Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, , at sacred-texts.com
The formulas of magical incantation, addressed to evil spirits, are kept as secret as those used in the evocation of superior spirits. They even form a part of a special book of the Agrouchada called the Agrouchada-Parikchai, treating of magicians.
They are also written, as well as read, in a manner similar to that we have just described, in order to hide from the profane their real meaning. We pass them over, however, and turn our attention to the external manifestations, exorcisms, and cases of demoniacal possession which are so frequent in India.
We propose to give an impartial account of the numerous facts that have fallen under our own observation, some of which are so extraordinary from a physiological, as well as from a purely spiritual point of view, that we hardly know what to say of them.
We merely allude to the chapter of the Agrouchada treating of formulas of incantation and are unable to give any further information as to the magical words, to which the priests attribute so much virtue in exorcising Rakchasas, Pisatchas, Nagas, Souparnas, and other evil spirits that frequent funeral ceremonies, take possession of men's bodies, and disturb the sacrifices.
We have already, in another work, 1 discussed that portion of the Book of the Pitris, notwithstanding its vulgarity,
and we see no reason to change the opinion therein expressed, which it may not be amiss to call to the reader's mind. He will excuse us for quoting ourselves:
Magic seems to have established itself in India, as in some highly favored spot. In that country nothing is attributed to ordinary causes, and there is no act of malignancy or of wickedness of which the Hindus deem their magicians incapable.
Disappointments, obstacles, accidents, diseases, untimely deaths, the barrenness of women, miscarriages, epizooties, in short, all the ills that humanity is heir to, are attributed to the occult and diabolical practices of some wicked magician, in the pay of an enemy.
If an Indian,, when he meets with a misfortune, happens to be on bad terms with anybody, his suspicions are immediately directed in that quarter, and he accuses his enemy of resorting to magic in order to injure him.
The latter, however, resents the imputation. Their feelings become embittered against each other, the disagreement soon extends to their relatives and friends, and time consequences often become serious.
As malign spirits are exorcised, pursued, and hunted by the followers of the Pitris, it is the vulgar belief that they enter the service of vagabonds and miscreants, and teach them special magical formulas, by which they seek together to do all possible harm to others.
Several thousand years of sacerdotal despotism, during which every means have been employed to keep the people in ignorance and superstition, have carried popular credulity to its highest pitch.
In the South of India particularly we constantly meet with crowds of soothsayers and sorcerers, vending their oracles to any one who would purchase them, and spreading before rich and poor alike for a consideration the pretended mystery of human destiny.
These people are not much dreaded.
But there are others, whose diabolical art is thought to be unlimited, and who are supposed to possess all the secrets of magic.
To inspire love or hatred, to introduce the devil into any one's body, or to drive him away, to cause sudden death or an incurable disease, to produce contagious maladies in cattle, or to protect them therefrom, to discover the most secret things, and to find lost or stolen articlesall this is but child's play for them.
The mere sight of one who is supposed to be endowed with such vast power inspires the Hindu with the deepest terror.
These doctors of magic are often consulted by persons who have enemies, of whom they desire to be revenged, by means of sorcery. On the other hand, when any one who suffers from disease attributes it to a cause of this kind, he calls in their aid, that they may deliver him by a counter-charm, or transfer the disease to those who have so maliciously caused it in his case.
The supplementary volume of the Agrouchada-Parikchai, treating of the practices of vulgar magic, does not seem to question them in any respect; it merely attributes them to the influence of evil spirits.
In its view, the magician's power is immense, but he only uses it for evil purposes.
Nothing is easier than for him to afflict any one whom he may meet with fever, dropsy, epilepsy, insanity, a constant nervous trembling, or any other disease, in short. But that is nothing. By his art he can even cause the entire destruction of an army besieging a city, or the sudden death of the commander of a besieged city and of all its inhabitants.
But while magic teaches how to do harm, it also shows us how to prevent it. There is no magician so shrewd that there is not another who can more than match him in ability, or destroy the effect of his charms, and make them rebound upon himself or his patrons.
