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The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

W. W. HUNTER, C.S.I., C.I.E., LL.D., 





1007 45 



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This book tries to present, within a small compass, an 
account of India and her people. The materials on 
which it is based are condensed from my larger works. 
In 1869, the Government of India directed me to 
execute a Statistical Survey of its dominions,^ — a vast 
enterprise, whose records now make 1 28 printed volumes, 
aggregating 60,000 pages. The scale of the opera- 
tions, although by no means too elaborate for the 
administrative purposes for which they were designed, 
necessarily placed their results beyond the reach of the 
general public. The hundred volumes of The Statistical 
Survey were therefore reduced to a more compendious 
form as the twelve volumes of The Imperial Gazetteer 
of India. The present book distils into one volume 
the essence of the whole, 

I have elsewhere explained the mechanism by which 
the materials for the Statistical Survey wqv^ collected 
in each of the 240 Districts, or territorial units, of British 
India.^ Without the help of a multitude of fellow- 
workers, the present volume could never have been 
written. It represents the fruit of a long process of con- 
tinuous condensation* But in again acknowledging my 
indebtedness to brethren of my Service in India, I wish 
to specially commemorate the obhgations which I also 
owe to a friend at home, Mr. J. S. Cotton, late Fellow 
of Queen's College, Oxford, has rendered important aid 
at many stages of the work. 

* See Preface to Volume I. of Tht Imperial Gai^itccr &/ India, 

1007 45 

INDIA, vii 

attempting to reconstruct Indian history from its original 
sources in the fewest possible pages, I beg oriental 
scholars to believe that, although their individual views 
are not always set forth, they have been respectfully 
considered. I also pray the English reader to remember 
that, if he desires a more detailed treatment of the 
subjects of this volume, he may find it in my larger 

W. W. H. 

March l886. 



Physical Aspects, • , . 1-42 

The Population of India, . 43-52 

The Non-Aryan Races, . . 53-74 

The Aryans in Ancient India, 75-131 

Buddhism in India, . . 132-162 

The Greeks in India, . . 163-173 

Scythic Inroads into India, . 174-190 

Rise of Hinduism, . . 191-228 

Christianity in India, . . 229-267 

Early Muhammadan Rulers, . 268-289 

The Mughal Empire, . 290-316 

The Maratha Power, . 317-324 
The Indian Vernaculars and 

their Literature, . . . 325-355 

Early European Settlements, • 
History of British Rule, . • 
British Administration of India, 
Agriculture and Products, . 
Means of Communication, • 
Commerce and Trade, 
Arts and Manufactures, 
Mines and Minerals, 
Geology, . 
Zoology and Botany, 
Vital Statistics, . 
Statistical Appendices, I, 
Index, • 






General Description of India ; Boundaries, • . • 

The Three Regions of India, 

First Region ; the Himalayas ; their Scenery and Products, 

Second Region ; the Northern River Plains, . 

The Great Rivers ; their Work ; Land-making, 

The Indus, Brahmaputra, and Ganges, .... 

The Gangetic River System ; the Highway of Bengal, . 

Great Gangetic Cities, 

Three Stages in the Life of an Indian River, 

Delta of the Ganges : its Age and Process of Formation, 







20, 21 

21, 22 


The Rivers as Highways and as Destroyers, . 
Scenery and Crops of the Northern River Plains, 
Third Region of India ; the Southern Table-land, 
The Deccan ; the Ghdts, and their Passes, . 
The Four Forest Regions of Southern India, 
Crops and Scenery of Southern India, . 
British Burma ; its Geography and Products, 


29-32 . 



40, 41 



Feudatory India ; the Chiefs and their Powers, 
The Twelve British Provinces ; how governed. 

Population Tables, 

Pressure of Population ; overcrowded Districts, 
Under-peopled Provinces ; the * immobile ' Indian Peasant, 

Nomadic System of Husbandry, 

The Land and Labour Question in India ; Serfdom, 
Unequal Pressure of Population ; its Remedies, . 
Population of India in 1872 and 1881 ; Increase, . 
The Ethnical Elements of the Indian People, 












Kistvaen Builders ; Flint and Bronze Periods, ... 53 
The Non-Aryans of Vedic India described, . . -53,54 

Andaman- Islanders ; Anamalai Hill Tribes, . ... 55 

Polyandry among the Nairs ; the Gonds, . . . • 55, 56 

Leaf-wearing Juangs of Orissa ; Himalayan Tribes, . . 56,57 

The Santils ; Village and Tribal Government, ... 57 

Santdl Customs, Religion, and History, .... 58-60 

The Kandhs ; Tribal Government, Wars, and Blood Revenge, 60, 61 

Kandh Marriage by Capture; Human Sacrifice, . . . 61, 62 
The Three Non-Aryan Stocks — Tibeto-Burmans, Dravidians, 

and Kolarians ; their Languages, 63-69 

Statistics of Non-Aryan Races in 1872 and 1881, . . . 69-71 


Crushed Tribes ; Gipsy Clans ; Predatory Tribes, . 
Character of the Non-Aryan Tribes, .... 
Mhairs and Bhils ; their Reclamation by good Government, 


71, 72 






The Indo-European Stock, 

Its Early Camping-ground in Central Asia, . 

Common Origin of European and Indian Religions, 

The Indo-Aryans on the March, and in their new Homes, 

The Rig-Veda ; Widow-burning unknown, . 

Development of Caste, . . 78, 87, 88, 89, 

Aryan Civilisation in the Veda, .... 

The Aryan Tribes organized into Kingdoms, 

Origin and Growth of Priestly Families, 

The Four Vedas ; Brahmanas ; Siitras', 
The VV^arrior and Cultivating Castes, . 

The Four Castes formed, 

Struggle between the Brdhmans and Kshattriyas, . 
Brihman Supremacy established ; Brdhman Ideal Life, 

Brihman Theology, 

Rise of the Post-Vedic Gods ; the Hindu Triad, . 
Brahman Philosophy ; its Six Schools, . 
Brdhman Science and Grammar ; Pdnini, 
Sanskrit mss. and Prikrit Dialects, 

The Indian Alphabets, 

Brdhman Astronomy ; its Three Periods, 
Brihman Mathematics, Medicine, and Surgery, 

Hindu Art of War, 

Indian Music ; its Peculiarities and Modern Revival, 
Indian Architecture, Art-work, and Painting, 
Brdhman Law ; Codes of Manu and Ydjnavalkya, 
Hindu Customary Law ; Perils of Codification, 
Secular Literature of the Hindus, .... 
The Mahdbhdrata ; its Growth and Central Story, 
The Polyandry of Draupadi, .... 
The Rdmdyana ; its Story and its Author, Vdlmiki, 
Later Sanskrit Epics, 





94, 95, 96 











100, lOI 


102, 103 




112, 113 




121, 122 

122, 124 
124, 125 



The Hindu Drama ; Kdlidisa, 125- 

The Hindu Novel ; Beast Stories, 127, 

Sanskrit Lyric Poetry ; Jayadeva, ...... 

Mediaeval Theology ; the Purinas, . . . 128-130; 216, 

The Six Attacks on Brdhmanism, 130, 


BUDDHISM (543 B.C. TO lOOO A.D.). 

Buddha's Story modelled on the Sanskrit Epic, 
Buddha, the Spiritual Development of the Heroic Aryan Man, 133, 
Buddha's Parentage, Early Life, and Great Renunciation, . 133, 
His Forest Life, Temptation, and Teachings, . . . 1 34f 

His Later Years and Death, 136, 

The Northern and Southern Buddhist Schools, 

Political Life of Buddha ; his Opponents ; Devadatta, . • i39> 

Doctrines of Buddha ; ATtfr-w/j, Mn/a«<2, . . . . i4i> 

Moral Code of Buddha ; its Missionary Aspects, . 

Pohtical Development of Buddhism ; the Four Councils, 143, 144 ; 

The Work of Asoka ; his Council and Edicts, . . . 144- 

The Work of Kanishka, 

The Northern and Southern Buddhist Canons, . . . 147- 

Spread of Buddhism throughout Asia, i49> 

Buddhist Influences on Christianity, 

Buddha as a Christian Saint, 151, 

Buddha's Personality denied, 

Buddhism did not oust Brdhmanism, 154, 

The Chinese Buddhist Pilgrims, Fa Hian and Hiuen Tsiang, 155, 
Buddhism under Sildditya ; Monastery of Nalanda, • • 156, 
Mingling of Buddhism and Brdhmanism, .... 
Buddhism an Exiled Religion ; its Foreign Conquests, . 

Buddhist Survivals in India, 157- 

The Jains ; their Relation to the Buddhists, . . . .157- 



Early Greek Writers ; Hekataios, Strabo, Pliny, and Arrian, . 
Alexander in India j Results of his Invasion, . . . 164- 


Seleukos and Chandra Gupta, 

The India of Megasthenes, 

Indo-Greek Treaty ; Later Greeks, 

Greek Survivals in Indian Art, 

Ancient and Modem Greeks ; the Yavanas, 


1 66, 169 

168, 169 


171, 172 

172, 173 



Early Scythic Migrations towards India ; Tue-Chi Settlements, 
Pr^Buddhistic Scythic Influences ; the Horse Sacrifice, 
Was Buddha a Scythian? Tibetan Traditions, 
Sqlhic Buddhism and Settlements in India, . 
Scythian Elements in India ; the Jdts and Rajputs (?), 
Indian Struggle against the Scythians, . 
Indo-Sc3rthic Settlements ; Sen, Gupta, and Valabhi Dynasties, 
Pre-Aryan Kingdoms in Northern India, 

The Takshaks and Ndg^s, 

Ghakkars, Bhars, Bhils, Kochs, Ahams, Gonds, etc., 
Scythic and Ndgd Influences on Hinduism, . 

174, 175 

178, 179 

179, 180 
181, 182 
183, 184 
189, 190 


RISE OF HINDUISM (75O TO 1 5 20 A.D.). 

Decay and Persecution (?) of Buddhism, . . . .191,192 
Twofold Basis of Hinduism — Caste and Religion, . . 192 

Caste founded on 'Race,' * Occupation,' and 'Locality,' . 192, 193 

The Brdhman Caste analysed, 193, 194 

Building up of Caste ; Hindu Marriage Law, . .194,195 

Changes of ' Occupation ' by Castes, 196,197 

Plasticity and Rigidity of Caste, 197 

Caste a System of Trade-Guilds ; an Indian Strike, . . 197, 198 
Practical Working of Caste ; no Poor Law ; Rewards and 

Punishments, 198-200 

Religious Basis of Hinduism, 200,201 

Buddhist Influences ; Beast Hospitals ; Monasteries, . . 201,202 
A Japanese Temple and a Christian Church, . . . 202, 203 



Shrines common to Different Faiths, 
Serpent-Worship ; Ndgd Rites ; Phallic Emblems, 
Fetish-Worship in Hinduism ; the Sdlagrdm^ 
Brdhman Founders of Hinduism ; Low-Caste Apostles, 
The Acta Sanctorum of Hinduism, the Bhakta-Mdld, 
Kumdrila Bhatta ; Sankara Achdrya, 
Growth of Siva- Worship ; its Twofold Aspects, 
Human Offerings ; the Charak Pujd, . 
The Thirteen Sivaite Sects ; their Gradations, 

Siva and Vishnu compared, 

Friendly Vishnu ; the Vishnu Purdna, . 
Brdhmanical and Popular Vishnuism, . 
Vishnuite Founders ; Rdmdnuja, Rdmdnand, 
Kabir; Chaitanya; Vallabha-Swdmi, 
Krishna- Worship ; the Chief Vishnuite Sects, 
The Brdhmanical and Buddhist Origin of Jaganndth, 
Christian Calumnies against Jaganndth, 
Modem Fate of the Hindu Triad, 




205, 206 





212, 213 


215, 216 
217, 218 
222, 223 
227, 228 



Christianity coeval with Buddhism for 900 years, . 

Origin of Christianity in India, 

The Three Legends of St. Thomas, .... 

St Thomas the Apostle, Thomas the Manichjean, Thomas the 


Wide Meaning of * India ' in the Fathers, 

Early Indian Christians (190 a. d.). 

The Nestorian Church in Asia ; its Wide Diffusion, 

* Thomas Christians ' of Persia and of India, 

Mixed Worship at the alleged Shrine of St. Thomas near 


Troubles of the Ancient Indian Church, 
Extinction of the Nestorian Church, . . .241 
First Portuguese Missionaries, 1500 a.d. ; the Syrian Rite, 
Xavier and the Jesuits ; Work done by, . . . 
Jesuit Literature in India, 246, 




231, 232 


234, 235 

235i 236 




242, 243 

244, 245 
25o» 253 



Parochial Organization of Portuguese India, . . . . 247 

Jesuit Colleges and Rural Settlements, 247-250 

The Jesuit Malabar Mission in the 17th and i8th Centuries, . 251, 252 

The Portuguese Inquisition at Goa, 253, 254 

The Jesuits suppressed (1759-1773); re-established (i 814), . 254,255 

Organization of Roman Catholic Missions, .... 255,256 

Distribution of Roman Catholics in India, . . . . 257, 259 

First Protestant Missionaries, 1705; Danish Lutherans, . 259,260 

Schwartz ; Kiemander ; the Serampur Missionaries, . . 260 

Bishopric of Calcutta ; Indian Sees, 261 

Presbyterian and other Missions, 261 

Statistics of Protestant Missions, and their Progress, . 261, 263, 265 

General Statistics of Christian Population in India, . . 264 

The Indian Ecclesiastical Establishment, . . . . 266, 267 



Early Arab Expeditions to Bombay and Sind, . . . 268 

India on the Eve of the Muhammadan Conquest, . . . 268, 269 

Hindu Kingdoms (1000 a.d.), 269 

The Muhammadan Conquests only short-lived and temporary, 270 

Table of Muhammadan Dynasties (looi to 1857 a.d.), . . 271 

First Tiirki Invasions; Subuktigfn (977 A.D.), . . . 272 

Mahmdd of Ghazni; his 17 Invasions; Somnith, . . . 273, 274 
House of Ghor (1001-1030 a.d.) ; Muhammad of Ghor's 

Invasions, 275-278 

Hindu Kingdoms; Rdjput Dissensions (1184 a.d.), . . 276, 277 

Muhammadan Conquest of Bengal, 277,278 

Slave Dynasty (i 206-1 290 a.d.); Altamsh; the Empress Raziya, 278, 279 
Mughal Irruptions into Northern India, and Rdjput Revolts, . 279, 280 
Balban's Cruelties and his Royal Pensioners; End of Slave 

Dynasty, . 280 

House of Khiljf ; Ald-ud-din*s Conquest of Southern India, . 280, 282 
Mughal Mercenaries for the Suppression of Hindu Revolts, . 282, 283 
House of Tughlak (1320-1414 A.D.); Muhammad Tughlak's 

Expeditions and Cruelties, 283 

His Forced Currency, Revenue Exactions ; and Revolts against 

him, 283, 284 



Firuz Shdh Tughlak's Canals (135 1-1388 A.D.), ... 28^ 

Timur (Tamerlane), 1398 a.d. ; Sayyid and Lodi Dynasties, . 285, 28( 
Hindu Kingdoms of the Deccan ; Vijayanagar, . . 286, 287, 28J 
Five Muhammadan States of the Deccan; Bdhmani Kings, . 287, 28^ 
Independent Ndyaks and Pdlegdrs of Southern India, . . 28^ 

State of India on the Eve of the Mughal Conquest, . . 288, 28$ 


THE MUGHAL EMPIRE (1526 TO 1761 A.D.). 

Bihar's Early Life ; his Invasion of India ; Battle of Pdnipat 

(1526), 290 

Humdyun; Sher Shdh the Afghdn, 290,291 

Akbar the Great; his Work in India (1560-1605), . . 291-297 
His Conciliation of the Hindus ; Intermarriages, . . . 293 

Akbar's Hindu Military and Revenue Officers, . . . 293 

Reform of Hindu Customs; Change of Capital to Agra, . 293, 294 
Akbar's Subjugation of Khdndesh ; his Death, . . . 294, 295 
Akbar's Religious Principles ; his New Faith, . . . 295, 296 
Akbar's Organization of the Empire ; Military and Judicial 

Reforms, 296 

Akbar*s Financial System ; Table of his Revenues, . . 296-298 
Revenues of the Mughal Empire (1593-1761), . . . 299, 300 
Jahdngir, Emperor (1605-1627); the Empress Nur Jahdn, . 300, 301 
Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador; Drinking Bouts at Court, . 301, 302 
Jahdnglr's Personal Character ; his Justice and Religion, . 302 

Shdh Jahdn, Emperor (1628-1658); his Deccan Conquests, . 302-304 
Shdh Jahdn's Architectural Works; Tdj Mahdl and Moti 

Masjid, 304 

The Great Mosque and Imperial Palace at Delhi, . . . 304 

Rebellion of Prince Aurangzeb, and Deposition of Shdh 

Jahdn, 305 

Provinces and Revenues under Shdh Jahdn, .... 305 

Aurangzeb, Emperor (1658-1707), 306-312 

Murder of his Brothers, 307 

Conquests in Southern India ; Rise of the Mardthas, . . 307, 308 
Aurangzeb's twenty years' Mardthd War; his Despair and 

Death, 308, 309 

Aurangzeb's Oppression of Hindus ; Rdjput Revolts, . .309,310 


Aurangzeb's Provinces and Revenues, .... 

Character of Aurangzeb, 

Six Puppet Successors of Aurangzeb, ... 
Decline and Fall of the Mughal Empire (i 707-1858), . 
Independence of the Deccan, Oudh, and Rijput States, 
Invasions of Nadir Shdh the Persian, and Ahmad Shdh the 


Last Battle of Pinipat (1761) and Fall of the Mughal 










THE MARATHA POWER (1634 TO 1818 A.D.). 

India won, not from the Mughals, but from the Hindus, 
Rise of the Marathis; Shdhjl Bhonsla (1634), 
The Hindu Party in Southern India, 
Sivajf the Great (i 627-1680), 
His Guerilla Warfare with the Mughals, 
Sambhaji (i 680-1 689) ; Sahu (1707), . 
Rise of the Peshwds ; Balaji Viswandth, 
Growth of the Mardthd Confederacy, 
Marathi Raids to Deccan, Bengal, and the Punjab ; Chauth, 
Defeat of the Mardthis at Pdnipat (1761), 
The Five Great Mardthi Houses ; Decline of the Peshwds, 
British Wars with the Mardthds (i 779-1 781, 1803-1804, and 











The Three Stages in Indian History, 325, 326 

The Dravidian Route through India, 327 

The Dravidian Family of Languages; its Place in Philology, . 327, 328 

Pre- Aryan Dravidian Civilisation, 328 

Brdhmanic Influence on the Dravidians, . . 329 

Dravidian Languages ; Tamil, .* Zo^^ZZZ 

Aryan Languages of Northern India ; Sanskrit, . 334, 335 

VOL. VI. d 



The Pr^rits or Ancient Aryan Vernaculars, .... 
The Modern Vernaculars evolved from the Ancient 


Sanskrit, Prdkrit, and Non- Aryan Elements in Modern 


The Seven Modern Vernaculars, 

The Modem Vernaculars ; their Literature and Authors, 
Hindi, its Historical Development and Chief Authors, . 
Marathi, its Historical Development and Chief Authors, 
Bengali, its Historical Development and Chief Authors, 





345* 346 





Vasco da Gama's Expedition (1498), 

Portuguese Voyages and Supremacy in the East ; 

querque and his Successors, .... 
Downfall of the Portuguese; their Possessions in 1881. 
The Dutch in India (1602-1824), 
Their Brilliant Progress, but Short-sighted Policy, . 
Fall of the Dutch Power ; Dutch Relics in India, . 
Early English Adventurers (1496-1596), 
English East India Companies, .... 
Early English Voyages ( 1 60 2- 1 6 1 1 ) , 
Naval Fights with the Portuguese; Swally (161 5), 
Wars with the Dutch ; Massacre of Amboyna, 
Early English Factories ; Surat, Masulipatam, Hiiglf, 
Madras Founded (1639) ; Bombay Ceded (i66i\ 

Calcutta Founded (1686), 

Other European East India Companies, 





362, 363 

363, 364 

364, 365 

365, 366 

366, 367 

367, 368 

368, 369 

369, 370 




First British Territorial Possessions, 378 

French and English Wars in the Karndtik ; Dupleix, Clive, . 378-380 
The English in Bengal (1634- 1 696), 380 


Native Rulers of Bengal (i 707-1 756); the 'Black Hole' 


Battle of Plassey (1757), and its Results, 

Clive, Governor of Bengal (1758); List of Governors and 


Clive's Wars in Oudh, Madras, and Bengal, . 

Massacre of Patna ; First Sepoy Mutiny ; Battle of Baxar, 

The Grant of the Diwdni (1765), .... 

dive's Reorganization of the Company's Service (1766), 

Administration of Warren Hastings (177 2-1 785), , 

Abolition of the Dual System of Administration (1772), 

Hastings' Policy towards Native Powers, 

Rohilli, Mardthit, and Mysore Wars, 

Charges against Hastings ; his poor Excuse, . 

Lord Comwallis (i 786-1 793) ; the Permanent Settlement, 

Second Mysore War, 

Marquis of Wellesley (i 798-1805); his Work in India, 
Treaty with the Nizdm, and Extinction of French Influence, 
Third Mysore War, and Fall of Seringapatam (1799), . 
Second Marathd War (i 802-1805), and Extension of British 


Sir George Barlow (1805) ; the Vellore Sepoy Mutiny, 

Earl of Minto (i 807-181 3); Embassies to Persia and 


Marquis of Hastings (1814-1823), 

The Nepdl, Pinddrf, and last Mardthd War, . 

Lord Amherst (1823-1828), . 

First Burmese War ; Capture of Bhartpur, 

Lord William Bentinck (1828-1835), . 

His Financial Reforms ; Sati and TTiagi suppressed. 

Renewal of Charter ; Mysore protected ; Coorg annexed, 

Lord Metcalfe (1835-1836) ; Liberty of the Press, 

Lord Auckland (i 836-1 842), . . 

The First Afghan War (1839- 1841); its Disastrous Term ina 


Lord Ellenborough (i 842-1 844), . 

The Army of Retribution ; * Gates of Somndth,' 

Sind War, and Gwalior Outbreak, 



380, 381 





392> 393 

395» 396 

396, 397 

397, 398 

399, 400 
401, 402 

403, 404 


404, 405 

405, 406 

406, 408 

408, 409 



Lord Hardinge (i 844-1 848); the First Sikh War, . 410, 411 

Earl of Dalhousie (1848-1856), 411-417 

Second Sikh War, and Annexation of the Punjab, . . . 41 2, 413 

Second Burmese War, and Annexation of Pegu, . . . 413, 414 
Dalhousie's Policy towards Native States; the Doctrine of 

Lapse, 414 

Sdtara; Jhinsf; Nigpur; Berar, 415 

Annexation of Oudh, 415-417 

Lord Dalhousie's Work; Extensions of Territory, . 417 

Earl Canning (1856-1862), . 417-424 

The Mutiny of 1857-1858, 417-422 

Downfall of the Company ; India transferred to the Crown, . 422, 423 

Queen's Proclamation of November I st, 1858, . . . 423,424 

Financial and Legal Reforms, 424 

Lord Elgin (1862); Lord Lawrence (1864- 1869), . . 424,425 

Lord Mayo (1869-1872); Ambdla Darbdr ; Visit of Duke 

of Edinburgh, 425 

Financial Reforms ; Abolition of Inland Customs Lines, . 425 

Lord Northbrook (1872-1876); Visit of Prince of Wales, . 425,426 
Lord Lytton (1876-1880); Proclamation of the Queen as 

Empress, 426, 427 

Famine of 1 87 6-1 8 78; Second Afghan War, . . 426,427 

Marquis of Ripon (i 880-1 884) ; End of the Afghdn War, 427 

Rendition of Mysore ; Legal and Financial Reforms, . . 427-429 
Education Commission; Abolition of Import Duties, 429 

Bengal Tenancy Bill, 429 

Earl of DufTerin (1884), 430 

Annexation of Upper Burma, 430 



Control of India in England, 

Under the Company, and under the Crown, 

The Secretary of State ; the Viceroy, . 

The Executive and Legislative Councils, 

High Courts ; the Law of India, . 

Provincial Administration in different Provinces, 


433, 434 
-434, 435 


' Regulation ' and * Non-Regulation ' Districts, 
The District Officers ; their Duties, 
Districts and Sub-Districts of India, 
The Secretariats, Imperial and Provincial, 

The Land-Tax, 

Ancient Land System under Hindus and Musalmins, 
Land System under the Company ; the Zaminddr^ 
Landed Property in India ; Growth of Private Rights, . 
Rates of Land-Tax ; Government Share of the Crop, 
The Land Settlement ; * Survey and Settlement,' . 

Permanent Settlement of Bengal, 

Land Law of 1859; Rent Commission of 1880, 
Temporary Settlements ; in Orissa ; in Assam, 
Rdyatu'dri Settlement in Madras ; Sir Thomas Munro, . 
Permanent Settlement in Madras ; Sub-Tenures, . 
Extension of Tillage in Madras ; Reduction of Average Land 


Land System of Bombay; the 'Survey' Tenure, 

The Deccan Cultivator; Agriculturists' Relief Acts (1879 and 


Land System of North- Western Provinces and Punjab, . 
Of Oudh and the Central Provinces, .... 

Land Revenue of British India, 

The Salt-Tax ; Systems of Manufacture, 

Excise ; Distilleries and Breweries, .... 

Opium; Gdnjd ; Charas^ 

Municipal Administration ; the Old Pamhdyai, . 
Finance and Taxation of British India, .... 

Obscurities in Indian Accounts, 

Taxation under the Mughals and the British compared, 

Heavy Taxation in Native States, 

Incidence of Taxation in British India, 

Balance-Sheet of British India, 

Analysis of Indian Revenues, 465 

Indian Expenditure ; Army ; Public Debt ; Famine Relief, 
Exchange ; Public Works ; Railways ; Irrigation, . 

Imperial and Municipal Finance, 

The Army of India ; its Constitution, .... 




435, 436 

436, 437 

437, 438 

438, 439 

439, 440 

440, 441 


443. 444 


445i 446 

446, 447 

447, 448 

448, 449 

449, 450 


453, 454 

454, 455 




464, 465 

467, 468 

468, 469 

469, 470 




Police and Jails, 472 

Education, 472-479 

Education in Ancient India; Sanskrit Tois and Village 

Schools, 472, 473 

Early English Efforts; the Calcutta Madrasa and other 

Colleges, 473 

Mission Schools, 473 

State System of Education in India, . . . . 473,474 

Education Commission of 1882-1883, 474 

Education Statistics, 1878 to 1883, 474,475 

Indian Universities, Colleges, and Schools, .... 475-477 
Primary Schools, Girls' Schools, Normal and other Special 

Schools, 477-479 

The Vernacular Press ; Newspapers and Books, . . . 480-481 



Agriculture almost the Sole Occupation of the People, . 
Various Systems of Agriculture ; Irrigation ; Manure, . 
Rice in the different Provinces ; Area ; Out-turn, . 
Wheat; Millets; Pulses; Oil-seeds; Vegetables, . 

Fruits ; Spices ; Palms ; Sugar, 

Cotton Cultivation in different Provinces ; Exports, 

Jute Cultivation and Preparation ; Exports, . 

Indigo Cultivation in various Provinces, 

Exports of Indigo ; System of Planting, 

Opium Cultivation and Manufacture, .... 

Tobacco Cultivation ; Trade and Method of Curing, 

Table of Crop Statistics ; Acreage, .... 

Coffee ; its Introduction into India ; Progress and Growth, 

Tea in India ; its History and Statistics, 

Processes of Tea Cultivation and Manufacture, 

Cinchona Cultivation and Manufacture ; Statistics of, . 

The Company's Silk Factories, 

Silk Area of Bengal ; Silk Statistics, .... 
Jungle Silk; Lac; Lac-dye, 

482, 483 


494» 495 
495> 496 

497, 498 

498, 499 

499, 500 



508, 509 




Model Farms ; the Problem of improved Husbandry, 
The Impediments to better Husbandry, 

Agricultural Stock of India, 

Breeds of Cattle ; Horse-Fairs ; Studs ; Wild Elephants. 

The Forest Department, 

Wanton Destruction of Forests ; Indian Timber Trees, 

Forest Conservancy ; its Results, .... 

Nomadic Tillage ; its Destructiveness, . 

Irrigation ; its Function in India, .... 

Irrigated Area in Sind ; Bombay ; Punjab, . 

In the N.-W. Provinces ; Oudh ; Bengal ; Orissa, . 

In Madras ; Mysore ; Central Provinces, 

Statistics of Cultivation and Irrigation, . 

Famines ; their Causes ; Drought ; Flood ; Blight ; War, 

Necessity for husbanding and utilizing the W^ater-Supply, 

History of previous Famines (1769 to 1876), 

The Famine of 1 8 76-1 87 8; its Area, . . . . 

Remedial Efforts ; Mortality ; Expenditure, . 

Famine, a Weak Check on Population, 






539, 540 

540, 541 
542, 543 




Indian Railway System ; Lord Dalhousie's Trunk 
Lord Mayo's Branch Lines, .... 
The Four Classes of Indian Railways, . 

* Guaranteed ' Railways, .... 

* State Railways,' 

* Assisted ' and * Native State ' Railways, 

Railway Statistics, 

Roads ; Old Military Routes, 

The Grand Trunk Road ; Bombay Inland Route, 
Extension of Roads ; Bridges of Boats, 

Navigable Rivers, 

Navigable Canals ; Malabar Back-waters, etc., 



546, 547 

547, 548 

548, 549 

549, 550 

553, 554 






Ancient, Mediaeval, and Modem Trade of India, . . . 555, 556 
Large Sea-borne Trade impossible under the Mughals, . . 556 

Growth of Trading and Industrial Cities under British Rule, . 556-558 

Rise of Calcutta and Bombay, 557 

Summary of Indian Exports (1700- 1 885), .... 558 

India's Balance of Trade and Yearly Savings, . . 558,559 

Fourfold Division of Modern Indian Trade, .... 559 

The Sea-borne Trade of India, 559, S^o 

Early Portuguese Trade (1500- 1600), 560 

Dutch Monopoly (1600), . 560 

English Factories and Early Trade (i 600-1 700), . . . 560, 561 
Growth of Trade; Quinquennial Table of Foreign Trade, . 561, 562 
Indian Foreign Trade Statistics; Imports and Exports, . . 563-581 
Imports; Cotton Goods; Treasure, . . . 565,566; 568,569 
Exports; Raw Cotton; Jute; Rice; Wheat, . . . 569-572 
Exports; Oil-seeds; Indigo and Dyes ; Tea; Coffee, . . 573-575 
Export of Cotton and Jute Manufactures, . • 575> 576 

Countries with which India trades; England, . . 577 

China; Straits; Ceylon; Mauritius; France; Italy, . . 577,578 

United States ; Australia, 578 

Distribution of Foreign Trade of India, • 579> 5^© 

Effects of the Suez Canal on Indian Trade, . . . . 581 

Sir R. Temple on the Balance of India's Foreign Trade, . 581-583 
Coasting Trade of India ; Shipping Statistics, . . 584-586 

Frontier Trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, . . 586, 587 
The Himdlayan Trade Routes; Nepdl; Tibet, . . . 587, 588 
Trade with Bhutdn and the North-Eastem Frontier, . . 588 

Trade with Independent Burma and Siam, . . • 588, 589 

Tables of Trans-Fronlier Landward Trade, . -589,590 

Internal Trade ; Trading Castes, 591,592 

Local Trade; the Village Money-lender, .... 592 

Religious Fairs ; Village Markets, 593 

Internal Trade a Safeguard against Famine, .... 593, 594 
Statistics of Internal Trade in certain Provinces, . • 594> 595 

Growth of Large Marts ; Local Trading Centres, . . . 595-597 





Manufactures of India ; Art-work, 
Comp>etition with the English Artisan, . 
Native Industries ; Village Crafts, 
Cotton-weaving; its Decline, 
But still a Domestic Industry throughout India, 
Special Fabrics ; Muslins ; Chintzes ; Sdris, . 
Silk-weaving ; Classes of Silk Fabrics, . 

Steam Silk Factories, 

Embroidery ; Kashmir Shawls ; Leather-work, 

Carpets and Rugs ; Processes of Manufacture, 

Goldsmiths and Jewellers' Work ; Precious Stones, 

Iron-work ; Cutlery ; Chain Armour ; Damascening, 

Brass and Copper Work; Bidari Ware, 

Indian Pottery and Sculpture, .... 

Wood-carving; Inlaying; Ivory-car\'ing, 

European Industries ; Steam Cotton Mills, . 

Their Manufactures ; Competition with Manchester, 

Statistics of Bombay Cotton Mills; their Future Prospect: 

Jute Mills ; Manufacture of Gunny, 

Exports of Jute; Indian Consumption; Growth 


Brewing; Paper-making; Leather, etc. 

1, 6io, 




599, 600 

600, 601 

601, 602 

602, 603 

604, 605 

605, 606 

606, 607 

607, 608 

608, 609 

611, 612 
611; 613 

615, 616 

616, 617 



Indian Iron ; Native System of Working, 

Failure of Early English Efforts, . 

Difficulties of Iron-smelting in India, 

Indian Coal ; its Inferior Quality, 

History of Coal mining in Bengal, 

The Four Great Coal Fields ; Future of Indian Coal, 

Salt Manufacture ; the Punjab Salt Range, . 

618, 619 



622, 623 



Saltpetre ; Manufacture and Export of, 
Gold and Gold-raining ; the Waindd Quartz Reefs, 
Copper ; Lead ; Tin ; Antimony ; Cobalt, . 
Petroleum and Mineral Oils, .... 
Stone ; Lime ; Kankar; Marble ; Slate, 
Diamonds ; Camel ians ; Pearl Fisheries, 


623, 624, 

624, 625 

625, 626 

626, 627 

627, 628 

628, 629 



Geology ; the Himalayan Region, 
The Lower Himalayas ; Siwdliks ; Salt Range, 
Indo-Gangetic Plain ; its Geological Age and History, 
Peninsular India ; Vindhyan Rocks, . 
Gondwana, Panchet, Tdlcher, and Ddmodar Series, 

The Rinfganj Coal Seams, 

Deccan Trap ; Laterite, 

Geology of Burma, 

632, 633 
^ZZ, 634 

634, 635 

635. 636 

638, 639 

639, 640 



Meteorological Geography ; the Eastern and Western Hima- 
layas, 641, 642 

Air-currents ; Vapour-bearing Winds, 642 

Punjab Frontier ; Indus Plain ; the Great Indian Desert, . 642, 643 
Gangetic Plain ; Eastern Bengal ; Assam, .... 643, 644 

Central Table-land ; Sitpura Range, 644 

Malwd Plateau ; Aravalli Range, 644 

Southern Plateau ; Anamalai Hills ; Coast Strip, . . . 644, 645 

Ceylon and Burma, 646, 647 

Observatory Stations, 646, 647 

Temperature; Atmospheric Pressure ; Wind; Humidity, etc, 647,648 

Rainfall Returns, 649, 650 

Sun-spot Cycles, 650, 65 1 





Mammals of India ; Lion ; Tiger ; Leopard, 
Wolf ; Fox ; Jackal ; Dog ; Hyena, 
Bear ; Elephant ; Rhinoceros ; Wild Hog, . 
Sheep and Goats ; Antelopes; Nilgai; Deer, 
Bison and Buffalo, ...... 

Ornitholog)* ; Birds of Prey and Game Birds, 
Reptiles ; Loss of Life from Snake-bite ; the * Cobra,* 

Fishes; Insects; Ix)custs, 

Indian Flora in Various Provinces, 


652, 653 
654, 655 







Sources of Health Returns ; their Untrustworthiness, . . 665, 666 

Death-rate in India ; Average Duration of Life, . . 666, 667 

Vital Statistics in different Provinces, 667-675 

Tables of Birth and Death Rates, 676-679 

Health of the European Army ; Causes of Mortality, . 675, 680-682 

Health of the Native Army ; Causes of Mortality, . . 682-684 

Health Statistics of the Jail Population, .... 684, 685 




Appendix I. Area, Towns and Villages, Houses, Population, 

etc., of British India in 1881, . . . 689 
II. Towns and Villages of British India, classified 

according to Population, .... 690 

III. Cultivated, Cultivable, and Uncultivable Area, 
Land Revenue, etc., in Provinces for which 
Returns exist, 691 

IV. Population of British India, classified according 
to Sex and Age, 692 

V. Population of British India, classified according 

to Religion, 693 

VI. Asiatic Non-Indian Population of British India, 

classified according to Birthplace, . . . 694 
VII. Non-Asiatic Population of British India, classified 

according to Birthplace, .... 695 

VIII. List of 149 Towns in British India of which 

the Population exceeds 20,000, . . 696, 697 
IX. Population of British India, classified according 

to Education, 698-702 

X. Population of British India, classified according 

to Caste, Sect, and Nationality, . . . 703 
Index, 705-747 



has the sound of a as in 



has the sound of a as in 



has the vowel sound in 



has the sound of / as in 



has the vowel sound in 



has the sound of ^ as in 



has the sound of <^ as in 



has the sound of u as in 



has the vowel sound in 


Accents have been used as sparingly as possible ; and omitted in such 
words or terminals as /«r, where the Sanskrit family of alphabets takes the 
short vowel instead of the long Persian one. The accents over / and ik have 
often been omitted, to avoid confusing the ordinary English reader, when 
the collocation of letters naturally gives them a long or open sound. No 
attempt has been made by the use of dotted consonants to distinguish 
between the dental and lingual </, or to represent similar refinements of 
Indian pronunciation. 

WTiere the double oo is used for «, or the double ee for /, and whenever 
the above vowel sounds arc departed from, the reason is either that the 
place has obtained a popular fixity of spelling, or that the Government has 
ordered the adoption of some special form. 

I have borne in mind four things — First, that this work is intended for 
the ordinary English reader. Second, that the twenty-six characters of the 
English alphabet cannot possibly be made to represent the fifty letters or 
signs of the Indian alphabets, unless we resort to puzzling un-English devices 
of typogp-aphy, such as dots under the consonants, curves above them, or 
italic letters in the middle of words. Third, that as such devices are 
unsuitable in a work of general reference, some compromise or sacrifice 
of scholarly accuracy to popular convenience becomes inevitable. Fourth, 
that £ compromise to be defensible must be successful, and that the spelling 
of Indian places, while adhering to the Sanskrit vowel sounds, should be 
as little embarrassing as possible to the European eye. 

W. W. H. 







India forms a great irregular triangle, stretching southwards General 
from Mid-Asia into the sea. Its northern base rests upon the ®"'^^"^- 
Himdlayan ranges ; the chief part of its western side is washed 
by the Arabian Sea, and the chief part of its eastern side 
by the Bay of Bengal. It extends from the eighth to the 
thirty-fifth degree of north latitude ; that is to say, from the 
hottest regions of the equator to far within the temperate zone. 
The capital, Calcutta, lies in SSJ" e. long. ; so that when the 
sun sets at six o'clock there, it is just past mid-day in England. 

The length of India from north to south, and its greatest Dimen- 
breadth from east to west, are both about 1900 miles ; but the ^*°'^^- 
triangle tapers with a pear-shaped curve to a point at Cape 
Comorin, its southern extremity. To this compact dominion 
the English have added, under the name of British Burma, the 
strip of country on the eastern shore of the Bay of Bengal 
The whole territory thus described contains close on i J millions 
of square miles, and over 256 millions of inhabitants. India, 
therefore, has an area and a population about equal to the 
area and population of the whole of Europe, less Russia. Its 
people more than double Gibbon's estimate of 1 20 millions for 
all the races and nations which obeyed Imperial Rome. 

This vast Asiatic peninsula has, from a very ancient period, the^ord 
been known to the external world by one form or other of the • India.' 



name which it still bears. The early Indians did not them- 
selves recognise any single designation for their numerous and 
diverse races ; their nearest approach to a common appellation 
for India being Bhdrata-varsha, the land of the Bharatas, a 
noble warrior tribe which came from the north. But this terra, 
although afterwards generalized, applied only to the basins 
of the Indus and the Ganges, and strictly speaking to only a 
part of them. The Indus river formed the first great landmark 
of nature which arrested the march of the peoples of Central 
Asia as they descended upon the plains of the Punjab. That 
mighty river impressed itself on the imagination of the ancient 
world. To the early comers from the high-lying camping 
grounds of inner Asia, it seemed a vast expanse of waters. 
Sanskrit, They called it in Sanskrit by the word which they gave 
Zend, and to the ocean itself, Sindhus (from the root syand^ *to flow') : 
forms. ^ name afterwards applied to the ocean-god (Varuna). The 
term extended itself to the country around the river, and 
in its plural form, Sindhavas^ to the inhabitants thereof. The 
ancient Persians, softening the initial sibilant to an aspirate, 
called it Hendu in the Zend language: the Greeks, again 
softening the initial by omitting the aspirate altogether, derived 
from it their Indikos and Indos, These forms closely corre- 
spond to the ancient Persian word IdhuSy which is used in 
the inscriptions of Darius for the dwellers on the Indus. But 
the native Indian form (Sindhus) was known to the Greeks, as 
is proved by the Sinthos of the Periplus Maris Erj'thraei, and 
by the distinct statement of Pliny, 'Indus incolis Sindus 
appellatus.' Virgil says, * India mittit ebur/ 
Buddhist The eastern nations of Asia, like the western races of 
of "in-tu?* Europe, derived their name for India from the great river of 
the Punjab. The Buddhist pilgrims from China, during the 
first seven centuries of our era, usually travelled landward to 
Hindustdn, skirting round the Himalayas, and entering the 
holy land of their faith by the north-western frontier of India. 
One of the most celebrated of these pious travellers, Hiuen 
Tsiang (629-645 a.d.), states that India 'was anciently called 
Shin-tu, also Hien-tau; but now, according to the right 
pronunciation, it is called In-tu.' This word in Chinese means 
the moon ; and the cradle-land of Buddhism derived its name, 
according to the good pilgrim, from its superior glory in the 
spiritual firmament, sicut /una inter minora sidera. • Though 
there be torches by night and the shining of the stars,' he says, 
*how different from the bright (cool) moon! Just so the 
bright connected light of holy men and sages, guiding the 
world as the shining of the moon, have made this country 


emment, and so it is called In-tii/^ Notwithstanding the 
pious philology^ of the pilgrim, the great nver of the Punjab is, 
of course, the origin of the Chinese name. 

The term Hindustan is derived from the modern Persian 
form (Hind), and properly applies only to the Punjab and the 
central basin of the Ganges, It is reproduced, however, with a 
wider signification in the ritle of the Queen-Empress, Kaisar-i- AW^af-i'- 
///W, the Csesar, Kaiser, Czar, or Sovereign-paramount of India. 

India is shut off from the rest of Asia on the north by a 
vast mountainous region, known in the aggregate as the 
Himalayas* Among their southern ranges lie the Independent 
States of Bhutan and Nepdl : the great table-land of Tibet 
stretches northward behind: the Native Principality of Kashmir 
occupies their western corner. At this north-western angle of 
India (in lat 36** n., long, 75* e,), an allied mountain system 
branches southwards. Its lofty offshoots separate India on the 
west, by the well-marked ranges of the Safed Koh and the Sulai- 
mdn, from Afghinistin ; and by a southern continuation of lower 
hilJs (the Hdlas, etc.) from Baluchistan, The southernmost part 
of the western land frontier of India is the river Hab ; and the 
boundar)' ends with Cape Monze, at the mouth of its estuary, 
in lat 24° 50' N., long. 66* 43' e. Still proceeding southwards, 
India is bounded along the west and south-west by the Arabian 
Sea and Indian Ocean. Turning northwards from its southern 
extremity at Cape Comorin (lat. 8' 4 20" n., long. 77° 35/ 35" e.), 
the Bay of Bengal forms the main part of its eastern boundary. 

But in the north-east, as in the north-west, India has again a 
land frontier. The Himalayan ranges at their north- eastern 
angle (in about lat 28" n,, long. 97"* E-) throw off long spurs 
and chains to the southward. These spurs separate the British 
Provinces of Assam and Eastern Bengal from Independent 
Burma, They are known successively as the Abar, Ndga, 
Patkoi, and Birel ranges. Turning almost due south in lat 
25% they culminate in the Blue Mountain, 7100 feet, in lat 
aa* 37' N., long. 93' 10' e. ; and then stretch southwards under 
the name of the Arakan Yomas, separating British Burma from 
Independent Burma, until they again rise into the great 
mountain of Myin-matin (4700 feet), in 19 J degrees of north 
latitude. Up to this point, the eastern hill frontier runs in 
a southerly direction, and follows, generally speaking, the 
watershed which divides the river systems of Bengal and 

1 Si-yu'kit Buddhist Records of \%t Western World; translated from 
ihc Chinese of Hiaen Tsiang by Samuel BeaL Vol. i. p. 69. Triibncr, 


on the 

and north- 
west ; 

on the 
west ; 

on the 



British Burma (namely, the Brahmaputra, Meghn^ Kuladan, 
etc.) from the Irawadi basin in Independent Burma. But from 
near the base of the Myin-matin Mountain, the British frontier 
stretches almost due east in a geographical line, which divides 
the lower Districts and delta of the Irawadi in British Burma, 
from the middle and upper Districts of that river in Inde- 
pendent Burma. Proceeding south-eastwards from the delta 
of the Irawadi, a confused succession of little explored ranges 
separates the British Province of Tenasserim from the Native 
Tenas- Kingdom of Siam. The boundary line runs down to Point 
serim Victoria at the extremity of Tenasserim (lat. 9" 59' n., long, 
boundary, ^go ^^, ^^^ following the direction of the watershed between 
the rivers of the British territory on the west and of Siam on 
the east. 

Physical The Empire included within these boundaries is rich in 

aspects. varieties of scenery and climate, from the highest mountains 

in the world, to vast river deltas raised only a few inches above 

the level of the sea. It forms a continent rather than a countr)-. 

The three But if we could look down on the whole from a balloon, we 

onnd'ia should find that India consists of three separate and well-defined 

tracts. The first includes the lofty Himalaya Mountains, which 

shut it out from the rest of Asia, and which, although for the 

most part beyond the British frontier, form a most important 

factor in the physical geography of Northern India. The second 

region stretches southwards from the base of the Himdlayas, 

and comprises the plains of the great rivers which issue from 

them. The third region slopes upward again from the southern 

edge of the river plains, and consists of a high three-sided 

table-land, buttressed by the Vindhya Mountains on the north, 

and by the Eastern and Western Ghdts which run down the 

coast on either side of India, till they meet at a point near Cape 

Comorin. The interior three-sided table-land, thus enclosed, 

is dotted with peaks and ranges, broken by river valleys, and 

interspersed by broad level uplands. It comprises the southern 

half of the peninsula. 

First The first of the three regions is the Himalaya Mountains 

TheUima- ^"^ ^^^^*^ offshoots to the Southward. The Himdlayas— literally, 

layas. the 'Abode of Snow,' from the Sanskrit hima^ frost (Latin, 

hiemSy winter), and dlaya^ a house — consist of a system of 

stupendous ranges, the loftiest in the world. They are the 

Emodus or Imaus of the Greek geographers, and extend in the 

shape of a scimitar, with its edge facing southwards, for a 

distance of 1500 miles along the northern frontier of India. 

At the north-eastern angle of that frontier, the Dihang river, 


the connecting link between the Tsan-pu (Sangpu) of Tibet 
and the Brahmaputra of Assam, bursts through the main axis 
M the Hiniilayas. At the opposite or north-western angle, 
Ihe Indus in like manner pierces the Himdlayas^ and turns 
southwards on its course through the Punjab. The Himalayas^ 
like the Kuen-luen chain, the Tian-shan, and the Hindu 
Kush, converge towards the Pamir table-land — that central 
knot whence the great mountain systems of Asia radiate. 
With the Kuen-luen the Himdlayas have a closer connection, 
as these two mighty ranges form respectively the northern and 
southern buttresses of the lofty Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas 
project east and west beyond the Indian frontier. Their total 
length is about 1750 miles, and their breadth from north to 
south from 150 to 250 miles.^ 

Regarded merely as a natural frontier separating India The 
from the Tibetan plateau^ the Himalayas may be described as ^'!'^!^ 
a double mountain wall running nearly east and west» with a \i^^^^^^ 
trough or series of deep valleys beyond. The southernmost Trough 
of the two walls rises steeply from the plains of India to ^^^^^ * 
20,000 feet, or nearly 4 miles, in height. It culminates 
Kanchaxjanga, 28,176 feet, and Mount Everest, 29^002 
et, the latter being the loftiest measured peak in the world. 
This outer or southern wall of the Hioidlayas subsides on the 
northw*ard into a series of dips or uplands, reported to be 
13,000 feet above the level of the sea, beyond which rises 
e second or inner range of Himalayan peaks. The double 
imilayan wall thus formed, then descends into a great 
trough or line of valleys, in which the Sutlej, the Indus, and 
the mighty Tsan-pu (Sangpu) gather their waters. 

The Sutlej and the Indus flow westwards, and pierce through 

the Western Himalayas by separate passes into the Punjab. 

