Theosophical University Press Online Edition
"All things are governed in the bosom of this triad." — LYDUS: De Mensibus, 20.
"Thrice let the heaven be turned on its perpetual axis." — OVID: Fasti iv.
"And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams." — Numbers xxiii. 1, 2.
"In seven days all creatures who have offended me shall be destroyed by a deluge, but thou shalt be secured in a vessel miraculously formed; take, therefore . . . and with seven holy men, your respective wives, and pairs of all animals, enter the ark without fear; then shalt thou know God face to face, and all thy questions shall be answered." — Bagavedgitta.
"And the Lord said, I will destroy man . . . from the face of the earth. . . . But with thee will I establish my covenant. . . . Come thou and all thy house into the ark. . . . For yet seven days and I will cause it to rain upon the earth." — Genesis vi., vii.
"The Tetraktys was not only principally honored because all symphonies are found to exist within it, but also because it appears to contain the nature of all things." — THEOS. OF SMYRNA: Mathem., p. 147.
OUR task will have been ill-performed if the preceding chapters have not demonstrated that Judaism, earlier and later Gnosticism, Christianity, and even Christian Masonry, have all been erected upon identical cosmical myths, symbols, and allegories, whose full comprehension is possible only to those who have inherited the key from their inventors.
In the following pages we will endeavor to show how much these have been misinterpreted by the widely-different, yet intimately-related systems enumerated above, in fitting them to their individual needs. Thus not only will a benefit be conferred upon the student, but a long-deferred, and now much-needed act of justice will be done to those earlier generations whose genius has laid the whole human race under obligation. Let us begin by once more comparing the myths of the Bible with those of the sacred books of other nations, to see which is the original, which copies.
There are but two methods which, correctly explained, can help us to this result. They are — the Vedas, Brahmanical literature and the Jewish Kabala. The former has, in a most philosophical spirit, conceived these grandiose myths; the latter borrowing them from the Chaldeans and Persians, shaped them into a history of the Jewish nation, in which their spirit of philosophy was buried beyond the recognition of all but
the elect, and under a far more absurd form than the Aryan had given them. The Bible of the Christian Church is the latest receptacle of this scheme of disfigured allegories which have been erected into an edifice of superstition, such as never entered into the conceptions of those from whom the Church obtained her knowledge. The abstract fictions of antiquity, which for ages had filled the popular fancy with but flickering shadows and uncertain images, have in Christianity assumed the shapes of real personages, and become accomplished facts. Allegory, metamorphosed, becomes sacred history, and Pagan myth is taught to the people as a revealed narrative of God's intercourse with His chosen people.
"The myths," says Horace in his Ars Poetica, "have been invented by wise men to strengthen the laws and teach moral truths." While Horace endeavored to make clear the very spirit and essence of the ancient myths, Euhemerus pretended, on the contrary, that "myths were the legendary history of kings and heroes, transformed into gods by the admiration of the nations." It is the latter method which was inferentially followed by Christians when they agreed upon the acceptation of euhemerized patriarchs, and mistook them for men who had really lived.
But, in opposition to this pernicious theory, which has brought forth such bitter fruit, we have a long series of the greatest philosophers the world has produced: Plato, Epicharmus, Socrates, Empedocles, Plotinus, and Porphyry, Proclus, Damascenus, Origen, and even Aristotle. The latter plainly stated this verity, by saying that a tradition of the highest antiquity, transmitted to posterity under the form of various myths, teaches us that the first principles of nature may be considered as "gods," for the divine permeates all nature. All the rest, details and personages, were added later for the clearer comprehension of the vulgar, and but too often with the object of supporting laws invented in the common interest.
Fairy tales do not exclusively belong to nurseries; all mankind — except those few who in all ages have comprehended their hidden meaning and tried to open the eyes of the superstitious — have listened to such tales in one shape or the other and, after transforming them into sacred symbols, called the product RELIGION!
We will try to systematize our subject as much as the ever-recurring necessity to draw parallels between the conflicting opinions that have been based on the same myths will permit. We will begin by the book of Genesis, and seek for its hidden meaning in the Brahmanical traditions and the Chaldeo-Judaic Kabala.
The first Scripture lesson taught us in our infancy is that God created the world in six days, and rested on the seventh. Hence, a peculiar sol-
emnity is supposed to attach to the seventh day, and the Christians, adopting the rigid observances of the Jewish sabbath, have enforced it upon us with the substitution of the first, instead of the seventh day of the week.
All systems of religious mysticism are based on numerals. With Pythagoras, the Monas or unity, emanating the duad, and thus forming the trinity, and the quaternary or Arba-il (the mystic four), compose the number seven. The sacredness of numbers begins with the great First — the ONE, and ends only with the nought or zero — symbol of the infinite and boundless circle which represents the universe. All the intervening figures, in whatever combination, or however multiplied, represent philosophical ideas, from vague outlines down to a definitely-established scientific axiom, relating either to a moral or a physical fact in nature. They are a key to the ancient views on cosmogony, in its broad sense, including man and beings, and the evolution of the human race, spiritually as well as physically.
The number seven is the most sacred of all, and is, undoubtedly, of Hindu origin. Everything of importance was calculated by and fitted into this number by the Aryan philosophers — ideas as well as localities. Thus they have the
Sapta-Rishi, or seven sages, typifying the seven diluvian primitive races (post-diluvian as some say).
Sapta-Loka, the seven inferior and superior worlds, whence each of these Rishis proceeded, and whither he returned in glory before reaching the final bliss of Moksha.*
Sapta-Kula, or seven castes — the Brahmans assuming to represent the direct descendants of the highest of them.**
Then, again, the Sapta-Pura (seven holy cities); Sapta-Duipa (seven holy islands); Sapta-Samudra (the seven holy seas); Sapta-Parvata (the seven holy mountains); Sapta-Arania (the seven deserts); Sapta-Vruksha (the seven sacred trees); and so on.
* The Rishi are identical with Manu. The ten Pragapati, sons of Viradj, called Maritchi, Atri, Angira, Polastya, Poulaha, Kratu, Pratcheta, Vasishta, Brighu, and Narada, are euhemerized Powers, the Hindu Sephiroth. These emanate the seven Rishi, or Manus, the chief of whom issued himself from the "uncreated." He is the Adam of earth, and signifies man. His "sons," the following six Manus, represent each a new race of men, and in the total they are humanity passing gradually through the primitive seven stages of evolution.
** In days of old, when the Brahmans studied more than they do now the hidden sense of their philosophy, they explained that each of these six distinct races which preceded ours had disappeared. But now they pretend that a specimen was preserved which was not destroyed with the rest, but reached the present seventh stage. Thus they, the Brahmans are the specimens of the heavenly Manu, and issued from the mouth of Brahma; while the Sudra was created from his foot.
In the Chaldeo-Babylonian incantation, this number reappears again as prominently as among the Hindus. The number is dual in its attributes, i.e., holy in one of its aspects it becomes nefast under other conditions. Thus the following incantation we find traced on the Assyrian tablets, now so correctly interpreted.
"The evening of evil omen, the region of the sky, which produces misfortune. . . .
"Message of pest.
"Deprecators of Nin-Ki-gal.
"The seven gods of the vast sky.
"The seven gods of the vast earth.
"The seven gods of blazing spheres.
"The seven gods of celestial legion.
"The seven gods maleficent.
"The seven phantoms — bad.
"The seven phantoms of maleficent flames. . . .
"Bad demon, bad alal, bad gigim, bad telal . . . bad god, bad maskim.
"Spirit of seven heavens remember . . . Spirit of seven earths remember . . . etc."
This number reappears likewise on almost every page of Genesis, and throughout the Mosaic books, and we find it conspicuous (see following chapter) in the Book of Job and the Oriental Kabala. If the Hebrew Semitics adopted it so readily, we must infer that it was not blindly, but with a thorough knowledge of its secret meaning; hence, that they must have adopted the doctrines of their "heathen" neighbors as well. It is but natural, therefore, that we should seek in heathen philosophy for the interpretation of this number, which again reappeared in Christianity with its seven sacraments, seven churches in Asia Minor, seven capital sins, seven virtues (four cardinal and three theological), etc.
Have the seven prismatic colors of the rainbow seen by Noah no other meaning than that of a covenant between God and man to refresh the memory of the former? To the kabalist, at least, they have a significance inseparable from the seven labors of magic, the seven upper spheres, the seven notes of the musical scale, the seven numerals of Pythagoras, the seven wonders of the world, the seven ages, and even the seven steps of the Masons, which lead to the Holy of Holies, after passing the flights of three and five.
Whence the identity then of these enigmatical, ever-recurring numerals that are found in every page of the Jewish Scriptures, as in every ola and sloka of Buddhistic and Brahmanical books? Whence these numerals that are the soul of the Pythagorean and Platonic thought, and that no unilluminated Orientalist nor biblical student has ever been able to fathom?
And yet they have a key ready in their hand, did they but know how to use it. Nowhere is the mystical value of human language and its effects on human action so perfectly understood as in India, nor any better explained than by the authors of the oldest Brahmanas. Ancient as their epoch is now found to be, they only try to express, in a more concrete form, the abstract metaphysical speculations of their own ancestors.
Such is the respect of the Brahmans for the sacrificial mysteries, that they hold that the world itself sprang into creation as a consequence of a "sacrificial word" pronounced by the First Cause. This word is the "Ineffable name" of the kabalists, fully discussed in the last chapter.
The secret of the Vedas, "Sacred Knowledge" though they may be, is impenetrable without the help of the Brahmanas. Properly speaking, the Vedas (which are written in verse and comprised in four books) constitute that portion called the Mantra, or magical prayer, and the Brahmanas (which are in prose) contain their key. While the Mantra part is alone holy, the Brahmana portion contains all the theological exegesis, and the speculations and explanations of the sacerdotal. Our Orientalists, we repeat, will make no substantial progress toward a comprehension of Vedic literature until they place a proper valuation upon works now despised by them; as, for instance, the Aitareya and Kaushitaki Brahmanas, which belong to the Rig-Veda.
