« AnteriorContinuar »
The Seiks call the first man Brahma, and his wife Shatcad. Stuarg is the name for their paradise. Nark for their hell. Those, who have done good works, remain in Swarg, until they have reaped the fruits of their doings, and then return to the world; those, who have done bad, remain in Nark, until they have received full punishment.
Their places of pilgrimage are, in the Punjaub, Amritsir, Tareen-Taren, Dookh Naware, Derahe Baba Nanak, Galendwal.
Near the Sutlutj: Nundpoor Mukhowal, Chamkone, Futtehghur, near Serhend; Mookhetsir, Dandemak Saheb, Delhi, Patna in Bebar, Abehela Negher, near Nandair in the Decan.
In the land of Runjut Singh are a kind of military Fakeers, highly respected and revered by the nation, and even deemed sacred; they are called Akalce, Immortal. This sect was originally founded by Gooroo Govend Singh, the tenth Gooroo of the Seiks. The Seiks were formerly a spiritual people, and did not aspire to temporal power. They were however in the habit of disturbing the peace of the country, and resisting the authority of the Mohammedan Government, owing to the religious animosity which natuturally existed between them. This led to the persecution of the sect, and in the time of Arung Zeb, Emperor of Delhi, the Mohammedans succeeded in seizing the Gooroo Degh Behador, the ninth Priest of the Seiks, who was put to death at Delhi. Gooroo Govend Singh, on his accession to the Primacy, invoked the vengeance of God for this insult, and determined to prosecute a war against the Moghul. After various successes he was defeated, and obliged to abandon his country. He honoured those of his followers, who remained firm to him in his contest with the Moghuls, by the nomination of Akalee, or the Immortal; and from that time they became a mendicant race. The Seik became independent during the reign of Furookh Seen, the Emperor of Delhi. The Akalee increased in number, and they were noted for their predatory and fanatic habits and impertinence. Seventy years ago the Seiks established their authority in the Punjaub. The Akalees wear a distinctive dress of dark blue, and a high cap, in which they generally wear iron rings, resembling a quoit, which the Seiks formerly used as an emblem of war.
The sheiks have written in their book, that rays like the sun went out of the hands of Jesus Christ. I read to three Hindoos the Gospel of Christ.
May 30.—I called again on Hurry Singh. His Monshee, who speaks Persian, was my interpreter.
RELIGIOUS CONVERSATION WITH HURRY SINGH.
Hurry Singh. Do you wish to see the fortresses of this place?
Myself. I never look at fortresses, my occupation is to speak with people about God.
H. S. What is necessary to do, in order to arrive at a more thorough knowledge of God?
/. Jesus Christ said, "Will your heavenly father not give the holy spirit to those who ask him?" Pray to God, and He will give you the light of truth.
H. S. Which is the best of all religions you have known?
/. The religion of Jesus Christ.
Monshee. Recite to Hurry Singh the sermon of Jesus, I will translate it. (I did so; a general delight was expressed in every countenance.)
H. S. If any one purposes to leave this world, and to devote himself to God, what must he do with his wife and children? It is very hard to be obliged to leave them.
I. If you seek God with all your heart and soul, He will manage affairs in such a manner, that you shall live the more happy with wife and child.
Hurry Singh is a devout man, he makes every day a present of a cow to a Brahmin, and is just in his dealings.
HINDOO NOTION OF GOD.
Lena Singh and a pundit,* Sawaram, called on me, and they made the following observation. "Ram Perwerdegar (God), is like the wide ocean, of whom many drops are formed, and many rivers, but they do not exhaust the Ocean; many grains of sand and shells are cast by the Ocean on the dry land, and do not exhaust the Ocean: thus Wishnoo, whom you call Jesus, is a drop 'of that wide ocean God, of which drop many other drops were formed, but do not exhaust the Ocean God, and God is not in want of any of them. From the beginning a religion was established for every nation, suitable to their several climates; and every one, who is faithful to that religion in which he was born, shall come nearer to Perwerdegar, and shall have his reward in Swarg." I asked, 'Why do you worship the cow? the cow is not God, nor that wide ocean of which you are speaking.'")"
The Monshee of Hurry Singh, who was present, replied, "If you do not wish to make the Hindoos deadly enemies, do not ask about the cow." I broke off the conversation.