The Tsan-pu, after a long unexplored course eastwards along 

the valley of the same name in Tibet, finds its way through 

the Dihang gorge of the Eastern Himiilayas into Assam, where 

^^il takes its final name of the Brahmaputra. On the north of 

^Hpie river trough, beyond the double Himdlayan wall, rise the 

^TCarakoram and Gangri mountains, which form the immediate 

escarpment of the Tibetan tableland. Behind the Gangris, on 

the north, the lake-studded plateau of Tibet spreads itself out 

at a height averaging 15,000 feet. Broadly speaking, the 

double Himilayan wall rests upon the low-lying plains of 

• Some gcogrnphers hold that the Himal.iyan system stretches in a 
continuous chain westwards along the Oxus to 68* E. long. ; and that only 
an aubitraiy line can be drawn between the Himalayan ranges and the 
elevated regions of Tibet to the north of them* 


' Th 


India, and descends northward into a river trough beyond 
which rises the Tibetan plateau. Vast glaciers, one of which 
is known to be 60 miles in length, slowly move their masses 
of ice downwards to the valleys. The higher ranges between 
India and Tibet are crowned with eternal snow. They rise in 
a region of unbroken silence, like gigantic frosted fortresses 
one above the other, till their white towers are lost in the sky. 
Ilimdlayan This wild region is in many parts impenetrable to man, and 
passes. nowhere yields a passage for a modern army. It should be 
mentioned, however, that the Chinese outposts extend as for 
as a point only 6000 feet above the Gangetic plain, north of 
Khatmandu. Indeed, Chinese armies have seriously threatened 
Khatmandu itself; and Sir David Ochterlony's advance from 
the plains of Bengal to that city in 181 6 is a matter of history. 
Ancient and well-known trade routes exist, by means of which 
merchandise from the Punjab finds its way over heights of 
18,000 feet into Eastern Ttirkistdn and Tibet The Mustagh 
(Snowy Mount), the Karakoram (Black Mount), and the 
Chang-chenmo are among the most famous of these passes. 
Offshoots The Himalayas not only form a double wall along the north 
S*p^? of India, but at both their eastern and western extremities 
layas ; ^^^^ ^^^ ranges to the southwards, which protect India's north- 
on cast ; eastern and north-western frontiers. On the north-east, those 
offshoots, under the name of the Ndgi and Patkoi mountains, 
etc, form a barrier between the civilised British Districts and 
the wild tribes of Upper Burma. The southern continuations 
of these ranges, known as the Yomas, separate British from 
Independent Burma, and are crossed by passes, the most 
historic of which, the An or Aeng, rises to 4517 feet, with 
gradients of 472 feet to the mile. 
and west. On the Opposite or north-western frontier of India, the 
mountainous offshoots run down the entire length of the 
British boundaries from the Himalayas to the sea. As they 
proceed southwards, their best marked ranges are in turn 
known as the Safed Koh, the Suldimin, and the Hila 
mountains. These massive barriers have peaks of great 
height, culminating in the Takht-i-Suldimdn, or Throne of 
The Gate- Solomon, 11,317 feet above the level of the sea. But, as 
TnXu^ already mentioned, the mountain wall is pierced at the comer 
where it strikes southwards from the Himdlayas by an 
opening through which the Indus river flows into India. 
An adjacent opening, the Khaibar Pass (3400 feet above 
sea-level, amid neighbouring heights rising to 6800 feet), with 
the Kuram Pass on the south of it, the Gwalari Pass near 
Dera Ismdil Khdn, the Tdl Pass debouching near Dera 


Ghizi Khdn, and the famous BoMn Pass (5800 feet at top), 

still farther south, furnish the gateways between India and 

Afghinistin. The Hala, Brahui, and Pab mountains form 

the southern hilly offshoots between India and Baluchistdn ; 

but they have a much less elevation than the Safed Koh or 

ihe Suliiman. 

The Himalayas, while thus standing as a rampart and strong Himilayaa 

defence around the northern frontier of India, collect and store ^^^^J'* 

up water for the tropical plains below. Throughout the 

summer, vast quanlilies of water are exhaled from the Indian 
Ocean, This moisture gathers into vapour, and is borne north- 
ward by the monsoon or regular wind, which sets in from the 
$outh in the month of June. The monsoon carries the water- 
laden clouds northwards across India, and thus produces the 
• rainy season/ on which agriculture so critically depends. But 
;e quantities of the moisture do not condense or fall as rain 
in passing over the hot plains. This vast residue is eventually 
dished against the H imal ay as. Their lofty double walls stop 
its farther progress northwards, and it either descends in rain 
m their outer slopes, or is frozen into snow in its attempt to 
cross their inner heights. Very little gets beyond them ; so 
that while the southern spurs of the Himalayas receive the Himalayan 

gest measured rainfall in the world, and pour it down to ^^i^^^^l- 
the Indian rivers, the great plateau of Tibet on the north of 
the double Himdlayan wall gels scarcely any rainfalU 

At Cherra-Punji, where the monsoon first strikes the hills 
m Assam, 489 inches of rain, according to returns for 25 
ending 1881, fall annually. In one year (1S61) as 
many as 805 inches were reported, of which 366 inches fell 
in the single month of July. While, therefore, the yearly 
rainfall in London is about 2 feet, and that of the plains of 
India from i to 6 feet, the rainfall at Cherra-Punji is 40 feet, a 

pth more than is required to float the largest man-of-war ; 
and in one year, 67 feet of water fell from the sky, or sufficient 
to drown a three-storied house. The mighty mountains that 
wall in India on the north form, in fact, a rain-screen which 
catches the vapour-clouds from the Southern Ocean, and 

ndenses them for the hot Bengal plains. The outer slopes 
of the Himalayas swell the Indian rivers by their torrents 
during the rainy season ; their inner ranges and heights store 
up the rainfall in the shape of snow, and thus form a vast 
reservoir for the steady supply of the Indian rivers throughout 
:he year. 

This heav)* rainfall renders the southern slo|>es of the lUtnalayati 
Himalayas very fertile, wherever there is any depth of tilth, scciicr)-. 

^^in A 





" nf 


But, on the other hand, the torrents scour away the surface 
soil, and leave most of the mountain-sides bleak and bare. 
The upper ranges lie under eternal snow; the intermediate 
heights form arid grey masses ; but on the lower slopes, 
plateaux, and valleys, forests spring up, or give place to a rich 
though simple cultivation. The temperature fails about 3 J* F. 
for each thousand feet of elevation ; and the vegetation d 
the Himdlayas is divided into three well-marked zones, tha 
tropical, the temperate, and the arctic, as the traveller ascends 
from the Indian plains. A damp belt of lowland, the 
tardi^ stretches along their foot, and is covered with dense, 
fever-breeding jungle, habitable only by rude tribes and wiki 
beasts. Fertile duns or valleys penetrate their outer margin. 

I limilayan I^ their eastern ranges adjoining the Lieutenant-Governorship 

vegetation, of Bengal, where the rainfall is heaviest, the tree-fern flourishes 
ores s. jjj^j^ jj magnificent vegetation. Their western or Punjao 
ranges are barer. But the rhododendron grows into a forest 
tree, and large tracts of it are to be found throughout the 
whole length of the Himalayas. The deodar rises in stately 
masses. Thickets of bamboos, with their graceful light-green 
foliage, beautify the lower valleys. Higher up, the glistening- 
grey ilex, mountain oaks with brown young leaves, the Himd- 
layan cedar, drooping silver-firs, spruces, pines, and the many- 
hued foliage of the chestnut, walnut, and maple, not to 
mention a hundred trees of a lower growth hung with bridal 
veils of clematis in spring, and festooned with crimson virginia- 
creepers in autumn, form, together with patches of the white 
medlar blossom, a brilliant contrast to the stretches of scarlet 
and pink rhododendron. At harvest-time, crops of millet 
run in red ribands down the hillsides. The branches of the 
trees are themselves clothed in the damper regions with a 
luxuriant growth of mosses, ferns, lovely orchids, and flowering 
creepers. The Himdlayas have enriched English parks and 
hothouses by the deodar y the rhododendron, and the orchid ; 
and a great extension in the cultivation of the deodar and 
rhododendron throughout Britain dates from the Himdlayan 
tour in 1848 of Sir Joseph Hooker, now Director of Kew 
Gardens. The high price of wood on the plains, for railway 
sleepers and building purposes, has caused many of the 
hills to be stripped of their forests, so that the rainfall now 
rushes quickly down their bare slopes, washing away the 
surface soil, and leaving no tilth in which new woods might 
grow up. The Forest Department is endeavouring to repair 

Himalayan ^^^ reckless denudation of the Himdlayan woods. 

cultivation. The hill tribes cultivate barley, oats, and a variety of 



millets and small grains. Vegetables are also raised on a 
large scale. The potato, introduced from England, is a favourite 
crop, and covers many sites formerly under forest* 

The hillman clears his potato ground by burning a ring round Clcanng a 
the stems of the great trees, and then lays out the side of the *^'" ^'^^*^''^' 
mountain into terraces. After a few years the bark and leaves 
drop off the branches, and the forest stands bleached and ry ined. 
Some of the trees rot on the ground, like giants fallen in 
confused flight ; others still remain upright, with white trunks 
and skeleton arms. In the end, the rank green potato crop 
marks the spot where a forest has been slain and buried. 
Several of the ruder hill tribes follow an even more wasteful 
mode of tillage. Destitute of either ploughs or oxen, they 
bum down the jungle, and exhaust the soil by a quick succes- 
ton of crops, raised by the hoe* In a year or two the whole 
settlement moves off to a fresh ]>atch of jungle, which they 
lear and exhaust, and then desert in like manner. 

Rice is only grown in the Himalayas on ground which has ririgaiiou 

n unfailing command of water — particularly in the damp •'^"'* "^'^'' 

lOt valleys between the successive ranges which roll upwards 

into the interior. The hillmen practise an ingenious system 

[of irrigation, according to which the slopes are laid out in 

traces, and the streams arc diverted to a great distance by 

successive parallel channels along the mountain-side. They 

also utilize their water-power for mill purposes. Some of them 

re ignorant of cog-wheels for converting the vertical movement 

if the mill-wheel into the horizontal movement required lor 

e grind ing-stone. They therefore place their mill-wheel 

at instead of upright, and lead the water so as to dash with 

eat force on the horizontal paddles. A horizontal rotary 

movement is thus obtained, and conveyed direct by the axle 

iio the millstone above. 

The chief saleable products of the Himdlayas are timber, HimaTaynn 
charcoal, barley, millets, potatoes, other vegetables, honey, p^o^^tice. 
mglc products, borax, and several kinds of inferior gems. 

I cu: 

itrings of ponies and mules straggle with their burdens along 
the narrow pathways, which are at many places mere ledges 
cut out of the precipice. The hillmen and their hard-working 

ives load themselves also with pine stems and conical baskets 
'of grain. The yak-cow and hardy mountain sheep are the 
favourite beasts of burden in the inner ranges. The little 

ak-cow*, whose bushy tail is manufactured in Europe into lace, 
tiently toils up the steepest gorges with a heavy burden on 

icr back. The sheep, laden with bags of borax, are driven 


to marts on the outer ranges near the plains, where they 
are shorn of their wool, and then return into the interior with 
a load of grain or salt. Hundreds of them, having completed 
their journey from the upper ranges, are sold for slaughter 
at a nominal price of perhaps a shilling a-piece, as they are 
not worth taking back to the inner mountains. 
Himilayan The characteristic animals of the Himilayas include the 
ancTtribes. X^k-cow, musk-deer, several kinds of wild sheep and goat, bear, 
ounce, leopard, and fox ; the eagle, great vultures, pheasants of 
beautiful varieties, partridges, and other birds. Ethnologically, 
the Himdlayas form the meeting-ground of the Aryan and 
Turanian races, which in some parts are curiously mingled, 
although generally distinguishable. The tribes or broken clans 
of non- Aryan origin number over fifty, with languages, customs, 
and religious rites more or less distinct The lifelong labours 
of Mr. Brian Houghton Hodgson, of the Bengal Civil Service, 
have done much to illustrate the flora, fauna, and ethnology 
of the Himilayas; and no sketch of this region would be 
complete without a reference to Mr. Hodgson's work. 

Second The wide plains watered by the Himdlayan rivers form the 

ln^^°^ second of the three regions into which India is divided. 
I'he They extend from the Bay of Bengal on the east, to the 

Rivir™ Afghdn frontier and the Arabian Sea on the west, and contain 
Plains. the richest and most densely-crowded Provinces of the Empire. 
One set of invaders after another have, from pre-historic times, 
entered by the passes on the north-eastern and north-western 
frontiers of India. They followed the courses of the rivers, 
and pushed the earlier comers southwards before them towards 
the sea. About 150 millions of people now live on and around 
these river plains in the Provinces known as the Lieutenant- 
Governorship of Bengal, Assam, the North-Westem Pro- 
vinces, Oudh, the Punjab, Sind, Kijputdna and other Native 
The three The vast level tract which thus covers Northern India is 
systems of ^^i^^^ed by three distinct river systems. One of these river 
N. India, systems takes its rise in the hollow trough beyond the Himi- 
(I) The layas, and issues through their western ranges upon the Punjab 
withthe ^5 ^^ Indus and Sutlej. The second of the three river systems 
Sutlej. also takes its rise beyond the double wall of the Himalayas, 
\^ '^^ not very far from the sources of the Indus and the Sutlej. It 
l^rahma* turns, however, almost due east instead of west, enters India 
putra. at the eastern extremity of the Himdlayas and becomes the 
Brahmaputra of Assam and Eastern Bengal. These rivers 


collect the drainage of the northern slopes of the Himilayas, 
\ and convey it, by long, r tortuous, and opposite routes, into 
India. Indeed, the special feature of the Himalayas is that 
they send down the rainfall from their northern as well as 
from their southern slopes to the Indian plains. Of the 
three great rivers of Northern India, the two longest, namely 
the Indus with its feeder the Sutlej, and the Brahmaputra, 
take their rise in the trough on the north of the great 
Himdlayan wall. That trough receives the drainage of the inner 
or northern escarpment of the Himilayas, together with such 
water-supply as emerges from the outer or southern escarpment 
of the lofty but almost rainless plateau of Tibet. 

The third river system of Northern India receives the drainage (j) Tlie 
of the outer or southern Himalayan slopes, and unites into ^-'f^^e^f* 
the mighty stream of the Ganges, In this way, the rainfall, jumiuL 
alike from the northern and southern slopes of the HimaUiyas, 
and even from the mountain buttresses of the Tibet pbteau 
beyond, pours down upon the plains of India, The long and 
lofty spur of the outer Himalayas, on which stands Simla, tht; 
summer residence of the Government of India, forms the water- 
shed between the river systems of the Indus and Ganges, The 
drainage from the west of this narrow ridge below the Simla 
Church flows into the Arabian Sea ; while that which starts a 
few feet off, down the eastern side, eventually reaches the Bay 
of Bengal 

The Indus (Sanskrit, Sindhus ; 'IfSo^, ^w^m) rises in an The Indus. 
une,vplored region (lat. 32° N., long. 81° E,) on the slopes of 
the sacred Kailds mountain, the Elysium or Siva*s Paradise 
of ancient Sanskrit literature. The Indus has an elevation of 
about 16,000 feet at its source in Tibet ; a drainage basin of 
372,700 square miles; and a total length of over 1800 miles. 
Shortly after it passes within the Kashmir frontier, it drops to 
14,000 feet, and at Leh is only about 11,000 feet above the 
level of the sea. The rapid stream dashes down ravines and 
wild mountain valleys, and is subject to tremendous floods. 
The Indus bursts through the western ranges of the Hima- 
layas by a wonderful gorge near Iskardoh, in North-Western 
Kashmir — a gorge reported to be 14,000 feet in sheer depth. 

Its great feeder, the Sutlej, rises on the southern slopes The Sutlej. 
of the Kailas mountain, also in Tibet. It issues from one of 
the sacred lakes» the Mdnasarowar and Rdvana-hrdda {the 
modem Rdkhas Tal), famous in Hindu mythology, and still the 
resort of the Tibetan shepherds. Starting at an elevation of 
115,200 feet, the Sutlej passes south-west across the plain oi 



course of 

Gug^, where it has cut through a vast accumulation of deposits 
by a gully said to be 4000 feet deep, between precipices of 
alluvial soil. After traversing this plain, the river pierces the 
Himdiayas by a gorge with mountains rising to 20,000 feet 
on either side. The Sutlej is reported to fall from 10,000 feet 
above sea-level at Shipki, a Tibetan frontier outpost, to 3000 
feet at Rimpur, the capital of a Himilayan State about 60 
miles inward from Simla. During this part of its course, 
the Sutlej runs at the bottom of a deep trough, with precipices 
and bare mountains which have been denuded of their forests, 
towering above. Its turbid waters, and their unceasing roar 
as the river dashes over the rapids, have a gloomy and dis- 
quieting effect. Sometimes it grinds to powder the huge pines 
and cedars entrusted to it to float down to the plains. By 
the time it reaches Bildspur, it has dropped to 1000 feet above 
sea-level. After entering British territory, the Sudej receives 
the waters of the Western Punjab, and falls into the Indus 
near Mithankot, after a course of 900 miles. 

A full account of the Indus will be found in the article on 
that river in volume vii. of The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 
About 800 miles of its course are passed among the 
Himalayas before it enters British territory, and it flows 
for about 1000 miles more, south-west, through the British 
Provinces of the Punjab and Sind. In its upper part it is 
fordable in many places during the cold weather; is 
liable to sudden freshets, in one of which Ranjit Singh is said 
to have lost a force, variously stated at from 1200 to 7000 
horsemen, while crossing by a ford. A little way above Attock, 
the Indus receives the Kdbul river, which brings down the waters 
of Northern Afghdnistin. The volume of those waters, as repre- 
sented by the Kibul river, is about equal to the volume of the 
Indus at the point of junction. At Attock, the Indus has 
fallen, during a course of 860 miles, from its elevation of 16,000 
feet at its source in Tibet to under 2000 feet These 2000 
feet supply its fall during the remaining 940 miles of its course. 

The discharge of the Indus, after receiving all its tribu- 
taries, varies from 40,857 to 446,086 cubic feet per second, 
according to the season of the year. The enormous mass of 
water spreads itself over a channel of a quarter of a mile to 
a mile (or at times much more) in breadth. The effect pro- 
duced by the evaporation from this fluvial expanse is so marked 
that, at certain seasons, the thermometer is reported to be 
10° F. lower close to its surface than on the surrounding 
arid plains. The Indus supplies a precious store of water 


for irrigation works at various points along its course, and 
forms the great highway of the Southern Punjab and Sind- 
In its lower course it sends forth distributaries across a widt* 
delta, with Haidardbad (Hyderibdd) in Sind as its ancient 
political capital, and Karachi (Kurrachee) as its modem port. 
The silt which it carries down has helped to form the seaboard 
islands, mud-banks, and shallows, that have cut olf the ancient 
famous emporia around the Gu!f of Cambay from modern 

The Brah^uputra, like the Sutlej, rises near to the sacred The T^an- 
lake of Mdnasarowar. Indeed, the Indus, the Sutlej, and the ^^^hma- 
Brahmaputra may be said to start from the same water-parting, puira. 
The Indus rises on the western slope of the Kailds mountain, 
the Sutlej on its southern, and the Brahmaputra at some dis- 
tance from its eastern base. The Mariam-la and other saddles The Kaildti 
connect the more northern Tibetan mountains, to which the ^'*^*^'^* ^' 
Kailis belongs, with the double Himilayan wall on the south. 
They form an irregular watershed across the trough on the 
north of the double wall of the Himdlayas \ thus, as it were, 
blocking up the western half of the great Central Asian trench. 
The Indus flows down a western valley from this transverse 
watershed; the Sutlej finds a more direct route to India by a 
south-western valley. The Brahmaputra, under its Tibetan 
name of Tsan-pu or Sangpu, has its source in ^T n, lat, and 
83' E. long It flows eastwards down the Tsan j)U valley, 
passing not very far to the south of Lhasa, the capital of Tibet ; 
and probably 800 to 900 miles, or about one-half of its total 
course^ are spent in the hollow trough on the north of the 
Himdlayas. This brief account assumes that the Brahmaputra 
of India is the tme continuation of the Sangpu of Tibet. The 
result of the latest researches into that long mooted question 
are given under article Brahmaputra, in volume iii, of The 
Imperial Gazftietr of India, 

After receiving several tributaries from the confines of the The 
Chinese Empire, the river twists round a lofty eastern range of p,[J^"J.^'„, 
the Himdlayas, and enters British territory under the name of fluents in 
the DiHAKG, near Sadiyd in Assam. It presently receives two Assam, 
confluents, the Dibang river from the northward, and the 
Brahmaputra proper from the east (lat. 27° 20' n., long, 95" 
50' E.). The united stream then takes its well-known appel* 
lation of the Brahmaputra, literally the * Son of Brahma the 
Creator.* It represents a drainage basin of 361,200 square 
miles, and its summer discharge at Godlpdrd in Assam wa& 



putra silt. 


putra in 




for long computed at 146,188 cubic feet of water per second. 
Recent measurements have, however, shown that diis calcula- 
tion is below the truth. Observations made near Dibrugarh 
during the cold weather of 1877-78, returned a mean low-water 
discharge of 116,484 cubic feet per second for the Brahma- 
putra at the upper end of the Assam valley, together with 
16,945 cubic feet per second for its tributary the Subanshu. 
Total cold -weather discharge for the united stream, over 
i33iOOo cubic feet per second near Dibrugarh. Several 
affluents join the Brahmaputra during its course through Assam ; 
and the mean low-water discharge at Goilpdrd, in the lower 
end of the Assam valley, must be in excess of the previous 
computation at 146,188 cubic feet per second. During the 
rains the channel rises 30 or 40 feet above its ordinary level, 
and its flood discharge is estimated at over 500,000 cubic 
feet per second. 

The Brahmaputra rolls down the Assam valley in a vast 
sheet of water, broken by numerous islands, and exhibit- 
ing the operations of alluvion and diluvion on a gigantic 
scale. It is so heavily freighted with silt from the Himalayas, 
that the least impediment placed in its current causes a 
deposit, and may give rise to a wide-spreading, almond-shaped 
mud-bank. Steamers anchoring near the margin for the night 
sometimes find their stems aground next morning on an 
accumulation of silt, caused by their own obstruction to the 
current. Broad divergent channels split off from the parent 
stream, and rejoin it after a long separate existence of uncon- 
trollable meandering. By centuries of alluvial deposit, the 
Brahmaputra has raised its banks and channel in parts of the 
Assam valley to a higher level than the surrounding country. 
Beneath either bank lies a low strip of marshy land, which is 
flooded in the rainy season. Beyond these swamps, the 
ground begins to rise towards the hills that hem in the valley 
of Assam on both sides. 

After a course of 450 miles south-west down the Assam 
valley, the Brahmaputra sweeps round the spurs of the Giro 
Hills due south towards the sea. It here takes the name of 
the Jamund, and for 180 miles rushes across the level plains 
of Eastern Bengal, till it joins the Ganges at Goilanda (lat. 
23* 50° N., long. 89° 46' E.). From this point the deltas of the 
two great river systems of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra 
unite into one. But before reaching the sea, their combined 
streams have yet to receive, by way of the Cachar valley, the 
drainage of the eastern watershed between Bengal and Burma, 



under the name of the Mechna river, itself a broad and 
magnificent sheet of water. 

The Brahmaputra is famous not only for its vast alluvial de- 
posits, but also for the historical changes which have taken place 
in its course. One of the islands (the Majulf char\ which it has 
created in its channel out of the silt torn away from the distant 
Himalayas, covers 441 square miles. Every year, thousands of 
acres of new land are thus formed out of mod and sand; some 
of them destined to be swept away by the inundations of the 
following year ; others to become the homes of an industrious 
peasantry* or the seats of busy river marts* Such formations 
give rise to changes in the bed of the river — changes which 
within a hundred years have completely altered the course of 
the Brahmaputra through Bengal In the last centur>\ the 
stream, on issuing from Assam, bent close round the spurs of 
the Gdro Hills in a south-easterly direction. This old bed of 
the Brahmaputra, the only one recognised by Major Rennel in 
1765-75, has now been deserted* It retains the ancient name 
of the Brahmaputra, but during the hot weather it is tittle more 
than a series of pools. The modern channel, instead of twist* 
ing round the Garo Hills to the east, bursts straight southwards 
towards the sea under the name of the Jamund, and is now 
separated at places by nearly 100 miles of level land from the 
main channel in the last century. A floating log thrown 
up against the bank, a sunk boat, or any smallest obstruc- 
tion, may cause the deposit of a mud island. Every such 
silt-bank gives a more or less new direction to the main 
channel, which in a few years may have eaten its way far 
across the plain, and dug out for itself a new bed at a distance 
of several miles. Unlike the Ganges and the Indus, the 
Brahmaputra is not used for artificial irrigation. But its silt- 
charged overflow annually replenishes the land Indeed, the 
plains of Eastern Bengal watered by the Brahmaputra yield 
unfailing harvests of rice, mustard, oil-seeds, and the exhaust- 
ing jute crop, year after year, without any deterioration. 
The valley of the Brahmaputra in Assam is not less fertile, 
although inhabited by a less industrious race. 

The Brahmaputra is the great high-road of Eastern Bengal 
and Assam. Its tributaries and bifurcations afford innumerable 
waterways, almost superseding roads, and at the same time 
rendering road construction and maintenance very difficult 
The main river is navigable by steamers as high up as 
DiBRUCARH, about 800 miles from the sea; and its broad 
surface is crowded with country craft of all sizes and rigs, from 

putra silt- 

changes in 
its cuurse. 


putra as a 



the dug-out canoe and timber raft to the huge cargo ship, 
with its high bow and carved stem, its bulged-out belly, and 
spreading square-sails. The busy emporium of Sirajganj, on 
the western bank of the Brahmaputra, collects the produce of 
the Districts for transmission to Calcutta. Fifty thousand 
native craft, besides steamers, passed Sirdjganj in 1876. 
Brahma- The downward traffic consists chiefly of tea (to the 
l>uira value of about i^ million sterling), timber, caoutchouc, and 
raw cotton, from Assam; with jute, oil-seeds, tobacco, rice, 
and other grains, from Eastern Bengal. In return for these, 
Calcutta sends northwards by the Brahmaputra, European 
piece-goods, salt, and hardware; while Assam imports from 
the Bengal delta, by the same highway, large quantities of 
rice (amounting to 14,749 tons in 1883-84) for the labourers 
on the tea plantations. The total value of the river-borne trade 
of the Brahmaputra was returned at a little over three millions 
sterling in 1882-83. But it is impossible to ascertain the 
whole produce carried by the innumerable native boats on 
the Brahmaputra. The railway system of India taps the 
Brahmaputra at Goilanda and Dhubri ; while a network of 
channels through the Sundarbans supply a cheaper means of 
water transit for bulky produce across the delta to Calcutta. 


The As the Indus, with its feeder the Sutlej, and the Brahma- 

9^j^setic putra, convey to India the drainage from the northern or 
Tibetan slopes of the Himalayas, so the Ganges, with its 
tributary the Jumna, collects the rainfall from the southern or 
Indian slopes of the mountain wall, and pours it down upon 
the plains of Bengal The Ganges traverses the central part 
of those plains, and occupies a more prominent place in the 
history of Indian civilisation than either the Indus in the 
extreme west, or the Brahmaputra in the extreme east of 
Hindustin. It passes its whole life to the south of the 
Himdlayas, and for thousands of years has formed an over- 
ruling factor in the development of the Indian races. 

The Ganges issues, under the name of the Bhdgfrathi, from 
an ice-cave at the foot of a Himilayan snowbed, 13,800 feet 
above the sea-level (laL 30° 56' 4" n., long. 79° 6' 40" e.). 
After a course of 1557 miles, it falls by a network of estuaries 
into the Bay of Bengal. It represents, with its tributaries, an 
enormous catchment basin, bounded on the north by a section 
of about 700 miles of the Himdlayan ranges, on the south by 
the Vindhya mountains, and embracing 391,100 square miles. 
Before attempting a description of the functions performed by 


the Ganges, it is neccssar>' to form some idea of the mighty 
:tasses of water which it collects and distributes. But so 
tany variable elements affect the discharge of rivers, that 
ilculations of their volume must be taken merely as estimates. 
At the point where it issues from its snowbed, the infant stream The 
only 27 feet brojid and 15 inches decp» with an elevation of ^^'JJ''* 
113,800 feet above sea-level During the first 180 miles of its Ganges, 
course, ii drops to an elevation of 1024 feet At this point, 
lardwar, its lowest discharge, in the dr>' season, is 7000 cubic 
% per seconil. Hitherto the Ganges has been little more 
I a snow-fed HimdLiyan stream. During the next thousand 
[liles of its journey, it collects the drainage of its catchment 
[basin, and reaches Rdjmahal about 1 180 miles from its source. 
lit has here, while still about 400 miles from the sea, a high EHscharpr 
[Dood discharge of 1,800,000 cubic feet of water per second, ^^^^^^^'^K*^** 
^and an ordinar}- discharge of 207,000 cubic feet ; longest 
Idumtion of flood, about forty days. The maximum dis- 
charge of the Mississippi is given at 1,200^000 cubic feel per 
second,^ The maximum discharge of the Nile at Cairo is 
fiirtumed at only 362,200 cubic feet ; and of the Thames at 
Staines at 6600 cubic feet of water per second. The Meghnd» 
j>iie of the many outflosvs of the (ranges, is 20 miles broad 
near its mouth, with a depth, in the dry season, of 30 feel. 
But for a distance of about 200 miles, the sea face of Bengal 
entirely consists of the estuaries of the Ganges, intersected by 
low islands and promontories, formed out of its silt. 

In forming our ideas with regard to the Ganges, we must The 
begin by dismissing from our minds any lurking comparison of J""'"^ 
its gigandc stream with the rivers which svc are familiar with in 
Kngland A single one of its tributaries, the Jumna, has an 
independent existence of S60 miles, with a catchment basin of 
Ii8»ooo square miles, and starts from an elevation at its source 
of 10,849 feet above sea-level. The Ganges and its principal 
tributaries are treated of in The Impcnai Gazetteer of Imiia, in 
separate articles under their respective names. The following 
account confines itself to a brief sketch of the work which these 
Gongctic rivers perform in the plains of Northern India, and 
of Lhe position which they hold in the thoughts of the people. 


Of all great rivers on the surface of the globe, none can Sancihy 
compare in sanctity with the Ganges, or Mother Gangd, as she ^^f^^^J^^ 
is affectionately railed by devout liindus. From her source in 

^ HydratAtk Atatmat^ by Lowis DW. Jackson, Hydraulic Siattstics, 
Tabic n. ; Appendijt, p. 2 (1875). 




of the 

Ci angelic 



the Himdlayas, to her mouth in the Bay of Bengal, her banks 
are holy ground. Each point of junction of a tributary with 
the main stream has its own special claims to sanctity. But 
the tongue of land at Allahabad, where the Ganges unites with 
her great sister river the Jumna, is the true Praydg^ the place 
of pilgrimage whither hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus 
repair to wash away their sins in her sanctifying waters. Many 
of the other holy rivers of India borrow their sanctity from a 
supposed underground connection with the Ganges. This 
fond fable recalls the primitive time when the Aryan race was 
moving southward from the Gangetic plains. It is told not 
only of first-class rivers of Central and Southern India, like 
the Narbadd, but also of many minor streams of local sanctity. 

An ancient legend relates how Gangd, the fair daughter 
of King Himalaya (Himavat) and of his queen the air-nymph 
Menaka, was persuaded, after long supplication, to shed her 
purifying influence upon the sinful earth. The icicle-studded 
cavern from which she issues is the tangled hair of the 
god Siva. Loving legends hallow each part of her course; 
and from the names of her tributaries and of the towns 
along her banks, a whole mythology might be built up. The 
southern offshoots of the Aryan race not only sanctified 
their southern rivers by a fabled connection with the holy 
stream of the north. They also hoped that in the distant 
future, their rivers would attain an equal sanctity by the 
diversion of the Ganges* waters through underground channels. 
Thus, the Brahmans along the Nnrbadd maintain that in this evil 
age of the world (indeed, about the year 1894 A.D.), the sacred 
character of the Ganges will depart from that polluted stream, 
and take refuge by an underground passage in their own river. 

The estuary of the Ganges is not less sacred than her 
source. Sagar Island at her mouth is annually visited by a 
vast concourse of pilgrims, in commemoration of her act of 
saving grace ; when, in order to cleanse the 60,000 damned 
ones of the house of Sagar, she divided herself into a hundred 
channels, thus making sure of reaching their remj^ins, and so 
forming the delta of Bengal. The six years' pilgrimage from 
her source to her mouth and back again, known as pradak- 
shina, is still performed by many \ and a few devotees may 
yet be seen wearily accomplishing the meritorious penance of 
* measuring their length' along certain parts of the route. 
To bathe in the Ganges at the stated festivals washes away 
guilt, and those who have thus purified themselves carry back 
bottles of her water to their kindred in far-ofl" provinces. 



To die and to be cremated on the river bank, and to have 
their ashes borne seaward by her stream, is the last wish of 
millions of Hindus. Even to ejaculate *Ganga, Ganga*' at 
the distance of loo leagues from the river, say her more 
enthusiastic devotees, may atone for the sins committed during 
three previous lives. 

The Ganges has earned the reverence of the people by Work 
centuries of unfailing work done for them. She and her tribu- ^^"*^ hy 
taries are the unwearied water-carriers for the densely-peopled Ganges ; 
{jTovinces of Northern India^ and the peasantry reverence the 
bountiful stream which fertilizes their fields and distributes 
their produce. None of the other rivers of India comes near 
to the Ganges in works of beneficence. The Brahmaputra and 
the Indus have longer streams, as measured by the geographer » 
lit their upper courses lie beyond the great mountain wall in 
Ke unknown recesses of the Himilayas. 

Not one of the rivers of Southern India is navigable in Thewakr- 
be proper sense. The Ganges begins to distribute fertility ^^'^"^^ ^"^^ 
irrigation as soon as she reaches the plains, within yf jjeii^aj. 
200 miles of her source, and at the same time her channel 
econaes in some sort navigable. Thenceforward she rolls 
ajestically down to the sea in a bountiful stream, which 
ever becomes a merely destructive torrent in the rains, and 
ever dwindles away in the hottest summer. Tapped by 
inals, she distributes millions of cubic feet of water every 
3ur in irrigation ; but her diminished volume is promptly 
Bcruited by great tributaries, and the wide area of her catch* 
Bent basin renders her stream inexhaustible in the service 
man. Embankments are in but few places required to 
restrain her inundations, for the alluvial silt which she spills 
over her banks affords in most pans a top-dressing of inex- 
haustible fertility. If one crop be drowned by the floodj the 
peasant comforts himself with the thought that the next 
rop from his silt-manured fields will abundantly requite him. 
he function of the Cianges as a land -maker on a great scale 
will be explained hereafter. 

The Ganges has also played a preeminent part in the The 
commercial development of Northern India. Until the open- tJatiges 
ing of the railway system, 1855 to 1S70, her magnificent i^^g^way 
stream formed almost the sole channel of traffic between ot Bengal- 
Upper India and the seaboard. The products not only of the 
river plains, but even the cotton of the Central Provinces, were 
formeriy brought by this route to Calcutta. Notwithstanding 
revolution caused by the railways, the heavier and more 


bulky staples are still conveyed by the river, and the Ganges 
may yet rank as one of the greatest waterways in the world. 
Traffic The upward and downward trade of the interior with 

on the Calcutta alone, by the Gangetic channels, was valued in 
1 88 1 at over 20 millions sterling. This is exclusive of the 
sea-borne commerce. At Bamanghdta, on one of the canals 
east of Calcutta, 178,627 cargo boats were registered in 
1876-77 ; at Hiigli, a river-side station on a single one of 
the many Gangetic mouths, 124,357 ; and at Patnd, 550 
miles from the mouth of the river, the number of cargo boats 
entered in the register was 61,571. The port of Calcutta is 
itself one of the world's greatest emporia for sea and river 
borne commerce. Its total exports and imports landward and 
seaward amounted in 1881 to about 140 millions sterling. 

Articles of European commerce, such as wheat, indigo, cotton, 
opium, and saltpetre, prefer the railway ; so also do the imports 
X(>t of Manchester piece-goods. But if we take into account the 

jiiminished ^^^^ development in the export trade of oil-seeds, rice, etc, 
railway. Still carried by the river, and the growing interchange of food- 
grains between various parts of the country, it seems probable 
that the actual amount of traffic on the Ganges has increased 
rather than diminished since the opening of the railways. 
At well-chosen points along her course, the iron lines touch 
the banks, and these river-side stations form centres for col- 
lecting and distributing the produce of the surrounding 
country. The Ganges, therefore, is not merely a rival, but a 
feeder, of the railway. Her ancient cities, such as Allahabad, 
Benares, and Patna, have thus been able to preserve their 
former importance ; while fishing villages like Sahibganj and 
Goalanda have been raised into thriving river marts. 
The great For, unlike the Indus and the Brahmaputra, the Ganges is a 
cit^cs*^^'^ river of great historic cities. Calcuita, Patna, and Benares 
are built on her banks ; Agra and Delhi on those of her 
tributary, the Jumna ; and Allahabad on the tongue of land 
where the two sister streams unite. Many millions of human 
Calcutta, beings live by commerce along her margin. Calcutta, with 
its suburbs on both sides of the river, contains a popula- 
tion of over J of a million. It has a municipal revenue of 
;^2 70,000 to ;^2 90,000 ; a sea-borne and coasting commerce 
of about 65 millions sterling, with a landward trade of 75 
millions sterling. These figures vary from year to year, but 
show a steady increase. Calcutta lies on the Hugli, the 
most westerly of the mouths by which the Ganges enters the 
sea. To the eastwards stretches the delta, till it is hemmed 



in on the other side by the Mkghxa, the most easterly of ihe 
mouths of the Ganges ; or ratlier the vast estuary by which 

Pihe combined waters of the Brahmaputra and (iangetic river 
by St ems find their way into the Bay of Bf ngal. 
In order, therefore, to understand the plains of Northern 
India, we must have a clear idea of the part played by the 
great rivers ; for the rivers first create the land, then fertilize 
it, and finally distribyte its produce. The plains of Bengal 
were in many parts upheaved by volcanic forces, or deposited 
in an aqueous era, before the present race of man appeared. 
But in other parts they have been formed out of the silt which the 
rivers bringdown from the mountains ; and at this day we may 
stand by and watch the ancient proce*!is of land-making go on, 
A great Indian river like the Ganges has three distinct 
stages in its career from the Himalayas to the sea. In 
the first stage of its course, it dashes down the Himalayas, 
cutting out for itself deep gullies in the solid rock, ploughing 
ip glens between the mountains, and denuding the hillsides 
their soil. In wading over the Sutlej feeders among the 
Ills in the rainy season, the ankles are sore from the ]>ebbles 
which the stream carries with it ; while even in the hot weather, 
e rushing sand and gravel cause a prickly sensation across 
e feet. 

The second stage in the life of an Indian river begins at the 
int where it emerges from the mountains upon the plains, 
!t then runs peacefully along the valleys, searching out 
f<jr itself the lowest levels. It receives the drainage and 
mud of the country on both sides, absorbs tributaries, and 
rolls fon^^ard with an ever-increasing volume of water and 
silL Every torrent from the Himalayas brings its separate 
contribution of new soil, which it has torn from the rocks or 
I eroded from its banks. This process repeats itself through- 
out more than ten thousand miles ; that is to say, down the 
course of each tributary from the Himalayas or Vindhyas, 
I and across the plains of Northern India. During the second 
k^tage of the life of a Bengal river, therefore, it forms a great 
^^(pen drain, which gradually deepens itself by erosion of its 
r channel As its bed thus sinks lower and lower, it draws off 
I the water from swamps or lakes in the surrounding country. 
Dry land takes the place of fens ; and in this way the physical 
figuration of Northern India has been greatly altered, even 
ce the Greek descriptions 2000 years ago. 
As long as the force of the current is maintained by a 

The part 

the jjrcat 

HTages in 

a river. 

sioge J 




First and 
stages of 
a great 
river, as 
a silt-coI- 

L/)5.S of 

stage of 
an Indian 
river, as 
1 land- 

sufficient fall per mile, the river carries forward the silt thus 
supplied, and adds to it fresh contributions from its banks. 
Each river acquires a character of its own as it advances, a 
character which tells the story of its early life. Thus, the 
Indus is loaded with silt of a brown hue ; the Chendb has a 
reddish tinge ; while the Sutlej is of a paler colour. The exact 
amount of fall required per mile depends upon the specific 
gravity of the silt which it carries. At a comparatively early 
stage, the current drops the heavy particles of rock or sand 
which it has torn from the Himdlayan precipices. But a fall 
of 5 inches per mile suffices to hold in suspension the great 
body of the silt, and to add further accretions in passing 
through alluvial plains. The average fall of the Ganges 
between Benares and the delta-head (about 461 miles) is nearly 
5 inches per mile. In its upper course its average declivity is 
much greater, and suffices to bear along and pulverize the 
heavier spoils torn from the Himilayas. 

By the time the Ganges reaches its delta in Lower Bengal 
(Colgong to Calcutta), its average fall per mile has dropped 
to 4 inches. From Calcutta to the sea the fall varies in 
the numerous distributaries of the parent stream, according to 
the tide, from i to 2 inches. In the delta the current seldom 
suffices to carry the burden of its silt, except during the rains, 
and so deposits it.^ 

In Lower Bengal, therefore, the Ganges enters on the third 
stage of its life. Finding its speed checked by the equal level 
of the plains, and its bed raised by the deposit of its own silt, 
it splits out into channels, like a jet of water suddenly 
obstructed by the finger, or a jar of liquid dashed on the 
ground. Each of the new streams thus created throws out in 
turn its own set of distributaries to right and left. The 
country which their many offshoots enclose and intersect forms 

* The following facts may be useful to observers in Bengal who wish to 
study the most interesting feature of the country in which they live, 
namely the rivers. Ten inches per mile Is considered to be the fall which 
a navigable river should not exceed. The average fall of the Ganges from the 
point where it unites with the Jumna at Allahabad to Benares (139 miles), 
is 6 inches per mile ; from Benares to Colgong (326 miles), 5 inches per mile ; 
from Colgong to the delta-head, where the Bhagirathi strikes off (about 
135 miles), 4 inches per mile ; from the delta-head to Calcutta (about 200 
miles), also 4 inches per mile ; from Calcutta to the sea vid the HugH 
(about 80 miles), i to 2 inches per mile, according to the tide. The fall 
of the Nile from the first Cataract to Cairo (555 miles), is 6 J inches per 
mile ; from Cairo to the sea, it is very much less. The fall of the Missis- 
sippi for the first hundred miles from its mouth, is i '80 inch per mile ; 
for the second hundred miles, 2 inches; for the third hundred, 2*30 



the delta of Bengal The present delta of the Ganges may be The delta 
tnlcen to commence at a [xjint 1231 miles from \i% source,** "^*^ * 
and 326 from the sea by its longest channel At that point 
the head-waters of the Huglf break off, under the name 
i^i the Bhigirathi, from the jiarent channel, and make their 
way south to the sea. I'he main volume of the Ganges pursues 
its course to the south-east, and -a great triangle of land, with 
its southern base on the Bay of Bengal, is thus enclosed. 

Between the H-iigli on the west and the main channel on The 
the east, a succession of offshouEs strike southward from the ^^^IJ^'t*;^. 
Ganges. The network of streams struggle slowly seaward tariti; 

►ver the level delta* Their currents are no longer able, by 
ason of their diminished speed, to carry along the stU or 
sand which the more rapid parent river has brought down 
from Northern India. They accordingly drop their burden of 

h\\ in their channels or along their margins, producing liow ihcy 

ftlmond'shaped islands, and by degrees raising their banks [J^^j^J *^^^ 

and channels above the surrounding plains. When they spill above sttr* 

over in time of flood, the largest amount of silt is deposited ^^^^JJ*^!"^ 

>n their banks, or near them on the inland side. In this way 
not only their beds, but also the lands along their banks, are 
gradually raised. 

SEcnox OF A Deltaic Channel or the Ganges. 


«. The river channel : /► ^ the two bAn1c« raised by ^ucce^iive depmiis of »ilt from ihe 
[ «|>ill-«:atcr ia linte uf flcwtd ; c t, ihe surface of the waier when i\crt id flc-vd ; d d. the low- 
Ityioig »w»xnp4 »trctchiiig away from cither hank, into which Uie river flow* whca it *pslU 
\ptts iu loaks in time of Hood; tt, the dottwl iiiM9 rcptixieat the ordinary level of th« 
If itrcr »urfac«. 

nche'i; for the fourth hundred, 2*57 inches ; and for the whok section 
S55 miles from the mouth to Memphis, the avera-e fall U given as 4I 
[ inches 10 the mile. 

The following tabic, calculated by Mr, David Stevenson {Carml and 
^k>tr Bnginttrht:;, p. 315), shows the si!l-carrying power of rivers at variauA 
velocities : — 

Ches Mile per 

»ecof»d. Haur, 

5 =: 0*170 will just begin to work on fine clay. 

6 = 0*340 will lift hne sand, 
8 = o 4545 will lift sand as coarse as linseed. 

12 = o 6S19 will sweep along fme ^jravd. 
l\ — I 363S will roll along rounded pebbles i inch in dinmeter. 
jt» = 2 045 will sweep along !jlipi>er)* angular stones of the 
bise of an egg. 


Delta The rivers of a delta thus build themselves up, as it were, 

thenTserves ^"^^ high-level canals, which in the rainy season overflow their 
up into banks and leave their silt upon the low country on either side, 
high-level Thousands of square miles in Lower Bengal receive in this way 
each summer a top-dressing of new soil, carried free of cost 
for more than a thousand miles by the river currents from 
Northern India or the still more distant Himalayas— a system of 
natural manuring which yields a constant succession of rich crops. 
Junction At Godlanda, about half-way between the delta-head and 
Hrahma^' the sea, the Ganges unites with the main stream of the 
j)utra, and Brahmaputra, and farther down with the Meghna. Their com- 
.legina. ^j^ed waters exhibit deltaic operations on the most gigantic 
scale. They represent the drainage collected by the two 
vast river systems of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, from 
an aggregate catchment basin of 752,000 square miles on both 
sides of the Himalayas, together with the rainfall poured into 
the Meghna from the eastern Burmese watershed. 
Their The forces thus brought into play defy the control even of 

ddta" modem engineering. As the vast network of rivers creeps 
farther down the delta, they become more and more sluggish, 
and raise their beds still higher above the adjacent flats. Each 
set of channels has a depressed tract or swamp on either side, 
so that the lowest levels in a delta lie about half-way between 
the rivers. The stream constantly overflows into these 
Deltaic depressed tracts, and gradually fills them up with its silt The 
swamps, water which rushes from the river into the swamps has some- 
times the colour of pea-soup, from the quantity of silt which it 
carries. When it has stood a few days in the swamps, and the 
river flood subsides, the water flows back from the swamps into 
the river channel ; but it has dropped all its silt, and is of a 
how filled clear dark-brown hue. The silt remains in the swamp, and by 
up by silt, degrees fills it up, thus slowly creating new land. The muddy 
foliage of the trees which have been submerged bears witness 
to the fresh deposit. As we shall presently see, buried roots 
and decayed stumps are found at great depths ; while nearer 
the top the excavator comes upon the remains of old tanks, 
broken pottery, and other traces of human habitations, which 
within historic times were above the ground, 
hast scene The last scene in the life of an Indian river is a wilderness ' 
o"an^ *^ ^^ forest and swamp at the end of the delta, amid whose 
Indian malarious solitude the network of tidal creeks merges into the 
*^'^*^'' sea. Here all the secrets of land -making stand disclosed. 
The river channels, finally checked by the dead weight of the 
sea, deposit most of their remaining silt, which emerges 



om the estuary as banks or blunted headlands. The ocean 
rrents also find ihemselves impeded by the out flow from the 
ivcrs, and in their turn drop the burden of sand which they 
eep along the coast The two causes combine to build up 
reak waters of mingled sand and mud along the foreshore, 
n this way, while the solid earth gradually grows outward into LamT- 
the sea^ owing to the deposits of river silt ; peninsulas and f^^^ij'"!? 
islands are fonned around the river mouths from the sand estuary, 
dropped by the ocean currents ; and a double process of land- 
making goes on. 

The great Indian rivers, therefore, have not only supplied 
new solid ground by draining off the water Irom neighbourmg 
lakes and marshes in their upper courses, and by depositing 
islands in their beds lower down. They are also constantly 
filling up the low-lying tracts or swamps in their deltas, ^j\A 
are forming banks and capes and masses of low-lying land at 
their mouths. Indeed, they slowly construct their entire 
fleltas by driving back the sea. Lower Egypt was thus ' the Egj'pt, the 
gift of the Nile,' according to her jmests in the age of Hero- [^^g'^Jj^ ^ 
dotus; and the vast Province of Lower Bengal is in the 
strictest scientific sense the gift of the Gan^^es, the Brahma- l^enga], 
putra, and the Meghna. The dehas of these three river Jj*}*^^|^J^*^ 
systems are in modern times united into one, but three Gan^jes/ 
distinct delta-heads are observable. The delta-head of the 
Brahmaputra commences near the bend where the river 
now twists due south round the Garo Hills, 220 miles from 
^^thc sea as the crow flies. The present delta-head of the 
^Hpanges begins at the point where the Bhdgfrathf breaks south- 
^™irard from the main channel, also about 220 miles in a direct 
I line from the sea. The delta of the Meghna, which represents 
the heavy southern rainfall of the Khdsi Hills together with 

Rhe western drainage of the watershed between Bengal and 
independent Burma, commences in Sylhet District. 
The three deltas, instead of each forming a triangle like the Size of the 
jreek a^, unite to make an irregular parallelogram, running '^^"K'^l 
rnland 220 miles from the coast, ivith an average breadth also of 
about 220 miles. This vast alluvial basin of say 50,000 square 
miles was once covered with the sea, and it has been slowly 
filled up to the height of at least 400 feet by the deposits which 
the rivers have brought down. In other words, the united river 
systems of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna have torn 
away from the Himalayas and North-eastern Bengal enough 
earth to build up a lofty island, with an area of 50,000 square 
Ics, and a height of 400 feet. 



