about

went

had

that Ramanand

of
disciples
and

!).

the

and

infant, who
reared

attributed
123

to

as

him

their

and

was
own

his

THE

lie was
disciples,

immediate

by

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

with

nature

SAINTS

influence.

of emotional

Kabir's

worldlywisdom

mysticthoughhe was,
advise his disciples
to conciliate all men.
"

which

Mix

'

rendered
sufficiently

be

man's

on

your

'neath

bide

considered

your

roof-tree."

own

that their

thingin Hinduism,

was

and
all-important,

in

deities ; but he

not

insisted that

Kabir

fashion,

necessary, and
his views. What
was

worshipwas

new

Indian

after the

the existence of the Hindu

clearlyanti-idolatrous

was

free ;
lipsbe ever,

borrow

name

Yes, sir ! '

Kabir, though a monotheist

deny

"

all,with all associate.

with

But

did not

to

sliabse miliye,
hiliye,
Shabka
nam
;
lijiye
Han-ji han-ji shabse kijiye,
Wasa
apna gam,"

Each
Let

But,

led him

Shabse

jingling
couplet
may
"

INDIA

pronouncedmystic,^
gifted

greatpower

OF

ceremonies

purityof heart
of

modes

or

he

worshipof

littleaccoimt.
said the

teacher

and
existence,

should

Thus
our

to

"To

Ali and

Whilst

stream

avail is it to shave

the

on
head, prostrateyourself

we

ground,or
you

shed

boast of virtues that you


benefit is cleaning
your mouth,

your

immerse

your
call
you

blood

and

owe

similar tenderness

therefore show

all that live : of what

body in the
yourself
pure

Kama

display.
countingyour
beads, performingablutions,and bowing yourselfin
when, whilst you mutter
temples,
your prayers or journey
Of

what

to

Mecca

or

Medina, deceitfulness is in your heart.

Hindu
the

fasts every eleventh


Ramazan.
Who
formed

days that
dwell

in

you

should

but

venerate

tabernacles,whose
beheld

found

him

at the shrine to which

seated

If the

is the

amongst the
the

the weakness

Max

images,or

has
pilgrim

"

of the

Nordau

highercerebral
124

centres."

"

Creator

universe ?

of the
is the expression
says,
for attention, for clear thought,and control of the emotions, and
cause

Mysticism,Dr.

one

residence

has

Rama

The

day, the Mussulman


during
the remainingmonths
and

Who

never

directed
inaptitude
has for its

Degeneration,
p.

536.

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

the poor whatever


distributed among
^
he became a viragi.^^
cardinal

The

preceptsof Kabir

OF

he had

the

are

in his

devotion
world,and, above all, implicit
which

did not

the

in word, act, and

or

his sect, has taken

pecuharto

from

guide." This last precept,


spiritual
with Kabir, and is by no means
originate

the guru,

thoughtto

shop,

of
obhgations

of retirement
humanityand truth,the desirabihty
"

INDIA

mind, and has led

strong hold of the Indian

of a decidedly
able
objectiong'l^rw-worship

to

type.
of Kabir's

Much

teachingwas

countrymen that

of his Muhammadan
him

as

while

greatlyto the taste


claimed
they actually

It is narrated

and Muhammadans

both Hindus
of his

Muslim.

true

so

after his death

that

contended

for the

to do honour to the
body,each desiring
in
Kabir himself appeared
theydisputed,

and directed them

to look under the cloth which

possession

saint ; but,
their midst,

supposed

was

sayingthis instantly
the coverlet was
lifted a heap of sweetvanished.
When
The
scented flowers was
discovered,and nothingmore.
astonished and awestruck, shared the
parties,
contending
to
blooms between
them, and dealt with them according
funeral ceremonies.
their respective
burnt by the Hindus, the
One half of the flowers was
buried by the Muslims, and a cenotaph
other half was
to

his mortal

cover

erected

remains, and

after

it.

over

to overlook the fact that Kabir stands


impossible
with the Hindu
sect-founders
in prominentcontrast
had
and uneducated,
precededhim, being a low-caste man

It is
out

who

and

is not

followers

the

"

considerable

influence of

Islam

and

of

-fanthis for they

Kabir

body ;

that
for

the

traceable. The
are
clearly
Christianity
of
Kabir in the more
recent religious
history
of his professed
to be gaugedby the number

perhapsalso
of
importance
India

in him

that

of

"

but

Kabir's

not

are

very

fluenced
inteachinghas largely

subsequentsect-founders

"

Guru

Nanak,

example.
The

books

The

Dabistan

recognised
by
of Mosun

his followers

as

embodying

Fani, translated by Shea and Troyes,vol. ii.

pp. 189, 190.

126

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

of
teachings

the

Kabir

HINDUISM

the
as
collectively

twenty works

some

Khas

in Hindi

verse,

of considerable size.

of them

followers of Kabir

The

MODERN

known

are

Grantha, and consist of


some

OF

regardhim

as

incarnation of

an

pay him divine honours, and of course


circumstances
connected with his life and

and
deity,

the

miraculous

many

doings

narrated.

are

exist in many
with all
met
The

places,and

of

Kahir-'panthis

their mendicant

Northern

over

of Martin

age

accommodation

for the

Monasteries

friars may

be

India.

Luther

was

in India, for
activity
religious

time

there

of considerable

were

less than

no

poraries
contemleadingHindu sects who were
of the greatEuropean reformer,all three belonging
viz. Vallabhacharya
to northern parts of India
preaching
in
at Benares, Chaitanyaat Nadya in Bengal,and Nanak
the Punjab.
born at Benares
was
Vallabhacharya
(or Ballavacharya)

of

founders

three

"

in

1479

set up

years
as

he is

and

of

A.D.

Brahman

in his native

warrior

indulgedin

but

"

the human

soul

was

system, which

has

in

the

because, unlike
discountenanced

his

mature

as

Bala

"

shrewd

Gopala,the

dalliance with

statesman

cowherd

the

boy

frail milkmaids

Vallabha held that


Philosophically,
a
spark of the Divine Essence, and

though separatedfrom
practiceto

Mahabharata

amorous

of Bindrabun.

in

citythe worshipof Krishna,not

in the
represented

brave

who

parents, and

was

attained

yet identical with

great popularityand

it.
has

His

led

is of great interest,
grossestprofligacy,

his
all

Vallabha
sect-formingpredecessors,
mortifications of the flesh,maintaining

body should be reverenced and not ill-used. His


revolt againstthe old ideas and deeply rooted sentiments
of his own
people curiouslyresembles the recoil from
which occurred
sacerdotalism,and particularly
asceticism,
in Europe under
the stimulus of the
contemporaneously
the
as
spiritwhich led to that great epoch known

that the

Renaissance.
in Bengal,
Nadya, the chief seat of Sanskrit learning
tiated
Chaitanya (a.d.1484-1527), a high-caste Brahman, iniof considerable importance.
movement
a
religious
At

127

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,
time

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

state
Chaitanya'sadvent the political
of Bengal was, from the Hindu
point of view, gloomy in
the extreme,^ and the religion
of the peopleseems
to have
licentiousness.
been for the most
part nothingbut undisguised
Surelya reform of morals was essential before any
be hoped for.
of political
amelioration
conditions could
of the Tantrics,"writes a Bengali,
The bacchanalian orgies
and
their worship of a
shamefullyexposed female,'
provokedthe abhorrence of Chaitanyaand roused his energy
to remove
the deep blots upon the national character. He
his labours
commenced
by holding meetings of his
immediate
friends. At these meetingshe expounded the
life and acts of Krishna.
Passages in Bhagbut which

the

At

of

"

'

"

everyone

understood

in

literal

sense

he

construed

the emotional
chord
figuratively
; and, by striking
upon
sensualism
of our
nature, he thought of putting down
In a little time
his enthusiasm
affected
by sentiment.
'^
hundreds, and gatheredround him a body of disciples."
and
details of Chaitanya,
We have ample biographical
of those highl}^
from these it is evident that his was
one

emotional temperaments, bordering


neurotic,
upon madness,
which are characteristic of what it is the present fashion
"

More
than once, indeed,
higherdegenerates."
to have
been passed by
the border line of sanityseems
him, and he met his end by walkinginto the sea at Puri
in a fit of mental
aberration. The essence
of the Nadya
has been thus summed
reformer's teaching
up by a Bengali
Brahman
tion,
:
Chaitanyataughtthat hhakti,or fervent devothe only road towards God, and that bhakti was
was
of the following
kinds :
to call the

"

"

to his master.

1. The

devotion of

2. The

devotion

of

friend to

3. The

devotion of

parentto

4. The

devotion of

servant

ladyto

friend.

a
a

child.

her lover."

"

About
the time when
Sree Gaiiranga {i.e.Chaitanya) appeared,
Bengal had nearlylost its independence. The ruler was a Mohammedan,
from time to time in occupying the
succeeded
and, though the Hindus
Mohammedanism
in order to retain
throne, they were
obligedto embrace
their sovereignty." Lord
Gauranga, or Salvation for All, by Shishir
"

Kumar
2

Ghose

(Calcutta,1897),vol. i. Introduction,p. ix.


Travels of a Hindu, by Bholanath
Chunder, pp. 29, 30.
128

SUCCESSIVE

OF

PHASES

Cliaitanyarecommended
that

the best form

the

beloved

reformer

Radha

of devotion

mistress

also

of

total

was

HINDUISM

worship,and
that which

the

found

Men

abstinence

from

"

communication
The

with

remarriageof

him.
the lowest, and

Islamites."

were

innovation

musical

The

Muhammadans
"

by Chaitanya. Three
principaldisciples,
namely, Rup, Sanatan, and

Haridas,
An

as

strict tarianism
vegeintoxicants. He

into his sect

admitted

his

music

with

of all castes, even

also, were
of

favour

Radha,

necessityof

animal
and even
sacrifices,
prohibited
all who
performed such sacrifices.

widows

taught

Krishna, felt for him.^

inculcated

and

MODERN

made

by Chaitanya was

known
processions
dreamy, sensuous,
of men,

emotions

historyof

all

wondered

at

as

subtle

music

How

the
may
sway
ecstasy,is well known in the

to

even

sankirians.

religious
powerfully

"

even
religions,

Islam ; so it is not to be
the sankirtans of Chaitanya,appealing

that

to highly
strongly
impressionable
natures, aided the spread
of his teaching
an
exceedingly
very much, and have become
in
feature
recent
in India.
movements
popular
religious
and, once playingwith
Chaitanyawas fond of theatricals,

other amateurs, took the

part of Rukhmini,

the chief wife of

Krishna.
The

historyof religionshows

countries

emotional

how

readilyin

all

import the ideas of sexual


into their mysticallongingsfor union with
relationships
the Divine Being a tendencywhich even
the strong hand
of a guidingcentral authorityhas not always been able
to restrain from
into objectionable
developing
practices.^
natures

"

Hindu
Bhattacharjee's

Ibid. p. 464.
Christian Mysticism,by W.

Catherine
"

says,
is most

'

of Siena,
Cristo

"

amore.

Castes and Sects,p. 469.

R. Inge, pp. 159, 140.


Writing of St.
the spouse
of Christ," Mr. John Addington Symonds
'
Cristo amore.'
The reiteration of the word
love '

It
significant.

spring
keynote of her whole theology,the maindid
she
s
ense
herself
merely figurative
regard
the spouse of Christ, but dwelt upon
as
the bliss,beyond all mortal
ness,
happiwhich
she enjoyed in supersensual
communion
It
with her Lord.
is easy to understand
how
such ideas might be, and have been, corrupted,
when
but weaker and less gifted
impressed on natures no less susceptible,
of her

life. In

than St. Catherine's."


I

"

was

the

no

Sketches in Italyand Greece,iii.p. 53.

129

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

Chaitanya,unhamperedby
preachingearnestlyin a warm

Now

people,commended

emotional

SAINTS

any

INDIA

controlling
authority,
to
a
highly
the worship
success

climate
with

; and

OF

such

combination,in spite
it as a mysticalunion,
of subtle hermeneutists explaining
has not failed to lead to extravagant profligacy
amongst
of Krishna

the

Radha

cum

followers of the

ardent

more

Chaitanya,it
another

may

be

cult.^

mentioned, was

who
leader,Nimbaditya,

founded

anticipated
by
a

sect

known

as

It is almost
headquartersat Muttra.
in the
to say that the prophetof Nadiya was
unnecessary
nothing less than an incarnation of
eyes of his disciples
in his lifetime a temple was
Vishnu, and even
erected,in
almost
naked
mendicant
which
his image an
painted
yellow was the objectof worship.
The sect founded
by Chaitanyanearlyfour hundred

Nimats, with

the

"

"

ago

years
been

and
is still flourishing,

to
latterly

seems

making great progress. Bindrabun, on

the Jumna,

identified

the

as

spot where

have

the banks

Krishna

of

carried

with the gofis,


its existence and its
owes
intrigues
state to Chaitanya
and the sect which
present flourishing
The prophethimself left no
with him.
issue,
originated
in his life'smission ;
but he had two Brahman
coadjutors
on

his

their descendants,

and

known

now

are
gossains,

as

the

heads of the sect.


acknowledgedand venerated spiritual
Writingwith reference to the Vaishnavas of Bengal,
and the Chaitanites in particular,
Professor H. H. Wilson
says
"Of
"

all

however, the guru padasraya,or


obligations,
servile veneration of the spiritual
teacher,is the most
importantand compulsory.The members of this sect are
to deUver up themselves and everything
not onlyrequired
of the guru, they are not only to
valuable to the disposal
entertain full belief in the usual Vaishnava
identifies the
to

are
as

votary, the teacher,and

look upon

possessedof

as

one
1

An

in Dr,

whose
account

the guru
more

favour
of the

more

Hindu
Bhattacharjee's

as

one

and

more

to

the

than

even
authority

is

the

be

130

god, but they


present deity,
the deity,
and

courted

Chaitanite
disreputable
Castes and

tenet, which

sects of

Sects,pp. 480-83.

and

whose

Bengal is given

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE

is

anger

to

more

himself."

be

OF

than
deprecated

to
hostility

and

orders

HINDUISM

that of Krishna

even

Chaitanites,who

The

MODERN

have

long manifested

Brahmans, have their own


of them
their monasteries,
many
the

marked

mendicant

flourishing

institutions.
In

the

have

we

of the

the wake

of the

"

the

from

in

even

to

was

with

Ballabis,who

Radha

instructive instance

successful

"

teachingof Chaitanya
afiord

curious

not, it is true, confined

to

and

Hinduism

in which

transferred
worshipis gradually
to others associated with him
divinity
principal
subordinate capacity.The sect referred
distinctly

manner

founded, itis said,at the end of the sixteenth century,

headquartersat

Bindrabun

objectin view being to


worshipof Radha, even
himself ;

the

India, the

attention

the
upon
in preference
to that of Krishna
concentrate

faithful and

it were,
as
superseding,

in Northern

devoted

in men's

human

veneration

mistress thus
her divine but

fickle lover.

of Kabir
descendant
Baba
was
spiritual
Nanak, a Hindu of the Kshatriyacaste, who was born in
From
his
the Punjabin a.d. 1469, and died there in 1539.
earliest youth Nanak
a
displayed
strong leaningtowards
of sadhus,a disincHnation for regular
work of
the society
for a wandering
life. He is said
any kind, and a passion
travelled extensively
to have
over
India, and to have
Nanak.

"

visited Persia and

Mecca.

miracles are attributed to him.^


say, many
opinionsand teachingsvague and mysteriousare

Needless
His

even

to

"

embodied

in

the

Adi

Granth

"

("The

First

Book"),

collection of prayers, or rather rhapsodies,


compiledsome
hia
of
Guru
successors.
fifty
years after his death by one

Arjan Dev. From


the
acknowledged

that Nanak
these it may
be gathered
existence of the Hindu
over
divinities,

whom, however, he placeda Supreme Being,Akal Purkh,


the Formless One.
passages in the Japji composed by Nanak
ideas
himself,it may be gatheredthat his philosophical
From

Hindu

Castes and

Sects,p. 103.

131

Vide supra, pp. 31-33.

THE

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

differed
his

if
little,

at

all,from

SupremeBeinghaving
much

so

Nanak

was

he often refers to God

OF

ordinaryHindu

INDIA

pantheism,

separate,conscious existence.

no

But

SAINTS

AND

under

in terms

the influence of Islam that

which

mightbe appropriately-

used

Christian. And he was


a
or
so
by a Muhammadan
from the power of Hindu
far emancipated
traditions and
that he dissuaded his disciples
from the worship
practice
of idols and the observance of Hindu
ceremonies.
religious
Born and reared under a powerful
Muhammadan
ment,
governNanak
like
his
endeavoured,
Kabir,
predecessor
assimilate his doctrines to those of his masters

to

without

faith of his fathers ; and he strove to


the dominant
class by maintaining
that there

abandoningthe

material difference between

no

Hindu

and

ciliate
conwas

Muslim, this

syncretism
beingonlytoo

natural

Hindu

in the face of the

and proselytising
powerful
bigotry

energy

of the Islamic rulers.

Nanak
and

had

claimed

appointedhim

Punjab. One of
Mussulman
by birth.

of the
a

Nanak
last

of

the guru

of mankind.
well known

compileda second Granth known as


Tenth Reign the peaceful
reHgionof

the Granth
Nanak

"

into

militant

creed.

later
cult,the Sikhs developed
This
organisation.
resentment

at

the

exactions carried
and

on

the Sikhs

as

was

by nine gurus, and under the


Singh (a.d. 1675-1708), who

Govind

these"

his guru,
All castes

his earliest disciples,


Mardana,

succeeded

was

part of the religious

Supreme Being was

into his sect, now

admitted

were

that the

the

on

Stimulated
on

into

of the

was

by

formed
trans-

this

new

powerfulpolitical

remarkable

due to
was
metamorphosis
and
persecutions
religious
oppressive

by

the Muhammadan

aided
powerfully

rulers of

India,

the favourable

by
opportunity
for revenge, loot,and self-aggrandisement
afforded by the
decay of the Muslim power in India during
very palpable
the eighteenth
century.
The Sikhs of Govind Singhare permitted
to eat flesh,
and bhang,
thoughnot beef, and may drink ardent spirits
from
but are
usingtobacco in any form.
prohibited
was

On

the whole, Sikhism

but by
prolonged,

no

means

seems

to

have

been

to
quitesuccessful,

132

an

effort,

do without

MYSTICS,

THE
sect

AND

ASCETICS,

OF

SAINTS

INDIA

also be

founder, the Rajput princess


Mirabai, may

mentioned.
Of

of her

at the command

from
expelled

was

her rank

of the

form

Ranachor,

which

the
captivated

had

reward

as

was

received into the

the

to

gatheredfrom

be
"

for

the

Mirabai, the

AVhen

her

objectof

the world.

by this
worshippers
generally)
may

transcendental

Krishna-Radha

lady (and by

worshipof

The

in a miraculous
manner,
eventually,
image of her especial
deity,and thus, in

the

of

idea

of

in consideration

divine

fashion,disappearedfrom
appropriate
An

Udaypur,she

youthfulKrishna, was the one


of the princess,
and,
imagination

for her devotion

adoration,she

of

the Rana

separateresidence.

that

mala^

worshipof Krishna,

royalpalace,but

the

allowed

was

husband,

Bhakta

the

of her refusal to abandon

account

on

it is related in the

lady

this

views

held

visited

for

of her

told

followinganecdote
who
Rajput princess,

left

"

everything

renowned

Krishna,
Rup
of Brindaban, one
of the chief hhaktas of Sree

her

love

Goswami

Gauranga (Chaitanya),
Rup,
order, refused

to

her

see

the
seeing

from

ascetic of

an

the

on

face of

the

ground

that he
As

woman.

the

highest
was

precluded
fact,Mirabai

beautiful young princess,


and he had not much
of Rup,
faith in her pretensions.Hearing the message
'
If so, he has no
Mirabai replied,Is he then a male ?
was

most

to

access

the

Brindaban.

goddess of

she will turn

Males

Brindaban

him

beloved

Kanai

all

that

Mirabai

and

so

What

Lai

besides

that

For

females ?

agreedto

see

her."

'

of

Rup

Sukee-hJiava.

See Profeseor

These

Wilson'B

Krishna), and

now

devotee

understood
of Krishna,

spring from

peculiarreligiouscustoms
"

in existence,namely, my

the following
extract
opinions,
"

of his presence,
the great Goswami

not

staunch

reallya

there, and, if

know

(an endearingname
are

was

does
male

one

enter

to

comes

out.

that there is but

know

cannot

shows

such

:
"

mendicants, born in the

western

Sketch of the ReligiousSects of the Hindus,

pp.

85-87.
^

Lord

Gauranga, or

Salvation for All, by Shishir Kumar

Introduction,p. xl. (Calcutta,1897).

Gliosc, vol. i.

SUCCESSIVE

PHASES

of

provincesand composed

followers of Krishna,

are

dress and

and

ornaments

the
professing
said

are

have

to

and, though

small sect called


of the

had

to

when

other

put

men,

Krishna

an

imitation

on

the

as

on

was

image

the

maids
milk-

earth.

of Krishna,

milkmaids,

the

of

castes,

of women,

manners

Krishna

flowers

ship
the leaderMirabais,acknowledging

is
Rajput princess,

in Western

the

assume

They paint and adorn with


and dancing around
it, in
^
worship it daily."
A

and

Bramhuns

attachment

same

HINDUISM

MODERN

OF

said to be stillin existence

India.

of Neo-Brahmanism
as
retrospective
survey
cannot
sketched in the foregoingpages, one
help being
impressedwith the followingfacts. Although the worship

Taking

under

of Vishnu

far and

the forms

of Krishna

Rama

and

spread

wide, althoughthe primitive


phalliccult of Siva

also flourished

although men
contemporaneously,

in their

at the shrines of both these


anxietypaidhomage impartially
gods of the Hindu triad,and in Eastern India invoked,
with many
strange rites,the goddessesDurga and Kali,
Empire went on extendingirresistibly,
yet the Muhammadan

until at

length it

became

paramount

in

India.

Islam,

rence
and its abhormonotheism
uncompromising
the
felt throughout
of idolatry,
made itselfpowerfully
to
became. converts
land, while numbers of the subjugated
the vigorously
creed of the conquerors, under
proselytising

indeed,with

which

its

invidious distinctions of caste

were

not

maintained.

questionof the
of vital importance.
itselfbecame
of Hinduism
preservation
of achievingthis great objectnaturally
Diverse methods
constituted minds.
suggestedthemselves to differently
means
Hinduism
might be made softlyalluring,
by some
of a disillusioned
or
other,so as stillto retain the allegiance
longerconfident in the support of its gods and
race, no
its arrogant priesthood
; or the national rehgionmight be
reformed to suit the new
order of ideas awakened
by the
and claims of Islam ; or it might be modified so
presence
to resemble, outwardly at least,the Muslim
faith,and
as
Amidst

thus

avoid

the

of Hindu

wreck

contempt
1

and

Ward's

evade

States the

persecution.

Hindus, p. 296.

distinct effects

Three

rise of sects

1. The
the

justbeen drawn.
combining the worship of Radha,
has

attention

conditions to which

of her divine

of Krishna, with that

favourite mistress

and

the circumstances

from

arose

INDIA

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

of sensuality,
suggestive
naturally
to the establishment of pracand one
tices
lendingitselfreadily
veiled
or
calculated to attract followers by their
open
immorality.To this class belongthe sects of the Nimats,
and the Chaitanites
the Radha Vallabhis (sixteenth
century),
century)of Bengal.
(sixteenth
of conciliatory
2. The
syncreticHindu
appearance
founders, to
rate by their original
sects intended, at any
of the
the religions
the differences between
bridge over

lover

"

Hindus

combination

In

rulers

their Muslim

and

fact.

too

this

placedthe

be

category may

reconcile them,

to

"

in

formed

sects

century)and by
by Kabir (sixteenth
Guru Nanak
(sixteenth
century),though the latter sect was
leaders developedalong very
under subsequentspiritual
different lines from those adopted by the founder.
:
sects opposedto idolatry
3. The formation of Hindu
Panthis
Dadu
for example, the Ram- worshipping
(a.d.
India

in Northern

1550-1600) and

Rajputana.
During the decay of
in
the British power
has been as active as
as
come

and

Western

play in
and
practices

all the main


to

the

into

be

the

potent factors,such

and

have
aggressiveChristianity,
beliefs
of immemorial
disintegration
and

formation

of

actuallydying out

indeed, under

of British rule

Many
vitality.

they

be said

can

complete

the

all appear

recent

of

None

ones.

new

Hinduism
t3^es of post-Buddhist

freedom
religious
signsof renewed

the rise of

of sect-formation

process

New

ever.

education

and

the Muhammadan

India, the

of

(a.d. 1718), both

Sanehis

Ram

sects

to
are

give
of

or
decidedlyobjectionable
type ; but, whether respectable
otherwise,nearlyall furnish a contingentof mendicants

to swell the hordes


over

the
Under

of the

itinerants who
privileged

swarm

country.
the

new

conditions

of life

in response to intellectual stimuU


there have
recently
appearedin our

and

136

in India,
obtaining
of European origin,
own

time

certain

SUCCESSIVE

PHASES

OF

MODERN

HINDUISM

non-idolatrous sects, like the Brahmo-samaj^


theistic,

small

chief

whose

prophet,the eloquentKeshub

Sen,

Chunder

founded by a Mahratta
sudra ; and the Arya-samaj,
of commanding talents
named
Brahman
Dayanand,a man
was

and

The
personality.

in

Europe

of

its

of these

former

is well known

sects

America, through its founder

and

prominent apostleshaving visited


the Brahmo

lectured there ; but

cult

and

the

and

West

still

has

some

quite
following,
insignificant
perhapsbecause, by denying the
drifted away
authorityof the Vedas, it has practically
from
Hinduism.
The
Arya-samaj, though hardly a
sect, adhered to the Vedas, as interpreted
purelyreligious
which are
by Dayanand ; but it favours certain practices
certain,in the

of

course

time, to undermine

its

morals,

these very practices


tion
might prove an attracthoughpossibly
of the new
and helpto swell the numbers
sect.
It remains to note the fact that political
circumstances
and national aspirations
have also,in recent times,called
into beingthe dangeroussect of the Kukas in the Punjab,
and have led quitelately
to the very significant
deification
in his own
chieftain Seva-ji
country of the Mahratta

(a.d.1627-80),famous
hammadans, and for
of the

supremacy
And

the

so

presentsat

the
and

been
Under

new,

its own

in

sects
religious

wandering

it is

the

auspicesof

certain

Indian

Englishman,Calcutta,26th

the

rulers

June

no

divinities

worship of

must

have

its

immemorial

find

the

Moreover,
own

Indian

could

such

it
in

men

in June

1902, and

was

the

calculated to promote
the ruled in India.
Vide

means

and

1902.

137

date
accommo-

the Sivaji festival


politicians,

in Calcutta

significant
speechesby

relations between

to

binations.
com-

absolute

an

ascetics. Nor

time,

any

and

groups

the

with
conformity

be

practical

its chosen

conduct

Mu-

India.^

temples,to

spreadand flourish,it

at
difiicult,

for many

harmonious

or

of
representations

for the first time, celebrated

occasion

The

sect, old

the

to them.
accept the giftspresented

missionaries,
who,
should
traditions,

was,

in Southern

it should have

if the sect is to

of

of Indian
kaleidoscope
succeeding
periodnew

material

idols and

againstthe

successes

establishment

who
lodge the priests

to

have

the

Mahrattas

every
For
each

that
necessity

for his

"

THE

MYSTICS,

ASCETICS,

abundance

owingto

have

ever

AND

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

the many causes


to worldpredisposing
and abstention from labour which
weariness,renunciation,
been

Hinduism

deep down

presentin India.
is certainly
very old,and

in the hearts of the Indian

brief sketch

my

of its

historymust

its foundations
but
people,

have

lie

even

it abundantly

made

clear

that, contrary to the prevailing


impression,
it has undergonevast changesin the course
of time,and
that it is stillas plastic
of old,because neither now
as
nor
since
especially
stagesof its development,
any previous
the Buddhist revolt,has it been subject
to that organised

at

control of

centralised

authoritywhich

circumstances

rendered

sects

and

was

in Europe ; hence new


possible
have expanded in a way
which

the

by

strong

of

arm

the

have
not

arisen,
tolerated

ecclesiastical authorities in

Christendom.
The
be

Aryan

nature

-godshave certainly
long ceased

worshipped.Indra, Kuvera, Yama,

and

to

Varuna, Garuda,

backgroundof
oblivion. It is true that the Brahmans
have managed to
veneration for their tutelary
secure
long-continued
deity
Siva,but the peoplehave enthroned two Kshatriya
heroes,
Krishna and Rama, as the especial
tion
objectsof their venera; the former,for many
reasons, beingthe more
popular
of the two, and likely,
in one
aspect or other, to maintain
his placefor ages to come
in the hearts of the Hindus.
With
the striking
of the
changeswhich the religion
Hindus has steadily
undergonethere have been concomitant
mutations in the attitude of the worshippers
towards the
Soma

have

likewise fallen into the

unseen

powers.
Within the

relied
the worshipper
pale of Brahmanism
rites and ceremonies,on sacrifices,
on
complicated
spells,
and almsgivingall these beingconducted by
pilgrimages,
under the strict guidance
of the Brahman
or
hood,
priestsolely
who practically
and without
controlled his destinies,
whom
there was
salvation. Buddhism, rejectno
possible
ing
"

such

sacerdotal

aids,requiredits followers

to

trust

to

completedetachment from the world as the safest and


surest
of securing
means
happinesshere and spiritual
deliverance hereafter ; and Buddhism
expectedeach man
138

PHASES

SUCCESSIVE
or

to

woman

modern
mans

work

OF

his

out

Hinduism, which
never

recovered

had

enjoyedin

had

acquiredtoo

or
suppressed

HINDUISM

emancipation.In

own

succeeded

Buddhism, the

ascendant

an

And

as
they
position

and

consideration

aside.

Brah-

the ascetic saints and

days,for

much

set

her

or

such

earher

MODERN

the

at

sages
be

to
authority

time

same

ideas

new

placeless
and leaving
rehance than of yore in the old ceremonial rites,
devotion
them to placetheir trust and hope in passionate
to or faithin a chosen god. A great and mighty change
taken

had

this,a

hold of men's

But

revolution.

momentous

is
divinity

the

minds, causingthem

too

high,too

devotion,the Hindu

remote,

to

since for most


too

men

for

transcendent

acceptedas
substitute for the chosen deityhis supposedrepresentative,
sadhu
his very incarnation,the livingguru, the saintly
he actually
to whom
Only the wilfully
pays his adoration.^
blind could fail to see the parallelism
between these developments
this

and those which

in

has

have

cases

many

occurred in other

familiar

more

creeds.
In

respectto that

said that

be

the

to

means

has,

of

caste, it may
importantsubject,

been
sect has
of each new
appearance
renewed
struggleagainstthe disabilities

signalised
by a
imposed by caste,
the formation

most

but

be wondered

the
naturally,

sub-castes ; which
at, since the time-honoured

castes

new

result
little practical

with

or

whole-hearted
unflinching,

beyond
is by no

system
support of

and particularly
of the still powerful
classes,
superior
Brahmanical
priesthood.
that
intellectual of rulers,the German
most
Recently
of
that the germ
Emperor, was
reportedto have said
of
is the germ
is political,
so
every sectarian movement
movement
a
questionof the material welfare
every political
of the people
and there is profoundtruth in this statement.
;
How
able
in Europe and elsewhere unfavourfrequently
conditions have led to generaldespondency,
political

the

"

"

and

thereafter
^

How

to

religiousrevivals

and

and
man
a
completelyeven
practical
highlyeducated
in the case
to a livingguru is well exemplified

himself
Postmaster-

the

General

Miiller'8 Life and

of the North-West

Sayingsof Bama

birth

ordinate
sub-

can

of

an

Provinces, cited in Professor

Krishna, pp. 20-22.

of

ex-

Max

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

orders,is a

monastic

INDIA

OF

of

history.
backgroundof
poHtical
but colour the minds of the populace
each periodcannot
and its leaders,it becomes a factor of too much importance
to be passedover
entirely
; hence the placegivento it in
brief outline of the rise and progress of modern
the foregoing
to need no special
Hinduism
seems
justification.
heretical sects
fact

The

As

or

new

beingadmitted

from

the appearance

time

under

importantfact

the

the

the doctrinal views and

and earnest

time

to

condensed
of

account

gods and

new

of

novel

of the more
genesis
of religious
reformers,
leadership

and

of the

ultimate
have

religionists
may

that, whatever

be overlooked

not

must

above

the

in Hinduism,
conceptions

prominentsects

the

that

supplementaryto

matter

hopes of

subtle

theologians

been, there have

never,

at

posed
been wantingmultitudes of Hindu peopleindisperiod,
discomforts of any
to undergo austerities or personal
a prosperous
kind,and yet none the less desirous of securing
any

time in this

a better
life,

time in the next

mundane

existence,

of
also eons
of bliss in the various heavens
eventually
the gods. And
this worldly-minded
class has, on account
of its wealth and influence,been too importantand useful
factor in the community to be reallyslighted
a
by the
and the priesthood,
however much such professors
prophets
of religion
might rail againstriches as such. Renunciation,
if universally
as
preachedby most founders of sects or religions,
could obviouslyonly end in national extinction
practised,
such a disaster,
; hence it follows that, to preclude
there must alwaysbe a class of workers whose special
function
the necessaries of lifefor themit is to produceand provide
selves
and

and
desire to
And

also for those

live

on

from all labour,


who, abstaining

alms.

recommends
religion

indeed, wherever

with
renunciation,it also proclaims,
to the
liberality

poor
rewarded

"

scale in which
could

and

"

it has

existed

on
only be possible

whole-hearted

uncertain voice,that

no

the religious
meaning more
particularly
classes will be unstintingly
priestly
the colossal
hereafter. Mendicity,on

poor
and the

here

enjoins

or

time

the condition of

charitableness

classes ; hence it is not

in India

on

the

to
surprising

140

out

of

mind,

and
widespread

part of laymen of all


find

lauded
charity

in

CHAPTER

I.

Section

by

Abnormal

means

no

Remarks

Introductory

"

Opinions

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

HINDU

VIII

The

"

Multiplicity

Monks

Jain

"

SUBDIVISIONS

THEIR

Yatis

or

of

Hindu

Sects

interviewed

Their

"

Habits.

and

HERE
have
a

been

of

Professor

sects.

gives
of

expected,

number

large

might

as

are,

list

Wilson

of

and

them,

forty-three

adds

works

popular

Hindu

that
the

in

on

ject
sub-

ninety-six heresies

are

It

ordinarily recognised.
is needless
this

to

say

figure would

represent 11the

Europeans

are

pious

Westerns

horror

such

whose"'tenets

some

actual
the

we

abnormalities

just,it

must

be

found,

if

course

of

their

be

or

admitted

looked

excepting
existence

sects

described

practices have

be

religion,not

present

for, in
the

give

by
filled

holy
that

the

Christian.
rise to

tianity,
of Chrisseparatists. In the case
heresies
apostolic times, and some
appeared from
of morality as
holding opinions entirely subversive

multitude

we

to

may

by-paths of every
All religionsin the

sects

are

and

ber
num-

the

supercilious wonderment

with

but, if

and

even

nearly

not

existing at
time.
Amongst
studied

that

of

understand

heretical

it

came

into
142

existence

very

early indeed

SECTS

ASCETIC

AND

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

example,the Antinomians, wlio

for

held

that

the moral

binding upon Christians. Sects possessed


died of natural exhaustion,but
of littleinherent vitality
both in the earlycenturies and in the Middle Ages,
many,

law

not

was

such

the Gnostics,Manichseans, Nestorians, Albigenses,

as

Hussites, and
revolt

and relentlessly
forcibly
pressed
sup-

others, were

by Church and State authority.Since


againstthe power of the Papacy in

the sixteenth

Christian
dissenting
and
sexual
with ideas in regardto political
sects, some
acceptedby the
moralityfar removed from those ordinarily
established Churches, have appearedand secured a footing

century,a

considerable number

the successful

very

of

for themselves.^
has produced
Hinduism
in its long history
Similarly,
sects, and, as it differs from
a
great varietyof peculiar
in not havinghad a powerful,
well-organised,
Christianity

authorityto guide for centuries its


development,the heresies often characterised
theological
of doctrine and much
by great freedom and originality
resolute central

and

"

latitude in
a

normal

practice^have,in
"

coarse,

have

and

most

cases,

sometimes

been

grown

able to
to

run

be almost

religions.
semi-independent
remarks
to state that the foregoing
It seems
superfluous
the erroneous
and comparisons
are
merelyintended to remove
rather widely,that there is
impressionwhich prevails,
of religious
sects to
somethingabnormal in the multiplicity
be found in India.

Amongst the still existingIndian sects, the Jains, so


in themselves,and also as a link with Buddhism,
interesting

precedenceof attention. This ancient sect, ^it is


is perhaps
whose origin
religion
now,
hardlyan independent
claim

"

"

antecedent

back
the

to

earlier than

therefore may
date
of
the sixth century-B.C., exhibits much
of

or

may

Amongst
be named

sects of
the

the

by
organised

of which
description
work
comprehensive
^

Buddhism, and

the precepts,and
spirit,
established

as

that

may

of
discipline
Gautama

be read in Mr.

Buddha,

date

in
originating

Swedenborgians,Mormons,

full

Spence Hardy's

entitled Eastern Monachism.

quite recent

monasticism

As, how-

Protestant

countries

Shakers, Irvingites,
Darby-

and Christian Scientists.


it-es,
Sandemftnians,Perfectionists,
Agapgjaonites,

H3

I do not

ever,

Jains

"

monks,

nuns,

I describe for him

as

OF

desire to deal with the Jain

I invite the reader to make

detail,may
of the

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

meetingsof that

my

INDIA

system

in any

the

acqiiaintance
me
lajnnen by following
of certain religious
impressions
and

"

of

ancient sect held in the autumn

most

of beingpresent.
1898, at which I had the privilege

high steps risingfrom


of the narrow
lane brought me
overcrowded
into
the mud
and steep
to a straight
dark hall,which gave access
a
of brick stairs not a yard wide between its bounding
flight
walls. I ascended these stairs,and, after passing
through
low restricted doorway at the top, found myself on the
a
flat terrace roof of the main
building an ordinaryhouse
be found in the native quartersof any city
such as may
This flat roof,however, had been partially
in Upper India.
thus formed being
built upon along three sides,the rooms
towards the central unall doorless and practically
covered
open
Jain

Monks

Yatis.

or

few

"

"

an

upon

in

was

as

if three verandahs

opened
privacyand

For
court.
hypsethral
climate,nothingcould
tropical

central

ample

convenience

effect

The

space.

hot

be

more

admirablyconceived. In one of the rooms, or verandahs,


which might have been eighteen
or twenty feet longand eight
ten feet wide,there

or

persons
cotton

"

were

assembled

of weU-to-do

number

and others
merchants, shopkeepers,
end
carpets and floorcloths. At one

"

sitting
upon
was

raised

platformmade of rough planks,and on it was seated an


of some
Jain monk
with two or three
importance,
elderly
I had been expected,so a small
others in attendance.
chair covered with a white cloth had, with thoughtful
cane
kindness,been placedfor me near the senior monk, on his
righthand, neither on the platformnor under the roof,
but just outside.
The
the

whole

of the

part where

few inches than

of uniform

the

platformwas
monk
principal

the

part occupiedby the

not

sat

height;

higherby a
juniors. There

was

and there
this world ; there never
was,
in the room,
will be !
No furniture could be seen
never
but, as a concession to the imperiousdemands of the new

is

equahty in

no

age,

wall.

clock occupieda conspicuous


big-faced
placeon
Behind

the

monks, and
144

concealed
partially

the
from

the

by

view

monks

SUBDIVISIONS

THEIR

which

platformon

amongst whom

women,

they sat, was


least

at

were

his chin,but

his

over

passedabove

the

or

man

and

and

ears

Jain

of

symbolsof

forms,

"

and

"

and

accidental
minutest
mouth

in order

worn

are

placeby strings

the most

obviate

to

destruction

unintentional

These

the head.

important
in

respect for life

absolute

tenets,

in

tied behind

characteristic outward

were

mouth,held

wore

cloth,not under

four folds of white

nose

The

Clean-shaven

"

sort of bib of three

of

group

forty nmis.

peculiarappearance.

presenteda

they all head, face,and eyebrows. Each

were
a

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

all its

the
of

possible
the

even

or
organismsby being drawn into the nose
Hence
of respiration.
in the ordinaryprocess

reallylifeprotectors.But an inconvenient article


like this could be used by ordinarypeopleonly on purely
ceremonial
occasions, and not always then, for several
they are

in

men

the

in their hands.

them

of the

the commencement

of course,

The nuns,
and

chapter.

had their mouths

the

Only

no

and
as

noses

covered,

to show

pairof eyes.
monk
spoke, and
principal

their faces but

by

of

veiled
besides,so completely

were,

was

wearingtheir bibs, carried


of a Jain yatiappears at
picture

instead

room,

littleof

disinclined to

means

be

he
fortunately

communicative.

