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Times of India Office,


William Blackwood & Sons,

Edinburgh & London.


All rights reserved.



When Dr. Wilson died in December 1875, he left no instructions as to the future disposal of the work on Caste on which he had been engaged at intervals for the last twenty years of his life. A cursory inspection of the vast mass of papers which Dr. AVilson left led me to hope that ample material existed for a continuation of the work, if not for its absolute completion. Accordingly, after a delay caused by the necessity of going through all the papers for purposes connected with the winding up of the Estate, all those that seemed to appertain to Dr. Wilson’s literary activity were sent to Mr. Andrew Wilson, into whose hands the task of completing the Book from material existing in manuscript would naturally have fallen. But the result of a care- ful investigation was to satisfy the family that nothing would be gained by attempting to add materially to the work as Dr. Wilson left it ; and, accordingly, I was requested to have it brought out without further delay.


Dr. Wilson had finally corrected the whole of the first volume of the work, and the second volume as far as the end of page 184. The material for pp. 1 84-228 of the second volume, completing the account of the Brahmanical castes, existed partly in type, partly in manuscript. But these pages were not revised by the Author.

I should perhaps mention that a portion of the first volume has been in type since 1857.

An index of names and the more important subjects has been added.


Elphinstone College^

1^< October, 1877.


Part First— What Caste is.


9 12 SECTION I. Introductory Remarks.

12 17 SECTION II. The Meaning, Sphere, Authority and

Symbols of Caste.

17 53 SECTION III. Orthodox View of the Four Original


The Brahman. His four orders. Present pretensions of the Brahman. The Kshatriya. The Vaishya. The Shudra.

53 72 SECTION IV. Orthodox View of the Mixed Castes.

Manu’s account. Maratha Tabular View. Conservative Spirit of Orthodox School.

73 211 SECTION V. Origin and Development of Indian


Notices in the Rig Veda. The Aryas and Dasyus. The Early Priesthood. The Rishis. The Kshatriyas and Vaishyas. The Shudras. The God Brahma. Caste no systematic institution of the Aryas. The Purusha Sukta. Notices in the Sama Veda. In the Yajiu’ Veda. The Purusha Medha. Notices in the Atharva Veda. In the Brahmanas. Aitareya Brahmana quoted. Legend of Sunahshepha. Notices in the Aranyakas and Upanishads. In the Sutras. Recapitulation.

212 277 SECTION VI. Caste in the Indian Epics.

The Ramayana. The Mahabharata.



278 315 SECTION VII. The Buddhist View of Caste.

Buddha. Date of his death. His doctrines. Buddhist Literature. Buddha’s Relations to Caste. The Vajra ' Shuchi and Skanda Parana. The Jainas.

315 353 SECTION VIII. A Peep at Indian Society by the


Herodotus. Arrian. Alexander’s expedition. Megas- thenes. His classification of the Indians. Strabo. Ptolemy.

354 418 SECTION IX. Caste in the Law Books and Later

Indian Literature.

List of Smritis. Substance of that of Augiras. Mauu. The Mitakshara. The Parashara Smriti. The Mayukha.

418 422 SECTION X. Caste in the Harivansha.

422 450 SECTION XI. Caste in the Pdranas.

List of the Puranas. Notices of Caste in the several Puranas.







Times of India Office,


William Blackwood & Sons,

Edinburgh & London.


All rights reserved.



Part Second— What the Castes are.




SECTION I. The Brahmanical or Priestly Castes. First Distinctions among the Brahmans.

17 General Divisions of the Brahmans.


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I. Introductory Remarks.