Independent of their direct intervention, the magicians have a large assortment of amulets, talismans, and powerful and efficient preservatives against sorcery and enchantments, in which they do a large business and make a great deal of money.
They consist of glass beads, enchanted by mentrams, of dried and aromatic roots and herbs, of sheets of copper upon which cabalistic characters, uncouth figures, and fantastical words are engraved.
The Hindus of the lower castes always wear them upon their persons, thinking that a supply of these relics will protect them from all harm.
Secret preparations to inspire love, to kindle anew an expiring passion, to restore vigor to the weak and infirm, come also within the province of the magicians, and are by no means the least unproductive source of their income. -
It is to them a woman always applies first when she wishes to reclaim a faithless husband, or prevent his becoming such.
It is by the aid of the philters they concoct that a young libertine or a sweetheart usually tries to beguile or captivate the object of his passion.
The Agrouchada also discusses the subject of incubi. "These demons in India," says Dubois, "are much worse and more diabolical, than those spoken of by Delrio the Jesuit, in his 'Disquisitiones Magicæ.' By their violent and long-continued embraces they so weary the women whom they visit in the form of a dog, a tiger, or some other animal, that the poor creatures often die of fatigue and exhaustion."
It then speaks at some length of the means by which weapons may be enchanted or bewitched.
These arms upon which magical mentrams have been pronounced, have the virtue of producing effects which will compare in every respect with those caused by the
celebrated sword of Durandal, or the lance of Argail, by which so many were disabled.
The Hindu gods and giants, in their frequent wars with each other, always made use of enchanted arms.
Nothing could withstand, for instance, the arrow of Brahma, which was never unsheathed without destroying an entire army; or the arrow of the serpent Capel, which, whenever it was cast among his enemies, had the property of throwing them into a state of lethargy which, as may well be imagined, put them at a great disadvantage and contributed largely to their defeat.
There is no secret that magic does not teach. There are magical secrets how to acquire wealth and honors; to render sterile women prolific by rubbing the hands and feet with certain enchanted compounds; to discover treasures buried in the earth, or concealed in some secret place, no matter where; and to make the bearer invulnerable, or even invincible, in battle.
The only thing they are not so clear about is the subject of everlasting life; and yet who can tell how many alchemists have grown white in the crypts of the pagodas, and how many strange philters have been there concocted in order to learn the secret of immortality
To become expert in magic the pupil must learn from a magician himself, whom the sorcerers call their Guru, like the believers in the philosophical doctrine of the Pitris, the formulas of evocation, by means of which the malign spirits are brought into complete subjection.
Some of these spirits the magician evokes in preference to others, probably on account of their willingness to do anything that may be required of them.
In the first rank are the spirits of certain planets. The name, Grahas, which is used to designate them, means the act of seizing or taking possession of those whom they are commanded, by a magical incantation, to torment.
In the next rank come the boutams, or demons from
the lower regions, representing each a principle of destruction, the pisatchas, rakchasas, nagas, and other evil spirits.
The chaktys are female genii, who force men whom they meet at night.
The malign spirits are Kali, the Goddess of Blood, Marana-Devy, the Goddess of Death, and the others whom we have enumerated.
In order to set them in motion the magician has recourse to various mysterious operations, such as men-trams, sacrifices, and other different formulas. He should be nude when he addresses himself to goddesses, and modestly clothed when he addresses himself to male spirits.
The flowers that he offers to the spirits evoked by him should all be red, and the boiled rice should be colored with the blood of a young virgin, or a child, in case he proposes to cause death.
The mentrams, or prayers, which have such efficacy in all magical matters, exercise such an ascendancy upon the superior spirits themselves that the latter are powerless to refuse to do whatever the magician may order, in heaven, in the air, or upon the earth.
But those which are most certain and irresistible in their effects are what are called the fundamental mentrams, and consist of various fantastical monosyllables, of uncouth sound and difficult pronunciation, after the manner of those which we have already given while speaking of the formulas used by the priests.
Sometimes the magician repeats his mentrams in a respectful tone, ending all his evocations with the word Namaha, meaning respectful greeting, and loading the spirit that he has evoked with praises. At other times he speaks to them in an imperious and dictatorial tone, exclaiming in angry accents:
"If you are willing to do what I ask you, that is enough; if not, I command you in the name of such and such a god."