Zoroaster was called a Manthran, or speaker of Mantras, and, according to Haug, one of the earliest names for the Sacred Scriptures of the Parsis was Manthra-spenta. The power and significance of the Brahman who acts as the Hotri-priest at the Soma-Sacrifice, consists in his possession and full knowledge of the uses of the sacred word or speech — Vach. The latter is personified in Sara-isvati, the wife of Brahma, who is the goddess of the sacred or "Secret Knowledge." She is usually depicted as riding upon a peacock with its tail all spread. The eyes upon the feathers of the bird's tail, symbolize the sleepless eyes that see all things. To one who has the ambition of becoming an adept of the "Secret doctrines," they are a reminder that he must have the hundred eyes of Argus to see and comprehend all things.
And this is why we say that it is not possible to solve fully the deep problems underlying the Brahmanical and Buddhistic sacred books without having a perfect comprehension of the esoteric meaning of the Pythagorean numerals. The greatest power of this Vach, or Sacred Speech, is developed according to the form which is given to the Mantra by the officiating Hotri, and this form consists wholly in the numbers and syllables of the sacred metre. If pronounced slowly and in a certain rhythm, one effect is produced; if quickly and with another rhythm, there is a different result. "Each metre," says Haug, "is the invisible master of
something visible in this world; it is, as it were, its exponent and ideal. This great significance of the metrical speech is derived from the number of syllables of which it consists, for each thing has (just as in the Pythagorean system) a certain numerical proportion. All these things, metres (chhandas), stomas, and prishthas, are liable to be as eternal and divine as the words themselves they contain. The earliest Hindu divines did not only believe in a primitive revelation of the words of the sacred texts, but even in that of the various forms. These forms, along with their contents, the everlasting Veda-words, are symbols expressive of things of the invisible world, and in several respects comparable to the Platonic ideas."
This testimony from an unwilling witness shows again the identity between the ancient religions as to their secret doctrine. The Gayatri metre, for example, consists of thrice eight syllables, and is considered the most sacred of metres. It is the metre of Agni, the fire-god, and becomes at times the emblem of Brahma himself, the chief creator, and "fashioner of man" in his own image. Now Pythagoras says that "The number eight, or the Octad, is the first cube, that is to say, squared in all senses, as a die, proceeding from its base two, or even number; so is man four-square or perfect." Of course few, except the Pythagoreans and kabalists, can fully comprehend this idea; but the illustration will assist in pointing out the close kinship of the numerals with the Vedic Mantras. The chief problems of every theology lie concealed beneath this imagery of fire and the varying rhythm of its flames. The burning bush of the Bible, the Zoroastrian and other sacred fires, Plato's universal soul, and the Rosicrucian doctrines of both soul and body of man being evolved out of fire, the reasoning and immortal element which permeates all things, and which, according to Herakleitus, Hippocrates, and Parmenides, is God, have all the same meaning.
Each metre in the Brahmanas corresponds to a number, and as shown by Haug, as it stands in the sacred volumes, is a prototype of some visible form on earth, and its effects are either good or evil. The "sacred speech" can save, but it can kill as well; its many meanings and faculties are well known but to the Dikshita (the adept), who has been initiated into many mysteries, and whose "spiritual birth" is completely achieved; the Vach of the mantra is a spoken power, which awakes another corresponding and still more occult power, each allegorically personified by some god in the world of spirits, and, according as it is used, responded to either by the gods or the Rakshasas (bad spirits). In the Brahmanical and Buddhist ideas, a curse, a blessing, a vow, a desire, an idle thought, can each assume a visible shape and so manifest itself objectively to the eyes of its author, or to him that it concerns.
Every sin becomes incarnated, so to say, and like an avenging fiend persecutes its perpetrator.
There are words which have a destructive quality in their very syllables, as though objective things; for every sound awakens a corresponding one in the invisible world of spirit, and the repercussion produces either a good or bad effect. Harmonious rhythm, a melody vibrating softly in the atmosphere, creates a beneficent and sweet influence around, and acts most powerfully on the psychological as well as physical natures of every living thing on earth; it reacts even on inanimate objects, for matter is still spirit in its essence, invisible as it may seem to our grosser senses.
So with the numerals. Turn wherever we will, from the Prophets to the Apocalypse, and we will see the biblical writers constantly using the numbers three, four, seven, and twelve.
And yet we have known some partisans of the Bible who maintained that the Vedas were copied from the Mosaic books!* The Vedas, which are written in Sanscrit, a language whose grammatical rules and forms, as Max Muller and other scholars confess, were completely established long before the days when the great wave of emigration bore it from Asia all over the Occident, are there to proclaim their parentage of every philosophy, and every religious institution developed later among Semitic peoples. And which of the numerals most frequently occur in the Sanscrit chants, those sublime hymns to creation, to the unity of God, and the countless manifestations of His power? ONE, THREE, and SEVEN. Read the hymn by Dirghatamas.
"TO HIM WHO REPRESENTS ALL THE GODS."
"The God here present, our blessed patron, our sacrificer, has a brother who spreads himself in mid-air. There exists a third Brother whom we sprinkle with our libations. . . . It is he whom I have seen master of men and armed with seven rays."**
"Seven Bridles aid in guiding a car which has but ONE wheel, and which is drawn by a single horse that shines with seven rays. The wheel has three limbs, an immortal wheel, never-wearying, whence hang all the worlds."
"Sometimes seven horses drag a car of seven wheels, and seven personages mount it, accompanied by seven fecund nymphs of the water."
And the following again, in honor of the fire-god — Agni, who is so clearly shown but a spirit subordinate to the ONE God.
* To avoid discussion we adopt the palaeographical conclusions arrived at by Martin Haug and some other cautious scholars. Personally we credit the statements of the Brahmans and those of Halled, the translator of the "Sastras."
** The god Heptaktis.
"Ever ONE, although having three forms of double nature (androgynous) — he rises! and the priests offer to God, in the act of sacrifice, their prayers which reach the heavens, borne aloft by Agni."
Is this a coincidence, or, rather, as reason tells us, the result of the derivation of many national cults from one primitive, universal religion? A mystery for the uninitiated, the unveiling of the most sublime (because correct and true) psychological and physiological problems for the initiate. Revelations of the personal spirit of man which is divine because that spirit is not only the emanation of the ONE Supreme God, but is the only God man is able, in his weakness and helplessness, to comprehend — to feel within himself. This truth the Vedic poet clearly confesses, when saying:
"The Lord, Master of the universe and full of wisdom, has entered with me (into me) — weak and ignorant — and has formed me of himself in that place* where the spirits obtain, by the help of Science, the peaceful enjoyment of the fruit, as sweet as ambrosia."
Whether we call this fruit "an apple" from the Tree of Knowledge, or the pippala of the Hindu poet, it matters not. It is the fruit of esoteric wisdom. Our object is to show the existence of a religious system in India for many thousands of years before the exoteric fables of the Garden of Eden and the Deluge had been invented. Hence the identity of doctrines. Instructed in them, each of the initiates of other countries became, in his turn, the founder of some great school of philosophy in the West.
Who of our Sanscrit scholars has ever felt interested in discovering the real sense of the following hymns, palpable as it is: "Pippala, the sweet fruit of that tree upon which come spirits who love the science (?) and where the gods produce all marvels. This is a mystery for him who knows not the Father of the world."
Or this one again:
"These stanzas bear at their head a title which announces that they are consecrated to the Viswadevas (that is to say, to all the gods). He who knows not the Being whom I sing in all his manifestations, will comprehend nothing of my verses; those who do know HIM are not strangers to this reunion."
This refers to the reunion and parting of the immortal and mortal parts of man. "The immortal Being," says the preceding stanza, "is in the cradle of the mortal Being. The two eternal spirits go and come everywhere; only some men know the one without knowing the other" (Dirghatamas).
Who can give a correct idea of Him of whom the Rig-Veda says:
* The sanctuary of the initiation.
"That which is One the wise call it in divers manners." That One is sung by the Vedic poets in all its manifestations in nature; and the books considered "childish and foolish" teach how at will to call the beings of wisdom for our instruction. They teach, as Porphyry says: "a liberation from all terrene concerns . . . a flight of the alone to the ALONE."
Professor Max Muller, whose every word is accepted by his school as philological gospel, is undoubtedly right in one sense when in determining the nature of the Hindu gods, he calls them "masks without an actor . . . names without being, not beings without names."* For he but proves thereby the monotheism of the ancient Vedic religion. But it seems to us more than dubious whether he or any scientist of his school needed hope to fathom the old Aryan** thought, without an accurate study of those very "masks." To the materialist, as to the scientist, who for various reasons endeavors to work out the difficult problem of compelling facts to agree with either their own hobbies or those of the Bible, they may seem but the empty shells of phantoms. Yet such authorities will ever be, as in the past, the unsafest of guides, except in matters of exact science. The Bible patriarchs are as much "masks without actors," as the pragapatis, and yet, if the living personage behind these masks is but an abstract shadow there is an idea embodied in every one of them which belongs to the philosophical and scientific theories of ancient wisdom.*** And who can render better service in this work than the native Brahmans themselves, or the kabalists?
To deny, point-blank, any sound philosophy in the later Brahmanical speculations upon the Rig-Veda, is equivalent to refusing to ever correctly understand the mother-religion itself, which gave rise to them, and which is the expression of the inner thought of the direct ancestors of these later authors of the Brahmanas. If learned Europeans can so
* "Comparative Mythology."
** While having no intention to enter at present upon a discussion as to the nomadic races of the "Rhematic period," we reserve the right to question the full propriety of terming that portion of the primitive people from whose traditions the "Vedas" sprang into existence, Aryans. Some scientists find the existence of these Aryans not only unproved by science, but the traditions of Hindustan protesting against such an assumption.
