페이지 이미지

town and In (lie vicinity of some large pagoda. The funeral pile is of a very simple structure; its shape is that of a long square of a moderate size. Two large pieces of wood are at first laid parallel, at a distance of eight feet, other logs of wood disposed at about six or eight inches troin each other, arc laid across the two first mentioned, so that their extremities are supported on these two pieces. A second set of logs is laid at right angles with the first; a third one placed across the second, and so on until the pile is three, four or five feet high. The coffin, is deposited upon it. Fire is set below the pile, by means of inflammable materials which soon communicate fire to the logs the piie is made of. The whole is soon in a b'aze and rapidly consumed hy the devouring flames. The bye slanders talk, laugh, or bu«y themselves in stirring the fire. As to the Tulapoins, they sometimes take position under a neighbouring shed, repeat a few passages of Budha's law, and when they are tired, they give orders to their disciples to take up the ofierings and then go back to their peaceable abodes. Very often they do not take the trouble of muttering prayers, they depart forthwith with the offerings intended for them.

The fire being extinguished, the ashes, charcoal &c, are carefully searched, and the particles of bones discovered are piously collected by the nearest relatives, and then buried in a bole dug for that purpose near some pagoda.

Persons in good circumstances keep up during seven day*, in their houses, a sort of solemnization of the funerals. Every day, in the evening particularly, musicians are keeping up playing until a very late hour at night. The house is, during all the while, crowded with people, who come for the purpose of enjoyment. Some play at various games, others drink tea, nil chew betel leaves and tobacco in profusion. This mode, intended either to do honor to the deceased's memory or to afford relief to the grief of the relatives, is rather expensive, ard might often prove a heavy drain on the limited means of most ot the families, But the spirit of mutual assistance, on this occasion removes the difficulty. Every visitor, according to his means, makes a present of some money to the master of the house. Though the present of the greatest number of visitors, is comparatively small, yet when added together, there is a considerable sum, which is generally more than sufficient to defray all exnence that may be incurred. This custom or system of voluntary contributions, burdens no one in particular, whilst it enables a family to make a show of liberality which otherwise would almost prove ruinous in many instances. The custom of burning the dead prevails amongst the Hindoos, the Singhalese, Nepaulesc, Bnrmese, Siamese and Cambodians. Though holding the tenets of Budhism, the Chinese have never adopted this usage. The Mahometans living in Hindustan and the countries of eastern Asia retain the custom of burying the dead. Budhists have doubtless received that practice from the Hindoos.

80. The custom of making funeral orations for the purpose of eulogising distinguished individuals after their demise, is of the highest antiquity. The sacred records bear witness to its existence amongst the Jews. The present Legend offers repeated instances of Eulogia made to honor the memory of the dead. On this occasion Budha would not leave to another the honor of extolling the extraordinary merits and transcendent excellencies of the illustrious Thariputra, But he had a higher object in view, where he exhibited to the eyes of the assembled Italians the relics of the deceased, that were all that remained of so celebrated a disciple, who had lived with them for so many years and had just parted wilh them. It was impossible to give them a more forcible illustration of the truth he had so often announced them that there is nothing permanently subsisting In this world, but that all things are liable to a perpetual and never ending change. The stern Budha gently rebuked the amiable Ananda for the marks of inordinate grief he gave on this occasion, because said he, the law of mutability acting upon all that surrounds us, we must ever be prepared to be separated from what is dearest to our affections; grief on such occasions is useless and quite inconsistent with the principles of a wise man.

To honor the memory of Thariputra and perpetuate the remembrance of his virtues Budha directed that a Dzedi should be erected, on the very spot he had heard the news of his death. A Dzedi is a religious monument very common in Hannah, and to be seen on all rising grounds in the neighbourhood of town?. Within the enclosure of all monasteries, a Dzedi is invariably erected, it is the only purely religious building to be Ibund in Burundi. Its general appearance is everywhere the same, vii, a cone rising from the centre of a solid square bash* of niasnir y, more or less elevated according to the dimensions of (lie cone. When the monument is on a grand scale, niches are made in the middle of each side of the square facing the four points oi the compass. In those niches are placed statues of Budha, exhibiting him in the usual cross legged position. The size of those religious monuments much varies in dimensions. They range from the height of a few feet to the colossal proportions of the tall Dagon Pagoda at Rangoon.

