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HINDOO MANUAL AND CREED.
(Continued from p. 171.)
XXII.—15th.—Dourgah Poujah, commences on the seventh day of the new moon of September, and lasts till the ninth; the eighth is a fast day for those who have no children. It is the grand and general festival of the Hindoos, and every night during its continuance, is celebrated with music and dancing. This goddess holds the first rank and dignity, and is the most active of all the fabulous deities, and is called the wife of Seeb the destroyer, and the third of the first created beings. She is likewise frequently styled Bhowant>y Dourga; and this is the reason assigned for her coming down on the earth.—God having established Eender and his descendants as universal monarchs, or rajahs of the world; Moisasoor opposed it, and formed a powerful party, and declared war against Eender and his descendants; who, in the Dowapar Iogue, were compelled to run away, and abandon the government of the world to Moisasoor, which brought on great ravages, murders, and disorders. Eender and the few partizans who adhered to him, retired to a corner of the world, from whence, through compassion for the human race, with piety and humility they beseeched the first three-created beings to supplicate the Eternal to put an end to the disorders occasioned by the usurpation of Moisasoor. The three beings interceded, and obtained his sanction for Bhowanny Dourga to descend on the earth, to destroy Moisasoor and his party; and the Hindoos believe that she effected it, and finally restored the government of the world to Eender and his descendants, according to the original intention of the Eternal. Such is the origin of the feast of Dourgah Poujah; during which time they pray the Supreme Being, through her mediation, to hasten the period so long desired.
XXIII. —16th.—Dossimi falls on the tenth day of the new moon of September; when they cast the image of Dourga into the Ganges, amidst the shouts of the Hindoos, who pretend she is going to join her husband Seeb. It is prescribed to purify in the Ganges on this day,
I I . .■ '.' . .T-rr*
XXIV—17th—Louki Povjah happens on the full moon of September, and they pay their devotions all the night, without drinking any thing but milk of cocoa-nut.
XXV.— 18th.—JLulleka Kalli, or Kalli Pqujah, are all synoniinous terms: it happens the last day of the moon of September. This goddess is universally worshipped all the night of the above day, particularly at Kalli Gauth, in the environs of Calcutta, about five miles distant, where she has an ancient pagod or temple, on the banks of a little stream, which the Brahmons and tradition report to have been the original bed of the Ganges. In many parts of Hindostan they .adore different members of this divinity, as the superstitious moderns amongst us do the relics and trumpery of saints. Her eyes are at Kalli Gauth, her head at Benares, her hands at Bindabund, and her other members in different places. She derives her Jiame from ...... and is black, from whence she is
frequently termed the hj^ck goddess; for the Indians call ink kalli. They pretend she sprung, quite armed, from the eye of Dourga, at a time she was much pressed by the tyrants of the earth. On this day (they address prayers and make offerings to the manes of their ancestors; besides the anniversary on which every Hindoo celebrates the dead) of his parents with fasting and prayer, and they term it Baupka Shrad.
XXVI;—19th.—Tiflus Jattrah happens on the full of the moon of the month of October, and continues till the seventeenth of that month. It is dedicated to Kishen Thaukoor Kettry, and is universally observed; especially at Bondabeend, in commemoration of the miracle said to have happened in the neighbourhood of that city; as several maidens were celebrating the descent of Kishen, the god appeared in the midst of them, and asked them to dance with him, which they declined, saying, "there were too many of them to dance with him:" to obviate their objection, the god Kishen divided himself into as many Kishens as there were maidens, and then they danced in a circle.
XXVII.—20th.—Kartick Poujah happens on the last day of the
i. .„ .
moon of October. This God passes for the youngest son of Moisasoor, or Seeb and Dourga. He is adored on this day by those who are childless, and men and women keep fast in his honour. The word Kartick implies consecration, from whence it comes that this god is considered as the invisible guardian, and superintendant of temples. It also implies holiness; and they worship his name in the month of October, because, in that month, they consecrate their temples.
XXVm^Sist—Kbttmo. This feast is kept the first lucky Tuesday in November, the beginning of the second rice-harvest. It is the Bhramons who name the lucky Tuesday, and they celebrate it with general rejoicings.
XXIX. —22hd.—Locki Poujah happens on the first Tuesday in December, when they gather the new harvest. They return thanks to this beneficent goddess for all the good they have received during the year. They fast and pray all day, and purify themselves in the Ganges, and the night is spent in feasting and rejoicing.
XXX. —23rd.—Lucky Poujah Sankraty happens on the last 'day of December. They again worship the goddess, as on the former occasion, except that they do not fast. Each person gives food to the poor, according to his ability.