*** Without the esoteric explanation, the "Old Testament" becomes an absurd jumble of meaningless tales — nay, worse than that, it must rank high with immoral books. It is curious that Professor Max Muller, such a profound scholar in Comparative Mythology, should be found saying of the pragapatis and Hindu gods that they are masks without actors; and of Abraham and other mythical patriarchs that they were real living men; of Abraham especially, we are told (see "Semitic Monotheism") that he "stands before us as a figure second only to one in the whole history of the world."
readily show that all the Vedic gods are but empty masks, they must also be ready to demonstrate that the Brahmanical authors were as incapable as themselves to discover these "actors" anywhere. This done, not only the three other sacred books which Max Muller says "do not deserve the name of Vedas," but the Rig-Veda itself becomes a meaningless jumble of words; for what the world-renowned and subtile intellect of the ancient Hindu sages failed to understand, no modern scientist, however learned, can hope to fathom. Poor Thomas Taylor was right in saying that "philology is not philosophy."
It is, to say the least, illogical to admit that there is a hidden thought in the literary work of a race perhaps ethnologically different from our own; and then, because it is utterly unintelligible to us whose spiritual development during the several thousand intervening years has bifurcated into quite a contrary direction — deny that it has any sense in it at all. But this is precisely what, with all due respect for erudition, Professor Max Muller and his school do in this instance, at least. First of all, we are told that, albeit cautiously and with some effort, yet we may still walk in the footsteps of these authors of the Vedas. "We shall feel that we are brought face to face and mind to mind with men yet intelligible to us after we have freed ourselves from our modern conceits. We shall not succeed always; words, verses, nay whole hymns in the Rig-Veda, will and must remain to us a dead letter. . . . For, with a few exceptions . . . the whole world of the Vedic ideas is so entirely beyond our own intellectual horizon, that instead of translating, we can as yet only guess and combine."*
And yet, to leave us in no possible doubt as to the true value of his words, the learned scholar, in another passage, expresses his opinion on these same Vedas (with one exception) thus: "The only important, the only real Veda, is the Rig-Veda — the other so-called Vedas deserve the name of Veda no more than the Talmud deserves the name of Bible." Professor Muller rejects them as unworthy of the attention of any one, and, as we understand it, on the ground that they contain chiefly "sacrificial formulas, charms, and incantations."**
And now, a very natural question: Are any of our scholars prepared to demonstrate that, so far, they are intimately acquainted with the hidden sense of these perfectly absurd "sacrificial formulas, charms, and incantations" and magic nonsense of Atharva-Veda? We believe not, and our doubt is based on the confession of Professor Muller himself, just quoted. If "the whole world of the Vedic ideas [the Rig-Veda cannot
* The italics are our own. "The Vedas," lecture by Max Muller, p. 75.
** "Chips," vol. i., p. 8.
be included alone in this world, we suppose] is so entirely beyond our own [the scientists'] intellectual horizon that, instead of translating, we can as yet only guess and combine"; and the Yagur-Veda, Sama-Veda, and Atharva-Veda are "childish and foolish";* and the Brahmanas, the Sutras Yaska, and Sayana, "though nearest in time to the hymns of the Rig-Veda, indulge in the most frivolous and ill-judged interpretations," how can either himself or any other scholar form any adequate opinion of either of them? If, again, the authors of the Brahmanas, the nearest in time to the Vedic hymns, were already incompetent to offer anything better than "ill-judged interpretations," then at what period of history, where, and by whom, were written these grandiose poems, whose mystical sense has died with their generations? Are we, then, so wrong in affirming that if sacred texts are found in Egypt to have become — even to the priestly scribes of 4,000 years ago — wholly unintelligible,** and the Brahmanas offer but "childish and foolish" interpretations of the Rig-Veda, at least as far back as that, then, 1st, both the Egyptian and Hindu religious philosophies are of an untold antiquity, far antedating ages cautiously assigned them by our students of comparative mythology; and, 2d, the claims of ancient priests of Egypt and modern Brahmans, as to their age, are, after all, correct.
We can never admit that the three other Vedas are less worthy of their name than the Rig-hymns, or that the Talmud and the Kabala are so inferior to the Bible. The very name of the Vedas (the literal meaning of which is knowledge or wisdom) shows them to belong to the literature of those men who, in every country, language, and age, have been spoken of as "those who know." In Sanscrit the third person singular is veda (he knows), and the plural is vida (they know). This word is synonymous with the Greek [[Theosebeia]], which Plato uses when speaking of the wise — the magicians; and with the Hebrew Hakamin, (wise men). Reject the Talmud and its old predecessor the Kabala, and it will be simply impossible ever to render correctly one word of that Bible so much extolled at their expense. But then it is, perhaps, just what its partisans are working for. To banish the Brahmanas is to fling away the key that unlocks the door of the Rig-Veda. The literal interpretation of the Bible has already borne its fruits; with the Vedas and the Sanscrit sacred books in general it will be just the same, with this difference, that the absurd interpretation of the Bible has received a time-honored right of eminent domain in the department of the ridiculous; and will find its
* We believe that we have elsewhere given the contrary opinion, on the subject of "Atharva-Veda," of Prof. Whitney, of Yale College.
** See Baron Bunsen's "Egypt," vol. v.
supporters, against light and against proof. As to the "heathen" literature, after a few more years of unsuccessful attempts at interpretation, its religious meaning will be relegated to the limbo of exploded superstitions, and people will hear no more of it.
We beg to be clearly understood before we are blamed and criticised for the above remarks. The vast learning of the celebrated Oxford professor can hardly be questioned by his very enemies, yet we have a right to regret his precipitancy to condemn that which he himself confesses "entirely beyond our own intellectual horizon." Even in what he considers a ridiculous blunder on the part of the author of the Brahmanas, other more spiritually-disposed persons may see quite the reverse. "Who is the greatest of the gods? Who shall first be praised by our songs?" says an ancient Rishi of the Rig-Veda; mistaking (as Prof. M. imagines) the interrogative pronoun "Who" for some divine name. Says the Professor: "A place is allotted in the sacrificial invocations to a god 'Who,' and hymns addressed to him are called 'Whoish hymns.' " And is a god "Who" less natural as a term than a god "I am"? or "Whoish" hymns less reverential than "I-amish" psalms? And who can prove that this is really a blunder, and not a premeditated expression? Is it so impossible to believe that the strange term was precisely due to a reverential awe which made the poet hesitate before giving a name, as form to that which is justly considered as the highest abstraction of metaphysical ideals — God? Or that the same feeling made the commentator who came after him to pause and so leave the work of anthropomorphizing the "Unknown," the "WHO," to future human conception? "These early poets thought more for themselves — than for others," remarks Max Muller himself. "They sought rather, in their language, to be true to their own thought than to please the imagination of their hearers."* Unfortunately it is this very thought which awakes no responsive echo in the minds of our philologists.
Farther, we read the sound advice to students of the Rig-Veda hymns, to collect, collate, sift, and reject. "Let him study the commentaries, the Sutras, the Brahmanas, and even later works, in order to exhaust all the sources from which information can be derived. He [the scholar] must not despise the traditions of the Brahmans, even where their misconceptions . . . are palpable. . . . Not a corner in the Brahmanas, the Sutras, Yaska, and Sayana, should be left unexplored before we propose a rendering of our own. . . . When the scholar has done his work, the poet and philosopher must take it up and finish it."**
Poor chance for a "philosopher" to step into the shoes of a learned
* "Chips," vol. i.; "The Vedas."
** Max Muller: Lecture on "The Vedas."
philologist and presume to correct his errors! We would like to see what sort of a reception the most learned Hindu scholar in India would have from the educated public of Europe and America, if he should undertake to correct a savant, after he had sifted, accepted, rejected, explained, and declared what was good, and what "absurd and childish" in the sacred books of his forefathers. That which would finally be declared "Brahmanic misconceptions," by the conclave of European and especially German savants, would be as little likely to be reconsidered at the appeal of the most erudite pundit of Benares or Ceylon, as the interpretation of Jewish Scripture by Maimonides and Philo-Judaeus, by Christians after the Councils of the Church had accepted the mistranslations and explanations of Irenaeus and Eusebius. What pundit, or native philosopher of India should know his ancestral language, religion, or philosophy as well as an Englishman or a German? Or why should a Hindu be more suffered to expound Brahmanism, than a Rabbinical scholar to interpret Judaism or the Isaian prophecies? Safer, and far more trustworthy translators can be had nearer home. Nevertheless, let us still hope that we may find at last, even though it be in the dim future, a European philosopher to sift the sacred books of the wisdom-religion, and not be contradicted by every other of his class.
Meanwhile, unmindful of any alleged authorities, let us try to sift for ourselves a few of these myths of old. We will search for an explanation within the popular interpretation, and feel our way with the help of the magic lamp of Trismegistus — the mysterious number seven. There must have been some reason why this figure was universally accepted as a mystic calculation. With every ancient people, the Creator, or Demiurge, was placed over the seventh heaven. "And were I to touch upon the initiation into our sacred Mysteries," says Emperor Julian, the kabalist, "which the Chaldean bacchised respecting the seven-rayed God, lifting up the souls through Him, I should say things unknown, and very unknown to the rabble, but well known to the blessed Theurgists."* In Lydus it is said that "The Chaldeans call the God IAO, and SABAOTH he is often called, as He who is over the seven orbits (heavens, or spheres), that is the Demiurge."**
One must consult the Pythagoreans and Kabalists to learn the potentiality of this number. Exoterically the seven rays of the solar spectrum are represented concretely in the seven-rayed god Heptaktis. These seven rays epitomized into THREE primary rays, namely, the red, blue, and yellow, form the solar trinity, and typify respectively spirit-
* Julian: "In Matrem," p. 173; Julian: "Oratio," v., 172.
** Lyd.: "De Mensibus," iv., 38-74; "Movers," p. 550; Dunlap: "Saba," p. 3.
matter and spirit-essence. Science has also reduced of late the seven rays to three primary ones, thus corroborating the scientific conception of the ancients of at least one of the visible manifestations of the invisible deity, and the seven divided into a quaternary and a trinity.