Successive Care has been taken not to overstate the work performed by 
sions^of ^^^ Bengal rivers. Borings have been carried down to 48 1 feet at 
the delta. Calcutta, but the auger broke at that depth, and it is impossible 
to say how much farther the alluvial deposits may go. There 
seem to have been successive eras of vegetation, followed by 
repeated depressions of the surface. These successive eras of 
vegetation now form layers of stumps of trees, peat-beds, and 
carbonized wood. Passing below traces of recently submerged 
forests, a well-marked peat -bed is found in excavations 
around Calcutta at a depth varying from 20 to 30 feet ; and 
decayed wood, with pieces of fine coal, such as occur in 
mountain streams, has been met with at a depth of 392 feet. 
Fossilized remains of animal life have been brought up 
from 372 feet below the present surface. The footnote^ 
illustrates the successive layers of the vast and lofty island, 
so to speak, which the rivers have built up — ^an island with 
an area of 50,000 square miles, and 400 feet high from its 
foundation, although at places only a few inches above sea-level. 

Its subter- * * Abstract Report of Proceedings of Committee appointed to superin- 
ranean tend the Borings at Fort-William, December 1835 to April 184a* 'After 
penetrating through the surface soil to a depth of about 10 feet, a stratum 
of stiff blue clay, 15 feet in thickness, was met with. Underlying this 
was a light-coloured sandy clay, which became gradually darker in colour 
from the admixture of vegetable matter, till it passed into a bed of peat, at 
a distance of about 30 feet from the surface. Beds of clay and variegated 
sand, intermixed with kankar, mica, and small pebbles, alternated to a 
depth of 120 feet, when the sand became loose and almost semi-fluid in its 
texture. At 152 feet, the quicksand became darker in colour and coarser 
in grain, intermixed with red water- worn nodules of hyd rated oxide of iron, 
resembling to a certain extent the laterite of South India. At 159 feet, a 
stiff clay with yellow veins occurred, altering at 163 feet remarkably in 
colour and substance, and becoming dark, friable, and apparently con- 
taining much vegetable and ferruginous matter. A fine sand succeeded at 
170 feet, and this gradually became coarser, and mixed with fragments of 
quartz and felspar, to a depth of 180 feet. At 196 feet, clay impregnated 
with iron was passed through ; and at 221 feet sand recurred, containing 
fragments of limestone with nodules of kankar and pieces of quartz and 
ftrlspar ; the same stratum continued to 340 feet ; and at 350 feet a fossil 
bone, conjectured to be the humerus of a dog, was extracted. At 360 feet, 
a piece of supposed tortoiseshell was found, and subsequently several 
pieces of the same substance were obtained. At 372 feet, another fossil 
bone was discovered, but it could not be identified, from its being torn and 
broken by the borer. At 392 feet, a few pieces of fine coal, such as are 
found in the beds of mountain streams, with some fragments of decayed 
wood, were picked out of the sand, and at 400 feet a piece of limestone 
was brought up. From 4cx> to 481 feet, fme sand, like that of the sea- 
shore, intermixed largely with shingle composed of fragments of primary 
rocks, quartz, felzpar, mica, slate, and limestone, prevailed, and in this 
stratum the bore has been terminated. * 



It should be remembered, however, that the rivers have 
been aided in their work by the sand deposited by the 
ocean currents. But, on the other hand, the alluvial deposits 
of the Ganges and Brahmaputra commence far to the north 
of the present delta-head, and have a total area greatly 
exceeding the 50,000 square miles mentioned in a former 
paragraph. The Brahmaputra has covered with thick alluvium 
the valley of Assam ; its confluent, the Meghna» or rather the 
upper waters which ultimately form the Meghnd, have done 
the same fertilizing task for the valleys of Cachar and Sylhet ; 
while the Ganges, with its mighty feeders, has fjrepared for the 
uses of man thousands of square miles of land in the broad 
hollow between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas, far to the 
north' west of its present delta, A large quantity of the finest 
and lightest silt, moreover, is carried out to sea, and discolours 
the Bay of Bengal 150 miles from the shore» The plains of 
Bengal are truly the gift of the great rivers. 

Several attempts have l>een made to estimate the time which 
the Ganges and Brahmaimtra must have required for ac- 
complishing their gigantic task. The borings already cited, 
together with an admirable accoynt by Colonel Baird Smith 
in the Calcutta Jimrnal 0/ Natural Histofj} and the Rev. 
Mr. Everest's calculations, form the chief materials for such an 
estimate. Sir Charles Lyell '^ accepts Mr. Everest's calculation, 
made half a century ago, that the Ganges discharges 6368 
jnillions of cubic feet of silt per annum at Ghdiifpur. 

This w^ould alone suffice to supply 355 millions of tons a year, 
or nearly the weight of 60 rephcas of the Great Pyramid * It is 
scarcely possible/ he says, *lo present any picture to the mind 
which will convey an adequate conception of the mighty scale 
of this operation, so tranquilly and almost insensibly carried 
on by the Ganges.^ About 96 per cent, of the whole deposits 
are brought down during the four months of the rainy season, 
or as much as could be carried by 240,000 ships, each of 1400 
tons burthen. The work thus done in that season may be 
realized if we suppose that a daily succession of fleets, each of 
two thousand great ships, sailed down the river during the four 
months, and that each ship of the daily 2000 vessels deposited 
a freight of 1400 tons of mud every morning into the estuar)\ 

\ty rivtT 



siU nl 

• Vol. i. p. 324- The other authorities, chicRy from the Jounta! of ihc 
Bengal Asbtic Society, are fully quoied in the Cfi^/o^y of India ^ by Messrs. 

f Mcdlicott and Blaiiford, vol. u pp. J96 d jtv/. (Calcutta Government F^e^s, 

* Primtplis 0f Gtotagy^ vol, r. pp. 478 ^/ j<r^, (1875). 



Ksti mated 
silt of 
system at 
the delta. 

by rivers to 
the delta. 



But the Ganges at Ghdzfpur is only a single feeder of the 
mighty mass of waters which have formed the delta of Bengal. 
The Ganges, after leaving Ghazipur, receives many of its 
principal tributaries, such as the Gogra, the Son, the Gandak, 
and the Kusi. It then unites with the Brahmaputra, and 
finally with the Meghna, and the total mass of mud brought 
down by these combined river systems is estimated by Sir 
Charles Lyell to be at least six or seven times as much as that 
discharged by the Ganges alone at Ghdzipur. We have there- 
fore, at the lowest estimate, about 40,000 millions of cubic feet 
of solid matter spread over the delta, or deposited at the river 
mouths, or carried out to s^a, each year; according to Sir 
Charles Lyell, five times as much as is conveyed by the 
Mississippi to its delta and the Gulf of Mexico. The silt borne 
along during the rainy season alone represents the work which 
a daily succession of fleets, each of 13,000 ships apiece, sailing 
down the Ganges during the four rainy months would perform, 
if each ship of the daily 13,000 vessels discharged a freight of 
1400 tons a-piece each morning into the Bay of Bengal This 
vast accumulation of silt takes place every rainy season in the 
delta or around the mouths of the Ganges ; and the process, 
modified by volcanic upheavals and depressions of the delta, 
has been going on during uncounted thousands of years. 

General Strachey took the area of the delta and coast-line 
within influence of the deposits at 65,000 square miles, and 
estimated that the rivers would require 45*3 years to raise it 
by I foot, even by their enormous deposit of 40,000 millions 
of cubic feet of solid earth per annum. The rivers must have 
been at work 13,600 years in building up the delta 300 feet. 
But borings have brought up fluvial deposits from a depth of 
at least 400 feet The present delta forms, moreover, but a 
very small part of the vast alluvial area which the rivers have 
constructed in the great dip between the Himalayas and the 
Vindhyan mountains. The more closely we scrutinize the 
various elements in such estimates, the more vividly do we 
realize ourselves in the presence of an almost immeasurable 
labour carried on during an almost immeasurable past. 

The land which the great Indian rivers thus create, they also 
fertilize. In the lower parts of their course we have seen 
how their overflow affords a natural system of irrigation and 
manuring. In the higher parts, man has to step in, and to 
bring their water by canals to his fields. Some idea of the 
enormous irrigation enterprises of Northern India may be 
obtained in the four articles in T/ie Imperial Gazetteer on the 



and Jumna canals. The Ganges Canal had, in 1885, 

1 of 445 miles, with 3428 miles of distribytartcs ; an 

^irrigated area of 856,035 acres (including both aolumn and 

pring crops); and a revenue of ;^2 79,449, on a total outlay 

2f millions sterling (;;^2j6 7. 53S to 1883). The Lower 

Ganges Canal will bring under irrigation nearly 1^ million 

(including both autumn and spring crops). It has 

Iready (i 88 2-83) a main channel of 556 miles, with 1991 

»iles of distributaries ; an irrigated area of 606,01 7 acres ; and 

clear revenue of ^^ 107,000, or 4*13 i^er cent, on the total 

itlay up to 1883 (jt"2, 589,624). The Eastern Jumna Canal 

a length of 130 miles, with 618 miles of main distribu- 

les. In 1S83, the total distributaries aggregated nearly 

I900 miles, with an irrigated area of 240,233 acres ; and a 

svenue of ^82,665, or 28^4 per cent, on the total outlay to 

'that year (^£^^9^1^39)* '^^^ Western Jumna Canal measures 

433 miles, with an aggregate of 259 miles of distritiuting 

channels, besides jirivate watercourses, irrigating an area of 

374,243 acres ; with a revenue of ^74,606, or 8*4 per cent, on 

a capital outlay to 1883 of ^£^884,952. 'J'he four Ganges and 

Jumna Canals, therefore, already irrigate an aggregate area 

of over two million acres, and will eventually irrigate over 

|three millions. Among many 01 her irrigation enter|>nses in 

lUpper India are the Agra, Bari Doib, Rohilkhand and Bijnor, 

Jetwd, and the Sutlej-Chenab and Indus Inundation Canals. 

The Indian rivers form, moreover, as wc have seen, the great 

highways of the country. They supj)ly cheap transit for the 

IcoUection, distribution, and export of the agricultural staples. 

IWhat the arteries are to the living body, the rivers are to the 

Ifilains of Bengal. But the very potency of their energy some- 

[times causes terrible calamities. Scarcely a year passes without 

Boods, which sweep off cattle and grain stores and the thatched 

cottages, with anxious families [jerched on their roofs. 

In their upper courses, where their water is *:arrled by 
canals to the fields, the rich irrigated lands breed fever, and 
are in places rendered sterile by a saline crust called ;*M. 
^Tarther down, the uncontrollable rivers wriggle across the face 
of the country, deserting their old beds, and searching out new 
channels for themselves, someitmes at a distance of many miles. 
Their oU! banks, clothed with trees and dotted along their 
>ule with villages, run like high ridges through the level 
rice-fields, and mark the deserted course of the river. 

It has beensho^^n how the Brahmaputra deserted its main 
channel of the bst century, and now rushes to the sea by a 

The Rivers 

Tht^ RIveris 
as de- 



of river- 


The hre 

new course, far to the westwards. Such changes are on so 
vast a scale, and the eroding power of the current is so irre- 
sistible, that it is perilous to build large or permanent structures 
on the margin. The ancient sacred stream of the Ganges is 
now a dead river, which ran through the Districts of Hiiglf 
and the 24 Parganas. Its course is marked by a line of tanks 
and muddy pools, with temples, shrines, and burning ghdts 
along high banks overlooking its deserted bed. 

Many decayed or ruined cities attest the alterations in river- 
beds within historic times. In our own days, the Ganges 
passed close under Rdjmahal, and that town, once the Muham- 
madan capital of Bengal, was (1850-55) selected as the spot 
where the railway should tap the river system. The Ganges 
has now turned away in a different direction, and left the town 
high and dry, 7 miles from the bank. In 1787-88, the Tista, 
a great river of Northern Bengal, broke away from its ancient 
bed. The Atrai, or the old channel, by which the Tista 
waters found their way into the Ganges, has dwindled into a petty 
stream, which, in the dry weather, just suffices for boats of 2 
tons burthen ; while the Tista has branched to the eastwards, 
and now pours into the Brahmaputra. In 1870, the Ravi, one of 
the Five Rivers of the Punjab, carried away the famous shrine 
of the Sikhs near Dera Nanak, and still threatens the town. 

If we go back to a more remote period, we find that the 
whole ancient geography of India is obscured by changes in 
the courses of the rivers. Thus, Hastindpur, the Gangetic 
capital of the Pdndavas, in the Mahdbharata, is with difficulty 
identified in a dried-up bed of the Ganges, 57 miles north- 
east of the present Delhi. The once splendid capital of 
Kanauj, which also lay upon the Ganges, now moulders in 
desolation 4 miles away from the modern river-bank. The 
remnant of its inhabitants live for the most part in huts built 
up against the ancient walls. 

A similar fate on a small scale has befallen Kushtia, the 
river terminus of the Eastern Bengal Railway. The channel 
silted up (1860-70), and the terminus had to be removed to 
Godlanda, farther down the river. On the Hugli river ^ a 
succession of emporia and river-capitals have been ruined from 
the same cause, and engineering efforts are required to secure 
the permanence of Calcutta as a great port 

An idea of the forces at work may be derived from a single 
well-known phenomenon of the Hiigli and the Meghni, the 
bore. The tide advances up their broad estuaries until checked 
^ See article lIiGLi River, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 



I dist 

by a rapid contraction of the channel The obstructed influx, 
no longer able to spread itself out, rises into a wall of 
waters from 5 to 30 feet in height, which rushes onwanls at a 
rate nearly double that of a stage-coach. Rennel stated that 
the Hiigli bort ran from Htigli Point to HiigU Town, a 
distancje of about 70 miles, in four hours. The native boatmen 
from the bank (against which their craft would otherwise 
clashed) into the broad mid<hannel when they hear its 
approaching roar. The bore of the Meghnd is so 'terrific 
and dangerous ' that no boat will %^enture down certain of the 
channels at spring- tide* 
The Indian rivers not only desert the cities on their banks, iinmlcts 
t ihey sometimes tear them away. Many a hamlet and ^^^^ ^^**y- 
:e-field and ancient grove of trees is remorselessly eaten up 
each autumn by the curfent. A Bengal proprietor has often 
look on helplessly while his estate is being swept away, or 
inverted into the bed of a broad, deep riven An important 
ch of Indian legislation deals with the proprietary changes 
us caused by alluvion and diluvion. 

The rivers have a tendency to straighten themselves out. River- 
Their course consists of a series of bends, in each of which the windings, 
current sets against one bank, which it undermines \ while it 
leaves still water on the other bank, in which new deposits of 
land take place. By degrees these twists become sharper and 
sharper, until the inten ening land is almost worn away, leaving 
ly a narrow tongue between the bends. The river finally 
rsts through the slender strip of soil, or a canal is cut across 
It by human agency, and direct communication is thus estab- 
lished between points formerly many miles distant by the 
windings of the river. This process of eating away soil from 
the one bank, against which the current sets, and depositing 
sUt in the still water along the other bank, is constantly at 
work. Even in their quiet moods, therefore, the rivers steadily 
steal land from the old owners, and give it to new ones. 

During the rains these forces work with uncontrollable fury. A railway 
e have mentioned that the first terminus of the Eastern Benral terminus 

ailway at Kushtia had been partially deserted by the Ganges, away. 

i Its new terminus at Goalanda has suffered from an opposite 

^Wiut equally disastrous accident Up to 1875, the Goalanda 

^Btation stood upon a massive embankment near the water's 

^Hedge, protected by masonry spurs running out to the river. 

^^About j^J^i 30,000 had been spent upon these protective works, 

and it was hoped that engineering skill had conquered the 

lolence of the Gangetic floods. But in August 1^75, the 





Poetry of 

Crops of 
the river 

The three 
of the 


solid masonry spurs, the railway station, and the magistrate's 
court, were all swept away; and deep water covered their 
site. A new Godlanda terminus had to be erected two miles 
inland from the former river-bank. Higher up the Ganges, 
fluvial changes on so great a scale have been encountered at 
the river-crossing, where the Northern Bengal Railway begins 
and the Eastern Bengal Railway ends, that no costly or per- 
manent terminus has yet been attempted. Throughout the 
long courses of the Ganges and Brahmaputra, the mighty 
currents each autumn undermine and then rend away many 
thousand acres of solid land. They afterwards deposit their 
spoil in their channels farther down, and thus, as has been 
shown, leave high and dry in ruin many an ancient city on 
their banks. 

Their work, however, is on the whole beneficent; and a 
poem of Ossian might be made out of the names which the 
Indian peasant applies to his beloved rivers. Thus, we have 
the Goddess of Flowing Speech (Saraswafi), or, according to 
another derivation, the River of Pools; the Streak of Gold 
{Sm^ama-rekhd) ; the Glancing Waters (Chitra) ; the Dark 
Channel (Kdla-nadt)^ or the Queen of Death (Kdli-nadi) ; the 
Sinless One (Pd/agini = Pdpahini) ; the Arrowy (Sharmfati) ; 
the Golden {Suvarnamati) ; the Stream at which the Deer 
Drinks {Haringhdta) ; the Forest Hope {Bands) ; the Old 
Twister (Burabalang) ; besides more common names, such as 
the All-Destroyer, the Forest King, the Lord of Strength, the 
Silver Waters, and the Flooder. 

Throughout the river plains of Northern India, two harvests, 
and in some Provinces three, are reaped each year. These 
crops are not necessarily taken from the same land ; but in 
most Districts the best situated fields yield two harvests within 
the twelve months. In Lower Bengal, pease, pulses, oil-seeds, 
and green crops of various sorts, are reaped in spring; the 
early rice crops in September ; and the great rice harvest of the 
year in November and December. Before the last has been 
gathered in, it is time to prepare the ground for the spring 
crops, and the husbandman knows no rest except during the 
hot weeks of May, when he is anxiously waiting for the rains. 
Such is the course of agriculture in Lower Bengal. But it 
should always be remembered that rice is the staple crop in a 
limited area of India, and that it forms the everyday food of 
only about 70 millions, or under one-third of the population. 
It has been estimated that, in the absence of irrigation, the rice 
crop requires an annual rainfall of at least 36 inches; and an 


Indian District requires an average fall of not less than 40 to 
60 inches in order to grow rice as its staple crop, A line might 
almost be drawn across Behar, to the north of which rke 
ceases to be the staple food of the people ; its place being 
taken by millets, and in a less degree by wheat There are, 
indeed, rice-growing tracts in well-watered or low-lying Districts 
of Northern India, and in the river valleys or dehas and level 
strips around the southern coast. But speaking generally, 
throughout Nonh^Westem, Central, and Southern India (except 
in the coast strip), rice is consumed only by the richer classes. 

The products of each Province are carefully enumerated in the Scenery of 
separate provmcial articles in The Imptrial Gazetteer af India, ^he river 
and an account of the raost important will be found under 
the heading of Agriculture in the present volume. They are 
here referred to only so far as is necessary to give a general 
idea of the scenery of the river plains. Along the upper and 
middle courses of the Bengal rivers, the country rises gently in North 
from their banks in fertile undulations, dotted with mud Western 
villages and adorned with noble trees. Mango groves scent ^^ 
the air with their blossom in spring, and yield their abundant 
fruit in summer. The spreading banyan, with its colonnades 
of hanging roots ; the stately pipa!^ w\\h its green masses of 
foliage; the wild cotton-tree, glowing while still leafless wth 
heav7 crimson flowers ; the tall, daintily-shaped tauiarind, and 
the quick-growing babul ^ rear their heads above the crop fields. 
As the rivers approach the coast, the palm-trees take possession 
of the scene. The ordinary landscape in the delta is a flat stretch In ihe 
of rice-fields, fringed round with an evergreen border of bam- ^^^^^ 
boos^ cocoa-nuts, date- trees, areca, and other coronet ted palms. 
This densely-peopled tract seems at first sight bare of villages, 
for each hamlet is hidden away amid its own grove of plantains 
and wealth-giving trees. The bamboo and cocoa-nut play a 
conspicuous part in the industrial life of the people ; and 
the numerous products derived from them, including rope, 
oil, food, fodder, fuel, and timber, have been dwelt on with 
admiration by many writers. 

The crops also change as we sail down the rivers. In the Crops o* 
north, the principal grains are wheat, barley, Indian corn, ^^^\ 
and a variety of millets, such as jodr (Sorghum vulgare) and Bengal ; 
bdjru (Pennisetum typhoideum). In the delta, on the other of the 
hand, rice Is the staple crop, and the universal diet In a ^^"^^^ 
single District, Rangpur, there are 295 separate kinds of rice 
known to the peasant,^ who has learned to grow his favourite 
* StatistuAt Accoimt 0/ Btngat, vol. vii. pp. 234-237. 





fibres, oil- 
seeds, etc. 


crop in every locality, from the comparatively dry ground, which 
yields the dman han^est, to the swamps 1 2 feet deep, on the 
surface of whose waters the rice ears may be seen struggling 
upwards for air. Sugar-cane, oil-seeds, flax, roustartl, sesamum, 
palma-christi, cotton, tobacco, indigo, saffiower and other dyes, 
ginger, coriander, red pepper, capsicum, cummin, and precious 
spices, are grown both in the Upper Provinces, and in the 
moister valleys and delta of Lower Bengal. 

A whole pharmacopceia of medicines, from the wellknown 
aloe and castor- oil, to obscure but valuable febrifuges, 
is derived from shrubs, herbs, and roots. Resins, gums» 
varnishes, india-rubber, perfome-oils, and a hundred articles of 
commerce or luxur)% are obtained from the fields and the 
forests. Vege tables ^ both indigenous and imported from 
Europe, largely enter into the food of the people. The melon 
and huge yellow pumpkin spread themselves over the thatched 
roofs j fields of potato, brinjal^ and yams are attached to the 
homesteads. The tea-plant is reared on the hilly ranges which 
sikirt the plains both in the North- West and in Assam ; the 
opium poppy about half-way down the Ganges, around Benares 
and in Behar: the silkworm mulberry still farther down in 
Lower Bengal ; while the jute fibre is essentially a crop of the 
delta, and would exhaust any soil not fertilized by river floods. 
Even the jungles yield the costly lac and the tasar silk cocoons. 
The mahudy also a gift of the jungle, produces the fleshy 
flowers which form a staple article of food in many district^ 
and when distilled supply a cheap spirit The sdl, sissu^ 
inn, and many other indigenous trees yield excellent timben 
Flowering creepers, of gigantic size and gorgeous colours, 
festoon the jungle; while each tank bears its own beautiful crop 
of the lotus and water-liiy. Nearly every vegetable product 
which feeds and clothes a people, or enables it to trade with 
foreign countries, abounds. 

Third Having described the leading features of the Himalayas on 

^^a— ^^^ north, and of the great river plains at their base, we come 

The now to the third division of India, namely, the three-sided 

SoiiilieTn table-land which covers the southern half or more strictly 

penmsular portion of India, This tract, known m ancient 

times as the Deccan (Dakshin), literally The South, comprised, 

in its widest application, the Central Provinces, Berar, 

Madras, Bombay, Mysore, w^ith the Native Territories of the 

Nizam, Sindhta, Holkar, and other Feudatory chiefs. It had 

in 1 88 1 an aggregate population of about 100 millions. For 





sake of easy remembrance, therefore, we may take the in- 
bitants of the river plains in the north at about 150 millions, 
d the inhabitants of the soiithern table-land at 100 millions. 
The Deccan, in its local acceptation, is restricted to the 
high inland tract between the Narbada (Nerbudda) and the 
Kistna rivers ; but the term is also loosely used to include the 
whole countT)* south of the Vindhyas as far as Cape Comorin. 
Taken in this wide sense, it slopes up from the southern edge 
of the Gangetic plains. Three ranges of hills support its 
lorthern, its eastern, and its western side, the two latter 
eeting at a sharp angle near Cape Comorin. 
The northern side is buttressed by confused ranges, with a 
general direction of east to west, popularly known in the 
aggregate as the Vindhya mountains. The Vindhyas, bow- 
er, are made up of several distinct hill systems. Two sacred 
ks stand as out|x)Sts in the extreme east and west, with a 
iccesston rather than a series of ranges stretching 800 miles 
tween. At the western extremity, Mount Abu, famous for 
exquisite Jain temples, rises, as a solitary outlier of the 
.valli hills, 5653 feet above the Rdjputana plains, like an 
land out of the sea. Beyond the southern limits of that 
in, the Vindhya range of modern geography runs almost 
be cast from Gujardt, forming the northern wall of the Nar- 
valley. The Satpura mountains stretch, also east and 
»t, to the south of the Narbadd river, and form the 
tershed between it and the Tapli. Towards the heart of 
dia, the eastern extremities of the Vindhyas and Sdtpuras 
id in the highlands of the Central Provinces. Passing 
U east, the hill system finds a continuation in the Kairaur 
range and its congeners. These in their turn end in the 
outlying peaks and spurs that mark the western boundary 
of Lower Bengal, and abut on the old course of the Ganges 
under the name of the Rajmahdl hills. On the extreme east, 
(fount Parasndth — like Mount Abu on the extreme west, 
icred to Jain rites— rises to 4479 feel above the Gangetic plain. 
The various ranges of the Vindhyas^ from 1500 to over 
4000 feet high, form, as it were, the northern wall and but- 
tresses which support the central table-land. But in this 
nse the Vindhyas must be taken as a loose convenient 
neralization for the congeries of mountains and table-lands 
tween the Gangetic plains and the Narbada valley. Now 
erced by road and railway, they stood in former times as a 
rrier of mounuin and jungle between Northern and Southern 
[ndia, and formed one of the main difficulties in welding the 

Deccan ; 

lis thrtc 
sup port in'^' 


tains ; 

ranges ; 















The up- 

The c*n- 
tial triaii- 


from ihc 
coast ; I he 

whole into an empire. They consist of vast masses of forests, 
ridges, and peaks, broken by cultivated tracts of the rich 
cotton-bearing black soil, exquisite river valleys, and high-lying 
grassy plains. 

The other two sides of the elevated southern triangle are 
known as the Eastern and Western Ghats, These ranges 
start southwards from the eastern and western extremities of 
the Vindhyas, and run along the eastern and western coasts 
of India. The Eastern Ghdts stretch in fragmentar)' spurs 
and ridges down the Madras Presidency, receding inland and 
leaving broad level tracts between their base and the coast 
The Western Chits form the great sea wall of the Bombay 
Presidency, with a comparatively narrow strip between them 
and the shore. Some of them rise in magnificent precipices 
and headlands out of the ocean, and truly look like colossal 
* landing-stairs * {gMts) from the sea. The Eastern or Madras 
Ghats recede upwards to an average elevation of 1500 feet. 
The Western or Bombay Ghdts ascend more abruptly from the 
sea to an average height of about 3000 feet^ with peaks up to 
4700, along the coast ; rising to 7000 feet and even 8760 feet 
in the upheaved angle where they unite with the Eastern 
Ghats, towards their southern extremity. 

The inner triangular plateau thus enclosed lies from 1000 to 
3000 feet above the level of the sea. But it is dotted w4th 
peaks and seamed with ranges exceeding 4000 feet in height. 
Its best known hills are the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains), with the 
summer capital of Madras, Utakamand, over 7000 feet above 
ihe sea. Their highest point is Dodabetta peak, 8760 feet, 
in the upheaved southern angle. The interior plateau is 
approached by several famous passes from the level coast*slrip 
on the western side. The Bhor-Ghat, for example, ascends a 
tremendous ravine about 40 miles south-east of Bombay city, 
to a height of 2027 feet. In ancient times it was regarded as 
the key to the Deccan, and could be held by a small band 
against any army attempting to penetrate from the coast A 
celebrated military road was constructed by the British up 
this pass, and practically gave the command of the interior to 
ihe then rising port of Bombay. A railway line has now been 
carried up the gorge, twisting round the shoulders of moun- 
tains, tunnelling through intervening crags, and clinging along 
narrow ledges to the face of the precipice. At one point the 
zigzag is so sharp as to render a circuitous turn impossible, 
and the trains have to stop and reverse their direction on a 
levelled terrace. The Thall Ghat (191 2 feet), to the north- 




east of Bombay, has in like manner been scaled both by road and tlic 

d railway. Another celebrated pass, farther down the coast, qJJ^|' 
connects the militar>^ centre of Belgdum with the little port of 

These * landing-stairs ' from the sea to the interior present 
scenes of rugged grandeur. The trap rocks stand out, after 
ages of denudation, like circular fortresses flanked by round i nil foris. 
towers and crowned with nature's citadels, from the mass of 
ills behind J natural fastnesses, which in the Mardtha times 
were rendered impregnable by military art In the south of 
Bombay, the passes climb up from the sea through thick 
forests, the haunt of the tiger and the mighty bison. Still 
farther dovm the coast, the western mountain wall dips d^ep 
into the Palghdt valley — a remarkable gap, 20 miles broad, xi^e y^^]. 
and leading by an easy route, only 1000 feet in height, from gl^ii Pass* 
the seaboard to the interior. A third railway and military 
road penetrate by this passage from Beypur, and cross the 

ninsula to Madras. A fourth railway starts inland from the 
'coast at the Portuguese Settlement of Goa, 

On the eastern side of India, the Ghdts form a series of The rivers 
spurs and buttresses for the elevated inner plateau rather ?*^ ^'^*^ 
than a continuous mountain wall. They are traversed by apbieau; 
number of broad and easy passages from the Madras coast. 
Through these openings, the rainfall of the southern half 
of the inner plateau reaches the sea. The drainage from the 
northern or Vindhyan edge of the three-sided table-land falls 
into the Ganges. The Narbadi (Nerbudda) and Tapti carry 
the rainfall of the southern slopes of the Vindhyas and of 
the Satpura Hilis, by two almost parallel lines, into the Gulf of 
Cam bay. But from Surat, in lat. si'* 28', to Cape Comorin, in 
laL 8° 4', no great river succeeds in piercing the Western Ghits, no exit 
or in reaching the Bombay coast from the interior table-land. ^\^^' 

The \Vestem Ghits form, in fact, a lofty unbroken barrier 
etween the waters of the central plateau and the Indian 
Ocean, The drainage has therefore to make its way across its drain- 
India to the eastwards, now foaming and twisting sharply ^^^d^' 
round projecting ranges, then tumbling down ravines, 
roaring through rapids, or rushing along valleys, until the 

n which the Bombay sea-breeze has dropped on the 
ridges of the Western Ghats finally falls into the Bay of 
Bengal In this way, the three great rivers of the Madras 
Presidency, viz. the Godavari, the Kistna (Krishna), and 
the Kaveri (Cauvery), rise in the mountains overhanging the 
Bombay coast, and traverse the whole breadth of the central 


table-land before they reach the sea on the eastern shores of 

HUtorical ihe physical geography and the poh'tical destiny of the two 
cancc of Sides of the Indian peninsula have been determined by the 
theEastern characteristics of the mountain ranges on either coast On the 
em GhSs* ^^^^ *^^ Madras country is comparatively open, and was always 
accessible to the spread of civilisation. On the east, therefore, 
the ancient dynasties of Southern India fixed their capitals* 
Along the west, only a narrow strip of lowland intervenes 
between the barrier range and the Bombay seaboard. This 
western tract long remained apart from the civilisation of 
the eastern coast To our own day, one of its ruling races, 
the Nairs, retain land tenures and social customs, such as poly- 
andry, which mark a much ruder stage of human advancement 
than Hinduism, and which in other parts of India only linger 
among isolated hill tribes. On the other hand, the people 
and of the of this western or Bombay coast enjoy a bountiful rainfall* 
rAmfall. unknown in the inner plateau and the east The monsoon 
dashes its rain-laden clouds against the Western Ghdts, and 
pours from loo to 200 inches of rain upon their maritime 
slopes from Khdndesh down to Malabin By the time the 
monsoon has crossed the Western Ghdts, it has dropped the 
greater part of its aqueous burden ; and central Districts, such 
as Bangalore, obtain only about 35 inches. The eastern coast 
also receives a monsoon of its o\i.ti ; but, except in the neigh- 
liourhood of the sea, the rainfall throughout the Madras 
Presidency is scanty, seldom exceeding 40 inches in the yean 
The deltas of the three great rivers along the Madras coast 
form, however, tracts of inexhaustible fertility ; and much is 
done by irrigation to husband and utilize both the local 
rainfall and the accumulated waters which the rivers bring 
The Four The ancient Sanskrit poets speak of Southern India as 
Forest buried under forests. But much of the forest land has 
Southern gradually been denuded by the axe of the cultivator, or in 
India. consequence of the deterioration produced by unchecked fires 
and the grazing of innumerable herds of cattle, sheep, and 
goats. Roughly speaking, Southern India consists of four 
forest regions — First, the Western Ghdts and the plains of the 
Konkan, Malabir, and Travancore between them and the sea ; 
second, the Kamitik, with the Eastern Ghdts, occupying the 
lands along the Coromandel coast and the outer slopes of 
the hill ranges behind them ; third, the Deccan, comprising 
the high plateaux of Haidardbdd, the Ceded Districts, Mysore, 

Coimbatore, and Salem ; fourth, the forests of the Northern 
Circars in the Madras Presidency. 

Each of these Districts has its own peculiar vegetation. Forests of 
That of the first region, or Western Ghats, largely consists of ^^^ 
virgin forests of huge trees, with an infinite variety of smaller 
shrubs, epiphytic and parasitic plants, and lianas or tangled 
pers which bind together even the giants of the forest. 

le king of these forests is the teak (Tectona grandis, 
Linn.). This prince of timber is now found in the greatest 
bundance in the forests of Kanara, in the Wynad, and in 
:he Anaraalai Hills of Coimbatore and Cochin, The fiin 
tree (Calophyllum inophyllum, Linn,) is more especially found 
in the southernmost forests of Travancore and Tinnevelli, where 

U straight stems, fit for the spars and masts of seagoing ships, 

e procured. The jack fruit (Artocarpus integrifolia, Linn.) 
and its more common relation the aini (Artocarpus hirsuta, 
Lam,), furnish a pretty yellow-coloured timber; the blackwood 
(Dalbergia latifolia, J^oxk) yields huge logs excellent for carved 
furniture. The Terrainalias (T. tomentosa and T paniculata, 
#K anJ A,) with the benteak ( Lagers trcemia microcarpa, Wight,) 

pply strong wood suitable for the well-built houses of the 

osperous population of Malabar and Travancore. The 

dammer tree or Indian copal (Materia indica, Linn,) yields its 

useful resin. The ground vegetation supplies one of the most 

uable of Indian exports, the cardamom* To enumerate all 

e important trees and products of the Western Ghdts would, 
lowever, be impossible. 

In the Kamdtik region, the forests rarely consist of large Forests of 
timber, in consequence of the drier climate and the shorter J?^,^"" . 
monsoon rains. Nor are they of a wide area. Most of the Katnatik. 
forests consist of what is known as * Evergreen Scrub,' in which 
the prominent trees are the Eugenia jambolana, Z<j/w.,Mimusops 
indica, JJnn,^ and the strychnine (Strychnos nux-vomica, Unn,)* 
On the slopes of the hills deciduous forest appears with teak, 
Terminalias, Anogeissus, and occasional red sanders. 

The Deccan region, which gets a share of both monsoons Forests 
(namely the monsoon from the south-west from June to Sep-^^*^*^ 
lember, and that from the north-east from September to 
January), has still some large areas covered with fine forest, 
and yielding good timber. Chief among these areas are the 
Nallamalai Hills of Karnul, the Palkonda Hills of Cuddapah, 
the Collegal Hills of Coimbatore, and the Shevaroy and 
Javadi ranges of Salem and North Arcot In the Nallamalai 
Hills, bijasdi (Pterocarpus Marsupium, Eaxk) and sdj (Ter- 







minalia tomentosa, W, and A,) are the prevailing timbers ; the 

valuable red sanders-wood {Pterocarpus sanlalinus, Unn.) has 
its home in the Palkonda and adjoining ranges of Cuddapah, 
while the growth on the hills of Coimbatore includes the 
precious sandal-wood (Santalum album, Linn,). In the drier 
country of Bellary and Penukonda, the chief tree is the 
anjan (Hardwickia binata, Roxk)^ furnishing the hardest and 
heaviest of Indian woods. 
Forests of The fourth forest region is that of the Northern Circars. 
Mad**^"* It stretches from the Kistna river up to the Chilka lake, and 
includes fine forests of almost untouched sdi (Shorea robusta, 
Gatrt)^ the iron-wood (Xylia d olabriform is, ^^;y ///.), the satin- 
wood {Chloroxylon Swietenia, /?, C), and many other timbers 
of value. 
Scenery of In wild tropical beauty nothing can surpass the luxuriance 
southern of an untouched Coorg forest, as viewed from one of the peaks 
country-, of the Western Ghits* A waving descent of green, broken into 
terraces of varying heights, slopes downward on every side. 
North and south run parallel ranges of mountains, wooded 
almost to the summit j while to the ivest, thousands of feet 
below, the view is bounded by the blue line of the Arabian 
Sea, W'ild animals of many kinds breed in the jungle, and 
haunt the grassy glades. The elephant, the tiger, and the 
leopard, the mighty bison, the stately sdmhhar deer, and the 
jungle sheep, with a variety of smaller game, afford adventure 
to the sportsman. During the rains magnificent cataracts dash 
over the precipices. The Gersappa falls, in the Western 
Ghdts, have a descent of S30 feet. 
Crops of In the valleys, and upon the elevated plains of the central 
Southern pjateau, tillage is driving back the jungle to the hilly recesses, 
and fields of wheat and many kinds of smaller grain or 
millets, tobacco, cotton, sugar-cane, and pulses, spread over 
the open country. The black soil of Southern India, formed 
from the detritus of the trap mountains, is proverbial for its 
fertility ; while the level strip between the Western Ghats and 
the sea rivals even Lower Bengal in its fruit-bearing palms, 
rice harvests, and rich succession of crops. The deltas of the 
rivers which issue from the Eastern Ghats are celebrated as 
rice-bearing tracts. But the interior of the table-land is liable to 
droughts. The cultivators here contend against the calamities 
of nature by varied systems of irrigation— by means of which 
they store the rain brought during a few months by the monsoon, 
and husband it for use throughoul the whole year. Great tanks 
or lakes, formed by damming up the valleys, are a striking 



feature of Southern India. The food of the common people 
consists chiefly of small grains, such as/t^tir, hyra^ and rdgi. The 
great export is cotton, with wheat from the northern Districts 
of the table-land. The pepper trade of Malabir dales from 
far beyond the age of Sindbad the Sailor, and reaches back 
to Roman times. Cardamoms, spices of various sorts, dyes, 
and many medicinal drugs, are also grown. 

It is on the interior table-land, and among the hilly spars Minerals ; 
which project from it, that the mineral wealth of India 
lies hid. Coal-mining now forms a great industry on the Coal, 
north-eastern side of the table-land, in Bengal ; and also in \^^^" 
the Central Pro%inces. Beds of iron-ore and limestone have 
been worked in several places, and hold out a possibility of a 
new era of enterprise to India in the future. Many districts 
are rich in building stone, marble, and the easily - worked 
laterite- Copper and other metals exist in small quantities. 
Golconda was long famous as the central mart for the produce 
of the diamond districts, which now yield little more than a 
bare living to the workers. Gold dust has from very ancient 
times been washed out of the river-beds ; and quartz-crushing 
for gold is being attempted on scientific principles in Madras 
and Mysore. 

We have now briefly surveyed the three regions of India. Rccapitu- 
The first, or the Himdlayanj lies for the most part beyond the the^rhrec 
British frontier; but a knowledge of it supplies the key to Regions of 
the climatic and social conditions of India, The second ^"^^ '^• 
region, or the Kiver Plains in the north, formed the theatre 
of the ancient race movements which shaped the civilisation 
and political destinies of the whole Indian peninsula. The 
third region, or the Triangular Table-land in the south, has a 
character quite distinct from either of the other two divisions, 
and a population which is now working out a separate develop- 
ment of its own. Broadly speaking, the Himilayas are Their 
peopled by Turanian tribes, although to a large extent ruled J^^^ ^"* 
by Aryan immigrants. The great River Plains of Bengal are g\iagcs. 
still the possession of the Indo-Aryan race. The Triangular 
Table-land has formed an arena for a long struggle between 
the Arj'an civilisation from the north, and what is known as 
the Dravidian stock in the south. 

To this vast Empire the English have added British British 
Burma, consisting of the lower valley of the Irawadi (Irra- l^u^tii^ 
waddy) with its delta, and a long flat strip stretching down the 



Its valleys 
;ind moun- 
tains ; 

Its pro- 


tion of 

eastern side of the Bay of Bengal Between the narrow 
maritime tract and the Irawadi valley runs a backbone of lofty 
ranges. These ranges, known as the Yoma (Roma) mountains, 
are covered with dense forests, and separate the Iraw^adi 
valley from the strip of coast The Yoma ranges have 
peaks exceeding 4000 feet, and culminate in the Blue 
Mountain, 7100 feeL They are crossed by passes, one of 
which, the An or Aeng, rises 10 45 1 7 feet above the sea-level, 
A thousand creeks indent the seaboard ; and the whole of the 
level country, both on the coast and in the Irawadi valley, 
forms one vast rice-field. The rivers float down an abundant 
supply of teak and bamboos from the north. Tobacco, of 
an excellent quality, supplies the cigars which all Burmese 
(men, women, and children) smoke, and affords an industrial 
])roduct of increasing value, Arakan and Pegu, or the 
Provinces of the coast strip, and also the Irawadi valley, 
contain mineral oil-springs. Tenasserim forms a long narrow 
maritime Province, running southward from the mouths of the 
Irawadi to Point Victoria, where the British territory adjoins 
Siam* Tenasserim is rich in tin mines, and contains iron-ores 
equal to the finest Swedish ; besides gold and copper in 
smaller quantities, and a very pure limestone. Rice and 
timber form the staple exports of Burma ; and rice is also 
the universal food of the people, British Burma, including 
Tenasserim, has an area of over 87,000 square miles; and a 
population, in 1881, of 3 j million persons. It is fortunate in 
still possessing wide areas of yet uncultivated land to meet the 
wants of its rapidly increasing people.^ 

Since these sheets went to press, the persistent misconduct 
of King Thebau in Upper Burma, his obstinate denial of 
justice, and his frustration of Lord Dufferin*s earnest endea- 
vours to arrive at a conciliatory settlement, compelled the 
British Government to send an expedition against him. A 
force under General Prendergast advanced up the Irawadi 
valley with little opposition, and occupied Mandalay. King 
Thebau surrendered, and was removed to honourable confine- 
ment in British India, His territories were annexed to the 
British Empire, by Lord Bufferings Proclamation, on the ist of 
January 1886. 

' Vidt posi^ pp. 47, 50. 




The Population of India, with British Burma, amounted 
in iSSi to 256 millions, or, as already mentioned, more than 
double the n timber which Gibbon estimated for the Roman 
Empire in the height of its power. But the English Govern- 
ment has respected the possessions of native chiefs, and one- 
third of the country still remains in the hands of its hereditary 
rulers. Their subjects make about one-fifth of the whole Indian 
people. The British territories, therefore, comprise only two- 
thirds of the area of India, and about four-fifths of its inhabitants. 

The native princes govern their States with the help of 
certain English officers, whom the Viceroy stations in native 
territor>\ Some of the Chiefs reign almost as independent 
reigns; others require more assistance, or a stricter 
'control. They form a magnificent body of feudatory rulers, 
possessed of revenues and armies of their own. The more 
important of these princes exercise the power of life and death 
over their subjects ; but the authority of each is limited by usage, 
or by treaties or engagements, acknowledging their subordination 
to the British Government. That Government, as Suzerain 
in India, does not allow its feudatories to make war upon 
each other, or to have any relations with foreign States. It 
interferes when any chief misgoverns his people ; rebukes, and 
if needful removes, the oppressor ; protects the weak ; and 
firmly imposes peace upon all. 

The British possessions are distributed into twelve govern- 
ments, each with a separate head ; but all of them under the 
orders of the supreme Government of India, consisting of 
the Governor-General in Council. The Governor-General, 
who also bears the title of Viceroy, holds his court and 
government at Calcutta in the cold weather, and during 
summer at Simla, an outer spur of the Himalayas, 7000 feet 
above the level of the sea. The Viceroy of India, and the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay, are usually British states- 
men appointed in England by the Queen. The heads of 
ihe other ten Provinces are selected for their merit from the 

survey of 

The Feu- 




I ndia — the 




Census of 
1 88 1 and 
of 1872. 

Anglo-Indian services, and are nominated by the Viceroy, 
subject in the case of the Lieutenant - Governorships to 
approval by the Secretary of State. 

The Census of 1881 returned a population of 256,396,646 
souls for all India. The following tables give an abstract of 
the area and population of each of the British Provinces, and 

The Twelve Governments or Provinces of 
British India, in 1881. 


of 1 

Namb op Provincb 



Pfersoos ! 

(Exclusive of the Native States attached to it). 




I. Government of Madras,* 


31. 170.631 


2. Government of Bombay, with Sind, . 




. 3. Lieutenant-Governorship of BeMal,« . 

4. Lieutenant-Governorship of the Punjab, 

5. Lieutenant-Governorship of the North-^l 







Western Provinces. . . . >• 

106. Ill 



6. Chief-Commissionershipof Oudh,» } 

7. Chief-Commissionership of the Central 





8. Chief • Commissionership of British 

Burma, ....*. 




9. Chief-Conmnissionership of Assam,* . 



la Commissionership of Berar," 




II. Commissionership of Aj mere. 




12. Commissionership of Coorg, 




Total for British India," . 




* Including the three petty States of Pudukota. Banganapalli. and Sandhiir. 
' Exclusive of 5976 square miles of unsurveyed and half-submerged Stmdar- 

bans along the sea face of the Bay of Bengal. The Imperial Census Report 
does not distinguish between the Feudatory States and British territory in the 
returns for Bengal The figures given above are taken from the Provincial 
Census Report, and refer to British territory only. The area and population 
of the Native States of Bengal are sho^n in the table on the next page. 

* Oudh has been incorporated, since 1877, with the North-Western Pro- 
vinces. The Lieutenant-Governor of the North- Western Provinces is also 
Chief-Commissioner of Oudh. 

* Assam was separated from the Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal in 1874, 
and erected into a Chief-Commissionership. The area includes an estimate 
for the unsurveyed tracts in the Cachar, Ndgd, and Lakhimpur Hills. 

' Berar consists of the six 'Assigned Districts' made over to the British 
administration by the Niidm of Haidardb&d for the maintenance of the 
HaidarAb^ Contingent, which he was bound by treaty to maintain, and in 
dischaige of other obligations. 

8 These figures are exclusive of the population of the British Settlement of 
Aden in Arabia (34,860), and of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal 
(14,628). These places have not been included in the tables of the Imperial 
Census Report, as being outside the geographical limits of India. 


groups of Native States, together with the French and 
Portuguese possessions in India. The population in 1872 
was as follows : — British India, 1S6 millions ; Feudatory States, 
over 54 millions; French and Portuguese possessions, nearly 
J of a million ; total for all India, 240,931,521 in 1872. 

The Thirteen Groups of Native States forming 
Feudatorv Ini>ta, in 188 1, 


Haidaribfld (Ntzdcn's Dominions) 

Cenlnd Indian Agency and Bun 



Mysore.' .... 


Native Slates under Bombay 


Native States under Madras 

Government. , 
Native Stales under Bengal 

Government, . 
Native Stales under Punjab 

Government, « . . , 
Native States ynder Norths 

Western Provinces, 
Native States untlcr Central 


Total for Feudatory India. 
















a. 185,005 



37 1 























If to the foregoing figures we add the French and Portu 
guese possessions, we obtain the total for all India. Thus— 


I (Based chiefly on the Census of 1881.) 

Bdtlih India, 
Feudatory India, 
Portugese Setllcmenis, 
Frencb Settlements, . 

Total for all India, including) 
Britiih Burma, . . j 

Anu iti 











Nunnber of 
PeTSa&s per 
Square Mile. 


r' Mysore was under direct British administration from 1S30 lo i88t, v^ben 
I was restored lo native rule on its young chief altaimng his majority. 
> The Ka^mir figures relate to the year 1873, 


Density of British India, therefore, supports a population much more 

latlon^^^" than twice as dense as that of the Native Stotes. If we 

exclude the outlying and lately-acquired Provinces of British 

Burma and Assam, the proportion is nearly three-fold, or 

260 persons to the square mile. How thick this population 

is, may be realized from the fact that France had in 1876 only 

compared 180 people to the square mile ; while even in crowded England, 

^'^ , wherever the density approaches 200 to the square mile it 

Franceand , , 1 1 • 11 ,• 

England, ceases to be a rural population, and has to live, to a greater 

or less extent, by manufactures, mining, or city industries,^ 
Throughout large areas of Bengal, two persons have to live on 
the proceeds of each cultivated acre, or 1 280 persons to each 
cultivated square mile. The Famine Commissioners reported 
in 1880, that over 6 millions of the peasant holdings of Bengal, 
or two-thirds of the whole, averaged from 2 to 3 acres a-piece. 
Allowing only four persons to the holding, for men, women, 
and children, this represents a population of 24 millions 
struggling to live off 15 million acres, or a little over half an 
acre a-piece. 
Absence Unlike England, India has few large towns, and no great 
of large manufacturing centres. Thus, in England and Wales 42 per 
cent, or nearly one-half of the population in 187 1, lived in 
towns with upwards of 20,000 inhabitants, while in British 
India only 4J per cent., or not one-twentieth of the people, 
Population live in such towns. India, therefore, is almost entirely a rural 
entirely country ; and many of the so-called towns are mere groups of 
villages, in the midst of which the cattle are driven a-field, and 
ploughing and reaping go on. Calcutta itself has grown out 
of a cluster of hamlets on the bank of the Hiigli ; and the 
term * municipality,' which in Europe is only applied to towns, 
often means in India a * rural union,' or collection of home- 
steads for the purposes of local government. 
Over- We see, therefore, in India, a dense population of husband- 

crowded jnen. Wherever their numbers exceed i to the acre, or 640 
Districts. ^ . ., .•,,,... 

to the square mile, — excepting m suburban distncts or m 

irrigated tracts, — the struggle for existence becomes hard. 
At half an acre a-piece that struggle is terribly hard. In such 
Districts, a good harvest yields just sufficient food for the 
people ; and thousands of lives depend each autumn on a few 
inches more or less of rainfall. The Government may, by 
great efforts, feed the starving in time of actual fahiine ; but it 
cannot stop the yearly work of disease and death among a 
steadily underfed people. In these overcrowded tracts the 
^ Report on the Census of England and Wales for 1871. 



lib M. 

population reaches the stationary stage. For example, in Allah- 

abdd District during twenty years, the inhabitants increased 

by only 6 persons in 10,000 each year. During the nine 

years from 1872 to 1 881, the annual increase was 8 persons, 

in 10,00a In stili more densely-peopled localities upon the 

ne of railway, facilities for niigralion have drained off the 

cessive population, and iheir total number in 1872 was 

ss than it had been twenty years before. On the other hand, 

I in thinly-i>eopled Provinces the inhabitants quickly multiply. Under- 

^Kbus, when we obtained the District of Amherst in 1824 from Pf'^Pj*** 
^^E. 1 ' ^ ^^ lit ■ Provinces. 