80. The particulars of the apparition of the evil one, or the tempter, related by Budha himself to the faithful and amiable Ananda, show the incessant efforts made by Manh for rendering abortive to a certain extent the benevolent mission undertaken by Budha to procure deliverance to numberless beings, and supply others with adequate means for entering into, and steadily following the way that leads to it. He had been defeated in his endeavors to prevent Phra from leaving the world and obtaining the Budhaship. He had been thwarted in his wicked designs to weaken the effects of Budba's preachings. Heretics of all sorts had been summoned to his standards to carry on uncompromising warfare against his opponents, bnt he had failed in all his attempts. Budha had now almost completed the great aid beneficial work he had undertaken: his religion dispersed over a vast extent of countries, zealously propagated by fervent and devoted disciples seemed to be now firmly established. The edifice indeed was raised, but it required the action of a finishing hand; the key stone was yet wanting in the vault to render it complete and durable. Manh was aware of all that, hence his last and wily effort for impeding the finishing and perfecting of a work he bad vainly opposed in its beginning and progress.

The line of distinction between the Members of the Assembly and the mass of those who merely believed to the doctrines of Budha, without leaving the world is plainly drawn by Budhahimself, so there can be no doubt that from the origin of Budhisin, there existed a marked difference between the body of layman and the body of Rahans. Again the body of the perfect, or those who composed what may emphatically be termed the assembly, was composed of men and women, living as a matter of course, separately, in a state of continence and subjected to the disciplinary regulations which we find embodied in the Wlni. In Burmah vestiges of female devotees, living secluded from the world, are to be met with in many places, but as already noticed in a foregoing remark, the body of religious females lias much fallen off. Its professed members are few in number, and the exterior observance of the regulations is much neglected. The comprehensiveness of Budhism, its tendency to bring all men to the same level and allow no difference between man and man, but that which is established by superiority in virtue, its expansive properties, all those striking characteristics have mightily worked in elevating the character of the woman and raising it on a level with that of man. Who conld think of looking npon the woman as a somewhat inferior being, when we see her ranking according to the degrees of her spiritual attainments among the perfect and foremost followers of Budha? Hence in those countries where Budhism has struck a deep root and exercised a great influence over the manners of nations, the condition of the woman has been mnch improved and placed on a footing far superior to that sbe occupies in that country where that religious system is not the prevalent one, or where it has not formed or considerably influenced the customs and habits of the people.

91. The meal Budha partook of, in company with his disciples at Tsonda's residence, is the last repast he ever made. The violent distemper which followed immediately, is not, says the author of the legend, to be attributed to the food he took on this occasion. On the contrary, that very food, owing to the virtue infused therein by the agency of Nats and Brahmas was rather an antidote against the illness that was to come inevitably upon Phra's person. Previous to the dissolution of his bodily frame, it was decreed that Budha should suffer. No occurrence could ever avert this tragical circumstance. He had foreseen it, and with perfect resignation submitted to what was absolutely to happen. In the early days of Budhism, when a deadly antagonism with Brahminisin began to fill the peninsula of Hindustan with endless disputes uetwren the supporters of the two rival systems, Brahmins with a cutting sneer insulted their opponents by reminding them that the founder of their creed, whom they so much revered and exalted, had died from the effects of his having indulged too much on pork. When the writer was in Burmuh lie chanced to meet with a shrewd old Christian, who, be it said en patsant, was more fond of disputing on religion, than paying regard to the practice thereof. He boasted of having at bis command deadly weapons against Hudhists and unanswerable arguments In his inexhaustible stures against the vital parts of their creed. The chief one which he always brought forward witli a Bralnninical scorn and laugh was that Gaudama had died from his having eaten pork. He always did it with so much mirth and wit that his poor ignorant a Iversaries were completely overawed and effectually silenced by his bold an.I positive assertion leaving to him uncontested the field of battle, and allowing him in carry away undisputed the palm ol victory. This way of arguing may prove a very aiuujine one though it can never be approved ol, as error is never to be combated by another error or a false supposition. The Burmese translator was doubtless aware of the weak side offered to the attacks of malignant opponents bv the unpleasant distemper that followed the last meal of Uudha. He strenuously "lab jrs to defend tlie character of his hero, by proving in the best way he can, that such a bodily disorder was necessarily to take place, in order to set in relief the patience composure and other sterling virtues of the founder of Budhisin. The text of the Legend has been read over several times with the greatest attention for the purpose of ascertaining the reasons put 'orward to account for such an occurrence but the result has proved unsatisfactory. A heavy veil wraps in complete obscurity this curous episode of Budlia's life. All tliat can be said is tins'- it was preordained that Budha should be visited with a most painful distemper ere he attained Niban, and so it happened.