The Pythagoreans called the number seven the vehicle of life, as it contained body and soul. They explained it by saying, that the human body consisted of four principal elements, and that the soul is triple, comprising reason, passion, and desire. The ineffable WORD was considered the Seventh and highest of all, for there are six minor substitutes, each belonging to a degree of initiation. The Jews borrowed their Sabbath from the ancients, who called it Saturn's day and deemed it unlucky, and not the latter from the Israelites when Christianized. The people of India, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt observed weeks of seven days; and the Romans learned the hebdomadal method from these foreign countries when they became subject to the Empire. Still it was not until the fourth century that the Roman kalends, nones, and ides were abandoned, and weeks substituted in their place; and the astronomical names of the days, such as dies Solis (day of the Sun), dies Lunae (day of the Moon), dies Martis (day of Mars); dies Mercurii (day of Mercury), dies Jovis (day of Jupiter), dies Veneris (day of Venus), and dies Saturni (day of Saturn), prove that it was not from the Jews that the week of seven days was adopted. Before we examine this number kabalistically, we propose to analyse it from the standpoint of the Judaico-Christian Sabbath.
When Moses instituted the yom shaba, or Shebang (Shabbath), the allegory of the Lord God resting from his work of creation on the seventh day was but a cloak, or, as the Sohar expresses it, a screen, to hide the true meaning.
The Jews reckoned then, as they do now, their days by number, as, day the first; day the second; and so on; yom ahad; yom sheni; yom shelisho; yom rebis; yom shamishi; yom shishehi; Yom SHABA.
"The Hebrew seven , consisting of three letters, S. B. O., has more than one meaning. First of all, it means age or cycle, Shab-ang; Sabbath can be translated old age, as well as rest, and in the old Coptic, Sabe means wisdom, learning. Modern archaeologists have found that as in Hebrew Sab also means gray-headed, and that therefore the Saba-day was the day on which the "gray-headed men, or 'aged fathers' of a tribe, were in the habit of assembling for councils or sacrifices."*
"Thus, the week of six days and the seventh, the Saba or Sapta-day period, is of the highest antiquity. The observance of the lunar festivals in India, shows that that nation held hebdomadal meetings as well. With
* "Westminster Review": Septenary Institutions; "Stone Him to Death."
every new quarter the moon brings changes in the atmosphere, hence certain changes are also produced throughout the whole of our universe, of which the meteorological ones are the most insignificant. On this day of the seventh and most powerful of the prismatic days, the adepts of the "Secret Science" meet as they met thousands of years ago, to become the agents of the occult powers of nature (emanations of the working God), and commune with the invisible worlds. It is in this observance of the seventh day by the old sages — not as the resting day of the Deity, but because they had penetrated into its occult power, that lies the profound veneration of all the heathen philosophers for the number seven which they term the "venerable," the sacred number. The Pythagorean Tetraktis, revered by the Platonists, was the square placed below the triangle; the latter, or the Trinity embodying the invisible Monad — the unity, and deemed too sacred to be pronounced except within the walls of a Sanctuary.
The ascetic observance of the Christian Sabbath by Protestants is pure religious tyranny, and does more harm, we fear, than good. It really dates only from the enactment (in 1678) of the 29th of Charles II., which prohibited any "tradesman, artificer, workman, laborer, or other person," to "do or exercise any worldly labor, etc., etc., upon the Lord's day." The Puritans carried this thing to extremes, apparently to mark their hatred of Catholicism, both Roman and Episcopal. That it was no part of the plan of Jesus that such a day should be set apart, is evident not only from his words but acts. It was not observed by the early Christians.
When Trypho, the Jew, reproached the Christians for not having a Sabbath, what does the martyr answer him? "The new law will have you keep a perpetual Sabbath. You, when you have passed a day in idleness, think you are religious. The Lord is not pleased with such things as these. If any be guilty of perjury or fraud, let him reform; if he be an adulterer, let him repent; and he will then have kept the kind of Sabbath truly pleasing to God. . . . The elements are never idle, and keep no Sabbath. There was no need of the observance of Sabbaths before Moses, neither now is there any need of them after Jesus Christ."
The Heptaktis is not the Supreme Cause, but simply an emanation from Him — the first visible manifestation of the Unrevealed Power. "His Divine Breath, which, violently breaking forth, condensed itself, shining with radiance until it evolved into Light, and so became cognizant to external sense," says John Reuchlin.* This is the emanation of the Highest, the Demiurge, a multiplicity in a unity, the Elohim, whom we
* "Di Verbo Mirifico."
see creating our world, or rather fashioning it, in six days, and resting on the seventh. And who are these Elohim but the euhemerized powers of nature, the faithful manifested servants, the laws of Him who is immutable law and harmony Himself?
They remain over the seventh heaven (or spiritual world), for it is they who, according to the kabalists, formed in succession the six material worlds, or rather, attempts at worlds, that preceded our own, which, they say, is the seventh. If, in laying aside the metaphysico-spiritual conception, we give our attention but to the religio-scientific problem of creation in "six days," over which our best biblical scholars have vainly pondered so long, we might, perchance, be on the way to the true idea underlying the allegory. The ancients were philosophers, consistent in all things. Hence, they taught that each of these departed worlds, having performed its physical evolution, and reached — through birth, growth, maturity, old age, and death — the end of its cycle, had returned to its primitive subjective form of a spiritual earth. Thereafter it had to serve through all eternity as the dwelling of those who had lived on it as men, and even animals, but were now spirits. This idea, were it even as incapable of exact demonstration as that of our theologians relating to Paradise, is, at least, a trifle more philosophical.
As well as man, and every other living thing upon it, our planet has had its spiritual and physical evolution. From an impalpable ideal thought under the creative Will of Him of whom we know nothing, and but dimly conceive in imagination, this globe became fluidic and semi-spiritual, then condensed itself more and more, until its physical development — matter, the tempting demon — compelled it to try its own creative faculty. Matter defied SPIRIT, and the earth, too, had its "Fall." The allegorical curse under which it labors, is that it only procreates, it does not create. Our physical planet is but the handmaiden, or rather the maid-of-all-work, of the spirit, its master. "Cursed be the ground . . . thorns and thistles shall it bring," the Elohim are made to say. "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children." The Elohim say this both to the ground and the woman. And this curse will last until the minutest particle of matter on earth shall have outlived its days, until every grain of dust has, by gradual transformation through evolution, become a constituent part of a "living soul," and, until the latter shall reascend the cyclic arc, and finally stand — its own Metatron, or Redeeming Spirit — at the foot of the upper step of the spiritual worlds, as at the first hour of its emanation. Beyond that lies the great "Deep" — A MYSTERY!
It must be remembered that every cosmogony has a trinity of workers at its head — Father, spirit; Mother, nature, or matter; and the mani-
fested universe, the Son or result of the two. The universe, also, as well as each planet which it comprehends, passes through four ages, like man himself. All have their infancy, youth, maturity, and old age, and these four added to the other three make the sacred seven again.
The introductory chapters of Genesis were never meant to present even a remote allegory of the creation of our earth. They embrace (chapter i.) a metaphysical conception of some indefinite period in the eternity, when successive attempts were being made by the law of evolution at the formation of universes. This idea is plainly stated in the Sohar: "There were old worlds, which perished as soon as they came into existence, were formless, and were called sparks. Thus, the smith, when hammering the iron, lets the sparks fly in all directions. The sparks are the primordial worlds which could not continue, because the Sacred Aged (Sephira) had not as yet assumed its form (of androgyne or opposite sexes) of king and queen (Sephira and Kadmon) and the Master was not yet at his work."*
The six periods or "days" of Genesis refer to the same metaphysical belief. Five such ineffectual attempts were made by the Elohim, but the sixth resulted in worlds like our own (i.e., all the planets and most of the stars are worlds, and inhabited, though not like our earth). Having formed this world at last in the sixth period, the Elohim rested in the seventh. Thus the "Holy One," when he created the present world, said: "This pleases me; the previous ones did not please me."** And the Elohim "saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." — Genesis i.
The reader will remember that in Chapter IV. an explanation was given of the "day" and "night" of Brahma. The former represents a certain period of cosmical activity, the latter an equal one of cosmical repose. In the one, worlds are being evolved, and passing through their allotted four ages of existence; in the latter the "inbreathing" of Brahma reverses the tendency of the natural forces; everything visible becomes gradually dispersed; chaos comes; and a long night of repose reinvigorates the cosmos for its next term of evolution. In the morning of one
* Idra Suta: "Sohar," book iii., p. 292 b. The Supreme consulting with the Architect of the world — his Logos — about creation.
** Idra Suta: "Sohar," iii., 135 b. If the chapters of Genesis and the other Mosaic books, as well as the subjects, are muddled up, the fault is the compiler's — not that of oral tradition. Hilkiah and Josiah had to commune with Huldah, the prophetess, hence resort to magic to understand the word of the "Lord God of Israel," most conveniently found by Hilkiah (2 Kings, xxiii.); and that it has passed still later through more than one revision and remodelling is but too well proved by its frequent incongruities, repetitions, and contradictions.
of these "days" the formative processes are gradually reaching their climax of activity; in the evening imperceptibly diminishing the same until the pralaya arrives, and with it "night." One such morning and evening do, in fact, constitute a cosmic day; and it was a "day of Brahma" that the kabalistic author of Genesis had in mind each time when he said: "And the evening and the morning were the first (or fifth or sixth, or any other) day." Six days of gradual evolution, one of repose, and then — evening! Since the first appearance of man on our earth there has been an eternal Sabbath or rest for the Demiurge.