Pride of ancestry, of family and personal position and occupation, and of religious pre-eminence, which, as will be immediately seen, is the grand characteristic of Caste,” is not peculiar to India. Nations and peoples, as well as individuals, have in all countries, in all ages, and at all times, been prone to take exaggerated views of their own importance, and to claim for them- selves a natural and historical and social superiority to which they have had no adequate title. That spirit which led many of the olden tribes of men to consider their progenitors as the direct offspring of the soil on which they trode, as the children of the sun moon and other heavenly bodies in whose light they rejoiced, or as the procreations or manifestations of the imaginary per- sonal gods whom they worshipped, has been very ex- tensive in its influence throughout the world. The higher communities and classes of men, ungrateful to Provi- dence for their advantages when real, have often looked with contempt and disdain on the lower ; while the lower have looked with envy, jealousy, and depreciation on the higher. Comparatively few individuals, indeed,



except under the liberalizing and purifying’ influ- ences of onr holy faitli, have been able sincerely to adopt the language of the Roman poet,

Nam genus 'et proavos et quae non fecimus ipsi,

Yix ea nostra toco ;*

or of the Roman orator, Quanto superiores snmus, tanto nos o'eramns submissins.”t Who maketh us to differ? and what are the responsibilities of onr respective positions ? have been cpiestions but seldom put and made the subject of distinct recognition. The existence of a common brotherhood in the human family, and the practice of a common sympath}' and succour, have by the majority of men been grievously overlooked. Tyranny and mischief and cruelty have been most extensively the consequence of antisocial presumption and pretension. The constant experience of the general observer of human nature has been not unlike that of the Hebrew sage, Agur, the son of Jakeh:

There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes.

And yet is not washed from their filthiness.

Tliere is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes !

And their eyelids are lifted up.

There is a generation whose teeth are as stvords.

And their jaw-teeth as knives.

To devour the poor from off the earth,

And the needy from among men.J

It is among the Hindus, however, that the imagina-

* For descent and lineage, and the things which we ourselves have not aceomplished : these I scarcely call our own. Ovid.

f The loftier that we really are, the more humbly let us conduct ourselves. Quintilian.

I Prov. XXX. 12-14.



tion of natural and positive distinctions in humanity has been brought to tlie most fearful and pernicious dev^e- lopment ever exhibited on the face of the globe- The doctrine and practice of what is called Caste, as held and observed by this people, has been only dimly shadowed by the worst social arrangements which were of old to be witnessed among the proudest nations and among the proudest orders of men in these nations. The Egyptians, who, according to Herodotus, considered themselves the most ancient of all nations,” and who are described by him as excessively religious beyond any other people,” and ‘‘ too much addicted to their an- cestorial customs to adopt any other,”* most nearly ap- proached them in their national and family pretensions, and the privilege and customs of priests and peo[>le viewed in reference both to descent and occupation ; but in the multitude, diversity, complication, and bur- densomeness of their religious and social distinctions, the Hindus have left the Egyptians far behind. Indian Caste is the condensation of all the pride, jealousy, and tyranny of an ancient and predominant people dealing with the tribes which ithey have subjected, and over which they have ruled, often without the sympathies of a recognized common humanity. It is the offspring of extraordinary exaggeration and mystification, and of all the false sj)e- culation and religious scrupulosity of a great country undergoing unwonted processes of degeneration and cor- ruption. It is now the soul as well as the body of Hinduism.! More than anything that ever came within

* Herodot. Euterp.

! This is admitted by the natives of India. E. g., Gangadhar Shas- tri Wiadake, in the lliudu-DIiuruia Tatva (p. 76), says in'



the sphere of the observation of our own great poet, Shakespeare, it is

That monster Custom, who all sense doth eat Of habits devil.”

It is dishonouring alike to the Creator of man, and in- jurious to man the creature. It is emphatically the curse of India and the parent of India’s woes. It is the great enemy of enlightenment and improvement and advancement in India. It is the grand obstacle to the ' triumphs of the Gospel of peace in India- Its evil doings of late, it is not too bold to say, have moved earth below and heaven above and hell beneath. With its terri- ble deeds before us proclaiming its hate and power, attention may well be bestowed on its origan, develop- ments, character, and results, and on our omi duty with respect to its continued influence on Indian society.