He

greatlyby his serene


gravity
yet pathetic
a
gentledignitywhich seemed to pervade his every
He sat cross-legged
and movement.
the platform,
on

interested
and
word

clothed
and

the

in two

white

other about

armlets,nor
told me,

me

cotton

round

one

"

his shoulders.
of any

marks

sheets

No

his loins

or
beads, bangles,

kind, either ornamented

The
his person.
two
cotton
all the clothes he might wear

or

figured
dis-

he
sheets were,
as
or
possess, with the

exceptionof half a blanket in the winter time.


Many
other interesting
about his order did the venerable
particulars
to me
yati communicate
; and, though these may
be found in European books on Jainism, 1 was
pleasedto
receive them from him, and I reproducethem here.
known
as
During the four months of the rainy season
the
in

chamasa, the Jain monk


dharmsala

of

his

may

seek shelter and

order, which
145

is

repose

guest-house

THE

by lay Jains for


but for eightmonths

tbe

established
monks

wander

friars of his order have

in

done

OF

INDIA

accommodation
every

country barefooted

the

over

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

he

year

and

of the
must

bareheaded, as

since at least five hundred

account
on
no
years before the birth of Christ. He may
of conveyance,
avail himself of any mode
whether horse,
boat, or railwaycar ; nor may he ever sleepin a
carriage,

And

bed.

after year they wander about, these gentle


staff or scrip,
armed only with soft besoms

year

without

monks,

tenderlybrush away minute insects


that might happen to be in danger of destruction under
necessitates
the pressure of their persons whenever fatigue
rest for their wearied limbs.
some
Many of these besoms
threads

of cotton

amongst the audience,and

in evidence

were

present
The
is

to

providedwith

was

only

other

wooden

who

books

of these

property any

alms-bowl

read

can

for his

one

may

in which

shown

to

with
Some

in the Prakrit character.

detached

leaves

boards.

Metal

Since

must

the

of any

hurting,leave
obvious that they do
whatever

further,for they never


From

sort.

whatever,

sunset

eat

taste
to

drink

or

to be the

cause

but

Monks

their sacred

them

touched

be
a

were

the

by

needle,which

be returned the

may
same

not

killing,
living
any
of
flesh
meat
partake
their self-denial

they carry

fruitand drink

sunrise

from

water

of death

their

alone

wine of any

no

they must, on
anything. Jain sadhus

bathe, for if they draw


sure

possess

of
importantguidingprinciple

most

avoid

kind

may

goes down.

sun

the

thing,it is

men

of these books

account

no

on

but must
required,

when

lives is to

use.
especial

all in
specimensof caligraphy,
protectedby a couple of thin wooden

monks, except perhapsin the form of

day before

own

beautiful

me,

be borrowed

monk

receive food.

to

about

carry

each

tank

or

pretext

no

should

well

never

they are

to hving creatures.
suffering

or

They may not drink any water but what has been used for
culinarypurposes : for example, water in which rice or
used for rinsing
have been boiled,or warm
water
vegetables
out cooking-pots.
Such water was
drawn for them, or
not
stored

for them

drinkingit

could

it had

been

bringno

iised

sin to

146

the
so
already,
them.
They may

act
even

of

ASCETIC

such

use

SECTS
for

water

SUBDIVISIONS

That is
spongingthemselves.
under
bath that is permissible
a

approachto

nearest

THEIR

AND

the
any

circumstances.
monks

Jain
any

may

their annual

of Hindus, but

known
sect, generally

own

bit of bread
to be

about

which

thrown

may

lay members
and
wandering monks

in the

when

the

room

be

over

go

of their

they ask

for

and

the last meal

the

loyallysupport

sect

curious

some

them.

One

member

lay

of

rules

the

regulating

these

ascetics

boldly
her presence, and
or
help
may
food is available ; but if the fire is ahght
ascetic should take nothing,and so also

pots and

the

Bhabras, where

nuns,

the house
of a
visiting
without announcing his

himself to what

to
preferably

from

monks

those

as

of

between

intercourse

tramp the

away.

The

the

Hght a fire,for fear of kiUing


be lodgingin the fuel.

to

livingthing that
When
engaged on

to the houses

not

are

be in contact

happen to

pans

enter

may

with

one

another.
Women

must

even

nor

on

their

may

be touched

account

no

garments

come

for

of

rule

And

mutandis, to the
the

When

case

Jain

course

of Jain
monk

of their sect

members

the

who

same

Jain monks,

in contact

serious defilement,only to be atoned


penances.

by

without

and
by fastings

appHes,mutatis

nuns.

dies, his fellows appriseany


may

be

near

at

hand

of the

It is for the stranger


they themselves pass on.
to cremate
or
bury the corpse, or leave it to its fate.
the body when
What
matters
the soul has deserted it ?
There was
of vanityin the manner
of the
a
suspicion
he stated and
old monk
as
explainedto me these facts
about his order,and I felt that he needed
this sustaining
spiritual
prideto help him alonghis difiicultway, not less
difficult for being voluntary. His
personalappearance
the
of
and his attendants
impression great suffering,
gave
all had the same
indeed
contrasting
appearance,
y"tj much
with the ordinarysadhus of other sects.
And
wherefore
this austere
of the world's goods,wherefore all
rejection
this self inflicted misery?
Is it to attain a glorious

event

; but

heaven

blessed existence after death ?


a
hereafter,
147

No

THE
It

MYSTICS,
the

is,as

for the

rebirth

"

souls

and

"

old monk

explainedto

Jain

believes in

to attain eternal

OF

INDIA

only to escape
of
transmigration

me,

the

rest.
"

is sin in this

"It

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

said the yati, and the


life,"

quences
conse-

of sin in

previousexistences that clogand disj"gure


spirit.These have to be got rid of if the soul is

the pure
to be set free.

Suppose,"he

of

impurebutter

how

do

have

we

on,

purifyit,how

we

stuff from the

extraneous

"

went

do

pure

separate

we

We

substance ?

pot

heat

the

fot which contains it,and then the gheeand the impurities


of the vessel.
to the bottom
part asunder, the latter falling
So

heat

must

we

is the

the body, which


affiict)
{i.e.

pot

and the attendant impurities,


both the pure spirit
containing
tillon the furnace of asceticism one is completely
separated

from

Hence

the other.

all to

exemptionfrom

secure

blessed narvana.^^
old monk's

the
an

and
fastings

our

future rebirths and

himself

he

said this, the

he

as

countenance

that

assurance

And

and

his

was

well

on

many

Jain

the

books

his

addressed

and

in the

between

arose

seemed

the way

the

to

the
questions,

of his

the
then

He

same.

course

indicated his disbelief in the


plainly
discussion afterwards

serenityof

selections from

expounded

audience,and

attain

to

placideyes

goal.
longed-for
After courteously
answeringmy
read to the assemblysome
old man
sacred

self-denials,

our

sermon

existence of God.
him

and

panditwho

accompaniedme, with, as might have been expected,a


of Sanskrit learning
resultless display
and subtle dialectics.
I am
quite sure that the uncompromisingatheism of
not shared by all his hearers ; for a day or
the yatiwas
afterwards a Jain layman,who had been present at
two
to me
meeting,came
probably a majorityof

functions
Creator
means

of

God

in

explainedwhat

and

the

the

sect, understood

universe.

the

He

said

he,
to

and

be the

that

the

(evidently
acceptingHis
the

cause

of

or

was
existence)
by no
for the wickedness and
responsible

in this world.
Each
suffering
reward or punishment due to

His sacred law

warned

all men

and
evil-doing,

showed

them

individual soul received the


its

own

acts.

God

through

againstthe consequences
the right
way ; hut He did

148

of
not

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

have

and gone, and

come

SAINTS

AND

nations have

OF

INDIA

and
risen,decayed,

vanished.

And, while the


their

out

taken up the task of working


the women
have not been
emancipation,

own

in the

backward

have

men

same

cause,

but

since times immemorial

wandered
have, alwaysin couples,

Hke the monks

the

over

like them during


the chamasa in the nunneries
country,resting
of their sect.
order

have

doubt

no

path of asceticism.
best authority,
of a

the
very

who, having

age,

husband

as

of

mouth

so

cant
mendi-

sioned
age, disillualso follow
girls

in middle

quiteyoung

For

example, I learned, on the


married girl
of only sixteen years
bent, told her
strong religious

short time

be to her

jointhis

who

women

done

tired of life. But

and

of

of the

Many

that henceforth he would


previously
brother a very significant
in the
expression
Indian woman.
Her husband
acceptedher

"

an

decision,and with her


When

the

new

home

for

ever.

order

was

second

arrangeda

consent

marriage.

wife

arrived,the first one, preparedto


the vanities of this life,
sold her jewelsto the
renounce
value of two thousand rupees, gave a feast and presentsto
the Brahmans, and, adopting
the life of a Punjni,left her
The

attended
The

of enteringthe ascetic
ceremony
convenience
with a good deal of personalin-

luxuriant
girl's

black

had

hair

to

be

pluckedout by the roots ; not a vestigeof eyebrow or


eyelashwas left. After that, she tied a cloth over her
mouth
to
destruction of minute
prevent the possible
and, armed with a besom of cotton threads,
organisms,
started with
or

often

of
quitefifty

met

them

coming from

Sometimes
the

on

sex

of

round

ages
pilgrim-

wanderings.

I have

been

others of her

some

includes

for

nuns

marshalled
or

the

occasion

these

adoptionof

They

must

in the

nunnery

the monastic

once

have

bourhood.
neigh-

life is made

specialdemonstration,which always
procession.The postulant,or perhaps more
a

properlythe novice,is decked


and the costliest jewels,
and
in whatever

in order.

to
returning

road, and

the

on

mode

out

carried

of conveyance
150

in the

he

best of clothes

through the
or

she

may

town

select.

"5.
o

t-l

IZi

1=1

E3
O
o

O
03
P4

THEIR

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

SUBDIVISIONS

made, the candidate is taken to


appointedplace,and there, after being disrobed and
is

the round

When

in the

simplevestments

vows,

and

such

woman

order,takes the prescribed


the senior sadhii present the
illustration (Fig.8) represents

The

in Ludhiana
procession
becoming a Jain nun

The

Jains

divided

are

on

the occasion of

into two

"

the chamar

not

attach

(thebesom) or

any

the

Grihasti

sub-sects
principal

the
(white-robed),
(sky-cladi.e. naked). A yatior monk

does

sadhui.

or

called Sivetambara

one

clad

of the

receives from

of the order.

mantra

some

"

other

Digambara

nomination
of the latter de-

importanceto
particular

and
(mouth veil),
puttiJca

is

receive
alms-bowl.
He must
carry an
The Swetamharis and
his food in the palm of his hand.^

permittedto

not

Digamharisare each subdivided into


to
Jain laitybelong almost exclusively
and the Baniya caste.
the

Hindu

Castes

D.L., pp. 553-55

and

Sects, by Jogendra Nath

1896).
(Calcutta,

151

four orders.
the

The

munity
tradingcom-

Bhattacharjee,M.A.,

CHAPTER

ASCETIC

Section

II.

"

Lingaits,

SECTS

SUBDIVISIONS

THEIR

AND

Hindu

Principal

Particulars

continued

Y lU"

Sects

Aghoris.

lUlfUIMJiat

Hindu

HE

make

ascetic
the

up

India,

and

notice

are

the

Siva

which

Sanyasis

2.

Dandis

3.

Paramahansas

4.

Brahmacharis

5.

Lingaits, followers

6.

Aghoris.

7.

Yogis.

propose

typical examples,

as

following:
or

"

worshippers

of

Sankaracharya.^

of Basava.

worshippers

of Vishnu

"

1.

Sri

2.

Madhavas,

3.

Ramanandis,

4.

Kabir

5.

Ballavacharyas, followers

of

6.

Chaitanites, follov/ers

Chaitanya.

Vaishnavas,

followers

followers

of

of

followers

teacher,

or

more

152

Ramanuja.

Madhavacharya.

of Ramanand.

Panthis, followers

means

Northern

"

followers

Acharya

India,

1.

or

of the

of

particularly

Saivas,

Vaishnavas,

great bulk

more

to

which

sects

sadhus

wandering

"

Brahmacharis,

Paramahansas,

regarding Sanyasis, Dandis,


and

Sikhs

and

Vaishnavas,

Saivas,

of Kabir.

of

Ballavacharya.

properly religious teacher.

of

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

Sikhs,followers of Nanak

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

Dadhu

Panthis,Ram

"

1. Udasis.
2. Nirmalis.

Nihangsor

3.

Akalis.

petty sects known


and Mirabais,referred to
The

as

in the last

not

call for

further notice here.

any

Sanyasis.^

1. The

The
to

do
chapter,

Sanehis,

followers of Sankara, while

Siva,do not, as

Pantheon,

do

nor

the

order is

Vaishnavas

and

truth of

alone the true sadhus of

(as laid down


sanyasistage.
It is

that the

to
properly

All

seem

order, though
such
sub-orders,
caste

as

continuance
^

twice-born
as

follows

the

"

names

on

the listbelong

Sudras

even

it
as

is
the

of the

and

outcasts, may

generallyheld
Ban, Auran,

that

and

some

jointhis
of

the

Saraswati,admit

annual

spring saturnalia lowSanyasistemporarily


duringthe
festival. At such times they undergo

It would

the Sanyasis are


appear that in Benares
commonly
Tribes
Hindu
and
Castes
gosains.
as
representedin Benares,
Rev. M. A. Sherring,
part iii.chap.ii.
as

"

(6) Parvat.
(7) Sagar.
(8) Tirath.
(9) Ashram.
(10) Saraswati.

that the last three

only. At the
become
actually

men

are

the order of the dandis.

Hindus,

Brahmans

theless
never-

divided into

Sanyasisare

(1) Giri.
(2) Puri.
(3) Bharti.
(4) Ban.
(5) Auran (Aranya).
But itwould

"

is known
ordinances)

sub-orders,the Dasnamis, named

ten

It is

its members

the lives of the

in Manu's

held
generally

taining
con-

one,

Tantrics.

even

Shastras

India,probablybecause the closing

in
ascetic period
strictly

castes

the

rather mixed

that
sect, claiming
pretentious

and

the

they deny

generally.Hence
many

the
rule,reject

pajdngspecialhonour
other godsof the Hindu

"

153

known

by

the

MYSTICS,

THE

varietyof

metal

SAINTS

self-inflictedtortures, sucli

skewers

arms

AND

ASCETICS,

through their tongues

OF

INDIA

passingthick

as

the flesh of their

or

sides.

or

Such

facts prove conclusively


the democratic character
of the order and its freedom
of
from the caste prejudices
Hinduism.
read

Granting this,it

in the Pioneer

of

educated, and
elderly,
extraction had
of Swami

by

went

the

to

Swami

had

"

the
Her

as

admitted

Vivikananda, the Bengalisadhu

the Hindus

studied

the

throughIndia.
of

the Puri

to

of India.

The

Upanishads and

the

She

had

customary bowl.

the

would

converted

been

philosophy.
"

beg

to

was

basket

for the purpose


she has been persuaded

But

this intention. She wears


relinquish
dress of the plainest
cut and of
possible
to

necked

who

as

lady,it

doctrines of the Vedanta


pantheistic
intention,"says the Pioneer,
original

her way
instead

an

lady of French
sanyasinunder the name

Congressof Religionsat Chicago

of
representative
appear,

that

well-to-do American

Abhayanda, having been

sub-order

to

Allahabad, earlyin 1899,

to India

come

still quite startling


to

was

a
a

highyellow

colour."
All
food
meat

Sanyasismay

from

Hindu.

any

About

marks

sect

Siva,justabove

badge,a
least

such

beards

berrv.

also,are

allowed

they usuallycarry
latter
seated

very

they

The

partake of
their

flesh

bodies,wear

when

they can get


difference,
they affect in-

eye, like the central

paintan

All wear,

of rudraksha

majorityaccept

forehead

the

nose.

the

not

tigerskin

on

some

the

necklace

one

may
ashes over

rub

robes, and

though
of

and
together,

They

spirits.They

or

salmon-coloured
one.

eat

as

distinguishing
that, at
failing

berries,
or,

hair of their heads, and

to

grow

conch,

or

freely.In
pair of

iron

Sanyasis pointedlydiscard those outward


Hinduism
the jeneu (sacredthread),and the

tongs the
"

they are
ganja}
symbols of

"

on

their

their hands

useful article indeed ; for whenever


lighta fire and proceed to smoke

shikha, a tuft of hair ordinarily


worn

eye

the

chundi
crown

or

of

the head.

When, after
^

The

dried

the postulant
wishes
periodof probation,
hemp-plant, used

for

smoking

like tobacco.

to be received

as

THEIR

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

chelaylie must

SUBDIVISIONS

including
bringan offering

lingam and a rudraksha berry to the Sanyasi whose


Four Sanyasisare required
he wishes to become.
disciple
In their presence the candidate
for the initiatory
ceremony.

has
to

make

to

^in

its vanities

and

"

desires ; for

gitasays,

"

who

one

the

all

the world

hate

tions
worldly affec-

the

Sanyasi,as

does not

determination

renounce

fact, to abandon

and

is

his

of

rules of the order, to

the

observe

declaration

and

Bhagavad-

does not

love

anything."
guru, in fact
"

another

of the sub-orders

him

rubs

thread

over

his

name

new

him,

upon

givenon

of the order ;
togetherwith a

the mantra

ear

distinctive

the first seven

selected from

surname

"

whispersinto

confers

the selected

Sanyasis
officiating

chief of the four

The

previous
page

tions
appella-

; the third

ashes ; the fourth breaks his sacred


thus
off his scalp-lock,
one, and cuts

with

if he have

worldlylife and

from

his completeseverance
symbolising

ordinaryHinduism.
After his initiation the
his

chela is

new

for
principal
guru (preceptor)

wisdom

from

him,

time, in order

serve

to learn

and to
pilgrimages,
order. When
the periodof probation
ceremonies have to be performed,
certain

make

to

follow the rules of the


has

expectedto

more
expired,

post-funeral rites,of the

the shradh, or
including

new

Sanyasi.
The

for the

rules laid down

guidanceof

Sanyasi
six
following
the

variouslystated to me ; but the


and six commandments, as learned from
prohibitions
of the order,may
be regardedas a fair specimenof
they are expectedto observe.
injunctions
have

been

one

the

Six Prohibitions.

couch, under any circumstances.

1. Do

not

sleepon

2. Do

not

wear

3. Do

not

speak to

4. Do

not

sleepduringthe daytime.

5. Do

not

at any

or

6. Do

white clothes.
or

think about

even

time ride

on

horse

in any vehicle whatsoever.


not allow your mind to be

155

women.

or

other animal,

in
agitated

any

way.

THE

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

OF

INDIA

Six Commandments.
1. Leave

Say

4.

day.
Contemplatedailythe
every

likeness

purityand

cleanliness.

6. Perform

the formal

worshipof

death

the

Siva.

gods.

Sanyasiis buried in a
in which the body
receptacle

him

overtakes

image of

or

5. Practise

When

begging

day.

every

prayers

your

3. Bathe

of

sake

food.

necessary

2.

the

only for

abode

your

grave like a pit,with a side


east
to sit up facing
is made
supportedon a wooden rest

the

north-east with its

or

arms

(byragun).Sanyasishave

no

shradh ceremonies

like

ordinaryHindus, these having been performedwhen


admitted
the order ; and
to
Sanyasi was
finally

the

after-death

the

formal

the

other

burial

or

ceremonies,no

feasts which

such

given on

are

ascetic sects, such

occasions

Bairagisand

as

even

by

Yogis,are

omitted.

morning at about ten o'clock I overtook a strange


processionstrangeeven for India wending its way slowly
along the Lahore Mall between the Chief Court and the
led the way,
Cathedral.
A loud brass band
discoursing
music
European music, too ; for it was not difficult to
One

"

"

"

make

the

out

"

in front of

the
over

was

form

was

the

of

three

incense.
on

you."
or

four

They

very

of

moresque

seen
plainly

dead

arch.

There

was

on

front

few

men.

being in

cloth hood

three

in
sadhu, sitting

vacant

contemplationwith

legscrossed in the approved manner.


to the upright back
of the litter and
stringsof flowers,which formed a sort
could

were

that the occupant


so
sides,
exceptfrom behind. And the occupant

open

his

his face but

carrying
marching

men

the shoulders of

the
litter,
unusual-looldng

"

battle, mother,

some

litter borne

it,but it was

could be

came

of sweet

censers

once-popular
song

thinkingmost

was

the musicians

smoking
It

before

Just
I

Behind

of the

tune

not

conceal

156

He
was

tied

was

with

covered

of floral veil

the hideousness

of

over

death,

keepingtime,in

sort of

step of the bearers

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

from
helplessly

rolled

head

the unconscious

as

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

grotesquemockery,to the

they marched

as

side to

side,

measured

slowlyalongthe

wide

road.
On

side of the litter

one

was

respectablydressed natives,who

carriageknown

one-horse

not

may

the other

on

tunic

blue
ekka.

an

as

the female

or

and

policemanin yellow trousers


a

with

may

and
part of the procession,

been

hired landau

some

have

slovenly
in
lolling

little confused

element

predominated,brought
of urchins, stimulated
by
up the rear ; while a number
curiosity,
accompaniedthe cortegeand pointed out the
crowd, in which

dead
on

was

to

one

its way

to

man

would
covered
to

in

with

over

previouslyat

one

Rajamundry,

in

the dead

that occasion

his grave,
him, and earth thrown

in
position

Then

upon

view,

the

of exit from

which

cocoanuts

dead
the

the

man's

soul

the

sadhu

about

piledup

was

nearlycovered

head,

still

exposed to

broken

were

up.

in

order

imprisonedsoul a means
body. The fragmentsof the

afford the

now

useless

had

been

were,

years

many

Presidency.
placed in a sitting

quantityof salt
in tillthe body was
of cocoanuts

seen

Madras

was

top of the shaven

crack the skull and

to

I had

largenumber

party

sittinguprightand
processionbrought

circular grave,
salt. This funeral
a

the

that

spot where the sadhu,a Sanyasi,

similar

recollection

my

On

selected

buried

be

I ascertained

another.

used

for the liberation of the

remember, eagerlysought for by

bystanders.^
It

should

be

that

mentioned

the

burial

practiceof

of these and certain


cremation, in the case
other sadhus, is due to the sentiment that the bodies of
rather

than

purified
by fire.
sadhu, however
ignoranthe may be of
in practice
of what are usually
regardless
do

such sainted personages

Nearly every
however
or
letters,
held

as

the

occasion,can

not

need

to be

is aware
of, and, on
life,
and
parade wise maxims, instructive stories,

essentials of

moral

pithyparablesintended to point the way to


from \dce. Amongst Sanyasis there
^

The funeral ceremonies

chap,xxxvi.

of the Abbe

of

Dubois'

Brahman
Hiyidu

Sanyasi are

virtue

or

is not

described

suade
dis-

found
in

part ii.

Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies.

THE

MYSTICS,

dearth of such ethical

any

; as,
guides

"

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

for

INDIA

example,the

so-

"

assistant gurus of the


or
twenty-fourupa gurus
which
I learned from the mouth
famous muni Dattatreya,
of a Sanyasi,and which, althoughquaintand artless,
seem
and characteristic for partial
sufficiently
interesting
duction
reprocalled

here.
Out

of the

twenty-four
upa

I select the following

gurus

"

Earth.

1. The

is

lesson to be learned from

The

"

this gur^i
the uncomplainingearth suffers

As

patientendurance.

signof resentment, so
should the sadhu be unperturbed
by any ill-treatment and
to.
he may be subjected
indignities
2. The Heavens
(Sky). Into the serene
sky ascend the
gladsounds of mirth, the fierce roar of battle,the beating
and
injuries

affronts

without

any

"

of

of
the clash of swords ; but it retains none
the sadhu, in the midst of the turmoil of life,
should,
and

drums,

them

in like manner,
be

retain

As

"

him,

about

events

mournful.

theyjoyousor
3. Fire.

of the
impression

no

flame

tends

always

to

if the

rise,even

of the
lightedtorch be reverted,so should the aspirations
sadhu always be to higherthings
; and as the pure flame
feeds

all sorts
on
indiscriminately

of the forest as well


the

or

the refuse of the

timber
living
so ought
dung-heap,

food is given to
whatever
accept wdllingly
whether it is stale
reflecting
upon its value,nor

sadhu

him,

as

of fuel,the

to

never

fresh.
4. The

Pigeons. Dattatreyaonce
"

build
pigeons
the young
excursions
fowler.

were
on

The

and

nest

rear

coupleof young
they used

tolerably
grown
the

wing,but

mother

watched

one

day

were

pair of

ones.

to

make

When
short

ensnared

by

bird

the fate of her


returningsaw
brood, and in her anxiety to help them got caught in
the net herself. Her mate, coming on the painfulscene,

lost command

of

if he
as
flutterings
happened.

Now,
as
are

himself,and
too

would

this incident should

to what

he should not

only transient,and

seemed

from

get ensnared,and
be

his
so

excited
it

soon

warningto the sadhu


however
do. Familyties,
tender,
should not affect him, lest they
158

ASCETIC

SECTS

AND

THEIR

bringhim

to the unfortunate

in the net

of the fowler.

5. The

flow into
sadhu

Ocean.

The

"

ocean

end

of the miserable

does

not

diminish if water

it,nor

should not

SUBDIVISIONS

rise when

be drawn

pigeons

the rivers

from

it,so

the

swell with

prideif a number of disciples,


attracted by his fame, gatherround him ; nor, on the other
hand, should he be concerned in the least degreeif they all
departand leave him companionless.
6. The Harlot.
A courtesan
was
sittingone evening
decked in her best clothes waitingfor a visitor. She was
"

all the while

wishingthat

would

someone

to her

come

who

A stream of peoplepassed
would pay her with a liberalhand.
by, but not one called in. Midnightat last arrived,and

the

pondered,"If

woman
disappointed
giveas much thoughtto

now

to

wickedness,what
!

me

of

"

From

the

that moment

fact from

which

the

in

Brahman

to

vouchsafe

not

harlot

changed her

Girl.

seek

may

There

"

should

sadhu

depraved of mortals
changed in heart.
entirely
who,

He

only
unprofitable
were

evil desires,adopteda

the most

7. The

I do

as

blessingsmight

life,and, turningfrom

life;

God

mode

religious

learn that

even

God, and become


once

was

to

Brahman

requiredby Hindu custom, had givenhis daughter


The girl
of his own
ever,
caste.
marriageto a man
was, howstill residing
in her father's house when
member
a
as

of her husband's

child-

wife

to

The
familyarrived unexpectedly.
the visitor
alone, and, havingrequested

was

seated, retired
prepare

modestly
food

some

into

for him.

inner

the
There

apartments

was

be
to

flour in the

no

wheat in an oklee
house, so she proceededto pound some
made
clatter as she
a
(mortar). Her choorees (bangles)
pursuedher labours,and she felt ashamed of thus seeming
to

the

attract

the

attention.
stranger's

but
bangles,

She

stillthe clatter went

on

removed
;

of

some

she took

off

few more, but the tinkle of the metal ringsdid not cease,
until she had only one left on her wrist. Then there was
peace and quietness.Thus it is in life. The
live alone if he desire serenity
and contentment
8. The

insects to

Bhringhi. This
"

its nest, and

creature

is said to

sadhu should
of mind.
carry

dead

then, by humming persistently


159

THE

into their

for

ears

again.^ What a
treya. Surely he
who

INDIA

OF

bringthem back to life


lesson for the sadhu !
thoughtDattashould, by persistent
teaching,bring
day or

two,

in sin and

dead

are

SAINTS

to

"

"

men

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

worldliness back

God

to

and

life.
spiritual

2. The

This

from
exclusively

is recruited

sect

Dandis.

danda,

the

each

staff,which

or

Brahman

It derives its name

caste, yet it discards the sacred thread.


from

the

member

is

required

to carry.

dandiwallahs
Theoretically,
day, and
placefor a single

one

should

settle down

not

the danda

even

in

should not

be allowed to rest,but should be stuck erect in the ground


be suspended
from a tree.^ In practice,
or
however, these
rules
found

of dandis

and largenumbers
neglected,

are

at

time

any

in

Benares, where

be

to

are

importantghdt

an

Gangesis named after them. The


dandis,I have been assured,do not worshipSiva,but only
their own
danda.
If this be correct, the explanation
is
probablythat the danda is regarded
by them as the phallic
or

bathingplaceon

of the

emblem

Dr. J. W.
to

worshipany
^

not

the

god.

Bhattacharjee
says the dandi
god,and that after initiation

My inquiriesrespecting the
met

with

Indians

success.

it appears to me
that the habits of some
have
rise
to the belief which
given
possibly

opportunityfor

lesson in holiness to the sndhus.

{ammophila, for example) are known


unconsciousness
before carrying them
the family,and
2

well

happen

to sometimes
to their

that

some

nests

of the

solitary
wasps

gives Dattatreya an
These solitary
wasps
stingtheir prey into
to

serve

of these victims

as

food for

revive

in the

been restored to life by their captors.


In regardto the danda, Sir Monier Williams in his Buddhism
(Preface,
and

nest

it may

he

required
is supposed

insect referred to have


very interesting
have not been very careful observers of

nature, and
may

is not
"

might

seem

to have

"

xiii)says :
Finally,there is the danda or staff held in the left hand,
and used by a Sanyasi as a defence againstevil spirits,
much as the done
monks.
This mysticalstaff is a
Buddhist
(or vajra)is used by Northern
bambu
with six knots, possiblysymbolicalof six ways
{gati)or states of
p.

life through which

it is believed

belief

both

to

common

sudarsana

(a

name

of its
preservation

that

Brahmanisra

for Vishnu's

being may
every
and
Buddhism.

cakra),and

mysteriouspowers."
1 60

is

have

The

to

migrate
"

staff is called

daily worshippedfor

the

THE

Dandis
to

rule

as

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

bury

their dead,

or

On

of the

commit

bathe

and

ceremonies

the

body-

death

jointhe sect, has only to

can

and

his clothes

to

wash

or

observances

3. P

danda.

requiredof

are

ARAMAEANS

much

or

which

can

hansa,

from

said,it would

seem

truth
distinguish

paraina,

milk ;
that the Paramahansa

separatewater

is

admitted

this

to

Vishnuvites

Sivites and

who

one

can

falsehood.^

from

Sanyasis,dandis, and other ascetics who


a
probationof usuallynot less than
be

that the

me

meaning
animal
(mythological)
whence, as my pandit

certain

further

him.

explainedto

of this sect is derived from the words

great,and

No

AS.

Sanskritist

learned Indian

may

INDIA

of any relative,
the
be fatherless and motherless,wifeless

receivingnews

dandiwallah,who must
before he
and childless,

name

OF

sacred stream.^

some

SAINTS

have

gone
under-

twelve

years,

order, in which
superior
their

merge

both

differences
religious

based on the presumption


self
comprehensive
-worship,
of each Paramahansa' s identity
with the Divine Spirit.
have of necessity
to be supported
Such high pretensions
discomfort
visible proofof superiority
to physical
by some

in

happens that
^

that

weaknesses

the

and

members

some

practiceswould

These

of the use
prohibition
2
hansa
means
Ordinarily
of
the
members
pretensions
strict

mystic says,

"

The

the

the

extracts

paddy

bird drinks the mire."

for

more

In the science

ha.
expiration
roots

goose

be

consequence

paddy

about

and

as

bird

are

the milk

of
from

one

colour and

the

"

frolic
the

in the

of breath the technical symbol for


It is easy
ah.

The

to

see

current

how
of

is sa, and
inspiration
these symbols are connected
with
the life-wave
spoken of above is

is,the motion

of ha and

and

ha and

F.T.S.,London,

of the

water, and

sa.

is taken
is made
much
to mean
God,
so
works, is only a symbolic representationof the two

of life

naked

"

which

Sanskrit

go

it

so

Wilson's

"

technicallycalled hansachasa, that


HANSA,

of this sect

Sects of the Hindus, p. 55.


of the word hansa is to be found
fanciful interpretation

followingextract

the

and

to ;

a goose, a signification
which, in view of the
of the sect, may
at least be noted.
Kabir the

goose and

pool ;

heir

a
necessary
of fire by these sectaries.

same

"

to

seem

in the

flesh is

sa."

"

The Science of Breath,by Rama

1890, p. 22.

162

The

word

of in many
eternal processes

Prasad, M.A.,

SECTS

ASCETIC

SUBDIVISIONS

affect to live without

weathers,some

in all

THEIR

AND

eatingfood

kind, others observe strict silence and do

any

of

indicate

not

sign any physicalneed or suffering.There


be impostorsamong
them, but honest ascetics are
may
not wanting; and
so
great is the respect and
certainly
by

even

which

admiration

the

from
allowed

the

self-denial of

Hindus, that

the
experience

to

these

they

full

of the

measure

voluntaryasceticisms.
Amongst the Paramahansas

are

learning.These

in Sanskrit

ever

physical

be attached

to their

scholars well

versed

be

usuallyto

are

mands
com-

if

seldom

are

would, in ordinarycourse,

evils which

sadhus

found

in

monasteries.

bury their dead,


runningstream.

Paramahansas
away

some

upon

float their bodies

or

4. Brahmacharis.

for the conduct

In the ideal scheme

by

the

it will be found
devoted

study,the

known

vedic

as

Brahmachari.

summarised

on

p.

15,

periodof

that

to

and

lawgiverManu

the Hindu

of life prescribed

earlyyouth is to be
student,livingon alms, being

But

Brahmacharis

of this sort

disappearedfrom India ; those who now


practically
belong either to an inferior ministering
go by the name
order created by Sankara to serve
as
helpsand companions
to Sanyasisand Paramahansas, or they form a class apart
amongst the Tantric sects of Bengal.

have

5. Ling

AITS.

the
tinguishing
disBeing strongly opposed to Brahmanism,
badge of this sect is a lingam fastened to
is called the linga
the neck or arm
by a thread which
sacred thread
or
sutram, as opposed to the yajna sutram
"

of

known
with

Brahmans."

hand

to
1

mendicant

vaders,meaning

as

smaU

The

beUs

attached

to

masters

their

advertise their presence.

Dr. J. N.

monks

Hindu
Bhattacharjee's

163

or
arms

They
Castes and

of

tlds sect,

lords, go
or

about

carried in the

receive from
Sects, p. 397.

the

THE

MYSTICS,

AND

ASCETICS,

lay lAngaitsthe

SAINTS

OF

extravagant veneration

most

worsliip.
The
seen
Jangamas, who are occasionally
to be
India,are stated by Dr. Bhattacharjee
of the sect."

and
austerities,

about

go

the

illustrations at

and

at

p.

of the

52

They
the

married

are

well

will be
of

commencement

of this volume.

In

that, when
givealms to Brahmans,

marriagedesired to
appeared; the god thereupontore
produced therefrom

open

whom

man

he

no

districts,the

other

castes."

the

doubt, was

theyhave

Malabar

and

very numerous.
they abstain from animal

"

defilements

Brahmans

Lingaitsare

Accordingto the Abbe Dubois,


do
food, bury their dead, and
relatingto

Preface

leg (janga)and
called Jangama, to

templeand monastery of their own.


In Southern
in
India, especially

Coromandel

from

seen

his

he

Upper
priestly

given to

the

his alms,"
and this man,
no
gave
At
the
Kedarnath
in Garwal
the father of
sect.

whom

even

regard to the name


Shiv (Siva)at his

is said

sect, "it

the

not

men

clad,as

and

in

"

Sudras

INDIA

which

recognisethe laws
generallyacceptedby

not

are

rites.^
post-burial

no
They practise

6. Aghoris.
at the present
Regardingthe existence and practices
day of this ancient and repulsivesect, the following
conducted
extract
from a newspaper
entirely
by Indians

affords information
"

shows

The

loathsome

that

:
"

story of

time

human

the influence of the

died out
completely
some

past

human

in this

ghoulfrom

Aghorpanthihas

country.

graves

have

Patiala
not

yet

It is said that for

been

found

robbed

of

their contents, and the mystery could not be solved until


the poKce succeeded in arresting
the other day, when
a
child's grave some
a
desecrating
forty
The
miles distant from the capital
(Patiala).
ghoul not
only did not conceal the undevoured portionof the corpse
in the

man

Report on

act

of

the Census

of the Punjab, by E. D. Maclagan, I.C.S.,p.

116.
2

Hindu

Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies,part i. chap. ix.

164

ASCETIC

he had

SECTS

with

AND

THEIR

him, but told his captors the whole story of

He
is a
his gruesome
career.
Ram
to
Nath, and is,according
*

mild
singularly

a
'

red-eyedand

find him
He

from

became

and

from

the
the

When

caste, who

own

graves

in

Nath

was

the sadhus
on

deserted

human

carrion

hungryvulture.
gets two

of

seers

him

the

to

human

eat

him,

instead of

The

of

flesh, which

meat

procured

was

villagesthey passed through.

thoroughlyeducated
him.

Since then

he

cooked

cannot

eat

meat

from

raw

saw

Aghorevidently

only,roaming about

He

named

fell into the hands


were

their food.

stapleof

Ram

gentlemanwho

orphan at five,and

of his

Hindu

he had expectedto
as
savage,'
of his disgusting
propensities.

accounts

panthis.They taught
formed

low -caste

man,'
respectful-looking

ravenous

the

an

sadhus

two

SUBDIVISIONS

in this taste
been

has

living

the country like a


food,and therefore

the State every

day.