The cosmogonical speculations of the first six chapters of Genesis are shown in the races of "sons of God," "giants," etc., of chapter vi. Properly speaking, the story of the formation of our earth, or "creation," as it is very improperly called, begins with the rescue of Noah from the deluge. The Chaldeo-Babylonian tablets recently translated by George Smith leave no doubt of that in the minds of those who read the inscriptions esoterically. Ishtar, the great goddess, speaks in column iii. of the destruction of the sixth world and the appearance of the seventh, thus:
"Six days and nights the
wind, deluge, and storm overwhelmed.
"On the seventh day, in its course was calmed the storm, and all the deluge,
"which had destroyed like an earthquake,*
"quieted. The sea he caused to dry, and the wind and deluge ended. . . .
"I perceived the shore at the boundary of the sea. . . .
"to the country of Nizir went the ship (argha, or the moon).
"the mountain of Nizir stopped the ship. . . .
"the first day, and the second day, the mountain of Nizir the same.
"the fifth and the sixth, the mountain of Nizir the same.
"on the seventh day, in the course of it
"I sent forth a dove, and it left. The dove went and turned, and . . . the raven went . . . and did not return.
"I built an altar on the peak of the mountain.
"by seven herbs I cut, at the bottom of them I placed reeds, pines, and simgar. . . .
"the gods like flies over the sacrifice gathered.
"from of old also the great God in his course.
* This assimilation of the deluge to an earthquake on the Assyrian tablets would go to prove that the antediluvian nations were well acquainted with other geological cataclysms besides the deluge, which is represented in the Bible as the first calamity which befel humanity, and a punishment.
"the great brightness (the sun) of Anu had created.* When the glory of those gods the charm round my neck would not repel," etc.
All this has a purely astronomical, magical, and esoteric relation. One who reads these tablets will recognize at a glance the biblical account; and judge, at the same time, how disfigured is the great Babylonian poem by euhemeric personages — degraded from their exalted positions of gods into simple patriarchs. Space prevents our entering fully into this biblical travesty of the Chaldean allegories. We shall therefore but remind the reader that by the confession of the most unwilling witnesses — such as Lenormant, first the inventor and then champion of the Akkadians — the Chaldeo-Babylonian triad placed under Ilon, the unrevealed deity, is composed of Anu, Nuah, and Bel. Anu is the primordial chaos, the god time and world at once, [[chromos]] and [[Kosmos]], the uncreated matter issued from the one and fundamental principle of all things. As to Nuah, he is, according to the same Orientalist:
". . . the intelligence, we will willingly say the verbum, which animates and fecundates matter, which penetrates the universe, directs and makes it live; and at the same time Nuah is the king of the humid principle; the Spirit moving on the waters."
Is not this evident? Nuah is Noah, floating on the waters, in his ark; the latter being the emblem of the argha, or moon, the feminine principle; Noah is the "spirit" falling into matter. We find him as soon as he descends upon the earth, planting a vineyard, drinking of the wine, and getting drunk on it; i.e., the pure spirit becoming intoxicated as soon as it is finally imprisoned in matter. The seventh chapter of Genesis is but another version of the first. Thus, while the latter reads: " . . . and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit (of God) moved upon the face of the waters," in chapter seventh, it is said: " . . . and the waters prevailed . . . and the ark went (with Noah — the spirit) upon the face of the waters." Thus Noah, if the Chaldean Nuah, is the spirit vivifying matter, chaos represented by the
* George Smith notes in the tablets, first the creation of the moon, and then of the sun: "Its beauty and perfection are extolled, and the regularity of its orbit, which led to its being considered the type of a judge and the regulator of the world." Did this story of the deluge relate simply to a cosmogonical cataclysm — even were it universal — why should the goddess Ishtara or Astoreth (the moon) speak of the creation of the sun after the deluge? The waters might have reached as high as the mountain of Nizir (Chaldean version), or Jebel-Djudi (the deluge-mountains of the Arabian legends), or yet Ararat (of the biblical narrative), and even Himalaya of the Hindu tradition, and yet not reach the sun — even the Bible itself stopped short of such a miracle. It is evident that the deluge of the people who first recorded it had another meaning, less problematical and far more philosophical than that of a universal deluge, of which there are no geological traces whatever.
deep or waters of the flood. In the Babylonian legend it is Istar (Astoreth, the moon) which is shut up in the ark, and sends out a dove (emblem of Venus and other lunar goddesses) in search of dry land. And whereas in the Semitic tablets it is Xisuthrus or Hasisadra who is "translated to the company of the gods for his piety," in the Bible it is Enoch who walks with, and being taken up by God, "was no more."
The successive existence of an incalculable number of worlds before the subsequent evolution of our own, was believed and taught by all the ancient peoples. The punishment of the Christians for despoiling the Jews of their records and refusing the true key to them began from the earliest centuries. And thus is it that we find the holy Fathers of the Church laboring through an impossible chronology and the absurdities of literal interpretation, while the learned rabbis were perfectly aware of the real significance of their allegories. So not only in the Sohar, but also in other kabalistic works accepted by Talmudists, such as Midrash Berasheth, or the universal Genesis, which, with the Merkaba (the chariot of Ezekiel), composes the Kabala, may be found the doctrine of a whole series of worlds evolving out of the chaos, and being destroyed in succession.
The Hindu doctrines teach of two Pralayas or dissolutions; one universal, the Maha-Pralaya, the other partial, or the minor Pralaya. This does not relate to the universal dissolution which occurs at the end of every "Day of Brahma," but to the geological cataclysms at the end of every minor cycle of our globe. This historical and purely local deluge of Central Asia, the traditions of which can be traced in every country, and which, according to Bunsen, happened about the year 10,000 B.C., had naught to do with the mythical Noah, or Nuah. A partial cataclysm occurs at the close of every "age" of the world, they say, which does not destroy the latter, but only changes its general appearance. New races of men and animals and a new flora evolve from the dissolution of the precedent ones.
The allegories of the "fall of man" and the "deluge," are the two most important features of the Pentateuch. They are, so to say, the Alpha and Omega, the highest and the lowest keys of the scale of harmony on which resounds the majestic hymns of the creation of mankind; for they discover to him who questions the Zura (figurative Gematria), the process of man's evolution from the highest spiritual entity unto the lowest physical — the post-diluvian man, as in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, every sign of the picture writing which cannot be made to fit within a certain circumscribed geometrical figure may be rejected as only intended by the sacred hierogrammatist for a premeditated blind — so many of the details in the Bible must be treated on the same principle, that por-
tion only being accepted which answers to the numerical methods taught in the Kabala.
The deluge appears in the Hindu books only as a tradition. It claims no sacred character, and we find it but in the Mahabharata, the Puranas, and still earlier in the Satapatha, one of the latest Brahmanas. It is more than probable that Moses, or whoever wrote for him, used these accounts as the basis of his own purposely disfigured allegory, adding to it moreover the Chaldean Berosian narrative. In Mahabharata, we recognize Nimrod under the name of King Daytha. The origin of the Grecian fable of the Titans scaling Olympus, and the other of the builders of the Tower of Babel who seek to reach heaven, is shown in the impious Daytha, who sends imprecations against heaven's thunder, and threatens to conquer heaven itself with his mighty warriors, thereby bringing upon humanity the wrath of Brahma. "The Lord then resolved," says the text, "to chastise his creatures with a terrible punishment which should serve as a warning to survivors, and to their descendants."
Vaivasvata (who in the Bible becomes Noah) saves a little fish, which turns out to be an avatar of Vishnu. The fish warns that just man that the globe is about to be submerged, that all that inhabit it must perish, and orders him to construct a vessel in which he shall embark, with all his family. When the ship is ready, and Vaivasvata has shut up in it with his family the seeds of plants and pairs of all animals, and the rain begins to fall, a gigantic fish, armed with a horn, places itself at the head of the ark. The holy man, following its orders, attaches a cable to this horn, and the fish guides the ship safely through the raging elements. In the Hindu tradition the number of days during which the deluge lasted agrees exactly with that of the Mosaic account. When the elements were calmed, the fish landed the ark on the summit of the Himalayas.
This fable is considered by many orthodox commentators to have been borrowed from the Mosaic Scriptures.* But surely if such a universal cataclysm had ever taken place within man's memory, some of the monuments of the Egyptians, of which many are of such a tremendous antiquity, would have recorded that occurrence, coupled with that of the
*The "dead letter that killeth," is magnificently illustrated in the case of the Jesuit de Carriere, quoted in the "Bible dans l'Inde." The following dissertation represents the spirit of the whole Catholic world: "So that the creation of the world," writes this faithful son of Loyola, explaining the biblical chronology of Moses, "and all that is recorded in Genesis, might have become known to Moses through recitals personally made to him by his fathers. Perhaps, even, the memories yet existed among the Israelites, and from those recollections he may have recorded the dates of births and deaths of the patriarchs, the numbering of their children, and the names of the different countries in which each became established under the guidance of the holy spirit, which we must always regard as the chief author of the sacred books"!!!
disgrace of Ham, Canaan, and Mizraim, their alleged ancestors. But, till now, there has not been found the remotest allusion to such a calamity, although Mizraim certainly belongs to the first generation after the deluge, if not actually an antediluvian himself. On the other hand the Chaldeans preserved the tradition, as we find Berosus testifying to it, and the ancient Hindus possess the legend as given above. Now, there is but one explanation of the extraordinary fact that of two contemporary and civilized nations like Egypt and Chaldea, one has preserved no tradition of it whatever, although it was the most directly interested in the occurrence — if we credit the Bible — and the other has. The deluge noticed in the Bible, in one of the Brahmanas, and in the Berosus Fragment, relates to the partial flood which, about 10,000 years B.C., according to Bunsen, and according to the Brahmanical computations of the Zodiac also changed the whole face of Central Asia.* Thus the Babylonians and the Chaldeans might have learned of it from their mysterious guests, christened by some Assyriologists Akkadians, or what is still more probable they, themselves, perhaps, were the descendants of those who had dwelt in the submerged localities. The Jews had the tale from the latter as they had everything else; the Brahmans may have recorded the traditions of the lands which they first invaded, and had perhaps inhabited before they possessed themselves of the Punjab. But the Egyptians, whose first settlers had evidently come from Southern India, had less reason to record the cataclysm, since it had perhaps never affected them except indirectly, as the flood was limited to Central Asia.