XXXI. —24th.—Siri Ponchemi happens on the fifth day of th« moon of January. This feast is dedicated to the goddess Sorresutti, whom the Hindoos consider as the patroness of the arts and sciences. She is called the daughter of Bhirmah and Bhirmani. The Koits, or the Writer tribe, are forbidden to use either pen or ink oh this day: they dedicate both to the goddess, and all business is dropped. Siri or Sree, implies fortune, and the Hindoos begin all letters with this word.
• [To be continued.]
THE LATE WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
TO MR. PARK.
Weston Underwood, January 3, 1793.
My Dear Sir,
A few lines must serve to introduce to you my much valued friend Mr. Rose, and to thank you for your very obliging attention in sending me so approved a remedy for my disorder. It is no fault of yours, but it will be a disappointment to you to know, that I have long been in possession of that remedy, and have tried it without effect, or, to speak more truly, with an unfavourable one. Judging by the pain it causes, I conclude that it is of the caustic kind, and may therefore be sovereign in cases where the eye-lids are ulcerated; but mine is a dry inflammation, which it has always increased as often as I have used it. I used it again, after having long since resolved to use it no more, that I might not seem, even to myself, to slight your kindness,* but with no better effect than in every former instance.
You are very candid in crediting so readily the excuse I make for not having yet revised your MSS. and as kind in allowing me still longer time. I refer you for a more particular account of the circumstances that make all literary pursuits at present impracticable to me, to the young gentleman who delivers this into your hands.f He is perfectly master of the subject, having just left me after having spent a fortnight with us.
You asked me a long time since a question concerning the Olney Hymns, which I do not remember that I have ever answered.!
* The graceful delicacy and endearing sensibility of Cowper's amiable mind, are* sweetly displayed in this transcript of his feelings, which (unhappily for himself) were too " tremblingly alive" to the benevolent actions of others, too severely censorial respecting his own.
+ Absence from home prevented the receipt of this letter by the hands of Mr. Rose, and subsequent occurrences interfered to disconcert a projected meeting at Lady Hesketh's house, in Norfolk Street. So depressed were the spirits of Cowper, at the time Mr. Rose paid him a visit, that he was obliged to prepare for his coming by a nightly dose of laudanum, without which, he describes himself to have been 'devoured by melaacholy.' See Hayley's Life, vol. ii. p. 107.
t An answer had been given in a former letter. See Monthly Mirror for August, p. 96.
Those marked C. are mine, one excepted, which though it bean that mark, was written by Mr. Newton. I have not the collection at present, and therefore cannot tell yon which it is.
You must extend your charity still a little farther, and excuse a short answer to, your two obliging letters. I do every thing with my pen in a hurry, but will not conclude without entreating you to make my thanks and best compliments to the lady * who was so good as to trouble herself for my sake to write a character of th*
medicine. I remain,
My dear Sir,
Your request does me honour. Johnson will have orders in a few days to send you a copy of the editionf just published.
iii" CELESTIAL NOTICES.
Mr. Ed,toi, METEOR.
As we were returning with some friends on Thursday last from Bar dwell, by I.rwort/i-thorpe Field, to Triaton, at 25' p. 9 in the Ev. (8 Sept. 1803) by a common watch, the Night being cloudless and very bright, and the Moon just rising, a Meteor glided, with a most vivid lustre to our left before us, which we all saw nearly at the same instant.
It appear'd somewhere near the Centre of the Western branch of the Milky-Way: between v and z, as I think, of Serpentarius, S. W. by S. with an Altitude of at least 50, or nearer 25°. It seem'd then as bright as a star of the first Magnitude: and for some few seconds it appear'd, as is usual, stationary; being then probably approaching in a right line nearly to the eye. It continually encreas'd in apparent Magnitude and Lustre; till it seem'd nearly equal to a Full Moon, and exceeded Jupiter and Venus at their greatest brilliancy in splendor. It then was seen gliding on, rather encreasing, as I thought, in altitude, for some seconds: and thence descending in a fine curve, toward the horizon. It had a pyramidal train of light apparently 2 or 3 Deg. in length, terminating in a fine point with the lustre of a diamond. The light of the Meteor was every where exceedingly intense: orange colour of great brightness in its S. Westerly edge ox Limb; white near the Centre, of a daa>
* Mrs. Haden, late goveruess to the accomplished daughters of Lord Eardley. .t The firth edition of Mr. Cowper's poems.
C G—VOL XVI.