It

is also

reported that Sirdar Shamshere


Singh, private
to
the
Maharajah,has now forbidden to givehim
secretary
anythingbut ordinary
jailfood,with a view to reforming
him.'
The ghoul is,however, determined to starve rather
'

than eat what

he has not been

Strange as
habits of the
of

outcome

it

may

Aghorisare
a

desire

to

seem,
a

accustomed
the

direct and

push

the

to."

disgustingly
repulsive
if horrible,
legitimate,

doctrines
pantheistic

of

the Vedanta

to their logical
conclusions in a
philosophy
certain direction.
in existence is only a
If everything
manifestation
of the Universal
be
Soul, nothing can
"

unclean

!"

So

the

Aghorpanthi,and he proves
the uncompromisingsincerity
of his convictions by his
acts.
repellent
pophagy,
anthroCases, few and far between, of necrophilism,
and
unknown
not
to
mental
coprology are
in Europe ; but it is, perhaps,only in India
pathologists
that such perverted
instincts could be made the basis of a
sect.
religious
argues

The

date
considerable
back
to
can
a
Aghorpanthis
time of importance
at any
but, though never
antiquity,
have not escapedthe notice of Europeans in
numerically,

India.

Of

these
1

The

cannibal

Tribune

sadhus, Moor,

(Lahore),29th November

i6s

who
1898.

identifies

THE

MYSTICS,

them,

no

as

doubt

with
incorrectly,

follows in his Hindu


"

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

the Paramahansas, writes

Pantheon

:
"

difficultit may
be for an Englishreader to
believe the hitherto unrecorded story of the flesh-abhorring
However

Hindus,

only do

not

Brahmins

of the

human

of the

other castes

flesh,and

themselves,eat
flesh.

Hindus, but

do not

even

sect

one

at

kill human

subjects
to eat, but they eat such as they find about the Ganges
and other rivers,
and near
Benares they are not unusually
down the river on a corpse, and feedingupon
seen
floating
the
human
brain is judged by these
its flesh ; and
delicious morsel of
epicureancannibals to be the most

least eat

unsocial

their
and

by

are

no

contrary,are

high

They

banquet. They

esteemed,

at

the

Whether

one.

tribe ; but, on the


despicable
any rate by themselves, a very
exaltation
be
or
legitimate,

low

means

individuals

assumed

by

holy and

sanctified acts, I

I beheve

the latter,as

individuals

of

called Paramahansa,

are

in

of

consequence

preparedto

not

am

I have

state ; but

other instances where

known

sects, by perseveringin
differing

piety,or

have

penance,

or

penance

been

deemed

ordinary
extra-

incapable

of sin."
The

of the Agliorpanthis
presentheadquarters
appear

be at Mount

to

and

formed

the

eatingof

claim to
"

flesh.

Bhattacharjee,that

cleanhness

as

of them

"

N.

who

Some

by eatinghuman

power

J.

Abo.

as

magical
acquire

fact

The

Dr.

is," says

inculcated

Brahmanism

wholesome

to

food, the Aghoris,


'

'

of the sects

setting
shops
opposition
up
it were, insisted on the utmost
of
a
nd
hoped
degree filth,
the peopleand not by gaining
gain alms by horrifying

their

one

^
respect."

preparedto say how much truth there may


be in this opinion,
but certainly
there is no denpng that
the Aghoris are
only too successful in extortingmoney
from peoplewho have a supreme
dread of them, and would
much
1

am

not

rather accede
Hindu

Castes

and

to

their demands

Sects, pp.

393, 394.

the reader may


refer
Aghor'panthis
W. Crookes' Popular Religionand

to

Ward's

than
On

them

carry

subject of

these

see

the

Hindus,

p. 296, and

Folk-lore of Northern

p. 172.
1 66

Mr.

India, vol. ii.

ASCETIC

or

of

their threat

out

THEIR

AND

SECTS

eatingin

SUBDIVISIONS

their presence

offal
disgusting

foul carrion.
Women

known

these

ghouls,and

than

their male

as
are

Aghorinisare
and
as
as
filthy

companions.

167

often associated with


even

more

shameless

CHAPTER

III.

Section
West

and

Yogis

"

Yoga

Vidya

Yoga

Soul

the

be

may
and

Yogis

how

Union

accomplished
of

Practices

of

Vidya

and

Rules

UDGING

from

certain

Yogi

attracted

Europe

and

the

as

is

concentration,
the

such

to

of

also, without

regarded
of

scendental
tran-

United

their

lative
super-

is

in

ing
grow-

which

rationale

the

subHminal

of

ness,
consciouswith

Self, rapport

disguise, the

botli
yoga

the

there

as

their

in

be

In

years,

expression

subjects

the

and

publications

breathing,

psychic

perception

and
of

given

of

of

and

to

industrialism,

prominence

notwithstanding

class

modern

the

attention

Hinduism.

States,

Allcipline
Dis-

recent

come

highest

the
the

literature

America,

have

"

sect.

in

somehow

teachings

of

Yogis

have,

of

Origin

current

class, the

doctrines

with

Pretensions

of the

tion
Emancipa-

"

Soul

probable

The

"

the

religious Aspiration

individual

and

"

Yogaism

Hindu

the

Details

Yoga

History, Customs,

"

of

in

attention

attracting

underlying

Object

supreme

teaches

Vidya

Spirit

the

Yogis

"

Ideas

Pliilosophico-religious

"

of

continued

Y 111"

Raja

versal,
Uni-

the

Yoga

system

India.
The

the

Yogi,

type

representative

or

It

is therefore

of

the

Yogis

should

may

be

consistent

as

Hindu
^

The

has

moreover,

very

been

of

the

desirable
be

set

with

the
here

are

in

the

ideas
as

and

West
of

as

India.

practices
clearly

fully and

brevity.

philosophico-religious ideas,
Yogis

the

religiousascetics

that
forth

in

accepted

vernaculars

of

jogia.
1

68

Northern

involved
India

as

ordinarily

they
called

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

counterpart,it still retains the taint of its corporeal


existence
tliat is to say, the affinities,
and
proclivities,
"

developed in

tendencies

in the

ordinarybut

forces

of

Now,

nature

during its earthlysojourn.

it

eternal interaction of the

these
and
tativas
pranas
about the reincarnation of the

the

"

"

bring
acquiredqualities
subtle invisible body along with
united.

But

event,

for the

this dire
subtle
so

the

it

tendencies,as
Who

do

can

from

"

trammels

that

undesirable

most

the influence of the senses,


all
lose all attachment
to thingsmundane

that it may

this ?

it is

which

hardship. Escape, however, from


possible,
providedthe
fortunately

calamity is
body be only freed

earthward

the soul to

soul, rebirth is

terrible

most

plex
com-

of

is to

were.

the

set

is to

soul

It is the

soul which

work

must

plish
accom-

free from

sukshma-sarira

worldlyaffections ?

it ; it is the

who

But

alone

out

its

salvation.

own

Before

it,then, lies the task of weaning the subtle

body completelyfrom the hopes and fears,the affections


and desires,
of earthlylife. To regainits freedom it must
the subtle
the impressions
succeed in effacing
made
upon
the attractions of
body duringits earthlylife,in annulling
and destroying
the
carnality

forces which

make

for rebirth.

successive
take ages and strenuous
efforts in many
lives to accomplishthis ; but, when
it is finally
attained,
It may

of the gross body,


to this earth, but will be

after the dissolution


sukshma-sarira,

the

will have

no

tendencyto

return

merged in the soul, and that again,released from every


will become
reunited with the Allhampering impediment,

Spirit.
A

presentment of the relations of the soul,the body,

which evidentlyappeals
to the peculiar
Spirit,
voluptuoussentimentalism of the Bengalinature, deserves a
passingnotice

and the Great

"

"

The

Ghose,

soul,"says

"

is attached

recent

the

to

writer,Babu

body,

and

Shishir Kumar

naturallyfeels

great attraction for it. But

its real

partner is

Spiritof

soul of

man

woman,

the

whose

the Great

universe.

The

lover is the

Soul, viz. God.

body, but
But

170

the

Great

is likened to
whose

husband

is

she, the soul, undutifully

SECTS

ASCETIC

AND

forsakes her wedded


the

body.

the

woman

from

her with her lawful

the Great

or

One

of

way

Spirit.
attemptingto

her lover is to

make

and

cleaves

Iter

to

gallant,

of yoga is to detach
practice
soul)from her lover (the human

(the human

Brahma,
"

husband

SUBDIVISIONS

objectof the

The

body),reunite

THEIR

husband, the Great Soul,

...

detach

faithless woman

her; another

with

reason

is to

way

The
to her.
Advaitahadees
gallantdisagreeable
follow the methods mentioned justnow, in order to detach
the soul (woman) from her gallant,
the body. (1) They
with their souls ^ and persuadethem to beheve that
reason
her

their undue
their

attraction for the

for
happiness,

the

body
does

body

conduce

cannot

for

endure

not

to

ever.

all sorts of mortifications upon their


(2) they practise
bodies,and therebyprevent the soul to derive any pleasure

And

from

its union

herself from
the

Great

therewith.

to detach

soul,thus driven

The

body, is slowlyand graduallyled towards


Spirit,for the purpose of being united
the

thereto."

accomplishmentof the supreme


objectof Hindu
as
religious
aspiration,
explainedin the foregoing
paragraphs,
successive
to the soul in many
giveoccupation
may
lives ; but if a struggle
in the rightdirection
transitory
in any
Kfe here
be steadilymaintained
below, it
one
the task in succeedinglives all the easier,since
makes
The

the

cultivated in

tendencies

easilytrained in
established.
finally

more
are

Evidentlythe

embodied

one

the next

endeavour

and

one,

existence
so

on,

are

till they

that is,
perfection,

towards

emancipation of the soul, involves the


cultivation of apathy (vairagya),
with the crushingout of
all human
affections,
desires,and lusts,and the complete
of the mind
detachment
from all earthlythings.
of the
This conclusion gives us
the key to much
higher rehgiousideas of the Hindus, and also makes
towards

"

They

here, a
reason

the

new

reason

with their souls ! "

third party

with and

There

interveningbetween

persuade the former.

Yet

value, illustrating
as it does the very
even

doctrines
philosophical

of minds

steeped in

can

be

is

queer
the soul

the above

sensuous

confusion
and

the

extract

imagery by

of ideas

body

to

is not

out
with-

which

alone

brought home to the comprehension


worshippers.

the ideas of the Sakta

171

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

their universally
accepteddoctrine of karma,
intelKgible
in a previous
chapter,all
accordingto which, as explained
time or
bear their fruit at some
actions good or bad must
other in the

in future lives ;

present or

doctrine which

accounts
for morahty, and
intelligibly
certainlymakes
which
for the striking
and apparentlyunjustinequalities
human
societyand individual historypresent.

it
foregoingexplanation,

the

After
understood

that

emancipationof
should
All-Spirit
from

mind

the

desirous

everyone

of

will

be

easily
final

the
effecting

into the
reabsorption
the
calculated to wean
follow practices
distractions and seductions of its earthly
his soul and

its

environment.

being accepted,some
generalprinciples
eager
in
emotional
natures
impatientof delays,some

These
minds
love

with

the

deemed

have
Infinite,

it

effect

to
possible

the individual soul and the


mysticalunion between
in its corporeal
while the formeris imprisoned
even
All-Spirit,
a

frame ;

for the

and

desirable

is
objects,

as
accepted

The

attainment

union, and

means

yoga

Patau

jaliand

Yogis.

the

by

highestof

this,the

system devised by

the

authoritative

word

of

first

in

occurs

Upanishads.^Yoga Vidya is a complex system


exercises for
of philosophical
doctrines and
practical
the individual soul
union between
promoting or effecting
and the All-Spirit.
the later

"

described

As

by

Brahmavadin, p. 511
present,of four kinds

Rama-Krishnananda

Svamin

consists,as

seq., it

in the

at
practised

Hatha-

Mantra, Laya, Raja, and

certain word
a
Mantra-yogaconsists in repeating
of deity,
word expressive
a
again and again,particularly
and
it. Laya-yoga
all one's thoughtson
concentrating
is the consecrating
all one's thoughtson
a
thing or the
yoga.

idea of
Here

to
our

thing,so

again the

of the

God.

that

ideal

Godhead,

are

image

the mind.

attention

It

in

Weber's

almost

observed

Literature,
p. 239.

172

breath
when

that

anythingnew

Indian

with

one

it.

expressive
god,or names
in
producingabsorption

the
controlling

was

suddenly on
^

of

the best, as

Rdja-yogaconsists

control

become

we

we

so

as

fixing

hold

our

ASCETIC

AND

SECTS

breath,and it

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

that concentration
therefore,
supposed,
of the mind would be sure
to follow the holding
back of
the breath, or the prdndydma. Hatha-yogais concerned
with the generalhealth of the body, and is supposed to
produce concentration by certain postures of the body,
the tipof the
by fixingthe eyes on one point,particularly
and

nose,

was

similar contrivances."

who practises
one
Yogi properlymeans
yoga with the
objectof unitingor blendinghis soul with the Divine
Spiritor World-Soul.
however, the practiceof ijoga is not
Very curiously,
undertaken by all Yogis,nor is it confined to the professed
of the system is an article of faith so
Yogi. The efiicacy
India,that other sectarians,
acceptedthroughout
universally
married
and householders,
men
includinglaymen, even
resort

it when

to

the founder
as

of the

even

the Brahmo

inclined,and it

so

quiterecent

Samaj,Babu

Keshab

be added

may

theistic sect

Chundra

that

known

Sen, practised

yoga.

Now

union

individual
and

with

soul, must
Hence,

powers.

book, the

and

H.

When

H.

from

explainedin
the

another

Hindu

world

knowledge of
far-reaching

almost

unlimited

sway

over

the

men

phenomena.^
"

mystic union
the Yogi is

clog of

command
himself

make

have

as

them,
and

this

Wilson,
the

entire

to

of nature

natural
"

if accomplished
by any
All-Spirit,
enhance
its
surely
susceptibilities

claim, and
Yogis naturally

readilyconcedes
secrets

the

material
over

can

effected,"says Professor

liberated in his

incumbrance, and

He
can
worldly substance.
the lightest
substances,heavier

become

as

vast

all space,
traverse
can
pleases,
his spirit
into
by transferring

it from

render

attain

himself

livingbody
acquiresan

all

than
lighter

than the heaviest ;

is

can

invisible,can

or

animate
his
all

as

minute

any
own

dead

he

as

body

frame, can

objects,become

with the past,present,


and future,and is
equallyacquainted
united with Siva, and consequently
finally
exempted from
being born againupon earth. The superhuman faculties
^

Professor Max

Indian

Miiller's The Life and

Sayingsof Bamakrishna, p.
Life,Rdigiousand Social (T. Fisher Unwin, London).

^7Z

8.

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

in various degrees,
to the greater
according
acquired,
with which the initiatory
less perfection
or
processes have
^
been performed."
Indian exponent of Rdja-yogahas summed
A recent
are

objectof

the

up

"

statement

than

the system in the

The

master

to

of nature."

himself no
less a task
Yogi proposes
the whole universe,to control the whole

Every Yogi does


since

such

not

that

maintain

of the

There

its rules.

to

set up

pretender.The

rather in favour

up

for

being a thaumaturgist,
might easilybe tested to the
pretension

confusion of the
are

following
comprehensive

to

"

yoga

system

and

however,

are,

cannot

claim and

the concession

of any

who

act

who
sceptics

some

be effective in this kali yuga,

^
age of sin."
The apparent

or

originand developmentof the practical


of attention.
system or method of the Yogis is deserving
most
from that obviously
Starting
importantvital function,
Hindu
to have
observed
some
respiration,
sages appear
in the followingway.
The
and reasoned somewhat
air
least contains the
at
inhaled is evidentlythe life,or
vital
air

in
principle

death, and

means

subtle

some

with

form ; for deprivation


of
the last expiration
the living

Now
this air penetrates the
corpse.
corporealframe, and is easilydiscoverable in the chest,

body

becomes

bowels, and elsewhere. But


not stagnant. It possesses
breath is apparently

the

stomach, the

this lifesome

sort

beingdrawn into the chest throughthe nostrils


and exhaled through the same
of the
apertures. Some
ob\dous structural details of the lungswith
largerand more
of motion,

its

branchingtubes
chambers

also the

vessels

have been
may
of the heart with

channels
suggesting

the vital air,and

of centres

in their
Reflecting,

process of
1

for the

noticed,and
the

possibly

great connected
of prana,

movements

for its concentration.

peculiar
way, on the mysterious
which was
supposedto be a law of
respiration,
own

Sketch of the ReligiousSects of the Hindus


p. 131.
Swami
Lectures
Vivekananda,
Rdja-yoga.
by
p. 11
y

(Longmans

Co., London).
2

Hindu

Castes and

Sects, by Dr. J. N.

174

Bhattacharjee,
p. 402.

"

parts of

many

facts known

dim

founders
the

with

on

them,

the

stock

meagre
also
possibly

to

"

of

"

body in

ethers,circulate in the human

subtle

of air in

presence

guidedby
conceptionof fluid circulation in the body, the
of Yogaism have concluded and taughtthat along
air the primal forces of nature, represented
by

anatomical
some

body, and

the

SUBDIVISIONS

the undoubted

universe, on

t'le entire

THEIR

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

multitude

from the navel.


of \^essels(nadis)springing
The

functions of these

and

uses

imaginarynadis

veying
con-

through the material system are,


if somewhat
sve
indefinitely,
as
might expect,confidently,
to believe these purelyspeculative
described. If we
are
anatomists, the nadis divide and subdivide as they proceed,
the subtle ethers

degreesof
just 72,000. According to other

sum-total

till the

magnitude, number

of them, of different

equallycompetent authorities,the number of these nadis


com-os
up to 727,210,201,and they have their root in the
at various
and not the navel. Intersecting
heart
points,
these ramifyingvessels form plexusesknown
as
padmas
which act as centres of force for the
kamalas (lotuses),
or

performanceof
and

/moral
Thus

we

functions.
physiological

the

also exist in
intellectual powers
read in the Vishram-opnishat
the

mind

is white in

in

rests

the

colour,then

which
petal),
reverence.
generosity,
patience,
"

2. While

the mind

and
tc-^rpor,

eastern

system.

portion(or

it is inclined towards

in the south-eastern

rests

it is incHned

is red in colour, then

whicl

the

of

"

''1. While

Centres

portion,

towards

sleep,

evil inchnation."

of pure assumption is built a


and guidingthe currents of the pranas
science for regulating
this foundation

Upon

and

tatwas

at

will,along the multitudinous


that

hum

-an

harm

ful effects upon


the
fact of the soul and

the
in

organism,so

fleshytenement, and

tioi 1 of Self ; or, in other

theJ

nadis

of the

they might produce the

mind, minimise
the

the evil done

subtle

The

]V[ax Muller's

Science of Breath,

by

body being sojourners


bringthe soul to a reahsawith
its identity
words, to perceive
thus

Supreme Self.^
^

least

by

Rama

Ramakrishna,

Prashad, M.A.,

p. 46.

175

pp.

42, 43.

described
actually
practices

The

referred to

science above
such

are

of

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

as

tend

in

for the attainment

insightthe

what

the adepts who

from
entirely

exercises have
will be

them
prescribed

th

"

of samadhi

or
events, favouringtherebya
objects
trance.
or
self-hypnotism

With

INDIA

with
conformity

abstract the mind

to

OF

been

rounding
sur-

condition

devised

apparent

by
it

when

of
continued suppressions
longbreath, and the performanceof the functions of respiration
and
of
modes
tion
inspiraminutelyprescribed
by peculiar
nostrrls
and
expirationthrough the rightand left

is stated that these involve

the

in no
less tnan
; that they include posturing
respectively
different attitudes ; also the frequent,even
eighty-four

mental
millionfold,

of
repetition
of

prolongedconcentration

the

the

mystic syllableom,

visual attention

on

near

objects for example,the navel or the tip of the nose


combined
strain imposed upon
with an equallysevere
in protracted
efforts to listen to sounds
auditorynerves
"

the

the
in

themselves.

ears

there is

Then

illustrated by the
"

"

Imagine a

the
meditation,

nature

of which

may

be

example :
following
"

lotus

the

upon

top of the head, several

inches up, and virtue as its centre, the stalk as knowledge.


The eightpetalsof the lotus are the eightpowers of the
renunciation.
and pistils
are
Yogi. Inside the stamens

Yogi refuses the external powers he


salvation. So the eightpetalsof the lotus
If the

the

powers,

but

internal

extreme

renunciation

is Om,

name

the

effulgent
light.Meditate
There

is

by

the

and

soHtude, a
^

In

defined
it

means

no

of that

to

eight
the
lotr^s

reason

to

surrounded
Inexpressible,
on

that."

deny

that

with

by

such meditati' ons,

referred to above, carried ou t in


practices
state of self-hypnotisation
might be attain ed,

Philosophy (p. 141) samadh i is


Vivekanai
ida,
meditative absorption." According to Swami
th
is
used
as
it
Williams
e
Sir
Monier
super-consciousness. By

Professor

Max

Muller's

Indian

"

as

the

art
pistils

Inside

of all these.

are

come

He
One, the Almighty,the Intangible,

think of the Golden


whose

and

stamens

will

equivalentof trance.
'^
Rdja-yoga,by Swami

Vivekananda,

176

pp. 91, 92.

THE

MYSTICS,

after

unity of

ASCETICS,

AND

consciousness.'

of the brain works

with

In

such

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

ecstasythe excited

par

violence that

it suppresses
of all the rest of the brain. The ecstatic
the functioning

subject is completelyinsensible to external stimuli.


is no
There
no
no
perception,
representation,
groupingof
into concepts,and of conceptsinto judgments
presentations
and reasoning.A single
or
presentation
tions
group of presentaconsciousness.
fills up
These
of
are
presentations
distinctness and

extreme

clearness.

Consciousness

is,as

it were, flooded with the blinding


hght of mid-day. Tiere
therefore takes placeexactlythe reverse
of what has bt/3n
noticed in the

of the

case

is associated

state

which

extremelyintense

highest bliss

the

emotions

with

ordinarymystic. The

accompany

of the

of
decomposition
an

mixed

nerve-nutriment.

example of

the

Ihese

ing
excessive functionviolent

The

nerve-cell. In

the

are

are
functions,

adaptedthat they exercise no

so

pain.

in

tuousness
feehngof volupphenomena accompan^'ing

the sexual nerve-centres

conformablywith their

emotions

and
extraordinary

in
extraordinary
decompositions
persons

with

strong and

every

-cells,every

nerve

is

is

ecsta+^'c

so

uniform

healthy
which,

only ones

differentiated and

activity,
lasting

or

but, for by far the greatestpart of the time, are perfect!}


of nutriment,in order,
storing
tranquil,
up largequantities
to decompose this suddenlyand,
duringvery short periods,
it were, explosively.
which operates
Every nerve-centre
would procure
in this way
us
voluptuous emotion ; but
as

which

sexual nerve-centres, none


this manner,
Among the

in order to

more

the

are,

except the

compelledto act in
the purpose of the organism.
morbidly
contrary,particular

operatein

are

this way,

and

the

emo

ions

their explosiveactivity
are
dehght which accompany
in proportion
the
as
powerfulthan sexual feelings,

brain-centres

sensitive than

more

are

One

sluggishspinalcentres.

more

the
a

serve

on
degenerate,

excited brain-centres
of

there

healthypersons

precisely
among

of

assurances

the subordinate

and

lieve
completelybe-

may

such
great ecstatics,

as

St. Theresa,

that
Ignatius
Loyola,

the bliss ing


accompanyand
their ecstatic visions is unlike anythingearthly,

Mohammed,

almost

more

an

than

mortal

can

178

bear.

This

latter state-

ASCETIC

AND

SECTS

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

of the sharp pain


they were^conscious
which accompaniesnerve-action in over-excited brain-cells,
be distinguished
careful analysis,
in
and which, on
may
of pleasure.The circumstance
every very strong feeling
that the only normal organicsensation known
to us which
resembles that of ecstasy is the sexual feehng,explains
their ecstatic presentations
the fact that ecstatics connect
by way of association with the idea of love,and describe
the ecstasyitself as a kind of supernatural
act of love,as
of an ineffably
a union
high and pure sort with God or the
to God
Blessed Virgin.This drawing near
and the saints
is the natural result of a religious
which begets
training,
the habit of lookingon
as
inexplicable
everything
natural,
superit into connection with the doctrines
and of bringing
ment

that

proves

of faith." 1

Taking
incKned

to

phenomena

all the

facts into

conclude

that from

emotional
neurotic

to

marvellous

Indians, and

themselves
world

discovered, once

Once

the

past many

generalterm
that

the

of the

hypnotism
more

lands,the indescribable joysof

lost

state, and
the

the

remote

be

ardent

religionists
amongst them, stimulated by powerful
more
impulses,experienced,
perhaps
frequently

in other

than

classed under

now

known

were

I should
consideration,

the

ecstatic

lost

their very identity^in


conjuredup in their trance-visions.
these mysteries,
and
experienced,
"

"

would be so peculiarly
these strange voluptuousenjoyments,
with the character and psychology
of the Indians,
congenial

that the

more

emotional

attracted towards
ardour

to

gain admittance

reached

echoes

them

would

be fully
powerthese occult phenomena. In their

amongst
to

them, eager

the

unknown

would

men

set

world, whose
themselves

the

task of

obstacles,
systematically
overcomingthe intervening
and out of such strivings,
the science of
doubtless;arose
Yoga Yidya. If in ecstasy the Christian saint believed
himself to be in mysteriouscommunion
with Christ or the
Virgin,it is only natural, and in accordance with his
behefs,that the pantheistic
Hindu, when he reached the
state
'^

in which

he became

Degeneration,hy

London,

Max

"

insensible to external

Nordau,

1895).

179

pp.

63, 64

stimuli,"

(William Heinemann,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

world of his own


should,in the inner glorious
imaginings,
-findhimself(thatis,his own
in
soul) completeunion with
the Universal
Thus
but

far, at

the

have

Spirit.
Yogaism is quite intelUgible
;
Yogis to superhuman power

rate,

any

of
pretensions

the

whatever, and have for ages been


justification
of profitable
fertile source
imposturemost detrimental
the healthy
developmentof the Indian people.^
no

Since
have

and
religions,
philosophies,

all

secured

wide

acceptance, need

existence in each

succeedingage

possible
up
of
knowledge

the level of the

to

as

service has

the

times, we

far

increased

expect that the

may

which

as
interpreted

ideas and

new

to

for their continual


be

to

sciences

same

performed for Yoga Vidya,


What
be done by an ardent advocate to explain,
can
in the phraseology,
scientific
and by the lightof modern
facts and
theories, the extremelycrude and visionary
notions of the Yogis,may
of the
be learned by a perusal
lectures of Swami
delivered at
Vivekananda
on
Bdja-yoga,
New

York

been

in 1895-96.2

In these lectures

are

given,with

of vibrations,
wave
conceptions
and

so

which

nadi

forth,a
is

ingeniousif

motions,electrical currents,

of the

statement
not

the aid of the modern

rationale of

convincing.In

Yoga Vidya,
this contemporary

elucidation of yoga science we


find the Susumna
identified with the spinalcord, and that the two

other

of

importantorgans

most

the

body

are

the

brain

the
and
mulddhdra
(sahasrdra,the thousand-petalled)
in form and situated at the
plexus,the latter triangular
base of the vertebral column, being the seat of the
kundalini,a mysteriousreservoir of pent-up force,which

is thus defined

"

the coiled up, the sleeping


Divine power
all beings." The
aim
and
object of all the yoga

in

is, accordingto the Swami, to successfully


practices
tap
this reserve
of force, through the susumna
(which is
naturallyclosed and can be opened by the Yogis only),
^

In

exposure,

another

power,
2

book

Longmans

I have

described

knowledge, of

to my

Indian

"

"

one

the

of these

complete discomfiture and


Yogi pretendersto supernatural

Life,Religiousand Social,pp.

Co.,London.
i8o

36-41.

ASCETIC

AND

SECTS

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

causingtlie stored-upenergy of the kundalini,thus set


to flow into the brain.
free by the Yogis*practices,
When
this difficult feat is

books

or

"

state, is reached, in which

conscious
need

samddhi,
accomplished,
no

more

for

super-

will you
mind
will

knowledge; your own


have become
containinginfinite knowledge."
your book
However
be, it
edifyingSwami-ji'sexplanations
may
is,to say the least,rather curious that the Yogi should
derive his transcendent enlightenment
from an organ in the
neighbourhoodof the coccygeals.
Leaving these purelyimaginaryanatomical and physiological
to

to

go

we
details,

tui*n
profitably

may

consideration

of the actual results of the

system,known

Yoga Vidya,and
profoundmay be the

that

the

union

with

the

for

of his

soul, hereafter

his own
xill-Spirit,
advantagesless remote,

working of the
in doing so shall find
desire of the Yogi for

as

however

attention to

our

in

or

nature

the

present life,

importunately

craves

less

transcendent,and, in
science of breath," i.e. the
the
response to this desire,
of the circulation of the pranas and tatwas, has,
regulation
"

in the hands

developmentsand
affords such
"20.

gross

more

was

or

seen

"21.

irrationalitiesof which

ample evidence.
knowledge more

breath, wealth
never

teachers,resulted in the usual childish

of the

An

secret

the

science of

science of

the

useful than
heard

than

Hinduism

breath,

of.

during the power of the


is
breath, and also friends are brought together
; wealth
got duringthe power of breath,and comfort and reputation

duringthe
"52.
is in

is killed

enemy

same.

Any charitygivenby

the

left

the wise while the breath


krores

nostril,multiplies krores upon

of

times in this world.


"53.
and

with

motion

the

of the

sun

A krore

equalsten

The

and

sun

body

Yogi look

attention,and

human
as

Let

moon

influenced

into his face, with


let him

thus

and

the

know

one

mind

the
entirely

moon.^

millions.
here referred to

by

the

luminaries

and negative.
positive

i8i

are

certain

named,

subtle currents

and

are

in the

also referred to

THE
"

is

prana

will be

when

calm, never
and
fulfilled,

OF

INDIA

the
when
the tatwa
upon
it is disturbed ; his desire

meditate

him

54. Let

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

great benefit and

will have

he

victory.
"55. To^ those
the

and

sun

thus

alwayskeep

order, knowledgeof the past

in proper

moon

the future becomes

and

and
practise,

who

men

as

if

as

easy

in their

they were

hand.
"

places the

near

in
victorious,

is

moon

foot

the

When

sun.

first in

raised

flowingnadi, complete success

the

going belongsto

the

warfare

distant

In

225.

is

the result.
"

town,

any

is

in entering
in marriage,
a journey,
beginning
acts, the flow of the moon
etc.,in all auspicious

In

226.

good.
"

one's

nadi, and

the whole

one
might conquer
congenial,
"

Let

228.

which

the

give

me

in

battle

the

is

world.
direction towards

flows, victoryis certain

breath

empty

the tatwa

the full,when

towards

own

the

towards

Putting the enemy's army

227.

if Indra

even

be in front.
"

Going

306.

the

towards

back

to

let

sun,

look

man

throws

he

shade

of the

the neck

lonelyplace and standingwith

on

attention into

with
the

the

ground.

long a time as he can


calmlyrepeat the words, Om Kram parahrahmannamah,^
look up into the sky. He
let him
for 108 times. Then
will thus see Shankara
(thefigureof a beingcapableof
"

him

307. Let

this for

see

as

'

in
appearing
"

earth ;
independentand his
absolutely

becomes

who

obtains

309. He

great bliss.

and

328.
the

by

When

walk

the

There

of
practiser

constant
"

months, the Yogi becomes

for six

By doingthis

308.

the lord of those


"

colours).^

many

the

the
fingers,

on

by
own

two

years

he

master.

knowledgeof the three times


for the
is nothingimpossible

yoga.

mouth,
tatwas

eyes, and ears are stopped


beginto take their rise before
nose,

the eyes.
^

This

point has been

Social,pp. 41,

referred

to

42.

182

in my

Indian

and
Life,Religioiis

"

329. He

taste, their

who

equalto

Rudra.^^

These

extracts

Breath

and

the

their colour, their motion, their

knows

places,and

SUBDIVISIONS

THEIR

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

their

from

become
signs,

entitled The

book

Philosophyof

in this world

the

Tatwas}

Science

are,

of

fancy,

than, the patienceof


quite as much as, if not more
endure, and they are
certainly
ordinary readers can
the
finest
even
amply sufficient to illustrate how
mind
of the Hindu
those, for example,with
speculations
this chapter may
commenced
which we
become, in practice,
"

"

mere

fatuous

puerilities.

Yogi
superhuman power claimed by the modern
who dares to court publicattention is naturally
something
when
compared with
very limited,indeed modesty itself,
The
the pretensions
of the sect as a whole.
following
of the
the curiosity
few instances will probablysatisfy
reader on this subject.
In his Sketch of the ReligiousSects of the Hindus,
Professor H. H. Wilson quotes from the Asiatic Monthly
instance
of a Madras
1829
Journal for March
an
Yogi
described as
who
used to give exhibitions of what
was
in the air,"and, as alreadystated in Chap. III.,
sitting
Dr. Honigbergerfurnishes authentic details of the burial,
without any harmful results,for no less than fortydays
of Maharajah Ranjit
of a Yogi at Lahore
in the time
stories circulate in India at the present
Singh.2 What
day about Yogis and their doingswill be understood from
the following
from an Indian newspaper :
extract
Great excitement is being caused amongst the simple
hill folk in some
to the south of Simla by
of the villages
feat
certain wanderingYogi. The man's last reported
a
is said to
is reallysomethingbeyond the ordinary.He
have burnt himself alive on a largepyre in front of a whole
and then ten days later to have appeared
wonderingvillage,
in the same
The hill people
villagealive and unhurt.
firmlybelieve this story,which they say must be true,
of the
the Yogi can
as
give them a detailed account
The

"

"

"

^
2

Court

Translated

from

Thirty-fiveYears
of Lahore, pp.

the Sanskrit

by

Rama

Prasad, M.A.

by Dr. Honigberger,Physicianto the


126-130, London, 1852.
in the East,

183

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

topographyof

This,of

heaven.

for
manifestly
impossible

It is

add

1 may

and

the

that,

many,

previouschapter,a few years


to be
Lachman
Das, professing
exhibitions

of

Punjabi,one Bava
Yogi, gave a number

Westminster

the

at

in

mentioned

as

ago

it will be

that

been

tendency

of

memory

to

their admiration.

win

this

strong has

within

all public
performances
;

were

to exhibitions intended
sectarians,

impressthe people and


So

Yogis have always been given,more

that

Hindu

other

than

cited

above

instances

The

to describe heaven

man

any

INDIA

settles the matter.

course,

unless he has been there to see."

OF

SAINTS

of

Aquarium

his

a
eliciting
good deal of
posturist,
possible
of the strange and seeminglyimaccount
attention on
his arms
and
feats he performedin contorting
legsinto most grotesque and unnatural positions.

skill

wonderful

have

We

about

Yogi

real

the

though his

is known,

Civil and

"

remote

himself, has

nothing

comparatively

to

1895.

may

is said to have

who

teacher

deified Hindu

modern

gone

from

India

into

worshipped there as well as at Gorakh-poor and throughout


to
Punjab.
Very little is known about him, and he belongs more
is

Hinduism
Kabir

than

to Buddhism.

Some

with

accounts

as

describes

him

Nanak,

are

fourth in

as

the

current
born

founder

from

series of Saiva

lotus.

he

was

contemporary of

JanamsdTclii, he

Sikh

of the
in

wrapped

are

that

say

(1488-1512), and, according to

interview

much

Others

sect.

describe

teachers,and the founder of

him
the

had

once

Such

mystery.

of Yogis. The remarkable

some

was

is associated with

past

of

be made

Gorakh-Xath,

named

sage,

the

he

such.

disciple

Goraknath

name

MilitaryGazette,Lahore, May

here mention

And

Nepal, and

an

of his

Siva

Of

master.

ticulars
par-

times.^

modern

or

tensions
pre-

Mahandranath

one

identified with

legendsdating from

or

exists

now

founder,though the fame

of

eclipsedthat

it

as

is

who

Goraknath,

and

doctrines

the

to give some
Yogis; it remains now
the originand workingof the sect as

sect

probablythe

authentic

far considered

thus

of the

Of the

as

an

legendary
legend

One
as

the

third

Kanphata sect
in achieving

thingabout him is that he succeeded


Northern
Hindus and among
extraordinary
degreeof popularity
among
adherents of Buddhism
is in the Punjab, and
in Nepal. His tomb
is to this day adored
of the
numbers
kind of god by immense
as
a

inhabitants of North- Western

Buddhism,

India under

pp. 193, 194.

184

the hills."
"

Sir Monier

Williams'

THE

saints,wlio dwell
of the

at

ease

Their

Himalayas.

in

"

6.

2. Machandernath.

7. Prannath.

4.
5.

8. Surathnath.

Charputnath.
Mangalnath.
Ghugonath.

9. Chambanath.

They also hold in specialveneration


of whom
are
or
perfectYogis,some
"

the earth.

upon

worshippersis
worn

Gopinath.

1. Gorakniith.

3.

on

thread

The

INDIA

inaccessible fastnesses

the
are

names

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

-four
eighty

Siddhas

beheved

be

distinctive emblem

silver

singhi or

round

the neck."

to

still

of the Siddha

cyhndricalornament
^

has recently
and pretensions,
Yoga, with its practices
attention outside India, and the Ndths
been attracting
and Siddhas just referred to, the immortal
men-gods of
the
Yogis, have probably been the prototypes of the
wonderful
Mahatmas
of certain European and American
of our day.
theosophists
There
is no
denying the fact that yoga is practised
of unquestionably
earnest
men
high character,
by many
be affirmed of a majorityof
it cannot
yet,unfortunately,
the twentieth-century
Yogis,who in the guiseof ascetics
the pious creduHtyof
the country,livingon
peregrinate
the masses,
that they are
anythingbetter than ignorant
and even
worthless impostors,
dangerouscharacters.
*

Census

Reportof the Punjab, 1891, by

86

E. D.

Maclagan,I.C.S.,p.

115.

oo
1-"
"

*-"
o

CHAPTER
Section

IV.

Sects

Vaisbnava

"

Kabir

continued

Ylll"

Sri Vaishnayas,

HE

sects

themselves

from

another

one

paying

rule

and

abstain

their

his

consorts,

chosen

Krishna

his

mistress

or

Sri

Vaishnavas,

called because
of

consort

Deccan,
The

his

or

consort

worshippersusuallyadore
Radha, along with their

they worship

Vishnu,

where

they

have

marked

most

or

silk but

sub-sects, the
the

of this sect
not

in the

cotton

Vadagalas and

Ramanujas
case

of

have

the

as

almost

of
peculiarity

meal, the householder

Lakshmi

or

exclusivelyin the
ments.
establishmonastic
flourishing

found

are

Sri

Ramanuja

of

followers

as

scrupulousnessin regard to
be eaten
by a Ramanujite that hasin strict privacy. When
himself and

which

from

associate

their

woollen

vegetarians,

deity.

1. The
are

god.

As

spirits.
worshippers may

not

may

as

Krishna.

all

are

his

in

either

as

or

they

Rama

Sita with

him

to

incarnations

Ramachandra

differ

but

primarilyin

adoration

human

all

speciallyto

worship of Vishnu,

the

noticed

be

to

now

devote

Ramanandis,

Madhavas,
Chaitanites.

Panthis, Ballavacharyas,and

food.

Nothing

must

actuallytaking his

must

clad

be

There

Tengalas.