To prove that the eating of pork had nothing to do with the distemper that followed, we have the authority of (iaudama himself who commended the delicacy and flax or of that dish, and placed it on the same footing with the delicious Noeana he ate on the morning or the day previous to his obtaining the Budhaship He desired his ever faithful attendant Ananda to repair to Tsonda's place and explain to him the great reward reserved to him for haying presented him with such an excellent food.

The practical working of the Budhistic system relatively to aluH-givintr des ryes some notiee. A man bestows alms on the Kalians, or spends money towards farthering some religious purpose; he does so with the belief that what lie bestows now in the way ot alms, shall secure to him countless advantages in future exis tences. Those favors which he anticipates to enjoy hereafter are all of a temporal nature, relating only to health, pleasures, riches, honors and a lon» life either in the seat of man or in the seats of Nats. Such is the opinion generally entertained by all Hudhists in our days. Ta apoins make the preaching of the law chiefly in •numerating the merits and rewards attending the bestowing of alius on persona devoted to a religions mode of life. In this respect the practical result of their sermons is certainly most beneficial to themselves. The spiritually minded Hu Ilia seems to have levelled a blow at concupiscence and covetousness, by openly statin? that alms have the power to stem the current of demerits, to give rise an I energy to the principle of merits, and to lead to wisdom, which enables man to weaken gradually concupiscence, anger and ignorance and open and prepare the Dath to Juban. Many excellent practtces enforced by Budhism, have been if the expres s^on be correct, reduced to a mere lifelass skeleton, by ignorance and pasdohV but they would appear in a very different light, were they animated with the spirit that has brought them into existence.'

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IT being a disputed point whether any of our fellow men actually eat human flesh, I was desirous during my stay at Tappanuly in November lust to ascertain if this, as is reported, be a practice of the Batta people, who inhabit the northern districts of Sumatra. I shall now submit to you in a few words the result of my enquiries, and should you be of opinion that the evidence in confirmation of the existence of such a practice, is at all strengthened thereby, you will of course make what use you please of it.

I found the fact was well known to the Resident's Assistant ..nd all the Malays living on the island, and coir.monly admitted by the Battas themselves. Having heard that a case had recently occurred in the district of Sabluan, at a market about ten miles from the Company's Settlement, I repaired thither in order to ascertain the particulars on the spot. Meeting at this place with about twenty of the Batta chiefs, I mentioned to them my having beard that two men had been publicly eateu at that Onuu or market about a fortnight before, and wished to know their reasons for perpetrating so inhuman a deed.

An old Panghulu answered me, that the two men to whom I alluded had been taken in the act of breaking into the house of their chief, who was an elderly lemale. They had pteviously intimated to a relation of this chief their intention to murder her and her son, who was about twelve years of age, and then to usurp the chief power. These men, he added, were condemned to be eaten, that we all might have an opportunity of expressing our detestation of the treasonous act they intended to commit. No person thought of denying the fact; it was too public : All the rajas round the Bay were invited to attend; but in justice to human nature, miserable and vile as it here appears, I am happy to be able to add on good testimony, that not more than a fourth of the spectators could he induced to join in this horrible feast of human gore.

I am, Honorable Sir,
Your obedient and obliged Servant,

R. BURTON. Fort Marlborough, June 6th, 1823.








By J. H. Logan:





Chapter v. (Continued).






In our present enquiries we cannot go back to the period when there were no languages in India and the adjacent countries, or when some of the present great formations had not yet come into existence. We must reason on the phenomena which Southern Asia has presented to human observation since any permanent records of it began to be kept. As far as observation can carry lis into the past, this region has always presented several races

• Continued from p. 272.

t See Sec. 10 for summary of the comparative structural characters of Dravirian.

Vol. Ix. Octobeb-noyembeb-decembeb, 1855.

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