Thereupon the spirit had to submit.
It would be impossible to enumerate the different drugs, ingredients, and implements that compose the stock-in-trade of a magician.
There are some spells in which it is necessary to use the bones of sixty-four different kinds of animals, neither more nor less, and among them are included those of a man born on the first day of the new moon, or of a woman, or a virgin, or a child, or a pariah.
When all these bones, being mingled together, are enchanted by mentrams and consecrated by sacrifices, and are buried in an enemy's house or at his door, upon a night ascertained to be propitious, after an inspection of the stars for that purpose, his death will infallibly follow.
In like manner, if the magician, in the silence of night, should bury the bones in question in an enemy's camp at the four cardinal points of the compass, and then, retiring to a distance, should pronounce the mentram of defeat, all the troops there encamped would utterly perish, or else would scatter to the four winds of heaven, of their own accord, before seven days had elapsed.
Thirty-two enchanted arms thrown among a besieging army would cause such a fright that a hundred men would seem like a thousand.
Of a mixture of earth taken from sixty-four most disgusting placeswe refrain from accompanying the Hindu author in his enumeration of the places in questionmingled with his enemy's hair and nail-clippings, small figures are made, upon whose bosom the name of the person upon whom it is desired to take revenge is inscribed. Magical words and mentrams are then pronounced over them, and they are consecrated by sacrifices. As soon as this is done, the grahas, or evil genii of the planets, take possession of the person who is the subject of animosity, and he is subjected to all sorts of evil treatment.
Sometimes these figures are transfixed with an awl, or are injured in various ways, with the object of really killing or disabling him who is the object of vengeance.
Sixty-four roots Hof various kinds of the most noxious plants are known to the magicians, which in their hands become the most powerful weapons for the secret infliction of the deadliest blows upon those at whom they are aimed.
Notwithstanding, the occupation of a magician is not without danger by any means. The gods and evil genii are very vindictive and never obey the injunctions of a miserable mortal very good-humoredly. It often happens that they punish him very severely for the brutal way in which he orders them about.
Woe to him if he makes the slightest mistake, if he is guilty of the most insignificant omission of the innumerable ceremonies which are obligatory upon him in the performance of an evocation. All the ills that were intended for others are incontinently showered down upon his own head.
He is constantly in fear; it seems, lest some other member of the same confraternity, of greater ability than himself, may succeed in making his own imprecations rebound upon himself or his patrons.
All these superstitious doctrines still exist in India, and most of the pagodas belonging to the vulgar cult possess, apart from the higher priests whom they are compelled to lodge and feed, a body of magicians whose services are let out to the lower castes, in precisely the same way as those of the Fakirs.
Now they undertake to rid a woman from the nocturnal embraces of an incubus: at another time they undertake to restore the virile power of a man where it has been lost in consequence of a spell cast by some opposing magician.
At other times, they are called upon to protect flocks, that have been decimated through the enchantments of others, against all noxious influences.
From time to time; in order to keep alive in the public
mind the belief in these sacred doctrines, these jugglers send out challenges to other pagodas, and publicly engage in contests, in the presence of witnesses and arbitrators, who are called in to decide which of the two champions is the more accomplished in his art.
The object of the contest is to obtain possession of an enchanted bit of straw, a small stick, or a piece of money.
The antagonists are both placed at the same distance from the object, whatever it may be, and they both make believe to approach it, but the mentrams they utter, the evocations they perform, the enchanted powders which they reciprocally throw at each other, possess a virtue which repels them: an invincible and overpowering force seems to stand in the way; they make fresh attempts to advance but they are forced back; they redouble their efforts; they fall into spasms and convulsions, they perspire profusely and spit blood. Ultimately one of them obtains possession of the enchanted object and is declared the victor.
It sometimes happens that one of the combatants is overthrown by the power of his adversary's mentrams. In that case he rolls on the ground as though he were possessed by a demon, and remains there motionless for some time, appearing to have lost his mind.