On

painted certain

Vadagalas resemble
187

is

preparedby

been

not

garments.
the

sectarians

these

W,

either in
two

are

the

white

head
fore-

lines,

in that

of

THE

MYSTICS,

the

Tengalas a

and

down

also adorn

and

red

the

the

branded

and

up

of

this

These

arms.

patches

conch, discus, club, and


the

red

for

line stands

of Vishnu.

members
their

on

streak

red

INDIA

patchesof gopi-chandana

with

wife

OF

lines. Members

of Vishnu, while

uncommonly,

emblems

white

breast

SAINTS

paint

represent the

to

Lakshmi,

Not

the

on

lotus, emblems

Sri, or

also

They

themselves

lines

intended

are

Y.

between

sect

AND

ASCETICS,

of both

with

persons

have

sexes

these
metal

red-hot

stamps.
The

necklaces

made

are

dved

rosaries of

of tulasi wood

of

and

and

reddish

colour.

dandis

mendicant

call themselves

Some

staff, but, unlike

orders

seeds,their robes

of lotus

or

habituallycarry

the

alreadydescribed,they do

dandis,

the

Sivite

off the sacred

throw

not

are

thread.
2. Madhavas.

This sect, founded, as

"

confined

Madhavacharya (a.d. 1199-1278), is


India.

They

The
wear

Sivite

The

dandis, they discard


a

upon

water-pot,and

incense

on

between

burnt

in

be

may

them

before

line terminates
castes

live in monasteries.

sacred

shave

Southern

Like

the

thread, carry

their heads.

also

They

symbols of Vishnu,
the forehead
is composed of two
and one
painted with gopi-chandana,

perpendicularlines
line

the

their breasts and


mark

sect

black

celibates,and

are

to

singleorange-coloured
wrapper.

staff and

brand

monks

alreadystated,by

traced

the

the

with

charcoal

of

The
black
image of Vishnu.
yellow spot of turmeric. All

round

admitted

the

arms

this sect, but

to

their gurus

always Brahmans.
Ramanandis.
This flourishing
Vishnuvite
Northern
India, is known
spread all over

or

preceptorsare
3. The

which

is

under

the

by
or

"

of

name

Ramanand

somewhere

of
beginning
Vishnu

sect

Professor

H.

or

about

the fifteenth

All Ramanandis

Ramaivat

H.

bear

mark,

on

the

Ramat.
the

end

It

was

sect,
also

founded

of the fourteenth

century.^
their foreheads

which
trifala,

the

ing
distinguish-

consists of three

Wilson, Sketch of the ReligiousSects of the Hindus,

p. 31.

i88

the

uprightlines
"

white.

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

centre

also

They

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

red, and

one

necklaces

wear

and

the

side

ones

rosaries of tulasi

beads.

in

India.

There

celibate.

Acharis

are

woollen garments, the


clothes,while the Khakis

cotton

their hair

and

nails

probablythe most numerous


is commonly appliedto
is derived

name

i.e. without

of

matter

movement

from

ment,
bai,without,and rdg, attachto the world, and is appHed

was

one

are

of

Chaitanya.^
permittedto become

fact,the sect is recruited from

Brahmans.

includingthe

Bairagisare

order of this sect ; their name


all Vishiiuvite mendicants, hence

attachment

of all castes

Hindus

The

undipped.

Bengalifollowers

the

to

and, as

Sanyasis
usually

notice.
special

to deserve

they seem

even

or

naked, their bodies powdered with dust and ashes

go about

The

sub-sects

silken and

wear

salmon-coloured

and

four

wealthy monasteries

orders, all
(1) Achari, (2) Sanyasi,^(3) Khaki, (4) Bairagi,

Upper

The

large and

have

Ramanandis

The

Evidently,Ramanand's

opposedto,

and

doubt

no

Bairagis,
all castes,

sectarian
intended

and immemorial
of,the established,
rigid,

be subversive

to

caste

system.

Bairagisdo

not

coloured

wear

clothes,they allow their

their foreheads the


long, and paint upon
of three uprightlines radiating
trifala,
consisting
slightly
from the top of the nose, the central line being of a red
colour,and the other two white or yellow. As stated in
a
previouschapter,the central red line is said to typify
the
left and
Vishnu, the lines on
right respectively
Brahma
and
and
Siva. Bairagis wear
necklaces
carry
rosaries of basil (tulasi)
beads.
They do not eat meat or
but are
drink spirits,
commonly addicted to bhang. All,
hair to

grow

whether

of the

the

sacred

of

the

assertions
^

The

say the
2

thread

head

use

of

"

"

three
and

twice-born
wear

practiceswhich
the equalityof

of this

name

least, somewhat

Travels of a Hindu,

castes

would
all

Hindus,

189

Chander,

the

effected
or

on

crown

intended

sects

p. 35.

not, put

on

seem

designate quite distinct


confusingto the inquirer.
Bholanath

or

tuft of hair

to

by

"

by

as
a

orders is,to

xMYSTICS,

THE

of

process

AND

ASCETICS,

levelling
up

the

to

SAINTS

OF

higherstrata

INDIA

in the caste

system.
Ram
the Bairagioften uses
a
nam
head-covering
cloth with the names
Tea safa,which is a pieceof cotton
obtained from
and Sita stamped on it,and usually
of Kama
As

Muttra

Bindrabun.

or

*'

monks
but the
supposedto be celibates,
of nuns
order have
a
large number
generally
to their convents, with whom
they openly live as

Bairagisare
of this
attached

wife."

and

man

ritual has

elaborate

most

guidanceof Bairagisin
duties of

business and

been

for the

laid down

dailyroutine of the indispensable


in minute detail how,
life,
prescribing
the

example, the ascetic should wash, bathe, sit down,


of respiration),
(stoppage or regulation
perform pranayam
purifyhis body, purge his mind, meditate on Vishnu, repeat
of members
of the
the Gayatri
use
as composedfor the special
sect,worshipRama, Sita,Lakshman, Bharata,and Satringah,
the
bows
and arrows,
and, lastly,
togetherwith Rama's
monkey god Hanuman.^
for

So

observances

many

prescribedand

are

it is evident

that
is enjoined
repetition

that the

so

much

objectin

give the Bairagienough to fullyoccupy his


the mystic
thoughts and his waking hours. Of course
union of the worshipperwith his deityis an
objectkept
him
these
in
before
exercises,
religious
especially
prominently
view

to

was

in his

meditations,and

himself

and

at least

one, not

to
required

two.

The

realise that Rama

Bairagiis expectedto

in order to be branded

visit to Dwarka

one

rightarm

are

he is

with the Vishnu

symbols
"

the

on

pay
his

discus,the conch,

club, and the lotus.

the

4. The

Kahir

Panthis.

Kabir

"

commended
rehaving practically

his followers to be all


to concihate

the world

customs,
prevailing
^

Hindu

The

at

it has

largeby
come

thingsto

outward

all men,

and

with
conformity

that
about, quitenaturally,

Castes and Sects,by Dr. J. N. Bhattacliarjee,


p. 445.
history of these personages, as narrated in the famous Sanski-it
epicthe Ramayana, has been epitomisedin my Great Indian Epics (George
Bell " Sons, London).

190

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

and therefore as a holy


self-sacrifice,
unnatural that,when embraced
entirely

state
as

OF

INDIA

; but

it is

rule of life

lived up

What

it has never
been
professions,
steady and protractedoppositionwas

in the

Christian Church

be

sects, orders, or

by
to.

experienced

before celibacy could

and
amongst Christian ecclesiastics,

so

enforced

gross immoralities
scandals compulsorycelibacy
led to, are well known. ^

and
"

The

Chaitanite

nuns,"

from
chiefly
The

town.

widows
There

"

Bhattacharjee,are

classes." ^

however,

of the

some

Chaitanite

Bairagis,
world),who

the so-called Brikats

(men disgustedwith

and
professcelibacy

live in monasteries, of which

have

many

members

been

erected

of the

The

dress

cruited
re-

superannuatedunfortunates of the
of the unchaste
joinedalso by some

lower

are,

says Dr.

the

order is

of the

what

the

by

the

great

of the richer
liberality

lay

sect.

the

by

worn

Chaitanite

is

monks

generally

white,
a
yellow colour is sometimes
adopted. Like
other Vaishnavas,the Chaitanites paintperpendicular
lines
with gopi-chandana
their foreheads,generally
on
; they also,
but

by

of

engraved stamps dipped in moist


and
breasts the
chandana^ print upon their arms
means

of

their

deities and

corruptionfor
prophet. Their
from

cut

by
The

from

the

of

one

goura,

rosaries and

the tulasi

word

the

many
necklaces are

plant,which

which

gora,

is held

of

names

made
in

names

is

their

of beads

tion
high venera-

them.
Chaitanites

of

use

often

gopi-

are

strict

and avoid the


vegetarians,
They are
required to abstain

all intoxicants.

communion

with

those

Hindus

who

offer animal

sacrifices.^
There

are

amongst the followers of Chaitanyavarious

sub-sects well known


the

for their immoralities.

SpashtaDayaJcas.amongst

live
^

togetherin
On

the

this subject Mr.

is probably the
Celibacy,
2

Hindu

\Vard's Hindus,

Castes and

H.

the monks

example,
and

nuns

monasteries,with results which

same

best

whom

For

C. Lea's
one

in

full and

English.

Sects, p. 467.

pp. 125, 126.

192

learned

work, Sacerdotal

SECTS

ASCETIC

may
man

THEIR

AND

well b.e imagined; the

approvedform
^

and

hold that

every

woman

step further,maintain

goingone
the most

Sahajas,who

Radha, and consequently


every
of promiscuousintercourse ; and the Bauh, who,

is Krishna

approve

SUBDIVISIONS

Dr.

of

that

"

sexual

is
indulgence

exercise." ^
religious

Hindu
Bhattacharjee's

193

Castes and Sects,p. 483.

Section

V.

"

Three

continued

Y III"

CHAPTER

Sikh

Orders

Mendicant

last

the

if

adopt

of

out

in

the

stimulus

ceased

to

exist.

Of

the

selected

the

latter

sadhus,

founded
of
to

Baba
see

Govind,
hundred
1

Udasi

of the

have

and

ally
especi-

more

peculiar and

circumstances

Udasis}

is
in

one

bv

Siri

sixth

and,

the

when

years

of

Punjab,

was

eldest

son

lived

Chand

Sikh

old,

nings.
begin-

extremely

Chand,

he

which

order

an

Siri

Nanak.

the

This

"

which

to

their

owe

grief,dejection.
194

which

orders

here,

two

numerous

since

long

Udasis, Nirmalis,

account

picturesque

ally
gradu-

poHtical

Sikhism

notice

for

The

have

of

out

of

centuries,
of

mendicant

sprang

it

re-

teenth,
fifteenth, six-

the

seventeenth

which

the

present

tendency,

which

and

conditions

on

Sikhism,

the

at

more

hardly perceptible, to
of
the
practices
many

emerged

Akalis

of

manifesting

Hinduism,

under

that

fact

the

it is

real

the

characteristics

also

time

I noted

chapter

essential
and

Nirraalis, Akalis.

Udasis,

Har

guru,
was

he

over

adopted

Gurditta,a

sportingcharacter
from being a proper
made

his mosands

as

or

of the four

the founders

He

the

fore
there-

order

to

and
deputies,
suborders,
principal

hearths,into which

or

the

Udasis

parent

and

his head
; and

gurushipwere
passedover
favour of Angad, one
of his
threw ashes
son
disappointed
token of his grief
and abasement

in

followers,the

devoted

to

in

person,

this

claims to succeed

in the

Nanak

his venerable

most

Siri Chand's

that, when

his father Baba

on

disqualified

was

man,

of the brotherhood.

act

as

divided.
It is stated

by

liim

Gurditta,being a

of
leadership
spiritual

dhuans,

called

married

succeed

to

guru,
But
Udasis.

head

to

were

these four became

are

and

the

over

who

men

SUBDIVISIONS

of the last-named

son

of the order of the

abbot

four

THEIR

AND

SECTS

ASCETIC

Udasis

the

day

hold

ashes

in

great

of this painful
in memory
event, the ashes, for
mixed
with calcareous
ceremonial purposes
earth, being
esteem

made

sometimes

large

into

balls

inches

several

in

diameter.

usuallydecentlyclad in salmon-coloured
clothes.
a
pointed cap on the head and a
They wear
black cord known
sdlee round the neck.
a
as
They carry
a
jholior bag hangingfrom the shoulder,and a toomba
dried pumpkin which serves
as
a
or
water-pot. A black
dsan, or small carpet,often forms a part of their travelling
Udasis

Some

outfit.
others

are

on

good

are

admitted

of matted

mass

hair

on

their heads,

clean-shaven,there being apparentlyno


of flesh,spirits,
and
The use
this matter.

is denied

tobacco

almost

go

generalrule
order

wear

into the

to

the

Udasis.

Sanskrit

Many

scholars.

members

When

order,he is adjuredto

avoid

of the

chela
those

is

two

The
women.
: gold and
initiatory
deadly temptations
is brought to a conclusion ^by the chela drinking
ceremony
the water
with which his guru'sfeet have been washed.
He
is then taught certain portionsof a hymn known
as
the jap-ji,
and
dismissed with this final admonition
"

"

Charan

Urap

(Drink the

water

with

sadh
Badh

ke dho
ko

apna

which
195

the

dho

peyo

jeyo."
sadhu

has washed

his

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

soul and

feet,and giveup your

SAINTS

OF

the

body to

INDIA

sadhu,i.e.the

guru.)
which

(the pure). The

Nirmalis

The

this order

I should

originated
are,

say,
Singh, the

thereabouts, Govind
of the Sikhs, celebrated with

1691,

A.D.

circumstances

"

last guru

or

unique. In
tenth

unusual

saturnalia known
the gay Hindu
as
Visitors were
attracted thither from considerable

Anandpur

amongst others

and

came

young

under

and

at
pomp
the Holi.

distances,

beautiful Hindu

and

by caste, and a
Govind
resident of Lahore.
Guru
Singh, who was
only
handsome
twenty-five
man,
years of age and a particularly
heart
the
of
the
widow, and
captivated susceptible
young
named

widow

Anup Kaur,

Khatrani

upon him.
of Govind's
this periodthe chief object

try her

she resolved to

arts

It appears

that at

life was

induce,

to

the goddessDevi to appear to him


say compel^
promisehim her assistance againstthe Muhammadan

might almost

and

rulers of the

land, who

of
persecution

were

the Hindus.

carryingon
For

bitter

the attainment

religious

of the end

Brahmans
view, Govind had gathered many
together,for, like all Hindus, he believed that if the
in

had

he

"

ceremonies
religious
appropriate

goddess,however

the

were

carried out,
correctly

reluctant,would

her appearance.
known
It is well

be

constrained

to

make

Brahmans

there

are

the

to

Hindu

that

of painful
by the practice
possessedof great, sometimes
to be found
are
thaumaturgists

others who,

have
become
austerities,
These
unlimited, power.
only here and there, it is true, amongst

various

sects

who

besides the

abound

in

India.

the
To

sadhus
the

of

sadhus,

therefore, Govind

frequentlyresorted for advice and


assistance
in his endeavours
to
propitiatethe goddess
Devi.
to know
this,a happy idea entered
Having come
the head of the love-sick Anup Kaur.
She would
ate
personsadhu, enter into close relations with Govind, and,
in the end, attract and ensnare
the objectof her passion.
a

In

of this

plan,she disguisedherself as a
she easily
sadhu, and, being possessedof ample means,
secured accomplicesin her scheme.
her
She took
up
abode at a spot within a short distance of Anandpur, and
pursuance

196

ASCETIC

SECTS

her satellitessoon

AND

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

let it be known

throughthe countryside
that a most
holy and learned Sanyasi had favoured the
also given out
neighbourhoodwith his presence. It was
that this most
had a special
Mahatma
saintly
key to open
The
the heart of the goddess Devi.
important news, of
it had
reached Govind, for whom
been specially
course,
vant
prepared,and he forthwith instructed a confidential serto arrange
an
earlyinterview with the new-comer.
The
youthful sadhu, however, betrayed no eagerness to
the guru, and merely sent word to the effect that if
meet
Govind wished to come
he might do so, but on
condition
that he came
without any pomp
in an ascetic
or
following,
garb,at midnightand alone.
These

conditions

Singh,and

imaginationof
importanceof the sadhu

excited

enhanced

the

the

Govind
in his

of
vestments
orange-coloured
in the stillness
Mahatma
an
ascetic,he sought the saintly
of the nightat the appointedhour.
He was
received,and the usual exchange of
graciously
compliments and ideas took place. After a little while,

So, ha\dng donned

eyes.

on

pretext

some

the

other the sadhu

or

before the astonished

guru

then

and
retired,

appeared
re-

in silks and

decked

a
jewellery,

and
with every
fascinating
woman,
young
that could
lure an
ordinary mortal to her

attraction
embraces.

somewhat
Govind, like Joseph under
similar circumstances,
kept his virtue,and, after rebuking
Anup Kaur, made good his escape ; not, however, before
the

But

"
raised the cry of " Thief !
time deficient in artfulness,

disappointed
temptresshad

Govind, who

was

never

at any

joinedin

the cry, and, seizing


Anup Kaur's brother in the
darkness, added greatlyto the confusion, in which he

managed
When

had

assumed

for the

him

found

to

Nirmalis, or

new

occasion

memorable

holy

very

the pure, in

the ascetic

he gave

home

Bir Singh, a
followers,

authorised
called

safely.
Singh returned

away

Govind

garb he
of his

shp

to

sect

to

one

and

personage,

of

sadhus, to be

commemoration

the

of

event.

This adventure
also.

The

of Govind's

wiles of

Anup

bore fruit of another

Kaur
197

had

made

kind

deep

im-

THE

on
liim,and
pression

and

four hundred

less than

stories

four

INDIA

no
collected,
likely

more

or

timelywarning,it

for the

women,

he wrote,

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

is

on

the

wiles of

said,of his simple

followers.
Nirmalis

The

are,

on

the whole,

learned order much

and are followers of the Vedanta


givento Sanskrit studies,
philosophy.There is a tradition amongst them that five
to study Sanskrit
of the order went
originalmembers
of such
theologyat Benares, but were denied the privilege
studies by the Brahmans, because they happened to be

by caste. However, Guru Govind Singh cheered


that their
students by the prediction
disappointed

Sudras
the

order
the

famous

be

would

for its learned


be

would

themselves

Brahmans

men,

glad

whom

from
to

receive

instruction.
Nirmalis

their hair

wear

reddish-yellow
garments.
The Nihangs or Akalis}
rise to

this sect

Singh from

are

connected

with

which

gave
of Govind
the flight

Kor, famous in Sikh annals. At this


little fortified enclosure,some
forty Siklis

defended

themselves

soldiers sent

governor

circumstances

The

in

Cham

place,in
Mogul

"

dress themselves

long,and

of Lahore.

againsta
againstthem
When

hard

of the
large number
by the Muhammadan
pressedby the Imperial

in his
of his men
troops, Govind Singh dressed up one
own
clothes,and, leavinghim in charge of the defence,

escapedsecretlyand

alone

the

from

post.
beleaguered

The

place,though stoutlydefended, was eventuallycaptured


defenders
by the Moguls, but a few of the brave
managed to get away, and went at once in search of their
revered guru.
They found him not far from the village
with
of Machiwara, asleepnear
a
well, quite overcome
fatigue.
In this village
Govind
had some
Muslim
friends,to
he appealedfor help in order to conceal himself
whom
who
would
no
from the pursuitof the Mogul soldiery,
These
doubt be scouringthe country in search of him.

good

himself in the blue


helpedhim to disguise
Mushm
known
about those parts as an
faquir,

friends

dress of

humble.
iVt^a?tg'=

^A^"

198

immortal.

turned

good

to

INDIA

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

in the later years of liis strenuous

account

Hie}
The

and

manners

their

peculiaras

eat, he

goingto

sectaries

of these

customs

When

personal
appearance.
is required
to shout

with

AJcali is

an

loud

as

are

voice,

"

event
Is anyone in want of a meal ?
and, in the unlikely
he
of anybody coming forward in response to this inquiry,
"

the hungry stranger before touching food


satisfy

is to

himself.

chapelsand
of the
practice

dharmsalas, which

Sikh

At

combined, it is the

are

common

party busies

of the

one

(hemp leaves) with


leaves

are

water

and

reduced
sugar

to

and

pestle.When

the

is mixed

with

pulp, this

green

drunk

wooden

stout

AJcalis to

largestone mortar, in
himself in bruisingbhang

round
gatheridlyand expectantly
which

rest-houses

with

by
great appreciation

clad immortals.
fantastically
Many Akalis, wandering about

these

with

horses

and

the country in comfort


hesitate to ask for
not

camels, do

pecuniaryassistance. The leader


once
paid me a visit,sending in
card

of

of

one

the

these bands

followingvisiting-

"

PREM

SINGH

(NiHANG

Singh)

Vahiriya.

(Of the party of Nihangs that travel about and have

began this

sketch

of the

mendicant

no

fixed abode.)

orders with

an

harmless, unobtrusive Jains wanderingover


the country on
foot, carryingmerely a besom, not of
destruction,but of ultra-tenderness for the lowly life of
account

of the

concluded
organisms. I have
my
account
to the reader the truculent bhangby introducing
Akali rovingabout, often on horseback or camel
drinking
with weapons
all over
of war.
back, bristling
obvious
Akali
Although the armed
by an
may,
association of ideas,recall to mind
the famous
military

insects

and

lower

'"

Memoirs

of Colonel Alexander
200

Gardner, chap. xi.

ASCETIC
orders

of

AND

SECTS
the

West,

THEIR

SUBDIVISIONS

the

and
Templars, Hospitallers,
Teutonic
knightsof the Middle Ages, the resemblance is
moment's
consideration.
too slight
and trifling
for even
a
and
However, the immense
interval,both chronological
between
the Jains of the fifth century
pyschological,
"

"

and

B.C.

era,

may

wonderful
the

the

well

Akalis
serve

of
as

dissimilitude of

of
practice

the

seventeenth

emphatic

an
some

asceticism and

201

century of

illustration of

of the ideals which

mendicancyin

our

the

lie
under-

India.

CHAPTER

PERSONAL

I.

EXPERIENCES

The

Swinging
3.

protected

Amritsar

Tamil

of

found

God.

Sadhu

an

the

Urdhabahu

Companion,

Prince

Bit

pseudo-Sadhu

Saint

13.

be

to

found

all
in

as

closer

and,

acquaintance with these


the
following narratives
and
and
were

of

trustworthy

noted

punctually
placed

in

large

neighbourhood
and

under

some

The

tanlc

of

at

reader's

interest

in

he

will

sadhus^

me

personal

more

were,

afforded

is

as

with

interviews

of their

by

fine

Swinging
known
group

old

as

of

peepul
202

the

actual

down

past

by

them,

doings carefully sifted


soon

as

the

as

facte

possession.

my

1.

Near

accounts

times

awakening

ascetics, such
of

India

over

in

it

as

bad.

and

succeeded

Indian
to

light-

previous chapters

have

all

object

Pious
Guests.

as

good

if in the
I

Yogi

both

to-day just

and

had

professional

sadhus,

anchorites

who

well

as

hearted

not

Sadhu

Chains.

in

IFE-WEARY

and

7.
A

Sadhu

Yogis

11.

Bairagi.

are

the

his Adventures.

15.

Simla.

at

8.

9.

Singh.

Sun-worshipping
and

who

from

of B

Princess

Bhanu

Restaurateur.

as

Descent

European

of

Yogi

Brahmachari

5.

4.

Bairagi.

Plague.
of

Sadhu

his

10.
12.

6.

Lineage,

Women.

Das,

BAD

Bhaskarananda

Swami

Sanyasi

AND

GOOD

SADHUS,

The

2.

from

and

Sanyasi

Royal

14.

Gareeb

Country.

Naked

WITH

Bairagi.

Benares.

IX

Bairagi.

Ratan

Chand's

Hindu

trees,

talao, in the

temples
two

or

in

three

Lahore,
hundred

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

people,mostly Hindus of
fine eveningin November,
a

palanquinwhich

platformof

samadh

or

of

lady by

her

Hindu

drawn

palanquin were
within

WITH

both

sexes,

most

of them

had

been

SADHUS

assembled

were

one

ing
watchattentively
placed on the high

cenotapherected
The

wealthyson.
I

back, but

to the memory

could

nothing

see

when

until I,

of the

screens

I discovered

approachedquite near,
of an
almost
with
the emaciated figure
naked man
sitting
his knees drawn up against
his chin in an attitude common
enough in India, but one which the European would find

it rather

difficultto imitate.
the

Down
studded

lengthof

with

the

was
palanquin

iron nails,and

board, closely

portion
Bairagi
to
was
seated,and was
supposed,perhapsquitecorrectly,
sleep at night. Above the bony shins and exaggerated
of this seated figureappeared a human
knot-like knees
head with an immense shock of hair like a chignonhanging
heavilybehind it. Its hollow eyes, peeringover a pair of
look
had
-and -wire goggles,
a
glass
green
queer hunted
blunt

of this most

uncomfortable

about

and

them,

bed

it

was

upon

spikesthat the

of

its nostrils seemed

misshapen,
strangely
sort of plug or
one
beingapparentlydistended with some
From
this repulsive
from
other.
figurethere proceeded,
time to time, sundryguttural
sounds and hollow coughs.
to
A faithful disciple,
at hand, explained
conveniently
me

that his master

hundred

and

undergo

certain

and

palanquinwas
of

thirtyyears

collecting
enough
Brahmans

in the

until

penances
money

to

and

age,

he

feast

one

than

more

resolved to

had

should

one

succeed

hundred

in

thousand

give each one of his gueststhe present


of at least one
for beinggood enough to
rupee, apparently
partakeof the banquetprovidedfor him.
As I stood near
and
the palanquina succession of men
mounted
the platform,
women,
mostlythe latter,
approached
the ascetic, and, bowing down
before him so that their
heads touched
the very floor,
sisting
conplacedtheir offerings,
for the most
part of pice or of small silver coins,
before the holy man.
This done, they passedon without
audible word, though some
an
silent wish or prayer was
no

doubt

to

in each

one's heart.
203

The

saint did

not

con-

THE

MYSTICS,

descend
with

notice

to

those

queer

of his

the

OF

SAINTS

INDIA

but merely looked absently,


anyone,
hunted
as
eyes of his,at his admirers

they approachedhis
towards

AND

ASCETICS,

and

presence

considerable

sum

added

their contributions

for the

necessary

fulfilment

vow.

stir took

Presentlya
The

attendants.
ablutions
studded

had

usual

for

him

perform

to

his

sandals
pair of wooden-soled
and
placedbeside the palanquin,

arrived.

with

their

time

ascetic's

the

place amongst

spikeswere
pricklysurface

helpedto
poor fellow was
placehis bare feet. With the assistance of his men, the
emaciated
Bairagi was
brought forward and allowed to
upon

subside

to

on

the

low wooden

stool about

four

or

five inches

he

emerged from his palanquinthe onlookers


took
what, accordingto Indian ideas, is a most
up
attitude,all present facingthe ascetic with
respectful
bowed
heads and
slightly
palms joinedtogetherbefore
their breasts. Anyone who may
have seen
a
pictureof a

high. When

Rajah'sdurbar, paintedby
comprehend what I mean.
direction,the direction
"

Indian

an

faces

All

of

the

artist,will
turned
each

Rajah,
"

at

once

in

one

man's

feet

set close

togetherside by side,his palms accurately


joined
one
against the other and the fingers
slantingupwards
of
about
at an
angle
degrees all beautifully
forty-five
all uniformlyrespectful.
regular,
The saint reputedto be one
hundred and thirtyyears
and worn,
old, though certainly
was
probably
very rickety
not more
than half that age. He coughed a good deal and
"

seemed

very

weak.

about

When

the
requested
lest the

perform his
people nearest him
should

water

reach

movement
slightbackward
attendant poured some
was

seen

more

that

than

or

seven

importantoperationof
rightnostril. As the
unspun

cotton

water

was

about

in

public,he

back

inconvenience

little,
A

them.

the result,and, when


the

on

united

were

stand

to

and
was

his wrists

six

little effort,it

ablutions

to

an

Bairaq^s hands,

by

an

iron chain not

inches

the

came
long. Now
the huge plug from
dislodging

sadhu

followed

removed

by

eightor
204

it, not

his

without

tmsted
loosely

nine inches

it

cord of

long,which

had

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

been hanging in
apparently
the

No

nose.

one

to

the

Bairagi.

ends

Their

little stiffened with

somewhat

but

described

the

the

at

fellow

of

back

coughed

so

cords, similar

cotton

handed
longer,were
pointedand perhaps a

were

With

wax.

SADHUS

pharynx

poor
Two
painfully.

so

to

the

the

wonder

frequentlyand

WITH

almost
unpleasant,

an

painful,
grunt or moan, he passedthem both up his nostrils,
wide as possible,
fished up
and then, openinghis mouth
as
the pendent ends of the two
with his long skinnyfingers
cords.
he

All

extremities

four

mouth

and

nose

five

had

they called him,


two

or

and

six times.

of the

nostril and
the

latter

about

of! in

small

and

lower

continuous

tube

"

the

former.

to

its

at

aslant,the

to

his

right

his left nostril,


Water

was

now

spout, into the funnel,and


the end

at

difficult

of the other

performance this, I

plug the leftnostril for the


nightas the other had previouslybeen, for they were
This operation
was
accomplishedby
stoppedturn about.
passinga longwick, or cotton cord, up the nose, and finally
its other and knotted end with a little force
introducing
should

fancy.

into the
the

cord

much

It remained

appHed

was

stream

rather

funnel

his head

tube

throat,

inches long,
eighteen

other

than

vessel with

a
a

tube

of the

being lower

poured,from
came

fmmel

end

one

through liis
Maharaj, as

cleansed his nostrils and

thus

had
One
a
brought to him.
extremity.The Bairagi having held
end

fro

When

were

small

his hands, and

in

now

stringsto

tubes, each

bamboo

narrow

the

draw

proceededto

were

distended

disappearedup

to

nostril.
the

the stiffened end

As

ascetic's nose,

assured us that it had gone


disciple
He
brain.
repeatedthis statement
Bairagi,who heard it,and knew it

straight
up
was

veracious
into

times, and

many
not

of

true, did

the
the
not

contradict it.
in the publicgaze,
duly accomplished
operations
into his unthe holy man
more
was
comfortable
helped back once
lodgingin the palanquin.1 learnt that twice
a
Maharaj repeatedthis disgusting
day,morning and evening,
and
unedifyingperformance,and that twice a day
people assembled to see and admire it, although it is
in its conception,for other Bairagisdo
neither original
These

"

205

THE

the like, nor, I should


to behold.

the

ascetic

this worn-out

Had

in his life?

been

he

despair? Had that


Had
to the fair sex ?
acceptable
ever
gleamed with rage or melted
driven

to

but

these

The

Bairagihimself did

for all his

likelyto

more

being set
duration

passion?

before himself

as

answered.

feed

assigned
hundred

rational

only on

expiatesome
thousand

definite

sin, or

through

power

hundred
a

Possibly
;

than

and the motive

and

eyes

his

Brahmans

objectto

limit the

of his

hardships.
self-imposed
leisure now
to studymy
company

I had

At the foot of
round
sitting

their backs

of the

one

peepultrees

and

connection

with

attention,and
him.

upon

the

three
and

young

Bairagiwho

rather aSected

of these

Two

ings.
surround-

I found

small fire,all of them

healthy. They had no


much
was
so
attracting
turn

with

desired to

one

been

strangehunted

those

acquire merit

to

had

ever

figureever

the desire to

he

of
the feeding
austerities,

sadhus

uncouth

speak;

not

penance,

that
supposition

INDIA

deceived,disillusioned,

Brahmans, could be accounted

thousand
the

severe

throat

asked
easily

more
questions

are

OF

devoted
assiduously

so

his nostrils and

of
regularcleansing

romance

SAINTS

for anythink,specially
agreeable
one

"

Had

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

men

were

to
so

scantilyclothed that their united garments would have


hardlymade a decent-sized pocket-handkerchief
; the third
was
absolutelynaked, sky-clothed(digamhara)he would
in a publicplace,
himself have said,under broad daylight,
and amidst a mixed
crowd of both sexes.
The shy-clothed
one

I have

was,

looked

it. A

suggest,in
interests

no

grave

doubt,
and

well-dressed

man

scamp.
ventured

of a rag
hearing,the desirability
man
decency,to which the religious

my

of

observation
flippant

some

abandoned

an

about

the trouble of

in

He
to

the

made

keepingit

tied.
Before

I left the

spikybed

had

multitude

to

towards

the

spot I learned that the sadhu

yet another mode


visit him

and

to

accomplishmentof

the

afternoon,he
downwards, from

used
a

to

have

of

drawing the wondering


contribute their portion
his vow.
Once a day, in
himself suspended,head

sturdy branch
206

of the

of

great tree, before

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

degree
immediatelytaken down, lookingperhapsa slight
exhausted for his half -hour's constant
fumigationfeet
more

upwards.
Never

word

spoken throughoutthe

was

right
worship. There
about

duty

or

or

not

wrong,

formance
per-

about
syllable

one

the dumb

was

entire

show, and nothing

more.

the emaciated

As

resemblinga
figure,

swayed

some

strange old-world clock

man,

I tried to read

on

the

to

fro

and

than

the clock

"

livingdial

circle of
The
day it was.
composed of Orientals,whose

inscrutable,yet it seemed

to

like

before

onlookers

the

me

that

of

pendulum

of Indian
what

was

thoughtsand
me

skeleton rather

ideas
time

"

of

large one,

ideas

are

very

the face of the very


studyingindicated

dial I was
but interesting,
complicated,
that dawn
was
though the daybreak had not
approaching,
yet appeared.
the Bairagi clock I have
hence
A few generations
described will be

unknown,

at

least in the

great cities of

India.

2. The

Sanyasi

Swami

Bhaskarananda

op

Benares.

holy cityof Benares there lived for many years


famous
Saraswati,who
a
Sanyasi,Swami Bhaskarananda
died in 1899, being then sixty-six
years of age.
old gentleman,who
This interesting
than a
was
more
resided in excellent
local celebrity,
quarters in a fine
known
as
Anundabagh,
garden placed at his disposal,
of
the
Rajah
Amity. There, at the end of
belongingto
1895, I paid him a visit,having been informed that he
to receive strangers
who cared to make
was
always pleased
I was
his acquaintance.When
announced, the Sanyasi,
stark naked, wrapped a loin cloth
who
had been sitting
about him as a polite
concession to my narrow
conventional
and steppedforward to welcome me
with a most
prejudices,
deniably
unengagingsmile. Strange as it may seem, there was
something refined and attractive about the
of this naked
ascetic with his transparently
personality
In

the

benevolent

countenance,

rather
2o8

lightbrown

complexion,

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

clean-shaven

head

WITH

SADHUS

face, toothless mouth,

and

and

keen,

bright,impressiveeyes.
A
the

this
philosophy,

Vedanta
venerated

and

Sanskrit scholar,and

learned

very

Hindu

his

by

sadhu

in

deeplyversed
well

was

known

to

throughout

countrymen

India.

Northern
The

old

asked

man

me

questionsabout

many

my

objectof my visit to Benares, and in


his practice
I ventured
of
turn
to inquirewhether
my
naked
not rather tryingin
at all times was
going entirely
the winter.
No," he said,smilingpleasantly
by long
;
accustomed
to being
habit my
entire person has become
I really
feel no
exposed,justas your face and hands are.
occupationand

the

"

"

inconvenience."

Bhaskarananda, for whom


had no attraction
the world, which after all is only an illusion,

Though

an

recluse,Swami

whatever, kept a visitors' book, and, having directed


the pages, pointing
attendant to produceit,turned over
in it with evident

out

British M.P.'s.

of
pridethe signatures

After

conversed

had

we

for

two

or

three

time

some

on

Sanskrit
he courteously
me
some
subjects,
gave
and philosophical
written by himself,on rehgious
pamphlets,
various

I told

matters.
a

book

about

He

probablymention

I should

ing
publish-

expressedhis
when
childishly
delighted

almost

was

idea of

some

ascetics.

Indian

pleasureat this,and
I said that

I had

Swami-jithat

him

in my

book.

me
Apparentlyto help me in this matter, he presented
with a short biographyof himself, written in Englishby
one
prefixeda
Gopal Chander Chatter jee,to which was
likeness of Swami-ji. After a pleasanthour
lithographed
with the ascetic I took leave of him, but had barelyleft
the premiseswhen
attendant came^ after me
to call me
an
back.^ I retraced my steps,and Swami-jimost courteously

Prince

though

visited
Bojidar Karageorgevitch

he does not

name

him,

was

no

doubt
"

princesays with reference to this event


called me
back, asked me to think of him
the

splendidyellow roses

India, p. 163.

I wonder

that
if

hung

Swami-ji

recallinghis visitors with


courteously

stronglyupon
o

the

their memories.

209

As

at

him

Benares, who,

Bhaskarananda.

leaving,the

was

sometimes, and
like

gave

me

The

faquir
one

of

glory." Enchanted
habit of thus
a well-thought-out
objectof impressinghimself more

about
had

sadhu

Swami

"

THE

said he felt he must

have

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

at least

OF

with

word

more

one

INDIA
me

parted,perhapsfor ever ; and he then, with many


graph
good ^vishes for my welfare,Idndly handed me a photobefore

we

of himself

hook,as

for my

said,and I have

he

much

it now
(Fig.11),as I have also in
pleasurein reproducing
of
the serenity,
to mind
cheerfulness,and urbanity
calling
and highlyvenerated
Hindu
ascetic.
this famous
the gate, and within
In a Httle lodge or chapel near
he
the walls of the hagh where
resided,I noticed a
ness.
life-sizemarble statue of the saint. It was
a
good likein the
Later on
I saw
for sale in the idol-shops
bazaars of the citymany
stone and brass statuettes,which
appearedto be faithful copiesof the statue I have just
referred to.
the

From

sketch
biographical

which

he

me

gave

the

derived

followingcharacteristic particulars
regarding
:
Sanyasi^spast history

the

"

real

His
of

1833

name

sacred thread

his

diligentand
languageand of
a

when

him

to

he was,

event

social

his

the Vedanta
but

was

in his

He

invested

the

with

married

four years
year he was

student

of

philosophy.A
eighteenyears

the
son

old.

Sanskrit
was

By

born
this

opinion,freed from any further


realised the unreality
of this world

own

obligations,he

and resolved,contrar}^
to
pleasures,"

parents,to

in

born

was

seventeenth

successful

most

"

its

and

his

eighth to

he

Misra.

family,was
and
of eight,

the age

at

From

later.

Brahman

good

Matiram

was

renounce

the world and

the wishes

become

of

wandering

ascetic.
So
went

to

he

foot to

on

Siva.

day

one

Here

he

where
Ujjaini,

continued
But

practise
yoga.

drives

so

many

from
disappeared

to

the

embrace

imperiouspossessionof
temporary abode

and

he

his father's house

put up in

his Vedantic

studies

of unrest,
spirit

which

the callinor of the

him.

visited the

and

When

Matiram

had

reached
2IO

temple of
and began
in India

ascetic,took

accordinglyleft his
various sacred placesof
city,however, he settled

He

Gujrat. At the latter


down
for a periodof seven
years, which he
further study of the Vedanta
philosophy.