II. The Meaning, Sphere, Authority, and Symbols OF Caste.

Caste is not an Indian word. Its original form, casta, belongs to the Portuguese, by whom it was ordinarily used among themselves to express cast,” mould,” race,” kind,” and quality.” It was applied by the Portuguese, wdien they first arrived in the East, to desig- nate the peculiar system of religious and social distinc-

f srrri'it?- arrlir jtt fr Hcr&fT urflerr ant . . . .1 sttIt-

u? ?T rtf'TJTT^r TRsT TT^T arrf ; fr

^rfT- it is by means of these Caste distinctions that in the Bharatkhanda the Hindu religion has been so well presei’ved. . . . These Caste distinctions are the chief support of the Hindu religion ; when it (this support) gives way there can be no doubt that the Hindu religion will sink to destruction.



tions which they observed among the Hindu people, particularly as founded on race.* The Indian word which partially corresponds with Caste is Jati, equivalent to the Latin gens, (in the inflected form gent ) and Greek 7£voc, race or nation while Jati-hheda, the represent- ative of the foundations of the caste-system, means the distinctions of race ( gentis discrhnina. )” Varna, an- other word used for it by the Hindus, originally meant a diflerence in colour.” Gradually these Indian words, conveniently rendered by Caste, have coihe to represent not only varieties of race and colour, but every original, hereditary, religious, instituted, and conventional distinc- tion which it is possible to imagine. Caste has its peculiar recognitions, though of a discordant character, of crea- tion, formation, constitution, and birth, in all varieties of existence and life, whether vegetable, brutal, human, or superhuman. It gives its directions for recognition, acceptance, consecration, and sacramental dedication, and vice versd, of a human being on his appearance in the world. It has for infancy, pupilage, and manhood, its ordained methods of sucking, sipping, drinking, eating, and voiding ; of washing, rinsing, anointing, and smear- ing ; of clothing, dressing, and ornamenting ; of sitting,

* Thus, in describing the people of Malabar, Camoens (Lusiad. Cant. VII. 37) says :

A lei da gcnte toda, rica, e pobre De fabulas composta se imagina :

Andam nus, e somente hum panno cobre As partes, que a cobrir natura cnsina :

Dous modes ha de gente ; porque a nobro Naires cliamados sao; e a menos dina PoleEs tem por nome; a quern obriga A lei uao mistui-ar a casta antiqua :



rising, and reclining ; of moving, visiting, and travelling ; of speaking, reading, listening, and reciting ; and of me- ditating, singing, Avorking, playing, and lighting. It has its laws for social and religious rights, privileges, and occupations ; for instructing, training, and educating ; for obligation, duty, and practice ; for divine recognition, service, and ceremony ; for errors, sins, and transgres- sions ; for intercommunion, avoidance, and excommuni- cation ; for defilement, ablution, and purification ; for fines, chastisements, imprisonments, mutilations, banish- ments azid capital executions. It unfolds the Ava3"s of committing what it calls sin, accumulating sin, and of putting away sin ; and of acquiring merit, dispensing merit, and losing merit. It treats of inheritance, conveyance, possession, and dispossession; and of bargains, gain, loss, and ruin. It deals with death, burial, and burning ; and with commemoration, assistance, and injury after death. It interferes, in short, Avith all the relations and events of life, and Avith what precedes and follows, or Avhat is supposed to precede and folloAV life. It reigns supremo in the innumerable classes and divisions of the Hindus, Avhether they originate in family descent, in religious opinions, in civil or sacred occupations, or in local resi- dence ; and it professes to regulate all their interests, affairs, and relationships. Caste is the guiding principle of each of the classes and divisions of the Hindus viewed in their distinct or associated capacity. A caste is any of the classes or divisions of Hindu society.

The authority of Caste rests partly on written laAvs, partly on legendary fables and narratiA^es, partly on A^erbal tradition, partly on the injunctions of instructors and priests, partly on custom and usage, and partly on the



caprice and convenience of its votaries. Tlie roots O'f law,” sa3"s Manu, “are the whole Veda, the ordinances and observanes of such as perfectly understand it, the im- memorial customs of good men, and self-satisfaction.” “No doubt that man who shall follow the rules prescribed in the Shruti [what was heard, from the Veda] and in thev^ Smy'iti [what was remembered, from the Law] will acquire fame in this life, and in the next inexpressible happiness,”

Custom is transcendent law.”* The rules, and customs, and prejudices, and breaches, and ofl’ences, and conces- sions, and intermissions, and compromises of Caste are numerous and capricious, and complicated beyond com^,^--^ ception. They are constantly characterized by pride and folly^and frequently by wickedness.