^^Be kmg of Burma, it had been depopulated by savage native 

I wars. The British established their firm rule ; people began 
, to flock in; and by 1829 there were 70,000 inhabitants. In 
fifty years the population had increased by more than four- 
fold, or to 301,086 in 1881, 

In some parts of India, therefore, there are more husband- The • im- 
men than the land can feed ; in other parts, vast tracts of fertile ^^^}^^ 
soil still await the cultivator. In England the people would peasant. 
move freely from the over-populated districts to the thinly- 
inhabited ones ; but in India the peasant clings to his heredi- 
^Buy homestead long after his family has outgrown his fields, 
^Bf the Indian races will only learn to migrate to tracts where 
spare land still abounds, they will do more than the utmost 
efforts of Government can accomplish to prevent famines. 

The facts disclosed by the Census in 1872 and 1881 prove, Move- 
indeed, that the Indian peasant has lost something of his ^^^^ ^^ 
old immobility. The general tendency of the population 
in Bengal is south and east to the newly-formed delta, and 
north-cast to the thinly-peopled valleys of Assam. In 18S1, 

I it was ascertained that out of a specified population of 247 
millions, nearly 6i millions were living in Provinces m which 
ihey had not been born. But the clinging of the people to 
their old villages in spite of hardship and famine still forms 
k most diflFicult problem in India. 
Throughout many of the hill and border tracts, land is so 
plentiful that it yields no rent Any one may settle on a patch 

[lich he clears of jungle, exhausts the soil by a rapid succession The 
^f crops, and then leaves it to rekfise into forest. In such tracts nomadic 
rent is charged ; but each family of wandering husbandmen of^hu™ 
lys a poll-tax to the chief, or to the Government under whose bantlr>'. 
Dtection it dwells. As the inhabitants increase, this nomadic 
fstem of cultivation gives j>lace to regular tillage. Through- 
ill British Burma we see both methods at work side by side ; 
while on the thickly-peopled plains of India the * wandering 


husbandmen * have long since disappeared, and each house- 
hold remains rooted to the same plot of ground during 
Labour In some parts of India, this change in the relation of the 

^ the kst P^^^P^^ ^*^ *^^ \^T\A has taken place before our own eyes. Thus, 
century ; in Bengal there was in the last century more cultivable land 
than there were husbandmen to till it A hundred years of 
British rule has reversed the ratio ; and there are now, in some 
Districts, more people than there is land for them to till This 
change has produced a silent revolution in the rural economy 
of the Province, When the English obtained Bengal in the 
last century, they found in many Districts two distinct rates of 
rent current for the same classes of soil The higher rate was 
paid by the ikdnl rdyais^ literally * stationary ' tenants^ who had 
their houses in the hamlet, and formed the permanent body of 
cultivators. These tenants would bear a great deal of extortion 
rather than forsake the lands on which they had expended 
labour and capital in digging tanks, cutting irrigation channels, 
and building homesteads* They were oppressed accordingly , 
and while they had a right of occupation in their holdings, so 
long as they paid the rent, the very highest rates were squeezed 
out of them« The temporary or wandering cultivators, paikhdst 
rdyais^ were those who had not their homes in the village, and 
who could therefore leave it whenever they pleased They 
had no right of occupancy in their fields ; but on the other 
hand, the landlord could not obtain so high a rent from them, 
as there was plenty of spare land in adjoining villages to which 
they could retire in case of oppression* The landlords were 
at that time competing for tenants ; and one of the commonest 
complaints which they brought before the Company's officials 
was a charge against a neighbouring proprietor of * enticing 
away their cultivators ' by low rates of rent, 
and at the This State of things is now reversed in most parts of 
^^^^ Bengal. The landlords have no longer to compete for 
tenants. It is the husbandmen who have to compete with 
one another for land There are still two rates of rent. 
But the lower rates are now paid by the * stationary * tenants, 
who possess occupancy rights; while the higher or rack-rents 
are paid by the other class, who do not possess occupancy 
rights* In ancient India^ the eponymous hero, or original 
village founder, was the man who cut down the jungle; In 
modern India^ special legislation and a Forest Department are 
required to preserve the trees which remain. Not only has 
the country been stripped of its woodlands, but in many 



Districts the pastures have been brought under the plough, to 
the detriment of the cattle. The people can no !onger afford 
to leave sufficient land fallow, or under grass, for their oxen 
and cows. 

It will be readily understood that in a country where, almost Serfdom 
down to the present day, there was more land than there ^^ ^^'^^^ 
were people to till it, a high value was set upon the cultivating 
class. In tracts where the nomadic system of husbandry 
survives, no family is permitted by the native chief to quit his 
territory. For each household there pays a poll-tax. In 
many parts of India, we found the lower classes attached to 
the soil in a manner which could scarcely be distinguished 
from priedial slaver>\ In sjiite of our legislative enactments, 
this system lingered on during nearly a century of British 
nile. Our early officers in South-Eastern Bengal, especially in 
the great island of Sandwfp, almost raised a rebellion by 
their attempts to liberate the slaves. Indeed, in certain tracts 
where we found the population very depressed, as in Bchar, 
the courts have in our own day occasionally brought to light 
the survival of serfdom, A feeling still survives in the minds 
of some British officers against migrations of the people from 
their own Districts to adjoining ones, or to Native States. 

If we except the newly - annexed Provinces of Burma Unequal 
and Assam, the population of British India is nearly three pressure of 
times more dense than the popubtton of Feudatory India, tion on ihe 
This great disproportion cannot be altogether explained by land, 
differences in the natural capabilities of the soil It would 
be for the advantage of the people that they should spread 
themselves over the whole countr)^ and so equalize the 
pressure throughout. The Feudatory States lie interspersed 
among British territor)-, and no costly migration by sea 
is involved. That the people do not thus spread themselves 
out, but crowd together within our Provinces, is partly due to 
their belief that, on the whole, ihtry are less liable to oppression 
under British rule than under native chiefs. But any outward 
movement of the population, even from the most densely- 
peopled English Districts, would probably be regarded with pain 
by the local officers. Indeed, the occasional exodus of a few 
cultivators from the overcrowded Province of Behar into the 
thinly-peopled frontier State of Nepil, has formed a subject of 
sensitive self-reproach. In proportion as we can enforce good 
government under the native chiefs of India, we should hope 
to see a gradual movement of the people into the Feudatory 
States. There is plenty of land in India for the whole 




Census of 

population. What is required is not the diminution of the 
people, but their more equal distribution. 

The Census, taken in February 1881, shows an increase of 
15^ millions for all India, or 6*4 per cent, during the nine 
years since 1872. But this general statement gives but an 
imperfect insight into the local increment of the people. For 
while in the southern Provinces, which suffered most from the 
famine of 1877-78, the numbers have stood still, or even receded, 
Increase of an enormous increase has taken place in the less thickly- 
the people, peopled tracts. Thus, the British Presidency of Madras shows 
a diminution of i '4 per cent. ; while the Native State of 
Mysore, which felt the full effects of the long-continued dearth 
of 1876-79, had 17 per cent fewer inhabitants in 188 1 than 
in 1872. The Bengal population has increased by 11 per cent 
in the nine years, notwithstanding the milder scarcity of 1874. 
But the great increase is in the outlying, under-peopled Districts 
of India, where the pressure of the inhabitants on the soil has 
not yet begun to be felt, and where thousands of acres still 
await the cultivator. In Assam the increase (1872-81) has 
been 19 per cent. — largely due to immigration; in the Central 
Provinces, with their Feudatory States and tracts of unreclaimed 
jungle, 25 per cent ; in Berar (adjoining them), 20 per cent ; 
while in Burma — ^which, most of all the British Provinces, 
stands in need of inhabitants — the nine years have added 36 
per cent to the population, equivalent to doubling the people 
in about twenty-five years. 

The following table compares the results of the Census of 
1872 with those of the Census of 1881. It should be borne 
in mind, however, that the Census of 1872 was not a synchron- 
ous one ; and that in some of the Native States the returns of 
1872 were estimates rather than actual enumerations.^ 

Population of India in 1872 and 188 i. 

In 1872. 

III 1881. 



British Provinces, . . 
Feudatory States, . . 
French and Portuguese ) 
Possessions, . . .) 








4 '41 






1 The figures for 1872 in the above table are taken from the finally 
revised statements, after allowing for transfers of territory and the restora- 
tion of Mysore to Native rule. How far the increase in the French and 



The Ethnical History of lNDiA.^The statistical elucida- 
tion of the races and Provinces of India can only be eflected 
by tabular forms. At the end of this voluniei therefore, will be 

>und a series of ten statements dealing with the various aspects 
of the Indian population.^ The briefest summary of the 
ethnological elements which compose that population is all 
that can be here attempted. 

European writers formerly divided the Indian population into 
two races — the Hindus and the Muhammadans, But when we 
k more closely at the people, we find that they consist of four 
Well-marked elements. These are, first, the recognised non- 
Aryan Tribes, called the Aborigines, and their half-Hinduized 
descendants, numbering over i7i millions in British India 
in 1872. Second, the comparatively pure offspring of the 

^^an or Sanskrit - speaking Race (the Brdhmans and Rdj- 

ts), about 16 millions in 1872. Third, the great Mixed 
PopulatioD, known as the Hindus, which has grown out 
of the Arj^an and non- Aryan elements (chiefly from the 
latter), 11 1 millions in 1872. Fourth, the Muhammadans, 
41 millions. These made up the 1S6 millions of people under 
British rule in 1872, The same four-fold division applied to 
the population of the 54 millions in Feudator)' India in 1872, 
but we do not know the numbers of the different classes. 

The figures for 1872 are reproduced in the last paragraph, 

the Census of 188 1 adopted a different classification, which 


in J 

Fou refold 
of the 



(3) Mixed 

(4) Mil- 

PortQgaese Possessions tsdue to more accurate enumeration in 1881, cannot 
ly aseertained. 

* Vjt — Table I, Area, villages, houses, and populniion., etc., in each 
Province of British India in iSSl. 
ir. Distribution into town and country, or * towTis and 
villarjes in Britisb India.* 

III, Cultivated, cultivable, and uticullivable land in 
Provinces for which returns eicist. 

IV. Population of British India clas&ilicd according to age 
and sex, 

V, Population of British India classified according In 
VI. Asiatic non-Indian population of British India classi- 
fied according to birth-place. 
VII. Non* Asiatic population of British India classified 

according to birth-place. 
VI IL Town population of India, being a list of the 149 
towns of British India, of which tbc population 
exceeds 20,000. 
IX. Population of British India according to edticalion, 
X. Population of British India« cla^fied according 10 
caste, sect, and nationality. 


does not so clearly disclose the ethnical elements of the 
people. This difference will be more fully explained in the 
next chapter. 

According to the Census of 1881, the comparatively pure 
descendants of the Aryan race (the Brihmans and Rdjputs) 
still numbered 16 millions in British India; the mixed 
population, including lower caste Hindus, Aboriginal Tribes, 
and Christians, 138 millions; and the Muhammadans, 45 
millions. These make up the 199 millions -in British India 
in 1 88 1. In the Feudatory States there appear to have 
been 5 J millions of Brdhmans and Rdjputs ; 46^ millions 
of lower caste Hindus and Aboriginal Tribes ; and 5 millions 
of Muhammadans, — making up the 56J millions in Feuda- 
tory India in 1881. The aboriginal element of the population 
was chiefly returned as low-caste Hindus. Only 4J millions 
were separately registered as non-Aryans, or Aborigines in 
British India; and \\ millions in the Feudatory States; 
making 6^ millions for all India in 1881. 
Plan of this The following chapters first treat of each of these four classes 
cieaU^c *" separately, namely the non-Aryan or so-called aboriginal tribes ; 
H-ith the the Aryan immigrants from the north ; the mixed population 
Indian q^ Hindus; and the Muhammadans. These are the four 
their elements which make up the present population. Their 

history, history, as a loosely-connected whole, after they had been 
pounded together in the mortar of Muhammadan conquest, 
will next be traced A narrative of the events by which the 
English nation became answerable for the welfare of this vast 
section of the human family, will follow. Finally, it will be 
shown how the British Government is trying to discharge its 
solemn responsibility, and the administrative mechanism will be 
explained which has knit together the discordant races of India 
into a great pacific Empire. 
The two Our earliest glimpses of India disclose two races struggling 

pre-histori ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ '^^^ ^'^^ ^^ ^ fair-skinned people, which had 
India. lately entered by the north-western passes ; a people of Aryan, 
literally ' noble,' lineage, speaking a stately language, worship- 
ping friendly and powerful gods. The other was a race of a 
lower type, who had long dwelt in the land, and whom the 
lordly new-comers drove back before them into the mountains, 
or reduced to servitude on the plains. The comparatively 
pure descendants of these two races were in 1872 nearly equal 
in numbers, total 33^ millions ; the intermediate castes, sprung 
chiefly from the ruder stock, make up the mass of the present 
Indian population. 

[53 J 



The piesent chapter treats of the lower tribes, an obscure The Non- 

people, who, in the absence of a race-name of their own, may ^^^^yans 
• „ , , - * 1 . * ^, , . \- or Abon- 

i>e cailea the non-Aryans or Aborigines. They have left no gines. 

written records ; indeed, the use of letters, or of any simplest 

hieroglyphs, was to them unknown. The sole works of their 

hands which have come down to us are rude stone circles, and 

the upright slabs and mounds, beneath which, like the primitive Kistvacn- 

ples of Europe, they buried their dead. From these we l^iuilderi. 

ly discover that, at some far -distant but unfixed period, 
the}' knew how to make round pots of hard, thin earthenwarei 
not inelegant in shape ; that they fought with iron weapons, 
and irore ornaments of copper and gold. Coins of Imperial 
Rome have been dug up from their graves. Still earlier remains 
prove that, long before their advent, India was peopled as far 
as the depths of the Central Provinces, by tribes unacquainted 
with the metals, who hunted and warred with polished flint Flint 
axes and other deftly-wrought implements of stone, similar to ^'^^P^"** 
those found in Northern Europe, And even these were the 
sQcce$$ors of yet ruder beings, who have left their agate knives 
and rough flint weapons in the Narbadi valley. In front of 
this far-stretching background of the early Metal and Stone 
AgteSi we see the so-called Aborigines being beaten down by 
the newly-arrived Aryan race. 

The struggle is comraemorated by the two names which the The Non- 
victors gave to the early tribes, namely, the Dasyus, or * enemies,* ^^'^^^^ *^^ 
and the Disas, or * slaves.' The new-comers from the north by the 
prided themselves on their fair complexion, and their Sanskrit Aryans, 
word for 'colour' {vama) came to mean *race' or 'caste.' 
Their earliest poets, 3000 years ago, praised in the Rig-Veda 
iheir bright gods, who, * slaying the Dasyus, protected the 
Aryan colour;^ who * subjected the black-skin to the Aryan man.' The 
They tell us of their * stormy deities, who rush on like furious 'J^l^f'^ 
bulls and scatter the black-skin/ The sacrificer gave thanks 
to h» god for * dispersing the skre h^nds of black descent/ 



and for sweeping away *the vile Dasyan colour.' Moreover, 
the Aryan, with his finely-formed features, loathed the squat 
Mongolian faces of the Aborigines. One Vedic singer speaks 
Flat- of them as * noseless ' or flat-nosed, while another praises his 
"^^ ' own * beautiful-nosed ' gods. Indeed, the Vedic h3rmns abound 
in scornful epithets for the primitive tribes, as 'disturbers of 
Raw- sacrifices,' * gross feeders on flesh,* * raw-eaters,' * lawless,' * not- 
sacrificing,' * without gods,' and * without rites.' As time went 
on, and these rude tribes were driven back into the forest, they 
were painted in still more hideous shapes, till they became 
The ^ the * monsters ' and * demons ' of the Aryan poet and priest, 
ofthe*^"^ Their race-name Dasyu, 'enemy,' thus grew to signify a devil, 
Aryan as the old Teutonic word for enemy (still used in that sense in 
race. ^j^g Germany^/////) has become the English 'fiend.' 

More Nevertheless, all of them could not have been savages. 

civilised We hear of wealthy Dasyus, and even the Vedic hymns 
tribes. ^^^ speak of their * seven castles ' and * ninety forts.' In later 
Sanskrit literature, the Aryans make alliance with aboriginal 
princes ; and when history at length dawns on the scene, we 
find some of the most powerful kingdoms of India ruled by 
dynasties of non-Aryan descent Nor were they devoid of 
religious rites, or of cravings after a future life. ' They adorn,' 
says an ancient Sanskrit treatise,* * the bodies of their dead 
with gifts, with raiment, with ornaments ; imagining that thereby 
they shall attain the world to come.' These ornaments are 
the bits of bronze, copper, and gold which we now dig up from 
beneath their rude stone monuments. In the Sanskrit epic 
which narrates the advance of the Aryans into Southern 
India, a non- Aryan chief describes his race as 'of fearful 
swiftness, unyielding in battle, in colour like a dark-blue 
The non- Let US now examine these primitive peoples, not as portrayed 
thZr^arc^ ^y ^^^^ enemies 3000 years ago, but as they exist at the present 
day. Thrust back by the Aryans from the plains, they have 
lain hidden away in the recesses of the mountains, like the 
remains of extinct animals which palaeontologists find in hill 
caves. India thus forms a great museum of races, in which we 
can study man from his lowest to his highest stages of culture. 
The specimens are not fossils or dry bones, but living com- 
munities, to whose widely-diverse conditions we have to adapt 
our administration and our laws. 

* Chandogya Upanishad^ viii. 8. 5 ; Muir's Sanskrit Trx/s, ii. 396 
' Rdmayana (cd. Gorresio), iii. 28. 18. 



Among the rudest fragments of mankind are the isobted The 
Andaman islanders in the Bay of Bengal. The old Arab and ^^^^^^^2 
European voyagers described them as dog-faced man-eaters. 
The English officers sent to the islands in 1855 to establish 
a Settlement, found themselves surrounded by naked cannibals 
of a ferocious type ; who daubed themselves when festive 
with red earth, and mourned in a suit of olive-coloured 
mud The>' used a noise like cryirtg to express friendship or 
joy; bore only names of common gender, which they received 
before birth, and which therefore had to be applicable to either 
sex ; and their sole conception of a god was an evil spirit, who 
spread disease. For five years they rej)ulsed everj^ effort at 
intercourse with showers of arrows \ but our officers slowly 
brought them to a better frame of mind by building sheds for 
them near the British Settlement, where these poor beings might 
find shelter from the tropical rains, and receive medicines and 

The Anaraalai Hills, in Southern Madras, form the refuge Anamaiii 
of a whole series of broken tribes. Five hamlets of long-haired, ^ "'^"' 
wild-looking Puliars were found living on jungle products, mice, 
or any small animals they could catch \ and worshipping demons. 
The Mundavers shrink from contact with the outside world, 
and possessed no fixed dwellings, but wandered over the inner- 
most hills with their cattle, sheltering themselves under little leaf 
sheds, and seldom remaining in one spot more than a year. 
The thick-lipped, small-bodied Kaders, * Lords of the Hills/ 

Earc a remnant of a higher race. These hills, now almost 
uninhabited^ abound in the great stone monuments (kistvaens 
and dolmens) which the primitive tribes erected over their 
dead. The Nairs, or aborigines of South-Western India, still The Nairn, 
practise polyandry, according to which one woman is the wife 
of several husbands, and a man's property descends not to his 
own but to his sister's children. This system also appears 
among the Himdiayan tribes. 
In the Central Provinces, the aboriginal races form a large Non- 
proportion of the population. In certain Districts, as in the ^j'^'* 
State of Bastar, they amounted in 1872 to three-fifths of the of tlie 
inhabitants. Their most important race, the Gonds, have made ^"^"^f^' 
some advances m civilisation; out the wilder tnbes still cling xhe 
to the forest^ and live by the chase* Some of them are*ion^s. 
reported to have used, within our own times, flint points for 
their arrows. The Mdrias wield bows of great strength, which 
ihcy hold with their feet while they draw the string with both 
Hands. A still wilder tribe, the Mdris, fled from their grass-built 


Tax- huts on the approach of a stranger. Once a year a messenger 

nmong'ihc ^^"^^ to them from the local Rajd to take their tribute, which 

Maris. consisted chieOy of jungle products. He did not, however, 

enter their hamlets, but beat a drum outside, and then hid 

himselC The shy Miris crept forth, placed what they had to 

give in an appointed spot, and ran back into their retreats. 

The Farther to the north-east* in the Tributary States of Orissa, 

'lcS^*^^ there is a poor tribe, 10,000 in 1872, of Juings or Patuas, 

wearers' literally the * leaf- wearers,' whose women wore no clothes. The 

Hiu"*^ only covering on the females consisted of a few strings of 

States; beads round the waist, with a bunch of leaves tied before 

and behind. Those under British influence were, in 187 1, 

clothed by clothed hj order of the Government, and their Chief was 

Govcni- persuaded to do the same work for others. The English 

officer called together the clan, and after a speech, handed 

out strips of cotton for the women to ])ut on. They then 

passed in single file, to the number of 1900, before him, 

made obeisance to him, and were afterwards marked on the 

forehead with vermilion^ as a sign of their entering into civilised 

society. Finally, they gathered the bunches of leaves which 

had formed their sole clothing into a heap, and set fire to it 

It is reported, however, that many of the Judng women have 

since relapsed to their foliage attire. 

A relic of This leaf-wearing tribe had no knowledge of the metals till 

the Stone quite lately^ when foreigners came among them ; and no word 

existed in their own language for iron or any other metaL 

But their country abounds in flint weapons, so that the Judngs 

\\\ix\^ ^^^"^^ 31 remnant to our own day of the Stone Age. * Their 

ilwcllings. huts/ writes the officer who knows them best, *are among the 

smallest that human beings ever deliberately constructed as 

dwellings. They measure about 6 feet by 8. The head of the 

family and all the females huddle together in this one shell 

not much larger than a dog-kennel/ The boys and the young 

men of the village live in a building apart by themselves ; 

and this custom of having a common abode for the whole male 

youth of the hamlet is found among many aboriginal tribes 

in distant parts of India. 

Himikyan Proceeding to the northern boundary of India, we find the 

inbes. slopes and spurs of the Himalayas peopled by a great variety 

of rude tribes. Some of the Assam hi lime n have no word for 

expressing distance by miles nor any land measure, but reckon 

the length of a journey by the number of quids of tobacco or 

betel-leaf which they chew upon the way. As a rule, they are 

fierce, black, undersized, and ill-fed They eked out a wretched 


subsistence by plundering the more civilised hamkts of the 
Assam valley \ a means of livelihood which they have but slowly 
given up under British rule. Some of the wildest of them, 
like the independent Abars, are now engaged as a sort of 
iircgular police, to keep the peace of the border, in return for 
a yearly gift of doth, hoes, and grain. Their very names bear 
witness lo their former wild life. One tribe, the Akas of 
Assam, is divided into two clans, know^n respectively as *The Akas of 
caters of a thousand hearths,' and *The thieves who lurk in the ^^^"*- 

Many oi the aboriginal iribes, therefore, remain in the same More 
early stage of human progress as that ascribed to them by the ^^^^^c^** 
Vedic poets more than 5000 years ago. But others have made Arjnn 
great advances, and form communities of a well-developed ^^"^^^^^ 
type. It must here suffice to briefly describe two such races ; 
the Santals and the Kandhs who inhabit the north-eastern edge 
of the central plateau. The Santils have their home among 
the hills which abut on the Ganges in Lower Bengal The 
Kandhs live 150 to 350 miles to the south, among the high- 
lands which look down upon the Orissa delta and Madras 

The Santals dwell in villages in the jyngles or among the The 
mountains, apart from the people of the plains. They ^^^^''^^ 
numbered about a million in 1872, and give their name to a 
large District, the Santal Parganas, 140 miles north-west 
of Calcutta. Although still clinging to many customs of a 
hunting forest tribe, they have learned the use of the plough, 
and settled down into skilful husbandmen. Each hamlet is 
governed by its own head-man, who is supposed to be a Santa! 
descendant of the original founder of the village, and who is ^^y^^^. 
assisted by a deputy head-man and a \vatchman. The boys of ment, 
the hamlet have their separate ofhcers, and are strictly con- 
trolled by their own head and his deputy till they enter the 
married state The Santals know not the cruel distinctions of 
Hindu caste, but trace their tribes, usually numbering seven, to 
the seven sons of the first parents. The whole village feasts, 
hunts, and worships together; and the Santdl had to take 
his wife, not from his own tribe, but from one of the six 
others. So strong is the bond of race, that expulsion from No castes, 
the tribe was the only Santil punishment. A heinous criminal {"^IJf^^'f^*^"^ 
was cut off from * fire and water' in the village, and sent forth fcding. 
alone into the jungle. Minor offences were forgiven upon a 
public reconciliation with the tribe.; to effect which the guilty 
one provided a feast, with much rice-beer, for his clansmen. 




The MX 




gocl ; 

The chief ceremonies in a Sandl's life, six in number, vary 
in different parts of the country, but are all based upon this 
strong feeling of kinship. The first is the admission of the 
newly-born child into the family, — a secret rite, one act of which 
consists in the father placing his hand on the infant's bead 
and repeating the name of the ancestral deity. The second, the 
admission of the child into the tribe, is celebrated three or five 
days after birth, — ^a more public ceremony, at which the child's 
head is shaved, and the clansmen drink beer. The third 
ceremony, or admission into the race, takes place about the 
fifth year ; when all friends, whatever may be their tribe, are 
invited to a feast, and the child is marked on his right arm with 
the Santal spots. The fourth consists of the union of his own 
tribe with another by marriage, which does not take place till 
the young people can choose for themselves. At the end of 
the ceremony, the girl's clanswomcn pound burning charcoal 
with the household pestle, in token of the breaking up of her 
former family ties, and then extinguish it with water^ to signify 
the separation of the bride from her clan. The Santals respect 
their women, and seldom or never take a second wife, except for 
the purpose of obtaining an heir. The fifth ceremony consists of 
the dismissal of the Santal from the race, by the solemn burning 
of his body after death. The sixth is the reunion of the dead 
with the fathers, by floating three fragments of the skull down 
the Ddmodar river {if possible), the sacred stream of the race. 

The Santal had no conception of bright and friendly gods, 
such as the Vedic singers worshipped. Still less could he 
imagine one omnipotent and beneficent Deity, who watches over 
mankind. Hunted and driven back before the Hindus and 
Muhammadans, he did not understand how a Being could be 
more powerful than himself without wishing to harm him. 
* What/ said a Santal to an eloquent missionar>', who had been 
discoursing on the Christian God — * what if that strong One 
should eat me ? * Nevertheless, the earth swarms with spirits 
and demons, whose ill-will he tries to avert. His religion 
consists of nature-worship, and offerings to the ghosts of his 
ancestors ; and his rites are more numerous even than those of 
; the Hindus. First, the Race-god ; next, the Tribe-god of each 
of the seven clans; then the Family-god, requires in turn his 
oblation* But besides these, there are the spirits of his 
forefathers, river-spirits, forest-spirits, well-demons, mountain- 
demons, and a mighty host of unseen beings, whom he must 
keep in good humour. He seems also to have borrowed from 
the Hindus some rites of sun-worship. But his own gods 





dwell chiefly in the ancient sal trees which shade his hamlets. 
Them he propitiates by offerings of blood ; with goats, cocks, 
and chickens. If the sacriflcer cannot afford an animal, it is 
with a red flower, or a red fruit, that he draws near to his gods. 
In some hamlets, the people dance round every tree, so that 
they may not by evil chance miss the one in which the village- 
spirits happen to be dwelling. 

Until nearly the end of the last century, the Santals were 
the pests of the neighbouring plains. Regularly after the 
December harvest, they sallied forth from their mountains, 
plundered the lowlands, levied black-mail, and then retired 
with their spoil to their jungles But in 17B9, the British 
Government granted the proprietary right in the soil to the 
landholders of Bengal under the arrangements which four 
years later became the Permanent Settlement Forthwith 
every landholder tried to increase the cultivated area on his 
estate, now become his own property. The Santals and other 
wild tribes were tempted to issue from their fastnesses by high 
wages or rent-free farms. * Every proprietor,' said a London 
newspaper, the Morning Chronicle^ in 1792, * is collecting hus- 
bandmen from the hills to improve his lowlands.* The English 
officers found they had a new race to deal with, and gradu* 
ally won the high landers to peaceful habits by grants of land 
and * exemption from all taxes.* They were allowed to settle 
disputes * among themselves by their own customs,' and they 
were used as a sort of frontier police, being paid to deliver up 
any of their own people who committed violent crimes. Such 
criminals, after being found guilty by their countrymen, were 
handed over for punishment to the English judge. The 
Santdls gained confidence in us by degrees, and came down in 
great numbers within the fence of stone pillars, which the 
British officers set up in 1832 to mark off the country of the 
hill people from the plains. 

The Hindu money-lender soon made his appearance in their 
settlements, and the simple hiUmen learned the new luxury 
of borrowing. Our laws were gradually applied to them, and 
before the middle of this century most of the Santdl hamlets 
were plunged in debt. Their strong love of kindred prevented 
them from running away, and the Hindu usurers reduced them 
to a state of practical slavery, by threatening the terrors of a 
distant jaiL In 1848, three whole villages threw up their 
clearings, and fled in despair to the jungle. In June 1855, 
the southern Santals started in a body, 30,000 strong, with 
their bows and arrows, to walk 140 miles to Calcutta and 

The San- 
tals wnckr 

They come 
forth frpm 
the hills. 

The San- 
tals sink 
into debt 
to the 





Kandhs or 

iijj of ihc 


wars and 

lay their condition before the Governor-General At first they 
were orderly; but the way was long, and they had to live. 
Robberies took place ; quarrels broke out between them and 
the police ; and within a week they were in armed rebellion. 
The rising was put down, not without mournful bloodshed \ 
and their i^Tongs were carefully inquired into. A very simple 
form of administration was introduced, according to which 
their village head-men were brought into direct contact with 
the English officer in charge of the District, and acted as the 
representatives of the people. Our system of justice and 
government has been adapted to their primitive needs, and the 
Santals have for years been among the most prosperous of the 
Indian races. 

The Kandhs, literally * The Mountaineers,' a tribe about 
100,000 strong in iSys^ inhabit the steep and forest-covered 
ranges which rise inland from the Orissa delta, and the Madras 
Districts of Ganjam and Vizagapatam. They form one of a 
group of non-Aryan races who still occupy the position assigned 
to them by the Greek geographers 1500 years ago. Before that 
early date, they had been pushed backwards by the advancing 
Aryans from the fertile delta which lies between the mountains 
and the sea. One section of the Kandhs was completely 
broken up, and has sunk into landless low-castes among the 
Ar)^an or Hindu communities at the foot of the hills. Another 
section stood its ground more firmly, and became a peasant 
militia^ holding grants of land from the Hindu chiefs In return 
for military service. A third section fell back into the fast- 
nesses of the mountains, and was recognised as a wild but free 
race. It is of this last section that the present clupter treats. 

The Kandh idea of government is purely patriarchal The 
family is strictly ruled by the father. The grown-np sons have 
no property during his life, but live in his house with their 
wives and children, and all share the common meal prepared 
by the grandmother. The clan consists of a number of 
families, sprung from a common father ; and the tribe is made 
lip in like manner from a number of clans who claim descent 
from the same ancestor. The head of the tribe is usually the 
eldest son of the patriarchal family ; but if he be not lit for the 
post he is set aside, and an uncle or a younger brother 
appointed. He enters on no undertaking without calling 
together the beads of clans, who in their turn consult the 
heads of families. 

According to the Kandh theory of existence, a state of 
w^ar might lawfully be presumed against all neighbours with 




irhom no express agreement had been made to the contran. 
Murders were punished by blood-revenge, the kinsmen within 
a certain degree being one and all bound to kill the slayer, 
unless appeased by a [layment of grain or cattle. The man 
who wounded another had to maintain the sufferer until he 
recovered from his hurt A stolen article must be returned, 
or its equivalent paid ; but the Kandh twice convicted of 
iheft was driven forth from his tribe, the greatest punish- 
ment known to the race. Disputes were settled by combat, 
or by the ordeal of boiling oil or heated iron, or by taking a 
solemn oath on an ant-hill, or on a tiger's claw, or a lizard's 
skin. When a house-father died, leaving no sons, his land was 
parcelled out among the other male heads of the village ; for 
no woman, nor indeed any Kandh, was allowed to hold land 
who could not w^th his own hand defend it. 

The Kandh system of tillage represented a stage halfway 
between the migratory cultivation of the ruder non'Ar)'an 
tribes and the settled agriculture of the Hindus. They did 
not, on the one hand, merely burn down a patch in the 
jungle, take a few crops off it, and then move on to fresh 
clearings. Nor, on the other hand, did they go on cultivating 
the same fields from father to son. When their lands showed 
signs of exhaustion, they deserted them ; and it was a rule in 
some of their settlements to change their village sites once 
in fourteen years. Caste is unknown; and, as among the 
Sintils, marriage between relations, or even within the same 
tribe, is forbidden. A Kandh wedding consisted of forcibly 
carr)'iDg off the bride in the middle of a feast. The boy's 
fether paid a price for the girl, and usually chose a strong 
one, several years older than his son. In this way, Kandh 
maidens were married about fourteen, Kandh boys about ten, 
ITie bride remained as a servant in her new father-in-law's house 
till her boy-husband grew old enough to live with hen She 
generally acquired a great influence over him ; and a Kandh 
may not marry a second wife during the life of his first one, 
except with her consent. 

The Kandh engaged only in husbandry and war, and despised 
all other work. But attached to each village was a row of hovels 
inhabited by a lower race, who were not allowed to hold land, 
to go forth to battle, or to join in the village worship. These 
poor people did the dirty work of the hamlet, and supplied 
families of hereditary weavers, blacksmiths, potters, herds- 
l^^men, and distillers. They were kindly treated, and a portion of 




by • Ca^>- 

Serfs of 
the Kandh 














The race 
won over 
to peaceful 

social scale. No Kandh could engage in their work without 
degradation, nor eat food prepared by their hands. They 
can give no account of their origin, but are supposed to be 
the remnants of a ruder race whom the Kandhs found in 
possession of the hills when they themselves were pushed 
backwards by the Aryans from the plains. 

The Kandhs, like the Santdls, have many deities, race-gods, 
tribe-gods, family-gods, and a multitude of malignant spirits and 
demons. But their great divinity is the Earth-god, who repre- 
sents the productive energy of nature. Twice each year, at 
sowing-time and at harvest, and in all seasons of special calamity, 
the Earth-god required a human sacrifice {meriah). The duty 
of providing the victims rested with the lower race attached 
to the Kandh village. Brahmdns and Kandhs were the only 
classes exempted from sacrifice, and an ancient rule ordained 
that the offering must be bought with a price. Men of the 
lower race kidnapped the victims from the plains, and a 
thriving Kandh village usually kept a small stock in reserve, 
*to meet sudden demands for atonement.' The victim, on 
being brought to the hamlet, was welcomed at every threshold, 
daintily fed, and kindly treated till the fatal day arrived He 
was then solemnly sacrificed to the Earth-god, the Kandhs 
shouting in his dying ear, ' We bought you with a price ; no 
sin rests with us !' His fiesh and blood were distributed among 
the village lands. 

In 1835, ^^ Kandhs passed under our rule, and these rites 
had to cease. The proud Kandh spirit shrank from compulsion ; 
but after many tribal councils, they agreed to give up their 
stock of victims as a valuable present to their new suzerain. 
Care was taken that they should not procure fresh ones. The 
kidnapping of victims for human sacrifice was declared a capital 
offence ; and their priests were led to discover that goats or 
buffaloes did quite as well for the Earth-god under British rule 
as human sacrifices. Until 1835, they consisted of separate 
tribes, always at war with each other and with the world. 
But under able English administrators (especially Campbell, 
Macpherson, and Cadenhead), human sacrifices were abolished, 
and the Kandhs were formed into a united and peaceful race 
(1837-45). The British officer removed their old necessity 
for tribal wars and family blood-feuds by setting himself up 
as a central authority. He adjusted their inter-tribal disputes, 
and punished heinous crimes. Lieutenant Charters Macpherson, 
in particular, won over the more troublesome clans to quiet 
industry, by grants of jungle tracts, of little use to uS, but a 



paradise to them, and where he could keep them well under 
his eye* He made the chiefs vain of carrying out his orders 
by small presents of cattle, honorific dresses, and titles. He 
enlisted the whole race on his side by picking out their best 
men for the police ; and drew the tribes into amicable relations 
among themselves by means of hiiUfairs. He constructei] roads, 
and taught the Kandhs to trade, with a view to * drawing them 
from their fastnesses into friendly contact with other men/ The 
race has prospered and multiplied under British rule. 

Whence came these primitive peoples, whom the Ar}'an Origin of 
invaders found in the land more than 3000 years ago, and who *!^^^"n"' 
are still scattered over India, the fragments of a pre-historic tribes, 
world? Written annals they do not possess. Their oral 
traditions tell us little ; but such hints as they yield, feebly point Non- 
to the north. They seem to preserve dim memories of a time f "^^t^oj^s 
when their tribes dwelt under the shadow of mightier hill ranges 
than any to be found on the south of the river plains of Bengal 
* The Great Mountain ' is the race-god of the Santals, and an 
object of worship among other tribes. Indeed, the Gonds, who 
numbered i\ million in the heart of Central India in 1872, have 
a legend that they were created at the foot of Dewdlagiri peak in 
the Himalayas. Till lately, they buried their dead with the 
feet turned northwards, so as to be ready to start again for their 
ancient home in the north. 

But the language of the non-Aryan races, that record of a Non- 
nation's past more enduring than rock-inscriptions or tables of ^'^^\ 

brass, is being slowly made to tell the secret of their origin. 


Thev l^^^'^t'^- 

\ wii 

It already indicates that the early peoples of India belonged to The three 
three great stocks^ known as the Tibeto-Burman, the Kolarian, i*^^" 
and the Dravidjan. stocks. 

The first stock, or Tibcto-Burman tribes, chng to the skirts (i) The 
of the Hiroilayas and their north-eastern offshoots, 
crossed over into India by the north-eastern passes, and in 
some prehistoric time had dwelt in Central Asia, side by side 
with the forefathers of the Mongolians and the Chinese, 

veral of the hill languages in Eastern Bengal preserve Chinese 
terms, others contain Mongolian. Thus, the Nigis in Assam 
still use words for three and water which might almost be 
understood in the streets of Canton.^ 

* The following are the twenty principal language-^ of the Tibcto-Burman 
group : — (i) Cachari or Bodo, (2) Garo, (3) Tipiira or Mmng, ^4) Tilietan 
W Bhutia, (5) Guning, (6) Murmi, (7) Newar, (8) Lepcha, <9) Miri, (10) 
ka, (tt) Mishmi disilects, (12) Dhimal^ (13) Kanawari dialects, (14) 
I'MJklr, (ts) Singpho, (16) N^ga dialects, (17) Kuki dialects, (18) Burmese, 



(2) The 


(3) The 

ftbclir con* 
in Ceniral 


The Kol. 

The Kolarians, the second of the three non-Atyan stocks, 
appear also to have entered Bengal by the north-eastern passes. 
They dwell chiefly in the north, and along the north-eastem edge, 
of the three-sided table-land which covers the southern half of 
India, The Dravtdians, or third stock, seem, generally speaking, 
on the other hand, to have found their way into the Punjab by 
the north-western passes. They now inhabit the southern part 
of the three-sided table-land, as far down as Cape Coraorin, 
the southernmost point of India. It appears as if the two 
streams, namely the Kolarian tribes from the north-east and the 
Dravidians from the north-west, had converged and crossed 
each other in Central India. The Dravidians proved the 
stronger, broke up the Kolarians, and thrust aside their frag- 
ments to east and west. The Dravidians then rushed forward 
in a mighty body to the south. 

It thus came to pass that while the Dravidians formed a 
vast mass in Southern India, the Rolarians survived only as 
isolated tribes, so scattered as to soon forget their common 

(19I Khycng, and (20) MantpurL * It is impossible/ writes Mr, Braitdreth, 
* to give even an approximate number of the speakers included m this 
group, as many of the languages are cither across the frontier or only pro- 
ject a short ilislance into our own territory. The languages included in 
this group have not, with perhaps one or two exceptions, both a cerebral 
and denial row of consonants, like the South-Indfan languages; some of 
them have aspirated forms of the surds, but not of the sonants ; others 
have ai]iirated forms of both. All the twenty dialects have words in 
common, especially numerals and pronouns, and also some resemblances of 
grammar. In comparing the resembling words, the differences between 
them consist often less in any modification of the root-syllable than in 
various additions to the root. Thus in Burmese we have ixa, **ear;" 
Tihelani nta-i>a ; Magar, na-kep: "HQyiMtnai-p&ng ; Dhimal, na-hathong; 
Kirauli dialects, na-pro^ na-ri*k, na-phah ; Naga languages, ie-na-ro, 
te-na-raHg; Manipuri, Jia-kcng ; Kupui, ka-na ; Sale, uka-na ; Karen, 
$m-H$i ; and so on. It can hardly be doubted that such additions as these 
to monosyllabic roots arc principally determinative syllables for the purpose 
of distinguishing between what would otherwise have been monosyllabic 
words having the same sound. These determinatives are generally afhxed 
in the languages of Nepal and in the Dhimal language ; prefixed in the 
Ivcpcha language, and in the languages of Assam, of Manipur, and of the 
Chittagong and Arakan Hills. Words are also distinguished by difference 
of tone. The tones are generally of two kinds^ described as the abrupt or 
i^hort, and the pausing or heavy. It has been remarked that those language 
which arc most given to adding other syllables to the root make the ieist 
use of the tones, and, vii^^ versa, where the tones most prevail the least 
recourse is had to determinative syUables.' — This and the foUowing 
quotations, from Mr, E, L. Brandreth, are condensed from his valuable 
paper in the Journol qJ ih€ Royal Aiiaik Saci^fy, New Scries, vol. x« 
(1877), pp. r-32. 


origin. We have seen one of the largest of the Kolarian races, 
the Santdls, dwelling on the extreme eastern edge of the three- 
sided table-land, where it slopes down into the Gangetic 
valley. The Kurkus, a broken Kolarian tribe, inhabit a 
patch of country about 400 miles to the west They have for 
perhaps thousands of years been cut off from the Santils by 
mountains and pathless forests, and by intervening races of the 
Dra vidian and Aryan stocks. The Kurkus and Santils have Scattered 
no tradition of a common origin ; yet at this day the Kurkus Kolarian 
speak a language which is litde else than a dialect of Santdli. "^^^^en s. 
The Savars, once a great Kolarian tribe, mentioned by Pliny 
and Ptolemy, are now a poor wandering race of woodcutters 
in Northern Madras and Orissa. Yet fragments of them have 
lately been found deep in Central India, and as far west as 
Rajputina on the other side. The Juangs are an isolated 
non-Aryan remnant among an Aryan and Uriya-speaking 
population. They have forgotten, and disclaim, any connection 
with the Hos or other Kolarian tribes. Nevertheless, their 
common origin is attested by a number of Kolarian words 
which they have unconsciously preserved.^ 
The compact Dravidians in the south, although in after-days 

' The nine principal languages of the Kohirian group are — (i) the Santil, 
(2) Mtindiri, (3) Ho. (4) Bhumij, (5) Korwa, (6) Kharria, (7) Juing, (8) 
Korku, and perhaps (9) the Savar. Some of them, however, are separated 
only by dialectical differences. * The Kolarian group of languages,' writes 
Mr. Brandreth, ' has both the cerebral and dental row of letters, and also 
as|»rated forms, which last, according to Caldwell, did not belong to early 
Dravidian. There is also a set of four sounds, which are perhaps peculiar 
to Santdii, called by Skrefsrud semi-consonants, and which, when followed 
bjr a vowel, are changed respectively into g^ j\ </, and b. Gender of nouns 
is animate and inanimate, and is distinguished by difference of pronouns, 
by difference of suffix of a qualifying noun in the genitive relation, and by 
the gender being denoted by the verb. As instances of the genitive suffix, 
we have in Santali in-rm hopon **my son, ".but in-ak orak "my house." 
There is no distinction of sex in the pronouns, but of the animate and 
inanimate gender. The dialects generally agree in using a short form of 
the third personal pronoun suffixed to denote the number, dual and 
plural, of the noun, and short forms of all the personal pronouns are added 
to the verb in certain positions to express both number and person, both 
as regards the subject and object, if of the animate gender ; the inanimate 
gender being indicated by the omission of these suffixes. No other group 
of languages, apparently, has such a logical classification of its nouns as 
that shown by the genders of both the South Indian groups. The genitive 
in the Kolarian group of the full personal pronouns is used for the posses- 
sive pronoun, which again takes all the post-positions, the genitive 
relation being thus indicated by the genitive suffix twice repeated. The 
Kolarian languages generally express grammatical relations by suffixes, and 
add the post-positions directly to the root, without the intervention of an 



The com. subdued by the higher civilisation of the Aryan race which 

vidians^f pressed in among them, were never thus broken into fragments.^ 

Southern Theu" pure descendants consist, indeed, of small and scattered 

" *^'* tribes ; but they have given their language to 28 millions of 

people in Southern India. A theory has been started that 

Their off- some of the islands in the distant Pacific Ocean were peopled 

yond sea^(?) ^^^^"^ ^o"* ^^ Dravidian settlements in India, or from an 

earlier common source. Bishop Caldwell points out that the 

aboriginal tribes in Southern and Western Australia use almost 

the same words for /, thou^ he, we, you, etc, as the Dravidian 

fishermen on the Madras coast ; and resemble in other ways 

the Madras hill tribes, as in the use of their national weapon, 

the boomerang. The civilisation and literature which the 

Dravidians developed in Southern India will be described in 

a later chapter on the Indian vernaculars. 

oblique form or genitive or other suffix. They agree with the Dravidian 
in having inclusive and exclusive forms for the plural of the first persona] 
pronoun, in using a relative participle instead of a relative pronoun, in 
the position of the governing word, and in the possession of a true causal 
form of the verb. They have a dual, which the Dravidians have not, but 
they have no negative voice. Counting is by twenties, instead of by teas 
as in the Dravidian. The Santali verb, according to Skrefsrud, has 23 
tenses, and for every tense two forms of the participle and a gerund.' 

^ Bishop Caldwell recognises twelve distinct Dravidian languages : — 
(i) Tamil, (2) Malayilam, (3) Telugu, (4) Kanarese, (5) Tulu, (6) Kudugu, 
(7> Toda, (8) Kota, (9) Gond, (10) Kandh, (ii) Urion, (12) Rijmahal. 
* In the Dravidian group,' writes Mr. Brandreth, 'there is a rational and 
an irrational gender of the nouns, which is distinguished in the plural of 
the nouns, and sometimes in the singular also, by affixes which appear to 
be fragmentary pronouns, by corresponding pronouns, and by the agree- 
ment of the verb with the noun, the gender of the verb being expressed by 
the pronominal suffixes. To give an instance of verbal gender, we have 
in Tamil, from the root sey^ **to do," seyd-an, "he (rational) did;" 
seyd-dl^ "she (rational) did;" seyd-adu, "it (irrational) did;'* styd-OTj 
" they (the rationals) did ;" seyd-a^ " they (the irrationals) did ; " tic full 
pronouns h^vagavan, "he;" aval, "she;" adu, "it;" avar, "they;" 
aveif " they." This distinction of gender, though it exists in most of the 
Dravidian languages, is not always carried out to the extent that it is in 
Tamil. In Telugu, Gond, and Kandh, it is preserved in the plural, but 
in the singular the feminine rational is merged in the irrational gender. 
In Gond, the gender is further marked by the noun in the genitive relation 
taking a different suffix, according to the number and gender of the noun 
on which it depends. In Urion, the feminine rational is entirely mei^ged 
in the irrational gender, with the exception of the pronoun, which preserves 
the distinction between rationals and irrationals in the plural ; thus, as, 
" he," referring to a god or a man ; ad^ " she " or " it," referring to a 
woman or an irrational object ; but ar, "they," applies to both men and 
women ; abrOy " they," to irrationals only. The rational gender, besides 
human beings, includes the celestial and infernal deities ; and it is further 


The following is a list of 142 of the principal non- Aryan List of 
languages and dialects, prepared by Mr. Brandreth for the Royal ^°°"^^ 
Asiatic Society in 1877, and classified according to their gram- \^^^ 
matical structure. Mr. Robert Cust has also arranged them in g^ag«s. 
another convenient form, according to their geographical habitat. 

Table of the Nox-Aryan Languages of India.^ 
Dravidian Group. Dravidian Croup— am/inu^d. 

Tamil. Yerukala, 

Mala^lam. Gadaba (Kolarian ?). 

{SL. Kolarian Group. 

\ Badaga. SantalL 

Tulu. ( Mundiri. 

Kudugu or Coorg. \ Ho or Larka KoL 

Toda. ( Bhumij. 

Kota. Korwa. 

Gond dialects. Kharria. 

SMakddeo, Juing. 

RAj, \ Kuri. 

Maria, \ Kurku. 

Kandh or Ku. Mchto. 

Urion or Dhangar. Savara. 

Raimahali or Maler. -, _ ., 

Mikellaneons Dialects. Tibeto-Burman Group. 

I NaVmde, I. ( Kichiri or Bodo. 