Malwa

and

the

age

of

devoted

to

twenty-seven,

THE

Fig,

SANYASI

BHASKARANAXDA

OF

BENARES.

11.
To

face

page

210.

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

WITH

SADHUS

"

"
he resolved,"says his Bengalibiographer,
to enter the
Asram
of Sanyas. The
austere
true
knowledge of gnan^

had

dawned

his

in

of the world, and

nature

through the

Soul all
ii

The

It

real.

will not

and, while
the mistake.

In

of

and
ignorance,

us

we

the

as

and

the

On

not

occasion

of

sacred

dream,

wake

see

in

we

up

we

is but

dream,

admission

received the

to

the

of the

sect

by which
in after-years,
and, accordingto the
had joined,
discontinued wearingthe

of the sect he

custom

all

thingswe

that the world

his

Misra

be known

to

was

We

it

substance."

Sanyasis,Matiram

the

we

true

as

soon

exist,and

not

perceive
in the lap
are
sleeping
knowledge will dawn on

as

way

shall be able to know

shadow

philosophical
biographer,

that

soon

same

as

in future.

think

real,but

are

the

existed,it does

never

we
sleeping,

the dream

he

universe.

into existence

come

through the unreal


existence of one
Supreme
saw

felt the

world," continues

is not

He

mind.

thread, which

the

was

new

name

proud symbol of

his Brah-

manhood.
After

(orthe

Jibatma
or

time

some

once

human

started

of which

course

round

upon

he visited his native

of

village

more.

There

he

saw

wife, and
parents,his long-neglected

his

youth, but

associates of his

bound
for

contemplationof the
beingone with the Paratma

in the

soul)as
the Supreme Essence," he

travels,in the

the

"

spent

him

to

the

such

To

ever.

his relatives and


as

would

worthlessness

utter

the

friends had

of

world

he

and

once

dissolved

been

him

listen to
the

had

ties which

explained
its

hollow

then, the spiritof unrest


having again
an
tensive
exhim, he took his departureto make
of a land of
of the tirthas,or holy places,

and
pleasures,

seized upon
tour

shrines.

Alone, without

any

money,

clad

in

single

from end to end of India,


garment, did the Sanyasiroam
visiting
Bengal,Behar, Orissa, Madras, Bombay, Central
the long and
on
India, and the Himalayas,experiencing
weary

way

many

dangers and

snow-storms, and starvation.


he received unmoved

the

such
hardships,

While

on

his round

as

of

of the death of his

news
211

floods,
travels,

onlyson.

THE

For

thirteen

he had

obtained

settled down

cityof

for the

enjoyedthe greatestconsideration

he

sacred

him.

adore

to

and

Princes

tinction.
disfrom

their royal heads


him, and bowed
of healing,
his holy feet. Miracles,particularly

to

attributed to

his

them.

also

Images

worshipby

the

of the

saint

Rani

of

were

no

since,as

in

even

set

up

for

Barhar, the Maharajah of


other

Maharajah of Nagadh, and


doubt

duringhis
eJBSgyworshippedin

him, and templeswere,

lifetime,built in his honour, and

stone

then

consult

to

came

down

of his life in the

remainder

Pilgrimscrowded

and

travelled

Benares.

Here

the

INDIA

and constant
that
striving,
long probation
he had desired,
he
the ineffable knowledge

his

after
feeling,

were

Bhaskarananda

Swami

years

OF

SAINTS

and
India,alwayspractising
tapasya (penance),

about

afar

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

humble

many

private
Ajodia,

importantpersonages,

Hindu

households

also,

have

and metal

alreadymentioned, likenesses made of


of Swami-ji
in the idol-shops
were
plentiful

of Benares.
In

of what is indeed
recordingthe above particulars
a typical
case, I have stated enough to show the honoured
positionand unstinted veneration with which the ascetic
life in India

in this

even

may,

materialistic age, reward

the successful sadhu.


I

will conclude

with

followingextract
by Indians :
entirely

conducted

newspaper

the

from

"

"

DEATH

"

The

OF

death

SWAMI

is announced

night at Benares,

of Swami

celebrated recluse and


buried in
and

funeral

cholera,on

Bhaskaranand

devotee

will be

SARASWATI.

from

sitting
posture in

monument

BHASKARANAND

last

Sunday

Saraswati,the

of the
his

holy city.He was


garden at Durga Kund,

raised

over

his

grave.

The

attended

of people,
by a largeconcourse
among
whom
the Maharajas of Benares and Ajodhya,the
were
of
Rajas of Mainpuri and Nagod, and a large number
Indian gentlemen. The last time that we wrote about the
ating
Swami-jiwas when the Hon. Mr. La Touche, then officiwas

Lieutenant-Governor

of the North -West


212

Provinces,

has

race

Das,

3. Gareeb

as

of

account

head, took

Bagh
having both
Guru

This
disciples.
of

; and

Temple
here

Amritsar

at

was

in the month

annuallyattracts
holycityof the Sikhs.

tude
largemulti-

sadhu, his emaciated


arms
and
the
clenched
hands, which
quiterigid,
apparently
I

six inches

about

wasted

"

the

saw

shrunken, ^vith great curved

and

like bird's claws

of the

out

thin

had- his person rubbed all over


small loin cloth and a
and he wore
a
features

long, and

were

What he
agreeable.
the portrait
of him
quiteclear.
he

in the

with

In conversation
that
Bairagi,

looked

were

growing

fingers.

He

His

nails

were

look at

particularly
painfulto

apart,were

few

October, at the time

which
festival,

the

his

arms

of

sadhu,conspicuous

his

peopleto

When

the

is

above
uplifted
rigidly
temporary abode attended by a

up

of the Divali

of
despair

Bairagi.

Urdhabahu

an

Golden

famous

Adjoiningthe
grove known

need not

we

"

INDIA

Tribune, 15th July 1899 (Lahore).

future."" The

on

extinct

become

never

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

with

ashes,

white

neatlytied

turban.

the

expressionof his face


like,and his utter helplessness,

will,I think,make
frontispiece

him

I ascertained

that he

was

from

Ajudya,and had been the chela


of a famous guru formerlyattached to the Hunaman
Gari
deceased.
I had visited
monastery in that city,but now
Ajudya, and could talk about it and the sacred Surayu
which flows by that ancient town ; and so the sadhu,
(Gogra),
His
became
touched by old associations,
communicative.
he told me, was
Bas Bareilli in Oudh, and his
native place,
name

Das.

Gareeb
What

Bairagi was

came

wished
what

to
ascertain from
particularly
motive
could possibly
have induced

the
him

himself voluntarily
to such terrible,
such almost
subject
inconceivable personalhardships
as
were
plainlyinvolved
to

in the penance
himself of the

he had
use

adopted.

of both

unnatural

which
position

had made

them

Not

source

only had he deprived


but by the awkward

his arms,
he had forced them

of constant
214

to

assume

he

trouble,
weariness,and

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

inconvenience

repHes to

to

himself, both
he

said that from

perform

he
Scriptures

the

this

penance

had

and

himself

it

have

to

was

(Ctoo.),
or,

he

as

his

Sanskrit

distich which

end,^ and

meant,

Gareeb

Das

up above

make
end

one,.

hoped to

Gareeb

will be

arms

my

be

thus

the

As indeed

austerities
in the

did the Brahman

and

personage

than

the

this

famous

the

will of

the

"

subject, then

Ward
missionary

bring the

to

arm

the

when

use

says

its former

clarified butter ; and


obtains its
degrees,the arm

jointswith

Muconda,

who, by undergoingthe severest

by fire,with

voluntarydeath

purple,actuallysucceeded

cited in Forbes's

to

it be

their proper

to

months, by

two

"If

sadhus.

restored

Brahmans, whose

secondlyby the
peculiarstimulating

Das, speakingon

wishes
person
he anoints the
position,
in about

to the

to their former

secured,and

appointedtime comes."
Referringto such cases,
When

them

emollients with

apphcation of certain
known
to
properties
God," added

him, had had his

saw

restore

state,firstly
by presentsand feasts
intercession would

and

power

eightlong years, and desired to


further periodof four years, at the

time he

of which

that
life,

raj or
theygain

for

his head

change for

no

mundane

when
ascetic,

the

for

reallystrive

fall into the hell whither

then

lead
inevitably

dominion

arms

flesh,sadhus

in the next
position

and

power
their

mukti

(salvation).
bystander,on hear
spiritual
aspirations,

ill-mannered
of

Permashwar

"

mortifications of the

with

comes
a
kingdom, and from the kingdom
penance
"
hell
belief that, by such
in allusion to a common

From

comes

"

from several penances

obtain

said, to

also

ing the sadhii's statement


contemptuouslycited a
"

he

cryptic statement

communication

unsympatheticand

An

first he

rehgiousbooks he had selected


had been adoptedby several members
of his
monastery. His objectin thus afflicting

and

sect

own

At

in

recommended
as

unsatisfactory,

man.

elucidated by sayingthat
subsequently
this one,

sleeping.His

received his mandate

which

"

SADHUS

and

ilhterate

an

was

waking
evasive

were
inquiries

my

probablybecause
to

WITH

in

Mogul Emperor

Oriental Memoirs,

the view

coining back
vol. iii.pp.

215

of

being reborn

to this world

Akbar.

"

149, 150.

as

Wilford's

no

less

Essays,

former

and
position,

before."

there

As
rob

are

have

even

Das

was

there

no

bank
to

up

sadliu

hesitate to

Indian

seem,

hook, which

sentatives
repre-

waiting for
Jeypore on

as

was

much

promptly

the

been

him

the

near

train which

journey. Such

in Amritsar, and
What

find my
established in the Guru
to

was

which
my

friend Gareeb

the

Guru

servants

railwaystadon,

take

to

was

gusted
dis-

The

of my

some

was

deposits

robbed, and

with

the 26th of October.

of November

cash

lakh of rupees.
himself from
removed
as

his homeward

current

declared

rumour

to
pass-book,testifying

conversed

and

on

not

as

same

he had

where

which

strong

as

do

INDIA

illustrated when
sadliu. This was
Gareeb
helpless
deprivedby impudent thieves of all his portable

actuallya
mounting

met

who

it would

are,

property, includinga

Bagh

becomes

OF

ancient,if disreputable,
fraternity,
about
the
appropriating property of
scruples

of the
who

time

European thieves

church, so

in

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

him

away

was

the

I noted

on
surprise

Das

once

to

tale

down

the 7fch

again
robbery

Bagh, the story of the


invention got up to
having been in all probabihtya mere
stimulate publicinterest in sadhuji.On this occasion the
ascetic had a small privateenclosure of his own, made up
of bamboos
and cloth screens.
People were
crowdingin
I
and out of this enclosure in goodly numbers.
When
went
in I noticed great heaps,literally
heaps,of flour,salt,
sugar, and such things ^in fact,sacks and sacks full. It
the sadhu had given
appearedthat a few days previously
notice in the citythat he would not eat anythinguntil he
had entertained five hundred
unmarried
girlsat a feast.
He hoped to accomplish
this before the end of December,
but contributions had come
in so quicklythat the feastI
While
day had been fixed for the 9th of November.
the sadhu rose
and walked
was
learningthese particulars
"

few

paces

with

his

arms

above

did

so

fellow looked
poor
that I could
not
but
helpless
the

greatest compassion for him,

( Madras

the

View

his

head, and

he

utterlyand painfully
experiencea feelingof

so

not

unmingledwith

and Religionof the Hindus^


of the History,Literature,
Edition, 1863).

2l6

as

p. 297

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

of

admiration

certain

WITH

his

SADHUS
and

steadfastness

prolonged

endurance.
I took

Before

making

dropped a
who

me

took

upon

The

was
money
man
givento the police-

almonds

in attendance

attendant,

coupleof handjust two raisins

the remainder.

on

rupee

was

almonds.

the raisins and

and

removed

an
ascetic,

politespeech,offered

very

raisins and

fuls of
and

leave of the

my

me,

in accordance

with

prevailsat the Golden Temple. The


Punjabi policeman willingly
accepted the gift,carefully
kerchief.
tyingup the dried fruits and nuts in a very dirtyhandthe

v/hich

rule

sadhiCs feast to

The
proper

time, and

Hindu

ladies of

and

invited
a

of his

out

food

distribute the

and

guests. In this way

single
rupee

off in

girlscame

completesuccess, for a great many


the appointedday
came
on
good position
was

cook

helpedto

the unmarried

Gareeb

Das, without spending


himself

pocket,and

own

enabled, through the hberal contributions and

was

the

amongst

cripple,
helpful

to
courtesy of his admirers, to play the host munificently

five hundred

4. A

Yogi

Evil

youthfulmaidens

days

Amritsar

protected

who

had

come

of Amritsar.

from

the land.

upon

the

The

Plague.

plague had
it stringent

made

its appearance
in the Punjab, and with
of all real
orders for the compulsory segregation

suspectedcases
than

more

"

dreaded

measure

fell disease itself. Rather

the

privacy of

their

loved

separatedfrom
forcibly

ones

their dire need


of

homes

and

the

and
authorities,

the

conflict.

die

invaded, rather

committed

the peoplehad
hirelings,

"If

it be

the

by

to

them

the

lives had

the will of God

that

we

have
have

the

their

in the hour

of

unsympatheticcare

risen in armed

several

peoplefar

than
than

and

to
opposition

been

should

sacrificed in

die, let

us

the feeling
was
together,"
which animated
the hearts of a people not yet civilised
enough to appreciatethe highly prudent sentiments
which
elsewhere
enable
to
men
unmurmuringly give

togetheras

we

have

lived

217

THE

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

OF

INDIA

for infectious diseases,


up their dearest to the hospitals
their precious
selves from danger for the 'public
and save

good.
Well, in the evil days I refer to, a Yogi visited
rumoured
that his objectwas
to
Amritsar, and it was

city certain impending calamities.

the

from

avert

him

I found

the fine tank

near

known

Durgiana,

as

walls.
He
was
large space enclosed by canvas
raised platformof beaten earth, over
seated on a slightly
which
cloth had been spread. He was
a
envelopedin a
clean white cotton
sheet of good quality.Only a portion

in

of his face

visible,one

was

but

the eye

His

locks.

his matted

by

and

there

be

within

easy

and
rose-petals
to

resemble

gourd.
herself
prostrating

was

when

reach

two

first

other

he

By the
plates,one

cardamums

another

half closed.

was

practising
yoga,
him.

the

lotah and

brass

beingconcealed
and prominent,

bold

was

about

half-closed eyes

were

also

nose

cheek

and

the visible side of his face

on

Although supposedto
ears

eye

apparent meditation, the sadhii

give

to

and

ten

in return

front

justin

handful

me

of

of

him, where

with
together

rupees,

into

rupee

alreadylay

she

me

then, spellbound
While

me.

mums,
carda-

some

brass salver

eight or

some

lot of small silver and

saint

good enough

was

and
rose-petals

put

child

the

seeing

little distance,and
timidlywithdrew to some
by curiosity,
kept her eyes fixed upon

still in

were

young

before

but

approached him,

there

with

adoration

in

ing
contain-

water-pot shaped

brass

woman

kept his
Yogi'sside

copper

coins.

companion, a pandit who could speak Sanskrit,


tell me
asked
the
to
terms
Yogi in most
respectful
much
interested in the
something about yoga, as I was
My

matter

; but

verses

on

he

the

intended
"

here

Who

all the

importanceof

to

knows

to-day,gone

However,

saint vouchsafed

his
The

stay
?

at

"

was

truth.

was

Sanskrit

some

inquiredhow

long

Amritsar.
the

reply.

"

am

bird

:
{perind)

to-morrow."
Brahman

attendants

were

more

was
Yogi^smission, they explained,

218

municative.
com-

to

avert

to
proposed

with this end in view he

and
calamity,

threatened

SADHUS

WITH

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

feast
"

of Amritsar.
(1) The unmarried girls
(2) The sadhus who might be there.
(3) Muslim faquirs.
these last I could

Why
feasts
of the
As

tree

above

the

course

given at the expense of the inhabitants


endangeredcity; that is,out of their contributions.
a preliminar)?'
step,the Yogi determined to carry out
be

to

were

dailythe
style,and
number

Of

understand.

not

bloodless havan

of

in this was,

day'shavan
yards away.

for the

were

few

groundwas

fuel,kindled

but

not

mlHngly assisted by

course,

I visited the

When

of Brahmans.

the

horn sacrifice in the orthodox

or

goingon

stretched

Yogi,preparations

under

fine

raised about

canopy

the

over

suffered to

blaze

nine

spot where
up,

peepul

was

feet
some

quietly

smouldering.Two huge iron tongs stuck uprightin the


ground gave a ceremonial appearance to the place. The
in the tow^n investing
Brahmans
chief officiating
were
away
twice-horn youthswith the sacred thread, as it was
many
in demand
the festival of Baisakhi, and their services much
for this purpose.

For

and
regularly,

been formed
perof
for
the
food-stuffs
presents
posed
pro-

several

days the

havan had

graduallyaccumulating.However,
the Brahmans
the results had not been as satisfactory
as
attractive
and more
had hoped,so proceedings
on
a larger
a
to be undertaken, and for this purpose
scale were
big
six or eight
lined with bricks some
receptacle
trough-like
feet square was
being constructed,where the flames of a
reallyimposing havan might attract the attention and
of the public.
liberality
to the
of gratification
matter
a
Yogi,
My visit was
even
though he had turned his back upon the world and
its foolish vanities,for the following
day he mentioned,
with ill-concealed pride,to some
collegestudents that a
sahib

feasts had

been

had

to

been

see

him.

He

also

informed

them

that he had inflicted certain burns


incidentally
upon
for
the
as
a
arm
own
safetyof
qurhani,or sacrifice,

city,which

was

threatened

with
219

serious trouble.

his
the

THE

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

I believe,
came
Yogi^sfeasts,

The

it is worth

mentioningthat

that

Amritsar

To

year.

populacethese

facts

two

claims of sadhuism

the

AND

ASCETICS,

the

off

OF

and
satisfactorily,

plague did

majority of

once
justified

invade

not

the
and

plainlycause

were

INDIA

ignorant
and
effect,

by irrefragable

more

results.
All

Yogis

not

are

this
as
public-spirited

as

I knew

tutelarv saint of Amritsar.

constituted
who

in
sojourned

with

evident

self-

one

man

big shed usuallyoccupiedby members


of the sect,and there he passedhis time prettycontentedly,
toping. He was alwayspleasedto see me was this thirsty
soul,for my visits flattered his vanityand broughta rupee
I saw
to his scanty exchequer. Once
two
or
a
Sanyasi
the best of terms, and learnt that
with him, apparently
on
Whether
the two lived togetherand ate together.
this was
I do not know, but I think
quitewarranted by custom
also a hoj-Yogiin the company,
of about
not.
There was
cluding
twelve years of age, with the usual yogi emblems, inI ascertained
the large ear-rings.
that he had
been
I
dedicated to the order by his parents. While
talked with them, the guru, to refresh himself,poured out
and
small cup of ardent country spirits
tossed it off
a
relish.

he

food

afterwards

was

but
pretty freely,

fellow drank
Of

told that

became

never

old

the

quarrelsome.

sparingly.In the shed which


the Yogis,wild-looking
fellows,
they inhabited temporarily,
were
grouped in small partiesround two or three fires.
and
there too, squatted about
Many lay visitors were
watching the saints. Sunset being the hour
respectfully

partookvery

of the guru, his own


three
inebriate friend,just
my

for the adoration

gathered round
orb
to
as
a

was

as

the

their heads

solar
down

guru's feet. They blew their little whistles


if they were
sounding trumpets in the presence of
king, and then, placing their open hands side by

small

but

bowed

four chelas

their

side to

in

horizon, and

the

on

or

form

sort

circles

as

honour

of

the

ceremony,

if

of

bowl, waved

them

performingthe

Hindu

god.

There

were

in its artless

220

no

before him
rite

of

it
lights,

imitation,was

in

artee

is true,

mistakable.
quiteun-

THE

the sacred

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

in the river and

cows

SAINTS

to be towed

other bank

of this terrible Hindu

Styx.

that under

these circumstances

he should

to

cows

and
a

the

"

said, You

view

of the

quitefall in.
the

giveto

and

me,

INDIA
to the

across

On

suggesting

my

fail to present

not

laughedpleasantly
will giveto them,"

with which, needless to say, I did not


with
Vitarni river is a favourite subject

case

The

artist,who

Hindu

minded

Brahmans, the sadhu

will

OF

loves

to

the

impressupon

worldly-

dangersof its swollen flood,and the best,perhaps


the only,way
of reachingits farther side.
Another
picturein the sadhu's preciousbook made
evident how pindasoffered to the souls of the dead supply
materials for the gradualreconstruction of the body in nine
consecutive months, the head being the first part to be
the

re-created.

nine

The

stages of reconstruction

and successively
depictedupon
separately
The

Brahmachari

to see
especially

said

he

had

the far-famed

the
from

come

all

were

same

page.
south

the

festival at Amritsar,

Devali

going on to Hardwar in order to be present


the 27th of December.
there at the eclipse
of the moon
on
He dreaded nothingin his pleasant
wanderingsexcept the
officers on plagueduty,who, he said,gave a great deal of
and

intended

trouble

Sanyasiswere
Brahmachari.
did

they
dead,
Indian
said

travellers.

to innocent

and

held in much

not

considered

He

them

he

had

I remarked

and

rendered

holdingthat,
could

not

6. A

seen

the

itself be

Sadhu

Indian

of

An

Sanyasis"bodies disposedof by

insalubrious.
as

the

present during the interview

was

so

water

sand, in

were

deprecatedthis

polluted
notion,

it
all things,
furified

by anything.
polluted
European

indeed,as

sadhus^ yet such


222

Descent
one
are

did the Brahmachari^

the rivers

They

sacred

bags of

or

that in this way

Exceedinglyrare
non-

bad

this young
men," because

by

ceremonies for
performthe prescribed
interment
instead of cremation.
practised

simplysinkingthem, wdth stones


He laughed,
and
flowingstream.
when

"

not

gentleman who

that

esteem

may
not

at

well

Simla.

imagine,are

quite unknown.

Fig.

12.

SADHU

OF

EUKOPEAX

DESCENT.

To

face fage

222.

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

WITH

SADHUS

of the Indian
capital
ago at Simla, tlie summer
Government, I interviewed one Charles de Russette,a young
of French
descent, who, althoughbrought up as a
man

Some

years

educated
properly

Christian and

had, while

in that town,

he

which

himself.
did

made

matter

he

as

which

cause

European life and thought,it

severed

the

of hfe

mode

from

him

evident that he did not

was

regretthe step he had taken, and that he


with his condition and

Hinduism

disinclined to talk about

was

the

but, whatever

property,

some

for
Christianity

abandoned

find out,

not

inherited

his sisters,
reservingnothing for

to

over

he

Why

mere

Bishop Cotton's school


boy, embraced the life of a

that he had

I understood

sadhik

in

as

well satisfied

was

Hindu

devotee

"

Sanyasi,I think.
had not
Judging from outward appearances, the man
inconveniences as would affect
suffered any such physical
well clothed,
his health,and he was
though not
particularly
He informed
in any sadhu
stylethat I have ever seen.
that he Hved his solitary
life in the neighbourhoodof
me
in winter, when
the snow
Simla throughoutthe year, even
Of his fellow sadhus he
lay deep upon the mountains.
and assured me
that he had
spoke in terms of high praise,
seen
Yogi adeptsperform many most wonderful acts. Of
a

vice he discoursed in the usual

and

virtue

that it
lead

seemed

was

of

idly,happy

intellectual capac ty
I have
doubt he
no

very

the

commands

ordinarykind, but
highestrespectfrom
contented,without

and

ing
maintain-

Christian in order to

necessary to be a
Russette's
life. De

not

virtuous

way,

the

lives

natives,and

the

anxietyabout

any

morrow.

photograph reproducedhere

The
excellent

of

likeness

the

as

man

(Fig. 12)
him

saw

at

is

an

Simla

in

1894.

7. A

Naked
A

Information

that

Sanyasi
Princess
an

encamped on the maidan


having reached me, I went

his

and
of

Companion,

B
.

interesting
group
(openplain)near
there
223

one

of sadhus
the Lahore

morningto

make

was

Fort

the

THE

the

acquaintanceof
knowledge about

she
B

Not

needed

were

and

were

stock

my

naked

of

Sanyasi,and

let

conversation

that he

me
satisfy

to

increase

INDIA

peopleunderstand that
childless daughterof the Rajah of

minutes'

many

party

Sanyasinwho

widowed

was

OF

sadhuism.

naked

almost

an

SAINTS

and

visitors

leaders of the

The

AND

ASGETICS,

MYSTICS,

with

at best

was

the
a

sadhu

shameless

would enrich my
but, as I thoughthis portrait
reprobate,
wish to take a photographof him
I expressed
a
collection,
tickled his vanity,and
and his followers. This suggestion
he had the effrontery,
though I am sure he did not wish
to offer to have himself taken in a most
to be impertinent,
and unseemly attitude,which would
strate
demonobjectionable
his viriHtyto the greatestadvantage.His female
companionwas, I should say, under twenty-five
years of
and

not

attractive.
particularly

short

and

bleached

age,
cut

hair
plaited
bit of
had

them

of them

sadhus, one

of

their persons.
Three or four
Kanphata Yogi,had joinedthese

boy

devotee

of

years of age also belongedto the company,


devoted to the Sanyasin.

seemed

I conversed

While

trees, there
about

two

was

with

small

the

and

sadhus

under

group

of

gatheringof
ever-changing

persons round
wanderers.
respected,

hundred

much
evidently
had

Both

over

travelhngcompanions. A

as

cloth.

cotton

twelve

about

and

rubbed

ashes

worthies

hair

of

sort

of dark-coloured

turban

her

wore

while the
yellow-brown,
beard, and had his long,neatly
a respectable
round his head, and kept in placeby
wound

Sanyasiwore
a

She

these
Most

queer,

though

of the visitors

it were, to pay their respects to the


after having had their morning bath in the river.

droppedin, as

sadhus

companion,the almost nude


and
girls,
; yet women,
Sanyasin,were not edifyingsights
families were
all gazing at them
children of respectable
bashfulness.
without any sign of shame
or
reverentially,
people these sadhus, and not
holy privileged
They were
with ordinaryeyes or judgedby customary
to be regarded
The

mendicant

naked

standards.

by

some

and

Yet, whilst I

Aryas
"

his

present,a protestwas

was

sectarians of

nudeness.
Sanyasi^s

Angry

new

accusations

224

school
and

"

raised

againstthe
bitter retorts

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

WITH

SADHUS

of the altercation the


exchanged,and in the course
Sanyasi tried to turn the tables upon his censors
by
them
what
significantly
asking
they gained by deserting
the rehgionof their ancestors.^
Meanwhile, as a sort of practical
reply to the Arya
the sadhus
were
objectors,
offerings
accumulatingnear
wheat, flour,rice,lentils,
ghee,and also copper and silver
coins.
It was
plainthat the Sanyasiand his companions
were

"

in favour and

were

leader of the

faring
badly. As

hot

party,followed by

others,indulgedin the
wonderful
Just

pull

luxury of

quiteenough

was

pipe which

is used

then

by

the

pipesof charas,exhaling

was
so
pungent that it had
cloth appliedto the bottom

wet

and

woman

of dense white smoke

two

or

smoke
a

volumes

the

conversed,the

we

their

from

for each

to

one,

be drawn

of the

lungs.
for the

through

tall chillum

or

in

charas-smoking.
was
arrangedthat the group should be
photographedby me the next morning. When, at the
to the camping-groundwith my
appointedtime, I came
I found to my
surprisethat the sadhus had all
camera,
disappeared,
leavingnot a trace behind them. However, I
if possible,
bent on having their portraits
was
and, after
and no
little discouragement,
followed
patientinquiries
them
of the city
one
up to a little temple of Siva near
dismayed when they saw me, for the}'
gates. They were
told I was
had been artfully
officerand wished to
a police
have their photographsin order to get them into trouble.
I learned also that the principal
sadhu had been forced
by the Aryas to put on a rag about his loins. He and a
of Hindu
number
who were
men
present at the temple
this visit it

At

"

710

visitors were

women

there

informed

"

had been

very badly used by the


all the offerings
which
spoiled

and
and

even

much

How

say, but

surmised

platesand

truth

there

was

that I

it did
possibly,
^

An

Indian

account

was

not

knew
in

me

very

had

been made

utensils

in these

to

scattered

them,

to

be

looted.

I cannot
allegations

well, and

quest of materials for

no

doubt

book, and,

suit these sectarians to have the naked

of the rise and

progress

and Social.
Life,Religious
V

had

their

Aryas

that the ascetics

Aryas,who

caused

the

me

225

of the Aryas will be found

in my

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

OF

INDIA

described for

European readers,hence their opposition


and interference. However, the soothinginfluence of
to dispelthe suspicions
three rupees enabled me
two
or
aroused in the minds of the Sanyasi and his supporters
This I have now
the photographI wanted.
and to secure
much
pleasurein reproducing(Fig.13), as it is, I am
inclined to tiiink,
unique in its character.

sadhu

8. A

Sadhu

the

On

of

Lineage

Bhanu

Singh."

of

21st

"

Royal

May

1899,

Prince

"

the

at

Bir

Sankalwalla

the Golden
monastery, alongside

Temple of Amritsar, I
interviewed a young sadhu of about thirty
years of age, who
of Maharajah
to be a son
had aroused my interest by claiming
the infant King
Duleep Singh. Now, Duleep Singh was
that country was
annexed
of the Punjab when
by the
He
removed
to England, embraced
British in 1849.
was
there, lived the hfe of an Englishgentleman,
Christianity
and, in his old age, offended by what he considered the

parsimony of

Government

the

sedition in the

foment

towards
with

Punjab

restoration to the throne

of his

tried

him,
view

his

to

father,the famous

to

own

Ranjit

Singh.
he

The

sadhu

was

born

who

claimed

England, and

in

grandson said
Ranjit's

stated

that, a few months

had

another

met

The

Maharajah Duleep Singh.

late

of the

be

Amritsar, he

his arrival at

before

to

man,
young
did not look

face, mild grey eyes, and


the surveillance of
under
robust, was
particularly
had

who

weak

policemennot
a

of idlers to

number

for

sadhu

arcade

he

"

on

his mat

advent

congregate. A

who

men

My

was

chair

accompanied

under

the

the

me

roof of

brought
squattedwith
a
long vaulted
was

in fact.
cloister,

educated
like

conversed

two

for

excuse

him, informed
My host, if I may so designate
had been brought to India when
very young,

been
not

Two

me.

the

in uniform.

son

to

at

Benares.

inquire. I

with

the

his mother

Who

had

sadhu, and
2Z6

pandit

with

afterwards

that

me

and

was

me

assured

had
did
who
me

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

that he had

WITH

SADHUS

tincture of Sanskrit

some

of

that
was
pronunciation
ascertained for myselfthat
his

seek

the word

adoptedSikh
he was
philosophy,
to no
but belonged

in faith

Sikh

nouncing
(pro-

Bengalisdo),though he had

and

customs

not

very
he was

the

as

had

he

perhapsI should rather say a


of English. He affirmed that

and that
learning,
native of Bengal. I
a
or
very imperfect,
knowledge
elementary,

outward

symbols.

As

to

of very liberal opinions,


sect ; that is,he had not been initiated
He read to us
order or brotherhood.
particular

into any
in Sanskrit

from

views
religious

Vedantist

the
ordinaryletter-paper
formed, and these were
expounded
Hindi by the pandit who was
my

he had

by bit,in
companion.
to

me,

bit

All

the

his ideas.

made

reference to it the

some

equal

with

Christ

was

not

had

connected

minute

after,he

by adding that

Christs.

there

guru ; but he admitted

his

Accordingto

had

that

one.
.

had

not

darkly,that

he

smilingreply;

"

"

Do

that

all your heart."


well-dressed
The

depictedin
young

arrived.

leaving he

was

practised
yoga.

explained
portionof

message to deliver to the world, and that it was


the time for
with the Bible ; but apparently

it
proclaiming

As

was

ascetic hinted,somewhat
princely

The
too

but,

for Christ to have

necessary

and

English,and when I
sadhu spoke of Nanak
and

and

should have

opinion,
everyone
it

of Nanaks

thousands

him

his admiration

discounted

somewhat
were

reverence

stated

nervous,

in

Testament

New

of the

copy

clearlyvery

was

tremblingvisiblyas he
Lying on the mat near

his hands

sadhu

the

while

of

sheet

you ?
is the

sadhu

the annexed

mentioned

to

"

"

said.

only way
and

his

to

in my

Yes,"

that
was

love God

he

the
with

official escort

are

photograph(Fig.14).
Punjab Universitywho

had

graduateof the

accompaniedme

me

visit to

the

sadhu

entertained

these
wonderfullysuspicious
educated Indians)that this man
was
reallya Government
and employed as a sort of decoy
spy, playinga character
to test the loyalty
of the Sikh community. For my part,

strange suspicion(they are

227

I could

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

that the poor fellow


hands
of unscrupulous

a
help expressing
hope

not

not

was

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

tool in the

wretched

agitators.
subjoinwithout verbal alteration a curious printed
Prince Bir
leaflet in strange English which the sadhu
I

"

"

Bhanu

Singh
parted.
"good
"

teach

Who

has

he

commendments

0 carnel minded

and

"

carnel minded

early.Be

believe him

of

is witness

Heaven

sure, he

obligeboth king to
without
if they are
"

hath
"

all his hearts unto

of him

not

peoplewith
"

done

to

comendments

of Lord

God.

And

Christ.

well
closely
foughtbest againstall

! Christ hath

hath

! beseech

man

all without

wrong

but

to

Bent

only teacher of open heart, who is


obligethem both king to
; therefore he can
said by him.
good comendments

of

son
glorified

you

the best work


man

carnel minded

Pall, want

is found

He

world.

Almightypower.

this world ! believe my


the heaven can't entice him,

because

carnel minded

from

came

! of

man

to know

come

whom

To

this.

that he is above

pen
who

Christ.

sayings.
to keep his sayings
fail,
;

this,therefore every
people with this God

carnel minded

Lord

by

his

keep

! not

man

flesh

thy own

of him.

he is not

we

as

me

bible.

salvation said

same

child to

be

to

to

! thou better clean

enjoyedthis ;

said

hath

holy

of

man

other the
not

hand

good enough to

was

because

lightas

they

father.

salvation

same

purifyfirst "his own

hearts ;

the

Almighty

only the

He

as

flesh and

without
did

that you have


best knowledgeteached by
!

you

he

love God

then

this,none

nothing with
taught to his Pall
has

caught the

can

thyselfbefore

with

all

same

Lord

their advocate

Christ.
"

lighttold by
after

mind

carnel

the

the

same

therefore you are


If you fail to do
as

you

holy tongue
manner

bound
so, you

blind to find out

are

because
Pall

as

follow

to
are

child.
228

you

are

learned
the

the

not

with

best work

same

cleaned

Christ,
of him.

obligedto keep his sayings

f5

-/3

a"

PERSONAL
"

camel

net, as the
but

EXPERIENCES

God

minded

is

the

as

Lord's
none.

of

son
Almighty father and glorified
I
that
Lord Christ. Who
know
spoked very boldly
beloved father give them knowledge to be
0 my

you.

minded

carnel
mind

shall

enjoy the

better
He

giveyou

Be

that

blind

burn torch but


bound

out

is creator

God

sure,

keep

minded

carnel

because

salvation

same

! without

his

not

can

to follow the

this

are

they

as

; you

enjoymentyou

sayingswithout

from the

in the house

seat

both

be follower after them

ye

man

take you

then

can

"

child to

be

he

death.

carnel minded

his father and

man

his Pall

and

no

see

"

heart of prayer,

enjoyment.
salvation
enjoythe same

! he

man

themselves,therefore

did

lightthe night,

of

work

holy

one

in

you

of this

better taste

well wisher unto


"

that

now

lightthe day, and the moon


only perfectto enlightthe

carnel minded

I believe

man

SADHUS

sun

therefore thou
"

WITH

discussion.

of death and

room

can

of

Almighty father.
! you
fear by every
man
step,
of all things. Do best for thyself.

man

other's face with

trouble

can

therefore
giveroad exactly,

you

are

of him."

best work

Prince

BiR
An

Advocate

of

4. 6. 99.

Holy

Enghsh Bible.
SongolaAkhara

Bearer.

Doyal AgniHoiri

Hor

Singh.

Bhanu

Amritsar

of Kanoos.

Punjab."

9. A
He

had

never

Sadhu
had

life,
explaineda sadhu

paid me

who

had

to

day'swork in his
make
ance,
my acquaint-

had

inherited sufi"cient

occasion to do

who, in order

visit in 1895.

God.

found

He

to render
property in his native village

livelihood
done
sons

his

and

any labour for a


He had faithfully

quiteunnecessary in his case.


duty to his family and to society,
having had
grandsonsborn unto him, and for two-and-twenty
229

THE

MYSTICS,

years

he had

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

performedthe ceremoiiies prevery strictly


scribed
his religion,
down
to the minutest
and most

by

tryingdetails.
At

lengthone

duty

to

"

saying,
from

with

am

thee, thou

voice,Hke that

voice in the heart


Convinced

thus

The

one

voice

speakingto another,not

man

the inner consciousness.

or

that it

months

clear and

was

the voice of God

was

him, he obeyed its command

unto

Some

of

clean,refrain henceforth

art

all these observances."

audible
a

steady and prolongeddevotion


him
to
recognition.A voice came

with

met

his

day

later the

which

unhesitatingly.

voice said to

same

spoke
"

him,

Thou

hast

nothingto do with property,or with familyties. Go


I am
forth from thy home.
with
thee always." He
buted
resignedall his property forthwith to his children,distrifive hundred
the

poor,

and

twenty-five
rupees

cancelled all debts

due

in cash

him,

to

and

amongst
wandered

forth alone.
"

I don't

said the

sadhu

this

point,my

and

the like

who

had

was

believe in Shastras
"

to

I have

me,

visitor admitted
useful for

were

found God.

To

Vedas

or

God

"

Mantras,^^

or

Catechised

that such

on

Vedas

thingsas
but not for
worldlings,

whom

he

was

to

when

pray

one

God

with him, guidingand instructing


him ?
alvjays
However, with all his emancipationfrom theological

and

ceremonial

the sadhu, I found out,


restraints,

not

was

prepared to eat food which had been handled or even


touched
He
had
not, as yet, received God's
by me.
caste
permissionto do so much as that. The hereditary
in him, too essential a
too strongly
was
prejudice
ingrained
set aside even
portionof his very nature, to be lightly
by
this enfranchised

My
he

aid

of

who

comes,

the

visitor boasted

got sick, and

the

Hindu.

that

he

he

took

recovered

physician.

any

"

When
"

can

save

moment
predestined

die ?

that

no

medicine

his health

my
said

when

without

appointedtime

life ?
he.
my
has arrived,how
can

"

And,
I

till

possibly

"

The

ascetic

and cleanly
dressed in
comfortably
orange-coloured
dhotyor loin cloth and a long hurta
was

230

an
or

certain

side of the

other

the

shells full of

three

poured out

now

before the idol, made

water
to

sadhu

The

flowers.

