Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, , at sacred-texts.com
Previous to a more thorough investigation into the doctrine of the Pitris, and the external manifestations by whose aid the Hindus attempt to prove the existence of an occult power, we have a few words further to say about the Yoguys.
Although none but those who had passed through the third degree of initiation and were consequently members of the Council of the Elders, and who had always abstained from carnal intercourse, ever attained the degree of Yoguy, it was, says the Book of Spirits, a state so sublime that those who were versed in its mysteries were entitled to a greater degree of merit during their lives than most men could acquire during ten million new generations and transmigrations.
"The Yoguy is as much superior to those who have gone through the highest degree of initiation, as spirits are superior to men."
"A passing feeling of spite or enthusiasm," says the Agrouchada-Parikchai, "should never induce a Brahmin to take the vow of chastity. His vocation should be the well-considered result of careful examination, and its motive should be, not the ambition to rise to the highest dignities, but a feeling of disgust with the world and its pleasures, and an ardent desire to arrive at perfection."
He should feel as though he could readily dispense with all earthly pleasures of whatever kind or degree. If he still cherished, in his inmost heart, the slightest hankering
for those treasures that others esteem so highly, and strive for so ardently, that alone was quite enough to counterbalance any advantage or benefit that he might otherwise have derived from his penitence.
When the Brahmatchary has ended his novitiate and has fully considered his future course, he repairs to a meeting consisting of all the initiates and informs them of his determination. He asks them to proceed with the usual forms and ceremonies, to the reception of the momentous vows he desires to pronounce.
On the day appointed for this solemn act the candidate first purifies himself by ablutions: he then provides himself with ten pieces of cloth large enough to cover his shoulders. Four of these are intended for his own use, while the other six are given as presents to the officiating Pourohitas.
The chief Guru who presides at the ceremony, hands him a bamboo stick containing seven joints, some lotus flowers, and powdered sandal-wood, and whispers in his ear certain mentrams of evocation, which are only made known to persons in his condition.
This stick is not intended to help support his steps or to be of any assistance to him in walking. It is the magic wand used in divination and all the occult phenomena.
It is involuntarily suggestive of the rod of Moses, Aaron, Elisha, and all the prophets, of the augural wand, and of the seven-knotted wand of the Fauns, Sylvans, and Cynics.
When the ceremony is finished, the Yoguy takes up his magic wand, a calabash for drinking purposes, and a gazelle's skin, to be used as a bed. These articles comprise his whole store, and he never leaves them; they are the omnium mecum porto of the Stoics. He then departs, repeating the magical formulas which he has just learned from the superior Guru.
In addition to the usual ablutions, ceremonies, and
prayers, which he has to perform, like all who have been initiated, the following prescriptions are imposed upon him.
"Every morning after performing his ablutions he should smear his entire body with ashes; others only rubbed their foreheads. Christianity still retains a symbolic remnant of this ceremonyhomo pulvis es, etc.
"He should only eat daily, after sunset, as much rice as he can hold in the hollow of his hand.
"He should abandon the use of betel.
"He should avoid the company of women and he should not even look at them.
"Once a month he should have his head and face shaved.
"He should wear only wooden sandals.
"He should live by alms."
"Although a Yoguy," says the work to which we have referred as our guide, "has the right to demand alms, it is more becoming for him to receive them without asking. Consequently, when he is hungry, he should present himself among this world's people, without saying anything or telling them what he wants. If anything is given to him voluntarily, he should receive it with an air of indifference, and without expressing his thanks. If nothing is offered, he should withdraw quietly, without expressing anger or dissatisfaction; neither should he make any complaint if anything that is given him is not to his taste."
"He should not sit down to eat.
"He should build a hermitage by the side of a river or tank, in order that he may perform his ablutions with greater facility."
"When travelling, he should abide nowhere, and should only pass through populous places.
"He should look at all men alike, and should regard himself as superior to anything that may happen. He should look upon the various revolutions by which the
world is agitated and powerful empires are sometimes overturned, as matters of perfect indifference to him."