} Kolami. X Mech. 

KakddL [ Hojai. 

sub-divided, in some of the languages, but in the singular only, into 
masculine and feminine. The grammatical relations in the Dravidian are 
generally expressed by suffixes. Many nouns have an oblique form, which 
is a remarkable characteristic of the Dravidian group ; still, with the 
majority of nouns, the post-positions are added directly to the nominative 
form. Other features of this group are — the frequent use of formatives to 
specialize the meaning of the root ; the absence of relative pronouns and 
the use instead of a relative participle, which is usually formed from the 
ordinary participle by the same suffix as that which Dr. Caldwell considers 
as the oldest sign of the genitive relation ; the adjective preceding the 
substantive ; of two substantives, the determining preceding the determined ; 
and the verb being the last member of the sentence. There is no true 
dual in the Dravidian languages. In the Dravidian languages there are 
two forms of the plural of the pronoun of the first person, one including, 
the other excluding, the person addressed. As regards the verbs, there is 
a negative voice, but no passive voice, and there is a causal form.* Bishop 
Caldwell's second edition of his great work, the Comparative Grammar of 
the Dravidian Languages (Triibner, 1875), forms in itself an epoch in that 
department of human knowledge. Mr. Beames* Comparatiw Grammar 
ef ike Modem Aryan Languages of India (Triibner, 1872) has laid the 
foondation for the accurate study of North Indian speech. Colonel 
Dalton's Ethnology of Bengal (Cidcuttz, 1872), and Sir George Campbell's 
Specimens of the Languages of India (Bengal Secretariat Press, 1874), have 
also shed new and valuable light on the questions involved. 

* Brackets refer to dialects that are very closely related ; + to languages 
beyond the circle of the Indian languages. {See list above and on next page, ) 



Tibeto-Burman Group — continued, Tibeto-Burman Group— rw/i«i« 














Tipura or Mrung. 
( Tibetan or Bhutia. 
< Sarpa. 
( Lhopa or Bhutani. 


( Gurung. 
( Murmi. 








Bhutia of Lo. 


Mishmi dialects. 


Taying or Digaru, 



Kaniwari dialects. 
' Milchan, 



i Limbu. 






Naga dialects. 

Namsang or Jdipuria, 
I Banpdra or Johoka, 
\ Mithan, 



Nagd dialects. 




Niga dialects. 


\ Arung. 
\ Kutcha, 

IJyang or Kareng. 




Kuki dialects. 

( Thado, 
< LushaL 
( Hallami. 


Andro and Sengmal 

Anal and Namfau. 
XVIII. \ Kumi. 
) Kami. 

SBanjogi or Lungkhe. 

Shendu or Poi. 


XIX. Karen dialects. 



Red Karen* 




Kay or Gaikho, 




( Siamese or Thai. 





fTai Mow or Chinese Sh 




We discern, therefore, long before the dawn of history, Recapitu- 
Diasses of men moving uneasily over India, and violently J^e non- 
poshing in among still earlier tribes. They crossed the snows Aryan 
of \\i^ Himalayas, and plunged into the tropical forests in '^^^^ 
search of new homes. Of these ancient races, fragments now 
txi^ aknost in exactly the same stage of human progress as 
they were described by Vedic poets more than 3000 years ago. 
Some are dying out, such as the Andaman islanders, among 
whom in 1869 only one family had as many as three children. 
Others are increasing like the Santils, who have doubled 
themselves under British rule. But they all require special 
and anxious care in adapting our complex administration to 
their primitive condition and needs. Taken as a whole, and 
including certain half-Hinduized branches, they numbered 
17,627,758 in 1872, then about equal to three-quarters of the 
population of England and Wales. But while the bolder or 
more isolated of the aboriginal races have thus kept them- 
selves apart, by far the greater portion submitted in ancient 
times to the Aryan invaders, and now make up the mass of 
the Hindus. 

The following table shows the distribution of the aboriginal pistribu- 
tribes throughout British India in 1872. But many live in ^^^^..^^j^ 
T*)ative States, not included in this enumeration ; and the in India 
Madras Census of 1872 did not distinguish aborigines from ^ "^72. 
iow-caste Hindus. Their total number throughout all India 
(British and Feudatory) probably exceeded 20 millions in 


Aboriginal Tribes and Semi- Hinduized Aborigines in 1872. 
(Madras Presidency and the Feudatory States not included.) 





North-Wcstem Provinces, . 






Central Provinces, . 




British Burma, 



Bombay, . 



As already stated, the Census of 188 1 adopted a classification Aborigines 
which fails to clearly distinguish the aboriginal elements in the *" "^"" 
Indian population. In the North-Western Provinces, Oudh, 






No com- 
mon data 
for 1872 
and 1881. 

ing ten- 

and the Punjab, which returned an aggregate of nearly \\ 
millions of aboriginal or non- Aryan castes or tribes in 1872, 
no separate return of the aboriginal or non- Aryan element was 
made in 188 1. It is merged by the enumerators in the returns 
of the Hindu low-castes. The same process has aflfected the 
returns of other Provinces. In Madras, for example, 27 castes 
formerly included in the list of aboriginal tribes, were trans- 
ferred to the Hindu section of the population. In Bengal, the 
Census officers explain that the non-registration of the aboriginal 
element is in some cases due to 'radical differences in the 
system upon which the castes, and especially the sub-divisions 
of castes, were classified in 1872 and in 188 1.* In the North- 
western Provinces and Oudh, the special officer states that 
his system of classification * is not compatible with the modem 
doctrine which divides the population of India into Aryan and 

Under these circumstances it would be misleading to attempt 
a comparison between the returns of the aboriginal or non- 
Aryan population in 1872 and in 188 1. On the one hand, 
there can be no doubt that the aboriginal castes and tribes are, 
in many parts of the country, tending towards Hinduism ; and 
that many of them, as they rise in the scale of civilisation, lose 
their identity in the Hindu community. On the other hand, 
it is evident that the decreased returns of the aboriginal 
tribes and castes in 1881 are not entirely, or indeed chiefly, 
due to this process. It would be erroneous, therefore, to 
infer that the balance of i2f millions between the 17J 
millions of aborigines returned for British India in 1872 
and the 4f millions nominally returned in 1881, had become 

A Hinduizing process is going on both among the 
aboriginal low castes in Hindu Provinces, and among the 
aboriginal tribes who border on such Provinces. But the 
apparent disappearance of nearly 13 millions of aborigines 
between 1872 and 1881 is due, not so much to this Hinduizing 
process, as to differences in the system of classification and 
registration adopted by the Census officers. That the dis- 
appearance of the Indian aborigines is apparent and not real, 
can be proved. The birth-rate among some of the aboriginal 
races is unusually high; and, with exceptions, the abori- 
ginal tribes and castes are numerically increasing, although 
they are partially merging their separate identity in the Hindu 

In Bengal and Assam, the aboriginal races are divided into 


nearly 60 distinct tribes.^ In the North-Western Provinces, Their 
16 tribes of aborigines were enumerated in the Census of 1872. S^*£f' 
In the Central Provinces they numbered ij millions (1872) ; the 1872. 
ancient race of Gonds, who ruled the central table-land before 
the rise of the Mardthds, alone amounting to ij millions. In 
^n^\i Burma, the Karens, whose traditions have a singularly 
/eirish tinge, numbered 330,000 in 1872, and 518,294 in 1881. 

In Oudh, the nationality of the aboriginal tribes has been Crashed 
buried beneath waves of Rdjput and Muhammadan invaders, ^"^s- 
For example, the Bhars, formerly the monarchs of the centre and 
east of that Province, and the traditional fort-builders to whom 
all ruins are popularly assigned, were stamped out by Ibrdhfm 
Shirki of Jaunpur, in the 15th century. The Gaulis or ancient 
ruling race of the Central Provinces, the Ahams of Assam, and 
the Gonds, Chandels, and Bundelas of Bundelkhand,^ are other 
instances of crushed races. In centres of the Aryan civilisa- 
tion, the aboriginal peoples have been pounded down in the 
mortar of Hinduism, into the low-castes and out-castes on 
which the social fabric of India rests. A few of them, how- Gipsy 
ever, still preserve their ethnical identity as wandering tribes ^^^'*^* 
of jugglers, basket-weavers, and fortune-tellers. Thus, the 
Nits, Bediyas, and other gipsy clans are recognised to this 
day as distinct from the surrounding Hindu population. 

The aboriginal races on the plains have supplied the Aboriginal 
hereditary criminal classes, alike under the Hindus, the "^^"^^^ 
Muhammadans, and the British. Formerly organized robber the plains, 
communities, they have, under the stricter police of our days, 
sunk into petty pilferers. But their existence is still recog- 
nised by the Criminal Tribes Act, passed so lately as 187 1, 
and still enforced within certain localities of Oudh and 
Northern India. 

The non- Aryan hill races, who appear from Vedic times down- Predatory 
wards as marauders, have at length ceased to be a disturbing ^^^^ ^^^^ 
element in India, But many of them figure as predatory 
clans in Muhammadan and early British history. They sallied 
forth from their mountains at the end of the autumn harvest, 
pillaged and burned the lowland villages, and retired to their 
fastnesses laden v/ith the booty of the plains. The measures 
' Among them may be noted the Santals, 850,000 under direct British 
administration, total about a million in 1872 ; Kols, 300,000 ; Uraons or 
Dhangars, 200,000 ; and Mundas, 175,000 — within British territory. In 
As.sam — Cacharis, 200,000; Khasis, 95,000. These figures all refer to 

* See for the origin of the Bundelas, Mr. J. Beames* Races of the North- 
Western Provinces , vol. i. p. 45, etc. (1869). 


by which these wild races have been reclaimed, form some of 
the most honourable episodes of Anglo-Indian rule. Cleve- 
land's Hill-Rangers in the last century, and the Bhfls and 
Mhairs in more recent times, are well-known examples of how 
marauding races may be turned into peaceful cultivators and 
loyal soldiers. An equally salutary transformation has taken 
place in many a remote forest and hill tract of India. The 
firm order of British rule has rendered their old plundering 
life no longer a possible one, and at the same time has opened 
up to them new outlets for their energies. A similar vigilance 
is now being extended to the predatory tribes in the Native 
States. The reclamation of the wild Moghias of Central India, 
and their settlement into agricultural communities, has been 
effected by British officers within the past five years. 
Character The hill and forest tribes differ in character from the 
non^A a ^"^^^ population of the plains. Their truthfulness, sturdy 
tribes. loyalty, and a certain joyous bravery, almost amounting to 
playfulness, appeal in a special manner to the English mind. 
There is scarcely a single administrator who has ruled over 
them for any length of time without finding his heart drawn 
to them, and leaving on record his belief in their capabilities 
for good. Lest the traditional tenderness of the Indian Civil 
Service to the people should weaken the testimony of such 
witnesses, it may be safe to quote only the words of soldiers 
with reference to the tribes with which each was specially 
The non- * They are faithful, truthful, and attached to their superiors,' 
^b^"^*^^ writes General Briggs; 'ready at all times to lay down their 
soldiers, li^es for those they serve, and remarkable for their indomit- 
able courage. These qualities have always been displayed 
in our service. The aborigines of the Kamatik were the 
sepoys of Clive and of Coote. A few companies of the same 
stock joined the former great captain from Bombay, and 
helped to fight the battle of Plassey in Bengal, which laid the 
foundation of our Indian Empire. They have since dis- 
tinguished themselves in the corps of pioneers and engineers, 
not only in India, but in Ava, in Afghdnistin, and in the 
celebrated defence of Jalalibdd. An unjust prejudice against 
them grew up in the native armies of Madras and Bombay, 
produced by the feelings of contempt for them existing among 
the Hindu and Muhammadan troops. They have no preju- 
dices themselves ; are always ready to serve abroad and embark 
on board ship ; and I believe no instance of mutiny has ever 
occurred among them.' Since General Briggs wrote these 


sentences, the non-Aryan hUI races have supplied some of the 
bravest and most valued of our Indian regiments, particularly 
the gallant little Gtirkhas. 

Colonel Dixon's report, published by the Court of Directors, Colonel 
portrays the character of the Mhair tribes with admirable minute- on"the 
ness. He dilates on their 'fidelity, truth, and honesty,* their Mhairs. 
determined valour, their simple loyalty, and an extreme and 
almost touching devotion when put upon their honour. Strong 
as b the bond of kindred among the Mhairs, he vouches for 
their fidelity in guarding even their own relatives as prisoners 
when formally entrusted to their care. For centuries they had 
been known only as exterminators ; but beneath the considerate 
handling of one Englishman, who honestly set about under- 
standing them, they became peaceful subjects and well- 
disciplined soldiers. 

Sir James Outram, when a very young man, did the same Outram's 
good work for the Bhfls of Khandesh. He made their chiefs ^mong the 
his hunting companions, formed the wilder spirits into a Bhfl Bhils. 
battalion, and laid the basis for the reclamation of this for- 
merly intractable race. (See also The Dangs, Imperial 
Gazeiiur of India,") 

Every military man who has had anything to do with the 
aboriginal races acknowledges, that once they admit a claim on 
their allegiance, nothing tempts them to a treacherous or disloyal 
act * The fidelity to their acknowledged chief,* wrote Captain Fidelity of 
Hunter, * is very remarkable ; and so strong is their attach- [^^ 
ment, that in no situation or condition, however desperate, can 
they be induced to betray him. If old and decrepit, they will 
convey him from place to place, to save him from his enemies.' 
Their obedience to recognised authority is absolute ; and 
Colonel Tod relates how the wife of an absent chieflain pro- 
cured for a British messenger safe-conduct and hospitality 
through the densest forests by giving him one of her husband's 
aiTOws as a token. The very officers who have had to act 
most sharply against them speak most strongly, and often not 
.3rithout a noble regret and self-reproach, in their favour. * It 
was not war,' Major Vincent Jervis writes of the operations 
against the Santdls in 1855. 'They did not understand 
yielding ; as long as their national drums beat, the whole party 
would stand, and allow themselves to be shot down. They 
were the most truthful set of men I ever met.' Ethnical 


We have seen that India may be divided into three regions — ^^^ 
the Himilayas on the north, the great River Plains that stretch races. 


southward from their foot, and the Three-sided Table-land 
which slopes upwards again from the River Plains, and covers 
the whole southern half of India. Two of these regions, the 
Himdlayas on the north, and the Three-sided Table-land in 
the south, still afford retreats to the non-Aryan tribes. The 
third region, or the great River Plains, became in very ancient 
times the theatre on which a nobler race worked out its 

[ 75 ] 



This nobler race belonged to the Aryan or Indo-Germanic 
stock, from which the Brahman, the Rdjpul, and the English- 
man alike descend. Its earliest home, visible to history, was 
in Central Asia. From that common camping-ground, certain 
branches of the race started for the east, others for the west 
One of the western otTshoots founded the Persian kingdom ; 
another built Athens and Lacedaemon, and became the Hellenic 
tion ; a third went on to Italy, and reared the City on the 
ven Hills, which grew into Imperial Rome, A distant 
colony of the same race excavated the silver-ores of pre- 
historic Spain ] and when we first c^tch a sight of ancient 
England, we see an Arj'an settlement fishing in wattle canoes, 
and working the tin mines of Cornwall Meanwhile^ other 

I branches of the Ar)'an stock had gone forth from the primitive 
home in Central Asia to the east. Powerful bands found their 
llray through the passes of the Himalayas into the Punjab, and 
ipread themselves, chiefly as Brahmans and Rajputs, over 
We know little regarding these Aryan tribes in their early 
I camping-ground in Central Asia. From words preserved in 
the languages of their long-separated descendants in Europe 
and India, scholars infer that they roamed over the grassy 
steppes with their cattle, making long halts to rear crops of 
^v|;raiD. They had tamed most of the domestic animals ; were 
^Hicquainted with a hard metal, probably iron,* and silver ; ^ 
' understood the arts of weaving and sewing j wore clothes ; and 
ate cooked food. They lived the hardy life of the temperate 
zone, and the feeling of cold seems to be one of the earliest 
common remembrances of the eastern and the western branches 
afterwards, when the Ve( 










Aryans in 



* Sanskrit, qyas, iron or, in a more general stns-e, mclal, including gold 
dt DOt copper in Sanskrit ; Latin, arj, aerjs^ copper, bronze ; Gothic, ais, 

t; old German, f7\ iron j modern German, a'seyt. 

• Sanskrit, Jkharjura, silver; Latin, argttftum ; Greek, mfyo^u, ^yu^tw. 




and Indian 




of Aryan 



origin of 
and Indian 

The Indo- 
Aryans on 
the march, 

India prayed for long life, they still asked for *a hundred 
winters' To this day the November rice in the tropical delta of 
the Ganges is called the haitndntik (cf. Latin hiems) or crop of 
the * snowy ' season. 

The forefathers of the Greek and the Roman, of the EngUsh- 
man and the Hindu, dwelt together in Asia, spoke the same 
tongue, worshipped the same gods. The languages of Europe 
and India, although at first sight they seem wide apart, are 
merely different growths from the original Aryan speech. This 
is especially true of the common words of family life. The 
names for father^ mother^ brother^ sister, and widow (Sanskrit, 
vidhavd\ are the same in most of the Aryan languages, whether 
spoken on the banks of the Ganges, of the Tiber, or of the 
Thames. Thus the word daughter (Sanskrit, duhitri), which 
occurs in nearly all of them, has been derived from the Sanskrit 
root duh, * milk,* and preserves the memory of the time when 
the daughter was the little milkmaid in the primitive Aryan 

The words preserved alike by the European and Indian 
branches of the Aryan race, as heirlooms of their common 
home in Western Central Asia, include most of the terms 
required by a pastoral people who had already settled down to 
the cultivation of the more easily reared crops. Their domes- 
ticated animals are represented by names derived from the 
same root, for cattle, sheep, wool, goats, swine, dogs, horses, 
ducks, geese; also mice; their agricultural life, by cognate 
words for com (although the particular species of the cereal 
varied), flax or hemp, ploughing and grinding ; their implements, 
by cognate terms for copper or iron, cart or waggon, boat, 
helm ; their household economy and industries, by words from 
the same roots for sewing and weaving, house, ^aurden, yard ; 
also for a place of refuge, the division of the year into lunar 
months, and several of the numerals. 

The ancient religions of Europe and India had a similar 
origin. They were to some extent made up of the sacred 
stories or myths which our common ancestors had learned 
while dwelling together in Central Asia. Certain of the Vedic 
gods were also the gods of Greece and Rome ; and the Deity 
is still adored by names derived from the same old Aryan 
root (div, to shine, hence The Bright One, the Indian Deifa, 
Latin DeuSj or Divinity), by Brahmans in Calcutta, by the 
Protestant clergy of England, and by Catholic priests in Peru. 

The Vedic hymns exhibit the Indian branch of the Aryans 
on their march to the south-east, and in their new homes. 


The earliest songs disclose the race still to the north of the 
Khaibar Pass, in Kibul ; the latest ones bring them as far as 
the Ganges. Their victorious advance eastwards through the 
intermediate tract can be traced in the Vedic writings almost 
step by step. One of their famous settlements lay between 
the two sacred rivers, the Saraswati, supposed to be the 
modem Sarsutf near Thdnesar in the Punjab, and the Drishad- 
vatl, or Ghaggar, a day's march from it. This fertile strip of 
land, not more than 60 miles long by 20 broad, was fondly 
remembered by the Indo-Aryans as their Holy Land (Brahma- 
varita\ 'fashioned of God, and chosen by the Creator.' As 
their numbers increased, they pushed eastwards along the base 
of the Himilayas, into what they afterwards called the Land 
of the Sacred Singers {Brahmarshi-desha), Their settlements and in 
included by degrees the five rivers of the Punjab, together with ^^«>' "^^ 
the upper course of the Jumna and perhaps of the Ganges. men^. 

Here the Vedic hymns were composed ; and the steady 
supply of water led the Aryans to settle down from their 
old state of wandering pastoral tribes into communities of 
husbandmen. Their Vedic poets praised the rivers which Function 
enabled them to make this great change — perhaps the most ^.^^^, 
important step in the progress of a race * May the Indus,' 
they sang, 'the far-famed giver of wealth, hear us; (fertilizing 
our) broad fields with water.' The Himalayas, through whose 
offshoots they had reached India, and at whose southern base 
they long dwelt, made a lasting impression on their memory. 
The Vedic singer praised *Him whose greatness the snowy 
rang^, and the sea, and the aerial river declare.' In all its 
long fFanderings through India, the Aryan race never forgot its Recollec- 
northem home. There dwelt its gods and holy singers ; and ^^^^} ^^ 
there eloquence descended from heaven among men ; while northern 
beyond the mountain-wall lay the paradise of deities and home. 
heroes, where the kind and the brave for ever repose. 

The Rig- Veda forms the great literary memorial of the The Rig- 
early Aryan settlements in the Punjab. The age of this ^^^• 
venerable hymnal is unknown. The Hindus believe, without 
evidence, that it existed * from before all time,' or at least from insufficient 
3101 years ac, nearly 5000 years ago. European scholars evidence 
have inferred from astronomical dates that its composition posed ^"^ 
was going on about 1400 b.c. But these dates are themselves <iates, 3101 
given in writings of modem origin, and might have been \'^^ ^ 
calculated backwards. We know, however, that the Vedic b.c. (?) 
religion had been at work long before the rise of Buddhism in 
the 6th century B.C. The antiquity of the Rig- Veda, although 


not to be dogmatically expressed in figures, is abundantly estab- 
lished. The earlier hymns exhibit the Aryans on the north- 
western frontiers of India, just starting on their long journey. 
Neverthe- Before the embassy of the Greek Megasthenes, at the end of 
^^t*anti- ^^ ^^ century B.C., they had spread at least to the verge of 
quity. the Gangetic delta, 1500 miles distant At the time of the 
Periplus, circ. 70 a.d., the southernmost point of India was 
apparently a seat of their worship. A temple to the queen of 
the god Siva stood on Cape Comorin, before the end of the first 
Christian century ; and the inferences of European scholarship 
point to the composition of at least some of the Vedic psalms 
at a period not later than twelve to sixteen centuries before the 
commencement of our era. 
Inspira- The Brdhmans declare that the Vedic hymns were directly 
v^ ^^ ^^ inspired by God. Indeed, in our own times, the young Theistic 
Church of Bengal, which rejects Brdhmanical teaching, was 
split into two sects on the question of the divine authority 
of the Veda. The hymns seem to have been composed by 
certain families of Rishis or psalmists, some of whose names 
The Rig- are preserved. The Rig- Veda is a very old collection of 1017 
Veda ; Qf ^i^gge short lyrical poems', chiefly addressed to the gods, 
hymns, and containing 10,580 verses. They show us the Aryans on 
10.580 the banks of the Indus, divided into various tribes, some- 
verges. times at war with each other, sometimes united against the 
Caste not * black - skinned ' aborigines. Caste, in its later sense, is 
known to unknown. Each father of a family is the priest of his own 
*^" ^ ^* household. The chieftain acts as father and priest to the tribe; 
but at the greater festivals he chooses some one specially learned 
in holy ofierings to conduct the sacrifice in the name of the 
people. The chief, although hereditary, seems to have been partly 
elected; and his title of Vis-pati, 'Lord of the Settlers,' survives 
in the old Persian Vis-paiti, and as the Lithuanian Wi^z-patis 
in central Europe at this day. Women enjoyed a high position, 
and some of the most beautiful hymns were composed by 
ladies and queens. Marriage was held sacred. Husband and 
wife were both ' rulers of the house ' (dampati) ; and drew 
nor near to the gods together in prayer. The burning of widows 

widow-^ on the husbands* funeral pile was unknown ; and the verses 
in the Veda which the Brdhmans afterwards distorted into a 
sanction for the practice, have the very opposite meaning. 
* Rise, woman,* says the sacred text to the mourner ; * come to 
the world of life. Come to us. Thou hast fulfilled thy duties 
as a wife to thy husband.' 

The Aryan tribes in the Veda are acquainted with most of 


i\it metals. They have blacksmiths, coppersmiths, and gold- Aryan 
smiths among them, besides carpenters, barbers, and other ?|^^|}j*^''^" 
artisans. They fight from chariots, and freely use the horse, Veda, 
although not yet the elephant, in war. They have settled 
down as husbandmen, till their fields with the plough, and live 
in villages or towns. But they also cling to their old wander- 
ing life, with their herds and * cattle-pens.' Cattle, indeed, still 
form their chief wealth — the coin (Latin, pecunia) in which 
payments or fines are made ; and one of their words for war 
literally means *a desire for cows.' They have learned to 
build * ships,' perhaps large river-boats ; and have seen or heard 
something of the sea. Unlike the modern Hindus, the Aryans 
of the Veda ate beef; used a fermented liquor or beer, made 
from the soma plant ; and offered the same strong meat and 
drink to their gods. Thus the stout Aryans spread eastwards Spread of 
through Northern India; pushed on from behind by later ^^^^'y^"*'* 
arrivals of their own stock; and driving before them, or 
reducing to bondage, the earlier * black-skinned ' races. They 
marched in whole communities from one river valley to 
another ; each house-father a warrior, husbandman, and priest ; 
with his wife, and his little ones, and cattle. 

These free-hearted tribes had a great trust in themselves The gods 
and in their gods. Like other conquering races, they believed ?^jj^ 
that both themselves and their deities were altogether superior 
to the people of the land and to their poor, rude objects of 
worships Indeed, this noble self-confidence is a great aid to 
the success of a nation. Their divinities — deifciSy literally * The 
Shining Ones,' from the Sanskrit root dh\ *to shine' — were the 
great powers of nature. They adored the Father-heaven, 
Dyaush'pitar in Sanskrit, the Dies-piter or Jupiter of Rome, 
the Zeus of Greece, the Low German Duus^ and, through 
the old French god-demon, Dus-ius^ probably the Deuce of 
English slang ; together with Mother-Earth ; and the Encom- 
passing Sky, Varuna in Sanskrit, Uranus in Latin, Ouranos 
in Greek. The Sdrameyas, or two children of Indra's watch- 
dog, the messengers of death, have been compared with the 
Greek Hermeias, the conductor of the dead. Such common 
ideas and names penetrate deeply into the mythology of the 
ancient world, although they have sometimes been exaggerated. 
Jupiter FeretriuSy for whom the Romans invented conflicting 
derivations, may be really the Vritra-han^ or destroyer of the 
old Aryan demon Vritra. On the coins of the Republic, Juno 
Sospita is represented witli a skin and horns over her. General 
Cunningham suggests that her epithet represents the Sanskrit 


Saspatni {Sasi\ a name for the moon, so called from the marks 
on the moon being supposed to resemble a hare {sasa). 
Influence Indra, or the Aqueous Vapour that brought the precious rain 
rainy on which plenty or famine depended each autumn, received the 
season on largest number of hymns. By degrees, as the settlers realized 
m^ho- inore and more keenly the importance of the periodical rains 
log}'. to their new life as husbandmen, he became the chief of the 

Vedic gods. * The gods do not reach unto thee, O Indra, or 
men; thou overcomest all creatures in strength.' Agni, the 
God of Fire (I^tin, tgni-s), ranks next to Indra in the number 
of hymns in his honour as the friend of man, the guide of the 
people, the lord and giver of wealth. 
Indra and Judging, indeed, from the preponderance of the invoca- 
Agai. tions to Agni, and from the position which the corresponding 
deity holds in Iranian mythology, it would appear as if 
Agni and not Indra had been the chief god of the race, 
while the Indian and old Persian branches still dwelt 
together. Among the cold heights and on the uplands of 
Central Asia, to the north-west of the Himalayas, Heat was the 
great factor of fertility, the giver of human comfort, and the 
ripener of the crops. When the eastern offshoots of the Aryans 
descended upon the plains of India, they found, as they advanced 
southward, that heat was an element of productiveness which 
might be taken for granted, a constant factor in the husbandry 
Moisture of the Indus and Jumna valleys. Here it was upon moisture 
^' ^^^* rather than on heat that their harvest depended. To the right of 
their line of march across the five rivers of the Punjab, a rather 
narrow tract stretched to the foot of the Himalayas, with an ample 
rainfall, now averaging 35 inches a year. But on the broad plains 
to their left, the water-supply was less abundant and more capri- 
cious. At the present day the tract immediately to the south of 
the Aryan route receives only 20 to 30 inches per annum, di- 
minishing through successive belts of rainfall down to 10 inches. 
As the Aryan immigrants spread south, therefore, it was no 
longer so necessary to pray for heat, and it became more 
Agni gives necessary to pray for moisture. Agni, the heat-giving god, 
Indra ^° without being discredited, became less important, and receded 
in favour of Indra, the rain-bringing deity. In the settlements 
of the Punjab, Indra thus advanced to the first place among 
Indra, ^^^ Vedic divinities. He is the cloud compeller, dropping 
the rain- bountiful showers, filling the dried-up rivers from the Himd- 
"nger. j^^^ ^^^ bringing the rain-storms. His voice is the thunder ; 
with his spear of lightning he smites open the black clouds, and 
rends the black bodies of the demons who have drunk up the 


wis/iedfof rains. He makes the sun to shine forth again. * I 
m'/l mg of the victories of Indra, of the victories won by the 
God qH the Spear/ chanted the Rig-Vedic psalmist * On the 
mountains he smote the demon of drought (Ahi) ; he poured 
nut the waters and let the river flow from the mountains : like 
oJi-es to cows, so do the waters hasten to the sea.* * Thou hast 
broken open the rain-prisons ^ rich in cattle. The bonds of 
the streams hast thou burnt asunder/^ 

As the Aryans pushed forward into the middle and lower Indragivw 
^'alJey of the Ganges, they found themselves \u a region of ^'^a*/*^'*^^ 
copious rainfall brought by the unfailing monsoons. The rain- 
stofTDS of Indra thus became less important. His waterspouts^ 
although well worth praying for in the Punjab, evidently 
belonged to an inferior grade of divine energy than that which 
firestded over the irresistible, majestically ordered advance of 
the periodical rains in Bengal Indra, the Cloud-Compeller, 
shared in his turn the fate of Agni, the God of Heat, and gave 
way to three deities on a scale commensurate with the vaster of Brahmi, 
ixxcxs of nature in the Lower Gangetic valley* We shall see how i^^^' 
the abstract but potent conception of Divine energy embodied in 
the Brihmanical Triad of the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer 
look the place alike of Agni and of Indra^ and of the other 
Vedic gods. But, meanwhile, Indra, the Giver of Rain, was 
the most important deity to the Aryan settlers in the Punjab. 
He stands forth in the Veda as the foremost Shining One. 

The Manits were the Vedic Storm Gods, * who make the Other 
rocks to tremble, who tear in pieces the forest.' Ushas, ' the ^^^ 
High-born Dawn* (Greek, Eos)y * shines upon us like a young 
wife, rousing every' living being to go forth to his work/ The 
As^'ins, or * Fleet Outriders ' of the Dawn, are the first rays of 
sunrise, *lx>rds of Lustre.' The Solar Orb (Siirjya^ Savitri), 
the Wind (Vayu), the Sunshine or Friendly Day (Mitra), the 
aaiaiatitig fermented juice of the Sacrificial Plant (Soma), 
and many other Shining Ones, are invoked in the Veda ; in 
ail, about thirty-three gods, * who are eleven in heaven, eleven 
on earth, and eleven dwelling in glory in mid-air.' 

The terrible blood-drinking deities of modern Hinduism are 

> Liteially, * Thou bust broken ihe cave of Vriira,* the demon wht» 
imprisons the rain and causes drought, with whom Indra k constanily 
vaging victorious war. 

' The Rig- Vedic attributes of Indra are well summarized by Professor 
Max Dnncker, /4i«a>»t/ History of India, pp. 47-49 (eti 18S1), folio wmg 
Rod] and Bcnfcy ; and are detailed with completeness by Muir, * Sanskrit 
Tctis,' pp. 7^*39. vol. V. (1872). 




The blood- scarcely known in the Veda. Buffaloes are indeed offered; 

(leltui of ^"^ ^"^ hymn points to a symbolism based on human sacrifices^ 

Hinduism an early practice apparently extinct before the time of the 

kiTowi^in ^^^^^ singers. The great Horse-Sacrifice (Aswamedha) seems, 

the Veda, in some of its aspects, a substitution for the flesh and 

blood of a man. But, as a whole, the hymns are addressed 

to bright, friendly gods. Rudra, who was destined to 

become the Siva of the Hindus, and the third person 

or Destroyer in their Triad, is only the god of Roaring 

Tempests in the Veda. Vishnu, the second person or 

Preserver in the Hindu Triad, is but slightly known to the 

Vedic singers as the deity of the Shining Firmament ; while 

Brahmd, the first person, or Creator, has no separate existence 

in their simple hymns. The names of the dreadful Mahddeva, 

Diirga, Kdli, and of the gentler but intensely human Krishna 

and Rdma, are alike unknown. 

Attitude of The Aryan settlers lived on excellent terms with their bright 

singer to^ gods. They asked for protection with an assured conviction 

his gods, that it would be granted. ' Give me cows, or land, or long 

life, in return for this hymn or offering;' *slay my enemy, 

scatter the black-skin, and I will sacrifice to thee,' — such is 

the ordinary frame of mind of the singer to his gods. But, 

at the same time, he was deeply stirred by the glory and 

mystery of the earth and the heavens. Indeed, the majesty of 

nature so filled his mind, that when he praises any one of his 

Shining Gods he can think of none other for the time being, 

and adores him as the Supreme Ruler. Verses of the Veda 

may be quoted declaring each of the greater deities to be the 

One Supreme : * Neither gods nor men reach unto thee, O 

Indra;' Soma is *king of heaven and earth, the conqueror 

of all' To Varuna also it is said, * Thou art lord of all, of 

heaven and earth ; thou art king of all those who are gods, and 

of all those who are men.' Agni is likewise addressed aS the 

mightiest and as the most beloved of the gods : * No one can 

approach thy darting, strong, terrible flames : bum thou the 

evil spirits, and every enemy.' The more spiritual of the 

Vedic singers, therefore, may be said to have worshipped One 

God, although not One Alone. 

Higher Some beautiful souls among them were filled not only with 

concep- y^^ splendours of the visible universe, but with the deeper 

tionsofthe . ^ , ^r j , i ^ 

I>eity in mysteries of the Unseen, and the powerlessness of man to 

the Veda, search out God, 

A Vedic * In the beginning there arose the Golden Child. He was 

hymn. ^^ Q^e born lord of all that is. He established the earth 


and this sky. Who is the God to whom we shall offer our 

* He who gives life, he who gives strength ; whose command 
all the Bright Gods revere; whose shadow is immortality, 
whose shadow is death. VVho is the God to whom we shall 
offer our sacrifice ? 

'He who, through his power, is the one king of the 
breathing and awakening world. He who governs all, man 
and beast Who is the God to whom we shall offer our 

* He through whom the sky is bright and the earth firm ; 
he through whom the heaven was established, nay, the highest 
heaven ; he who measured out the light and the air. Who is 
the God to whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? 

* He who by his might looked even over the water-clouds ; 
he who alone is God above all gods. Who is the God to 
whom we shall offer our sacrifice ? ^ 

The yearning for rest in God, that desire for the wings of a * The 
dove, so as to fly away and be at rest, with which noble hearts 1^"^/ 
have ached in all ages, breathes in several exquisite hymns of 
the Rig- Veda : ' Where there is eternal light, in the world 
where the sun is placed, — in that immortal, imperishable world, 
place me, O Soma ! Where life is free, in the third heaven of 
heavens, where the worlds are radiant, — there make me im- 
mortal ! Where there is happiness and delight, where joy and 
pleasure reside, where our desires are attained, — there make 
me immortal' * 

Nor was the sense of sin, and the need of pardon, absent The sense 
ft-om the minds of these ancient psalmists. As a rule, an needof" 
honourable understanding seems to have existed between the forgive- 
Vedic sacrificer and his bright god : the god being equitably '*^^' ' 
pledged to the fulfilment of the sacrificer's prayer in return for 
the offering, although the wisest might leave it to Indra himself 
to decide what was best to bestow. But even the cheerful 
worshippers of the Veda at times felt deeply the sinfulness of 
sin, and the fear of the sins of the father being visited upon 
the children. * What great sin is it, O Varuna,* says a hymn 
of the Rig- Veda, * for which thou seekest to slay thy worshipper 
and friend?* 'Absolve us from the sins of our fathers and 
fi-om those which we committed in our own persons.' ' It was 
not our own doing that led us astray, O Varuna, it was 

* Rig- Veda, x. 121 ; translated by Prof. Max Miiller, Hist, Anc, Stnsk* 
Lit. p. 569 ; CtUps^ vol. i. p. 29 (ed. 1867). 

* Rig- Veda, ix. 113. 7, Max Miiller's translation. 



T' layers 


Bit ruing 
tjf the 

necessity (or temptation) ; wine, anger, dice, or thoughtlessness. 
The stronger perverts the weaker. Even sleep bringeth sin.* * 
'Through want of strength, thou strong and bright god/ sa>*s 
another hymn to Varuna^ * have I gone wrong : have mercy, 
almighty, have mercy, I go along trembling like a cloud driven 
before the wind : have mercy, almighty, have mercy. Through 
want of power (to do right) have I transgressed, O bright and 
mighty god : have mercy, almighty, have mercy. Whenever we 
men, O Varuna, commit an olfence before the heavenly host^ 
whenever we break the law through thoughtlessness, have 
mercy, almighty, have mercy.* - 

The very ancient Aryans in Central Asia buried their dead, 
although cremation seems also to have been resorted to. In 
Iran the custom of burial eventually gave place to that of 
exposing tlie corpse on a mountain to the birds of heaven ; 
a custom still practised in the Parsi Towers of Silence at 
Bombay and elsewhere. We have seen that Agni, god of 
heat, appears to have been the chief deity of the Aryan race 
in Iran ; and fire was regarded by the ancient Persian as too 
sacred an element to be polluted by a human corpse. The 
Aryan settlers in India for a time retained the custom of 
burial ' Let me not, O Vanina^ go to the house of clay,' 
says one hymn of the Rig-Veda.^ * O earth, be not too narrow 
for him,* says another hymn, * cover him like the mother who 
folds her son in her garment.'* But in time the Indo-Ar)^ans 
substituted the fire for the grave \ and the burning of the corpse 
became a distinctive feature of the race, as contrasted with 
the ruder and more primitive peoples whom they found in the 

While the aboriginal tribes buried their dead under rude 
stone monuments, the Aryan — alike in India, in Greece, and 
in Italy— made use of the funeral-pyre as the most solemn 
method of disposing of the mortal part of man. As the Indo- 
Aryan derived his natural birth from his parents ; and a partial 
regeneration, or second birth, from the performance of his 
religious duties ; so the fire, by setting free the soul from the 
body, completed the third or heavenly birth. His friends 

* RigA^edii, vii. 86 ; translaled in Muir's • Sanskrit Texts** vol, v. p, 66 

' Rig- Veda, vii. S9, Max Miiller's beautiful translation is reprodaced 
by Professor Dunckerj Ancimt History of India^ p, 53 (1S81). Sec also 
Muirs translation, 'Sanskrit Texts,' vol. v. p. 67 (187a), 

* Rig^Veda, vii. 89. i. Muir's * Sanskrit Texts/ voL v. p. 67 (1872). 

* Rig- Veda, x. iS, Roth's rendering in Dunckcr, Andmi History 0/ 
India, p, 63 OSS I). 


stckod round the pyre as round a natal bed, and coramanded 
his eye to go to the sun, his breath to the wind, his limbs to the 
earth, the water and plants whence they had been derived. 
But • as for his unborn part, do thou, Lord (Agni), quicken it 
with thy heat; let thy flame and thy brightness quicken it; 
convey it to the world of ilie righteous. * 

For the lonely journey of the soul after its separation from Arj'an 
the body» the Ar}'ans, both in Asia and Europe, provided ^^^"^ '^^ 
faithful guides (the Sdrameyas in Sanskrit, Hermeias in Greek). Yama, or 
Accordiog to the Zend or old Arj-an legend in Persia, Yama l^*^^- 
was a monarch in the old time, when sorrow and sickness were 
unknown. By degrees sin and disease crept into the world ; 
the slow necessity of death hastened its step ; and the old 
king retired, with a chosen band, from the polluted earth into 
a better countr>^ where he still reigns. The Indian version of 
the stor)^ makes Yama to be the first man who passed through 
death into immortality. Having discovered the way to the 
other world, he leads men thither. He became the nekro- 
pompos, or guide of the Aryan dead. Meanwhile his two dogs 
iSdrameya$)^—*\^zx^ and spotted/ * broad of nostril,' and * with 
a hunger never to be satisfied' — wander as bis messengers 
among men. * Worship with an offering King Yama, the 
.\ssembler of Men, who departed to the mighty waters, who 
found out the road for many.' * 

Several exquisite hymns bid farewell to the dead : — * Depart The Vcdic 
thou, depart thou by the ancient paths to the place whither our [^^^^^jJJ/'^ 
fathers have departed. Meet with the Ancient Ones; meet 
with the Lord of Death. Throwing off thine imperfections, go 
' '^y home. Become united with a body; clothe thyself in a 
^hming form.* * Let him depart to those for whom flow the 
rivers of nectar. Let him depart to those who, through medi- 
tadon, have obtained the victor)^ ; who, by fixing their thoughts 
00 the unseen, have gone to heaven. Let him depart to the 
mighty in battle, to the heroes who have laid down their lives 
for others, to those who have bestowed their goods on the 
poor/ The doctrine of transmigration was unknown. The 
circle round the funeral-pile sang with a firm assurance that 
their friend went direct to a stale of blessedness and reunion 
with the loved ones who had gone before. * Do thou conduct 

* RigA^cda, X. 14. I, See Dr, John Muir's * Sanskrit Texts/ and his 
CSS17 00 * \%xsai,^ Jonrtml of the Royai Asiaiic S^iety\ part ii*, lS6Si whence 
nnDyoftbe aliove qaoialions are derived. See also Max Muller's essay on 
the ■ FlinenU Rites of the BMhmiins/ on which the following paragraph \% 
chiefly based. 




tions of 
lality, , 

lis to heaven,' says a hymn of the later Atharva-Veda ; * let us 
be with our wives and children.* * In heaven, where our friends 
dwell in bliss, — having left behind the infirmities of the body, 
free from lameness, free from crookedness of hmb, — there let 
us behold our parents and our children.' * May the water- 
shedding spirits bear thee upwards, cooling thee with their 
swift motion through the air, and sprinkling thee w^ith dew/ 
* Bear htm, can-)' him ; let him, w^ith all his faculties complete, 
go to the world of the righteous. Crossing the dark valley 
w^htch spreadeth boundless around him, let the unborn soul 
ascend to heaven. Wash the feet of him who is stained with 
sin ; let him go upwards with cleansed feet. Crossing the 
gloom, gadng with wonder in many directions, let the unborn 
soul go up to heaven.* 




into the 




inlo the 

The hymns of the Rig- Veda were composed, as we have 
seen, by the Aryans in their colonies along the Indus, and on 
their march eastwards towards the Jumna and upper Ganges, 
The growing numbers of the setders, and the arrival of fresh 
Arj-an tribes from behind, still compelled them to advance 
From * The Land of the Sacred Singers,' in the Eastern Punjab 
{Brahmarshi-dc%ha^ ank, p. 77), Maou describes them as 
spreading through * The Middle Land ' {Madhya-desha). This 
comprised the river system of the Ganges as far east as Oudli 
and Allahabad, with the Himalayas as its northern, and the 
Vindhya ranges as its southern boundary. 

The Ganges is only twice mentioned, and without special 
eniiihasis, in the Rig- Veda. The conquest of the Middle Land 
seems, therefore, not to have commenced till the close of the 
Rig- Vedic era. It must have been the work of many genera- 
tions, and it will be referred to when we come to examine the 
historical significance of the two great Sanskrit epics. Between 
the time when the Ar>^ans descended from Central Asia upon 
the plains of the Indus and the age when they passed the 
Ganges, they had conquered many of the aboriginal races, left 
others behind on their route, and had begun to wage inter-tribal 
wars among themselves, under rival Aryan heroes and rival 
Vedic priests. During this advance, the simple faith of the Rig- 
Vedic singers was first adorned with stately rites, and then 
extinguished beneath them. The race progressed from a loose 
confederacy of tribes into several well-knit nations, each bound 
together by the strong central force of kingly power, directed by 
a powerful priesthood, and organized on a firm basis of caste. 
Whence arose this new constitution of the Aryan tribes into 




ruitions, with castes, priests, and kings ? We have seen that 
although in their earlier colonies on the Indus each father was 
priest in his family, yet the Chieftain, or Lord of the Settlers, 
called in some man specially learned in holy offerings to 
conduct the greater tribal sacrifices. Such men were highly 
honoured^ and the famous quarrel which runs throughout the 
whole Veda sprang from the claims of two rival sages, 
Vasishtha and Viswamitra, to perfomi one of these ceremonies. 
The art of writing was unknown, and the hymns and sacrificial 
forraulse had to be handed down by word of mouth from 
father to son. 

It ihus came to pass that the families who knew these 
holy words by heart became the hereditary owners of the 
liturgies required at the most solemn offerings to the gods. 
Members of such households were chosen again and again 
to conduct the tribal sacrifices, to chant the battle-hymn, to 
implore the divine aid, or to pray away the divine wrath. Even 
the early Rig- Veda recognises the importance of these sacrifices. 
* That king/ says a verse, * before whom marches the priest, he 
alone dwells well established in his own house; to him the 
people bow down. The king who gives wealth to the priest, 
he will conquer; him the gods will protect.' The tribesmen 
first hoped, then believed, that a hymn or prayer which had 
once acted successfully, and been followed by victory, would 
again produce the same results. The hymns became a valu- 
able family property for those who had composed or learned 
them. The Rig- Veda tells how the prayer of Vasishtha pre- 
vauled * in the battle of the ten kings,* and how that of Viswa- 
mitra * presen*es the tribe of the Bhirats.' The potent prayer 
was termed brahman (from the root bt*ih - vrih^ to increase), 
and he who offered it, brahman. Woe to him who despised 
either I * Whosoever,* says the Rig-Veda, ' scoffs at the prayer 
which we have made, may hot plagues come upon hun, may 
the sky bum up that hater of Brdhmans/* 

Certain families thus came to have not only a hereditar)' 
claim to conduct the great sacrifices, but also the exclusive 
knowledge of the ancient hymns, or at any rate of the traditions 
which explained their symbolical meaning. They naturally 
tried to render the ceremonies soletnn and imposing. By 
degrees a vast array of ministrants grew up around each of the 
greater sacrifices. There were first the officiating priests and 

^ The following pages are largely indebted to Professor Weber's 
\ Mistffry of Indian Literal arc (Tnibner, 187S),— a debt very gratefully 
I acknowledged. 

The Aryan 


Origin of 



of priests* 



their assistants, who prepared the sacrificial ground, dressed 
the altar, slew the victims, and poured out the libations; 
second, the chanters of the Vedic hymns ; third, the reciters 
of other parts of the service ; fourth, the superior priests, who 
watched over the whole, and corrected mistidces. 
The four The entire service was derived from the Veda, or * inspired 
\e<ias. knowledge,* an old Aryan word which appears in the Latin 
vid-ere^ * to see or perceive ; * in the Greek yWi/t? of Homer, and 
oiday *I know;' in the Old English, I wit ; in the modem 

(1) The German and English, loissen^ wisdom^ etc. The Rig- Veda 
<ig- e a. exhibits the hymns in their simplest form, arranged in ten 

* circles,' according to the families of their composers, the Rishis. 
Some of the hymns are named after individual minstrels. 

But as the sacrifices grew more elaborate, the hymns were 
also arranged in four collections {sanhitds) or service-books 

(2) The for the ministering priests. Thus, the second, or Sdma-Veda, 
Veda. ^^^ made up of extracts from the Rig-Vedic hymns used at 

the Soma sacrifice. Some of its verses stamp themselves, by 
their antiquated grammatical forms, as older than their render- 

(3) The ing in the Rig- Veda itself. The third, or Yajur-Veda, consists 
not only of Rig-Vedic verses, but also of prose sentences, to be 
used at the sacrifices of the New and Full Moon ; and at the 

Great Horse Sacrifice, when 609 animals of various kinds were 

offered, perhaps in substitution for the earlier Man Sacrifice, 
its (rf) which is also mentioned in the Yajur-Veda. The Yajur-Veda 
^/>'^Wh"^^ is divided into two editions, the Black and the White Yajur : 
oditions. both belonging to a more modem period than either the Rig 

or the Sama Vedas, and composed after the Aryans had spread 

far to the east of the Indus. 

(4) The The fourth, or Atharva-Veda, was compiled from the least 
ancient hymns of the Rig-Veda in the tenth book ; and from 
the still later songs of the Brihmans, after they had established 

their priestly power. It supplies the connecting link between 

the simple Aryan worship of the Shining Ones exhibited in 

the Rig- Veda, and the complex Brdhmanical system which 

followed. It was only allowed to rank as part of the Veda 

after a long struggle. 

The four The four Vedas thus described, namely, the Rig-Veda, the 

Vedas Sdma, the Yajur, and the Atharva, formed an immense body 
!)ecome in- . . ^ . , •' ' _ , . . « , 

siifficient. 01 sacrificial poetry. But as the priests grew m number and 

power, they went on elaborating their ceremonies, until even 

the four Vedas became insufficient guides for them. They 

The Brah- accordingly compiled prose treatises, called Brdhmanas, attached 

core^^ d ^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Vedas, in order to more fully explain the 




functions of the officiating priests, Thus the Brdhniana of the 
Rig- Veda deals with the duties of ihe Reciter of the Hymns 
(hoiar) ; the Brahmana of the Sdma-Veda, with those of the 
Singer at the Soma sacrifice {udgdtar) \ the Brdhmaoa of the 
Yajur-Veda, with those of the actual performer of the Sacrifice 
{adhvaryu) ; while the Brdhniana of the Atharva-Veda is a 
medley of legends and speculations, having but little direct 
connection with the Veda whose name it bears. All the 
»Brihmanas, indeed, besides explaining the ritual^ lay down 
religious precepts and dogmas. Like the four Vedas, they 
are held to be the very Word of God, The Vedas and the 
Brdhmanas form the Revealed Scriptures {smtf) of the Hindus ; 
the Vedas supplying their divinely-inspired psalms, and the 
Brahmanas their divtnely-inspired theology or body of doctrine. 