INDIA

OF

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

obeisances,and

There, again on

tree.

went

leg,

one

he muttered
his
sun,
facing the bright unclouded
hand
first he held one
prayers to the great luminary. At
outstretched towards Surya ; then he entwined the fingers
of the two hands togetherin strange ways ; next held his
hands,with palmsopposed,towards the sun-god; and, lastly,

and

extended

loud

his

libation of

and

tree

times, he

three

round

native

Bairagiwhose
been

Kashmir

to

favoured

by
a

chief.

also

my

estimation.

the raised earthen


it

swept. On

were

year

"

dry and green.


presence by the white

both

been
the

in

was

by

that

received from

had

course,

was

to

livingunder
placeof abode

in Lahore,
His

"

lot of wood

placea

one

well

fuel,

declared

smouldering fire
off into

the

the diminutive

gourd-shapedbrass vessel, which seemed to


serpentinetrumpet.
quitenew, and a huge peculiar
a

When

opened

its

breezy
four garments lyingin a
or
the Bairagi"*
s bedding
were

it gave

smoke

atmosphere. There were three


which I presume
heap together,
and coveringduring the night. Near
stood

in

raise him

smooth, clean, and

platform was
piledin

and

he

him.

I found

he

said he had

grantedhim

this,of

that

Nath, that he had

the favours

been

Bairagihad
peepultree where

The

with

converse

He

Benares.

allowance

All

of Baroda.

Kajah

learned

of Jummu,

Maharajah

by a
turning

After

sun.

in

words
end

an

free to

now

visit Amar

spoke of

to

grand

the other side of the

to

him, and

subsistence

the

the

was

placewas

to

the

receiptof
He

He

I addressed

visitors,so

back

went

down.

sat

to the

full of water

conch

the

Sanskrit

worship. Utteringsome
voice, he brought his devotions

object of
a

towards
appealingly

hands

his

both

conversation

attendant, well versed in such

the

with

idol
be

Bairagi,my

matters, offered him, very

which, no doubt, helpedto


a coupleof rupees,
respectfully,
on
a
friendlyfooting.It is true the
place us at once
but indicated by a gesture
sadhu did not touch the money,
I could see
him.
that it might be placedon a mat
near
that he

kept a

watchful

eye

on

it for

few

minutes

; he

:3

.3

as

P3

5^

as
o

"o

PERSONAL

then

EXPERIENCES

quietlysignedto

coins.

As

did not

to

his

smoke

WITH

SADHUS

of his chelas to

one

habits, the Bairagiassured

charas

only luxury in which


him he disposedof

the silver

remove

that he

me

drink

bhang. Tobacco
he indulged,
and while I
chillum (pipe)of it to
a
nor

the

was

with

was

his

own

enjoyment.
were

to

When

I first arrived

very
whom

few

children

"

brought a crowd
thoroughfare.Near
From

us,

by

canal, concealed

screen.

the

Bairagi^splatformthere
only the three or four women

peopleabout
I have alreadyreferred,
and
playingunder the trees ; but
round

the

at

was

from
this

behind

for

we

presence
my
close to a

were

women's

pubHc

soon

public

in
bathing-place

view

enclosure,as

party of

small

by

sheet-iron

I conversed

with

the

in drippinggarments,
Bairagi,emerged a woman
exposinga good deal of her shapelyperson. Two elderly

attendants

waited upon her as she changedher wet clothes


without much
affectation or ceremony,
and seated herself on
to have her long black tresses dried
a stool in the sunshine
and

otherwise attended
look

and

to.

The

woman

was

fair
certainly

the

thought struck me that the spot


well chosen by the Bairagisfor their sojourn,
if they
was
and
wished
to
not
flee ignominiouslyfrom,
conquer,
certain temptationsagainstwhich frail humanity is not
usuallyvery strong. Perhaps,however, the saints were
not quiteso heroic,or so foolish,
I have imagined,
and
as
were
guided to the selection of that particular
placefor
their camping-ground
merely by a keen eye to pecuniary
to

results ;
best

upon,

since,after all,it is

women-folk

supportersof sadhuism in India

11. Yogis
A

the

party of

half

Pious

and

dozen

or

who

are

the

elsewhere.

Women.

to Lahore
Yogiscame
and made
themselves somewhat
by occupying
conspicuous
favourable positions
of the main
some
alongside
fares.
thoroughOne of these sadhus used
to sit at the meeting
of three roads, and
the objectof a great deal of
was
from
the
who
attention,especially
paid their
women,
respects to Maharaj as they went
by him on their
a

or

233

more

THE

MYSTICS,

homeward

AND

ASCETICS,

journeyafter

SAINTS

OF

dailymatutinal

the

INDIA

bath

in the

river Ravi.
These

much
exercised in
good creatures were
seeingthe holy ascetics eatingpinchesof wood

at

from

time

devout
pulsive
imtime, and some,
more
or
more
of the Yogisto permit
the others,beggedone

minister

to

to

his

but

to

in

her

offers of service,he

their assistance
than

the

rest

of

"

hand.

own

"

fair one,
honour
an
The

the

one

He

haughtilydeclined
pious lady, more
pressing

feed you

to

me

with

so

but
good-naturedly,

when

the

partakeof
The

his

ministrant

It will be

stillreluctantly,
yielded

favoured

tw^o other

or

one
women

fed his
"

bless the

saintship

amongst them

sixteen years of age.


partakenof as much food

Every day,
as

he cared

remainder,biddinghis kind friends

it themselves.

of the

regularmeal-time
of

with

the

about

Yogi had

for,he would

the

one

girlof

morsel

mine."

and

did

mouth

hands.

own

my

condescended

to lift a

Maharaj,"said

me,

point. Henceforth

beautiful

to

Permit

to

saint

and
daily,
a

wants.

explainthat he had taken a vow never


food (or anything but ashes)to his

to

ashes

to

than

them

mind

lucky Yogi

became

an

and
certain man,
a
passers-by,
who
probablylived or had his place of business in the
immediate
in the habit of coming to
was
neighbourhood,
watch
the proceedings.Observing,
perhapswith a pang
of jealousy,
the beautiful young
girlI have alluded to
delicate
feedingthe almost naked Yogi with her own
this discontented spectatorventured to wonder in
fingers,
event

interest to

audible terms
as

she

to

was

drawingher
the

whether

veil

the
over

the

she

was

saint.

as

Of

her face

attentive to her husband


course

the

young

wife,

that
bashfully,
suggested

business ; but the


might mind his own
showered a volleyof
Yogi,irritated by his impertinence,
abuse upon
him
time to take
at the same
him, desiring
himself off and
stand there staringat his betters.
not
till the
Uncomplimentaryepithetswere
freelyexchanged,
ascetic,
losinghis temper, threw his stick at the intruder,
but without effect. He
next
hurled a piece of lighted
rude

firewood

fellow

at

the

man,

and,
234

more

successful this

time,

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

SADHUS

WITH

the result that he

adversaryon the arm, with


sHghtlyburnt.
In a rage
hterallya burning rage

struck his
was

now

"

fellow
with

hastened

arrival,pressingforward

new

him

beat

and

sadhu

the

at

Bystandersin horror

stick.

when

flew

some
the meddle-

"

to

soundly
interfere,

to

the

what

see

about, graspedthe situation and laughingly


here, have you ?
so
exclaimed; Oh,
you have come
Noticinghis familiar mode of address, several present

excitement

was

"

"

"

queried with
'''

he

does

Whence

come

is he ?

Who

Do

surprise,
"

and

and

his caste-mates

far off."

not

Are

choorah ?

sure

you

there

that

see

of

son

(sweeper) by caste,
"

on.

so

the

Why

Maharaj ?

the

know

you

several of

are

"

cJioorah

from

came

many

voices.
"

rather

I should

beraderi.

own

disclosure

This

Tola ! toha !

these

with

am

sure

he

"

is

of my

one

since he

him

known

not

like

was

"

their

hands

own

and

horrified

have

was

fled without
"

Toha

"

feeding

eating their

and

the

by

blue !

bystanders.

been

victimised

anxiety.

of the

bolt out

said the

respectableladies

leavings."
The
pious women
and
faces closely
shame

Have

"

child ?

"

think

chooraJis

contaminated

Yogi

veiled their

word, overwhelmed

I toha !

"

And

passedfrom

with
mouth

by mingled feelings
of merriment, indignation,
and disgustat the discomfiture
and punishment of the low-caste Yogi,^and at the terrible
how
terrible only the Hindu
knows
predicamentin
which the women
zealous of good works had quite
innocently
to

mouth, and

the

crowd

moved

was

"

"

placedthemselves
12. A
At

and

their families.

pseudo-Sai3hu

and

his

Adventures.

publicmeeting I heard a well-dressed


not
without sly humour
a
Sikh, referring,
evidently
of conscious
touch
a
pride, to the days when,
^

I did not learn whether

these

men

were

real

man,

and
as

Yogis,or only pretenders.

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

of
eluded the vigilance
he had successfully
^seudo-sadhu,
the police,
living
unrecognised
amongst many real sadhus,
of true pietyand estimable character.
men
I wished
about
to know
somethingmore
Naturally,
this man
and
his experiences.
My inquiries
eventually
of
led to my
his
adventures
t
he
learning following
story
who assured me
that he had heard
from a Sikh gentleman,

it from

himself.
qnondsLin-sadhu

the

most
may not be accurate
features of the narrative
"

the

details may
or
the latter ; but the main
likely

are

probablythose acceptedby

publicand known in the


in some
Being implicated
in connection

movements

The

bazaars.
way

certain seditious

in

of
political
designs

with

the late

MaharajahDuleep Singh which caused a flutter in the


arrested
was
Punjab a few years ago, the Sikh in question
in
by order of the Government, and detained as a prisoner
authorities.
the fort of Lahore in chargeof the military
cell in which

The

he

confined

was

was

storey,and

in

an

upper
of
roof of one

opened upon the flat terrace


It was
the buildings.
guarded by British soldiers ; but
his
nevertheless the hope of effecting
an
escape from
the custom
for
did not desert the captive.It was
jailers
the relieving
sentry to open the door of the cell and
himself of the actual presence of the prisoner
there,
satisfy
his watch upon the roof-top.
before he commenced
Day followed day,and the hope of escape became less
to take
and less,when
one
night the soldier who came
for liquor,
the worse
carelessly
over
charge,being slightly
The longomitted to lock the cell door securely.
to the
wished-for hour had come.
Listening
breathlessly
tramp, tramp of the sentry as

monotonous

he walked

to

favourable moment
seized the most
fro,the prisoner
with
and silently
to effect his escape, and, moving rapidly
bare feet across
an
open space, crept up to the parapet.
and

The
from

nightwas
that

roof of

The

of

enough to

show

him

that

jump

down

not to be thoughtof, but the


was
position
than
less loftybuilding
much
nearer
was

surface of the

gleam

clear

hope

country outside,and
to

one

fine old fort of

seemed

preparedto take no
the Mogul emperors
236

to

flat

the

aftord

risks.
ordinary
had long since

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

he learned,to his great delight,


that Government
Sadhu-ji,
had
been
had granted a free pardon to all who
in the Duleep Singh affair. Nothing could
concerned
his sadhuism
restrain his joy. He
forthwith,
repudiated
hastened
home
bade his kind companionsfarewell,and

to

to

had

learn all that

friends

duringhis

amongst his kinsfolk and

occurred

concealment under

as
disguise

religious

mendicant.

piousHindu,

Heaven,
and
at

to

went

an

13. Yogi

Guests.

desirous

of

of
securingthe blessing
encampment of Yogisoutside the city

invited their

humbly

his poor house.


They
and preparations
were
the

When

for their arrival

time

of the

chambers

house,

desire her presence in an assemblyof men,


and sat at a window, to
of Yogis. She went upstairs

watch

guests. She

arrival of the

the

they entered,in

her

anxietythat

food for them

all. There

were

feast

beingover,

and

The

took her seat

the hostess
that she

wished

to

might know
down

come

fared.

lords had
her

hand, the

at

was

he did not

even

so

meal

tion,
graciously
acceptedthe invitament.
duly made for their entertain-

host bid his wife retire to the upper


as

partakeof

to

reverences

left
fingers,

as

at

them

there should

the

window

same

enough

to

depart,

once

more,

all gone,

they were
to
as
possible

soon

Only nineteen,as
the house, and

learn how

remained

the twentieth

she

as

she told them


she

so

as

be

twenty arrivals.
the guests about

when

what
wonderingimpatiently

counted

my

off

on

upstairs,
could

man

be

doing.
Her

husband

curtlyhe
about

descend

to

had

called her down


dismissed

once

when

arrive at the
when

house, she
all the guests had

assured her that all had


at

her

and

look after

but, rememberinghow
the

holy men
that she
replied
gone.

and
departed,

things,as

Her

were

would

husband

desired her to

he wished

to

show

come

his

them back to their encampment.


respectto the Yogisby attending
of her
She came
the cause
down, explained
at
and, as became a good housewife,commenced
hesitation,
to the pots and pans and the brass plates
once
attending
238

PERSONAL
had

which

EXPERIENCES

been
in

used

WITH

the

by

guests.

SADHUS

husband

Her

then

hurry to catch up the holy sadhus on their


homeward
journey.
Female
who, curious to hear all about the
neighbours,
feast,had been waitingto visit the hostess as earlyas the
would
on
allow, were
proprieties
surprised
approaching
the house to notice a young Yogi coming out of it afterthe
He had a prettybigbundle tucked
had gone away.
master
under his arm, and was
making oft hurriedly.Some
away
who were
intimate friends of the family,not disinclined
women
for a bit of gossip,
ventured to ask him as he
passedalong how he happenedto stay back after all his
companions had departedfollowed by the master of the
went

out

house.
He

explainedthat

two

three

of his

party,
attend the feast,and

or

men

though invited,had not been able to


that his good hostess had kindlycooked a special
supply
of food for them, which he was
takingwith him. Hence
"

the

delay. But, Maharaj,"remarked


have

to
willing

like

have

"

chat, food is

that, but in platesor

thoughtof

While
seemed

some

to

entered

came

dead, in
part of

time

bundle

hostess should

Your

shocked
visitors,

an
alarm, and
raising

it

to

move

who
on,

there,to their horror,


hostess

lying

of the better
blood, despoiled
all the valuable

in the

was

anxious

the unfortunate

"

The

and

the house, and

ghastlyscene

she

carried in

the holy man,


interviewing

pool of her own


her clothing
and

ornaments

The

thus

pressedfor

others had
upon

baskets.

still

women,

that."
were

be

never

the

habit

and

of

gold and

silver

wearing.

ran
terrified,

after the

Yogi,

long before he was apprehended.


had apparentlymanaged to

not

was

cruel murderer

cleverlyconceal himself somewhere in the house, till his


host's departureafforded him the opportunity
of carrying
his nefarious design.
out
14. A

Sadhus

fed, and

Sadhu

toil not, neither


not

as

Restaurateur.

they spin,and yet they are


when they assemble in
either,even
scantily
do

239

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

in
tlieir thousands, at the
large numbers, sometimes
at sacred placesthroughrehgiousfairs,held periodically
out

India.
much

Entering a
melas, I found
iron

visited

enclosure

at

of these

one

sadhu, with his chelas and some


huge
The
I
fed
his
sadhu,
was
informed,

cauldrons.

brethren,and

whoever

else

My

visit

made

meal-time,but there

one

of the

ascetic

him, twice

to

came

day.
in

milk

not

was

at

cauldrons

immense

being gently warmed.


have

might

Thinking that

and

the

sadhu

of his own,
that the
or
carried on at the expense of some

informed

was

having secured

the

the needful

funds

came

buted
pointedlythat everybodycontriI felt
inquisitiveness,
so, after my

it ; and
to do likewise.

towards
constrained

gallonsof

pecuniaryresources

kitchen was
extemporised
where
moneyed persons, I inquired

from,

fifteen

some

were

of

It would

that the

seem

sadhu,

huge cauldrons and other


of proportionately
largedimensions,
necessary cooldng-pots
togetherwith the services of a few willing
helps,set up,
use

some

and opened,without hesitation


advertised,
for the free

restaurant

hungry souls,for

supplyof

he knew

his
misgiving,

or

food to ascetics and

the generous

other

publicwould

do

the rest for him.


His
kitchen

confident
was

were
expectations

his

great success.

15. A

The

and
fullyrealised,

Saint

Chains.

in

is givenin
portrait

ascetic whose

an

earlier portion

volume, p. 48, although a Muslim, deserves a


of the unusual
passingnotice here, not only on account
of this

nature

for the

of his self-inflictedtorture, but


which

motive

Some

faquirwho

Indian

in

newspapers

moving

was

burden
self-imposed

happeningto

prompted

come

him
interviewing

quarterof Lahore.

about

of massive

it.

1891

the

drew

was

240

attention to

country under

iron chains.

I found an
way,
my
in his temporary abode

He

particularly

more

This

heavy
ascetic

opportunityof
in

the

native

tall,
large-boned
man,

under

EXPERIENCES

PERSONAL

WITH

and, though much

of age,
retained
austerities,

fiftyyears

emaciated

of

ample evidence

SADHUS

his

by

naturally
vigorous

physique.
Accompaniedby
where

Sabit Alii

of chains,was
visit. We

son,

my

I ascended

Shah, surnamed

puttingup,

and

Sankal-Walah,
where

he

stretched upon

found him

to the

upper
or

room

the

man

expectingour
mat, heavily
weighted
was

with iron chains.

Accordingto

the

hasty judgments of

Europeans
publicprints,
his sins by the
the ascetic,
was
conscience-stricken,
expiating
in conversation with
torture of his body ; but I ascertained,
him, that the objectand motive of his austerities were
somethingvery different indeed. He had, it appeared,
referred to

had

who

suffered grave

in the

Sankal-Walah

at
injustice

some

the hands

of certain influential

to take vengeance
unwilling
upon
he imposed this heavy burden upon
self,
himthem personally,
in the hope that God would pityhis miseryand mete
out justpunishment
to his enemies.
I was
After some
able to get the faquirto
persuasion,
stand to us for his photograph. He was
weak, and his
so
chains so heavy,that it was
to get him on
no
easy matter
his feet,or to keep him standingfor even
a few moments.

and, unable

persons,

However, my
of the

son

was

or

able to

as
ascetic,

the

satisfactory
graph
photoin ChapterIII.
reproduction
secure

will show.
The

informed
faquirsubsequently

by letter that he
for the performanceof a cerea
was
mony
subscription
raising
at which
he would
formallylay aside his chains.
These, I understood, would be depositedat the shrine of
Whether
the famous saint.Data Ganj Bakhsh.
the wishedme

had overtaken
Sabit AUi Shah's enemies,
for vengeance
the time limit fixed by himself i6T carrying
the chains
or
had
money

expired,I

cannot

for
required

tell; but

the ceremony

this I
was

not

know, that

and
forthcoming,

still burdened
with
unhappy faquir,
iron,left Lahore in disgustand despair.

that the

241

the

his load

of

CHAPTER

SOME

1.

SADHVIS

public Lecturer,
the

Recluse

of

OR

Srimati

DEVOTEES

FEMALE

Pandita

Mai

3.

Annandgupha.

Mukut.

Jivan

Premi,

2. Shri

Sadhvi

young

Maji,

who

braced
em-

Christianity.
NCE

have

only

of

pleasure
Indian

an

her
have

since
the

and
well

read

opened

Her
of

her

in
zeal

her

was

school

lecturer

of

for these

rare

for

was

from

of

spread
girls in

the

world

family ;

but

to

of
as

Mai

She

was,

Kashmir

territory,
Sanskrit, was
fairly

native

distasteful

very

Mukut.

knowledge

her

was,

Pandita

Punjabi literature, and

before

the

some

name

life, known

new

in

real

that

great

so

had

she

town.

in
her

the

character

people

and

to

pated
she, having quite emanci-

prejudicesof

her

countrymen,

cared

things.

spacious courtyard
in Amritsar, her reputation,appreciationof her
house
had
abilities,or perhaps merely idle curiosity,
brought

When
a

the

Jummu

studied

and

husband's

herself

i'

Hindi
for

of

had

appearance

late

not

She

widow.

native

sadhvi

adoption

the

Jivan
a

woman

been,

Srimati

understood,

in

ascetic, who,

whatever

that

professed

may

face

audience

female

or

ing
lectur-

unveiled

public, and
was

the

listening to

mixed

had

woman

with
to

I attended

her

lecture

242

in

the

OR

SADHVIS

SOME

FEMALE

DEVOTEES

a great number
crowd, including
a
together
large

all
children,

with their
ladies of the better classes,
listen to the words
sadhvi's
At

might fall

which

of wisdom

of Hindu
eager

from

to

the

lips.

first the

ladies with

little ones

their

occupieda

placeapart,but, as their numbers swelled and their interest


selves
in the proceedings
increased,they gradually
edged themthe same
time
at
favourable
into more
places,
only a very nominal purdah,
observing
made
A preliminary
speech was
by the chairman in
and then the lecturer's guru, a portly
the ordinary
way,
not
sadhu, who, if appearances were
tive,
decepmiddle-aged
made some
basked in Fortune's smiles,
complimentary
Other
remarks about his very interesting
pupil.
speakers
followed in the styleusually
adoptedon such occasions.
of
at
the afternoon was
the event
When
length
took
Mukut
her
Jivan
o
n
reached,
position a raised
up
and, standingup with unveiled face and a
platform,
of self-consciousness,
remarkable
absence
proceededto
To
help her, she had
expound the duties of women.
few notes in the form of couplets
or
verses
a
composed
by herself,which filled,I think, barelya sheet of notepaper, and served as the texts of the successive portions
of her speech.
She read out, in its proper turn, the appropriate
verse,
and

then, with reference


wished

pointsshe
allusions to
For

to

attention

explainor

stories in

over
considerably

of her

it,went

to

the
an

audience,

to

illustrate the

emphasiseby frequent
epicsand Puranas.

sacred

hour
as

on

she

with

held

the

undivided

wonderful

fluencyof
expoundedthe duties

and apt illustrations she


expression
advocated the education of women.
of her sex and strongly
Jivan Mukut, clever
Sadhvi or not, unworldly
or
otherwise,
and self-possessed,
to the full the
appreciated
undoubtedly
her very sensible
interrupted
applausewhich frequently
speech.
A few days after the lecture I made
bold to ask for
of the lady's
friends
a copy
and, throughsome
photograph,
of hers,was
fortunate enoughto obtain the one reproduced
the opposite
assured was
on
page (Fig.16),which I was

243

THE

MYSTICS,

taken

for
expressly

and

Maji,

rare

not

see

her

were

Her

common

Benares

for

by

the Hindu

and respected
years, honoured
I
I
that
did
community.
regret

her

but
myself,

the

near

communicated

Shri

Annandgupha,

op

amongst the Jains, female ascetics


There was
one, however, who
amongst Hindus.

Though
resided

INDIA

Benares.

NEAR

are

OF

the

Recluse

the

SAINTS

negativedestroyedto
copies
beingprinted.

me,

prevent any unauthorised

2. Shri

AND

ASCETICS,

Maji,the

Benares

Hari

was

name

to

Kuer

many

following
particulars
regarding
me

"

Yogini,was
Bai,

but

born

in 1826

the love she

inspired

earned for her the affectionate title Maji,by which


was

from

known

to

Gujrat,but

largepublic.Her familycame
as

her

ancestors

had

been

a.d.

she

originally
residents of

and she herself had been


generations,
her with their
broughtup there,her admirers,connecting
Benarsi.
sacred city,
Maji,who
gave her the cognomen
for

Benares

was

when

some

but five years old


youngest of six children,was
Her
died.
her mother
father, Shri Eameshwar

the

of strong
good Sanskrit scholar and a man
The youngest child,inheriting
his devotional
feelings.
religious
became
his
temperament and love of learning,
of his time, teaching
favourite. To her he devoted much
her in religious
duties. She
her Sanskrit and instructing
proved an apt pupil,who by her progress amply repaid
the fond instructor for his labours as teacher and spiritual
guide.
married at Benares
ten years of age, Maji was
When
to a Brahman
youth. Three years after her marriageshe

Dev,

went

was

to the house

joinedher
she became

young
a

of her father-in-law ; in other words,she


husband.
Hardly two years after that

widow, and

returned

to

her father's house,

being then only fifteen years old, fullyresolved to devote


books and the practice
her life to the study of religious
Within a short time Maji acquireda fair reputaof yoga.
tion
amongst the learned panditsof Benares. Her father
made many
on
foot,and she accompanied
him,
pilgrimages
244

SADHVIS

SOME

head, in Indian

her

carryingon

FEMALE

OR

fashion,all the simple


these

journey. In

necessaries for their

DEVOTEES

pedestrian
ages,
pilgrim-

occupiedsome
years, the father and
visited Jugganath,
Hardwar, Brindaban,Badrinath,
daughter
other
Kedarnath, and many
holy places. When
they
five

which

returned

cave

cell known

or

used

Nand, who

Sri Sachda

Swami

1846, Rameshwar

in

Benares

to

Dev's

live in

to

guru,

ground
under-

an

Annandgupha, situated

as

twelve miles to the east of Benares, breathed

his

some

last,and

gufha or cave was left unoccupied.So the father of


Shri Maji took up his abode
there,and with him Maji
also,alwaysstudyingthe sacred books of the Hindus and
practising
yoga. There, in the gupha, they lived together
the

for fourteen years, till in 1860


left alone.
But she did
was
continued

live her

to

November

it

Thus

had
religieuse

at

lived

desert

not

life there
solitary

the age
that
appears

1898,

the father

of

died, and
the

Maji

spot, and

tillher death

in

seventy-two.

for

quitealone

thirty
-eight years this
in the underground cell,

quillity
Annandgupha,where indeed she had passedin calm tranand religious
studyno less than fifty-two
years of

her life.
her

To

quarters to consult

places,and, knowing

distant

to

hold such

Hindus

that
her

old

endured

she

year after year, peoplefrom all


had spread
fame
the recluse whose

came,

cave

but

age,

no

character
real

passed

her

be

consistent

respect in

Maji,we

as

personalwant
her

and in
co-religionists,

by

the

be certain

may
or

hardshipin
honoured

decHning years
as

much

which

comfort

as

might

or
professions

her

self-

of
would accept. A portrait
denyingsimplicity
stands at
reproducedfrom a wood engraving,of the chapter.

this

lady,

the

mencement
com-

3.

Premi,
Both

widows

young

her

ascetic

Sadhvi

who

embraced

Christianity.

the sadhvis referred to in the


when

widow's lot
so

with

theyadoptedthe

is,in

accordance

so
supremelypathetic,

preceding
pages were
A Hindu
ascetic profession.

with the customs

of the

full of restrictions and

245

country,
of cruel

it is not

humiliations,that

gladlyembrace

should

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

that
surprising

freedom and

the

OF

callingwould bring with


religious
Miss Fallon, of
not always widows.

INDIA

such

one

respectwhich

it. But
the

the

sadhvis

Faizabad

are

Zenana

Mission, has in a littlebooklet of some


forty-seven
pages,
but most valuable sketch of
entitled Premi,^ givena simple
the life of an
orphan girlwho, althoughblessed with the
from

betrothed to

goodsand

world's
a

away

ran

grandmother
indulgent

an

findGod, for whom

in order to

Brahman,

young

and

home

comfortable

her infant soul thirsted.

of
spent as the chelin (femaledisciple)
most
a
worthy guru, who, having instructed her in the
austerities,
duly
rightway, and made her practise
many
in
into
the
initiated her,
the presence of other sadhus,
sect
Ten

years

she

he

order to which

name,

belonged,
conferring
upon her a new
meaning under the shadow of the Almighty,"by

which

she should

or

"

be

with her spiritual


ciples
guide,and other discompany
of
of his,she visited,
as
a
religious
pilgrim,
many

In

shrines

the

sacred

one

day amongst

of

have

and

forests

all for Thee

Thy

"

Thou

which

will that this

at

was

voice utter

My servant, and no
all
effectually
dispelled

Thou

friends and

thing
every-

-v^dthThee ; "
terrible jungles,

be
spirit

of those
these

words
comforting
will

to

come

of

thee,"

her fears.

self-willed and highlyemotional


exceedingly
the age

knowest

body should be eaten

harm

art

This

and

home

mind, onlylet my

heard
distinctly

Himalayas. Lost
of Nepal,the forlorn

despair, 0 God,

there,in the gloomy sohtude

she

the

"

in

; and if it be
I do not
tigers,

and

"

given up

India

the mountain

child cried out

by

thenceforward.

known

eighteenattracted

towards

first instance

missionaries,
apparentlyin the

girl

the Zenana

by

the

desire

for

knowledge. This is how Miss Fallon describes her :


Among the crowd I soon
brightspieda wild-looking
her
forehead
besmeared
with
sandalwood, very
eyed girl,
in the way
little on
of clothing,
mala (beads)in her
a
"

hand, her
^

at

hair

in

loose knot

Prevn, the Storyof a Hindu

Faizabad

with

an

on

the

top

of her

Girl, by Miss Fallon,Zenana

Introduction

by

Sir Monier

" Co.,London).

246

Williams

head,

missionary
(James Nisbct

and

to

read.'

learn to

Of

sign from me
as
nimbly
sitting,

and

at

were

down

sat

This

at

(Hindu devotee).One
That is the girlwho
me,
day and said she wanted
'

course

the
as

interest

my

girljumped

emotional child of
wild,impulsive,
had

his
girl,

favoured
her

we

over,

this
struggle,

new

embraced

nature

tianity,
Chris-

this time Premi

name,

her.

painand

what

of
religion

more

once

(beloved),
givento
With

where

missionaries,

with the

mental
prostrating

bitter and

and

to

up

feet."

my

aroused,

was

deer, and, smiUng all

Bindraban's firstcontact

was

and, after

sadhu

school the other

our

DEVOTEES

FEMALE

whisperedto

teachers

came

to

inch

lookingevery

of my

OR

SADHVIS

SOME

her guru

sorrov/

for
disciple

so

forefathers,we

many
may

the Brahman

saw

give up the
easilyimagine; yet,
years,

she elected to stay with Miss Fallon, the old sadhu's


full of a dignified
to that lady was
resignation,
message
when

as

convepng

it did the

promiseof

divine

blessing
upon

Miss Fallon for her kindness to the young sadhvi.


had at least made for
That the guru's
teaching

ness
righteous-

anecdote, which
may be illustrated by the following
the
relates to the occasion of the first meetingbetween
It
convent
her

where

if she
bad

many
"

Why
My
"

was

she
not

was

afraid

I fear ?
'

guru said,
up.
it is in your heart.' "

to

who
"

go

Miss

alone, as

might
said the

Child,sin

247

can

Fallon

"

girlstarted

and
staying,

people about
should

the

before

growing dark

was

Miss

and

sadhvi
wa5rwardimpressionable

do

her

Fallon
there

for the
asked
were

so

harm.

drawing herself
girl,

never

touch you unless

CHAPTER

MONASTERIES

HINDU

have

Monasteries

found

be

to

of Monastic

Properties
of

the

of

Das

Monastery

Respect

"

Abbot

with

another

to

Dharmsala

expounded
the

Abbot

with

History

"

had

the

Nirmali

about

Sect

Sect

Sanskrit

"

of

Sadhus'

the

of these

Most

the

regularly

country

notice

mountain

of

and

Europeans,
every

Sectarianism,
seen,

been

but

every

crowded

always

particularly

city

active
so

for

248

Nudity.

in

the

of

described

in

in

forests
earliest

the

have

in

India,

at

least

of

the

being

grove

head

ments.
establish-

likely to
spot

or

out
through-

been

conventual

sacred

type

Sakuntala,

one

knows

of

residents

the

insignificantand

are

for

Indian

hermits,

constituted

cated
communi-

communities

there

times

and
with

associated

the

under
Buddhist

Visit

"

existed

penance

since

same

read

Pilgrimage

ages

; and

"

Story

HERE

abbot

the

Interview

Sadhus

Partiality

all

of

Interview

"

Treasures

Literature

romantic

places

certain

Yogi

"

for

Tilla

Jogi

at

Ashes

word

way

Akhara

at

for

single good

great Monastery

itinerant

talkative

the

any

The

"

Entertainment

public
by

not

in

Udasi

there

present

Worldly

Management

"

the

to

tolerated

Acquaintances

some

Particulars

"

"

"

who

The

meet

Tilla

by

of

there

Visit

of Women

and

labour

to

at

are

Religious

"

expected

not

entertained

and

times,

of Monasteries

Foundation

Presence

their

and

place

earliest

Country

described

Abbot

an

the

the

Monks

"

the

since

over

the

prompt

Installation
Santokh

all

scattered

which

Motives

in India

existed

XI

or

escape

plain

or

them.

has,
a

as

thousand

we

have
years

MONASTERIES

HINDU

past. Each

sect, as

new

in connection

temples,and,

its

monasteries

of the
also,for the accommodation
attendants,and of the wanderingascetics who

ones,

and
priests

carry abroad the tenets


the sectarian fold.

sect

are

held in

it is

an

objectof

of the sect and

estabhshed

monasteries

The

of course, has set up


with all the more
able
consider-

matter

to the

founder

the

by

all his

great veneration by
ambition

bringrecruits into
of each

and
followers,

wanderingsadhus

to visit

on
high ceremonial occasions.^
especially
periodically,
liberal in their
Pious Hindus
have been exceedingly
and charitable purposes, sometimes
bequestsfor religious
devotingconsiderable property towards the establishment
of templeswith their connected monasand maintenance
teries

them

and
*'

rest-houses.

merit acquired
religious
hy

The

its dedication

and
ternfle

divinities is extolled in
"

Vishnu

Rahasya:

sojournin
"

the

Agni

Purana

Of

to that

those

births

hundred
previous

a
"

Narasinha

a
erecting

divine

annihilated ;
structure

wealth
makes
^

"

Purana

'

are

then

who

are

ever

templating
con-

templefor Hari, the


destroyed.'

Whoever

conceives

temple,that

what

divinity.'

persons

the construction of
of

hood
sports of childVasudeva, even
they

in the

templefor

regionssacred
'

who

Those

of dust

out

create

sacred texts.

numerous
'

of

worship of particular

the

to

the construction

very
shall be

day
said

the

sins

idea of

his carnal sins


of

are

the
finishing

is the
accordingto rule ! Beyond description
of religious
merit acquired by the person who
abode for Vishnu of eightbricks. The merits
an

The

mafhs, asthals,or akharas, the residences of the monastic

of Hindus,

munities
com-

country. They vary in


and extent, accordingto the property of which
structure
the proprietors
are
possessed,but they generallycomprehend a set of huts or chambers
for the Mahant
or
Superior and his permanent pupils; a temple sacred
to the deitywhom
they worship,or the samadh, or shrine of the founder
of the sect, or
or

some

for
buildings

are

scattered

eminent

teacher

the accommodation

the whole

over

and

dharmsala,

of the mendicants

or

one

more

or

sheds

travellers who

are

constantlyvisitingthe mafh.
Ingressand egress is free to all ; and indeed
restraint upon
entered
into the
to have
a
seems
never
personal liberty
of
of
the religious
Professor
of the Hindus."
conception
legislators
any
H. H. Wilson's Sketch of the Eeligious
Sects of the Hindus, p. 33.
"

249

THE

accruingfrom
He
proportion.

OF

SAINTS

INDIA

be presumed in
can
buildings
dies after making the first brick (for
merit of
temple)obtains the religious

extensive
who

the construction of
a

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

completedYajna.^
"

Vishnu

by

over
"

thousand
"

temple he

'

of

of himself

temple for
of eight
and
a

'

!
grandfather

The

regions
presided

erects.'

estabhsher

The

salvation

his

"

built to

the

procures

attains the

man

Purana

above
generations
Agni Purana

be

deitywhose

that

Vamana

Vishnu

'

Purana

who

man

Hari, carries

the

to

causes

temple to

of Vishnu

mansion

ten

past and future generations.'

Skanda

'

Purana

On

templefor Krishna,the
and the
annihilated,

construction of

the
beginning

sins committed

ancestors

in

births

seven

"

rescued from hell.'

are

in
then,are the benefits to be acquired
Very important,
of templesto the gods.
other existences by the building
But
even
worldlymotives may operate in encouraging
since in populouslocalitiesit is a really
temple
-founding,
business.
profitable
he has rarely
When
Hindu
has surplus
a
money
any
desire to purchasethe shares of joint-stock
or
companies,
to

even

is

he

of the old

man

probablytalks

suitable

spot,and

securities. If he

in Government

invest his funds

school,and past the meridian of life,

the matter
erects

over

with

temple,small

his guru,
or

large,
according

means.
By this act he reaps a double
wins the favour of Heaven, and he also nets

to

finds

his

reward
a

not

he

siderable
incon-

pecuniarygain for himself in the present time,


The dailyofferings
and for his familyin the future.
of worshippers,
with the alms (mostlyfood)collected
together
in dailybeggingexpeditions
amongst householders,
not
soon
providesufficient means
only for the support
of the resident priests,
scholars,and attendants,but
also for a fair dividend on
his outlayto the owner
of
the shrine.
As

time

runs

for favourable
*

The Hindu

Law

on,
answers

to the local deity


suppliants
grateful
thanktheir petitions
make
to

of Endoivments,by Pandit Prannath

B.L., pp. 43-45.

250

Saraswati, M.A.,

THE

SAINTS

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

INDIA

OF

and rich benefactors,


of princes
so
liberality
grown
portant
wealthythat their proper management has become imenough to claim the attention of the British
have sometimes
authorities,
who, in the interests of the public,
with a view to the revenues
to interfere,
been obliged
beingproperlyappliedin accordance with the wishes of
of the case.
Yet the
the requirements
the donors
or
Hindu monasteries are on the whole respectable
institutions,
though,as Professor H. H. Wilson said, there are, it is
to this innocuous character,and robberies
true, exceptions
ments."
establishand murders have been traced to these religious
the

"

restraint upon freedom,and serious occupaDiscipline,


tion
in
unknown
the
conventual
of any sort,are practically
of

establishments

Hindus, because

the

of

rival sects,the absence

of

central

the practice
authority,
wanderinghabits of the

and the
dailyalms -seeking,
monks, sanctioned by immemorial
of

interference with

existence

the

active

custom, have made

the ascetics not

but
onlyimpolitic

very

nearlyimpossible.
Where

neither
practically

is

there

towards

systematiclabour
and,
question,

expectedto

as

worh.

of

matter

He

have become

the

cipline,
dis-

nor

is out

of the

ascetic is

by alms, and

do not

propertyof

end

Hindu

fact,no

is to live

It follows that the sadlms

any

restraint

ever

he does so.^

tillthe lands

that

may

monastery,such lands being

cannot
a fact which
lay agriculturists
force of contrast,
fail to recall to one's mind, by the mere
the laborious diligence
of the West, who, at
of the monks
any rate in the earlydays of Christian monkery, often,by
their untiring
reclaimed the wilderness and converted
exertions,
it into smilingcorn-fields. At the same
time, it

alwaysleased

out

to

"

should not be overlooked that the time-honoured


of laborious habits

has, when
^
2

stimulated

by

the

powerfulcommercial

of
spirit

Sketch of the ReligiousSects of the Hindus, p. 35.


In the Christian monasteries
of the West, where the rule of St. Benedict

engaged in manual labour for


be admitted
day,
; though it must
duty
to
the
these conventual establishments waxed
rich,
obligation
the hands was
modified,and often set aside altogether.
materially

all
prevailed,
seven

on

encouragement
the part of the Western
monks

hours

that, when
%c9rk with

the monks
as

required to

were

to

God

and

252

man

be

HINDU

MONASTERIES

modern

of those grotesqueparodies
times,been productive
of
unworldKness,the present industrial and meanly avaricious
monastic
institutions in France and elsewhere,with their
and
dishonesty
it would

in

the weak

features which,

"

trialism
indus-

convent.^

trusts in India,
respect to the devolution of religious

John

Mr.

sweatingof

from
inseparable
unfortunately

are

seem,
even

In

their

D.