Caste has its marks, and signs, and symbols, and symbolical acts, as well as its laws and customs ; and very great stress is laid by it on their constant exhibi- tion. The grand index of Hinduism is the tuft of hair on the crown of the head, called in Sanskrit chuda, or shikhd, in Marathi shend'i, and in Tamul kudame, which is left there on the performance of the sacrament of tonsure, on the first or third year after birth in the case of the three first classes of the Hindus.! In consequence of this mark, Hinduism is popularly known as the Shen- di-dharma , or religion of the Shcncli.^ In the eighth year after the conception of a Brahman (the representa- tive of the priestly class), in the eleventh from that of a prince or Ksliairiya, and in the twelfth from that of a Vish or Vaishya, the agriculturist and mer-

*Manu, ii. 6; ii. 9; i. 108. t See Manu, ii. 35.

1 See Molesworth’s Marilthi Dictionary, sub voc.



chant, tlie investiture with the sacred cord should oc- cur ;* tliongh this sacrament, in the case of these classes pai tiv-iilarly eager for its special blessings, may be re- sulted to by them in their fifth, sixth, or eighth year respectively. t It should never be delayed in the case of a Brahman beyond his sixteenth year ; nor in that of a Kshatriya, beyond his twenty-second ; nor in that of a Vaishya beyond his twenty-fourth 4 This investiture must be hallowed by tlie communication of the Gciyatri^ the verse of the Vedas esteemed most sacred. The par- ties who neglect it are to be reckoned apostates and outcasts, § with whom no connexion is to formed cither in laAv or affinity, even by Brahmans distressed for sub- sistence. The sacrificial strings of each class have to fie formed after a fashion prescribed in the Law Books. Certain orders as to the clothes to be worn, and the staves to be carried, issued as authoritative in ancient times are now in abeyance, though long established custom reigns supreme in these matters. The brow of every Hindu must be marked, at least when he is in a state of cere- monial purit}", with various pigments indicative of his particular caste, and sectarial connexions as a worship- j)cr of particular gods and goddesses in their varied forms. II These marks are spots and dots and figures of particular size and shape, and lines horizontal and verti- cal, as the caste regulations may require. An engraving

* Mami, ii. 3G. f Manu, ii. 37. J Mauu, ii. 38.

§ 'TR^r Manu, ii. 39.

II “lie, wlio not entitled to distinguishing marks yet lives by wearing such marks, takes to himself the sins of those who are entitled to such marks, and shall be born from the womb of a brute animal,” Manu, iv. 200.


illustrative of some of them is given in one of the plates of Moor’s Hindu Pantheon. They suggest to a Chris- tian an apt illustration of the figurative expression of the Book of Revelation, the mark of the beast in the forehead.”

HI. Orthodox View of the Four Original Castes OF THE Hindus.

According to the opinions of the Hindus deemed by them orthodox, the original Castes were four in number, that of the Brd/tmans, or priestly class ; that of the Kshatriyas, or warrior class ; that of the Vaishyas, or Mercantile and Agricultural class ; and that of the Shn- dras, or Servile Class.

“For the sake of preserving the universe,” says Mann, “the Being supremely glorious allotted separate duties to those who sprang respectively from his mouth, his arm, his thigh, and his foot. To Brdhnans he assigned the duties of reading [the Veda], and teaching it, of sacrific- ing, of assisting others to sacrifice, of giving alms, and of receiving gifts.'”' To defend tlie peojde, to give alms, to sacrifice, to read [the Veda], to shun the allurements of sexual gratification, are in a few words, tlie duties of a Kshatriya. To keep herds of cattle, to bestow largesses, to sacrifice, to read the scripture, to cai’ry on trade, to lend at interest, are the duties of a Vaishyn. One principal duty the Supreme Ruler assigns to a Shudra ; naine- 1}’, to serve the before-mentioned classeSj^ithcut depre-