At last he recovers the use of his senses, arises in an apparent state of fatigue and exhaustion, and seems to retire covered with shame and confusion. He returns to the pagoda and does not make his appearance again for some time. A serious sickness is supposed to have ensued in consequence of the incredible, through ineffectual, efforts he has made.
There is no doubt that these pitiable farces, with which those who have been honestly initiated into the genuine worship of the Pitris are in no way connected whatever, are all concerted in advance, between the priests belonging to the vulgar cult of the rival pagodas and the charlatans
by whom they are performed, and the victory is ascribed to each in turn. But the multitude who witness these spectacles, and who pay generously for them, are filled with fear and admiration of the sorcerers themselves, and are firmly persuaded that their contortions are due to supernatural causes.
There is one fact of which there can be no doubt, and that is, that these men perform their part with extraordinary truthfulness and expression, and that within the domain of pure magnetism they are really able to produce phenomena of which we have no idea in Europe. They are, however, inferior in ability to the Fakirs, belonging to the first class of initiates.
When, however, we come to consider the external manifestations by means of which the believers in the Pitris display their power, we shall look upon the performances of the magicians as trifling in comparison and unworthy of further consideration. They are obviously due to trickery and deception; we have already devoted quite enough space to them to give the reader an idea of what they can do.
There also exists in India another kind of enchantment, which is called drichty-dotcha, or a spell cast by the eyes. All animated beings, all plants, all fruits are subject to it. In order to remove it, it is customary to erect a pole in all gardens or cultivated fields, at the top of which is attached a large earthen vessel, the inside of which is whitened with whitewash: it is placed there, being a conspicuous and noticeable object, in order to attract the attention of any passing enemy, and thus prevent his looking at the crops, which would certainly be thereby injured.
We have rarely seen a rice-field in Ceylon or India that was not provided with one or more of these counter-charms.
The Hindus are so credulous upon this point that they are continually fancying that they cannot perform a single act of their lives, or take a single step, however insignificant
it may be, without danger of receiving from a neighbor, or a mere passer-by, or even a relative, the drichty-dotcha. There is nothing in the appearance of those who possess this fatal gift to indicate that they are so endowed Those who have it are often unconscious of it themselves. For this reason every Hindu, several times a day, causes to be performed in the case of himself, his family, his fields, and his house, the ceremony of the arratty, the design of which is to counteract any harm that might otherwise befall him from spells cast by the eyes.
The arratty is one of their commonest practices, whether public or private. It may almost be elevated to the height of a national custom, so general is it in every province. It is always performed by women, and any woman is qualified to perform it except widows, who are never admitted to any domestic ceremony, their mere presence alone being unlucky.
The ceremony is performed as follows:
A lamp full of oil, perfumed with sandal-wood, is placed on a metal plate. It is then lighted, and one of the women of the household when her father, or husband, or any other member of the family, comes in from outdoors, takes the plate in her hand, and raises it as high as the head of the person upon whom the ceremony is to be performed, and describes therewith either three or seven circles according to his or her age or rank.
Instead of a lighted lamp, a vase is often used containing water perfumed with sandal-wood and saffron, reddened by vermilion, and consecrated by the immersion of a few stalks of the divine cousa grass.
The arratty is publicly performed several tunes a day upon persons of distinction, such as rajahs, provincial governors, army generals, or others of elevated rank. It is a ceremony to which courtiers are bidden, as formerly with us to the king's levée. One practice is quite as ridiculous to us as the other, and judging from what we have
ourselves seen, in certain provinces in the Deccan, where the English have allowed a few phantoms of rajahs still to remain, the courtiers in this country are quite as degraded and servile a class as with us. They pay for the crumbs they receive and the favors they enjoy by the sacrifice of every feeling of conscience or dignity. It is the same everywhere. We must say, however, to the credit of the Hindu courtiers, that they never made their wives or daughters the mistresses of their rajahs.
As a general thing, a Hindu of any caste would blush to owe his own preferment to the dishonor of his wife.