Burnouf, noticing the fact that the story of the deluge is found only in one of the most modern Brahmanas, also thinks that it might have been borrowed by the Hindus from the Semitic nations. Against such an assumption are ranged all the traditions and customs of the Hindus. The Aryans, and especially the Brahmans, never borrowed anything at all from the Semitists, and here we are corroborated by one of those "unwilling witnesses," as Higgins calls the partisans of Jehovah and Bible. "I have never seen anything in the history of the Egyptians and Jews," writes Abbe Dubois, forty years a resident of India, "that would induce me to believe that either of these nations, or any other on the face of the earth, have been established earlier than the Hindus, and particularly the Brahmans; so I cannot be induced to believe that the latter have drawn their rites from foreign nations. On the contrary, I infer that they have drawn them from an original source of their own. Whoever knows anything of the spirit and character of the Brahmans, their stateliness, their pride, and extreme vanity, their distance, and sovereign contempt for
* See chapter xv. and last of Part I.
everything that is foreign, and of which they cannot boast to have been the inventors, will agree with me that such a people cannot have consented to draw their customs and rules of conduct from an alien country."*
This fable which mentions the earliest avatar — the Matsya — relates to another yuga than our own, that of the first appearance of animal life; perchance, who knows, to the Devonian age of our geologists? It certainly answers better to the latter than the year 2348 B.C.! Apart from this, the very absence of all mention of the deluge from the oldest books of the Hindus suggests a powerful argument when we are left utterly to inferences as in this case. "The Vedas and Manu," says Jacolliot, "those monuments of the old Asiatic thought, existed far earlier than the diluvian period; this is an incontrovertible fact, having all the value of an historical truth, for, besides the tradition which shows Vishnu himself as saving the Vedas from the deluge — a tradition which, notwithstanding its legendary form, must certainly rest upon a real fact — it has been remarked that neither of these sacred books mention the cataclysm, while the Puranas and the Mahabharata, and a great number of other more recent works, describe it with the minutest detail, which is a proof of the priority of the former. The Vedas certainly would never have failed to contain a few hymns on the terrible disaster which, of all other natural manifestations, must have struck the imagination of the people who witnessed it."
"Neither would Manu, who gives us a complete narrative of the creation, with a chronology from the divine and heroical ages, down to the appearance of man on earth — have passed in silence an event of such importance." Manu (book i., sloka 35), gives the names of ten eminent saints whom he calls pradjapatis (more correctly pragapatis), in whom the Brahman theologians see prophets, ancestors of the human race, and the Pundits simply consider as ten powerful kings who lived in the Krita-yug, or the age of good (the golden age of the Greeks).
The last of these pragapatis is Brighou.
"Enumerating the succession of these eminent beings who, according to Manu, have governed the world, the old Brahmanical legislator names as descending from Brighou: Swarotchica, Ottami, Tamasa, Raivata, the glorious Tchakchoucha, and the son of Vivasvat, every one of the six having made himself worthy of the title of Manu (divine legislator), a title which had equally belonged to the Pradjapatis, and every great personage of primitive India. The genealogy stops at this name.
* "Description, etc., of the People of India," by the Abbe J. A. Dubois, missionary in Mysore, vol. i., p. 186.
"Now, according to the Puranas and the Mahabharata it was under a descendant of this son of Vivaswata, named Vaivaswata that occurred the great cataclysm, the remembrance of which, as will be seen, has passed into a tradition, and been carried by emigration into all the countries of the East and West which India has colonized since then. . . .
"The genealogy given by Manu stopping, as we have seen, at Vivaswata, it follows that this work (of Manu) knew nothing either of Vaivaswata or the deluge."*
The argument is unanswerable; and we commend it to those official scientists, who, to please the clergy, dispute every fact proving the tremendous antiquity of the Vedas and Manu. Colonel Vans Kennedy has long since declared that Babylonia was, from her origin, the seat of Sanscrit literature and Brahman learning. And how or why should the Brahmans have penetrated there, unless it was as the result of intestine wars and emigration from India? The fullest account of the deluge is found in the Mahabharata of Vedavyasa, a poem in honor of the astrological allegories on the wars between the Solar and the Lunar races. One of the versions states that Vivaswata became the father of all the nations of the earth through his own progeny, and this is the form adopted for the Noachian story; the other states that — like Deukalion and Pyrrha — he had but to throw pebbles into the ilus left by the retiring waves of the flood, to produce men at will. These two versions — one Hebrew, the other Greek — allow us no choice. We must either believe that the Hindus borrowed from pagan Greeks as well as from monotheistic Jews, or — what is far more probable — that the versions of both of these nations are derived from the Vedic literature through the Babylonians.
History tells us of the stream of immigration across the Indus, and later of its overflowing the Occident; and of populations of Hindu origin passing from Asia Minor to colonize Greece. But history says not a single word of the "chosen people," or of Greek colonies having penetrated India earlier than the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., when we first find vague traditions that make some of the problematical lost tribes of Israel, take from Babylon the route to India. But even were the story of the ten tribes to find credence, and the tribes themselves be proved to have existed in profane as well as in sacred history, this does not help the solution at all. Colebrooke, Wilson, and other eminent Indianists show the Mahabharata, if not the Satapatha-brahmana, in which the story is also given, as by far antedating the age of Cyrus, hence, the possible time of the appearance of any of the tribes of Israel in India.**
* "Fetichisme, Polytheisme, Monotheisme," pp. 170, 171.
** Against the latter assumption derived solely from the accounts of the Bible we [[Footnote continues on next page]]
Orientalists accord the Mahabharata an antiquity of between twelve and fifteen hundred years B.C.; as to the Greek version it bears as little evidence as the other, and the attempts of the Hellenists in this direction have as signally failed. The story of the conquering army of Alexander penetrating into Northern India, itself becomes more doubted every day. No Hindu national record, not the slightest historical memento, throughout the length and breadth of India offers the slightest trace of such an invasion.
If even such historical facts are now found to have been all the while fictions, what are we to think of narratives which bear on their very face the stamp of invention? We cannot help sympathizing at heart with Professor Muller when he remarks that it seems "blasphemy to consider these fables of the heathen world as corrupted and misinterpreted fragments of divine Revelation once granted to the whole race of mankind." Only, can this scholar be held perfectly impartial and fair to both parties, unless he includes in the number of these fables those of the Bible? And is the language of the Old Testament more pure or moral than the books of the Brahmans? Or any fables of the heathen world more blasphemous and ridiculous than Jehovah's interview with Moses (Exodus xxxiii. 23)? Are any of the Pagan gods made to appear more fiendish than the same Jehovah in a score of passages? If the feelings of a pious Christian are shocked at the absurdities of Father Kronos eating his children and maiming Uranos; or of Jupiter throwing Vulcan down from heaven and breaking his leg; on the other hand he cannot feel hurt if a non-Christian laughs at the idea of Jacob boxing with the Creator, who "when he saw that he prevailed not against him," dislocated Jacob's thigh, the patriarch still holding fast to God and not allowing Him to go His way, notwithstanding His pleading.
Why should the story of Deukalion and Pyrrha, throwing stones behind them, and thus creating the human race, be deemed more ridiculous than that of Lot's wife being changed into a pillar of salt, or of the Almighty creating men of clay and then breathing the breath of life into them? The choice between the latter mode of creation and that of the Egyptian ram-horned god fabricating man on a potter's wheel is hardly perceptible. The story of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, ushered into existence after a certain period of gestation in her father's brain, is at least suggestive and poetical, as an allegory. No ancient Greek was ever burned for not accepting it literally; and, at all events, "heathen" fables
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] have every historical fact. 1st. There are no proofs of these twelve tribes having ever existed; that of Levi was a priestly caste and all the others imaginary. 2d. Herodotus, the most accurate of historians, who was in Assyria when Ezra flourished, never mentions the Israelites at all! Herodotus was born in 484 B. C.
in general are far less preposterous and blasphemous than those imposed upon Christians, ever since the Church accepted the Old Testament, and the Roman Catholic Church opened its register of thaumaturgical saints.
"Many of the natives of India," continues Professor Muller, "confess that their feelings revolt against the impurities attributed to the gods by what they call their sacred writings; yet there are honest Brahmans who will maintain that these stories have a deeper meaning; that immorality being incompatible with a divine being, a mystery must be supposed to be concealed in these time-hallowed fables, a mystery which an inquiring and reverent mind may hope to fathom."
This is precisely what the Christian clergy maintain in attempting to explain the indecencies and incongruities of the Old Testament. Only, instead of allowing the interpretation to those who have the key to these seeming incongruities, they have assumed to themselves the office and right, by divine proxy, to interpret these in their own way. They have not only done that but have gradually deprived the Hebrew clergy of the means to interpret their Scriptures as their fathers did; so that to find among the Rabbis in the present century a well-versed kabalist, is quite rare. The Jews have themselves forgotten the key! How could they help it? Where are the original manuscripts? The oldest Hebrew manuscript in existence is said to be the Bodleian Codex, which is not older than between eight and nine hundred years.* The break between Ezra and this Codex is thus fifteen centuries. In 1490 the Inquisition caused all the Hebrew Bibles to be burned; and Torquemada alone destroyed 6,000 volumes at Salamanca. Except a few manuscripts of the Tora Ketubim and Nebiim, used in the synagogues, and which are of quite a recent date, we do not think there is one old manuscript in existence which is not punctuated, hence — completely misinterpreted and altered by the Masorets. Were it not for this timely invention of the Masorah, no copy of the Old Testament could possibly be tolerated in our century. It is well known that the Masorets while transcribing the oldest manuscripts put themselves to task to take out, except in a few places which they have probably overlooked, all the immodest words and put
* Dr. Kennicot himself, and Bruns, under his direction, about 1780, collated 692 manuscripts of the Hebrew "Bible." Of all these, only two were credited to the tenth century, and three to a period as early as the eleventh and twelfth. The others ranged between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries.