* Tliese are the Six constituted tVoiks of the Biahm ins, techni- cally denominated by them Tfd, IIRUC, sUT’Id, and





ciating' their worth.* A similar origin and similar duties are ascribed to tl)e Four Castes in the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata ;f in the Matsya, Bhagavata, and several others of the Pnranas in the Jati-Mala, or Garland of Castes, of authority in Bengal and the Upper Provinces of India, quoted by Mr. Colebrooke ;§iii the Jati-Viveka, or Discrimination of Castes, of authority in the West of India ;11 and in the Sahyadri Khanda of the Skanda Pu- rana, the great practical authority of the Maratha Brah- mans.^ This, in fact, is the view taken of the origin of the four classes by the Caste system now prevalent throuo-htout the whole of India. All other passages of- the vShastras, with representations on the sulqect of a different character, and such there are in abundance,

* I\[ami i. 87-91 In tins and other quotations from the Hindu T.aw Booh, I mainly follow Sir William Jones, omitting such of his expletives as arc not warranted by the text, and bringing the render- ings sometimes closer to the original.

t Mahabharata, Shanti Parva adh. 72. v. 2723. Different ac- counts of the origin of Caste are given in other worhs, including the Pnraoas and the Mahabharata, which, to use the words of Dr. John ]\[uir, (Original Sanshrit Texts p. 37) is made up of very heterogene- ous elements, the. products of different ages, and re})rcsenting widely different dogmatical tendencies which have been thrown together by the successive compilers or editors of the work without any regard to their mutual consistentcy.”

In the iSIatsya (adh. 4), A'amdeva is the name given to the god {hharjavun, the Avorshiiifuf’) Avho (as Brahma, according to the context) created the Castes: fTSTR

In the Bh^avata, the most orthodo.x view of the origin of Caste is given in Skanda iii. adh. v. 33-31.

§ Colcbrookc's Essays, vol. ii. p. 177.

II There are two forms of this work now before me, the larger and smaller.

^ Saliyadri Khamla, A’di Pahasya, Chap. 2o.



as will afterwards appear arc contorted and interpreted in tlie light of the dogmas here announced. Caste, to the ])resent day, adheres to its claims as set forth in Manu, without essential compromise or concession.

To understand the subject of Caste, then, eve have to keep the statements now cjuoted constantly in viewn For the same purpose, we have to look to the informa- tion given in detail in the Slutstras of the Hindus res- pecting the prerogatives, privileges, and duties of these the j)rimary divisions of Caste, and which is still approv- ed and acted u])on, with very slight modifications in form, throughout the whole country. This we attempt concisely to do.

1. We give a miniature picture, in the first instance of the Brahman.

The Shiistras dwell much on the pre-eminence of the Brahman, both by birth and original endowments, above all the other classes of man. Since the Brah- man sprang from the most excellent part, since he was the first born, and since he possesses the Veda, he is by right the chief of this whole creation.” “Him, the Being who exists of himself produced in the beginning from his own mouth, that, having performed holy rites, he might present clarified butter to the gods, and cakes of rice to the progenitors of mankind, for the preser- vation of this AYorld. What created being then can surpass Him, with whose mouth the gods of the firma- ment continually feast on clarified butter, and the manes of ancestors, on hallowed cakes ? The very birth of Brahmans is a constant incarnation of Dharma, (God of religion ;) for the Brahman is horn to promote religion, and to procure ultimate happiness. AVhen a Brahman



springs to lig'lit, he is horn above tlie Avorld, the cliief of all creatures, assigned to guard the treasury of duties, religions and civil. Whatever exists in the universe, is all in effect,* the wealth of the Brahman, since the Brah- man is entitled to it all hy his primogeniture and emi- nence of birth. The Bnlhinan eats but his own food; wears his own apparel ; and bestows but his own in alms: through the benevolence of the Brahman indeed, other mortals enjoy life.”'" His inherent qualities, however sparingly they may be developed, are quiescence, self- control, devotion, purity, patience, rectitude, secular and sacred understanding, the recognition of spiritual existence, and the inborn-disposition to serve Brahma.”! In every member of his body, power and glory are resid- ent. The purifying Ganges is in his right ear ; his mouth is that of God himself ; the devouring fire is in his hand ; the holy Hrthas, or places of pilgrimage are in his right foot the cow-of-plenty (kdmadhenu ) from which all desires may be satisfied, is in the hairs of his body. The Brahman is the “first-born,” by nature ( agrajanma ); the twice-born” {duija), by the sacra- ment of the maiinji ; the deity-on-earth” {bJmdeva), by his divine status ; and the intelligent one {yipra), hv his innate comprehension. §

^ ..... o common synonyms of the Amarkosha.