Whenever persons belonging to a princely rank have been obliged to appear in public, or to speak to strangers, they never fail, upon returning to their palaces, to summon their wives or send for their devadassis from the neighboring temple to perform this ceremony upon them, and thus prevent the serious consequences that might otherwise result from any baleful glances to which they may have been exposed. They often have in their pay girls specially employed for that purpose.
Whenever you enter a Hindu house, if you are regarded as a person of distinction, the head of the family directs the young women to perform the ceremony of arratty. It is also performed for the statues of the gods.
When the dancing-girls at the temples have finished their other ceremonies, they never fail to perform the arratty two or three times over the gods to whose service they are attached.
This is also practised with still more solemnity when their statues are carried in procession through the streets. Its object is to avert any bad consequences resulting from glances which it is as difficult for the gods to avoid as simple mortals. Finally, the arratty is generally performed upon elephants, horses, domestic animals, and particularly upon the sacred bullocks, and even sometimes upon growing fields of rice.
Beside the more elevated doctrines taught by those who believe in the Pitris, vulgar magic in India takes its place as a degenerate descendant. It was the work of the lower priesthood and intended to keep the people in a constant state of apprehension. In all times, and in all places, by the side of the most elevated philosophical speculations, we always find the religion of the people.
We have dwelt at some length upon the practice of magic and sorcery in India, though they have nothing whatever to do with the higher worship which initiated Brahmins pay to the shades of their ancestors and the superior spirits, for the reason that nothing was better calculated to prove the Asiatic origin of most of the nations of Europe than a detailed description of these strange customs, which are identical with many that we meet with upon our own soil, and of which our historical traditions furnished us no explanation until we made the discovery that we were related to the Hindus by descent.
People in the middle ages believed implicitly in succubi and incubi, in the efficacy of magical formulas, in sorcery and the evil eye. Corning down to a period nearer our own times, we have not forgotten those fanatical leaguers, who carried their superstition to such a pitch that they used to make little images of wax representing Henry III. and the King of Navarre. They were accustomed to transfix these images in different places and keep them so for a period of forty days. On the fortieth day they stabbed them to the heart, fully persuaded that they would thus cause the death of the princes they were designed to represent. Practices of this kind were so common that, in 1571, a pretended sorcerer named Trois-Échelles, who was executed on the Place de Gréve, declared in his examination that there were more than three thousand persons engaged in the same business, and that there was not a woman at court, or belonging to the middle or lower class, who did not patronize the magicians, particularly in love matters.
The execution of Gauffredy, the curé, and of Urbain Grandier, by Richelieu's orders, sufficiently demonstrate that the greatest minds of the time were not able to withstand the influence of these superstitions.
We read in Saint Augustine's Book, called "The City of God," that disbelief in the power of evil spirits was equivalent to a refusal to believe in the Holy Scriptures themselves.
The Bible, which is taken from the sacred books of antiquity, believed in sorcery, and the sorcerer must stand or fall with the authority of the Bible.
It is scarcely a century since persons convicted of magic were burnt at the stake, and we are struck with amazement by some of the sentences rendered by magistrates, still highly esteemed by their countrymen, according to which, upon the mere charge of sorcery, poor people suffered death by fire as charlatans, who, at the most, were only guilty of having cheated their neighbors out of a few sols by contrivances which were rather calculated to excite mirth than to do any serious injury.
It is difficult to understand these sentences, except by supposing that the magistrates themselves were in the occult power of the sorcerers.
In 1750, a Jesuit named Girard had a narrow escape from being burnt alive by a decree of the parliament of Provence, for having cast a spell upon the fair Cadière. He was saved by the disagreement of his judges, who were equally divided in opinion as to his guilt. He was given the benefit of the doubt.
A nun of the noble Chapter of Wurtzburg was burnt at the stake in the same year for being guilty of magical practices.
Since that time, fortunately, we have made some progress.
When we threw off the yoke of the Romish priest, from that day common sense, conscience, and reason resumed their sway, and while our Hindu ancestors, who are yet
under the dominion of their Brahmins and Necromancers, still slumber on in the last stages of decrepitude and decay, we have made great strides in the path of scientific progress and intellectual liberty.
We always meet the priest and sorcerer upon the same plane of social charlatanism. They are both products of superstition and grow out of the same causes.