"

nothingis said in the


grant as to the succession,the rightof management passes
by inheritance to the natural heirs of the donee, according
the

to

Mayne

rule that

and
the office,

the

among

When

grant without

of inheritance.

estate

an

states

neither it
members

The

the

veys
con-

into

property passes

the management

nor

of

of limitation

words

family.

is divisible

Where

other

no

in turns

the management may


be held
usage exists,
the several heirs. Sometimes
the constitution

of the

vests

arrangement or

by
body

the management in several,as


several interests,
check upon
each
or
as
a

ing
represent-

other,and

be invalid.
any act which alters such a constitution would
Where
the head
of a religious
institution is bound
to
the usage that he nominates
his
cehbacy,it is frequently
lifetime or by
successor
by appointmentduring his own
will. Sometimes
his nomination
requiresconfirmation by
the members
of the religious
body. Sometimes the right
of election
The

election and

of the

case

carried

is vested

with

installation of

much

attended

interested persons,
order attracted to

them."

monasteries
larger

out

days,and

in

by

is

Mahant

new

function of

ceremony,

hundreds

greatmoment,

extendingover
and

placeby

the

several

thousands

of

of

the

importance of

the

even

wandering ascetics
particularly
the

in the

occasion.

Installation

of a Mahant.
Through the kindness of
I received a courteous
Indian friends,
invitation to

some

witness
^

"

the installation of Pandit

I allude, of course,

to the grave

in connection
particularly

more
2

Treatise

on

Hindu

Law

scandals

with the Bon


and

S. N.

253

Mahant

of

recentlybrought to light,

Pasteur

Usage,by

para. 364.

as

John

order.

D.

Mayne, chap. xii.

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

temple of Siva, and I learned that


hundred
Yogis who had recentlycelebrated

small

had

festival at Amritsar

Lahore

to

come

INDIA

OF

three

some

the

Devali

in order to take

part in this function.


a

of these ascetics had

goodlynumber

great banian tree, and

been

anywhere in

seen

their

wore

by

not

was

look

few
had
; all

wildness,the

assemblage

ugly or repellent.
Althoughtheir
with

of them

; most

men

blankets;

ashes, the Yogis did

were
squalid.Many, certainly,

dirty or

featured

some

fine ashes.

smeared

been

had

bodies

on
clothing

many
mud
lightyellow-coloured

with

means

any

of wild-

(kafan)
;
grave-clothes

strangenessand

all its

For

little

but

with

powdered over

were

that group

dark -coloured

coveringsas

their hair bedaubed

than

the world

with

themselves

covered

strangersightcould hardlyhave

had

Some

looldngmen.

under

assembled

in excellent

were

not

finely
condition,

loftyindifference about them


that was
quitenoticeable,and easilyraised them above
if they practised
the regionof contempt. Evidently,
any
and there

was

certain air of

,.

asceticism whatever, it

of

was

kind

not

inimical to

health.

appointedhour
followed
procession

sent

they

the

At

escort

to

up, and

rose

brass band

in

which

had

them, with sundrysilver sticks and

chowries,to the temple where

orderly
disbeen

waving

the installation was

to

take

with a Christyminstrel
place. The brass band commenced
capabilities
melody,and, after this exhibition of its superior
and European training,
lapsedinto strains of indigenous
music.
the

As

"

and
with

passedalong the
procession

windows

women,

men,

houses

and

on

either

of
processions

apathy at
multitude
induced
I

all kinds, and

the crowd

of

wished

were

looked

Yogis,now

by the addition of a number


to accompany
by curiosity
had on the dickey-boxof my

sick to walk, and, when

side became

children,who

They
(show, spectacle).

tamasha

way.

of the

streets,the doors

he

was

254

see

the

accustomed

to

with

on

swelled
of
the

alive

to

their usual

into

goodly

ordinarycitizens
sadhus

on

their

a
Yogi too
carriage
noticed,eager faces peered

HINDU

MONASTERIES

into the

the occupants might be,


to find out who
carriage
and, on seeingsahibs^could not restrain at least a facial
of astonishment.
expression
As the mixed
of Yogis and citizens,
with
procession
the noisybrass band, made rather a long,circuitous course
throughthe streets and lanes,I took a shorter way in my
and reached the temple and adjoining
carriage,
buildings
in advance
of the heterogeneous
crowd.

At the door of the house


us

with

Oriental

courtesy,and

the flat roof of

upon
from

which

Pandit

the

S. N. himself received

had

us

conducted

to

seats

of the

in a position
buildings,
could be very
conveniently

one

ceremony

viewed.
When

the

Yogis arrived they crowded into the place


before the door of
pell-mell
; they filled the small space
the temple,and took up whatever positions
they thought
the available area
suitable. When
most
was
occupied,
a

number

was

of them

and
sitting

The

made

themselves

of several Siva

Mahants

in white

well robed

swarming up

came

garments.

to

the roof where

comfortable

templeswere
Pandit

there.

present, all

S. N.

also

was

of flowers.
attired,and was decorated with garlands
suitably
Many well-to-do laymen also attended, and a small party
and children had
of women
a
place to themselves. The
ceremony
decorum.

white
of

of installation
First

musHn

was

conducted

was

largebrass
presentedto

temple at Amritsar,who

part in

the

alms -bowl

the

seemed

to

take

various

coloured

to
was

him.
then

with

his back

in soft

the Mahant
the

leading
had

predecessors,
being

importantbadge of the
Mahant, symbolising
poverty and humility.
The bowl was
received standing,
and, when
made
placedin the pandit'shands, he was
in the window

greatest

-bowl, which

most

cushion

the

encased

panditby

ceremonies ; this alms


the late Mahant, and his

belongedto
apparentlythe

with

to

the

office of

it had
to

sit

been
on

street, and

clothes were
parti-coloured
presented
A
large flat brass dish containingsweetmeats
broughtforward. The new Mahant, standingup,
or

held it in his hands

for

assistance,for it

too

largeand heavy for

was

few

255

seconds,but

not
one

without

pairof

THE

MYSTICS,

hands.

It
''^

and

several Mahants

The

made

now

were

shout

in moneyeach time the

Presents

Mahant, and,

new

counted

and

received

were

rupees

the

to

him, the

to

blared,and

rang out, the trumpets


of Pandit S. N.
raised in honour

temple bells
was

INDIA

other ecclesiastical

obeisances

their

made

present
dignitaries

OF

SAINTS

for future distribution of

passedon

then

was

its contents.

AND

ASCETICS,

the

by

or
parohita,

in a loud voice,
he proclaimed
familypriest,
been donated
by so-and-so !
rupees have

"

So

many

"

presents made

the

When

had
dignitaries

all the

by

been received and recorded,the followers of Pandit


him
is,those who regarded

that

forward

by

one

obeisance, sometimes
each

with

rupee

righthand

the

from

"

came

"

profound

In
completeprostration.

received in his

one

tlieirespecial
guru

offered

and

one,

as

S. N.

return,
Mahant

new

pinchof somethingwhich looked very much like ashes


retired very ceremoniously,
kind. The recipients
of some
a

immediatelyeach

but almost
stuff

littleof the white

his

received

roof several
to

tongue.
pretty boy, nicelydressed,was

on

and

put

one

the

teeka

led up to the pandit,


From
his forehead.
an
adjoining

on

in holidayattire
girls

and

women

of the

Mahant, while many

new

sidled off to have

pullat

could not

these habitual smokers

Yogis about
for

get alongeven

me

which

pipe,without

the churrus

low

bowed

short

while.

it

was

the

now

new

Mahanfs
had

with interest. He
each

of whom

known
been
I

ludoos and

as

assured

the
compliments,
three

or

The

decHne

sadhn
and

the

ment
compli-

Yogis,to
confection

They

had

all

before.

day

result of this

Das

belongsto

fall of the

the

in silver.

out of his

rupees

who, in the

the

repay

pounds of

temples,

of
interchange

would, in the end, have spent

Mahant

of Santokh

in Amritsar, and
was

new

four hundred

akhara

one

that, as

to

also to honour

rupee
the
his expense

feasted at
was

turn

given two

was

of other

the heads

from
Having received gifts

the

is the

Udasi

troubled

pocket.

own

largestmonastery
sect.

times

Its founder

attendingthe

Mogul Empire,established himself


256

HINDU

under
he

or
shed, within
jhopree,

harboured

murdered

the Muslims,

of the turmoil

and

the

monasteries
When

of

been

fled before them.

By-

times,he obtained

the

circumstances

into existence and

visited

the

in number, and

in outward

under
attain

which

affluence.

monastery the resident monks


differed greatlyamongst themselves

The
appearance.
about the head in

their hair wound


these

parents had

disorder of the

come

may

few

were

enclosure,where

enabled him to
grant of land, which
This is
monastery which preserves his name.

typicalexample

whose
had

or

small

free

or
jaghir,

found

children

rallied many
followers round him, and eventually,
the Sikhs succeeded in emergingtriumphantly

when

Hindu

by

degreeshe
out

MONASTERIES

majoritywere
a

coil like

wearing
turban

"

the

jhuttadarees
; others carried loose hanging
locks (hhoureeahs)
the
; a few had shaven heads, and were
of the order.
In regardto the jhuttadarees,
Paramahansas
were

the Mahant

informed

that their hair

me

was

cut,

never

that all the

and

combings were added to the livinghair in


which was
sort of rope or plait,
coiled neatlyround the
a
head. He naivelyassured me
that,when the hair growing
the head becam.e white with age, the portionof dead
on
hair added to the plaitalso became
white.
Most

of the monks

wore

orange -coloured clothes ; one,


had been given to
on, which

however, had

him

charitable person.

by

some

green

coat

Only

three

wore

sadhus,but

wore

two

or

malas

of any sort.
The Mahant
was

a
or

not

dressed like the

Jcurta
turban, a white long-sleeved
brightpink-coloured
his loins. His feet
tunic, and a purple loongeeround

rested

wooden

on

carried

kharanws

or

pattens.

In

his hand

he

rosary of largebeads.
As
far as
I could
free intercourse
there was
see,
amongst the resident monks, and their bearingtowards the
short

was
Mahant, though respectful,

three

men

their heads
he

took

The

no

themselves on
prostrated
with great humilityon
notice

whatever

servile.

not

the

Yet,

two

ground,and

or

put

the abbot's feet ; but

of them.

constructed of brick and mortar, is of


building,
in some
size,double-storeyed
parts. It has

257

siderable
con-

two

THE

of

courts
hypoetkral

small

SAINTS

unequalsize,and

built,the placehas
substantially

OF

INDIA

goodlynumber of
of monks.
Though

accommodation

for the

rooms

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

architectural

no

sions.
preten-

Its situation is convenient,


Golden

with the

Temple,which,

the
being just near
it,
great tank surrounding

the upper storey of the monastery.


of the open courts was
cluster of four
a

is visible from
In

one

madhs, erected

of four Mahants

who

the

present abbot.

These

in memory
of the
predecessors
in

cremated

been

pointedout

to

of
proportion

there

itself

on

been

had

all

which

spot

was

me.

occupied

pretty considerable

the court, indicating


a want

for the claims


Near

court

samadhs

four

The

the

had

sa-

of

of consideration

posterity.^

the entrance

doorway, but

within

the

precincts,

place where cattle might drink water,


for outsiders one
for men,
and another
bathing-places
was

also

for

"

women.

This

the

toleration of

practiceof
of

control

some

the

is in

women

contrast
striking

Christian

monasteries

Church.

Writing

Eastern

with

under
about

the

these,

Mr.

Curzon, in his interesting


book, Monasteries of the
female
informed
that no
Levant, states that he was
"

animal

of any sort
peninsulaof Mount

or

kind is admitted

on

any

part of the

that since the days of


Athos ; and
Constantine the soil of the Holy Mountain had never
been

contaminated
author

by

the

tread

of

also mentions

woman's

having met

foot."

The

monk

thirty-five
years

havingbeen

thirtyor
broughtto one of

the Athos

infant,had

no

same

of age, who,
monasteries as an

having seen

ever

they

resembled

of the

the

was

recollection of

anxious

know

to

stiff expressionless
mediaeval

Virginwhich

institutions of the

and

woman,

adorned

the

walls of

little peninsulawhich

the

formed

if

pictures
cenobitic
his very

restricted world.^
What

terror
positive

the

insidious charms

of

women

Where, as at Buddh
Gya, the deceased abbots have all been buried,
the spot occupied by their graves makes quite a small cemetery.
2 Monasteries
of the Levant,by the Hon. Robert Curzon, Jun., p. 306.
^md.

p. 347.

258

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

bore leaves resembling


in shapea human
consequently
in a picture
-frame under a glass
It was
hand.
preserved
longago to the akhara by a
pane, and had been presented

and

of the order of the Udasis.

monk

Another

much

esteemed

written on a number
of
of pieces
was
a littlebook
curiosity
like the bellows of an accordion.
together
paper joined
in the collection had
A pairof kharanws
a
story
attached

to

wood

some

by

They were
infdelor other
"

to the test.

Das

Look

who

of brass instead

wished

here,"said he
these from

; take

great sadhu

are

made

them.

put Santokh

to

to the saint.

me

as

of

token

"

You

of my

profoundrespect."He had, however, justbefore presenting


heated them to a hightemperature,with
them, maliciously
efiect they
the view of amusinghimself with the enhvening
have

would

the sedate ascetic

upon
them.

But

Santokh

as

soon

as

he

put his

Das

steppedon to the hot


without betraying
any signof inconvenience,
the heat, or perhaps
unconscious of it.
enduring
miraculously

feet upon
brass kharanws

I left the

Before
renew

visit at

my

that
explained

few, that

were

that

at

the

time

invited

of the Devah

me

festival.

to

He

permanent residents in the monastery


all times

the
receiving

there

were

hospitahtyof

wandering

some

the

but
institution,
certain festivals,
notablythe Devah, the number

sadhus

to

the

monastery the abbot

on

be entertained taxed

the

of the house

resources

to

the

utmost.

Upon

this invitation I

1898, and found the


not
other visitors,
including

November
many

sadhus

were

buildingin

moving

the
particularly
under

more

about
or

the
less

nangahs,who

roof, were

the

againto
placefull

came

aimless

round

or

of sadhus

and
manner

small

and

inside
;

ought

in

There

women.

courts

do not

clustered

few

akhara

not

the

some,
to

fires in

live
the

attendingidlyto their toilets.


quadrangles,
a cry was
raised, Un ke pujahkaro, Nanak
Presently
nirbani
(Performthe worshipof food,(in the name
of)
"

"

Nanak, who

left the

has

world).

present began to arrange themselves in


in long lines,seated on the floor ;
the smaller courtyard
Most

of those

others took

up

placeson

the
260

flat roof of

one-storeyed

MONASTERIES

HINDU

assignedfor
building
in both places.I was
roof of

in the court

as

from

of rooms,

range

well

All assembled

those

as

Women

the purpose.
accommodated

on

in the most

with

the roof

chair

I could

which

present

were

the

see

to

find

them, he

this is
and

one

in which

to

devoted
common

is born

son

trying

age

It is

that, if

vow

noticed

it seems,

was,

parents.

devoted

shall be
way

He

fashion,

decorous

sober and

arranged themselves in regularhnes.


small hoy-sadhu of about eightyears of

placefor himself.
to the ascetic hfe by his own
thingfor childless peopleto
to

people

opposite.

and
a

the

on

And

rehgioushfe.

the mendicant

sects

swelled

are

recruited.
'perennially
When

the

guests were

"

the cooks

unseemlyhurryabout this
supplyingeach person with a sort
neatlymade of dry leaves. Those
was

no

"

brass cups,

own

katorahs,did

or

and

quietlyseated

all

of cup
who had
of

not

there
round

went

small

or

basin

brought their
need

course

made

leaf-vessels. After this the cooks


primitive
round, with largebaskets, distributing
big flat

more

the

of hot

unleavened

bread

iron pans.
and that
liberally,

heated

additional

share

which

noticed

been

that

the

freshlybaked
bread

friend.

absent

an

cakes

the

Then

on

given

was

took
guests evidently

of the

some

for

had

the

an

ddl

broughtround in a largebrass vessel with


A third,armed
handles,carried by a coupleof men.
iron ladle,helpedthe savoury
an
yellowfood into

was
(lentils)

two

with

the leaf

or

touched

assembled

brass cups, as
morsel. I now

guests,and

hundred

two

the

counted,

found

well

as

as

Yet
I

no

the

one

could, the
about

they numbered

that

When

persons.

might be.

case

requirementsof all
waha
given, Gajo-ji
"

presenthad been met, the order was


rendered, "Assert
Guru," which may be freely
in

the

name

carry away

withdrew

Before
custom

Udasis

of

yourselves

Whereupon those who wished to


the food which had been giventhem, rose and
the rest fell to, and ate their morningmeal.
of

God."

leavingthe monastery

worshippingashes,

followed.

the threshold

The

of the

Mahant
room

which

inquiredabout

the

understood

the

conducted
smilingly

where
261

the

Granth

me

Sahib

"

to

the

MYSTICS,

THE

sacred book

AND

ASCETICS,

of the Sikhs
At

kept,and

was

"

SAINTS

abbot's

the

called the

chapel.

attendants

produceda great ball,or

rounded

edges,made

coloured

on

unlike

his thumb

Mahant

explainedthat
made

with

washed, and

clay from

At

the

the

ashes

which
particles

finest

taken

were

the

and

without
hills,

well

with

ashes would

pleasantvisit

of my
very
Mahant
to my

the

and
carriage,

he

with

presentedme
insisted upon
politely

was

the

at

some

sugar
from
receiving

my

morning I presentedmyselfat

Punjab,which

I need

not

vernacular

when

newspaper
in his welcome, and

seemed

willingto

interested in

tirade
be

againstthe
in

one

hundred

virtue,but the

reading a

gracious

most

companionsthat
"

all

broke

out

was

into

might,"he said,
to goodness
pretensions
and unmitigated
scum

There

crew.

who
rest

visit was

discourse upon

sadhus,he forthwith
whole

my

was

arrived,was

of the day.
ordinarytopics
Being informed by one of my

much

monastery in

Though

name.

the portlyabbot, who


quiteunexpected,

or

were

eventually

the

which

ashes

monastery.
One

"

The

of

mixed

then

forehead.

his

balls

parting he

of

candy,which

the

its surface

example.

sacred
that

small

serted
carried it in-

who

his

termination

by

moment

the

was

not

sufficient coherence.

conducted

his

end

attendant

care

the

only

in the water

have

not

much

was

tint,and looked

one

these

It

finest ashes.

present followed

others

white

At

the

with
cylinder

and

Several

subsided

reddish

of

request one

brought out upon


powder, which he applied to

white

were

this the

depression.Into
fine

very

cheese.

wliicli miglitbe

rather

the

the outside of
Dutch

of

INDIA

OF

had any
vile
were

scoundrels."
What
one

day

would
the

more
were

the

who
especially
annoyed him was that men
ploughingtheir fields as ordinarypeasants

very

next

of
hospitahty

women,

an

day,

I have

as
no

soon

as

doubt

the

garb

of sadhus, claim

akhara, spend the night with loose

and then become

of the soil

in

transformed

againinto

it suited their convenience


the MahanCs
262

complaintwas
"

cultivators
to do

so.

based

on

HINDU

MONASTERIES

actual

and that it was


not without cause
that
experience,
he grudged the pseudo sadhus their board out of the
moderate revenues
at his disposal
; but, for all that,I felt
that my portlyhost was
self.
well able to take care of himsure
-

He

and

wished

sadhu

every
what

and

he

commended
its

that Government
should

reallywas

to

the

adoptionwould

generalunrest
I

or

carry

that

enact

certificate to

consideration

of

the

each

show

which
suggestion

"

would

who

might

be

as
authorities,

be convenient
certainly
tension.
political

at

of

seasons

that this abbot's claim


informed
subsequently
and that
to the headshipof the monastery was
disputed,
the questionof his rightof possession
was
engagingthe
was

attention

of

one

of the law courts.

monasteries

Two

of the

Nirmali

sect, both

known

as

Thakur

visited by me
on
Dyal Singh'sdharmsalas,were
the 6th of September 1898.
of considerable
Both
were
size though unpretentious
afford
in design,
and could easily
accommodation
to a largenumber
of inmates, for whom
several

had
corn

At

the

of small

rows

their

own

rooms
oxen

for the household.


the time

of my

provided.Both

were

to

draw

They

water

their

had

and
own

teries
monas-

grindthe

to

also.

cows

visits to these establishments

most

of

and only a few monks


visible.
unoccupied,
rather a puzzleto me
These, too, were
as
regardstheir
dress and appearance,
for the only external characteristic
was
they seemed to have in common
long hair.
Most of them wore
clothes and malas
orange-coloured
of little woollen
balls resemblingbeads, and those who
made
of
out
were
going out carried chippees(alms-bowls
in their hands.
cocoanut-shells)
Along with the Granth,
the
Bible
of the Sikhs,other books held sacred by the
read in one
Hindus were
of these dharmsalas morning and
was
evening. Indeed, the Mahabharata
being read and
expounded while I was in the monastery by a Brahman
pandit,who was neither a Nirmali nor a sadhu. In the
other dharmsala an image of Ram
Chandra had been set up,
rooms

though I
founded

were

did

not

see

by a piouswoman
Amongst the sadhus

it.

This
of

had

been

means.

I noticed

263

ihakurdwara

boy
good-looking

of

THE

MYSTICS,

about

fifteen or

he

had

he

could

ASCETICS,

hardly have
one

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

sixteen years of age, and asked him why


sadhu and given up the world, of which
a

become

pHed that

AND

was

anything.

seen

too

never

to

young

He

promptly rea
good
upon

enter

path.
different from

Somewhat
above
of

is the

the

great math of Jogi Tilla,situated

hill in the Jhelum


district of
conspicuous
Proceedingtowards this monastery in order to
a

the occasion of
with

way

certain Hindu

twelve

thirteen

or

described

establishments

the top

on

the

Punjab.

be there

I fell in
festival,

Yogis,all young
same
place. All

on

the

on

in the

men

bound for the


of them had
prime of life,
their hair hanging about their necks, but not particularly
colour. They had the
long,and bleached a yellow-brown
and
least quantity of clothingon,
had
their bodies
with ashes.
smeared
the characteristic yogi
All wore
whistle dependingfrom the neck.
Some
carried huge

tongs, others

hoes.

small

Two

brass imitations of the

some

One

man

wind

armed

was

instrument.

formidable

of the

and

alms-bowls
also to be

gourd were

with

None

three

or

seen.

serpent-shaped

party seemed

disposedto
be communicative
to answer
or
even
questions.As I
my
walked alongvery leisurely,
the Yogispassedme
by on the
I subsequently
overtook
road ; but, when
back,
them on horsebeside a pool smokingcharras.
they were sitting
Farther on
I met
a
Yogi trudgingalong alone, and
discovered

soon

had

left behind

My

that he

not

was

in clouds of charras-smoke

to

famous

to

which

the

to him

As
"

we

from

him

that

guru

for

had

he

as

the
the

near

men

pool.

station of
military
somethingabout Europeans.
from

came
acquaintance
Jhelum, and so probablyknew
new

I learned

reticent

as

four

the

served

years

an

before

apprenticeship
he

was

mitted
per-

piercedto receive the huge rings


and
to have
whispered
KanpJiatti
Yogis wear

have

his

the sacred

ears

and

secret

approachedthe
passedmany groups
we

One

party consisted of three


from the
years old,who had come
miles distant.

They

were

for such it

was
really
bent.
on
pleasure
pedestrians
boys,the eldest not sixteen

mountain
of

of the order.

mantra

all

264

"

town

of Jhelum, several

neatlyand cleanlydressed

HINDU

in
of

MONASTERIES

winter,not a scrap
with them, nor even

it was
lightgarments ; but, tliougli
did they have
any sort of luggage

them

of
and girls,
of women
Several groups
some
attended by men,
were
wending their way upwards

from

None
villages.
neighbouring

any

wraps.

babies be reckoned

the

by

such.

as

Yogisat Tilla,and

the fair would

excellent,if

road

narrow,

visited

the abbot

of the

rest-house at

the Government

the foot of the mountain, and


an

by

morningfound

the next

that

summit, whence

the

led to

ings
cover-

who

that the Hindus

be fed free of expense

JogiTilla monastery.
I rested for the nightin

and

accommodation

providedwith

be

visitors would

carried extras, unless


I ascertained that all these

joyed
extensive prospectsmight be enpositions
tions,
and historical associaof a country rich in poetical
amongst the latter beingthe invasion of India by

different

from

Alexander

the

Great

in the fourth

century

B.C.

graph,
givea photoJogiTilla,of which
and its Mahani,
is a substantial group of buildings,
who
old gentleman,
a
handsome, well-dressed,dignified
of authority,
the impression
of being a man
one
gave
After the usual exchange
with much
received me
politeness.
which
the place,
I was
shown all over
of civilities,
in
full of visitors who had come
was
up from the villages
in order to be present at the festival. I was
the plains
The

monastery

struck

by

shown

me,

with

was

subterranean

chambers

which

I understood

had

anchorites,whose

Yoai

score

dark

some

and

on

awe

and wonder.

austerities
While

been

were

walkingabout, I

and
round a greatlogfire,
Yogissitting
recognised
by several of them, hayingmet
I

at the installation of Mahant

obtained

erected

comfortable

for
especially

quarters

were

tenanted

by

still remembered

of

year

which

across

came

to my

them

pleasure
the previous

S. N. in Lahore.
in

the accommodation

for whom
Civil officers of the district,

the

rest-house

of the

ment
Govern-

this elevated

pleasantsanatorium during the hottest


I had hardly got my
time of the year.
thingsin when
in
orders were
what my
sent over
to inquire
the Mahant
for my
table,as he would have much
respectto requisites

spot

serves

as

all
in supplying
pleasure

the wants

265

of

myselfand

servants

THE

MYSTICS,

while I

the

sojournedon

offer,having alreadymade

OF

at any

avail

INDIA

rate

long

as

myselfof this kind

arrangements,but I
folks,who had come
village
my

crowd, mostlyof
the hill,enjoyedthemselves
that

SAINTS

mountain, or

I did not

the festival lasted.

as

AND

ASCETICS,

the

the

at
rightpleasantly

saw

up

fair,
"

abbot.
The
hospitable
shrine of Tilla,"says Mr. E. D. Maclagan, is certainly
cult ; it
a relic of a previous
very ancient,and is possibly
There were
in the Ain-i-Akbari.
is mentioned
formerly
attached
the
to
monastery, but
largegrants of revenue
and

for

well cared

were

the

by

"

these

of

accused

was

Yogis of

the Mahant
ago, when
murderinghis rival for the gaddi. The

aboHshed

were

Tilla

not

are

some

years

an

estimable

body,but

held in

are

even
reputation,
by Mussulmans, and theyhave
^
Hindu disciples
away beyondthe Afghan border."
with a local guide,my
Roaming about the hill-top
directed to various geological
features of the
attention was

considerable

formation,which told of titanic battles between

mountain
rival
also

pointedout

which

which

maidens.

It

was

this stone,

his

and
whistle,
it

Yogis. The story,as

was

old

crude

events

me,

that

this slab he had

on

told

on

lads
village

they told

received

and

was

stone,

of
sundrypieces

on

initiated into the secrets

of the

There

slab of dark-coloured

cowrie shells and

and sounded

Ranja sat
been

me

of
sugar had been placedin memory
stillfresh in the recollections of the
are

brown

and

to

dozen

some

in the old time.

other sadhus

Yogis and

me

into the sect


on

the

spot,is

worth

repeating.
Ranja, hearing the praisesof Heer sung by the
of her, sought
wanderingminstrels,became enamoured
her out, and artfully
service as
succeeded
in obtaining
a

in her

cowherd

sprang

girl;

between

up

but

aroused

the

by

cowherd's
Heer
and

was

father's house.

wife

of Heer's

dismissal.
married

meet

her
^

To

brother

Punjab

Census

the

lovely
suspicions

lovers,and secured the


prevent scandals and trouble,
man,

off to become
To

had

her

attachment

of the

to another

yet.

youth and

handsome

the behaviour

dismissed,went

would

the

mutual

and
a

Jogi Tilla

Ranja,disappointed
Yogi,teUingHeer he
he

Report,1891, p.
266

wended
117.

his way,

MONASTERIES

HINDU

himself upon
and, seating
blew

whistle he

had

the

alreadyreferred

stone

broughtwith

to,

him.

The

Mahant, who was no other than the great Gorakhn^th himself,came


out and said,in a loud voice, Who
is
"

it that blows
is free to

If he is

whistle outside there ?

in ; if not, how
To this
?"
premises

dare he sound

come

near

my

that

not yet a
although

one.

His fine

most

approved manner.

Jogi he

whistle

so

suitable answer,
desired to become
Jogi,he earnestly
and

Ranja made

handsome

won
person at once
for him the favour of the great guru, who
admitted him,
there and then, into his sect, piercing
Ranja'sears in the

that he

manners

might be

said that

reunited to

his wish
his

of
blessing

The

would

Jogi asked

new

Heer,

be

and

the

favour

as

gracious
guru

Elated
gratified.

with

the

away to where his


lithis fire
within view of Heer's home,

superior,
Ranja hastened

beloved

Hved, and

but

the

bank of the river. The fame of his


opposite
were
exceeding
beautysoon spreadabroad, and the women
it might be her lover,
dyingto visit him. Heer suspected
and winningover
her husband's sister,
on
some
pretextor
she ascertained
other,to visit the famous Jogi privately,
for herself that her surmise was
quitecorrect, and she also
on

contrived

the
across
arrange that Ranja should come
river in the darkness to meet
her. Night after nighthe
to

found his way to her arms, and never


in the shape of some
fish
ofiering

without

came

small

himself and

caughtby

daintilycooked with his own hands. Once the river rose in


and in the turbid rushing
fish could
stream
a great flood,
no
be
too

caught. To

go

empty-handedto

the devoted lover


so
dreadful,

flesh and

as
inquired

not

fish,nor

in his

eat

she

put
rabbit,nor
this

what

"

thigh.

"

Ah

"

love ; it is for me
to you
in future. The
my

across

it

cut

on

stout
^

pieceinto

mutton

is it ?

"

"

now

have

to

do and

her mouth.

"

"

This is

quite
girltenderly,
playedyour part,
fully
dare.

river shall not


every

largewater -pot of

267

is this ?

What

the

You

ghurrah^

*'

that you have broughtme.


He displayed
the wound

exclaimed

with emotion.

overcome

seemed
assignation
of his own
off a piece

dressed it for his mistress.

she

I cannot

his

I shall

part us.

night."And

baked

cla3^

come

I'll swim

she did

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

dangerouscourse by the lovefound out by


But her doingswere
who one
female relative,
a jealous
replaced
nightspitefully
vessel.
Heer's trusty ghurrah by a similar but unbaked

regularly,
guidedin
lightof the Jog"s fire.

her

so

of the
aid of

in the darkness

night,entered the river,and, with the treacherous


the fragile
out into the stream.
But,
ghurrah,swam

before she had


the water

helpas

She cried aloud to her lover for


gave way.
she felt herself drowning. Ran]a at once
plunged
stream

but

it

assistance,but

her

to

darkness

in the

carried away
The above

known

pot softened in

the

half-wayacross,

gone

and

into the

me,

Heer,
substitution,

of the

All unconscious

and

lovers

the

never

again.

seen

story has been reproducedas it

in the

be

to

seems

Punjab,

"

of two

medley

told to

was

well

romances

Ranja,"and

Hir and

were

"

Sohni

and

Mahirwal."
"

The

Hir

name

of Hero

and

swims
the

the river

have, for

young

and

deal.

He

had

used

say, it is not

brave

it

Yogi who

companionshipof a
had travelled a good

been, he said,to Hinglajon


of~^s

visit had

been

dangersof

the

of Venus.
priestess
was
good fortune
my

the

way,

the lover

that
legend,

to

in this

duly

the

branded

done

was
This, he explained,

mountains,
the

on

because

the

Hinglajused to be worshippedby Muhammadans,


favour ; so Siva directed that
they enjoyedher special

Devi

at

and

Hindus
a

who

there should be branded

went

mark

of

his

in

Jogi said

that till recentlyit had

he

Kashmir, where

appear

and

it

dance

thus

was

owing to the
Maharajah of Kashmir,
themselves,but with

been
on

the

regardto

been, the young


the

custom

for

mountain-topto

women) of

but

my

added

informant

wishes of the father of the


the

symbol

every stitch
to
that lord Siva wished them

before him

that 710W,

also

had

the sacred ice-cave


persons visiting
divest themselves (both men
and
as
clothing,

with his

protection.With

divine

Amarnath

of

reminiscent
strikingly

to

Mahirwal

the

talkative

very

rightforearm.

as

is

Jogi Tilla

part of

in token

and

"

the love of the

from

return

my

and

Leander

as

for
Hellespont
On

Ranja

Leander, but, strange

but in the Sohni

one,

to

and

women

were

allowed

single
garment only. The
268

present

to
men

cover

enter

(M

,"3

"

"

-n

En

":

00
fH

MONASTERIES

HINDU

or breech-clouts on
langotis
;
of
his
in
so
neighbour
langoti,

the ice-cave with

but each

man

divests his

the end

they

stand

in

about

the annual

I have

not

harmony
whom

the

cave

been able to
we

tendency to

characteristic.^ A

Whether

Amarnath

to
pilgrimage

with what

the

naked.

stark

these
are

details

true

not

or

but they are certainly


in
ascertain,
know
of Indian sadhus,amongst
to

run

few years

ago

nudity is a very
was
an
application

marked

made

High Court at Bombay to cancel an order of the


the Gosavis, a religious
District Magistrateprohibiting
sect of mendicants, from walkingin procession
naked, and
then bathingat Nasik as a religious
duty duringthe Sinhasta festival. In support of this appeal,
it was
urged by
been
had
allowed
that bathingnaked
the petitioners
always
the

to

at Hardwar
1

Vigne, who

and Allahabad.^
visited Kashmir

divest themselves

Amarnath

in 1835, states

that

of all clothing
exceptingsome

the Brahmans

at

piecesof birch-

do duty for fig-leaves


{Travelsin Kashmir, etc.,vol. ii.chap,i.);
shippers
Dr. Neve
Kashmir, 1900, chap, vii.)says that the wor{Picturesque

bark which
and

throw

themselves

naked

upon

the block of ice in the

representsSiva.
2 Times
of India (Bombay), 12th August 1896.

269

cave

which

CHAPTER

National

Ideals

and

Life

of

American

Renunciation

Aspects

in

its

The

"

contrasted

regarded

Sadhuism

of

indications

as

Ideals

XII

by

with

the

National
of

that

Hindus

the

as

probable

Future

of

the

in

the

-4

ideal

of

character

their

dreamy

busy

Life

"

Industrial

and

which

is

or

is

this
to

claims

the
of

people

discernible, it

connection

volume,

and

the
for

pause

the

of

may

with

to

of

object

any

contrast

West

practical

involving

highest

the

tranquil

East.

still tend

aspirations

excluded,

the

takes

the
of

after

leading part

royalty
nobleman
in

victorious

hero-type
the

ideals, the

which

English

world
270

with
or

is

case

still

of

its

highest

old-world

landed

public life,the
each

England,

Englishmen

objects

general.
in

in

of

majority

vast

hereditary

the

and

statesman,

the

them,

amongst

glamour, being

of

aristocratic

towards

admiration

who

worship prevails largely

Mammon

loftiest

homage

of

moment

the

Though
the

_*"

life

profitable,in

subject

European

"

Life

considered.

ambition

supreme

be

of

"

only possible Holy

Sadhuism

especial regard

ideals

India

Religious, Social, Political, Intellectual,

"c^_

Character

man
gentlestrenuous

Royalty
attracts

the

being
the

aristocrat

THE

MYSTICS,

involvingasceticism

one

AND

ASCETICS,

has been for ages such a


Hindu
for the
apologists

and

SAINTS

OF

renunciation

of the

deeplyrooted idea in
active hfe have

more

INDIA

world,
India,that
felt

strained
con-

devise

apologueswhich might be cited in


of men
of acknowledged
support or justification
goodness
who
did not withdraw
themselves
from the temptations
existence.
and toils of mundane
For
example, Rajah
had the
Janak, who ruled his kingdom with great ability,
also of being a very religious
man
reputation
; but the
ascetics scouted this notion,and it was
arrangedby some
sadhus that they should have an interview with the king
in order to test his pretensions.
Ten
of them accordingly
asked for an audience and received permission
to approach
certain prescribedconditions.
the king, but
only on
Each
to carry a largeearthenware
man
amongst them was
to

full of water

vase

death

if he allowed

even

his

on
a

head, and

singledrop of

should

suffer

the contents

to

spill.
The

accepted,and Rajah Janak's


for the reception
of the holy
capitalmade preparations
sadhus.
The shops and houses were
gailydecorated,the
multitudes were
out in their gala attire,and
troops Hned
the streets alongwhich the visitors were
to pass.
(fortheir lives were at stake),
Slowly,and very carefully
did the king's
guests wend their way to the royalpalace,
received by the Rajah, who
where they were
graciously
were
stipulations

them, in

affable manner,
what they thoughtof
his capital,
through the best streets of which they had
asked

an

just passedon their way to the presence-chamber.The


that they were
indignantsadhus,perceiving
beinglaughed
with
that
unable
to express
at, repUed
chagrin
they were
reasonable
opinionon this point,since throughthe king'sunany
tyranny they had not been able to look either
to the left,having to think about
to the rightor
the
brimful
The

water-potson

theii aeads.

beggedhis visitors not to be


very politely
what
he had done was
only to inculcate an

Rajah

annoyed,as

importantlesson.
"

You

most

venerable

passedalongthe

streets

*'

sadhus,^^said the king, have


without
272

any

mishap;

your

eyes

CONCLUSION

have
you

city,but
the

is

with

necessary,

concentrated

mostly

was

heads.

on

but

carried you while


streets of this great

throughthe

way

your
the
world's
along

pass

have

limbs

your

attention

your

water-pots

do

and

directed you
wended
your

Just

great

in

upon

same

way

highway,doing what

attention

my

the

fixed

on

things

above."
this

After

glance at
industrial

cast a rapid
preamble,we may profitably
and
social,political,
intellectual,
religious,

the

aspectsof sadhuism,

boldly,to

too

forecast

Sadhuism

and

also venture, but

not

its future.