Ivhanda ii, brahmavarga 4.

§ The following verse from the Tlrtha Mahatmya has become po- pular ;

trrrT frlqr'rT firR ifr^irR unrc l URC uf #RrR TT r>irw ii

All the Ttrthas in the world are in the ocean ;

All the Tirthaa in the ocean are in the Brahman’s right foot.

f Bhagavad-Gita, xviii. 42.



The Brahman, thus exalted in original position, is ac- cording to the Sinistra, superior to all law, even of a moral character, whenever it clashes with his wordly in- terests. Even truth and honesty must be dispensed with for his peculiar advantage. In tlie case of sensual gratifications,” says ]\lanu, of marriages, of food eaten by cows, of fuel for a sacrifice, of benefit or protection accruing to a Brahman, there is no sin in an oath.”* A Brahman” says the same autliorit}^ may live by rita and amrita, or by mrita and pramrita, or even by sat- yamrita (truth and faJseliood); ‘but never let him subsist by dog-living’ (hired service.)”! “A Brahman may without hesitation take the property of a Shudra. He (the Shudra) has, indeed, nothing of his own ; his master may, doubtless, take his property. To this in- justice, too, the most horrid cruelty may in his case be added ; for of the most barbarous treatment of the lower orders, and, unbecoming leniency to Brtdimans, the Hin- du sacred writings are in no degree ashamed. The}' actu- ally enjoin this atrocious despitefulness. A priest shall be fined five hundred {panas), if he slander a soldier ; twenty-five, if a merchant ; and twelve, if he slander a man of the servile class. For abusing one of the same class, a twice-born man shall be fined only twelve ; but for ribaldry not to be uttered, even that shall be dou-

Hence, the readiness to taste the water in which a Brilhinan has washed his foot. In the Padma Parana (Kriya yad)iasara, xx) it is said,

r^JT'Trfr?’^ ?T'TJTr^^5rr:| fwpj ||

The bearer of a drop of water rvhich has been in contact with a Brahman’s foot has all the sins of his body thereby destroyed.

* Mann, viii. 112. f Mann, iv. 4. 1 Mann, viii. 417.



l)led. A once born man, who insults the twice-born with gross invectives, ought to have his tongue slit ; for lie sprang from the lowest part of Brahm^. If he men- tion their name and class with contumely, as if he say ‘Oil! Devadatta’ (useless gift of God!) an iron style, ten fino’crs lono' shall betliurst red hot into his mouth.” Shovdd he, through pride, give instructions to priests concerning their duty, let the king order some hot oil to be drojiped into his moutli and ear.”^ ‘^A man of the lowest class, who shall insolently place himself on the same seat Avith one of the highest, shall either be banished. Avith a mark on his hinder part or the king shall cause a gash to be made on his buttock ; should he s|)it on him through pride, the king shall order both of his lips to be gashed; should he. .[decency requires the suppression of what here folloAvs.] If he seize the Brahman by the locks, or by the feet, or by the beard, or by the throat, or by the scrotum, let the king Avithout hesitation cause incision to be made in his hands.”! Ignominious tonsure is ordained, instead of capital punishment, for an adulterer of the priestly class; Avhile the punishment of other classes in this case may extend to loss of life. ^‘Xevcr shall a king sla}'- a Brahman, though convicted of all possible crimes; let him banish the offender from his realm ; but Avith all his property secure and his body unhurt. No greater crime is knoAvn on earth than slaying a Brahman ; and the king, therefore, must not eA^en form in his mind an idea of killing a priest.”t A Brahman, Avho, by his

* Manu, viii. 268-272. f Maim, viii. 281-3-28.