From an ethnographic point of view, it is interesting to observe that the Romans also inherited similar opinions from their Hindu ancestors.
We remember what Ovid said of Medea, the magician:
Horace also speaks of two magicians, named Canidia and Sagana, whose apparatus contained two figures, one of wool and the other of wax.
We must confess, however, that the Lydian singer was not very much in earnest in speaking of them, when we consider the noiseProh pudor!by whose aid he caused them to be put to flight by the god of gardens, who was annoyed by their enchantments.
Horace would certainly not have sent his two witches to the stake.
The same ideas with regard to visual influences also existed among the Romans, as shown, among other things, by the following line from Virgil:
They had their god Fascinus and their amulets of that name, which were designed to protect children from injury from that source. The statue of the same god, suspended from the triumphal car, was a protection to its occupants from any harm that might otherwise befall them from the evil eye of envy.
The object of the present work is not so much the study of magic in ancient times, as that of the more elevated religious beliefs, under whose guidance the vital atom successively progressed from one transformation to another, until it was absorbed in the Great All; which look upon the world of souls as being nothing but a succession of offspring and ancestors, who never forget each other: beliefs which indeed we may not entertain, but which are embalmed in a most mysterious and consolatory creed and are entitled to our respect.
The present chapter with regard to Hindu magic is merely an episode which we do not propose to extend further; otherwise we might show that the popular traditions with regard to sorcery in India found their way also into Greece, Rome, and ancient Chaldea.
One word however about this latter country, which, as claimed by Berosus, Æschylus, and Herodotus, was colonized by a multitude of unknown people and mixed tribes, speaking different languages.
India, with its hundred and twenty-five dialects and its various castes, so different from each other, was the only country, at that time, from which emigration was constantly going on, in order to avoid sacerdotal persecution, and from which, consequently, the countries bordering upon the Tigris and the Euphrates could possibly have been colonized.
To all the ethnographic facts, which go to show that the assertion here made is historically correct, may be further added the great similarity existing between the magical practices and beliefs of the Hindus and Chaldeans.
The following are some of the Assyrian inscriptions relating to magical enchantments, taken from a recent publication by Messrs. Rawlinson & Norris, which show how largely Chaldea was indebted to India.
"The form of the Chaldean conjurations against evil spirits," says the eminent Assyriologist, "is very monotonous. They are all cast in the same mould. They begin with a list of the demons to be overcome by the conjuration, together with a description of the character and effects of their power. This is followed by the expression of a desire to see them driven away, or of being protected from them, which is often presented in an affirmative form. The formula finally concludes with a mysterious invocation, from which it derives all its efficacy. 'Spirit of Heaven, remember; Spirit of Earth, remember.' That alone is necessary and never fails; but sometimes similar invocations to other divine spirits are also added.
"I will give as an example, one of these conjurations to be used against different bad demons, maladies, or acts, such as the evil eye.
The pestilence, or fever, that lays waste the country. The plague that devastates the land, bad for the body, and injurious to the bowels.
The bad demon, the bad Alal, the bad Gigim.
The evil man, the evil eye, the evil mouth, the evil tongue, may they come out of the body, may they come out of the bowels of the man, son of his God.
They shall never enter into possession of my body.
They shall never do any harm before me. They shall never walk after me.
They shall never enter into my house.
They shall never cross my frame.
They shall never enter the house of my habitation.
Spirit of Heaven, remember! Spirit of Earth, remember!
Spirit of Moul-ge, lord of countries, remember!
Spirit of Nin-gelal, lady of countries, remember!
Spirit of Nin-dar, powerful warrior of Moul-ge, remember!
Spirit of Pa-kou, sublime intelligence of Moul-ge, remember!
Spirit of En-zouna, eldest son of Moul-ge, remember!
Spirit of Tiskou, lady of armies, remember!
Spirit of Im, king whose impetuosity is beneficent, remember!
Spirit of Oud, king of justice, remember!