In his "Introduzione alla Sacra Scrittura," pp. 34-47, De Rossi, of Parma, mentions 1,418 MSS. collated, and 374 editions. The oldest manuscript "Codex," he asserts — that of Vienna — dates A.D. 1019; the next, Reuchlin's, of Carlsruhe, 1038. "There is," he declares, "nothing in the manuscripts of the Hebrew 'Old Testament' extant of an earlier date than the eleventh century after Christ."
in places sentences of their own, often changing completely the sense of the verse. "It is clear," says Donaldson, "that the Masoretic school at Tiberias were engaged in settling or unsettling the Hebrew text until the final publication of the Masorah itself." Therefore, had we but the original texts — judging by the present copies of the Bible in our possession — it would be really edifying to compare the Old Testament with the Vedas and even with the Brahmanical books. We verily believe that no faith, however blind, could stand before such an avalanche of crude impurities and fables. If the latter are not only accepted but enforced upon millions of civilized persons who find it respectable and edifying to believe in them as divine revelation, why should we wonder that Brahmans believe their books to be equally a Sruti, a revelation?
Let us thank the Masorets by all means, but let us study at the same time both sides of the medal.
Legends, myths, allegories, symbols, if they but belong to the Hindu, Chaldean, or Egyptian tradition, are thrown into the same heap of fiction. Hardly are they honored with a superficial search into their possible relations to astronomy or sexual emblems. The same myths — when and because mutilated — are accepted as Sacred Scriptures, more — the Word of God! Is this impartial history? Is this justice to either the past, the present, or the future? "Ye cannot serve God and Mammon," said the Reformer, nineteen centuries ago. "Ye cannot serve truth and public prejudice," would be more applicable to our own age. Yet our authorities pretend they serve the former.
There are few myths in any religious system but have an historical as well as a scientific foundation. Myths, as Pococke ably expresses it, "are now proved to be fables, just in proportion as we misunderstand them; truths, in proportion as they were once understood. Our ignorance it is which has made a myth of history; and our ignorance is an Hellenic inheritance, much of it the result of Hellenic vanity."*
Bunsen and Champollion have already shown that the Egyptian sacred books are by far older than the oldest parts of the Book of Genesis. And now a more careful research seems to warrant the suspicion — which with us amounts to a certainty, that the laws of Moses are copies from the code of the Brahmanic Manu. Thus, according to every probability, Egypt owes her civilization, her civil institutions, and her arts, to India. But against the latter assumption we have a whole army of "authorities" arrayed, and what matters if the latter do deny the fact at present? Sooner or later they will have to accept it, whether they belong to the German or French school. Among, but not of those
* "India in Greece," Preface, ix.
who so readily compromise between interest and conscience, there are some fearless scholars, who may bring out to light incontrovertible facts. Some twenty years since, Max Muller, in a letter to the Editor of the London Times, April, 1857, maintained most vehemently that Nirvana meant annihilation, in the fullest sense of the word. (See Chips, etc., vol. i., p. 287, on the meaning of Nirvana.) But in 1869, in a lecture before the general meeting of the Association of German Philologists at Kiel, "he distinctly declares his belief that the nihilism attributed to Buddha's teaching forms no part of his doctrine, and that it is wholly wrong to suppose that Nirvana means annihilation." (Trubner's American and Oriental Literary Record, Oct. 16, 1869; also Inman's Ancient Faiths and Modern, p. 128.) Yet if we mistake not, Professor Muller was as much of an authority in 1857 as in 1869.
"It will be difficult to settle," says (now) this great scholar, "whether the Vedas is the oldest of books, and whether some of the portions of the Old Testament may not be traced back to the same or even an earlier date than the oldest hymns of the Veda."* But his retraction about the Nirvana allows us a hope that he may yet change his opinion on the question of Genesis likewise, so that the public may have simultaneously the benefit of truth, and the sanction of one of Europe's greatest authorities.
It is well known how little the Orientalists have come to anything like an agreement about the age of Zoroaster, and until this question is settled, it would be safer perhaps to trust implicitly in the Brahmanical calculations by the Zodiac, than to the opinions of scientists. Leaving the profane horde of unrecognized scholars, those we mean who yet wait their turn to be chosen for public worship as idols symbolical of scientific leadership, where can we find, among the sanctioned authorities of the day, two that agree as to this age? There's Bunsen, who places Zoroaster at Baktra, and the emigration of Baktrians to the Indus at 3784 B.C.,** and the birth of Moses at 1392.*** Now it is rather difficult to place Zoroaster anterior to the Vedas, considering that the whole of his doctrine is that of the earlier Vedas. True, he remained in Afghanistan for a period more or less problematical before crossing into the Punjab; but the Vedas were begun in the latter country. They indicate the progress of the Hindus, as the Avesta that of the Iranians. And there is Haug who assigns to the Aitareya Brahmanam — a Brahmanical speculation and commentary upon the Rig-Veda of a far
* "Chips," vol. i.
** "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 77.
*** Ibid., p. 78.
later date than the Veda itself — between 1400 and 1200 B.C., while the Vedas are placed by him between 2,000 and 2,400 years B.C. Max Muller cautiously suggests certain difficulties in this chronological computation, but still does not altogether deny it.* Let it, however, be as it may, and supposing that the Pentateuch was written by Moses himself — notwithstanding that he would thereby be made to twice record his own death — still, if Moses was born, as Bunsen finds, in 1392 B.C., the Pentateuch could not have been written before the Vedas. Especially if Zoroaster was born 3784 B.C. If, as Dr. Haug** tells us, some of the hymns of the Rig-Veda were written before Zoroaster accomplished his schism, something like thirty-seven centuries B.C., and Max Muller says himself that "the Zoroastrians and their ancestors started from India during the Vaidic period," how can some of the portions of the Old Testament be traced back to the same or even "an earlier date than the oldest hymns of the Veda"?
It has generally been agreed among Orientalists that the Aryans, 3,000 years B.C., were still in the steppes east of the Caspian, and united. Rawlinson conjectures that they "flowed east" from Armenia as a common centre; while two kindred streams began to flow, one northward over the Caucasus, and the other westward over Asia Minor and Europe. He finds the Aryans, at a period anterior to the fifteenth century before our era, "settled in the territory watered by the Upper Indus." Thence Vedic Aryans migrated to the Punjab, and Zendic Aryans westward, establishing the historical countries. But this, like the rest, is a hypothesis, and only given as such.
Again, Rawlinson, evidently following Max Muller, says: "The early history of the Aryans is for many ages an absolute blank." But many learned Brahmans, however, have declared that they found trace of the existence of the Vedas as early as 2100 B.C.; and Sir William Jones, taking for his guide the astronomical data, places the Yagur-Veda 1580 B.C. This would be still "before Moses."
It is upon the supposition that the Aryans did not leave Afghanistan for the Punjab prior to 1500 B.C. that Max Muller and other Oxford savants have supposed that portions of the Old Testament may be traced back to the same or even an earlier date than the oldest hymns of the Veda. Therefore, until the Orientalists can show us the correct date at which Zoroaster flourished, no authority can be regarded as better for the ages of the Vedas than the Brahmans themselves.
* "Chips"; "Aitareya Brahmanam."
** Dr. M. Haug, Superintendent of the Sanscrit studies in the Poona College, Bombay.
As it is a recognized fact that the Jews borrowed most of their laws from the Egyptians, let us examine who were the Egyptians. In our opinion — which is but a poor authority, of course — they were the ancient Indians, and in our first volume we have quoted passages from the historian Collouca-Batta that support such a theory. What we mean by ancient India is the following:
No region on the map — except it be the ancient Scythia — is more uncertainly defined than that which bore the designation of India. AEthiopia is perhaps the only parallel. It was the home of the Cushite or Hamitic races, and lay to the east of Babylonia. It was once the name of Hindustan, when the dark races, worshippers of Bala-Mahadeva and Bhavani-Mahidevi, were supreme in that country. The India of the early sages appears to have been the region at the sources of the Oxus and Jaxartes. Apollonius of Tyana crossed the Caucasus, or Hindu Kush, where he met with a king who directed him to the abode of the sages — perhaps the descendants of those whom Ammianus terms the "Brahmans of Upper India," and whom Hystaspes, the father of Darius (or more probably Darius Hystaspes himself) visited; and, having been instructed by them, infused their rites and ideas into the Magian observances. This narrative about Apollonius seems to indicate Kashmere as the country which he visited, and the Nagas — after their conversion to Buddhism — as his teachers. At this time Aryan India did not extend beyond the Punjab.
To our notion, the most baffling impediment in the way of ethnological progress has always been the triple progeny of Noah. In the attempt to reconcile postdiluvian races with a genealogical descent from Shem, Ham, and Japhet, the Christianesque Orientalists have set themselves a task impossible of accomplishment. The biblical Noachian ark has been a Procrustean bed to which they had to make everything fit. Attention has therefore been diverted from veritable sources of information as to the origin of man, and a purely local allegory mistaken for a historical record emanating from an inspired source. Strange and unfortunate choice! Out of all the sacred writings of all the branch nations, sprung from the primitive stock of mankind, Christianity must choose for its guidance the national records and scriptures of a people perhaps the least spiritual of the human family — the Semitic. A branch that has never been able to develop out of its numerous tongues a language capable of embodying ideas of a moral and intellectual world; whose form of expression and drift of thought could never soar higher than the purely sensual and terrestrial figures of speech; whose literature has left nothing original, nothing that was not borrowed from the Aryan thought; and whose science and philosophy are utterly wanting in those noble features which
characterize the highly spiritual and metaphysical systems of the Indo-European (Japetic) races.