1 Maim, viii. 379-381.



power and through avarice, shall cause twice-born men, girt with the sacrificial thread, to perform servile acts, with their consent, shall be fined b}'^ tlic king six hund- red But a man of the servile class, whether

bought or unbought, he may compel to perform servile duty ; because such a man was created by the self-exist- ent for the purpose of serving Brahmans. A Shudra, though emancipated by his master, is not released from a state of servitude : for of a state which is natural to him, by whom can he be divested ?”* The Brahman, even, is the adjudicator in his own cause, and need make no complaint to royal authorities for the punishment of his enemies, it being left free to himself to take ven- geance, t

The Brahmans, as themselves the great authors of the preceptive parts of the Hindu Shastras, have no feeling of shame whatever in stating their pretensions and urg- ing their prerogatives. Only they must now read and interpret the Veda, wdiich they profess to be the highest revelation of the will of God. Their wrath is as dread- fid as that of the gods in heaven. They and their wives, and daughters, are to be worshipped as gods on earth. They allege that they have in many instances,

* Manu, viii. 124-1-t. f Jranu, xi. 31-32.

I jwr: TCfi T4T “In all ways, Brahmans are to

be worshipped: they are a Supreme Divinity.” Manu, ix. 318. In the Fadma Parana (Kriya yadnasara, xx) it is said, The good man who worships a Brahman, moving round him to the right hand, obtains the merit of himself going round the seven dwipas (insular continents) of the world.” In the same Avork, it is said, that *• immoral Brahmans are to be Avorshipped, but not Shudras though subduing tlieir passions: the coAv that eats things not to be eaten is better than the soav of good intent.”



kicked, and beaten, and cursed, and frightened, and de- graded the highest deities, and distressed and destroyed their children. One of their number, Kashyapa, they tell ns, was the parent of the sim, and another, of the moon. Others of them, they hold, wrought great mar- vels in creation and formation. 13rihaspati, the instruc- tor of the gods, is said l)y them to have turned the moon into a cinder, for two kalpas of enormous length ; and to retain his power over it by covering it with rust, when it assumes a ruddy appearance. VishvaJcarma, they declare, dipt off the hands and feet of the sun, to make it round, and cut it also into twelve pieces, in which it appears in the twelv'e signs of the zodiac. The same individual, the architect of the gods, they assert, formed heaven ; and another of his caste manufactured a child of grass, which Sita, the Avife of Rama, could not distinguish from her own son. Kashyapa, already mentioned, they make, through his different Avives, the parent of foAA'ls, of beasts of prey, of buffaloes, coays, and other cloA cn-footed ani- mals ; of haAvks, vultures, and other similar birds ; of the Apsaras, or water-nj-mphs, serpents, and other reptiles ; of trees ; of evil beings ; of the Gandharvas, and of animals Avith hoofs,* He, also, they tell us, made fire ; Avhile Bhriyii imparted to it its propertj'^ of consumption; and gUA'e it its capability of extinction ; and Ayastya, the great Brahman missionary to the South of India, swalloAved up the ocean at three sips, and then passed it impregnated Avith salt. The achievements of the great Brahmans here referred to are thus alluded to by the Hindu lawgiver: 4Vho Avithout perishing could pro-

* Bhagavuti I’uraiiu, vi. G ; 2 3-28.



Yoke those holy men by whom the all-devouring fire was created, the sea with watei’s not drinkable, and the moon with its wane and increase? what prince could gain wealth by oppressing those, who, if angry, could frame other worlds and regents of worlds, and could o-ive beino' to new gods and mortals ? W hat man, desirous of life, would injure those by the aid of whom worlds and gods perpetually exist.”* The following syllogism has gained universal currency in India :

The whole world is under the power of the gods,

The gods are under the power of the mantras,

The mantras are under the power of the Brahman ;

The Brahman is therefore our God.”f

These fabrications, which appear to us so ridiculous, were intended to secure to the Brahmans veneration and awe. The endeavour, also, has been made in the Shas- tra to secure to them their lives. They must not be kill- ed, as we have seen, for the most enormous offences. When an individual weeps for any person whom they may have killed, he must make an atonement for his in- firmity. The goddess Durgd is pleased with the blood of a man a thousand years ; but no Brahman must be sa- crificed to her. Garuda, the bearer of Vishnu, used to eat every sort of creatures, except Brahmans, who, if swallowed, would have caused an insufferable pain in his stomach, as is said to have been exemplified on a particu- lar occasion. While Shudras may offer themselves as sa- crifices by what is called the Kdmya marana (voluntary

« Manu, ix. 314-316.