Religious

its

in

Aspect.

idea of
perpetuatingthe peculiar
austerities for the acquisition
of farnatural phenomena, or bearingits
over

Sadhuism, whether

efficacyof
reachingpowers
testimonyto the

the

from

the

belief in the
world

as

of detachment
indispensableness

preparationfor

the

inefiable

with the Divine Being, has


joy of ecstatic communion
undoubtedly tended to keep before men's eyes, as the
and contempt
highestideal,a fife of purity,self-restraint,
of the world and human
affairs. It has also necessarily
of the righteous
maintained
amongst the laitya sense
the charityof the more
affluent
claims of the poor upon
of the community. Moreover, sadhuism, by the
members
of the independentsects which have arisen in
multiplicity
and favoured a spirit
of tolerance which
India,has engendered
observer.
cannot
superficial
escape the notice of the most

Sadhuism

in

Social Aspect.

its

and practice,
sadhuism has, in its spirit
always
Socially,
of the equalityof all
the recognition
towards
tended
Hindus, and has therefore been inimical to the rigidcaste
priesthood.The warfare
system so dear to the Brahman
-

between

Brahmanism

and

Sadhuism

has

been

carried

on

cratic
varyingfortune for thirtycenturies ; but the demoleaningsreferred to have proved too strong for the

with

of
opposition
S

the

"

twice-born

"

273

classes,and the inevitable

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

admitted,as the following


long since grudgingly
put into the mouth of the Vedic god India,shows
prophecy,
enough:
clearly
this krita (or golden)age,"says
the god,
When
result

was

"

has

to

come

close, innumerable

shall
hypocrites

arise and

the

four

mendicants
orders become

and
organised."
dis-

this,the fulfilment of which is


noteworthystatement
amply attested by the foregoing
chapters.
That the sadhu as such should enjoypopularconsideration
A

been
undoubtedly

has
the
it

proud Brahman,
was

low-caste

at all times

and

hateful
especially

Sudra

trial for

sore

very

to

him

when

who, in virtue of being an

ascetic,received the respect and homage of the people.


But, as alreadyremarked, the Brahmanical
opposition,
however
the

and
strong,has proved unavailing,

Sudra

of
privileges

the

to

sadhuism

the

rightof

and

ascetic

any rate during the present age, has been


if reluctantly,
admitted in the Ramaauthoritatively,
at
practices,

yana.^
^

Mahabharata

"

Santiparvan,sec.

Ixv.

Muir's

Sanskrit

Texts, vol. i,

p. 485.

legend which contains this admission is as follows : A


The father of the
youth died suddenlywithout apparent cause.
his
and
in
the
to
his lamentations
came
loss,
boy,bewailing
king'spalace,
accused the king,the semi-divine Rama
himself, of having,through some
fault of his, as ruler of the land, brought about the untoward
The
event.
a council of sages to
imputationreached Rama's ears, and he summoned
Narada
consider the matter.
being present,explainedthat the death of
the Brahman
boy was due to the presumptionof a Sudra who was practising
austerities for the attainment
of certain objects. Men of his caste,explained
the sage, were
not entitled to this great privilege
in Rama's
age (the Treia
he
that
in
admitted prophetically
the Kali yiiga Sudras would
yuga),though
practiseausterities freely,and righteouslytoo. Rama, as became the
guardianof his people,set off immediatelyin quest of the audacious offender.
After searchingin many
he discovered the ascetic near
a tank
by
regions,
the Saivala mountains,
performingthe most austere penances with his
In reply to Rama's
legsupwards and head downwards."
inquiries,the
still
his
O
on
ascetic,
head,
said,
topsy-turvy
standing
highlyillustrious
I
born
in
with
the
of Sudras, and,
Rama,
am
race
to reach the region
a view
of the celestialswith my body, I am
goingthrough these austere penances."
On hearingthis,the king drew his sword and forthwith cut off the ascetic's
head.
After this act of justice,
the Brahman
boy was restored to life.
-

The

curious

"

Brahman

"

"

"

Ramayana

"

Uttarakandam,

sec.

Manmatta
Ixxxvi.-lxxxix.,

translation.

274

Nath

Dutt's

CONCLUSION

Sadhuism

in

Political

its

Aspect.

sadhuism,throughthe perennial
Politically,
wanderings
of the ascetics over
the lengthand breadth of the land,
has tended to preserve a certain homogeneitythroughout
India,and,

counter
far,has been acting

so

fission and

to
vast

which
disintegration

country of

time, the detachment


demands
in any
due to

must

from

have

form, and

human

afiairs which

be

can

doubt

no

the subtle effects of the

the character of the

thousand

in

At

races.

tendency
such

the

same

sadhuism

been at all times adverse to

there

easilygovernedby

is natural

languagesand

many

to that

that

spiritof

sadhuism

peopleof India that that


a

of

handful

patriotism
it is largely
upon

country is so

ofiicialsand
foreign

few

white soldiers.

The

Intellectual

Aspect

of

Sadhuism.

the spirit
of sadhuism
has unquestionIntellectually,
ably
its
most
baneful,
proved
tendency being to regard
in the making
that is, history
with
passingevents
undisguised
contempt and the study of nature as useless,
since true knowledgeand power
over
phenomena could
be acquired
only by contemplationand austerities.
"

Industrial

of

Many estimates have


the proportion
which

"

Effect
been

of

made,

Sadhuism.
and

at different times,

mendicants
religious
in India
bears to
the entire population. Mr.
Ward,
the Seramporemissionary,
writinga century ago and with
specialreference to Bengal and Behar, says : "I have
endeavoured
of Hindus
to ascertain the probablenumber
informed that
who embrace
Hfe of mendicity,and am
a
less that an
scarcely
eighthpart of the whole population
abandon
their proper
employments and hve as reUgious
mendicants by begging."Mr. Crookes,in his North-Western
tory
Provinces of India (1898),puts the figurefor that terriat two

of the

millions out

the number

of

of

or
fortymillions,

population.
275

one-twentieth

THE

MYSTICS,

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

Naturally,
everyone who believes that the chief end of
is to produce
man
thingsof various kinds grievesover the
of productive
waste
deplorable
by the
energy represented
populationof India. But, after all,is it of no
for
importancethat the country has been able to prodiice
hundred
able to
a
generationswhole armies of men
that contempt of the
with a religious
practise,
purpose,
world and earthlyriches which is, at least theoretically,
of the most
one
importantof Christian virtues ? ^
No
and art, I might say the
doubt, the philosophy
sadhu

idleness is

cult, of chronic
acted
which

thoroughlyunderstood

and

in India ; still,
in estimating
the extent
to
is a burden upon the country,
its sadhu population

upon

several facts have

to

borne

be

in mind

which

the

most

superficial
analysisof the compositionof the reUgious
class brings to
mendicant
light. In the first place,
amongst sadhus

in other countries

of what

supportedby
to

and

masses,

their value

percentage

merelythe

are

of the alms

of the

destitute paupers
proceedsof taxation,

people. Again,sadhus

teachers (gurus)of
religious
this must
be recognised
in any estimate
otherwise to the community.
or
extent

the
of

sadhus, too, there is honourable


for those men,
present in every community,who,
said, although as good as
Bishop Creightononce

In
room

considerable

very
of the

small

no

State out

the

but in India out


are

included

are

of the

the ranks

"

as

gold and

fit for

heaven,

of

are

idlers who
the incorrigible

in

no

use."
earthly

Europe

become

Further,
intolerable

and

course
reputable
dangerousvagrants,pursue a more
habit of some
India. They simplyadopt the religious
or

of the

sect

sadhus.
peregrinating

order,and

enter

the ranks

There

other

also, which
points,

are

in

in this connection

example, sadhus are prominently


account
of their peculiardress and
in evidence
on
while their wandering habits taking them,
appearance,
from placeto placethroughoutthe
often in huge parties,
times over.
to multiplythem
circhngyear, seem
many
Their necessary dailyappealsfor a dole of simplefood to
deserve

John

attention.

For

ii. 15, 16; James

iv. 13, 14; Rom.

Matt. xiz. 21.

276

xiv. 17;

Luke

xiv. 26;

CONCLUSION

sustain life also


and

helpsto keep them

remind
unpleasantly

to

But, whether

publiceye,
of their existence.

the world

sadhus

not

or

before the

too

are

for the

numerous

well-beingof the country, it should not be


undoubtedlymany
forgotten that, though there are
industrial

worthless

sadhus, the

that

the

to

mendicants

multitude

such, help them to make


While, in connection
much

attention

withdrawal
the work
but not
viz. the

of

less true, and

majority of these religious


and, as
exemplarsof a holy life,
for righteousness.
with religious
mendicancy, so

types and

are

is also not

converse

has

been

host

of

bestowed

obvious

towards
contributing

from

men

the

upon

point,less obvious it is true,


less interesting
perhaps,has been quiteoverlooked,
influence which
sadhuism, by the alarm which
of

its violent

one
production,

spreadoccasioned amongst

Indian

rulers and

has indirectly
had, and stillhas, in keepingup
legislators,
and
maintainingthe populationof the country. This
but there is,
statement
somewhat
seem
paradoxical,
may
I

for it.

think, reasonable foundation

explain.Amongst the social and religious


precepts observed by the Hindus, perhaps the most
importantin their eyes is the rule which requiresthat
Let

me

poor, should have


performhis funeral and

rich

man,

every

descendant

to

therefore,
Obviously,
every

possible.Hence

as

under

every

is

suicide

dishonour

came

the

result,I
Hindu

so

rites.
post-funeral

pubescence.To
is

be

terrible curse,

defaulter the severest


of Hindu

case

unendurable

women,

purgatorial
ness
childless-

that it often leads to

strange immoralities.^

or

Whence
about

unhappy
the

male

to find
religious
penalties,
husband
for his daughter,

wife for his son, and also a


before she attains the age of
even
without a son
male descendant
or
a

In
suffering.

or

should marry, and as early


father is strictly
Hindu
bound,

the

son

Hindu

social and

the sternest

entailing
upon

or

these

ideas and

of
all-importance
am

inclined

to

male

ecclesiasticalordinances
issue ?

think, of the

They are the


worldlywisdom

Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies,by the Abbe

part iii.chap.iv.

277

J. A. Dubois,

MYSTICS,

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

SAINTS

OF

INDIA

Hindu
legislator,
prescient
seekingto counteract
effects of that spirit
of asceticism and
the depopulating
renunciation of the world which at its height probably

of the

to lead to national extinction.

threatened

aimed

ordinance

right,an

in

instrumental

asceticism has
the

keepingup
the

above

probablyfar

at

influential in

most

passedand
and

hindrance

every

avowed

for the

the

so, if I

been

India,
the

advantageousto
the

Christian

of
spirit

am

fully
power-

populationof

limit most

country. During the periodwhen


was

And

asceticism

world, laws

were

put to the spreadof monachism,


of

reason

its

effect
injurious

upon

And
also in more
modern
so
times, and on
population.^
Peter the Great prohibited
the adoption
the same
grounds,
of a monastic Hfe by persons under
fifty
years of age.
the same
end by a very
The Brahman
secures
legislator
ing,
unwilldifferent process. Unable, and in all probabihty
to enforce repressive
measures
againstsadhuism, he
feehngsand the fears of the people,
appealsto the religious
and

of
obligation

the

insists upon

threatens

punishmentin

every
a

Hindu

to

have

future life to such

a
as

son,

fail

result,the numerical strengthof the


time the ceremonies
nation is maintained, and at the same

in this

As

duty.

marriages and births help the clever


in
to keep their hands
hereditarypriesthood
perpetually
the purses of their lay brethren.
connected

with

Future

The

If with

an

eye

of

the future of sadhuism

to

its present state, the conviction


it is not

in

as

Sadhuism.

favour

much

as

we

is forced upon
at many
former

consider
us

that

periods

I should rather say that


in Indian history
; or, perhaps,
in India are
tracted
atthe thoughtsof men
now
being strongly
to

more

worldlyideals.

strong bias towards material


improvements,its encouragement of trade,and the facihties
rule, with

British

it afiords for

opened up
castes

its

cheap locomotion
varietyof careers,

aUke, and also many


1

Bury'sLater

Roman

new

and

for

has
emigration,

officialand
ways

to

the

other, to all

acquirement

Empire^ vol. ii.pp. 466-468.

2/8

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

THE

for

official career,

an

ambitious

the

youths of

schools and

Indian

ideas,and anxious

is

unconcern

SAINTS

the alumni

of the

do credit to their
not

sadhus

INDIA

all the

inoculated
universities,
to

OF

eagerlysought for by
country ; and

affect,though they may


about

AND

with

Western

training,
generally

always feel,a supercilious

and

The

sadhuism.

themselves, though professing,


as
heretofore,a

sadhus
hfe

of

completedetachment from the world, feel in an unwonted


which
degreethe effects of the currents of modern activity
are
circulating
throughthe land, and, under this stimulus,
are
awakening to combined actions of a very unusual and
noteworthy character. For example, we learn from the
of
feelings

Press, with

unmingledwith

satisfaction not

great bathingfair at Allahabad


the sadhus, sinkingtheir animosities,
joinedin prayers
grave

that at

concern,

"

for the

British arms,
while their leaders
speechesfull of loyaltyand devotion to the
of the

success

dehvered

EnglishRaj."i
Without

circumstances
doubt, then, existing

are

tending

in many
to discredit and
undermine
sadhuism, and
ways
affect
the continuance
of these conditions will inevitably
its position
in the future.
for wealth

Yet, to conclude

that the desire

and

stimulated by present
so
position
strongly
that the pohtical
circumstances,
awakening of these times,
that the spread of education and the general
feelingof

India,will,all combined, prove the death-knell of


the very
sadhuism, would hardlybe justifiable.
Possibly,
unrest

reverse

in

might happen;

standards

of

ideas of the

for

as

long

as

the

common

livingin India are low, and the religious


people substantially
unchanged,a largepart

of this
The
1900.
Saturday Review, 3rd March
deep significance
towards
their
of
of
ascetics
the religious
display good feelingon the part
of British
foreignrulers,few, I fancy,have reahsed. What a shattering
all this reveals. Think of it ! The mendicant
prestige,once heaven-high,
sadhus offering
to the
up prayers to such gods as they worship to come
the story
assistance of their defeated Enghsh masters.
For years to come
will be told, with many
additions,by Yogis, Sanyasis, and Bairagis in
millions
the minds
of many
south of the Himalayas,setting
every village
few
of peoplea-thinking
of
the presence
in unaccustomed
And
a
ways.
thousand
Boer prisoners in India will only serve
a
as
testimony to the
do
the
intercessions
Little
the
Hindu
saints.
of
of
efficacy
peopleknow how
much
has been lost on the inglorious
battlefields of South Africa.

280

CONCLUSION

and
economic
political
be accmnulated
will assuredly
be expended
conditions may
of
and practice
in charity,
in accordance with the feeling
in the feedingof Brahmans
and
the country, especially
Gifts and bequeststo this end,
mendicants.
poor religious
of British rule render
the
and
which
stability
easy

will

come

to

Any

deeply rooted

so

and

thus it may

for, and

goodlyportionof the newly acquiredwealth


providean unexpectedfund for the further support
that

of idle sadhus.
is

new

be looked

permanent, may
pass

under

that

wealth

of the

their devotion

with

it will not

state

people,
in harmony
completely

quietismso

to

easilyovercome
of things,a

be

of the Indian

the nature

physicalinfluences

the

present

in

of the ascetic ideal

admiration

way,

of their
;

environment, that

the
hence, notwithstanding

generalrevival
is by no
means

favourable moment
any
The leaven of importedEuropean ideas
at

the Indian

is aHen, unnatural, and

mind

world admires and


beneath

labels

"

sadhuism

improbable.

in
fermenting
and
disquieting,

of the results which

though it producessome
lurks

now

of

the Western

progress,"
yet there undoubtedly

this progress

real, if smothered,

very

discontent.
Well

has

in the following
lines the
poet expressed

the

of the Orient

sentiments

true

"

The

her

on

Aloof

from

our

Alien

to

Too
When

and

unrest.

and

desires.

alike

new

for protest or assent.


thoughts thunder at her massy

door

brain, dreaming
dream.
other loves,
heart, recalling

Another

another

Another
Too

grey

For

our

And,

antiquity,

own

mutation

achievements

our

proud

"

of the unfiUal world.

brooding mother

Recumbent

and

for

grave

our

adventurous

pleasurestoo
precipitate

in

hopes,

august.

majestic taciturnity,

Refrainingher illimitablescorn."
William

Thus
easy,

and

would

Hindu

uneventful
quiet,
in
indulging

otherwise ; and

wild
this

India

Watson.

live
wilHngly

life of

Fate

has

simple,
days,steepedin dreamy speculations

imaginings.But
mechanical
stirring,
281

age

decreed

finds

the

THE

AND

ASCETICS,

MYSTICS,

disillusioned descendants

of the

SAINTS

risMs

OF

INDIA

roughlyawakened

but
Bewildered,resentful,
stimulation from without, they

of their old dream-world.

out

unable

resist the

to

new

galvanised into feverish unhealthy cravings for


material
thingsnot always harmless, into new
expensive
modes
and standards of living,
which in their innermost
and into enterprises
hearts they do not appreciate,
for
are

which

have

they

progress ;
certain
a

real

no

if it be

but, even

vocation.

so,

Some

the situation is not

highestdestinyis
being perpetuallyengaged in

his

manufacturingthingsof

various kinds, however

themselves, nor

in

even

with

often
productions,

Holding

as

do

and

those

England

or

transition state
than

By
at

no

the

of

the

of India

Western
to

seems

enamoured

means

are

which

me

present

subjectof

not

are

world, the

time

same

of Indian

much

supreme

and

Europe

objectof

be the merits

for the

dustrialism
in-

America, with

its

vulgar

competition,and

its

sordid,

cruel

human

demerits

or

sadhuism, I feel

admiration
particular

no

and
unscrupulous,
unremitting,

may

quite

are

life, political
institutions,

creeds
religious

its eternal
aggressiveness,
the

comfort

passinginterest.

of

as

over

virtue,dignity,
happiness,

reasonable

personalfreedom,
modes
compatiblemth
systems,

such

globe.
that

and

industrial

useful in

helping to distribute
aid of quick-firing
guns,

the

the face of the inhabited

more

without

pathos,for, after all,man's

hardly realised by

of

this

term

for
struggle

wealth

effort. But, whatever

of these two

since
antagonistic,
essentially

the

systems,they

economic

ideal

of

excludes
Hfe, beingfranklyworldlyand severely
practical,
and
emotionalism,and dreamy sentimentalism,
imagination,

also,except of
consequently
religion

Pharisaical
type.
strugglein

India

Hence
is

the forces which

world

the

on

one

the other ; and


the immemorial

change,both

or
philanthropical

if unobtrusive,

momentous,

inevitable

between

the

make

under

new

conditions

for the renunciation

of the

hand, and for the accumulation of wealth


there

is

no

doubt

that, as

civilisation of the

in its

Hindus

and practice,
under
spirit
282

on

consequence,
will undergo
the stimulus

CONCLUSION

Yet I cannot
and

to which

influences
potent foreign

of the

helphopingthat the Indian

for
mentallydisquahfied

the

it is

now

exposed.

people,
physically
lifeof

strenuous

the

world, will long retain,in their nature, enough of


the spirit
of sadhuism to enable them to hold steadfastly
leisured life of their
to the simple,
unconventional,
frugal,
Western

for which
forefathers,

past historyhave

well fitted them,

and

their

own

always bearingin

taughtby their sages, that real wealth and


of
depend not so much upon the possession

the lesson

mind
true

so

climatic conditions

freedom

money,

or

great store of goods,as upon

and
regulation

limitation of the desires.

283

the reasonable

INDEX
of

essential

holy religiouslife,

271-273.

Achari, sub-sect of Ranianandis,189. Ashtanga danddwai, a painfulform


of self-mortification,47.
Agorinis,female Agoris, 167.
x\ugars,a sub-sect of the Yogis, 185.
Agoris,Saiva sect, 152 ; strange and
and
Aurva, undergoes austerities for the
tion
explanadisgusting habits
of the same
on
pantheistic destruction of the world, 21.
164-166.
various
forms
Austerities,
of,
grounds,
See
44-50
Agoris.
sadhus,
Agorpanthis.
practisedby
; the
Akalis, Sikh sect, 153 ; its origin,
knowledged,
right of Sudras to, practise, acetc., 198-201.

274.

(monastery) of Santokh

Akhara

Nirmali

the

of

256-262;

Das,
sect,

Jogi Tilla, 264-268.


Alchemy practisedby sadhus, 59-61.
Bairagi,sub-sectofIlamanandis,189,
190 ; description
of one
the
who used
Alexander
Great, acquainted
263-264

of

with Indian sadhus, 5.


carried by ascetics, 41,
Alms-bowls

to

263.

caves,

sadhus,

268.

lady becomes

downwards,

202-

Urdhaan
; descriptionof
of one
bahu, 214-217 ; description
who
worshipped the sun, 231-233.
Bairaguns (arm-rests)carried by

the customs
Amarnath
in Kashmir,
observed
on
visiting the iceAmerican

swing head

208

42.

Sanyasin, Ballavacharya, founds

Amva, austerities of, for destruction


of Bhishma, 21, 22.

sect

worship of Krishna

the

154.

Gopala, 127.
Ballavacharyas,sect

as

for
Bala

of Vaishnavas,

of the sect, 191.


152; peculiarities
Arya-Samaj,
forest
or
recluse, 15.
sect, 137.
Banaprasta,
Aryan nature-gods have ceased to Basava, founds a Sivite sect,117,118.
Basil wood
used for rosaries, 39.
be worshipped,138.
Asans
Baul, a sub-sect of Chaitanites,193.
(postures)described, 51.
Ascetic Ufe,the natural and politicalBeneficent
to
actions, attributed
of
condition
India
peculiarly sadhus, 58, 217-220.
of
of the Indian
fitted for the encouragement
Bernier, his account
recent

non-idolatrous

sadhus

the, 13.
Ascetic

sects,

number,
Asceticism,

the

body

abnormal

in

142.
feature

common

religions,7-9
7-10, 26

not

for

from

in all

ideals underlying,
the

by politicalor other
; promoted by certain

stimulated

troubles, 12
habits, 14 ; analysisof the motives
which prompt religious,
16, 17 ; as
a

means

of

attaining power

the

Yogis, 97.

210

his

Bhishma,

the

century,

appearance

of

biography,210-214.

Amva's

destruction

Bhoureeahs,

for the

austerities

of, 21, 22.


wear

dishevelled

hair,

39.

Body,

the human

body

the

cause

of

sinfulness,8, 9 ; purificationof,
by ascetic practices,9.

over

nature, 18, 19, 27-30, 31-33, 77 ;


has no
in Hinduism
nection
special conwith ethics, 34, 35 ; an

disgustat

Bhaskarananda
(Swami), a Sanyasi
of Benares, interview
with, 208-

purificationof

sinful desires, 9

in the seventeenth

his

Boer

war,

to, 280.

85

Indian

sadhus

in relation

INDEX
Brahmachari,

or

student, Danda,
religious

by Dandis,

stalEfcarried

160.
sect, 152, 163 ; one
India described, Dandis, Saiva
Southern
from
customs, and
221, 222.
160-162.
trous
non-idolaBrahmo-Samaj, a recent
the
Dasnamis,
sect, 137.
15 ; Saiva

Sanyasis,153.
Dattatreya, his

British rule in India, its efiEectupon


sadhuism, 278-281.

sect, 152 ; rules,


beliefs of the sect,
sub-orders

ten

upa

gurus,

or

of
sistant
as-

teachers, 158.
founder

Dayanand,
attributed to sadhus, 56-

Calamities

Dyal Singh,264,

58.

life,
originof the, 11.
ascetic
an
weightedwith,48.
Chains,
192.
Chaitanite nuns,
sect, 152 ;
Chaitanites, Vaishnava
and
pecuHarities customs of, 191,

Cenobitic

of

the

Arya-

Samaj, 137.
Depraved appetite,instances of,50.
Dharmsala
(monastery) of Thakur
265.

austerities,
Dliruva, his wonderful
to
the skies as
23-25
; exalted
25.
the pole-star,
Jain
a
Digambara (sky-clothed),

sub-sect, 151.
Disillusionment, a
story of
olden time, 81-83.
sect for worship

192.

the

Chaitanya, founds a
of narcotic
and
of Kjishna
Radha, 128 ; Drugs, the use
drugs
musical
introduces
processions tends to produce apathy and
cates
hus,
known
sankirtans, 129 ; inculas
quietism, 14 ; favoured
by sad-

padasraya,veneration
teacher, 130 ; his
religious
130.
still,
flourishing

42.

guru

of the
sect

Chakra, or discus, an
Vaishnavas, 43.

(besom) carried
monks, 151.

Charitylauded

by

in the Hindu

tures,
Scrip-

Christian

made

out

of

rosaries

on

derived

Early recollections of sadhus and


faquirs,1-3.
Ecstasy, scientific explanation of,
177-179.
with
connection
has
no
Hindu
austerities,34, 35.
Extraordinarytale of a Yogi, 55.

Ethics

shells,263.

cocoanut

live

Jain

140, 141.

Chippees,alms-bowls

who

of the

emblem

Chamar

ascetics

Dudhahari,
milk, 50.

from

India, 40.
Christian sects, ancient and modem,
referred to, 142, 143.
affords abundant
amples
exChristianity,
of extreme
asceticism, 10 ;
cism
the doctrine of voluntary ascetia root-idea of, 26.
shell used as ornament
Conch
by
sadhus, 40.
the founders and
Conflicts between
leaders of cults or sects a common
feature in all religions,
33, 34.

of
account
(Miss), her
245-247.
a
sadhvi,
young
Faquirs, earlyrecollections of, 1-3 ;
claim superiorityover
sadhus, 64,

Fallon

Premi,

65 ;

importance
65

68 ;
Tavernier, 95.
Farari,ascetics who
-

of their utterances,
described
by
live

on

fruits,

50.

Fasting,48.
Father
duped, a story from the
Govind
of Guru
the
Granth
for
founds
sect
Singh,
a
worship
Dadu,
88-90.
of Rama, 133.
Dadu
Panthis
sect, founded
by Fiction, sadhus in Indian fiction,
68-91.
Dadu, 133.
of
(James), his account
Daityas, terrible austerities of, 20, Forbes
cisms,
ascetiand
Indian
sadhus
their
J.
including some
singular
Dakhinacharis, their sect mark, 38.
97-100.
Dameru, or drum, carried by Saivas,
ones,
Funeral of Sanyasi,156, 157.
43.
4W

"

86

INDEX
Mutilation

Laya-yoga explained,172.
of Hindus

Life

into

divided

four

Mya

by a sadhu, 48.
Hindu
doctrine
(illusion),

of the sect, 163, 164.

customs

Lingam

of,

106.

periods,15.
Saivasect, 152; originand
Lingaits,

phallic emblem)

(or

Nadh
worn
by Yogis,185.
honoured
by Saiva sect, 43.
Nadis, vessels carrying subtle ethers
Lost son restored, a storv from the
through the human
body, 175.
Govind
Granth
of Guru
Singh, Nakedness
low
responsible for
86, 87.
of Indians held by many
opinion
Luxury and asceticism may exist
Europeans,5 ; tendency of sadhus

contemporaneously,10.

towards, 269.
his
the
conflict
with
Nanak,
scendant
deSiddhas, 31-33; a spiritual
of Kabir, 131 ; original
founder of Sikhism, his teaching,

M
founds

Madhavacharya,

Vishnu-

vite sect, 118, 119.

Madhavas

132.

(or Madhavacharis),their

Naths, immortal

mark, 38 ; sect of Vaish152;


navas,
peculiaritiesand
customs, 188.
sect

daityas,20
and

reviewed, 135-1 39.


sect, 153 ; particulars
regardingthem, 198-201.
founded
sect
Nimats,
by Nim-

Vasishta, 27-30.

(abbot),installation of
described,253-256.

Mahant

Mahatmas,

not to be met

by

Neo- Brahmanism
Nihangs, Sikh

certain
story of
story of Visvamitra

Mahabharata,

saints honoured

Yogis, 186.

baditya, 130.

one

Nimbaditya, founder
the Nimats,

with in the

Nirmalis, tSikh sect, 153

bazaars, 66, 186.


name
Mahavogi (the great ascetic),

of the sect of

130.

regarding the

sect and

particulars,
its origin,

195-198.

of Siva, HI, 112.


Nordau
(Dr.), his explanation of
Maji, a sadhvi of Benares, 244, 245.
177-179.
ecstasy,
Malas (rosaries)
described, 39, 40.
tanite,
Jain, 145, 150, 151 ; Chaithe story of, Nuns,
Malati and Madhava,
192.
74-81.
Mantra-yoga explained,172.
Matter
and
spirit,antagonism

between,
Meditation
176.

Menaka,

8.
as

practisedby Yogis,

nymph

of heaven

idea

for future use,

of,hoarded

(Princess),
worshipsKrishna
Ranachor, 134 ; and founds a

sect, 135.

some,

192.
Morals
Mount
and

under
visits

to

described, 248-269.

Jain, 144-147

power

Hinduism,

in

India,

115, 116.

invasion of India,115.

its

ascetics

five

fires,45.

Mai

Jivan

who

sit

Mukut,

sadhvi, 242-244.
of the Hindus, 106.
Pantheism
Saiva
Paramahansa,
sect, 152 ;
rules, customs, and beliefs of the
sect, 162, 163.

rules
Patanjali,author of practical
of Yoga Vidya, 172.
of various
Penances
kinds, 44-50 ;

Chaitanite,

and
tions
asceticism, their relaconsidered, 34, 35.
Meru, sadhus journeythither
do not return, 47, 48.

Muhammadan
effect on
Mussulman

amidst
Pandita

107.
Mirabai

Monks,

Panchadhunis,

doctrine of,

Monasteries, circumstances
which
they arise, 11 ;

Yogis,185.

up

19.

Metempsychosis,Hindu

as

sub-sect of the

and

mother
of Sakoontala, carries her
ofi to the celestial regions,
73.

Merits, Christian

Oghars,a

described

by Tavernier, 94, 95 ;
by Bernier, 97 ; by James Forbes,
99, 100 ; by Ward, 100, 101 ; by
Heber, 103, 104.

by a Yogi, 2l7-220.
Power
obtainable
nature
over
by
ascetic practices,
18, 19.
tion,
Prana, the vital air and its circula174, 175.

Plague averted

288

INDEX
Premi,

sadlivi who

young

braced
em-

Christianity,245-247.
Sadhuism, antiquityof, 5
of
of the spirit

Prince Bir Bhanu


Singh, a sadhu
interviewed at Amritsar, 226-229.
Pseudo-sadhu, his adventures, 235-

; an

the

bodiment
em-

East,

6 ; its religious
aspect, 273 ; its
social aspect,273, 274 ; its political

238.

aspect, 274, 275 ; its industrial


aspect, 275-278 ; its probable
future considered, 278-283 ; opposed
to industrialism,282.
peculiar Sadhus, early recollections of, 1-3 ;
in India,3-6 ;
conspicuous figures
used
wanderers, 3-5 ; at
indefatigable
by
fairs and public places, 36, 37 ;
their dress and
adornments, 37-

of the
Indians, its
characteristic features,14.
Purification of the body by ascetic

Psychology

9.
practices,

Purificatoryrites, certain
kinds of, 51.

Puttika, the mouth-veil


Jains, 141.

41 ; their

impedimenta, 41, 42 ;
43, 44 ; produce
hermitages,
ficent
calamities, 56-58 ; perform benetheir

of Krishna,

mistress

Radha,

by

certain

actions, 58, 217-220 ; as


alchemists, 58-61 ; as physicians,

shipped
wor-

Vaishnavas,

fortune-tellers,
palmists,
acrobats, 66, 67 ; in Indian
of
fiction, 68-91
;
European
descent, 222, 223 ; of princely
lineage interviewed, 226 229 ;
who
found
God, 229-231;
as

66 ;

109.

22 ;

destroys Viradha,
by

certain

22 ;

109, 119-121.

Ramakrishna,

Bengali Sanyasi,

Boer

Vaishnava
sect
for the worship of Ram, 119-121.
Ramanandis, Vaishnava
sect, 152 ;
and customs, 188-190.
peculiarities
Ramanuja, founds a Vaishnava cult,
116, 117.
See
Ramats, their sect mark, 38.
also Ramanandis.
See Ramanandis.
Ramawat.
a

stories from, 22.

Ramayana,

Ranachor, a form
Elrishna, 134.

the

war,

Saint in chains,description
of,240,
241.

Saivas, followers of Siva, emblems


favoured

43 ;

seven

sects

Saktas, worshippersof the female


energy, 109.
Sakti worship,114.

youthful Saligram,

of the

by,

named, 152.
Sakoontala, or the lost ring, the
story of, 68-74.

sort

of

ammonite

carried

by Vaishnavas, 43.
story Samadh, or burying alive,its

Ranja and Heer, the romantic


of, 266-268.
Ravena, his austerities and his doom,

often with

formance
per-

fatal results,

46, 47.

Samadhi, definitions of, 176.

22.

of the soul with

the All-

Spirit,27.
in austerities

leaders of classes
32 ; well
known

between
and
in

the

sects, 27,
other

Christian

rosaries

derived

Samsara
(metempsychosis),Hindu
doctrine of, 106.
Sankara Acharya, preaches Sivaism
and founds an important sect,112,
113.

ligions,
re-

Buddhism,
Judaism,
and Islam, 33, 34.
Christianity,
Roll used in paintingsect marks, 38.
Rosaries, worn
by Sadhus, 39, 40 ;
from

Sankara
Vijaya,a work containing
valuable
the
information
about
state of Hinduism
in the ninth
century, 110.
Sankha
of tne
or
conch, an emblem

India, 40.
Rudraksha
39.

and

193.

founds

Ramanand,

Rivalry

280.

Sadhvis (sadhuis),
female devotees,
242-247.
Sahaja, a sub-sect of the Chaitanites,

52.

Re-union

239-241

restaurateurs,

shipped
wor-

Vaishnavas,

as

and

Raja-yoga explained,172-173, 174.


Ram
Charn, founds the austere Ram
Sanehi sect, 133.
Ram
Sanehi, sect founded by Ram
Charn, 133.
Rama
Chandra, destroys Ravena,

Vaishnavas,

43.

berries used for rosaries, Sankirtans,religious


musical processions
introduced by Chaitany
a, 1 29.

289

INDEX

periodof Hindu
Sanyasi,closing
15 ;

of the Saiva

one

life,

sects, 152

divided into ten sub-orders, 153 ;


American
lady admitted to the
customs
of
154
sect,
; rules and
the sect, 154-160; a sub-sect of
189 ; a naked
the Raraanandis,
Sanyasi and his female companion
described, 223-226.
Sanyasin described,223-226.
arrow-bed of Bhishma,
Sarra-sayya,
45.

worshippers,152

customs

and

187, 188.
peculiarities,
the gross body,
Sthiila-sarira,

its

169.
their rightto

nature,

Sudras,

terities
undergo aus274.
recognised,

Sukee-bhava, a sect of Western


India, 134.
SAkshma-sarira,the subtle body, its
condition,prospects, and ultimate
emancipation, 169, 170.
Sun- worshippingBairagidescribed,

231-233.
Sect marks described,37, 38.
forms
Self mortification, various
ties,
Supreme Being, undergoes austeri44-50
scribed
de25.
sadhus,
by
;
practised
scribed
by Tavern ier,94, 95 ; deSwarga (Heaven) soughtby sadhus,
47, 48.
by Bernier, 97; described
scribed
Swetambara
Forbes, 99, 100 ; de(white-robed),a Jain
by James
-

Ward,

by

100,

101

sub-sect,151.

described by Heber, 103, 104.


of the Orient expressed
Sentiments

by an English poet, 281.


Sevaji, recently deified by

the
festival
recently
;
in honour
Calcutta
of,

Mahrattas, 137
held
137.

in

horned saint, his


Granth
of Guru
the
from
story
83-85.
Govind
Singh,
Siddhas, conflict with Nanak, 3133.
Sikhism, founded
by Baba Nanak
and
modified
by Guru Govind

ShringhiRikh, the

sub-sect of the Sri Vaishnavas,


187.
Tarika, his wonderful
austerities,

Tangalas,a

22, 23.
Tavernier, what

of sadhus
he saw
and their austerities during his
travels in India, his description
and
of Muslim
mistaken
faquirs,
of the origin of sadhuism,
account
93-96.

merit acquiredby
Temples,religious

Singh, 131-133.

the construction of,249, 250.


the hindrance to spiritual
Sinfulness,
aspirations,8 ; attributed to the Tharasri,ascetics who stand for long
periods by way of penance, 46.
corporealframe, 8.
sect marks, 38.
ornament
worn
Tikas,
by
Yogis,
Singhi,
186.
Tilaks,sect marks, 38.
Tirthankaras, Jain saints, 149.
of, 48.
Silence,vows
Tobacco, its use in India, 14.
shipped
Sita, wife of Rama
Chandra, worof metals, practised
Transmutation
the
Vaishnavas,
109,
by
119.
by sadhus, 59-61.
Siva,regardedby his followers as the Trifala, sect mark, 38.

Supreme Being,110
attained
the

ninth

prominent
century

his

worship Tripundra,sect mark,

positionin
a.d.,

110

Trisanku, introduced
by Visvamitra, 29.

38.

into

heaven

associated with lingam worship, Trisula (or trident),to be found


111 ; the great ascetic, 111.
amongst Saivas, 43.
Tulasi (holybasil)used for rosaries,
Siva Purana, stories from, 22, 23.
39.
of
Sleeman
(Colonel),his account
scribes
Indian
101, 102 ; desadhus,
suicides
ciirious religious
U
in the Mahadeo
hills,102.
Udasis, Sikh sect,153, 194, 195.
destruction of, by MahSomnath,
Urdhabahus, sadhus who keep their
moud, and its effect, 115.
46 ; description
of
arms
uplifted,
Spashta Dayakas, a sub-sect of the
of these, 214-217.
one
Chaitanites, 192, 193.
sadhus who hang head
tween Urdhamukhi,
and
matter, antagonism beS]:)irit
Sri

them, 8.
Vaishnavas,

downwards,
sect

of

46.

Urdhapundra, sect mark,

Vishnu

290

38.

INDEX
the
(William) expresses
of the Orient, 281.
Westminster
sadhu's
Aquarium,

Watson

sentiments

Vadagalas, sub
Vaishnavaa,

-sect

of

the

Sri

187.

performances at, 67, 184.


of Vishnu), Witchcraft,its position
in Hinduism,
Vaishnavas
(worshippers
emblems
favoured
63, 54.
by them, 43 ;
various forms under which they Woman's
cunning, story from the
Granth of Govind Singh,90, 91.
worshipVishnu, 109 ; new sect of,
that
founded
by Ramanuja, 116; six Wonders
present-daysadhus
152.
sects named,
said to perform,52-67.
are
Vallabhacharya,founds a sect for
the worship of Krishna
Bala
as
Gopala, 127.
Vasishta, conflict with Visvamitra, Yatis, Jain monks, 144-147.
27-30.
Yoga, its meaning, 172.
lence
to indoYoga Vidya, the system followed by
Vegetarianism conducive
the Yogis, 172 ; as explainedby
and apathy, 14.
Swami
Vibuti (sacredashes),used in paintVivekananda,
180, 181 ;
ing
actual results of the system, 181,
sect marks, 38.
182.
Virada, destroyedby Rama Chandra,
22.
Yogaism (the doctrines and beliefs
of the
Vishnu
Purana, story of Dhruva,
Yogis), explanation of,
168-186.
23-25.
mand
Visvamitra, conflict with Vasishta, Yogis, Saiva sect, 152, 153 ; comobtained
27-30.
nature
over
by,
173, 174, 183, 184 ; originof the
and
their
sect, its subdivisions
of
184-186
tale
a
peculiarities,
;
W
233-235 ;
Yogis and piouswomen,
Ward, his account of Indian sadhus,
a tale of Yogis as honoured
guests,
238, 239.
100, 101.

291

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