Even this ample literature did not suffice. The priests 
accordingly composed a number of new works» called Sutras, 
which elaborated still further their system of sacrifice, and 
which asserted still more strongly their own claims as a separate 
and superior caste. They alleged that these Sutras, although 
not directly revealed by God, were founded on the inspired 
Vedas and Brahmanas, and that they had therefore a divine 
authority as sacred traditions {smriii). The Sutras, literally, 
* strings * of aphorisms, w^ere composed in the form of short 
sentences, for the sake of brevity, and in order that their vast 
number might be the better remembered in an age when writing 
was little practised, or unknown. Some of them, such as 
the Kal pa-Sutras, deal with the ritual and sacrifices ; others, 
hke the * Household ' or Grihya-Siitras, prescribe the ceremonies 
at birth, marriage, and death ; a still larger class of Sutras treat 
of the doctrines, duties, and privileges of the priests. The 
Siitras thus became the foundation of the whole legislation and 
philosophy of the Brahmans in later times. They exhibit the 
Brihmans no longer as the individual sacrificers of the Vedic 
period, but as a powerful hereditar)^ caste, claiming supremacy 
alike over king and people. 

Meanwhile, other castes had been gradually formed. As 
the Ar)ans moved eastwards from the Indus, some of the 
warriors ivere more fortunate than others, or received larger 
ihares of the conquered lands. Such families had not to dll 

eir fields with their own hands, but could leave that work 
to be done by the aboriginal races whom they subdued. In 
this way there grew up a class of warriors, freed from the 
, labour of husbandry, who surrounded the chief or king, and 

Sni/i, or 

The Sutras 
or Sacred 




Smriti ; 


' revealed.' 





casle fully 


of the 







The culti- 

and companions of the king formed an important class among 
the early Aryan tribes in India, as they certainly did among 
the mediaival branches of the race in Europe, and still do at 
the petty courts of India, Their old Sanskrit names, Kshat- 
triya^ Raj any a ^ and Raj ban si ^ mean * connected with the 
royal power,' or * of the royal line ; ' their usual modern name 
Rdjput means * of royal descent.' In process of time, when 
the Aryans settled down, not as mere fighting clans, but as 
powerful nations, in the Middle Land along the Jumna and 
Ganges, this warrior class grew in numbers and in power* 
The black races had been reduced lo serfdom, or driven back 
towards the Himalayas and the Vindhyas^ on the north and on 
the south of the central tract The incessant fighting, which 
had formed the common lot of the tribes on their actual 
migration eastwards from the Indus, now ceased. 

A section of the people accordingly laid aside their arms, 
and, devoting themseh^es to agriculture or other peaceful pur- 
suits, became the Vahyas, The sultry heats of the Middle 
Land must have abated their old northern energy^ and inclined 
them to repose. Those who, from family ties or from personal 
inclination, preferred a soldier's life, had to go beyond the 
frontier lo find an enemy. Distant expeditions of this sort 
could be undertaken much less conveniently by the husband- 
man than in the ancient time, when his fields lay on the verj- 
border of the enemy^s countr)', and had just been wrested 
from it. Such expeditions required and probably develot>ed a 
mihtary class ; endowed with lands, and with serfs to till the 
soil during the jnaster's absence at the wars. The old com- 
panions and kinsmen of the king formed a nucleus round 
which gathered the more daring spirits. They became in 
time a distinct miHtar)'' caste. 

The Arj'ans on the Ganges, in the * Middle Land,' thus 
found themselves divided into three classes — first, the priests, 
or Brahmans ; second, the warriors and king's companions, 
called in ancient times Kshattriyas, at the present day Rajputs; 
third, the husbandmen, or agricultural settlers, who retained 
the old name of Vaisyas, from the root vh^ which in the Vedic 
period had included the whole * people.' These three classes 
gradually became separate castes ; intermarriage between them 
was forbidden, and each kepi more and more strictly to its heredi- 
tary employment. Bui they were all recognised as belonging to 
* Twice-born,* or Aryan race ; they were all present at the great 
national sacrifices ; and all worshipped the same Bright Gods. 
(4) Siidras. Beneath them was a fourth or servile class, called Siidras, the 

The four 
castes : 

(1) Brah- 

(2) Kshat 

(3) Vais- 



remnants of the vanquished aboriginat tribes whose lives had 
been spared. These were * the slave-bands of black descent,' the 
Dasas of the Veda- They were distinguished from their * Twice- 
born ' Aryan conquerors as being only * Once^born/ and by 
many contemptuous epithets. They were not allowed to be 
present at the great national sacrifices, or at the feasts which 
followed them. They could never rise out of their servile 
condition ; and to them was assigned the severest toil in the 
fields, and all the hard and dirty work of the village community. 

Of the four Indian castes, three had a tendency to increase. The lirah- 
As the Ar>'an conquests spread, more aboriginal tribes were ^T'\ 
reduced to serfdom, as Siidras, The warriors, or Kshattriyas, triyas^ and 
would constantly receive additions from wealthy or enterprising Sudras 
members of the cultivating class. When an expedition or 
migration went forth to subdue new territor)', the whole 
colonists would for a time lead a military liJe, and their sons 
would probably all regard themselves as Kshattriyas. In 
ancient times, entire tribes, and at the present day the mass 
of the population throughout large tracts, thus claim to be 
of the warrior or Rdjput caste. Moreover, the kings and 
Itghting-men of aboriginal races who, without being conquered 
by the Ar}'ans, entered into alliance with them, would probably 
assume lor themselves the warrior or Kshattriya rank. We see 
this process going on at the present day among many of the 
aboriginal peoples. The Brihmans, in their turn, appear at 
first to have received into their body distinguished families of 
Kshattriya descent In later times, loo, we fmd that sections 
of aboriginal races were also * manufactureci ' wholesale into 
Brahmans. Unmistakeable cases of such * manufactures * or 
ethnical s>*ncretisms are recorded ; and besides the upper- 
class agricultural Brahmans, there are throughout India many 
local castes of Brahmans who follow the humble callings of 
fishermen, blacksmiths, ploughmen, and potato-growers.^ 

The Vaisya or cultivating caste did not tend, in this manner, The 
to increase- No one felt ambitious to win his way into it, jj^^^^i^ 
except perhaps the enslaved Sildras, to whom any change of 
condition was forbidden. The Vaisyas themselves tended in 
early times to rise into the more honourable warrior class ; 
and at a later period, to be mingled with the labouring 
multitude of SiSdras, or with the castes of mixed descent. In 
many Provinces they have now almost disappeared as a distinct 
caste. In ancient India, as at the present day, the three 
conspicuous castes w*ere (i) the priests and (2) warriors of 
^ See Hunter's Omxa, vol I pp, 239-264 (i872)» 










of ihe 

mitra and 

Aryan birth, and (3) the serfs or Siidras, the remnants 
earlier races. The Siidras had no rights ; and, once conJ 
quered, ceased to struggle against their fate. But a long 
contest raged between the priests and warriors for the chief 
place in the Aryan com inon wealth. 

In order to understand this contest, we must go back to 
the time when the priests and warriors were simply fellow- 
tribesmea The Brahman caste seems to have grown out of 
the families of Rishis who composed the Vedic hymns, or 
who were chosen to conduct the great tribal sacrifices. In 
after-times, the whole Brahmiin population of India pretended | 
to trace their descent from the Seven Rishis, heads of the 
seven priestly families to whom the Vedic hymns were 
assigned. But the composers of the Vedic hymns were 
smnetiraes kings or distinguished warriors rather than priests ; 
indeed, the Veda itself speaks of these royal Rishis {Rajarshis). 
When the B rah mans put forward their claim to the highest 
rank, the warriors or Kshattriyas were slow to admit it ; and 
when the Brahmans went a step further, and declared that only 
members of their families could be priests, or gain admission 
into the priestly caste, the warriors seem to have disputed 
their pretensions. In later ages, the Brahmans, having the 
exclusive keeping of the sacred writings, effaced from thera» as 
far as possible, all traces of their struggle with the Kshattriyas. 
The Brihmans taught that their caste had come forth from the 
mouth of God, divinely ordained to the priesthood from the 
beginning of time. Nevertheless, the Vedic and Sanskrit text^M 
record a long contest, perhaps representing a difference in race 
or separate waves of Aryan migrations. 

The quarrel between the two sages Viswamitra and Vas^ 
ishtha, which, as has been mentioned, runs through the whole 
Veda, is typical of this struggle. Viswdmitra stands as a 
representative of the royal -warrior rank, who claims to perform 
a great public sacrifice. The white-robed Vasishtha represents 
the Brahmans or hereditary priesthood, and opposes the 
warrior's claim. In the end, Viswimitra established his title to 
conduct the sacrifice ; but the Brahmans explain this by saying 
that his virtues and austerities won admission for him into 
the priestly family of Bhrigu. He thus became a Brahman, 
and could lawfully fill the priestly office. Viswamitra serves as 
a typical link, not only between the priestly and the worldly 
castes, but also between the sacred and the profane sciences. 
He was the legendary founder of the art of wnr, and his equally 
legendary son Susruta is quoted as the earliest authority on 


Indian medicine. These two sciences of war and medicine, 
fc^ether with music and architecture, form upa- Vedas, or sup- 
plementary sections of the divinely-inspired knowledge of the 

.Another famous royal Rishi, Vttahavya, * attained the con- Otlier 
d^tion of Brihmanhood, venerated by mankind/ by a word ^^u"**^ 
of the saintly Bhrigu. Parasu-Rama, the Divine Champion of triyas at- 
the Brlhmans, was of warrior descent by his mother's side. J^'^^ng 1*^ 
f Manu, their legislator, sprang from the warrior caste ; and his i^o^nl. 
father is expressly called * the seed of all the Kshattriyas/ But 
H-hen the Brdhmans had firmly established their supremacy, 
they became reluctant to allow the possibility of even princes 
finding an entrance into their sacred order. King Ganaka 
was more learned than all the Brihmans at his court, and 
j performed terrible penances to attain to Brih manhood. Yet 
the legends leave it doobtful whether he gained his desire. 
The still more holy, but probably later, Malanga, wore his 
body to skin and bone by a thousand years of austerities, and 
was held up from falling by the hand of the god Indra himself, 
Ne%*erthcless, he could not attain to Brdh manhood. Gautama 
Buddha, who in the 6th century before Christ overthrew the 
Brahman supremacy, and founded a new religion, was a prince 
of warrior descent; perhaps bom in too late an age to be 
adopted into, and utilized by, the Brahman caste. 

Among some of the Arjan tribes the priests apparently failed The 

to establish themselves as an exclusive order. Indeed, the four \ ^'^^ ♦ ,, 

Lana, toe 

castes, and especially the Brahman caste, seem only to have focus of 
obtained their full development amid the plenty of the Middle .hf^hman- 
Land {Madhya-daha), watered by the Jumna and the Ganges, "^ 
The early Arj^an settlements to the west of the Indus long re- 
mained outside the caste system ; the later Aryan offshoots to the 
soath and east of the Middle I^and only partially carried that 
system with them. But in the Middle Land itself, with Delhi as 
its western capital, and the great cities of Ajodhya (Oudh) and 
Benares on its eastern frontier, the Br^mans grew by degrees 
into a compact, learned, and supremely influential body, the 
makers of Sanskrit literature. Their language, their religion, 
and their laws, became in after times the standards aimed at 
throughout all India. They naturally denounced all who did Ar>an 
not submit to their pretensions, and they stigmatized the other J"^^^ , 
Aryan settlements who had not accepted their caste system as the Brah* 
lapsed tribes or outcasts ( Vnshaias). Among the lists of such nianical 
faHen races we read the name afterwards applied to the ^^^ ^' 
lonians or Greeks ( Yavanas). The Brdhmans of the Middle 





The Brah 
man su- 

make a 
wise uic 
of it. 

Land had not only to enforce their supremacy over the powerful 
warriors of iheir own kingdoms ; they had also to extend it 
among the outlying Aryan tribes who had never fully accepted 
their caste system. This must have been a slow work of ages, 
and it seems to have led to bitter feuds. 

There were moments of defeat^ indeed, when Brdhman 
leaders acknowledged the superiority of the warrior cast«, 
*None is greater,' says the Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, 'than 
the Kshattriya \ therefore the Brahman, under the Kshattriya, 
worships at the royal sacrifice (rdjasuyay ^ It seems likely 
that numbers of the Vaisyas or cultivators would take part 
with the Kshattnyas, and be admitted into their caste. 
That the contest was not a bloodless one is attested by many 
legends, especial iy that of Parasu-Rdma, or * Rima of the 
Axe.' This hero, w^ho was divinely honoured as the sixth 
Incarnation of Vishnu, appeared on the scene after alternate 
massacres by Brihmans and Kshattriyas had taken place. 
He fought on the Brahman side, and covered India with the 
carcases of the warrior caste. * Thrice seven times,' says the 
Sanskrit epic, * did he clear the earth of the Kshattriyas,* and 
so ended in favour of the Brdhmans the long struggle. 

It is vain to search into the exact historical value of such 
legends. They suffice to indicate an opposition among the 
early Aryan kingdoms to the claims of the Brahmans, and the 
mingled measures of conciliation and force by which that 
opposition was overcome. The Brdhman caste, having estab- 
lished its power, made a wise use of it From the ancient 
Vedic times its leaders recognised that if they were to exercise 
spiritual supremacy, they must renounce earthly pomp. In 
arrogating the priestly function, they gave up all claim to the 
royal office. They were divinely aiJpointed to be the guides 
of nations and the counsellors of kings, but they could not 
be kings themselves. As the duty of the Siidra was to serve, 
of the Vaisya to till the ground and follow middlenrlass 
trades or crafts, so the business of the Kshattriya w*as with 

* It is easy to exa^erate the significiiice of this passage, and dangerous 
to generalize from it. The author has to I hank Prof, Co we 11 and the late 
Dr. John Muir for notes upon its precise application. Webcr^ ///>/, InJ. 
Lit, p. 54 (tS/S)^ describes the rd/astiya as * the consecration of the king.* 
The author takes this opportunity of expressing his many obhgatjons to Dr. 
John Muir, his first teacher in Sanskrit, Dr, Muir, after an honourable 
career in the Bengal Civil Service, devoted the second half of his life to the 
study of ancient Indian literature ; and his five volumes of Origina/ Sarti- 
krif Texts form one of the most valuable and most permanent contributions 
to Oriental learning ro.ade in our time. 



the public enemy, and that of the Brahmans with the national 

While the Br^man leaders thus organized the occupations Four 
of the commonwealth, they also laid down strict rules for their ^j^J^^ of a 
own caste. They felt that as their functions were mysterious nfe. 
and above the reach of other men, so also must be their lives. 
Each day brought its hourly routine of ceremonies, studies, 
and duties. Their whole life was mapped out into four clearly- 
defined stages of discipline. For their existence, in its full First stage: 
religious significance, commenced not at birth, but on being ^^ 
invested at the close of childhood with the sacred thread of the (Orahma- 
Twice-Born. Their youth and early manhood were to be spent <^>*'M. 
in learning by heart from some Brdhman sage the inspired 
Scriptures, tending the sacred fire, and serving their preceptor. 
Having completed his long studies, the young Brdhman (2) The 
entered on the second stage of his life, as a householder. He no"se- 
married and commenced a course of family duties. When he (^//"j, 
had reared a family, and gained a practical knowledge of the i^i^)- 
world, he retired into the forest as a recluse, for the third period (3) The 
of his existence ; feeding on roots or fruits, and practising his Y^^V'^' 
religious rites with increased devotion. The fourth stage was {vdna- 
that of the ascetic or religious mendicant, wholly withdrawn from prastha), 
earthly affairs, and striving to attain a condition of mind (4) The 
which, heedless of the joys, or pains, or wants of the body, is Ascetic 
intent only on its final absorption into the deity. The Brdhman, ^X/)* 
in this fourth stage of his life, ate nothing but what was given to 
him unasked, and abode not more than one day in any village, 
lest the vanities of the world should find entrance into his 
heart. Throughout his whole existence, he practised a strict 
temperance; drinking no wine, using a simple diet, curbing 
the desires, shut off from the tumults of war, and his thoughts 
fixed on study and contemplation. * What is this world ? ' 
says a Brdhman sage. ' It is even as the bough of a tree, on 
which a bird rests for a night, and in the morning flies away.* 

It may be objected that so severe a life of discipline could Brahman 
never be led by any large class of men. And no doubt there j^^^^ ^^ 
have been at all times worldly Brdhmans ; indeed, the struggle 
for existence in modem times has compelled the great majority 
of the Brdhmans to betake themselves to secular pursuits. 
But the whole body of Sanskrit literature bears witness to the 
fact that this ideal life was constantly before their eyes, and 
that it served to the whole caste as a high standard in its 
two really essential features of self-culture vmdi self-restraint. 



nde of 

Its here- 
results on 
I he casle. 


Incidents in the history of Buddha, in the 6th century before 
Christ, show that numbers of Brihmans at that time lived 
according to this rule of life. Three hundred years later, the 
Greek ambassador, Megasthenes, found the Brahmans dis- 
coursing in their groves, chiefly on life and death. The 
Chinese travellers, down to the roth century a.d., attest the 
survival of the Brihmanical pattern of the religious life. The 
whole monastic system of India, and those vast religious 
revivals which have given birth to the modern sects of Hin- 
duism, are based on the same withdrawal from worldly affairs. 
At this day^ Brdhman colleges, called tols^ are carried on 
without fees on the old model, at Nadiya in Bengal, and 
elsewhere. The modern visitor to these retreats can testify 
to the stringent self-discipline, and to the devotion to learning 
for its own sake, often protracted till past middle-life, and 
sometimes by grey-haired students. 

The Brahmans, therefore, were a body of men who, in an 
early stage of this world's history, bound themselves by a rule 
of life the essential precepts of which were self-culture and self- 
restraint. As they married within their own caste, begat 
children only during their prime, and were not liable to lose 
the finest of their youth in war, they transmitted their best 
qualities in an ever-increasing measure to their descendants. 
The Brahmans of the present day are the result of nearly 3000 
years of hereditary education and self-restraint ; and they have 
evolved a type of mankind quite distinct from the surrounding 
population. Even the passing traveller in India marks them 
out, alike from the bronze-cheeked, large-limbed, leisure- 
loving Rdjput or warrior caste of Aryan descent ; and from the 
dark-skinned, flat- nosed, thick-lipped low-castes of non- Aryan 
origin, with their short bodies and bullet heads. The Brahman 
stands apart from both ; tall and slim, with hnely modelled 
lips and nose, fair complexion, high forehead, and somewhat 
cocoa-nut shaped skull — the man of seli-centred refinement. 
He is an example of a class becoming the ruling power in a 
country, not by force of arms, but by the vigour of hereditary 
culture and temperance. One race has swept across India after 
another, dynasties have risen and fallen, religions have spread 
themselves over the land and disappeared But since the 
dawn of history, the Brahman has calmly ruled ; swaying the 
minds and receiving the homage of the people, and accepted 
by foreign nations as the highest type of Indian mankind. 

The paramount position which the Brdhmans won, resulted, 
in no small measure, from the benefits which they bestowed. 


For their own Aryan countrymen, they developed a noble The work 
language and iiterature. The Brdhmans were not only the th^" Brah- 
priests and philosophers. They were also the lawgivers, the mans for 
statesmen, the administrators, the men of science, and the ^"^*^ 
poets of their race. Their influence on the aboriginal peoples, 
the hill and forest races of India, was not less important. To 
these nide remnants of the flint and bronze ages they brought 
in ancient times a knowledge of the metals and of the gods. 
Within the historical period, the Brdhmans have incorporated 
the mass of the backward races into the social and religious 
organization of Hinduism. A system of worship is a great 
comfort to a tropical people, hemmed in by the uncontrolled 
forces of nature, as it teaches them how to propitiate those 
mysterious powers, and so tends to liberate their minds from 
the terrors of the unseen. 

The reflective life of the Middle Land {Madhya-desha) led Brahman 
the Brdhmans to see that the old gods of the Veda were in ^^^^ology. 
reality not supreme beings, but poetic fictions. For when they 
came to think the matter out, they found that the sun, the 
aqueous vapour, the encompassing sky, the wind, and the 
dawn, could not each be separate and supreme creators, but 
must have all proceeded from one First Cause. They did not 
shock the religious sense of the less speculative castes by any 
public rejection of the Vedic deities. They accepted the old its esoteric 
* Shining Ones ' of the Veda as beautiful manifestations of the *"^ ®*°" 
divine power, and continued to decorously conduct the sacrifices 
in their honour. But among their own caste, the Brdhmans 
distinctly enunciated the unity of God. To the Veda, the 
BnLhmanas, and the Siitras, they added a vast body of theo- 
logical literature, composed at intervals between 800 ac. and 
1000 A.D. The Upanishads, meaning, according to their great 
Brihnian expounder, * The Science of God,' and His * identity 
with the soul ; ' the Aranyakas, or * Tracts for the Forest- 
Recluse ; ' and the much later Purdnas, or * Traditions from of 
Old,' — contain mystic and beautiful doctrines inculcating the 
unity of God and the immortality of the soul, mingled with less 
noble dogmas, popular tales, and superstitions. The mass of 
the people were left to believe in four castes, four Vedas, and 
many deities. But the higher thinkers among the Brdhmans 
recognised that in the beginning there was but one caste, one 
Veda, and one God. 

The old 'Shining Ones' of the Vedic singers were, indeed, Rise of the 
no longer suitable deities, either for the life which the Aryans P^st-Vedic 
led after they advanced into Southern Bengal, or for the country 
vou VL G 



The vast 
forces of 

in Bengal. 

The Hindu 
Triad : 

Brahma ; 

Vishnu ; 





in which they lived. The Vedic gods were the good ' friends * 
of the free-hearted warring tribes in Northern India, settled 
on the banks of fordable streams or of not overpowering rivers. 
In Central and South-Eastern Bengal, the Brdhmans required 
deities whose nature and attributes would satisfy profoundly 
reflective minds, and at the same time would be commensurate 
with the stupendous forces of nature amid which they dwelt The 
storm-gods {Maruts) of the Veda might suffice to raise the 
dust-whirlwinds of the Punjab, but they were evidently deities 
on a smaller scale than those which wielded the irresistible 
cyclones of Bengal The rivers, too, had ceased to be merely 
bountiful givers of wealth, as in the north. Their accumulated 
waters came down in floods, which buried cities and drowned 
provinces; wrenching away the villages on their banks, de- 
stroying and reproducing the land with an equal balance. The 
High-born Dawn, the Genial Sun, the Friendly Day, and the 
kindly but confused old groups of Vedic deities, accordingly 
gave place to the conception of one god in his three solemn 
manifestations as Brahmd the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, 
and Siva the Destroyer and Reproducer. 

Each of these highly elaborated gods had his prototype 
among the Vedic deities ; and they remain to this hour the 
three persons of the Hindu Triad. Brahmi, the Creator, was 
too abstract an idea to be a popular god ; and in a journey 
through India, the traveller comes on only one great seat of 
his worship at the present day, on the margin of the sacred 
lake Push KARA, near Ajmere. A single day of Brahmd is 
2 1 60 millions of man's years. Vishnu, the Preserver, was a more 
useful and practical deity. In his ten incarnations, especially 
in his seventh and eighth, as Rdma and Krishna, under many 
names and in varied forms, he took the place of the bright 
Vedic gods. Siva, the third person of the Triad, embodied, 
as Destroyer and Reproducer, the profound Brdhmanical con- 
ception of death as a change of state and an entry into new life. 
He thus obtained, on the one hand, the special reverence of the 
mystic and philosophic sects among the Brdhmans ; while, on 
the other, his terrible aspects associated him alike with the 
Rudra, or * God of Roaring Tempests * of the Veda, and with 
the blood-loving deities of the non-Aryan tribes. Vishnu and 
Siva, in their diverse male and female shapes, now form, for 
practical purposes, the gods of the Hindu population. 

The truth is, that the Aryans in India worshipped — first, as 
they feared ; then, as they admired ; and finally, as they reasoned. 
Their earliest Vedic gods were the stupendous phenomena of 


the visible world ; these deities became divine heroes in the 
epic legends; and they were spiritualized into nhstraciions by 
the philosophical schools. From the Vedic ern downward— 
that is to say, during a period which cannot be estimated at 
less than 3000 years — the B rah mans have sluwly elaborated 
the forces and splendid maniiestatiuns of nature into a har- 
monious godhead, and constructed a system of belief and 
worship for the Indian people. They also pondered deeply on 
the mysteries of life. Whence arose this fabric <yf the visible 
world, and whence came we ourselves — we who with conscious 
minds look out upon it? It is to these questions that philo- 
so>phy has, among all racesj owed her birth ; and the Brdhmans 
arranged their widely diverse answers to them in six great 
S)'siems or darsanas^ literally * mirrors of knowledge.' 

The present sketch can only touch upon the vast body of TtK? k\x 
s|>eculalion which thus grew up, at least 500 years before Christ. ^^J'^JJ^^j, 
The universal insoluble problems of thought and being, of 
mind and matter, and of soul as apart from both, of the origin 
of evil, of the summum bonum of hfe, of necessity and freewill, 
and of the relations of the Creator to the creature, are in the 
six schools of Brdhmanical philosophy endlessly discussed. 

The Sankhya system of the sage Kapila explains the visible (') The 
world by assuming the existence of a primordial matter from ^^ ^^ * 
all eternity, out of which the universe has, by successive stages, 
evolved itsetf. The Yoga school of Patanjali assumes the exist- (2) The 
ence of a primordial soul, anterior to the primeval matter, and ^^^ ' 
holds that from the union of the two the spirit of life {mahdn- 
aimd) arose. The two Vedanta schools ascribe the visible world ^3» 4) The 
to a divine act of creation, and assume an omnipotent god as *^ ^^^^^ * 
the cause of the existence, the continuance, and the dissolu- 
tion of the universe. The Nyaya or logical school of Gautama <5) J*^^* 
enunciates the method of arrirmg at truth, and lays special ^ ^^^'^ ' 
stress on the sensations as the source of knowledge. It is 
usually classed together with the sixth school, the Vaiseshika, (6) The 
founded by the sage Kandda» which teaches the existence of a ^^^^^"^ 
transient world composed of eternal atoms. All the six schools 
had the same starting-point, ex nihilo nihil fit. Their sages, as 
a rule, struggled towards the same end^ namely the liberation 
of the human soul from the necessity of existence and from 
the chain of future births, by its absorption into the Supreme 
Soul, or primordial Essence of the universe.^ 

* Any attempt to fuse into a few lines the vast conflicling masses of 
Ilinilu philosophical doctrines must be unsatisfactory. Objcciions may l>e 
ukcQ to cofnpres&ing the sub-divisions and branching doctrines of each 


of Brah- 

The Brdhmans, therefore, treated philosophy as a branch of 
religion. Now the universal functions of religion are to lay down 
a rule of conduct for this life, and to supply some guide to the 
next. The Brdhraan solutions to the problems of practical 
religion, were self-discipline, alms, sacrifice to and contem- 
plation of the deity. But besides the practical questions of 
the spiritual life, religion has also intellectual problems, such as 
the compatibility of evil with the goodness of God, and the un- 
equal distribution of happiness and misery in this life. Brdhman 
philosophy exhausted the possible solutions of these difficulties, 
and of most of the other great problems which have since per- 
plexed Greek and Roman sage, mediaeval schoolman, and 
modem man of science. The various hypotheses of Creation, 
Arrangement, and Development were each elaborated; and 
the views of physiologists at the present day are a return, with 
new lights, to the evolution theory of Kapila. His Sinkhya 
system is held by Weber to be the oldest of the six Brdhman 
schools, and certainly dates from not later than 500 B.a The 
works on Religion published in the native languages in India 
in 1877 numbered 1192, besides 56 on Mental and Moral 
Philosophy. In 1882, the totals had risen to 1545 on 
Religion, and 153 on Mental and Moral Philosophy. 




The Brdhmans had also a circle of sciences of their own. 
The Science of Language, indeed, had been reduced in India 
to fundamental principles at a time when the grammarians of 
the West still treated it on the basis of accidental resemblances ; 
and modern philology dates from the study of Sanskrit by 
European scholars. Pdnini was the architect of Sanskrit 
grammar ; but a long succession of grammarians must have 
laboured before he reared his enduring fabric The date 
of Pdnini has been assigned by his learned editor Bohtlink 
to about 350 B.C Weber, reasoning from a statement made 
(long afterwards) by the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang, sug- 
gests that it may have been later. The grammar of Panini 
stands supreme among the grammars of the world, alike for its 
precision of statement, and for its thorough analysis of the 
roots of the language and of the formative principles of 
words. By employing an algebraic terminology it attains a 
sharp succinctness unrivalled in brevity, but at times enigma- 
tical. It arranges, in logical harmony, the whole phenomena 

school into a single sentence. But space forbids a more lengthy disqm'- 
sition. The foregoing paragraphs endeavour to fairly condense the accounts 
which H. H. Wilson, Albrecht Weber, Professor Dowsoo, aod the Rev. 
K, M, Banarjf give of the Six Darsanas or Schools. 


which the Sanskrit language presents, and stands forth as 
one of the most splendid achievements of human invention 
and industry. So elaborate is the structure, that doubts have 
arisen whether its complex rules of formation and phonetic 
change, its polysyllabic derivatives, its ten conjugations with 
their multiform aorists and long array of tenses, could ever 
have been the spoken language of a people. This question wilL 
be discussed in the chapter on the modern vernaculars of India. 

It is certain that a divergence had taken place before the Sanskrit 
time of Pinini (350 rc), and that the spoken language, or pj^jj^jj 
Mkrita-bkdshd, had already assumed simpler forms by the speech, 
assimilation of consonants and the curtailment of terminals. 
The Samskrita-bhdshdy literally, the * perfected speech,' which 
Pinini stereot)rped by his grammar, developed the old Aryan 
tendency to accumulations of consonants, with an undi- 
minished, or perhaps an increased, array of inflections. In 
this highly elaborated Sanskrit the Brdhmans wrote. It became 
the literary language of India, — isolated from the spoken 
dialects, but prescribed as the vehicle for philosophy, science, 
and all poetry of serious aim or epic dignity. As the Aryan 
race mingled with the previous inhabitants of the land, 
the spoken Prakrits adopted words of non-Aryan origin and 
severed themselves from Sanskrit, which for at least 2000 
years has been unintelligible to the common people of India. 
The old synthetic spoken dialects, or Prdkrits, underwent the 
same decay as Latin did, into analytic vernaculars, and about 
the same time. The noble parent languages, alike in India 
and in Italy, died; but they gave birth to families of vernaculars 
which can never die 

An intermediate stage of the process can be traced in the 
Hindu drama, in which persons of good birth speak in Prd- 
kritized Sanskrit, and the low-castes in a bhdshd, or patois, 
between the old Prdkrit and the modem dialects. It is chiefly 
under the popularizing influences of British rule that the Indian 
vernaculars have become literary languages. Until the last 
century, Sanskrit, although as dead as Latin so far as the mass 
of the people were concerned, was the vehicle for all intel- 
lectual and artistic effort among the Hindus, their local ballads 
and the writings of religious reformers excepted. In addition, 
therefore, to other sources of influence, the Brdhmans were 
the interpreters of a national literature written in a language 
unknown to the people. 

The priceless inheritance thus committed to their charge Sanskrit' 
they handed down, to a great extent, by word of mouth. Partly ^^^^' 


No very from this cause, but chiefly owing to the destructive climate oi 

Indb^^ India, no Sanskrit manuscripts of remote antiquity exist. A 

Mss. fairly continuous series of inscriptions on rocks, pillars, and 

copper-plates, enable us to trace back the Indian alphabets 

to the 3rd century b.c. But the more ancient of existing 

Sanskrit manuscripts are only four hundred years old, very 

few have an age exceeding five centuries, and only two date as 

far back as 1132 and 1008 a.d.^ The earliest Indian ms. 

1008 A.D. (1008 A.D.) comes from the cold, dry highlands of NepdL* In 

Kashmfr, birch-bark was extensively used : a substitute for paper 

also employed in India before 500 A.D., and still surviving in 

the amulets with verses on them which hang round the neck 

of Hindus.* Indeed, birch-bark is to this day used by some 

native merchants in the Simla Hills for their account books. 

Palm-leaf The palm-leaf was, however, the chief writing material in 

MSS. of ancient and mediaeval India. Two Sanskrit manuscripts on 

japan. ^^^ substance have been preserved in the Monastery of Horitizi 

in Japan since the year 609 a.d. It seems probable that 

these two strii)S of palm-leaf were previously the property of a 

520 A.D. ? Buddhist monk who migrated from India to China in 520 a.d.* 

At any rate, they cannot date later than the first half of the 

6th century; and they are the oldest Sanskrit manuscripts 

yet discovered. They were photographed in the Anecdota 

Oxoniensiay 1884. 

7^f. With regard to the origin of the Indian alphabets, the evi- 

Indian , . ° ,, ,. , /. , . ^ 

Alphabets, dence is still too undigested to safely permit of cursory state- 
ment Of the two characters in which the Asoka inscriptions 
were written (250 a.d.), the northern variety, or Ariano-Pdli, is 
now admitted to be of Phoenician, or at any rate of non-Indian, 

^ Footnote 198a to Weber's Hist, Ind, Lit, p. 182 (1878), quoting the 
report of Rdjendrd LiU Mitra (1874), and Dr. Rost's letter (1875). Mr. 
R. Cust, in a note for The Imperial Gazetteer of Ittdia^ assigns the year 883 
A.D. as the date of the earliest existing Sanskrit MS. at Cambridge. But 
this remains doubtful. For very interesting information regarding the age of 
Indian MSS. see the official reports of the Search for Sanskrit Manuscripts 
in Bengal, Bombay, and Madras ; particularly Dr. G. Blihler's (extra num- 
ber of the Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Socirty^ 
No. xxxiv.A, vol. xii. 1877), and Professor P. Peterson's (extra numbers of 
the same Journal, xli. 1883, and xliv. 1884). 

* The present author has printed and sent to the India Office Library, for 
public reference, a catalogue of the 332 Sanskrit Buddhist MSS. collected 
by Mr. B. H. Hodgson in Nepdl. 

3 Dr. Biihler's Tour in Search for Sanskrit MSS,, Journal Bombay 
Asiatic Society t xxxiv.A, p. 29, and footnote. 1877. 

* Anecdota Oxoniensia^ Aryan Series, p. 64, vol. i. Part III. (1S84.) See 
also Part I. of the volume, and pp. 3, 4 of Part III. 


parentage. The southern variety, or Indo-Pdll, is believed by 
some scholars to be of Western origin, while others hold it to 
be an independent Indian alphabet. An attempt has even been 
made to trace back its letters to an indigenous system of 
picture-writing, or hieroglyphs, in pre-historic India.^ Quintus 
Curtius mentions that the Indians wrote on leaves in the time 
of Alexander (326 ac.).^ They do so to this hour. Few, if 
any, Indian manuscripts on paper belong to a period anterior 
to the i6th century a.d. The earUest Indian writings are on 
copper or stone; the mediaeval ones generally on strips of palm- 
leaves. General Cunningham possesses a short inscription, 
vritten with ink in the inside of a lid made of soapstone, 
dating from the time of Asoka, or 256 b.c The introduc- 
tion of paper as a writing material may be studied in the 
interesting collection of Sanskrit manuscripts at the Deccan 
College, Poona. 

Sanskrit literature was the more easily transmitted by word of Sanskrit 
mouth, from the circumstance that it was almost entirely written ^^g^ 
in verse. A prose style, simple and compact, had grown up entirely in 
during the early age following that of the V^dic hymns. But ^^'^®- 
Sanskrit literatiu-e begins with the later, although still ancient, 
stage of Aryan development, which superseded the Vedic 
gods by the Brihmanical Triad of Brahmi, Vishnu, and Siva. 
When Sanskrit appears definitively on the scene in the centuries 
preceding the birth of Christ, it adopted once and for all a 
rhythmic versification alike for poetry, philosophy, science, law, 
and religion, with the exception of the Beast Fables and the 
almost algebraic strings of aphorisms in the Sutras. The 
Buddhist legends adhered more closely to the spoken dialects 
of ancient India, prdkrita-bhdshd ; and they also have retained 
a prose style. But in classical Sanskrit literature, prose 
became an arrested development ; the sioka or verse reigned Prose, a 
supreme ; and nothing can be clumsier than the attempts at ^^^'^otten 
prose in later Sanskrit romances and commentaries. Prose- 

^ By General Cunningham, Corp%is Inscriptionum Indicarum^ pp.52rfj/^. 
The attempt cannot be pronounced successful. Dr. Burnell's Paleography 
of Souikem India exhibits the successive developments of the Indian 
alphabet For the growth of the Indian dialects, see Mr. Beames' Compara- 
tive Greunmar of the Modern Aryan Languages of India ; Dr. Rudolph 
Hoemle's Comparative Grammar of the Gaudian Languages ; two excellent 
papers, by Mr. E. h, Brandreth, on the Gaudian Languages, in the Journ, 
Roy, As, Soc,, vols. xi. xii.; and Mr. R. N. Gust's Linguistic and Oriental 
Essays^ pp. 144-171, Triibner, 1880. For a compendious view of the 
Indian alphabets, see Faulmann*s Buch der Schrifty 1 19-158, Vienna, 1880. 

' Alexander in India, lib. viii. cap. 9, v. 15. 


writing was practically a lost art in India during eighteen 
hundred years. 
Sanskrit Sanskrit dictionaries are a more modem product than Sanskrit 
aries. grammars. The oldest Indian lexicographer whose work sur- 
vives, Amara-Sinha, ranked among the 'nine gems' at the 
court of Vikramdditya, one of several monarchs of the same 
name — assigned to various periods from 56 b.c. to 1050 a.d. 
The particular Vikramdditya under whom the * nine gems ' are 
said to have flourished, appears from evidence in Hiuen 
Tsiang's travels to have lived about 500 to 550 a.d. A well- 
known memorial v^rse makes Amara-Sinha a contemporary ol 
Vardha-Mihira, the astronomer, 504 a. d. The other Sanskrit 
lexicons which have come down belong to the nth, 12th, and 
subsequent centuries a.d. Those centuries, indeed, seem to 
The mark an era of industry in Sanskrit dictionary - making ; and 

koshr ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^ inherent evidence in Amara - Sinha's work (the 
550 A.D. ? Amara-kosha) to show that, in its present form, it was separated 
from them by any wide interval. The number of works on 
language published in 1877 in the Indian tongues, was 604; 
and in 1882, 738. 
Brdhman The astronomy of the Brdhmans has formed alternately the 
astronomy, subject of excessive admiration and of misplaced contempt 
The truth is, that there are three periods of Sanskrit astronomy 
dem ^'^' {/yoti'Sdstra), The first period belongs to Vedic times, and has 
period, to left a moderate store of independent observations and inferences 
Scx) B.C. worked out by the Brdhmans. The Vedic poets had arrived 
at a tolerably correct calculation of the solar year ; which they 
divided into 360 days, with an intercalary month every five 
years. They were also acquainted with the phases of the moon ; 
they divided her pathway through the heavens into 27 or 28 
lunar mansions ; and they had made observations of a few of 
the fixed stars. The order in which the lunar mansions are 
enumerated is one which must have been established * some- 
where between 1472 and 536 b.c.* (Weber). The planets were 
also an independent, although a later discovery, bordering on 
the Vedic period. At first seven, afterwards nine in number, 
they bear names of Indian origin ; and the generic term for 
planet, graha, the seizer, had its source in primitive Sanskrit 
astrology. The planets are mentioned for the first time, perhaps, 
in the Taittiriya-Aryanaka. The I^ws of Manu, however, are 
silent regarding them ; but their worship is inculcated in the 
later code of Ydjnavalkya. The zodiacal signs and the Jyotisha, 
or so-called Vedic Calendar, — with its solstitial points referring 
to 1 181 B.C., or to a period still more remote, — seem to have 

BRAHMAN ASTRONOMY, 500 ^,C— 1728 A.D. 105 

been constructed, or at any rate completed, in an age long 
subsequent to the Veda. The influence of the Chinese 
observers upon Indian astronomy, especially with regard to 
the lunar mansions, is an undecided but a pregnant question. 

The second period of Brahman astronomy dates from the Second 
Greek and Greco- Bactiian invasions of India, during the three ^^^^ ' 
centuries before Christ The influence of Greece infused new influences, 
life into the astronomy of the Hindus. The Indian astrono- 327 b.c to 
mers of this period speak of the Vavanas, or Greeks, as their 
instructors; and one of their five systems is entitled the 
Romaka-Siddh^nta.^ Their chief writer in the 6th ceniur>', 
Variha-Mihira, 504 a.d,, gives the Greek names of the planets 
side by side with their Indian appellations ; and one of his works 
bears a Greek title, Hori-Sastra {^Mpyi), The Greek division of 
the heavens into zodiacal signs, decani, and degrees, enabled 
the Brdhmans to cultivate astronomy io a scientific spirit; and 
they elaborated a new system of their own. They rectified the 
succession of the Sanskrit lunar mansions which had ceased to 
be in accordance with the actual facts, transferring the two last 
of the old order to the first two places in the new* 

In certain points the Brdhmans advanced beyond Greek Best age r*f 

astronomv. Their fame spread throui^hout the West, and found l^^^^i^^^ 

t . ^ 1 r y J L astro Qomy, 

entrance into the Chionicon Paschale {commenced about 330 

A,D, ; revised, under Heraclius, 6 1 0=64 1 a. d. ). In the 8th and 9th 

centuries, the Arabs became their disciples, borrowed the lunar 

mansions in the revised order from the Hindus, and translated 

the Sanskrit astronomical treatises Siddhdntas under the name 

of StftJkends, The Brdhman astronomer of the 6th century, 6th century 

Varaha-Mihira, was followed by a famous sage, Brahma-gupta, a.d. 

in the 7th (664 a.d.); and by a succession of distinguished 

workers, ending with Bhdskara, in the 12th (1150 A.D.). 

The Mohammadan conquest of India then put a stop to Tbirtl 
further independent progress. After the death of Bhdskara, pe"ocl ; 
Indian astronomy gradually decayed, and owed any occasional ^ndcr 
impulse of vitality to Arabic science. Hindu observers of ^^uhom- 
note arose at rare intervals. In the i8th century (1710-1735), ^^i^^ 
Rdji Jai Singh 11, constructed a set of obser\'atories at his 11 50-1 800 
capital Jaipur, and at Delhi, Benares, Muttra, and Ujjain. ^'^* 
His observations enabled him to correct the astronomical tables ^J^^?p[: ^ 


^ That is, the Grecian Siddhinta. Another, the Paulisa-Siddhanta. is 1728* 
stated by Al Binini to have been composed by Paulus al Yiinini, and is 
probably to be regarded, says Weber, as a translatioo of the ^Itmymyn of 
Paiilus Alexandriiius. But sec \Veber*s own footnote, No* 277, p, 253, 
Jiisi, Ind. LU. (1878). 



Raja ot 



of De la Hire, published in 1 702, before the French accepted 
the Newtonian Astronomy. The Kijd left, as a monument of 
his skill, lists of stars collated by himself, known as the Tij Mu- 
hammad Shdhi, or Tables of Muhammad Shdh, the Emperor of 
Delhi, by whose command he undertook the reformation of the 
Indian Calendar. His observatory at Benares survives to this 
day; and elsewhere, his huge astronomical structures testify, 
by their ruins, to the ambitious character of his observations. 
Nevertheless, Hindu astronomy steadily declined. From Vedic 
times it had linked omens and portents with the study of the 
heavens. Under the Muhammadan dynasties it degenerated 
into a tool of trade in the hands of almanac-makers, genea- 
logists, astrologers, and charlatans. It is doubtful how far 
even Rdjd Jai Singh's observations were conducted by native 
astronomers. It is certain that the Catholic missionaries 
contributed greatly to his reputation ; and that since the 
sixteenth century the astronomy of the Hindus, as of the 
Chinese, is deeply indebted to the science of the Jesuits. 

In algebra and arithmetic, the Brdhmans attained to a high 
degree of proficiency independent of Western aid. To them 
we owe the invention of the numerical symbols on the decimal 
system ; the Indian figures i to 9 being abbreviated forms of 
the initial letters of the numerals themselves,^ and the zero, 
or o, representing the first letter of the Sanskrit word for empty 
(sunya). The correspondence of the numeral figures with the 
initial letters of their Indian names, can be clearly traced in 
the LiSndi character, a cursive form of writing still used in 
the Punjab, especially among the hereditary trading castes. 
The Arabs borrowed these figures from the Hindus, called 
them the * Indian cyphers,* and transmitted them to Europe. 
The Arabian mathematicians, indeed, frequently extol the 
learning of the Indians ; and the Sanskrit term for the apex 
of a planet's orbit seems to have passed into the Latin 
translations of the Arabic astronomers.^ The works on 
mathematics and mechanical science, published in the native 
languages in India in 1877, numbered 89; and, in 1882, 166. 

The medical science of the Brdhmans was also an indepen- 
dent development. The national astronomy and the national 
medicine of India alike derived their first impulses from 
the exigencies of the national worship. Observations of the 

^ Dr. Bumell, however, questioned this generally accepted view, and sug- 
gested that the old cave numerals of India are themselves of Greek origin. 

* The Sanskrit ucc/ia has become the aux (gen. augis) of the Latin 
translators (Reinaud, p. 525 ; Weber, p. 257). 



heavenly bodies were required to fix the dates of the recurring 
festivals; anatomical knowledge took its origin in the dissection 
of the victim at the sacrifice, with a view to dedicating the 
diferent parts to the proper gods. The Hindus ranked their Its inde- 
njcdical science as an upa-vcda^ or a supplementary revelation, 5^"^jo"i. 
uiKJer the title of Ayur-Veda, and ascribed it to the gods, ment, 4ih 
But their earliest medical authorities belong to the SiStra ""^*^(^c.| 
period, or later scholastic development, of the Y^jur-Veda. century 
The specific diseases whose names occur in Pinini's Grammar a*d, : 
indicate that medical studies had made progress before his 
time (350 ac). The chapter on the human body in the 
earliest Sanskrit dictionary, the Amara-kosha {pre, 550 a,d.), 
presuppose a systematic cultivation of the science. The 
works of the great Indian physicians, Charaka and Susruta, 
were translated into Arabic not later than the 8th century. 

Unlike the astronomical treatises of the Brahmans, the The ba^is 
Hindu medical works never refer to the Yavanas, or Greeks, -^•^abic 
as authorities ; and, with one doubtful exception, they con- European 
tain no names which point to a foreign origin. The chief seat nicdigintr. 
of the science was at Benares, far to the east of Greek influence 
in IndisL Indeed, Indian pharmacy employed the weights 
and measures of Provinces still farther to the south-east, 
namely, Magadha and Kalinga, Arabic medicine was founded 
00 the translations from the Sanskrit treatises, made by com- 
mand of the Kaliphs of Bagdad, 750-960 a.d. European 
medicine, down to the 17th century, was based upon the 
Arabic ; and the name of the Indian physician Charaka 
itedly occurs in the Latin translations of Avicenna (Ibn 
Btna)» Rhazes (Al Rasi), and Serapion (Ibn Serabi)* 

Indian medicine dealt with the whole area of the science. Scope of 
It described the structure of the body, its organs, ligaments, i,"ed|'c1ne. 
usdes, vessels, and tissues. The materia medka of the 
lindus embraces a vast collection of dnigs belonging to the 
nineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, many of which have 
een adopted by European physicians. Their pharmacy 
Dntained ingenious processes of preparation, with elaborate 
Krections for the administration and classification of medi- 
rines. Much attention was devoted to hygiene, to the regimen 
of the body, and to diet. 

The surgery of the ancient Indian physicians appears to Indian 
have been bold and skilful They conducted amputations^ surgery, 
an-esting the bleeding by pressure, a cup-shaped bandage, and 
boiling oil. They practised lithotomy ; performed operations in 
the abdomen and uterus j cured hernia, fistula, piles ; set broken 



bones and dislocations ; and were dexterous in the extraction 

of foreign substances from the body. A special branch of 

surgery was devoted to rhinoplasty, or operations for improving 

Nose- deformed ears and noses, and forming new ones; a useful 

^^ *°^' operation in a country where mutilation formed part of the 

judicial system, and one which European surgeons have 

borrowed. It is practised with much success in the Residency 

Hospital at Indore, Holkar's capital ; as jealous husbands in 

Native States still resort, in spite of more humane laws, to their 

ancient remedy against a suspected or unfaithful wife This 

consists in throwing the woman violently down on the ground 

and slashing off her nose. 

Operation The ancient Indian surgeons also mention a cure for 

for neur- neuralgia, analogous to the modern cutting of the fifth nerve 

above the eyebrow. They devoted great care to the making 

of surgical instruments, and to the training of students by 

means of operations performed on wax spread out on a board, 

or on the tissues and cells of the vegetable kingdom, and 

upon dead animals. They were expert in midwifery, not 

shrinking from the most critical operations ; and in the diseases 

of women and children. Their practice of physic embraced 

the classification, causes, symptoms, and treatment of diseases, 

— diagnosis and prognosis. The maladies thus dealt with have 

been arranged into lo classes, namely — those affecting (i) the 

humours; (2) the general system, including fevers; (3 to 9) 

the several organs and parts of the body ; and (10) trivial 

complaints. Considerable advances were also made in veteri- 

Veterinary nary science, and monographs exist on the diseases of horses 

surgery. ^^^ elephants. 

