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of the low casts." On the first intimation of the practice to the governor general, marquis Wellesley, it was abolished.* Not a murmur followed; nor has any attempt of the kind since been heard of.
3. A similar investigation will soon take place respecting the custom of women burning themselves alive on the death of their husbands.f The Pundits have already been called on to produce the sanction of their shasters. The passages exhibited are vague and general in their meaning; and differe ently interpreted by the same casts.f Some sacred verses commend the practice, but none command it; and the Pundits refer once more to custom. They have however intimated, that if government will pass a regulation, amercing by fine every Brahmin who attends a burning, or every Zemindar who permits him to attend it, the practice cannot possibly long continue; for that the ceremony, unsanctified by the presence of the priests, will lose its dignity and consequence in the eyes of the people.
The civilized world may expect soon to hear of the abolition of this opprobrium of a Christian ad-ministration, the female sacrifice; which has subsisted, to our certain knowledge, since the time of Alexander the Great.
4. An event has just occurred, which seems, with others, to mark the present time, as favorable to our endeavors to qualify the rigor of the Hindoo superstition.
In the course of the Mahratta war, the great temple of Juggernaut in Orissa, has fallen into our hands. This temple is to the Hindoos what Mecca is to the Mahomedans. It is resorted to by pilo grims from every quarter of India. It is the chief seat of Brahminical power, and a strong-hold of their
* See Regulation. Appendix C.
# From a late investigation it appears that the number of women who sacrifice themselves within thirty miles round Calcutta every year is, on an average, upwards of two hundred See Appendix D.
See Appendix A.
superstition. At the annual festival of the Ruit Jattra, seven hundred thousand persons (as has been computed by the Pundits in college) assemble at this place. The volantary deaths in a single year, caused by voluntary devotement,* by imprisonment for ron-payment of the demands of the Brahmins, ci by scarcity of provisions for such a multitude, is incredible. The precincts of the place are covered with bones, Four cross square (about sixty-four square miles) are accounted sacred to Juggernaut. Within the walls the priests exercised a dominion without control. From them there was no appeal to civil law or natural justice, for protection of life or property. But these enormities will not be per. mitted under the British government. At the same time that we use no coercion to prevent the
superstitions of the natives, we permit a constant appeal to the civil power against injustice, oppression, and in humanity; and it must have a beneficial influence on the whole Hindoo system, if we chastise the enormity of their superstition at the fountain headt.
The numerous holydays of the natives an empediment
to their civilization.
1. ANOTHER obstacle to the improvement of the natives is the great number of their holydays. These holidays embody their superstition.. On such days, its spirit is revived, and its inhuman practices are made familiar : and thus it acquires strength and perpetuity. The malignity of any superstition may
* By falling under the wheels of the rutt or car.
* The rigor of the Mahometan faith coerced the Hindoo superstition; and was, so far, friendly to humanity. The Hindoos were prohibited from burning their women without official permission: Our toleration is celebratad by some, as being boundless. It is just to tolerate speculative religions; but it is doubtful whether there ought to be any toleration of practical rice, or ofike. bedding of human blood.
be calculated almost exactly by the number of its holydays, for the more the mind is enslaved by it, the more voluminous will be its ritual, and more frequent its ceremonial of observance.
2. In the Hindoo calender there are upwards of an hundred holydays;* and of these, government recognizes officially a certain number.' 'In addition to the native holydays, the fifty-two Christian holydays, or fifty-two Sundays in the year, are (on Christian principles) generally allowed to natives employed in the public service. During those Hindoo holydays which are officially recognized, the public offices are shut up, on account of the festival (as it is termed) of Doora Puja, of Churruck Puja, of Rutt Jattra, or of some other. But great detriment to the public service arising from the frequent recurrence of these Saturnalia, government resolved some years ago to reduce the number, which was done accordingly. It now appears
same principle that a few of them were cut off, we might have refused our official recognition of any; the Pundits having unanimously declared that these holydays are not enjoined by their sacred books.
3. It may be proper to permit the people in general to be as idle as the circumstances of individuals will permit: but their religious law does not require us to recognize one of their holydays officially. To those natives employed in the public service, the fifty-two Sundays are sufficient for rest from bodily labour.t To give them more holydays is to nurse their superstitions, and to promote the influx of religious mendicants into industrious communities. I In what other country would it be considered a means of promoting the happiness of the common people, to grant them so great a portion of the year to spend in idleness and dissipation? The indulgence
# The Brahmins observe two hundred and upwards.
No people require fewer days of rest than the Hindoos; for they know nothing of that corporal exertion and fatigue from labour, which in other countries render regular repose so grateful to the body and spirits.
$ See Appendix E.
superstition. At the annual festival of the Ruit Jattra, seven hundred thousand persons (as has been computed by the Pundits in college) assemble at this place. The volantary deaths in a single year, caused by voluntary devotement,* by imprisonment for non-payment of the demands of the Brahmins, ci by scarcity of provisions for such a multitude, is in credible. The precincts of the place are coverei with bones, Four cross square (about sixty-fou square miles) are accounted sacred to Juggernau Within the walls the priests exercised a dominio. without control. From them there was no appe: to civil law or natural justice, for protection of li or property. - But these enormities will not be
pe mitted under the British government. At the san time that we use no coercion to prevent the supe stitions of the natives, we permit a constant appe to the civil power against injustice, oppression, a inhumanity; and it must have a beneficial influen on the whole Hindoo system, if we chastise the ormity of their superstition at the fountain headt.
The numerous holydays of the natives an empedin
to their civilization.
1. ANOTHER obstacle to the improvement of natives is the great number of their holydays. Th holidays embody their superstition. On such d: its spirit is revived, and its inhuman practices made familiar: and thus it acquires strength perpetuity. The malignity of any superstition i
By falling under the wheels of the rutt or car. + The rigor of the Mahometan faith coerced the Hindoo superstition was, so far, friendly to humanity. The Hindoos were prohibited from ing their women without official permission. Our toleration is celebra some, as being boundless. It is just to tolerate speculative religions; b! doubtful whether there ought to be any toleration of practical rice, or @ bedding of human blood.
Iv; the radio 2
*1 ese ho1.173
27.0:n ene to be me
iausius perzeit 21 es tut require sreoZZ IZ I. 125 ficaily. se native 1-2certice, the pro AWO Sazizi ricor rest trum Souly
Spre tense 2015tays is cu mulow superstaan. Zo Tomcte ne indux ut 14 gious medias what other sou would it be considerea
10TIOUS communities means of proscoegue adiness of the Baple
, to grant ses so mu a portion us spend in idleness and dissipation. The
The Brahmins observered and waris
les people requise teres sans & ** tans ething of that earpordi eserca ina are ra
entries render regular repos puen so ste * * See appeadis L.