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Full text of "The Dabistan"

20

Mahs l in the dictionary is interpreted ' : a cotn-
ic puter," but in the idiom of this tribe it signifies
(as just said) that every individual, in his disposition
and action, bears a vestige of the disposition of a
former state. It is a part of their persuasion, that,
when an individual enters for the first time in a
society, the name of whatever in the three kingdoms
of nature he first brings upon his tongue, is sup-
posed to be the ihsa, or " mark," that in a former
state he had been the very thing the name of which
had fallen from his tongue.

These sectaries hold, that pilgrims exercise the
profession of cheats, wearing a garment marked
with stripes, which they call the vest of Kerbala ;
and that they practise but hypocrisy and deceit.
When, according to their low disposition, they
descend to the state of brutes, they become animals,
which the Hindus call Galhari, ' * squirrel ; " and when
transformed into vegetables, they become striped
pumpkins, or weak jujube-trees ; when they undergo
the transformation into minerals, they are onyxes.
In this sense this sect interprets the mahs, or
<c mark.'' Lawyers and governors, who w ash
hands and mouth, friends of white garments, be-

mahs and L^^S ihs'a, are derived from the same root,
,v3^ has, " making an impression;" ihsa is interpreted in Rich-
ardson's Diet., new edit., " numbering, computing."