Bunsen shows Khamism (the language of Egypt) as a very ancient deposit from Western Asia, containing the germs of the Semitic, and thus bearing "witness to the primitive cognate unity of the Semitic and Aryan races." We must remember, in this connection, that the peoples of Southwestern and Western Asia, including the Medes, were all Aryans. It is yet far from being proved who were the original and primitive masters of India. That this period is now beyond the reach of documentary history, does not preclude the probability of our theory that it was the mighty race of builders, whether we call them Eastern AEthiopians, or dark-skinned Aryans (the word meaning simply "noble warrior," a "brave"). They ruled supreme at one time over the whole of ancient India, enumerated later by Manu as the possession of those whom our scientists term the Sanscrit-speaking people.
These Hindus are supposed to have entered the country from the northwest; they are conjectured by some to have brought with them the Brahmanical religion, and the language of the conquerors was probably the Sanscrit. On these three meagre data our philologists have worked ever since the Hindustani and its immense Sanscrit literature was forcibly brought into notice by Sir William Jones — all the time with the three sons of Noah clinging around their necks. This is exact science, free from religious prejudices! Verily, ethnology would have been the gainer if this Noachian trio had been washed overboard and drowned before the ark reached land!
The AEthiopians are generally classed in the Semitic group; but we have to see how far they have a claim to such a classification. We will also consider how much they might have had to do with the Egyptian civilization, which, as a writer expresses it, seems referable in the same perfection to the earliest dates, and not to have had a rise and progress, as was the case with that of other peoples. For reasons that we will now adduce, we are prepared to maintain that Egypt owes her civilization, commonwealth and arts — especially the art of building, to pre-Vedic India, and that it was a colony of the dark-skinned Aryans, or those whom Homer and Herodotus term the eastern AEthiopians, i.e., the inhabitants of Southern India, who brought to it their ready-made civilization in the ante-chronological ages, of what Bunsen calls the pre-Menite, but nevertheless epochal history.
In Pococke's India in Greece, we find the following suggestive paragraph: "The plain account of the wars carried on between the solar chiefs, Oosras (Osiris) the prince of the Guclas, and 'TU-PHOO' is the simple historical fact of the wars of the Apians, or Sun-tribes of Oude,
with the people of 'TU-PHOO' or THIBET, who were, in fact, the lunar race, mostly Buddhists* and opposed by Rama and the 'AITYO-PIAS' or people of Oude, subsequently the AITH-IO-PIANS of Africa."**
We would remind the reader in this connection, that Ravan, the giant, who, in the Ramayana, wages such a war with Rama Chandra, is shown as King of Lanka, which was the ancient name for Ceylon; and that Ceylon, in those days, perhaps formed part of the main-land of Southern India, and was peopled by the "Eastern AEthiopians." Conquered by Rama, the son of Dasarata, the Solar King of ancient Oude, a colony of these emigrated to Northern Africa. If, as many suspect, Homer's Iliad and much of his account of the Trojan war is plagiarized from the Ramayana, then the traditions which served as a basis for the latter must date from a tremendous antiquity. Ample margin is thus left in pre-chronological history for a period, during which the "Eastern AEthiopians" might have established the hypothetical Mizraic colony, with their high Indian civilization and arts.
Science is still in the dark about cuneiform inscriptions. Until these are completely deciphered, especially those cut in rocks found in such abundance within the boundaries of the old Iran, who can tell the secrets they may yet reveal? There are no Sanscrit monumental inscriptions older than Chandragupta (315 B.C.), and the Persepolitan inscriptions are found 220 years older. There are even now some manuscripts in characters utterly unknown to philologists and palaeographists, and one of them is, or was, some time since in the library of Cambridge, England. Linguistic writers class the Semitic with the Indo-European language, generally including the AEthiopian and the ancient Egyptian in the classification. But if some of the dialects of the modern Northern Africa, and even the modern Gheez or AEthiopian, are now so degenerated and corrupted as to admit of false conclusions as to the genetical relationship between them and the other Semitic tongues, we are not at all sure that the latter have any claim to such a classification, except in the case of the old Coptic and the ancient Gheez.
That there is more consanguinity between the AEthiopians and the Aryan, dark-skinned races, and between the latter and the Egyptians, is something which yet may be proved. It has been lately found that the ancient Egyptians were of the Caucasian type of mankind, and the
* Pococke belongs to that class of Orientalists who believe that Buddhism preceded Brahmanism, and was the religion of the earliest Vedas, Gautama having been but the restorer of it in its purest form, which after him degenerated again into dogmatism.
** "India in Greece," p. 200.
shape of their skulls is purely Asiatic.* If they were less copper-colored than the AEthiopians of our modern day, the AEthiopians themselves might have had a lighter complexion in days of old. The fact that, with the AEthiopian kings, the order of succession gave the crown to the nephew of the king, the son of his sister, and not to his own son, is extremely suggestive. It is an old custom which prevails until now in Southern India. The Rajah is not succeeded by his own sons, but by his sister's sons.**
Of all the dialects and tongues alleged to be Semitic, the AEthiopian alone is written from left to right like the Sanscrit and the Indo-Aryan people.***
Thus, against the origin of the Egyptians being attributed to an ancient Indian colony, there is no graver impediment than Noah's disrespectful son — Ham — himself a myth. But the earliest form of Egyptian religious worship and government, theocratic and sacerdotal, and her habits and customs all bespeak an Indian origin.
The earliest legends of the history of India mention two dynasties now lost in the night of time; the first was the dynasty of kings, of "the race of the sun," who reigned in Ayodhia (now Oude); the second that of the
* "The Asiatic origin of the first dwellers in the Nilotic Valley is clearly demonstrated by concurrent and independent testimony. Cuvier and Blumenbach affirm that all the skulls of mummies which they had the opportunity of examining, presented the Caucasian type. A recent American physiologist (Dr. Morton) has also argued for the same conclusion ("Crania AEgyptiaca." Philadelphia, 1844).
** The late Rajah of Travancore was succeeded by the elder son of his sister now reigning, the Maharajah Rama Vurmah. The next heirs are the sons of his deceased sister. In case the female line is interrupted by death, the royal family is obliged to adopt the daughter of some other Rajah, and unless daughters are born to this Rana another girl is adopted, and so on.
*** There are some Orientalists who believe that this custom was introduced only after the early Christian settlements in -AEthiopia; but as under the Romans the population of this country was nearly all changed, the element becoming wholly Arabic, we may, without doubting the statement, believe that it was the predominating Arab influence which had altered the earliest mode of writing. Their present method is even more analogous to the Devanagari, and other more ancient Indian Alphabets, which read from left to right; and their letters show no resemblance to the Phoenician characters. Moreover, all the ancient authorities corroborate our assertion still more. Philostratus makes the Brahmin Iarchus say (V.A., iii., 6) that the AEthiopians were originally an Indian race, compelled to emigrate from the mother-land for sacrilege and regicide (see Pococke's "India," etc., ii., p. 206). An Egyptian is made to remark, that he had heard from his father, that the Indians were the wisest of men, and that the AEthiopians, a colony of the Indians, preserved the wisdom and usages of their fathers, and acknowledged their ancient origin. Julius Africanus (in Eusebius and Syncellus), makes the same statement. And Eusebius writes: "The AEthiopians, emigrating from the river Indus, settled in the vicinity of Egypt" (Lemp., Barker's edition, "Meroe").
"race of the moon," who reigned in Pruyag (Allahabad). Let him who desires information on the religious worship of these early kings read the Book of the Dead, of the Egyptians, and all the peculiarities attending this sun-worship and the sun-gods. Neither Osiris nor Horus are ever mentioned without being connected with the sun. They are the "Sons of the Sun"; "the Lord and Adorer of the Sun" is his name. "The sun is the creator of the body, the engenderer of the gods who are the successors of the Son." Pococke, in his most ingenious work, strongly advocates the same idea, and endeavors to establish still more firmly the identity of the Egyptian, Greek, and Indian mythology. He shows the head of the Rajpoot Solar race — in fact the great Cuclo-pos (Cyclop or builder) — called "The great sun," in the earliest Hindu tradition. This Gok-la Prince, the patriarch of the vast bands of Inachienses, he says, "this Great Sun was deified at his death, and according to the Indian doctrine of the metempsychosis, his Soul was supposed to have transmigrated into the bull 'Apis,' the Sera-pis of the Greeks, and the SOORAPAS, or 'Sun-Chief' of the Egyptians. . . . Osiris, properly Oosras, signifies both 'a bull,' and 'a ray of light.' Soora-pas (Serapis) the sun chief," for the Sun in Sanscrit is Surya. Champollion's Manifestation to the Light, reminds in every chapter of the two Dynasties of the Kings of the Sun and the Moon. Later, these kings became all deified and transformed after death into solar and lunar deities. Their worship was the earliest corruption of the great primitive faith which justly considered the sun and its fiery life-giving rays as the most appropriate symbol to remind us of the universal invisible presence of Him who is master of Life and Death. And now it can be traced all around the globe. It was the religion of the earliest Vedic Brahmans, who call, in the oldest hymns of the Rig-Veda, Surya (the sun) and Agni (fire) "the ruler of the universe," "the lord of men," and the "wise king." It was the worship of the Magians, the Zoroastrians, the Egyptians and Greeks, whether they called him Mithra, or Ahura-Mazda, or Osiris, or Zeus, keeping in honor of his next of kin, Vesta, the pure celestial fire. And this religion is found again in the Peruvian solar-worship; in the Sabianism and heliolatry of the Chaldees, in the Mosaic "burning bush," the hanging of the heads or chiefs of the people toward the Lord, the "Sun," and even in the Abrahamic building of fire-altars and the sacrifices of the monotheistic Jews, to Astarte the Queen of Heaven.
To the present moment, with all the controversies and researches, History and Science remain as much as ever in the dark as to the origin of the Jews. They may as well be the exiled Tchandalas, or Pariahs, of old India, the "bricklayers" mentioned by Vina-Svati, Veda-Vyasa and Manu, as the Phoenicians of Herodotus, or the Hyk-sos of Josephus, or
Chapter 9, part 2