"His only care should be to acquire the spirit of wisdom, and that degree of spirituality by means of which he will finally be reunited to the Divinity, from whom all creatures and passions tend to keep us apart. In order to accomplish that object, he should have his senses under the most perfect control, and entirely subdue the sentiments of anger, envy, avarice, lust, and all disturbing and licentious thoughts. Otherwise he will derive no benefit whatever from having taken the vow or from his repeated mortifications."
Every evening, the Yoguy repairs to the pagoda, with his magic wand, his calabash, and his gazelle's skin, where he .passes several hours in contemplation in the most profound darkness. He there endeavors to accustom his soul to forsake his body, in order that it may hold converse with the Pitris in infinite space. He ends the night with the study of manifestations and incantations, in which he is further instructed by the superior Guru.
When, in his eightieth year, in consequence of his superior sanctity, or for some other reason, he has been chosen by the Council for the post of Brahmatma, he goes back again, so to speak, to life, and spends his last years in the most unbridled indulgence and dissipation. We have often heard the Brahmins say, though we have had no opportunity to verify their statements, that, in consequence of their long practice of asceticism, the Yoguys often preserved all the virile powers of mature age until far advanced in life, and it was no unusual thing for Brahmatmas to live much more than a hundred years, and leave behind them a numerous progeny.
We have now concluded these brief notices with regard to those who have passed through the various degrees of initiation. It was necessary that we should give them, in order that our main subject might be more fully understood.
[paragraph continues] Though some of the details are rather dry, we hope that our readers will give them their careful attention. They are essential to the proper understanding of what is to follow.
One word more, however, about the Yoguy's seven-knotted stick.
There is a certain degree of sacredness attending the number seven in India. We may judge of the veneration in which it is held by the Brahmins, by the many objects and places the number of which is always divisible by seven, to which they attach an extraordinary magical power.
Some of them are as follows:
Sapta-Richis, the seven sages of India.
Sapta-Poura, the seven celestial cities.
Sapta-Douipa, the seven sacred islands.
Sapta-Samoudra, the seven oceans.
Sapta-Nady, the seven sacred rivers.
Sapta-Parvatta, the seven holy mountains.
Sapta-Arania, the seven sacred deserts.
Sapta-Vrukcha, the seven celestial trees.
Sapta-Coula, the seven castes.
Sapta-Loca, the seven superior and inferior worlds, etc.
According to the Brahmins, the mystical meaning of the number seven contains an allegorical representation of the unrevealed God, the initial trinity, and the manifested trinity; thus:
(The Unrevealed God).
The immortal germ of everything that exists.
The initial trinity,
Zyaus, having divided his body into two parts, male and female, or Nara and Nari, produced Viradj, the Word, the Creator,
The manifested trinity,
The initial trinity, which was purely creative, changed into the manifested trinity, as soon as the universe had come out of chaos, in order to create perpetually, to preserve eternally, and to consume unceasingly.
We should not forget that the Jews also attached a mystical meaning to the number seven, which shows indisputably its origin.
According to the Bible:
The world was created in seven days.
Land should rest every seven years.
The Sabbatic year of jubilee returned every seven times seven years.
The great golden candlestick in the temple had seven branches, the seven candles of which represented the seven planets.
Seven trumpets were blown by seven priests for seven successive days around Jericho, and the walls of that city fell down on the seventh day after the Israelitish army had marched round it for the seventh time.
In John's Apocalypse, we find:
The seven churches.
The seven chandeliers.
The seven stars.
The seven lamps.
The seven seals.
The seven angels.
The seven vials.
The seven plagues.
In like manner, the Prophet Isaiah, desiring to give an idea of the glory surrounding Jehovah, says:
"That it is seven times greater than that of the sun, and equal to the light of seven days combined."
We shall now see in how many points and how closely, the Jewish Cabala and the Hindu doctrine of the Pitris, resemble each other.