"The following is another, where the final enumeration is not so long:
The evening of evil omen, the region of heaven that produces misfortune,
The fatal day, the region of the sky bad for observation,
The fatal day, the bad region of the sky, that advances,
Messengers of the plague,
Ravagers of Nin-ki-gal,
The thunder that rages throughout the country,
The seven gods of the vast heavens,
The seven gods of the vast earth,
The seven gods of the fiery spheres,
The seven malicious gods,
The seven bad phantoms,
The seven malicious phantoms of flames,
The seven gods of heaven,
The seven gods of the earth,
The bad demon,
The bad alal,
The bad gigim,
The bad tilol,
The bad god, the bad maskim,
Spirit of Heaven, remember!
Spirit of Earth, remember!
Sprit of Moul-ge, king of countries, remember!
Spirit of Ningelal, lady of countries, remember?
Spirit of Nin-dar, son of Zenith, remember!
Spirit of Tishkou, lady of countries, who shines in the night, remember!
"More commonly, however, there are no such mythological enumerations at the end. As an example of the more simple kind of formulas, I may mention a conjuration against the seven subterranean demons, called maskim, who were reckoned among the most formidable of any.
The seven! the seven!
At the lowest bottom of the abyss, the seven!
Abomination of heaven! the seven!
Hiding themselves in the lowest depths of heaven and earth,
Neither male nor female,
Water, stretched out captives,
Having no wives and producing no children,
Knowing neither order nor good,
Hearing no prayer,
Vermin, that hidest in the mountain,
Enemies of the god Ea,
Ravagers of the gods,
Abettors of trouble,
All-powerful by violence,
Agents of enmity,
Spirit of Heaven, remember!
Spirit of Earth, remember!"
We shall dwell no further upon this point, however. The above inscriptions are superabundant proof that the
practice of magic, as handed down to the ancient Chaldeans from their ancestors, the Hindu emigrants of the lower castes or mixed classes, as Berosus calls them, was the utmost limit of their attainments in that direction.
The pure doctrines, which formed the subject of initiation, the worship of the Pitris and the superior spirits, awoke no echo upon the banks of the Euphrates. The nomads and brick moulders of the Seminar country lived in constant apprehension of the sorcerers and magicians, with no idea even of the existence of the sublime conceptions of Brahminism.
Inscriptions recorded upon granite, marble, stone, or baked earth, invariably contain everything that is most elevated in the popular belief. We do not select the superstitious ideas of the multitude to bequeath to future ages, and, as it were, to immortalize them.
I am all and in all!
says the Trinitarian inscription at Elephanta, in India.
I have begotten the world!
says the record upon the statue of Isis, which was the emblem of mother Nature in Egypt.
such was the inscription that appeared in front of the temple at Delphi.
And the column erected in the Agora at Athens was inscribed:
To the unknown God!
Mingling in their inscriptions their gods and evil spirits, such as the gigim, the maskim, and other demons, trembling with constant fear in the presence of sexless, wifeless, and childless monsters, before these telals, these ravagers
of heaven, these enemies of Ea, the King of the Gods, who also seemed to tremble in their presence, the Chaldeans engraved upon their burnt bricks nothing but expressions of the grossest superstition, for the simple reason that they had nothing else to put there. If there is any one thing at which we have a right to express our surprise, it is that some Assyriologists have taken these ridiculous conceptions as a text from which to prove that the ancient Hindus got their first ideas from the primitive Chaldeans.
The Agrouchada-Parikchai, in a fourth book, which we have already alluded to, in which it gives an account of the magic practices, whereby bad spirits are set in motion, but which is entirely ineffectual as far as the Pitris, or the superior spirits, or Swayambhouva, the Supreme Being, are concerned, and which fourth book is entirely disconnected from the other three, which are wholly devoted to the pure doctrine of the Pitris, makes no secret of the fact that magic and sorcery were the only things that had any influence upon the impure Soudras, or the common people and Tchandalas, or mixed classes.
Before passing on to the subject of the phenomena and external manifestations produced by those who had gone through the various degrees of initiation in India, it may not be amiss to compare the doctrine of the Pitris, as we have set it forth, with the beliefs of the Jewish cabalists and of several other philosophers of ancient times, who seem to us to have drank from the same fountain.
136:1 History of the Virgins.