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death), Brahmans are not required to make any such consecration of themselves. A twice-born man,” says Mann, who barely assaults a Brahman with an inten- tion to hurt him shall be whirled about for a century in the hell named Tdmisra ; but having smitten him in an- ger, and by design, even with a blade of grass, he shall be born in one and twenty transmigrations, from the wombs of impure quadrupeds.”* Life, however, must not only be preserved exceptionally for the favoured ; but it must be rendered comfortable. The Brahmans get all the offerings made at the temples; and the most heinous sins are atoned for by giving them presents. If a man sell his cow, he will go to hell ; if he give her in donation to a Brahman he will go to heaven. If on Ganga’s anniversary whole villages be given to Brah- mans, the person presenting them will acquire all the merit which can be obtained : his body will be a million of times more glorious than the sun ; he will have a mil- lion of virgins, many carriages, and palanquins with jewels ; and he will live in heaven with his father as man}’ years as there are particles in the land given to Brahmans. Land given to Brahmans secures heaven ; a red cow, a safe passage across the boiling infernal river, Vaitarani; a house, a heavenly palace ; an um- brella, freedom from scorching heat ; shoes, freedom from pain when walking ; perfumes, freedom from offensive smells ; feasting of Brahmans, particularly at births, marriages and deaths, the highest merit. If a house be defiled by an unclean bird sitting down upon it, it becomes pure when presented to a Brah- man. A proper gift to a Brahman on a deathbed will

« Mann, iv. 165-166.


sdcure heaven to a malefactor. The Brahmans oblige the other castes, in fact, when they condescend to receive their presents.* Money given to them should be dipped in water, lest the latent glory of their hands should burst forth and consume the donor.t

i\Iost ob\dous is it that the legislation of the Brah- mans, embracing such matters and supported by such legends as those now alluded to, has originated exclusive- ly with their own body. Its partialities, and preferences, and prejudices are of the grossest character. Along with these enormous faults, however, it is but fair to look at the strict discipline, continuous ceremoniousness, and rio-id austerities, which in certain circumstances, associ- ated with numerous puerilities, it has prescribed for its favourites.

In the first A shrama, or Order, that of the Brtihmd- chcirl, or Pupil, the Brahman boy, must render the greatest reverence and attention to his priestly instruc- tor, observing constant oblations, and practising unceas- ing restraints of his appetites- His religious exercises must commence with the morning twilight ; and, except during the times of study and eating, they must be con-

* The imparting of gifts {ddna) is quite a science according to the institutions of Caste, which, as far as this matter is concerned, are collected and explained, in all their particularities, in the Law Book entitled the Dana Mayitkha.

f In thus mentioning the pretensions of the Brahmans, I have avail- ed myself of and expanded the notices contained in my two Exposures of Hinduism in reply to Brahmanical controversialists. To natives of India acquainted with the Marathi language I would warmly recom- mend IMr. Nesbit’s tract on the Brahman’s Claims, Avhich appear- ed after the Exposures were published, and in which some of the popular aspects of the subject are commented on in a telling way.



tiimed throughout the day. “Let the twice-born youth,” it is said, “who has been girt with the sacrificial cord, collect wood for the holy tire, beg food of his relations, sleep on a low bed, and perform such offices as may please his preceptor, until his return to the house of his natural father.”* With devotion and austerities he is ordered to study the Veda. He is commanded to ab- stain from honey, flesh, perfumes, garlands, vegetable juices, women, acidulated substances, the killing of animated beings, unguents for his limbs, black powder for his eyes, wearing sandals, using an umbrella, sensual desires, wrath, covetousness, dancing, singing, dice, disputes, detraction, and falsehood. t He is enjoined to sleep alone, and to perform the duty of a religious mendicant. <