Best age The best era of Indian medicine was contemporary with the 
ofj^^j^" ascendancy of Buddhism (250 B.C. to 750 A.D.), and did not 
250 B.C. to ^^^% survive it The science was studied in the chief centres 
750 A.D. of Buddhist civilisation, such as the great monastic university 
of Nalanda, near Gayd. The ancient Brdhmans may have 
derived the rudiments of anatomy from the dissection of the 
Buddhist sacrifice ; but the public hospitals which the Buddhist princes 
P"^^^.^ . established in every city were probably the true schools of 
Indian medicine. A large number of cases were collected in 
them for continuous observation and treatment ; and they sup- 
plied opportunities for the study of disease similar to those, 
which the Greek physicians obtained at their hospital camps 
around the mineral springs. Hippokrates was a priest-physician, 
indeed the descendant of a line of priest-physicians, practising 
at such a spring ; and Charaka was in many ways his Indian 


counterpart. To the present day, works on Hindu medicine 
frequently commence their sections with the words, * Charaka 
says.' This half-mythical authority, and Susruta, furnish the 
types of the ancient Indian physician, and probably belong, so 
far as they were real personages, to about the commencement 
of the Christian era. Both appear as Brdhmans ; Susruta 
being, according to tradition, the son of the sage Viswdmitra 
(p. 92) ; and Charaka, of another * Veda-learned Muni' 

As Buddhism passed into modern Hinduism (750-1000 Decline of 
A.ix), and the shackles of caste were reimposed with an iron ^jj!^4 
rigour, the Brdhmans more scrupulously avoided contact with ' 

blood or morbid matter. They withdrew from the medical 
profession, and left it entirely in the hands of the Vaidyas ; a 
lower caste, sprung from a Brdhman father and a mother of 
the Vaisya or cultivating class. These in their turn shrank 75° to 
more and more from touching dead bodies, and from those 
ancient operations on * the carcase of a bullock,' etc., by which 
alone surgical skill could be acquired. The abolition of the 
public hospitals, on the downfallof Buddhism, must also have 
proved a great loss to Indian medicine. The series of 
Muhammadan conquests, commencing about 1000 a.d., brought 
in a new school of foreign physicians, who derived their know- 
ledge from the Arabic translations of the Sanskrit medical 
Works of the best period. These Musalmdn doctors or hakims 
monopolized the patronage of the Muhammadan princes and 
Cobles of India. The decline of Hindu medicine went on 
iintil it has sunk into the hands of the village kabirdj\ whose The 
knowledge consists of jumbled fragments of the Sanskrit texts, ^^^X; 
^nd a by no means contemptible pharmacopoeia ; supplemented 
by spells, fasts, and quackery. While the dissection of the 
^uman body under Vesalius and Fabricius was giving birth to 
^nodem medicine in the 1 7th century, the best of the Hindu 
iDhysicians were working upon the recollections of a long past 
^ge without any new lights. 

On the establishment of medical colleges in India by the English 
British Government, in the middle of the present century, ^^fj^gg 
^he Muhammadan youth took advantage of them in dis- in India. 
proportionately large numbers. But the Brdhmans and 
intellectual classes of the Hindus soon realized that those 
colleges were the doors to an honourable and a lucrative 
career. Having accepted the change, they strove with their 
characteristic industry and acutene^s to place themselves at 
the head of it In 1879, of the 1661 pupils in British medical 
schools throughout India, 950 were Hindus and 284 were 


Revival of Muhammadans, while the remaining 427 included Christians 
in India. I^^rsis, and all others. Of three Indian youths studying medi- 
cine at the University of Edinburgh during the same year, 
one belonged to the Kdyasth or Hindu writer caste, another to 
the Vaidya or hereditary physician caste, and the third was a 
Brihman. The number of medical works published in the 
native languages of India in 1877 amounted to 130; and in 
1882 to 212, besides 87 on natural science, not including 
mathematics and mechanics.^ 
Hindu art The Brihmans regarded not only medicine, but also the arts 
of war. Qf ^ar, music, and architecture as upa-vedaSj or supplementary 
parts of their divinely-inspired knowledge. Viswdmitra, the 
Vedic sage of royal warrior birth, who in the end attained to 
Brdhmanhood (p. 92), was the first teacher of the art of war 
(dhanur-vedd). The Sanskrit epics prove that strategy, had 
attained to the position of a recognised science before the 
birth of Christ, and the later Agni Purdna devotes long sections 
to its systematic treatment. 
Indian The Indian art of music {gdndharifa-vedd) was destined to 

music. exercise a wider influence. A regular system of notation had 
been worked out before the age of Pdnini (350 b.c.), and 
the seven notes were designated by their initial letters. This 
notation passed from the Brdhmans through the Persians to 
Arabia, and was thence introduced into European music by 
Guido d'Arezzo at the beginning of the nth century.^ Some, 
indeed, suppose that our modern word gamut comes not from 
the Greek letter gamma, but from the Indian gdma (in 
Prdkrit ; in Sanskrit, grdma)^ literally * a musical scale.' 

Hindu music, after a period of excessive elaboration, sank 
under the Muhammadans into a state of arrested development. 
Of the 36 chief musicians in the time of Akbar, only 5 were 
Hindus. Not content with tones and semi-tones, the Indian 

^ For monographs on this interesting branch of Indian science, see 
the articles of Dr. E. Haas, * Ueber die Urspriinge der Indischen 
Medizin, mit besonderem Bezug auf Susruta,* and ' Hippokrates und 
die Indische Medizin des Mittelalters,' Zeitschrift dir Deutschm Morgm- 
landiscfien Gesellschaft for 1876, p. 617, and 1S77, p. 647 ; the 'Indische 
Medicin, Karaka,* of Professor Roth in the Zeitschn/t der Deutschen 
Morgcnldndischcn GeseUschaft for 1872, p. 441 ; the Revtrwof the History 
of AUdicine among the A static 5 ^ by T. A. Wise, M.D., 2 vols., 1867; H. 
II. Wilson's little essay, fVorks, iii. 269 (ed. 1864) ; the excellent summary 
in Weber's ///story of /ndian Literature^ Trlibner, 1878 ; and Dr. Watts' 
Diet, Economic Products 0/ /ndia (Calcutta, 1885). 

* Von Bohlen, Das Alte /ndicn, ii. 195 (1830) ; Benfey's /ndim (Ersch 
& (f ruber's Encyclopadie^ xvii., 1 840) ; quoted by Weber, //ist. /nd. Lit.^ 
p. 272, footnote 315 (1878). 


musicians employ a more minute sub-division, together with a 
number of sonal modifications, which the Western ear neither 
recognises nor enjoys. Thus they divide the octave into 22 
sub-tones, instead of the 1 2 tones and semi-tones of the Euro- 
pean scale. This is one of several fundamental differences, 
but it alone suffices to render Indian music barbaric to us ; 
giving it the effect of a Scotch ballad in a minor key, sung 
iotentionally a little out of tune. 

Melodies which the Indian composer pronounces to be Its peculi- 
the perfection of harmony, and which have for ages touched ^^^^*^^ 
the hearts and fired the imagination of Indian audiences, are 
condemned as discord by the European critic. The Hindu 
ear has been trained to recognise modifications of sound which 
the European ear refuses to take pleasure in. Our ears, on the 
other hand, have been taught to expect harmonic combina- 
tions for which Indian music substitutes different combinations 
of its own. The Indian musician declines altogether to be 
judged by the few simple Hindu airs which the English ear 
can appreciate. It is, indeed, impossible to adequately 
represent the Indian system by the European notation ; and 
the full range of its effects can only be rendered by Indian 
instruments — 2l vast collection of sound - producers, slowly 
elaborated during 2000 years to suit the special requirements 
of Hindu music The complicated structure of its musical 
modes {rdgs) rests upon three separate systems, one of which 
consists of '^\t^ another of six, and the other of seven notes. 
It preserves in a living state some of the early forms which 
puzzle the student of Greek music, side by side with the most 
complicated developments. 
Patriotic Hindus have of late endeavoured to bring about Revival of 

a musical revival upon the old Sanskrit basis. Within the i!i"i" 
^ music 

past fifteen years, Rijd Sir Surendra Mohan Tagore of 
Calcutta has published a series of interesting works on 
Indian music in the English tongue, adopting as far as 
possible the European notation. He has organized an 
orchestra to illustrate the art ; and presented complete col- 
lections of Hindu instruments to the Conservatoire at Paris, 
and to other institutions in Europe. One of the earliest sub- 
jects which the new movement took as its theme, was the 
celebration of the Queen of England and her ancestors, in a 
Sanskrit volume entitled the Victoria-Gitika (Calcutta, 1875). 
^0 Englishman has yet brought an adequate acquaintance with 
t^e Uchnique of Indian instrumentation to the study of Hindu 
^usic The art still awaits investigation by some eminent 


Western professor ; and the contempt with which Europeans 
in India regard it, merely proves their ignorance of the system 
on which Hindu music is built up. 
Indian Indian architecture (artha-sdstra i), although also ranked as 

architec- ^n upa-veda or supplementary part of inspired learning, derived 
its development from Buddhist rather than from Br^hmanical 
impulses. A brick altar sufficed for the Vedic ritual The 
Buddhists were the great stone-builders of India. Their 
monasteries and shrines exhibit the history of the art during 
twenty-two centuries, from the earliest cave structures and 
rock-temples, to the latest Jain erections, dazzling in stucco 
and overcrowded with ornament It seems not improbable 
that the churches of Europe owe their steeples to the Buddhist 
Greco- topes. The Greco-Bactrian kingdom profoundly influenced 
B^trian architecture and sculpture in Northern India ; the Musalmin 
conquerors brought in new forms and requirements of their 
own. Nevertheless, Hindu art powerfully asserted itself in 
the imperial works of the Mughals, and has left memorials 
which extort the admiration and astonishment of our age. 
Muham- The Hindu builders derived from the Muhammadans a 
Influences ^^g^^^^^^s of Structure which they did not formerly possess. 
The Hindu palace-architecture of Gwalior, the Indian-Muham- 
madan mosques and mausoleums of Agra and Delhi, with 
several of the older Hindu temples of Southern India, stand 
unrivalled for grace of outline and elaborate wealth of orna- 
ment. The Taj-Mahal at Agra justifies Heber's exclamation, 
that its builders had designed like Titans, and finished like 
jewellers. The open-carved marble windows and screens at 
Ahmaddbdd furnish examples of the skilful ornamentation 
which beautifies every Indian building, from the cave monas- 
teries of the Buddhist period downward. They also show 
with what plasticity the Hindu architects adapted their Indian 
ornamentation to the structural requirements of the Muham- 
madan mosque. 
Indian English decorative art in our day has borrowed largely 

decorative f^^^ Indian forms and patterns. The exquisite scrolls on 
the rock-temples at Karli and Ajanta, the delicate marble 
tracery and flat wood-carving of Western India, the har- 
monious blending of forms and colours in the fabrics of 
Kashmir, have contributed to the restoration of taste in 
England. Indian art-work, when faithful to native designs, 
still obtains the highest honours at the international 
exhibitions of Europe. In pictorial art, the Hindus never ' 
^ Specifically, nirmdna'SUpam^ or nirmdfta-vidyd. 


made much progress, except in miniature-painting, for which Indian 
perspective is not required. But some of the book-illustrations, P^^^"S- 
executed in India under Persian impulses, are full of spirit 
and beauty. The Royal library at Windsor contains the finest 
CMstmg examples in this by-path of art The noble manuscript 
of the Shdhjahdn Ndmah^ purchased in Oudh for ;;^i2oo in the 
last century, and now in possession of Her Majesty, will itself 
amply repay a visit. The specimens at the South Kensington 
Museum do not adequately represent Indian painting (1882). 
But they are almost everything that could be desired as 
regards Indian ornamental design, including Persian book- 
binding, and several of the minor arts. 

While the Brihmans claimed religion, theology, and philo- Brihman 
sophy as their special domain, and the chief sciences and arts * 
as supplementary sections of their divinely-inspired knowledge, 
they secured their social supremacy by codes of law. Their 
earliest Dharma-sdstras, or legal treatises, belong to the Grihyd- Grihyd- 
Siitra period, a scholastic outgrowth from the Veda. But their ^^b^cC?). 
two great digests, upon which the fabric of Hindu jurisprudence 
has been built up, are of later date. The first of these, the 
code of Manu, is separated from the Vedic era by a series of The code 
Brahmanical developments, of which we possess only a few of ° ^""* 
the intermediate links. It is a compilation of the customary 
law, current probably about the 5th century b.c., and exhibits 
the social organization which the Brdhmans, after their 
successful struggle for the supremacy, had established in the 
Middle Land of Bengal. The Brihmans, indeed, claim for 
^heir laws a divine origin, and ascribe them to the first Manu 
or Aryan man, 30 millions of years ago. But as a matter of 
^^ the laws of Manu are the result of a series of attempts 
^0 codify the usages of some not very extensive centre of 
^^manism in Northern India. They form a metrical digest of 
'^^ customs, condensed by degrees from a legendary mass of 
'^,000 couplets (slokas) into 2685. They may possibly have 
^n reduced to a written code with a view to securing the 
Astern of caste against the popular movement of Buddhism ; 
^d they seem designed to secure a rigid fixity for the 
i^^vil^es of the Brdhmans. 

The date of the code of Manu has formed a favourite TTie age of 
Object for speculation from the appearance of Sir William ^^"' 
Junes' translation ^ downwards. The history of those specula- 
tions is typical of the modernizing process which scholarship 
* Calcatta, 1794 ; followed by Huttner's translation into Gennan, 1797. 



Date of 

prose code 

U.C. (?). 






$00 A. D. 

Code of 
Yaj na- 
val kya. 

6th cen- 
tury A.D. ? 

has applied to the old pretensions of Indian literature. The 
present writer has refrained from anything approaching to 
dogmatic assertion in regard to the dates assigned to 
Vedic and Sanskrit works ; as such assertions would involve 
disquisitions quite beyond the scope of this volume. 

It may, therefore, be well to take the code of Manu as 
a single instance of the uncertainty which attaches to the date 
of one of the best known of Indian treatises. Sir William 
Jones accepted for it a fabulous antiquity of 1250 to 500 b.c 
Schlegel was confident that it could not be later than 1000 b.c 
Professor Monier Williams puts it at 500 b.c., and Johaentgen 
assigns 350 B.C. as the lowest possible date. Dr. Bumell, in 
his posthumous edition of the code,^ discusses the question 
with admirable learning, and his conclusions must, for the 
present, be accepted as authoritative. As indicated in a recent 
paragraph, the code of Manu, or Minava-Dharmasdstra, is 
not in its existing metrical form an original treatise, but a 
versified recension of an older prose code. In its earlier shape 
it belonged to the Siitra period, probably extending from the 
sixth to the second century b.c. Dr. Burnell's investigations 
show that our present code of Manu was a popular work 
intended for princes or Rijds, and their officials, rather than 
a technical treatise for the Brdhmans. They also prove that 
the present code must have been compiled between 100 and 
500 A.D. ; and they indicate the latter date as the most probable 
one, viz. 500 a.d. * It thus appears,* concludes Dr. Bumell, 
*that the text belongs to an outgrowth of the Brdhmanical 
literature, which was intended for the benefit of the kings, 
when the Brahmanical civilisation had begun to extend itself 
over the south of India.* 2 

The second great code of the Hindus, called after Yajna- 
valkya, belongs to a period when Buddhism had established 
itself, and probably to a territory where it was beginning to 
succumb to the Brahmanical reaction. It represents the 
Brdhmanical side of the great controversy (although a section 
of it deals with the organization of Buddhist monasteries^ 
refers to the execution of deeds on metal plates, and altogether 
marks an advance in legal precision. It refers more especially^ 
to the customs and state of society in the kingdom of Mithila, 
now the Tirhiit and Pumiyd Districts, after the Aryans haA- 
securely settled themselves in the Gangetic Provinces to th^ 

» The Ordinances of Manu, by the late Arthur Coke Bumell, Ph.D. « 
C. I.E., of the Madras Civil Service. Triibner. 1884. Pp. xv.-xlvii. 
* Idcm^ xxvii. 




cast and south-east of their old Middle Land of Bengal The 
Mitakshard commentary of the law which bears the name of 
Yijnavalkya is in force over almost all India except Lower 
Bengal Proper; and the Hindus, as a whole, allow to 
Yijnavalkya an authority only second to that of Manu. 
Vajnavalkya's code was com|jilcd ap|jarently not later than the 
6th or 7th century a, a It is right again to mention that much 
earlier periods have been assigned both to Manu and Ydjna- 
valkya than those adopted here, Duncker still accepts the 
old date of 600 bx, as that at which Manu's code * must have 
been put together and written down.'* 

These codes deal with Hindu law in three branches, 
namely — (i) domestic and civil rights and duties; (2) the 
administration of justice ; (3) purification and penance. They 
stereotyped the unwritten usages which regulated the family 
life and social organization of the old Aryan communities in 
the Middle Land of Bengal They did not pretend to supi>ly 
a body of law for all the numerous races of India, but only 
fur Hindu communities of the Brdhmanical type. It is doubt- 
ful whether they correctly represented the actual customary 
law even among the Hindu communities in the Middle Land 
of the Ganges. For they were evidently designed to assert and 
maintain the special privileges of the Brahmans. This they 
effected by a rigid demarcation of the employments of the 
f>eople, each caste or division of a caste having its own hereditary 
occupation assigned to it ; by stringent rules against the inter- 
mingling of the castes in marriage ; by forbidding the higher 

sies, under severe penalties, to eat or drink or hold social 
intercourse with the lower ; and by (mnishing the lower castes 
with cruel penances, for defiling by their touch the higher 
castes, or in any way infringing their privileges. 

They exhibit the Hindu community in the four ancient 
classes of priests, warriors, cultivators, and serfs {sudras). 
lut they disclose that this old Aryan classification failed to 
represent the actual facts even among the Ar)%in communities 
in Northern India, They admit that the mass of the people 
did not belong to any one of the four castes, and they 
very inadequately ascribe it to concubinage or illicit con- 
nections. The ancient Brihmanical communities in Northern 
India, as revealed by the codes» consisted— First, of an Ar)^an 
element divided into priests, warriors, and cultivators^ all of 
whom bore the proud title of the Twice- Born, and wore the 
sacred thread. Second, the subjugated races, * the once-born' 

* Amitni Iliit&ry of fndia^ hy Professor Max Duncker, p. 195, ed, iSSi, 


Scope of 



lis rigid 



division of 
the jjeuple. 

The nchial 
division of 
ihe people. 


Sildras. Third, a vast residue termed the Varna - sankara, 
literally the 'mingled colours;' a great but uncertain number 
of castes, exceeding 300, to whom was assigned a mixed descent 
from the four recognised classes. The first British Census of 
India, in 1872, proved that the same division remains the 
fundamental one of the Hindu community to this day. 
Growth of As the Brdhmans spread their influence eastwards and 
Hindu southwards from the Middle Land of Bengal, they carried 
their codes with them. The number of their sacred law- 
books (Dharma-sdstras) amounted to at least fifty-six, and 
separate schools of Hindu law sprang up. Thus the Ddya- 
bhaga version of the I-aw of Inheritance prevails in Bengal ; 
while the Mitikshard commentary on Ydjnavalkya is current 
in Madras and throughout Southern and Western India, But 
all modem recensions of Hindu law rest upon the two codes 
of Manu or of Ydjnavalkya ; and these codes, as we have seen, 
only recorded the usages of certain Brdhmanical centres in the 
north, and perhaps did not fairly record even them. 

As the Brdhmans gradually moulded the population of India 
into Hinduism, such codes proved too narrow a basis for dealing 
with the rights, duties, and social organization of the people. 
Based on Later Hindu legislators accordingly inculcated the recogni- 
law ^'"^'^^ tion of the local usages or land-law of each part of the country, 
and of each class or tribe. While binding together, and pre- 
serving the historical unity of, the Arj'an twice-born castes by 
systems of law founded on their ancient codes, they made 
provision for the customs and diverse stages of civilisation of 
the ruder peoples of India, over whom they established their 
ascendency. By such provisions, alike in religion and in law, 
the Brdhmans incorporated the Indian races into that loosely 
coherent mass known as the Hindu population. 
Plasticity It is to this plastic element that Hinduism owes its success ; 
of Hindu- and it is an element which English administrators have some- 
times overlooked. The races of British India exhibit many 
stages of domestic institutions, from the polyandry of the 
Nairs to the polygamy of the Kulin Brdhmans. The structure 
of their rural organization varies, from the nomadic husbandry 
of the hillmen, to the long chain of tenures which in Bengal 
descends from the landlord through a series of middle-men 
to the actual tiller of the soil Every stage in industrial 
progress is represented ; from the hunting tribes of the central 
plateau to the rigid trade-guilds of Gujardt The Hindu legis- 
lators recognised that each of these diverse stages of social 
development had its own usages and unwritten law. Even 


the code of Manu acknowledged custom as a source of law, Incor- 

and admitted its binding force when not opposed to express law. ^f J^" 

Vrihaspati says, * The laws (dharma) practised by the various cxiatoms 

countries, castes, and tribes, they are to be preserved ; other- Hinduism 

wise the people are agitated/ Devala says, * What gods there 

are in any country, . . . and whatsoever be the custom and 

law anywhere, they are not to be despised there ; the law there 

is such.' Vaidha-Mihira says, * The custom of the country is 

first to be considered ; what is the rule in each country, that 

is to be done.' A learned English judge in Southern India 

thus summed up the texts : * By custom only can the Dharma- 

sistra [Hindu law] be the rule of others than Brdhmans [only 

one-thirtieth of the population of Madras] ; and even in the 

case of Brdhmans it is very often superseded by custom.' ^ 

The English, on assuming the government of India, wisely Penls of 
declared that they would administer justice according to the modern 
customs of the people. But our High Courts enforce the ^^^' 
Biihmanical codes with a comprehensiveness and precision 
unknown in ancient India. Thus in Bengal, the non-Hindu 
custom of sa^ai^ by which deserted or divorced wives among 
the lower castes marry again, was lately tried according to 
'the spirit of Hindu law;' while in Madras, judges have 
pointed out a serious divergence between the Hindu law as 
nov administered, and the actual usages of the people. Those 
usages are unwritten and uncertain. The Hindu law is printed 
in many accessible forms ; * and Hindu barristers are ever 
pressing its principles upon our courts. The Hindu law is 
^t to be applied to non-Hindu, or semi-Hindu, customs. 

Efforts at comprehensive codification in British India are 
thus surrounded by special difficulties. For it would be im- 
proper to give the fixity of a code to all the unwritten half- 
bid usages current among the 300 unhomogeneous castes 
^ Hindus ; while it might be fraught with future injustice 
to exclude any of them. Each age has the gift of adjusting 

' Or. Bomeirs Ddya-vibhdgha, Introd. p. xv. See also Hindu Law 
^QJmimsifred by the High Court of Judicature at Madras^ by J. Nelson, 
^A., District Judge of Cuddapah, chaps, iii. and iv. (Madras, 1877) ; 
^JottmalRoy. As, Soc,, pp. 208-236 (April 1881). 

' For the latest treatment of Hindu law from the philosophical, scholarly, 
^'^ practical points of view, see the third edition of West and Buhler*s 
^ier/ 4f/tA€ Hindu Law of Inheritance, Partition, and Adoption. 2 vols. 
"^bay 1884. From the writings of Mayne, Bumell, and Nelson in 
f^^dras, and those of the Honourable Raymond West and Dr. BHhler 
'^ Bombay, a new and more just conception of the character of Hindu law 
^M of its relations to Indian custom may be said to date. 


survival of 

scope of 

its institutions to its actual wants, especially among tribes 
whose customs have not been reduced to written law. Many 
of those customs will, if left to themselves, die out Others 
of them, which prove suited to the new social developments 
under British rule, will live. A' code should stereotype the 
survival of the fittest ; but the process of natural selection 
must be the work of time, and not an act of conscious 

This has been recognised from time to time by the ablest 
of Anglo-Indian codifiers. They restrict the word code to 
the systematic arrangement of the rules relating to some 
well-marked section of juristic rights, or to some executive 
department of the administration of justice. ' In its larger 
sense,' write the Indian Law Commissioners in 1879, * of a 
general assemblage of all the laws of a community, no attempt 
has yet been made in this country to satisfy the conception of 
a code. The time for its realization has manifestly not arrived.' 
The number of works on Law, published in the native languages 
of India in 1877, was 165 ; and in 1882, 181, besides 157 in 
English; total, 338 works on law published in India in 1882. 

of the 

Its chief 

bhirata ; 

The Brdhmans were not merely the depositaries of the 
sacred books, the philosophy, the science, and the laws of 
the ancient Hindu commonwealth ; they were also the creators 
and custodians of its secular literature. They had a practical 
monopoly of Vedic learning, and their policy was to trace 
back every branch of knowledge and of intellectual effort to 
the Veda. In this policy they were aided by the divergence 
which, as we have seen, arose at a very early date between the 
written and spoken languages of India. Sanskrit literature, 
apart from religion, philosophy, and law, consists mainly of two 
grQat epics, the drama, and a vast body of legendary, erotic, 
and mystical poetry. 

The venerable epic of the Mahdbhirata ranks first The 
orthodox legend ascribes it to the sage Vydsa, who, according 
to Brdhman chronology, compiled the inspired hymns into th^ 
four Vedas, nearly five thousand years ago (3101 b.c.). But=:^ 
one beauty of Sanskrit is that every word discloses its ancients 
origin in spite of mediaeval fictions, and Vydsa means simpljr^ 
the * arranger,' from the verb * to fit together.' No fewer thaik. 
twenty-eight Vydsas, incarnations of Brahma and Vishnu^ 
came down in successive astronomical eras to arrange and 
promulgate the Vedas on earth. Many of the legends in 
the Mahibhdrata are of Vedic antiquity, and the main story 


deals with a period assigned, in the absence of conclusive 
evidence, to about 1200 b.c. ; and certainly long anterior to 
the time of Buddha, 543 B.C But its compilation into its 
present form seems to have taken place many centuries later. 

Panini (350 b-c) makes no clear reference to it. The in- Its date ; 
quisitive Greek ambassador and historian, Megasthenes, does 
not appear to have heard of it during his stay in India, 300 
B.C. Dion Chrysostomos supplies the earliest external evi- 
dence of the existence of the Mahdbhirata, circ, 75 a. d. The 
arrangement of its vast mass of legends must probably have 
covered a long period. Indeed, the present poem bears 
traces of three separate eras of compilation ; during which 
its collection of primitive folk-tales grew from 8800 slokas its 
or couplets, into a cyclopaedia of Indian mythology and growth, 
legendary lore extending over eighteen books and 220,000 
lines. The twenty-four books of Homer's Iliad comprise only 
15,693 lines ; the twelve books of Virgil's jEneidy only 9868. 

The central story of the Mahabhdrata occupies scarcely Central 
OD^fourth of the whole, or about 50,000 lines. It narrates ff^*^,® l • 

... , ' ^ .,. r y ^ ^^^ Maha- 

apre-histonc struggle between two families of the Lunar bhiraia. 

race for a patch of country near Delhi. These families, 

alike descended from the royal Bharata, consisted of two 

brotherhoods, cousins to each other, and both brought up under 

the same roo£ The five Pindavas were the miraculously bom 

sons of King Pindu, who, smitten by a curse, resigned the 

sovereignty to his brother Dhrita-rdshtra, and retired to a 

hermitage in the Himdlayas, where he died. The ruins of 

his capital, Hastindpura, or the ' Elephant City,* are pointed 

out beside a deserted bed of the Ganges, 57 miles north-east 

of Delhi, at this day. His brother Dhrita-rdshtra ruled in his 

stead, and to him one hundred sons were bom, who took the 

name of the Kauravas from an ancestor, Kuru. Dhrita-rdshtra 

acted as a faithful guardian to his five nephews, the Pdndavas, 

and chose the eldest of them as heir to the family kingdom. 

His own sons resented this act of supersession ; and so arose 

^he quarrel between the hundred Kauravas and the five Pan- 

^avas which forms the main story of the Mahdbhdrata. The 

Nucleus of the legend probably belongs to the period when the 

Aryan immigrants were settling in the upper part of the triangle 12th cen- 

^f territory between the Jumna and the Ganges, and before ^""^ ^'^' 

^hey had made any considerable advances beyond the latter 

^ver. It is not unreasonable to assign this period to about 

the 1 2th century b.c 

The hundred Kauravas forced their father to send away their Its outline. 


five Pandava cousins into the forest The Kauravas then burned 
down the woodland hut in which the five Pindavas dwelt. The 
^y^ escaped, however, and wandered in the disguise of Brdh- 
mans to the court of King Draupada, who had proclaimed a 
S7vayam-vara, or maiden's-choice, — a tournament at which his 
daughter would take the victor as her husband. Arjuna, one 
of the Pdndavas, bent the mighty bow which had defied the 
strength of all the rival chiefs, and so obtained the fair princess, 
Draupadi, who became the common wife of the five brethren. 
Their uncle, the good Dhrita-rdshtra, recalled them to his 
capital, and gave them one-half of the family territory towards 
the Jumna, reserving the other half for his own sons. 

The Pdndava brethren hived off to their new settlement, 

Indra-prastha, afterwards Delhi; clearing the jungle, and 

driving out the Nigas or forest-races. For a time peace 

reigned; but the Kauravas tempted Yudishthira, 'firm in 

fight,' the eldest of the Pindavas, to a gambling match, at 

Gambling which he lost his kingdom, his brothers, himself, and last of 

matches, all, his wife. Their father, however, forced his sons to restore 

their wicked gains to their cousins. But Yudishthira was 

again seduced by the Kauravas to stake his kingdom at dice, 

again lost it, and had to retire with his wife and brethren 

into exile for twelve years. Their banishment ended, the fi\t 

Pdndavas returned at the head of an army to win back their 

Final kingdom. Many battles followed. Other Aryan tribes between 

overthrow the Jumna and the Ganges, together with their gods and divine 

KauravS! ^^''oes, joined in the struggle, until at last all the hundred 

Kauravas were slain, and of the friends and kindred of the 

Pdndavas only the fiwQ brethren remained. 

Reign of Their uncle, Dhrita-rdshtra, made over to them the whole 

the five kingdom ; and for a long time the Pdndavas ruled gloriously, 

Pandavas. celebrating the aswa-tnedha^ or * great horse sacrifice,* in token 

of their holding imperial sway. But their uncle, old and blind, 

ever taunted them with the slaughter of his hundred sons, 

until at last he crept away with his few surviving ministers, 

his aged wife, and his sister-in-law the mother of the Pdndavas, 

to a hermitage, where the worn-out band perished in a forest 

fire. The ^yt, brethren, smitten by remorse, gave up their 

kingdom ; and taking their wife, Draupadi, and a faithful dog, 

Their pil- they departed to the Himdlayas to seek the heaven of Indra 

grimage to q^ Mount Mem. One by one the sorrowful pilgrims died upon 

the road, until only the eldest brother, Yudishthira, and the 

dog reached the gate of heaven. Indra invited him to enter, 

but he refused if his lost wife and brethren were not also 


admitted. The prayer was granted, but he still declined unless 
his faithful dog might conic in with him. This could not be 
allowed, and Yudishthira, after a glimpse of heaven, was thrust 
down to hell, where he found many of his old comrades in 
anguish. He resolved to share their sufferings rather than enjoy 
paradise alone. But having triumphed in this crowning trial, the 
whole scene was revealed to be mdya or illusion, and the reunited 
band entered into heaven, where they rest for ever with Indra, 

Even this story, which forms merely the nucleus of the Slow 
Mahabhirata. 15 the coUcciive mrowth of far-distant atjes. For K'<-*wth nf 
example, the two last books, the 17th and 18th, which narrate story. 
*the Great Journey' and 'the Ascent to Heaven,' are the 
product of a very different epoch of thought from the early 
ones* which portray the actual life of courts and camps in 
ancient India. The nvayam-vara or husband - choosing of 
Draupadf is a genuine relic of the tournament age of Ar>'an 
chivalry. Her position as the common wife of the Rve 
brethren preserves a trace of even more primitive institutions 
^mstitutions still represented by the polyandry of the Nairs The poiy- 
and Himalayan tribes, and by domestic customs which are x^J^fa^^padi 
survivals of polyandry among the Hinduized low-castes all over 

I India. Thus, in the Punjab, among Jdt families too poor to 
bear the marriage expenses of all the males, the wife of the 
eldest son has sometimes to accept her brothers-in-law as joint 
husbands. The polyandry of the Ghakkars, the brave people 
of Rawal Pindi District, was one of their characteristics which 
ipeci;UIy struck the advancing Muhammadans in 1008 a.d. 
The Karakat Velldlars of Madura, at the opposite extremity 
of the peninsula, no longer practise polyandry ; but they 
prcsen'c a trace of it in their condonement of cohabita- 
tion with the husband's kindred, while adultery outside the 
husband's family entails expulsion from caste. 

Such customs became abhorrent to the Brdhmans. The 
Brihraans justify Draupadfs position, however, on the grotind 
that as the five Pandava brethren were divinely begotten emana- 
tions from one deity, they formed in reality only one person, 
^^^^d could be lawfully married to the same woman. No such 
^Haftert bought was required to uphold the honour of Draupadi 
^Vtn the age when the legend took its rise. Throughout the whole 
^ff Mahabhirata she figures as the type of a high-born princess, 
and a chaste, brave, and faithful wife. She shares in every 
sorrow and triumph of the five brethren ; bears a son to each ; 
and finally enters with the true-hearted band into the glory 
of India. Her husbands take a terrible vengeance on insult 





offered to her, and seem quite unaware that a later age wouKl 
deem her position one which required explanation.^ 

The struggle for the kingdom of Hastinipura forms, how- 
The rest of ever, only a fourth of the Mahabhdrata. The remainder con- 
bhdrata.^ sists of later additions. Some of these are legends of the early 
Aryan settlements in the Middle Land of Bengal, tacked on to 
the central story ; others are mythological episodes, theological 
discourses, and philosophic disquisitions, intended to teach the 
military caste its duties, especially its duty of reverence to the 
Brihmans. Taken as a whole, the Mahdbhirata may be said 
to form the cyclopaedia of the Heroic Age in Northern India, 
with the struggle of the Pdndavas and Kauravas as its original 
nucleus ; and the submission of the military power to priestly 
domination as its later didactic design. 

The second great Indian epic, the Rdmdyana, recounts the 
advance of the Aryans into Southern India. Unlike the 
Mahdbhdrata, its composition is assigned not to a compiler 
(7'ydsa) in the abstract, but to a named poet, VdlmfkL On 
the other hand, the personages and episodes of the Rdmiyana 
have an abstract or mythological character, which contrasts with 
the matter-of-fact stories of the Mahabhirata. The heroine 
of the Rdmdyana, Sftd, is literally the * field-furrow/ to whom 
the Vedic hymns and early Aryan ritual paid divine honour. 
She represents Aryan husbandry, and has to be defended 
against the raids of the aborigines by the hero Rdma, an incar- 
nation of the Aryan deity Vishnu, and bom of his divine nectar. 
Rdma is regarded by Weber as the analogue of Balardma, 
the * Ploughbearer ' (Jmlabhrit). From this abstract point of 
view, the Rdmdyana exhibits the progress of Aryan plough- 
husbandry among the mountains and forests of Central and 
Southern India ; and the perils of the agricultural settlers from 
the non-ploughing nomadic cultivators and hunting tribes. 

The abduction of Sftd by an aboriginal or demon prince, who 
carried her off to Ceylon ; her eventual recovery by Rama ^ 
and the advance of the Aryans into Southern India, form the 
central story of the Rdmdyana. It differs therefore from the 
central legend of the Mahdbhdrata, as commemorating a period 
when the main arena of Aryan enterprise had extended itself far 

Its alle- 

Its central 

^ The beautiful story of Sivitd, the wife faithful to the end, is told iiv 
the Mahabhirata by the sage Mirkandeya in answer to Yudishthira'^> 
question, whether any woman so true and noble as Draupadl had ever beei*. 
known. Sdvitri, on the loss of her husband, dogged the steps of Yama^ 
King of Death, until she wrung from him, one by one, many blessings for^ 
her family, and finally the reluctant restoration of her husband to life. 


beyond their ancient settlements around Delhi; and as a pro- later than 
duct of the Brdhman tendency to substitute abstract personifica- b^^raiji 
tions for human actors and mundane events. The nucleus of Legend, 
the Mahibhirata is a legend of ancient life ; the nucleus of the 
Rdmiyana is an allegory. Its most modem form, the Adhyff tma 
Ramiyana, still further spiritualizes the story, and elevates Rama 
into a saviour and deliverer, a god rather than a hero.^ 

Its reputed author, Vilmfki, is a conspicuous figure in Valmlki. 
the epic, as well as its composer. He takes part in the 
action of the poem, receives the hero Rima in his hermitage, 
and afterwards gives shelter to the unjustly banished Siti and 
her twin sons, nourishing the aspirations of the youths by 
tales of their father's prowess. These stories make up the 
main part of the Ramdyana, and refer to a period which has 
been loosely assigned to about 1000 b.c. But the poem 
could not have been put together in its present shape many 
centuries, if any, before our era. Parts of it may be 
earlier than the Mahdbhdrata, but the compilation as a whole 
apparendy belongs to a later date. The Rdmdyana consists of 
seven books (Kdndas) and 24,000 slokas^ or about 48,000 lines. 

As the Mahdbhdrata celebrates the lunar race of Delhi, so Outline oi 
the Rdmdyana forms the epic chronicle of the solar race of ^ ana^*""^ 
Ajodhya or Oudh. The two poems thus preserve the legends 
of two renowned Aryan kingdoms at the two opposite, or 
eastern and western, borders of the Middle Land {Madhya- 
itika). The opening books of the Rdmdyana recount the Th^ lo<^^^ 
wondrous birth and boyhood of Rdma, eldest son of Dasa- ^^^" * 
ratha, King of Ajodhya ; his marriage with Sitd, as victor at her 
^yam-vara^ or tournament, by bending the mighty bow of 
Siva in the public contest of chiefs for the princess ; and his 
appointment as heir-apparent to his father's kingdom. A 
^ndna intrigue ends in the youngest wife of Dasaratha 
obtaining this appointment for her own son, Bharata, and in 
Ae exile of Rdma, with his bride Sitd, for fourteen years to 
the forest The banished pair wander south to Praydg (Allah- 
abad), already a place of sanctity ; and thence across the river to 
the hermitage of Vdlmiki, among the Bdnda jungles, where a 
hill is still pointed out as the scene of their abode. Meanwhile 
^^'s father dies, and the loyal youngest brother, Bharata, 
although the lawful successor, refuses to enter on the inherit- 

^Thc aUegorical character of the Rdmayana has allowed scope for 
'^'^ specnladons as to its origin. Such speculations have been well 
^«ilt with by Mr. Kashindth Trimbak Telang in his Essay, Was the 
^^^yana copied from Homer? (Bombay, 1873.) 



of Sftd. 


Later San- 
skrit epics. 


ance, but goes in quest of Rdma to bring him back as rightful 
heir. A contest of fraternal affection takes place. Bharata 
at length returns to rule the family kingdom in the name of 
Rima, until the latter shall come to claim it at the end of the 
fourteen years of banishment appointed by their late father. 

So far, the Rdmdyana merely narrates the local chronicles of 
the court of Ajodhya, In the third book the main story begins. 
Rivana, the demon or aboriginal king of the far south, smitten 
by the fame of S£td*s beauty, seizes her at the hermitage while 
her husband is away in the jungle, and flies off with her in 
a magical chariot through the air to Lanka or Ceylon. The 
next three books (4th, 5th, and 6th) recount the expedition of 
the bereaved Rdma for her recovery. He makes alliances with 
the aboriginal tribes of Southern India, under the names of 
monkeys and bears, and raises a great army. The Monkey 
general, Hanumdn, jumps across the straits between India and 
Ceylon, discovers the princess in captivity, and leaps back 
with the news to Rima. The Monkey troops then build a 
causeway across the narrow sea, — the Adam's Bridge of modern 
geography, — by which Rdma marches across and, after slaying 
the monster Rdvana, delivers Sftd. The rescued wife proves 
her unbroken chastity, during her stay in the palace of Rdvana, 
by the ancient ordeal of fire. Agni, the god of that element, 
himself conducted her out of the burning pile to her husband ; 
and, the fourteen years of banishment being over, Rdma and 
Sftd return in triumph to Ajodhya. There they reigned 
gloriously; and Rdma celebrated the great horse sacrifice 
(aswa-medha) as a token of his imperial sway over India. But 
a famine having smitten the land, doubts arose in Rdma's 
heart as to his wife's purity while in her captor's power at 
Ceylon. He banishes the faithful Sitd, who wanders forth 
again to Vdlmfki's hermitage, where she gives birth to Rdma's 
two sons. After sixteen years of exile, she is reconciled to 
her repentant husband, and Rdma and Sftd and their children 
are at last reunited.^ 

The Mahdbhdrata and the Rdmdyana, however overladen with 
fable, form the chronicles of the kings of the Middle Land 
of the Ganges, their family feuds, and their national enter- 
prises. In the later Sanskrit epics, the legendary element is 
more and more overpowered by the mythological Among 
them the Raghu-vansa and the Kumdra - sambhava, both 
assigned to Kdliddsa, take the first rank. The Raghu-vansa 

* Respectful mention should here be made of Growse's translation of the 
Hindi version of the Rdmdyana by Tulsi Das. (410. AUahdbdd, 1883.) 


celebrates the solar line of Raghu, King of Ajodhya ; more 
particularly the ancestry and the life of his descendant Rama. 
The Kumira-sambhava recounts the birth of the War-god,^ Kumam- 
It is stiU more didactic and allegorical, abounding in sentiment ^^ 
and in feats of prosody. But it contains passages of ex- 
quisite beauty of style and elevation of thought From the 
astrological data which these two poems furnish, Jacobi infers 
that they cannot have been composed before 350 a,d. 

The name of Kalidasa has come down, not only as the Kalidasa. 
composer of these two later epics, but as the father of the 
Sanskrit drama. According to Hindu tradition, he was one 
of the *Nine Gems' or distinguished men at the court of 
Vikramiditya, This prince is popularly identified with the 
King of Ujjain who gave his name to the Samvai era, 
commencing in the year 57 B.c But, as Holtzmann 
points out, it may be almost as dangerous to infer from this 
latter circumstance that Vikramaditya lived in 57 b,c,, as to Kinjj Vik- 
place Julius Cajsar in the first year of the so-called Julian '^"^^'-lity*'!- 
^'Calendar, namely, 4713 b.c. Several Vikramddityas figure in 
Indian history. Indeed, the name is merely a title, ' A very 
Sun in Prowess,' which has been borne by victorious monarchs 
of many of the Indian dynasties. The date of Vikramiditya 
has been variously assigned from 57 b.c, to 1050 a.d» ; and 
the works of the poets and philosophers who formed the 55° a.d, ? 
•Nine Gems 'of his court, appear from internal evidence to 
have been composed at intervals during that long period. The 
Vikramaditya, under whom Kalidasa and the 'Nine Gems' 
are said to have flourished, ruled over Malwa probably from 
500 to 550 A.D. 

In India, as in Greece and Rome, scenic representations 
seem to have taken their rise in the rude pantomime of a very 
early time, possibly as far back as the Vedic ritual ; and the 
Sanskrit word for the drama, ndiaka^ is derived from nata^ a 
dancer. But the Sanskrit dramas of the classical age which 
have come down to us, probably belong to the period between 
the I St century ac. and the 8th centur)^ a.d. They make 
mention of Greek slaves, are acquainted with Buddhism in its 
full development, and disclose a wide divergence between 
Sanskrit and the dialects used by the lower classes. The Mahd- 

* Translated into spirited English verse by Mr. Ralph T. H, Griffilh, 
M.A,* who is also the author of a charming collection of * Idylls from the 
San^-lcrit/ based on the Mahabharaia, Rdmayana, Raghu<vansa, and Kali- 
disa s Seasons. 

Ajje of the 




bhirata and Ramdyana appear in the Sanskrit drama as part 
of the popular literature, — in fact, as occupying very much the 
same position which they still hold. No dramas are known 
to exist among the works which the Hindus who emigrated 
to Java, about 500 a.d., carried with them to their new 
homes. Nor have any dramas been yet found among the 
Tibetan translations of the Sanskrit classics. 
Sakuntala. The most famous drama of Kilidasa is Sakuntald, or the 
* Lost Ring.* Like the ancient epics, it divides its action 
between the court of the king and the hermitage in the forest. 
Prince Dushyanta, an ancestor of the noble Lunar race, weds 
by an irregular marriage a beautiful maiden, Sakuntald, at 
her father's hermitage in the jungle. Before returning to his 
capital, he gives his bride a ring as a pledge of his love ; 
but smitten by a curse from a holy man, she loses the ring, and 
cannot be recognised by her husband till it is found. Sakun- 
tald bears a son in her loneliness, and sets out to claim recog- 
nition for herself and child at her husband's court But she 
is as one unknown to the prince, till, after many sorrows and 
trials, the ring comes to light. She is then happily reunited 
with her husband, and her son grows up to be the noble 
Bharata, the chief founder of the Lunar dynasty whose 
achievements form the theme of the Mahdbhdrata. Sakun- 
tald, like Sitd, is the type of the chaste and faithful Hindu 
wife ; and her love and sorrow, after forming the favourite 
romance of the Indian people for perhaps eighteen hundred 
years, have furnished a theme for the great European poet of 
our age. * VVouldst thou,' says Goethe, 

' Wouldst thou the young year's blossoms, and the fruits of its decline, 
And all by which the soul is charmed, enraptured, feasted, fed, — 
Wouldst thou the earth and heaven itself in one sole name combine ? 
I name thee, O Sakuntald ! and all at once is said. ' 

Other Sakuntald has had the good fortune to be translated by Sir 

dramas ; William Jones (1789), and to be sung by Goethe. But other 
of the Hindu dramas and domestic poems are of almost equal 
interest and beauty. As examples of the classical period, 
may be taken the Mrichchakati, or * Toy Cart,' a drama in ten 
Sanskrit, acts, on the old theme of the innocent cleared and the guilty 
punished ; and the poem of Nala and Damayanti, or the * Royal 
Gambler and the Faithful Wife.' Such plays and poems fre- 
quently take an episode of the Mahdbhdrata or Rdmdyana for 
their subject ; and in this way the main incidents in the two 
great epics have been gradually dramatized or reduced to the 
still more popular form of household song. The modern 


drama was one of the first branches of Hindu secular literature and 
jWhich accepted the spoken dialects ; and the native theatre "^<^«^^"* 
ifbrms the best, indeed the only, school in which an English- 
man can acquaint himself with the in-door life of the people* 

In our own day there has been a great dramatic revival Ucccnt 
in India : new plays in the vernacular tongues issue rapidly ^^raniatic 
from the press ; and societies of patriotic young natives form 
themselves into dramatic companies, especiaUy in Calcutta 
and Bombay. Many of the pieces are vernacular render- 
ings of stories from the Sanskrit epics and classical dramas. 
Several have a political significance, and deal with the phases 
of development upon which India has entered under the 
influence of British rule. One Bengali play, the Nil-darpan,* 
or the * Indigo Factory/ became the subject of a celebrated trial 
in Calcutta ; while others — such as Ekciki bah Sabhyatd 1 * Is 
this what you call civilisation ? ' — suggests many serious thoughts 
to a candid English mind. In 1877, 102 dramas were pub- 
lished in India in the native tongues ; and in 18S2, 245. 

Closely allied to the drama is the prose romance. In 1823, The 
Dr. H, IL Wilson intimated that Hindu literature contained ^^'•'^'^ 
collections of domestic narrative to an extent surpassing those 
of any other people. The vast growth of European fiction 
hi nee that date renders this statement no longer accurate. But 
Wilion s translations from the Vrthat-katha may still be read 
with interest,^ and the Sanskrit Beast-stories now occupy an Beai>t- 
even more significant place in the history of Indo-Eurot>ean stones ; 
luerature than they did then. Many fables of animals familiar 
to the western world, from the time of j^sop downwards, had 
their original home in India. The relation between the fox and 
the lion in the Greek versions has no reality in nature. It was 
based, however, upon the actual relation between the lion and his 
follower the jackal, in the Sanskrit stories.^ Weber thinks that 
complete cycles of Indian fables may have existed in the time 
of Pinini (350 B.C.). It is known that the Sanskrit Pancha- 
lantra, or Book of Beast Tales, was translated into the ancient ibdir 
Persian as early as the 6th ccnturv a/d., and from that render- ^P''*^*'*^ 

. . * west ' 

ing all the subsequent versions in Asia Minor and Europe have wards, 
been derived The most ancient animal fables of India are at 

* Literally, * The Mirror of Indigo/ 

* Orienial Quartaiy Ma^tzhu^ CakuUa, March 1824, pp. 63-77. Also 
vol. liU of Wilson's Collected Works^ pp. 156-268. London, 1S64. 

* See, however, Wcber*ft elaborate footnote. No. 221, for the other 
*icw, Hist, hid. Lit., p. 21 f. Max Miillcr's charming ew>ay on the 
ftfigralion of Fables {Chtps, vol. iv. pp. 145-209, 1S75) iraccs Ihc actual 
aiftgcs of a wcM-known story from the East to the West. 




the present day the nursery stories of England and America? 
The graceful Hindu imagination delighted also in fairy tales ; 
and the Sanskrit compositions of this class are the original 
source of many of the fairy tales of Persia, Arabia, and 
Christendom. The works of fiction published in the native 
languages in India in 1877 numbered 196 ; and in 1882, 237. 




In mediaeval India, a large body of poetry, half-religious, half- 
amorous, grew up around the legend of the youthful Krishna 
(the eighth incarnation of Vishnu) and his loves with the 
shepherdesses, the playmates of his sweet pastoral life. Kili- 
disa, according to Hindu tradition, was the father of the 
erotic lyric, as well as a great dramatic and epic poet. In 
his Megha-dUta or * Cloud Messenger,' an exile sends a message 
by a wind-borne cloud to his love, and the countries beneath 
its long aerial route are made to pass like a panorama before 
the reader's eye. The Gita Govinda, or Divine Herdsman 
of Jayadeva, is a Sanskrit *Song of Solomon' of the 12th 
century a.d. A festival once a year celebrates the birthplace 
of this mystical love-poet, in the Birbhiim District of Lower 
Bengal ; and many less famous compositions of the same 
class now issue from the vernacular press throughout India. 
In 1877, no fewer than 697 works of poetry were published 
in the native languages in India; and in 1882, 834. 