ARE THE HINDOOS IDOLATORS?
A Dafteree (book-keeper) of Hurry Singh, not a Seik, but a Hindoo, told me that the Hindoo acknowledge only one God, and the idols are only representations of the invincible Godhead. They call their book Bhughwud Geet (Divine song, in Sanscrit).
Infidels among European Christians, who are ready to defend any religion save their own, exculpate the Hindoos from the crime of idolatry, in order to make the veracity of excellent Missionaries suspected. Those infidels, hypocrites as they are, whilst they
* Pundit is a Hindoo title of a learned man.
t Those Philosophers of Europe, who believe that power of Philosophy is able to bring men to the saving knowledge of Christ, ought to travel among the Philosophers of Hindoostaun and Persia, they will easily be undeceived.
speak with horror about the Inquisition of Spain (which language of horror they adopt for no other purpose than to bring into discredit the religion of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, God blessed for ever), speak with enthusiasm about the Hindoo and Seik custom of burying their wives, and of the horrors of Juggur-Nath! Whilst I believe, that many a Hindoo, and many a Mussulman, and many a Zealander will be met with among the number of the happy in heaven; (for I believe many of these are so guided, by the Spirit, as to arrive at the knowledge of the truth in a way unknown even to themselves;) I firmly believe, that such wicked infidels will be cast into utter darkness; for they had an opportunity of knowing better. What is Idolatryl It is the worship of an invisible Being through a visible likeness, by which the original is forgotten: now this is the manner of worship among the Hindoos, who therefore are idolaters. It is however clear to me, that idolatry originated from a false philosophical system, as that of Spinoza the Jew, upon the system of Pantheism. June 1.-I arrived at Attock, the Taxila of Alexander, where I was most kindly received by His Royal Highness Khurruck Singh, who also gave me 250 rupees, and sweetmeats. Khurruck Singh is the favourite son of Runjeet Singh; for Runjeet Singh was very fortunate during the time his mother was pregnant with him, and on the day of his birth: Attock is six English miles from Jehaaneer. I left it that same day, and arrived at Hydaroo, ten miles from Attock, where I lodged with a Brahmin. June 2.-We arrived at Hassan Avdal, the last place of Affghanistaun. Here I saw the first Seik temple. Pundits of the Seik were sitting in it, and reading Grunt Saheb, the book composed by Baba Nanak their founder. Hassan Avdal is 15 English miles from Hydaroo, June 4.-Arrived at Rawil Pindee, 15 English miles from Hassan Avdal. Here I received again, by order of the Maharajah, sweetmeats and 100 rupees. June 5.-We arrived at Bande, 18 English miles distant from Rawil Pindee.
June 6.-We arrived in the forenoon at Pishentowr, 17 English miles; in the afternoon at Damack, six English miles. June 7.-We arrived at Rawtas, 18 English miles from Damack.
MUSSULMANS AMONG THE SERIES.
The Mussulmans under the government of Runjeet Singh, in a country formerly belonging to the descendants of Tamerlan, stand in the same relation to the Seiks, as the Christians do in the Ottoman Empire tothe Mussulmans; except that Runjeet Singh is more tolerant than the Turks and Persians. The Mussulmans in the Punjaub are not allowed to eat cow’s flesh. June 8.-We arrived at Jelom, 15 Eng. miles from Rawtas. Here the river Jelom flows. We felt to-day a strong earthquake. June 9.-We arrived in the village Saray Kare, 21 Eng. miles from Jelom, inhabited by Brahmins and Mussulmans. Wherever
a traveller comes, they prepare near a house a kind of sofa, which they call Tshoke.
June 10.—I arrived at Goozerat, where I was most kindly received by a very interesting man, the Governor of the place and province, whose name is Josiah Harlan, an independent citizen of the United States of North America: his life and career is so interesting, that I cannot omit inserting an epitome of it here.
DOCTOR Josiah HARLAN
Was born of a respectable Quaker family in Philadelphia, in the year 1799. His brother, Richard Harlan, is a physician, and writer on medical subjects in America.
Josiah Harlan, when 15 years of age, amused himself with reading medical books, and the history of Plutarch, as also the inspired Prophets; in which study I found him wonderfully well versed. When he was 21 years of age, his father sent him as a supercargo to Canton, in China. He returned thence in 13 months to Philadelphia, where he fell in love with a young lady, who promised to marry him. He sailed again to Calcutta; but hearing that his betrothed lady had married somebody else, he determined never again to return to America. He went to China in a commercial capacity, and returned a third time to Calcutta. He presented himself for examination at the Medical Board, and was appointed surgeon at the Calcutta general hospital, from whence he was transferred to the Artillery of Dum-Dum, and proceeded with that detachment to Rangoon. >
Having visited the Burmese Empire as far as Prome, he returned to Calcutta, and from thence travelled up to Simlah to Lord Amherst, from whom he demanded and obtained permission to resign. Next he went to Khorassaun, as Agent to the ex-King Shah Shoojah Ool-Moolk, who honoured him with the title of Azeez ood-dowla behadoor, (the friend of the King.) He went to Bohawul Pore, accompanied by 100 attendants, and travelled on across the Indus, up to Peshawr, where he intended to take possession of the fortress of Tack; but he failed, and went disguised as a Dervish to Cabool, from whence he finally returned to the Punjaub. He was accompanied for some time by a Mr. Mason, who afterwards travelled about in Persia, as an American. Dr. Harlan is now Governor of Goozerat. He speaks and writes the Persian with very great fluency; he is clever and enterprising. Dr. Harlan is a high Tory in principles, and honours kingly dignity; though on the other hand, he speaks with enthusiasm of Washington, Adams and Jefferson, who wrote the declaration of independence, &c. He informs me, that the restoration of Shoojah-oolMoolk would be of the greatest advantage to the British Government; however, being no politician, I was not able to understand well the reasons he assigned.
June 11.—I preached in the house of Dr. Harlan to some Armenians and Mussulmans, in the Persian tongue.
June 13.—I left Goozerat, and went towards Vizirabad. On
the road I met with Hindoos, walking barefoot, and saying their prayers; they were coming from their pilgrimage to the river Gunga, near the city of Kaashe (Benares), and from the city of Allahabad. I arrived at the hospitable dwelling of Signor Avitabile, Governor General of Vizir Abad, in the service of Runjeet Singh. This ingenuous man has made this the finest town in the Punjaub, and added to it a new town with a gate, to wh ich he has given the name of "Ram Katera," the quarter of God. He has established gallows, which he calls the ornament of civilization; for he has the power of life and death; but he is devoted to his Royal Master, and to the welfare of the country: the people of his province love him as a father. He remits every year to Runjeet Singh 1,200,000 rupees, which amount to £120,000 sterling, and this is the only province in which no complaints are heard. He has made Vizirabad the asylum of the oppressed Cashmeerians, and his name is far known. He is cheerful like an Italian; but when he is occupied in business, he is as serious as an Englishman. After having stopt with the kind Italian till the 17th June, he provided me with all necessaries for the road, and I set out for Goojrawala, a large town. I wrote from hence to Runjeet Singh, and enclosed to His Majesty a proclamation, which I issued here in the Persian tongue, exhorting all nations to repent, and declaring to them that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins, rose again, and went to heaven; and that He will come again in the clouds of heaven; and that great judgments are already beginning to announce His great coming: viz. Pestilence, Earthquakes and Cholera Morbus.
June 18.—We arrived at Kore, 24 Eng. miles from Goojra-Wala. We lodged in a garden belonging to a holy man (Gooroo) of the Seiks.
,June 19.—I left this place for Lahore. When entering Lahore, I received the following letter from Capt. Wade, Political Agent at the court of Runjeet Singh.
Loodianah, June 15, 1832. My dear sir, I have had the pleasure of receiving through Doctor Murray your letters from Jehaanger and Rawil-Pindee. That from Jehaangeer reached me at Simlah, the day I left that place; the other I received on the road yesterday. I informed Lord and Lady W. Bentinck of your safe arrival in Hurry Singh's camp, and that you might soon be expected at Lahore, which they were very glad to learn, as they have been anxious for some tidings of your safety, having heard of your departure from Teheraun for Toorkestaun and Lahore. Neither Lord nor Lady William had any letters for you from Lady Georgiana Wolff, which will no doubt be a disappointment to you. The last accounts which had been received of her were from Malta, when she still was in good health. I have written to Calcutta, to ascertain whether there are any letters for you there, and directed that they may be forwarded to my care, should there be any awaiting your arrival. An answer