8th to 1 6th 


of the 


The mediaeval Brdhmans displayed a marvellous activity in 
theological as well as in lyric poetry. The Purinas, literally 
* The Ancient Writings,' form a collection of religious and philo- 
sophical treatises in verse, of which the principal ones number 
eighteen. The whole Purdnas are said to contain 1,600,000 
lines. The really old ones have either been lost or been 
incorporated in new compilations ; and the composition of the 
existing Purdnas probably took place from the 8th to the i6th 
century a.d. As the epics sang the wars of the Aryan heroes, 
so the Purdnas recount the deeds of the Brdhman gods. They 
deal with the creation of the universe ; its successive dissolu- 
tions and reconstructions ; the stories of the deities and their 
incarnations; the reigns of the divine Manus; and the 
chronicles of the Solar and Lunar lines of kings who ruled, the 
former in the east and the latter in the west of the Middle 
Land (Madhya-desha). 

The Purdnas belong to the period after the mass of the 
people had split up into their two existing divisions, as wor- 
shippers of Vishnu or of Siva, post^ 700 a.d. They are 


devoted to the glorification of one or other of these two 
rival gods, and thus embody the sectarian theology of Brdh- 
tnanism. While claiming to be founded on Vedic inspira- Their 
tion, they practically superseded the Veda, and have formed i"fl^«"ce. 
during ten centuries the sacred literature on which Hinduism 

An idea of the literary activity of the Indian mind at the in^lian 
ent day may be formed from the fact, that 4S90 works were works 
'published in India in 1S77, of which 4346 were in the native fniS?;^ 
languages. Only 456 were translations^ the remaining 4454 
being original works or new editions. The number of Indian 
publications constantly increases. In 1882, 6198 works were and 18S2. 
published in India, 5543 being in the native languages. 
The translations numbered 720, and the original works, in- 
cluding new editions, 5478. These figures only show the 
publications officially registered under the Act, A large 
number of unregistered pam|ihlets or brochures must be added ; 
together with the daily and weekly issue of vernacular news- 
papers, exceeding 230 in number and circulating over 150,000 

This chapter has attempted to trace the intellectual and AhscTiceor 
religious development of the early Aryans in India, and their j^^i^"tonal 
constitution into castes and communities. Regarding their *^ *^^' 
territorial history, it has said almost nothing* It has^ indeed, 
indicated their primeval line of march from their Holy Land 
among the seven rivers of the Punjab, to their Land of the 
Sacred Singers between the upper courses of the Jumna and 
the Ganges ; and thence to their more extensive settlements in 
the Middle Land of Bengal (Madhya-daha) stretching to beyond 
the junction of these two great rivers. It has also told very 
briefly the legend of their advance into Southern India, in the 
epic rendering of the Ramayana. But the foregoing pages 
have refrained from attempts to fix the dates or to fill in the 

' The foregoing pages have very briefly reviewed ihe most important 
branches of Sanskrit literature ; the influence of that literature upon 
Hinduism will be dealt with in a subsequent chapter. To fully appreciate 
the connection between ancient thought and present practice in India, the 
student may also refer to Professor Monier Williams' Modern India and (ht 
Imlians (Triibner, 1879), That work unites the keen observation of a 
travctlcT new to ihe country with the previous learning act|uired during a 
lifetime devoted to Oriental studies. Professor Monier Williams is thus 
enabled to correlate the existing phenomena of Indian life with the historical 
types which underlie them. 



details of these movements. For the territorial extension of 

the Aryans in India is still a battle-ground of inductive histor)'. 

Its indue- Even for a much later period of Indian civilisation, the 

live data. ^^^^ continue under keen dispute. This will be amply apparent 

in the following chapters.^ These chapters will open with the 

great upheaval of Buddhism against Brahmanism in the 6th 

century before Christ They will summarize the struggles of 

the Asiatic races in India during a period of twenty-three 

hundred years. They will close with the great military revival 

of Hinduism under the Mardthd Brahmans in the i8th century 

of our era. An attempt will then be made, from the evidence 

of the vernacular literature and languages, to present a view of 

Indian thought and culture, when the European nations came 

in force upon the scene. 

The Brah- Meanwhile, the history of India, so far as obscurely known 

mans in ^q yg before the advent of the Greeks, 327 b.c., is essentially 

history. ^ literary history, and the memorials of its civilisations are 

mainly literary or religious memorials. The more practical 

aspects of those long ages, which were their real aspects to 

the people, found no annalist. From the commencement of 

the post-Vedic period, the Brdhmans strove with increasing 

success to bring the Aryan life and civilisation of India more 

and more into accord with their own priestly ideas. 

In order to understand the long domination of the Brihmans, 

and the influence which they still wield, it is necessary also to 

keep in mind their position as the great literary caste. Their 

priestly supremacy has been repeatedly assailed, and was during 

a space of nearly a thousand years overpowered by Buddhism. 

The six But throughout twenty-two centuries the Brdhmans have been 

attacks on ^^ counsellors of Hindu princes and the teachers of the Hindu 

isranman- , ,,,1 -n t < . e 

ism, 6th people. They still represent the early Aryan civilisation oi 

century India. Indeed, the essenrial history of India is a narrative of 

19th cen- ^he attacks upon the continuity of their civilisation, — that i^ 

lury A.D. to say, of attacks upon the Brdhmanical system of the Middle 

Land, and of the modifications and compromises to which that 

system has had to submit 

^ Namely, on Buddhism, the Greeks in India, the Scythic Inroads, the 
Rise of Hinduismi Early Muhammadan Rulers, the Mughal Empire, and 
the Maratha Power. We still await the complete evidence of coins and 
inscriptions ; although valuable materials have been already obtained iroza 
these silent memorials of the past. Mr. K. T. Tclang's Introduction to f^^ 
Mndrdrdkshasa^ with Appendix, shows what can be gathered from a 
minute and critical examination of the historical data incidentally contaioed 
in the Hindu drama. 


Those attacks mark out six epochs. First, the religious up- i. Buddh- 

rising of the non-Aryan and the partially Brdhmanized Aryan ^^"• 

tribes on the east of the Middle Land of Bengal ; initiated by 

the preaching of Buddha in the 6th century B.C., culminating in 

the Buddhist kingdoms about the commencement of our era, 

and melting into modern Hinduism about the 8th century a.d. 

Second, warlike inroads of non-Brdhmanical Aryans and Scythic 2. Greeks, 

races from the west : strongly exemplified by the Greek invasions ?:"^ ^. 

• 1 f-. ,,^ ^. Scythians 

m the 4th century B.C., and contmumg under the Greco-Bactnan 

empire and its Scythic rivals to probably the 5th century a.d. 
Third, the influence of the so-called aborigines or non-Aryan 3.' Non- 
tribes of India and of the non-Aryan low-castes incorporated ^7!f 
into the Hindu community; an influence ever at work — indeed 
by far the most powerful agent in dissolving Brihmanism into 
Hinduism, and specially active after the decline of Buddhism 
about the 7th century a.d. 

Fourth, the reaction against the low beliefs, priestly oppres- 4. Hindu 
sion, and bloody rites which resulted from this compromise ^^^^' 
between Brdhmanism and aboriginal worship. The reaction 
received an impetus from the preaching of Sankar Achdrya, 
who founded his great Sivaite sect in the 8th century a.d. 
It obtained its full development under a line of ardent 
Vishnuite reformers from the 12th to the i6th centuries a.d. 
The fifth solvent of the ancient Brdhmanical civilisation of 5. Muham- 
India was found in the Muhammadan invasions and the rule madans. 
of Islim, 1000 to 1765 A.D. The sixth, in the English 6. English, 
supremacy, and in the popular upheaval which it has produced 
in the i8th and 19th centuries. Each of these six epochs will, 
so far as space permits, receive separate treatment in the 
following chapters. 




Buddhism. The first great solvent of Brdhmanism was the teaching of 

Gautama Buddha. The life of this celebrated man has three 

sides, — its personal aspects, its legendary developments, and its 

religious consequences upon mankind. In his own person, 

Buddha appears as a prince and preacher of ancient India. 

In the legendary developments of his story, Buddha ranks as 

a divine teacher among his followers, as an incarnation ot 

Gautama Vishnu among the Hindus, and as a saint of the Christian 

Buddha, church, with a day assigned to him in both the Greek and 

Roman calendars. As a religious founder, he left behind a 

system of belief which has gained more disciples than any 

other creed in the world ; and which is now more or less 

accepted by 500 millions of people, or nearly one-half the 

human race. According to the Pdli texts, Buddha was bom 

622 B.C, and died 543 b.c* Modem calculations fix his death 

about 480 B.C.2 

'The story jh^ gjQry of Buddha's earthly career is a typical one. It is 

modelled ' based on the old Indian ideal of the noble life which we have 

on the epic seen depicted in the Sanskrit epics. Like the Pindavas in 

typ«' ^he Mahibhdrata, and like Rdma in the Rdmdyana, Buddha is 

the miraculously bom son of a king, belonging to one of the two 

great Aryan lines, the Solar and the Lunar ; in Buddha's case, as 

in Rima's, to the Solar. His youth, like that of the epic heroes, 

is spent under Brdhman tutors, and like the epic heroes he 

obtains a beautiful bride after a display of unexpected prowess 

with the bow ; or, as the northem Buddhists relate, at an actual 

swayam-vara, by a contest in arms for the princess. A period of 

voluntary exile follows an interval of married happiness, and 

Buddha retires like Rdma to a Brdhman's hermitage in the forest 

Buddha The sending back of the charioteer to the bereaved father's 

and Rama, capital forms an episode in the story of both the young princes. 

As in the Rdmdyana, so in the legend of Buddha, it is to the 

' Childers' Dictionary of the Pdli Languagty s.v, Buddho, p. 96. 
• 01denberg*s BuddAa, Sein Leben etc. (Hoey*s excellent translationi^ 
p. 197). Vide post, p. 153. 


gte on the south of the Ganges, lying between the Ary^in 
settlements and the aboriginal races, that the royal exile 
repairs. After a time of seclusion, the Pindavas, Rdraa, 
and Buddha alike emerge to achieve great conquests ; the two The 
former by force of arms, the last by the weapons of the Spirit, /jjl'^" 
Up to this point the outline of the three stories has followed 
the same type ; but henceforth it diverges. The Sanskrit epics 
depict the ideal Aryan man as prince, hermit, and hero. In 
1 the legend of Buddha, that ideal has developed into prince, 
Bhermit, and saint 

H Gautama, afterwards named Buddha, *The Enlightened/ Parentage 
Hmd Siddhirtha, • He who has fulfilled his end/ was ^the only f^^l""' 
" soQ of Suddhodana, King of Kapilavastu. This prince, the Buddhn. 
cbef of the Sakya clan, ruled over an outlying Ar}'an settle- 
ment on the north-eastern border of the Middle Land, about 622 li.c. 
I a bondred miles to the north of Benares, and within sight 
I of the snow-topped Himilayas. A Gautama Rdjput of the 
I noble Solar line, he wished to see his son grow up on the 
I warlike model of his race. But the young prince shunned the His londy 
I ipoits of his playmates, and retired to solitary' day-dreams in ^^ "^ * *^' 
^LBoob of the palace garden* The king tried to win his son to 
^M practical career by marrying him to a beautiful and talented 
^Bpri; and the youthful Gautama unexpectedly proved his 
^■tnanliness by a victory over the flower of the young chiefs at 
^^t tournament- For a while he forgot his solemn speculations 
on the unseen, in the sweet realities of early married life. 

But in his drives through the city he deeply reflected His mar- 
on the t)'pes of old age, disease, and death which met ^^}^\^ 
^Lbis eye ; and he was powerfully impressed by the calm of 
^Bl hdy man, who seemed to have raised his soul above the 
^pchuiges and sorrows of this world. After ten years, his wife 
^ bore to him an only son ; and Gautama, fearing lest this new 
lie should bind him too closely to the things of earth, retired 
iWut the age of thirty to a cave among the forest- clad spurs 
ofthc Vindhyas. The story of how he turned away from the His Grent 
door of his wife's lamp-lit chamber, denying himself even a i^^^^^^J'^' 
I parting caress of his new-born babe lest he should wake the 29-30. 
Itlecping mother, and galloped off into the darkness, is one of 
I Inc many tender episodes in his life. After a gloomy night ride, 
I "6 sent back his one companion, the faithful charioteer, with 
I fe horse and jewels to his father. Having cut off his long 
I ^put locks, and e.xchanged his princely raiment for the rags 
, ^^ a poor passer-by, he went on alone a homeless beggar. 
1 ^"^ abandonment of earthly pomp und power, and of loved 


134 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

forest life, 
at, 30-36 
or 29-34. 

588 B.C. 

His spiri- 
tual crisis. 

His temp- 

His * En- 


wife and new-bom son, is the Great Renunciation which forms 
a favourite theme of the Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit, Pdli, 
Tibetan, and Chinese. It has furnished, during twenty cen- 
turies, the type of self-sacrifice which all Indian reformers must 
follow if they are to win the trust of the people. 

For a time Buddha studied under two Brdhman recluses, near 
Rajagriha, in Patnd District, learning from them that the 
path to divine knowledge and tranquillity of soul lies through 
the subjection of the flesh. He then buried himself deeper in 
the south-eastern jungles, which at that time covered Gaya 
District, and during six years wasted himself by austerities 
in company with five disciples. The temple of Buddh-Gaya 
marks the site of his long penance. But instead of earning 
peace of mind by fasting and self-torture, he reached a crisis 
of religious despair, during which the Buddhist scriptures 
affirm that the enemy of mankind, Mdra, wrestled with him 
in bodily shape. Torn with doubts as to whether, after all 
his penance, he was not destined to perdition, the haggard 
ascetic, in a final paroxysm, fell senseless to the earth. 

When he recovered, the mental struggle had passed. He 
felt that the path to salvation lay not in self-torture in a 
mountain cave, but in preaching a higher life to his fellow- 
men. His five disciples, shocked by his giving up penance, 
forsook him ; and Buddha was left in solitude to face the ques- 
tion whether he alone was right and all the devout minds of 
his age were wrong. The Buddhist scriptures depict him as 
sitting serene under a fig-tree, while the great Enemy and his 
crew whirled round him with flaming weapons. 'When the 
conflict began between the Saviour of the World and the 
Prince of Evil,' says one of their sacred texts,^ the earth shook ; 
the sea uprose from her bed, the rivers turned back to the 
mountains, the hill-tops fell crashing to the plains, the sun was 
darkened, and a host of headless spirits rode upon the tempest:. 
From his temptation in the wilderness, the ascetic emeige^ 
with his doubts for ever laid at rest, seeing his way clear, an<3 
henceforth to be known as Buddha, literally *The Enlightened-* ** 

This was Buddha's second birth ; and the piped fig <:^r 
Bo (Bodhi), literally the Tree of the Enlightenment, und^r 
whose spreading branches its pangs were endured, has becorKne 

^ The Madhurattha-Vildsini, JournaJ of the Bengal Asiatic Sociity^ \r ^I. 
vii. p. 812. Rhys Davids' Buddhism^ p. 36. 

• According to the Ceylonese texts, Buddha 'obtained Buddhahood ^^' i' 

588 B.C. This would make him 34, not 36 years of age. Childers* f- i^' 

Dictionary ^ s.v, Buddho. 


the sacred tree of 500 millions of mankind* It is the 
Ficus religiosa of Western science. The idea of a second 
birth was familiar to the twice-born Aryan castes of ancient 
India, and was represented by their race-ceremony of in- 
^v^ting the boy at the close of childhood with the sacred 
read. In this, as in its other features, the story of Buddha 
adheres to ancient Aryan types, but gives to them a new 
spiritual significance. Having passed through the three pre- 
scribed stages of the Ar)Mn saintly life,^ — as learner, house- 
holder, and forest recluse, — he now entered on its fourth stage 
as a religious mendicant. But he developed from the old 
Brahmanical model of the wandering ascetic, intent only on 
saving his own soul, the nobler type of the preacher, striving 
to bring deliverance to the souls of others. 

Two months after his temptation in the wilderness, Buddha 
commenced his public leaching in the Deer- Forest, on the 
outskirts of the great city of Benares. Unlike the Brahmans, 
he addressed himself, not to one or two disciples of the sacred 
^ caste, but to the mass of the people. His first converts were 
laymen, and among the earUest were women. After three 
^H months of ministry, he had gathered around him sixty disciples, 
^^Hwhom he sent forth to the oeighbourint,^ countries with these 
^^Hwords : *Go ye now and preach the most excellent I^w.' The 
^■essence of his teaching was the deliverance of man from the 
sins and sorrows of life by self-renunciation and inward self- 
control While the sixty disciples went on their missionary 
^^ tour among the populace, Buddha converted certain celebrated 
^^^lermits and fire- worshippers by an exposition of the philo- 
^^sophical side of his doctrine. With this new band he 
journeyed on to Rajilgriha, where the local king and his 
subjects joined the faith, but where also he first experienced 
the fickleness of the multitude. Two-thirds of each year he 
spent as a wandering preacher. The remaining four months of 
the rainy season he abode at some fixed place, often near 
Kajagriha, teaching the people who flocked around his little 
dwelling in the bamboo grove. His five old disciples, who 
had forsaken him in the time of his sore temptation in the 
I wilderness, penitently rejoined their master. Princes, mer- 
^^^chants, artificers, Brdhmans and hermits, husbnndmen and 
^™ serfs, noble ladies and repentant courtesans^ were yearly added 
I to those who believed. 

Buddha preached throughout a large part ol Behar, 
Oudh, and the adjacent Districts in the North - Western 
Provinces, In after ages monasteries marked his halting* 

His story 
follous jlvc 
old Aryan 

teaching of 
*r/. 36-80. 

He ^emls 
forth the 

He con- 
verts the 

jn the 

136 BUDDHISM, S43 B.C. TO looo A.D, 

places; and the principal scenes of his life, such as 

AjODHYA, Buddh-Gaya, Sravasti, the modern Sahet Mahet, 

Rajagriha, etc, became the great places of pilgrimage for 

the Buddhist world. His visit to his aged father at Kapila- 

vastu, whence he had gone forth as a brilliant young prince, 

and to which he returned as a wandering preacher, in dingy 

yellow robes, with shaven head and the begging bowl in his 

hand, is a touching episode which appeals to the heart of 

Buddha universal mankind. The old king heard him with reverence. 

converts The son, whom Buddha had left as a new-bom babe, was 

his own 

family. converted to the faith; and his beloved wife, from the 

threshold of whose chamber he had ridden away into the 

darkness, became one of the first of Buddhist nuns. 

The Great Renunciation took place in his twenty-ninth year. 

After silent self-preparation, his public ministry commenced 

in his thirty-sixth, and during forty-four years he preached to 

He pro- the people. In prophesying his death, he said to his 

death^^ ^'^ followers : * Be earnest, be thoughtful, be holy. Keep stedfast 

watch over your own hearts. He who holds fast to the law 

and discipline, and faints not, he shall cross the ocean of life 

and make an end of sorrow.' He spent his last night in 

preaching, and in comforting a weeping disciple; his latest 

Buddha's words, according to one account, were, * Work out your salva- 

last words. tJon with diligence.' He died calmly, at the age of eighty,^ 

^^^ ' under the shadow of a fig-tree, at Kusinagara, the modern 

Kasia, in Gorakhpur District 

Different Such is the story of Gautama Buddha's life derived from 

versions Indian sources, a story which has the value of gospel truth to 

2^g^jj 31 millions 2 of devout believers. But the two branches even 

of Indian or Southern Buddhism have each their own version, 

and the Buddha of the Burmese differs in important respects 

from the Buddha of the Ceylonese.' Still wider is the diver- 

^ According to some accounts ; according to others, at about seventy. 

But the chronology of Buddha's life is legendary. 
• The following estimate is given by Mr. Rhys Davids of the number 

of the Southern Buddhists, substituting for his Indian figures the results 

ascertained by the Census of 1 881 : — 

In Ceylon i.S20,S7S 

,, India and British Burma, . . nearly 4,000, ocx> 

,, Burma 3,000,000 

,, Siam 10,000,000 

,, Anam, 12,000,000 

,, Jains, 485,020 

Total, . . 31.005,595 
' The original Pali text of the Comnuntary of the Jdt<ikhas is assigned 


^mre which the Northern or Tibetan Buddhists give to the 

ic^end of the life and to the teaching of their Master, Thtf 

I southern texts dwell upon the early career of Buddha up to 

lliictime of his Enlighteninent in his 34th or 56th year. The 

incidents of that period have a peculiar pathos, and appeal to 

the most sacred experiences of humanity in all ages. They 

■ lonn the favourite episodes of European works on Buddhism. 

■ But such works are apt to pay perhaps too little attention to 
the fact that the first thirty-four years of Buddha's life were 

Boniy a self- preparation for a social and religious propaganda 
H|rolonged to an extreme old age. 

The forty-six years of intense personal labour, during which Later 

k Buddha traversed wide regions, converted nations, withstood jju^J^ha 
^mgs, eluded assassins, and sifted out false disciples, receive 
more attention in the northern legends. These legends have 
lately been compiled from the Tibetan texts into a work which 
furnishes a new and most interesting view of Buddha's life.^ 
The best authority on the Southern Buddhism of Burma states 
that the history of the Master 'offers an almost complete blank 
M to what regards his doings and preachings during a period 
of iiearly twenty-three years.* '^ 
- The texts of the Northern Buddhists fill up this blank. Northern 
H Southern Buddhism modelled its biographies of the Master ™*^*^' 

^^ ^nCeyloiicse scribes^ Hrc, 450 A.D. The first part of \\ was published by 
laiisboll in 1S75 (Copenhagen); and Mr. Rhys Davids* translation, with 
Tiiutilt introduction and notes, appeared tinder the title of Buddhut 
Birth Stonts in l8So (Trubiicr, London). Mr. Childers' Duiumary of the 
^ Languor is a storehouse of original malerials from Ceylonese sources, 
^ bos been used for verifying all statements in the present chapter. A 
Of^pendiaus view of Southern Huddhisni, ancient and modern, will be 

Ifindio Spence ll:ixdy\ Manuai 0/ Buddhism ^ translated from Singalesc 
••s. The Bunncse branch of Southern Buddhism is well represented by 
^hop Bigandet's Life or Legend of Gaudama (third edition, a vols., 
^'»tlbtteT, lSSo)j and by Mr. Alabaster's The VVfied of the Lini\ a iransla- 
*>on or paraphrase of the Siamese Paihama SamMhiyan. Mr. Rhys 
*^vid5* BrnddhiMm^ and \a^ Hibitett Lectures^ give an excellent review of 
**** ^th. The French works, the original authorities in Europe, have (in 
***^ie respects) been supergeded by Oideabcrg's Buddha, Setn Lehcn etc 

Tkt Life Qf ihe Buddha^ and the Early History of his Order ^ derived 
^*'**w Tihefan IVerks in the Bkah-hgyttr uttd Bstan-h^'itr, translated by 
^' Woodvillc Rockhill, Second Secreiary to the United States Legation 
*? China (Trubncr & Co., London 1884). Mr. BeaFs iyi-yaki, tfr 
^*^ui Records of the Western World, translateti from the Chinese of 
•^iueji T&iangy throws curious side-lights upon the traditions which the 
^Hinese pilgrim brought with him or heard in India rcgariling the local 
^tidcnts of Buddha's life. 

* FftPm the fifty*sixth to the sevenly-ninth year of his life- Bishop 
[ W^det's Life or Legend of Gattdatna, voL i. p, 360j and footnote. 

138 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

epic type ; 




The philo- 

of the 





upon the Indian epic type. Such biographies, as already stated, 
reproduce the three stages in the life of an Aryan hero, depicted 
by the Mahabhirata and Rdmayana; except that the three 
ideal stages have developed from those of prince, hermit, and 
warrior, to those of prince, hermit, and saint. In the northern 
conditions of China and Tibet, Buddha appears by no means as 
an Aryan hero. He is rather the representative of a race with 
birth-customs and death-rites of its own — of a race dwelling 
amid the epic Aryan kingdoms of India, but with traces of a 
separate identity in the past He is a Sakya (perhaps a 
Scythic) prince, whose clan had settled to the south of the 
Himdlayas, and preserved relics of a non- Aryan type 

The artificial character which the southern legends give to 
the life of Buddha, arose from their tendency to assimilate him 
with epic Indian types. It was intensified by the equally Indian 
tendency to convert actual facts into philosophical abstractions. 
Gautama or Sakya-Muni became only a link in a long series of 
just men made perfect According to the Ceylonese texts, a 
Buddha is a human being who has obtained perfect self-control 
and infinite knowledge. Having attained Enlightenment himself, 
he spends the rest of his life in preaching the truth to others. 
At his death he is reabsorbed into the Divine Essence, and his 
religion flourishes for a certain period until it dies out, and a new 
Buddha appears to preach anew the lost truth. The attainment 
of Buddhahood is the final result of virtue and self-sacrifice during 
many previous lives. Innumerable Buddhas have been bom 
in this world ; 24 of whom are separately named. Gautama was 
only the latest, and his doctrine is destined to give place to the 
Metteya Buddha, or Buddha of Kindness, who is next to corae.^ 

The Buddha of the northern legends is a reformer of a more 
concrete type. The Tibetan texts give prominence to the 
political aspects of his Reformation. Incidentally, indeed, they 
amplify several of the touching episodes familiar to Southern 
Buddhism. The * great Fear ' which impelled the young prince 
forth from his palace into the darkness to seek a higher life ; 
the dirt and stones thrown at the wanderer by the village girls ; 
the parables of the Mango-tree, the Devout Slave, and many 
others; the rich young man who left all for the faith and 
was not exceeding sorry ; and Buddha's own retirement from 
Benares to avoid the gifts and honours which were being thrust 
upon him, — receive fresh illustration from the Tibetan texts.* 

' Mr. Childers' Pdli Dictionary^ p. 96. Sanskrit, AfaltrayeL 
* The materials for the following paragraphs are derived mainly from 
Mr. Rockhiii's work (1884), already cited. 


But it is from the political and historical aspects that the Political 

Tibetan life of Buddha possesses its special value. We learn l*/*^ °X 
„ ,„. .... . ^ ^ ^. . Buddha. 

that Buddhism was m its ongm only one of many connictmg 

sects; indeed, that alike to its royal patrons and opponents it 
appeared at first in the light of a new order rather than in the 
light of a new faith. ^ The early struggles of Buddhism were 
neither with the old Aryan gods, nor with the Brdhmans as a 
caste; but with rival orders of philosophers or ascetics, and 
with schismatics among its own followers. The gods of the 
Veda, Brahma, Indra, and the Shining Ones, appear in friendly 
relations with Buddha, and attend upon him in more than one 
crisis of his life. The Brdhmans were no longer a caste alto- 
gether devoted to a spiritual life. The Tibetan texts disclose 
them as following partly religious, partly secular avocations, 
and as among * the great nobles ' of an Indian kingdom. The 
Brihman attitude to the new faith was by no means one of con- 
federate hostility. The main body of Brdhmans continued non- 
Buddhistic, and taught their doctrines at royal courts. But many 
conspicuous converts were drawn from among them, and the 
Tibetan texts almost uniformly speak of Brdhmans with respect. 
The opponents of the Tibetan Buddha were rival sects Buddha's 

whom he found in possession of the field, and the false '^*^ 

. , , ^ , . ,. . , rr,, , 1 opponents. 

brethren who arose among his own disciples. The older 

hostile sects were confuted, sometimes by fair discussion, but 

more often by superior magical feats. Indeed, transformations 

and miraculous appearances seem for a time to have furnished 

the most potent arguments of the new faith. But eventually 

Buddha forbade resort to such testimonies, and magic became 

to the orthodox Buddhist an unholy art. In his later years, 

Buddha more than once insists that his doctrine is essentially 

one to be understanded of the people ; that he was keeping back His 

no seaet for an initiated few : and that he was the preacher "»ag>cal 

/ . , .... . , . . , '^ arts. 

01 a stnctly popular religion without any esoteric side. 

It was from among his own disciples that his bitterest 

enemies came. The Sakya race of Kapilavastu had adopted 

his teaching as a nation, without much pretence of individual 

coJiversion. Buddha's modest beginnings, first with the five 

followers, then with the sixty, then with the thousand, now Wholesale 

took a national development. In the fervour of the new ^akya 

'^ conversion 

movement, the Sakyas proclaimed that one man out of every 

^inijymust enter the Buddhist mendicant order; and it was 

from this ordinance, to which Buddha was compelled to give a 

reluctant assent, that the troubles of his later life arose. 

* Rockhil], op. eit. Also Rhys Davids' Hibbtrt Lectures, p. 156. 

140 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. Td 1000 A.D. 

Schism of The discontent among the forced disciples found a leader 
cva atta. .^^ Buddha's own cousin, Devadatta, who aspired by superior 
asceticism to the headship. For the schism which he created, 
Devadatta won the support of the Heir-apparent of Magadha. 
A struggle, partly religious partly political, ensued. Devadatta 
was for a time triumphant. He abetted the murder of the 
Magadha king, the father of his ally ; forced the aged Buddha 
into retirement; and plundered and oppressed the people. 
The miraculous deliverances of * the Blessed One ' from the 
catapult, and from the wild elephant let loose against him in a 
narrow street, mark, however, the turning-point in the fortunes 
of the schism. Devadatta was confuted by magical arts, and 
his royal patron was converted to the true faith. The traitor 
disciple having thus failed to usurp the spiritual leadership of 
the Sakyas, attempted to seduce the wife whom Buddha had 
left in solitude. The apostate hoped with her aid to stand 
forth as the king or temporal leader of the Sakya race. His 
contemptuous rejection by the loyal Sakya princess, his acts of 
His fall despairing cruelty, and his fall into hell with a lie in his mouth, 
into hell, ^^^jy close the career of the first great schismatic. 
Buddha, Throughout the Tibetan texts, Buddha figures as a typical 
ortnce^^^ Sakya ; first as a young Kshattriya or prince of the royal line, 
and then as a saintiy personage who turns back an army sent 
against his nation by the force of his piety alone. Such 
spiritual weapons, however, proved a feeble defence in early 
India. Eventually, the Sakya capital was attacked by over- 
whelming numbers. For a time the enemy were repulsed 
without the Buddhists incurring the sin of taking life. But 
their firm adherence to their Master's commandment, *Thou 
shalt not kill,' in the end decided the fate of the Sakya city. 
Some escaped into exile and founded settlements in distant 
parts as far as the other side of the Punjab frontier. The fall 
of the city ended in the slaughter of 77,000 Sakyas, and in 
the dispersion of the remnants of the race. The story of the 
five hundred Sakya youths and five hundred Sakya maidens 
Disasters ^^^ ^^^^ carried into captivity is a pathetic one. The five 
of his race, hundred youths were massacred in cold blood ; and the faithful 
Sakya maidens, having refused to enter the harem of their 
conqueror, were exposed to the populace with their hands and 
feet chopped off. How Buddha came to them in their misery, 
dressed their wounds, and comforted them with the hope of a 
better life, ' so that they died in the faith,' is afiectingly told. 

The foregoing narrative touches only on one or two aspects 
of the Tibetan texts. It suffices to show the characteristic 


divergences between the northern and the southern legend 
In the northern, there is a gradually developed contrast be- 
tween two main figureSi the traitor Devadalta and his brother 
Ananda, the Beloved Disciple. The last year of Buddha*s 
ministry is dwelt on by both. But its full significance and its 
most tender episodes are treated with special unction in the 
northern version of the Book of the Great Decease. The Fo-wei- 
kian-king»* or * Dying Instruction of Buddha/ translated into 
Chinese between 397 and 415 a.d. from a still earlier Sanskrit 
text, gives to the last scene a |)eculiar beauty. ' It was now in the 
middle of the night/ it says, ^perfectly quiet and still ; for the sake 
of his disciples, he delivered a summary of the law.' After laying 
clown the niles of a good life, he revealed the inner doctrines of 
his faith. From these a few sentences may be taken, *The heart 
is lord of the senses : govern, therefore, your heart ; watch well 
the heart* * Think of the fire that shall consume the world, 
and early seek deliverance from it.' * Lament not my going 
away, nor feel regret. For if I remained in the world, then 
what would become of the church ? It must perish without 
fulfilling its end. From henceforth all my disciples, practising 
their various duties, shall prove that my true Body, the Body 
of the Law (Dharmakara)^ is everlasting and imperishable. 
The world is fast bound in fetters ; I now give it deliverance, 
as a physician who brings heavenly medicine. Keep your 
mind on my teaching; all other things change, this changes 
not No more shall I speak to you. I desire to depart. I 
desire the eternal rest {Nin^dna), This is my last exhortation/ 

The secret of Buddha*s success was that he brought spiritual 
deliverance to the people. He preached that salvation was 
equally open to all men, and that it raust be earned, not by 
propitiating imaginarj^ dcides, but by our own conduct. His 
doctrines thus cut away the religious basis of caste, impaired the 
efficiency of the sacrificial ritual, and assailed the supremacy of 
the Brdhmans as the mediators between God and man. Buddha 
taught that sin, sorrow, and deliverance, the state of a man in this 
life, in all previous and in all future lives, are the inevitable results 
of his own acts {Karma). He thus applied the inexorable law of 
cause and effect to the soul. What a man sows, he must reap. 

As no evil remains without punishment, and no good deed 
without reward, it follows that neither priest nor God can prevent 

» TransUied in Appendix to the Catalogue of the Manuscripts presented 
by the Japanese Government to the Secretary of State for India, and now 
in ihc India Office. — ^Concluding letter of Mr, Beal lo Dr. Rost, dated 
1st September 1S74, sec. 5. 

of the 

text of 
dying dis- 


ii OCT fines 

of Buddha. 

Lavv of 

The liber- 
ation of 
the soul. 


142 BUDDHISM, 543 B,C, TO 1000 A.D, 

each act bearing its own consequences. Misery or happiness in 
this life is the unavoidable result of our conduct in a past life ; 
and our actions here will determine our happiness or misery 
in the life to come. When any creature dies, he is bom again 
in some higher or lower state of existence, according to his 
meri or demerit. His merit, or demerit, that is his character, 
consists of the sum total of his actions in all previous lives. 

By this great law of Karma^ Buddha explained the inequali- 
ties and apparent injustice of man's estate in this world as 
the consequence of acts in the past ; while Christianity 
compensates those inequalities by rewards in the future. A 
system in which our whole well-being, past, present, and to 
come, depends on ourselves, theoretically leaves little room for 
the interference, or even existence, of a personal God.^ But 
the atheism of Buddha was a philosophical tenet, which so 
far from weakening the sanctions of right and wrong, gave them 
new strength from the doctrine of Karma, or the Metem- 
psychosis of Character. 

To free ourselves from the thraldom of desire and from the 
fetters of selfishness, was to attain to the state of the perfect 
disciple, Arahat in this life, and to the everlasting rest after 
death, Nirvdna. Some Buddhists explain Nirvdna as absolute 
annihilation, when the soul is blown out like the flame of a 
lamp. Others hold that it is merely the extinction of the 
sins, sorrows, and selfishness of individual life. The fact is, 
that the doctrine underwent processes of change and develop- 
ment, like all theological dogmas. *But the earliest idea 
of Nirvdna^ says one of the greatest authorities on Chinese 
Buddhism, * seems to have included in it no more than the 
enjoyment of a state of rest consequent on the extinction 
of all causes of sorrow. '^ The great practical aim of Buddha's 
teaching was to subdue the lusts of the flesh and the cravings 
of self; and Nirvdna has been taken to mean the extinc- 
tion of the sinful grasping condition of heart which, by the 
inevitable law of Karma, would involve the penalty of renewed 
individual existence. As the Buddhist strove to reach a 
state of quietism or holy meditation in this world, namely, the 

^ 'Buddhism,' says Mr. Beal, Catena of Buddhist Scriptures^ p. 153, 
* declares itself ignorant of any mode of personal existence compatible with 
the idea of spiritual perfection, and so far, it is ignorant of God. ' 

2 Beal, Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese^ p. 157, ed. 
1871 ; and the Buddhist Tripitaka, App., Letter to Dr. Rost, sec. 6. Max 
Miiller deals with the word from the etymological and Sanskrit side in his 
Chips from a German IVorhshop, vol. i. pp. 279, 290, ed. 1867. But see, 
specially, Childers' Pdti Dictionary'^ s.v, Nilbanam, pp. 265-274, 


state of the perfect disciple or Arahat ; so he looked forward 
to an eternal calm in a world to come, Nirvdna, 

Buddha taught that this end could only be attained by the Moral 
practice of virtue. He laid down eight precepts of morality, ^ 
Kith two more for the religious orders, making ten command- 
ments (dasasila) in all. He arranged the besetting faults of 
mankind into ten sins, and set forth the special duties appli- The Ten 
cable to each condition of life ; to parents and children, to ments. 
pupils and teachers, to husbands and wives, to masters and 
servants, to laymen and the religious orders. In place of the 
3rahman rites and sacrifices, Buddha prescribed a code of 
practical morality as the means of salvation. The four 
essential features of that code were — reverence to spiritual 
teachers and parents, control over self, kindness to other men, 
and reverence for the life of all sentient creatures. 

He urged on his disciples that they must not only follow Missionary 
the true path themselves, but that they should preach it to all ^ ^1 ju\*^ 
mankind. Buddhism has from the first been a missionary 
religion. One of the earliest acts of Buddha's public ministry 
^•as to send forth the Sixty ; and he carefully formulated the 
four chief means of conversion. These were companionship 
with the good, listening to the Law, reflection upon the truths 
heard, and the practice of virtue. He also instituted a re- 
ligious Order, one of whose special duties it was to go forth 
^d preach to the nations. While, therefore, the Brdhmans 
^^ept their ritual for the twice-born Aryan castes. Buddhism 
addressed itself not only to those castes and to the lower 
'^^ of the people, but to all the non-Aryan races through- 
out India, and eventually to almost the whole Asiatic world. 
Two features of the Buddhist Order were its fortnightly 
Meetings and public confession, or * Disburdenment ' of sins. 

On the death of Buddha, five hundred of his disciples met The First 
'ft a vast cave near Rdjdgriha to gather together his sayings. ?°^b^^ n\ 
This was the First Council. They chanted the lessons of 
^heir master in three great divisions — the words of Buddha to 
his disciples;^ his code of discipline ;2 and his system of 
doctrine.* These became the Three Collections * of Buddha's 
^^aching ; and the word for a Buddhist Council * means 
^^terally *a singing together.' A century afterwards, a Second Second 
Council, of seven hundred, was held at Vaisali, to settle disputes Council 
^tween the more and the less strict followers of Buddhism. 443b.c.'(?) 
^^ condemned a system of ten * Indulgences ' which had grown 

* Siiiras, • Vinaya, • Abhidharma, 

* Pitakas^ lit * baskets ; ' afterwards the five Nikdyas, * Sangiti in Pali. 

144 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

The work 
of Asoka. 

up ; but it led to the separation of the Buddhists into two 
hostile parties, who afterwards split into eighteen sects. 
Buddhist Inuring the next two hundred years Buddhism spread over 
Council, Northern India, perhaps receiving a new impulse from the Greek 
244B.C. (?) kingdoms in the Punjab. About 257 b.c, Asoka, the King of 
Magadha or Behar, became a zealous convert to the faith.^ Asoka 
was grandson of the Chandra Gupta whom we shall meet as an 
adventurer in Alexander's camp, and afterwards as an ally of 
Seleukos. Asoka is said to have supported 64,000 Buddhist 
priests ; he founded many religious houses, and his kingdom is 
called the Land of the Monasteries (Vihira or Behar) to this day. 
Asoka did for Buddhism what Constantine afterwards effected 
for Christianity ; he organized it on the basis of a State reli- 
gion. This he accomplished by five means — by a Council 
to settle the faith, by edicts promulgating its principles, by a 
State Department to watch over its purity, by missionaries to 
spread its doctrines, and by an authoritative revision or canon 
of the Buddhist scriptures. In 244 B.C, Asoka convened 
at Patni the Third Buddhist Council, of one thousand elders. 
Evil men, taking on them the yellow robe of the Order, had 
given forth their own opinions as the teaching of Buddha. 
Such heresies were now corrected; and the Buddhism of 
Southern Asia practically dates from Asoka's Council. 

^ Much learning has been expended upon the age of Asoka, and various 
dates have been assigned to him. But, indeed, all Buddhist dates are open 
questions, according to the system of chronology adopted. The middle of 
the 3rd century B.C. may be taken as the era of Asoka. The following 
table from General Cunningham*s Corfms Imcriptionum Indicarum, p. vii. 
(1877), exhibits the results of the latest researches on this subject : — 

(I) His 



B.C. 264 

AsoKA, Struggle with brothers, 4 years. 


Comes to the throne. 


Conversion to Buddhism. 


Treaty with Antiochus. 


Mahindo ordained. 


Earliest date of rock edicts. 


Second date of rock edicts. 


Arsakes rebels in Parthia. 


Diodotus rebels in Bactria. 


Third Buddhist Council under Mogaliputra. 


Mahindo goes to Ceylon. 


Bardbar cave inscriptions. 


Pillar edicts issued. 


Queen Asandhimitta dies. 


Second Queen married. 


Her attempt to destroy the Bodhi tree. 


Asoka becomes an ascetic. 


Issues Rupnath and Sasseram edicts. 




Dasaratha's cave inscriptions, Nigdrjuni. 


In a number of edicts^ before and after the synod, he published <2) His 
throughout India the cardinal principles of the faith* Such edicts ^^^^^ 
are still found graven deep upon pillarsi caves, and rocks, from 
the Yusafzai valley beyond Peshawar on the north-western 
frontier, through the heart of Hindustin and the Central Pro- 
vinces, to Kathiiwar in the west, and Orissa in the east coast 
of India. Tradition states that Asoka set up 84,000 memorial 
columns or topes. The Chinese pilgrims came upon them in 
the inner Himalayas. Forty-two inscriptions still surviving 
show how widely these royal sermons were spread over India 

In the year of the Council, Asoka founded a State Ctepart- (3) Hi* 
ment to watch over the purity, and to direct the spread, of tiie r^g^f'^of 
ttith. A Minister of Justice and Religion (Dharma Mahdmdtra) Public 
diiected its operations ; and, as one of its first duties was to ^^'o^^^'P' 
proselytisie, this Minister was charged with the welfare of the 
aborigines among whom his missionaries were sent. Asoka 
did not think it enough to convert the inferior races^ without 
looking after their material interests, Wells were to be dug, 
and trees planted, along the roads ; a s^^stem of medical aid was 

^ Mijor-Gencral Cunningham, Director-Generil of the Archaeological 

Senty of Indlot enumerates 14 r(x:k inscriptions, 17 cave inscriptions, 

lai ir inscn1)ed pillars. The rock inscriptions are at — (1) ShalibijE^arht 

to the Vusafzai country, 40 miles cast-north -east of Peshawar ; (2) Khalsi 

ociihe wcsi bank of the Jumna; 13) GirnAr in Kdthiawiir, 40 miles north 

of SoKnnath ; (4 to 7) Dhauli in Cutlack, midway between Cuttack 

lod Pttii, and Jaugada in Ganjam District, iS mile!- north -north -west of 

BtE^mpur, — ^two inscriptions at each, virtually identical ; (8) Sasserana^ at 

tile ftorth'cast end of the Kaimur range, 70 miles aouth-east of Benares ; 

(9I Itupnilh, a famous place of pilgrimage, 35 miles north of Jabalpur ; 

(JQ tnJ 11^ Oairit, 41 miles north of Jaipur ; (12) the Khandgiri Hill, 

nor Dhauli in Cuttack j (13) Deotek, 50 miles south-east of Nagpur ; (14) 

Kiasera, north-west of Rawa I Pindi, inscribed in the Bactrian character. 

The cave inscriptions, 17 in number, are found at — {i, 2, 3J Barabar, and 

(!• 5i 6) Nagarjuni Hills, both places 15 miles north of Gaya ; (7 to 15) 

KhAsdgiri Hill in Cuttack, and (16 and 17) Kamgarh in Sirguja. The 

deven inscriberl pillars arc~(0 ihc Delhi-Siwalik, at Delhi ; {2) tb*! Delhi- 

Meerut, at Delhi ; (3) the Allah ibid ; (4) the Lauriya-ArarAj, at Lnuriya, 

77 miles north of Patna ; {5) the Lauriya-Navandgarh, at another 

Ljorija, 15 miles north- north-west of Bettia ; (6 and 7) two additional 

edicti on the Delhi- Si walik, not found on any other pillar ; (S and 9) two 

»bort additional edicts on the Allahabad pillar, (>eculiaT to itself; (10) a 

ithort mutilated record on a fragment of a pillar at ^anchi, near BhIUa ; (l 1 ) 

«t RiiDpura in the Tarai, northeast of the second Lauriya, near Bcltia. 

The last-immed pillar and the rock inscription at Mansera (No. 14) are 

l^eceot discoveries since the first edition of this work was published. The 

Mizi3<Ta rock inscription is interesting as being the second in the bactrian 

character, and for its fccording twelve Edicts camplete, 

vol- VI. K 


146 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

(4) Mis- 

(5) Re- 
canon of 

Edicts of 

established throughout his kingdom and the conquered Pro- 
vinces, as far as Ceylon, for man and beast ^ Ofificers were 
appointed to watch over domestic life and public morality,^ and 
to promote instruction among the women as well as the youth. 

Asoka recognised proselytism by peaceful means as a State 
duty. The Rock Inscriptions record how he sent forth mis- 
sionaries * to the utmost limits of the barbarian countries,' to 
' intermingle among all unbelievers,' for the spread of religion. 
They shall mix equally with soldiers, Brihmans, and beggars, 
with the dreaded and the despised, both within the kingdom 
* and in foreign countries, teaching better things.* * Conversion 
is to be effected by persuasion, not by the sword. Buddhism 
was at once the most intensely missionary religion in the world, 
and the most tolerant This character of a proselytizing faith, 
which wins its victories by peaceful means, so strongly impressed 
upon it by Asoka, has remained a prominent feature of 
Buddhism to the present day. Asoka, however, not only 
took measures to spread the religion, he also endeavoured to 
secure its orthodoxy. He collected the body of doctrine 
into an authoritative version, in the Mdgadhi language or 
dialect of his central kingdom in Behar ; a version which for 
two thousand years has formed the canon (pitakas) of the 
Southern Buddhists. In this way, the Mdgadhi dialect became 
the Pdli or sacred language of the Ceylonese. 

Mr. Robert Cust thus summarizes Asoka's Fourteen Edicts : — 

1. Prohibition of the slaughter of animals for food or sacrifice. 

2. Provision of a system of medical aid for men and animals, and of 

plantations and wells on the roadside. 

3. Order for a quinquennial humiliation and re-publication of the great 

moral precepts of the Buddhist faith. 

4. Comparison of the former state of things, and the happy existing 

state under the king. 

5. Appointment of missionaries to go into various countries, which are 

enumerated, to convert the people and foreigners. 

6. Appointment of informers (or inspectors) and guardians of morality. 

7. Expression of a desire that there may be uniformity of religion and 

equality of rank. 

8. Contrast of the carnal pleasures of previous rulers with the pious 

enjoyments of the present king. 

9. Inculcation of the true happiness to be found in virtue, through 

which alone the blessings of heaven can be propitiated. 

^ Rock Inscriptions, Edict ii.. General Cunningham's Corpus Inscrip^ 
tionum^ p. 1 1 8. 

' Rock Inscriptions, Edict vi. etc.. Corpus Inscriptionum, p. 120. These 
Inspectors of Morals are supposed to correspond to the Sixth Caste of 
Megasthenes, the 'Er/rx^rM of Arrian. 

s Rock Inscriptions, Edict v. etc.. Corpus Inscriptionum, p. 120. 


10. Contmst of ihc vain and tran-sitory glory of this worU wiih the 

reward for which the king strives and looks beyond* 
If, Inculcation of the doctrine that the importing of dharma or teaching 

of virtue to others is the greatest of charitable gifts. 

12, Address to all unbelievers, 

13, (Imperfect) ; the meaning conjectural. 

14, Summing up of the whole. 

The fourth and last of the great Buddhist Councils was held Fourth 
under Kinir Kanishka, accordintr to one tradition four centuries S^™*;'!* 
after Buddha s death. 1 he date of Kanishka is still uncertain ; (40 a.u. t) 
but» from the evidence of coins and inscriptions, his reign has 
been fixed in the ist century after Christ, or, say, 40 a.d.i 
Kanishka, the most famous of the Saka conquerors, ruled over 
North - Western India, and the adjoining countries. His 
authority had its nucleus in Kashmir, but it extended to both 
sides of the Himdlayas, from Yarkand and Khokand to Agra 
and Sind. 

Kanishka's Council of five hundred drew up three com- 
mentaries on the Buddhist faith. These commentaries sup- 
plied in part materials for the Tibetan or Northern Canon, 'Greater 
completed at subsequent periods. The Northern Canon, or, ^*^^^<^1<-'' 
as the Chinese proudly call it, the * Greater Vehicle of the 
Law,' includes many later corruptions or developments of the 
Buddhism which was originaOy embodied by Asoka in the 
* Lesser Vehicle,* or Canon of the Southern Buddhists (244 b.c). ' Lc&ser 
The Buddhist Canon of China, a branch of the * Greater Vehicle,' '^''='^'^^^*''- ' 
was gradually arranged between 67 and 1285 a.d. It includes 
1440 distinct works, comprising 55S6 books. The ultimate 
divergence between the Canons is great. They differ not 
only, as we have seen, in regard to the legend of Buddha's 
life, but also as to his teaching. With respect to doctrine, one 
example will suffice. According to the Northern or * Greater 
Vehicle,' Buddhist monks who transgress wilfully after ordina- 
tion may yet recover themselves ; while to such castaways the 
Southern or * Lesser Vehicle' allowed no room forrepentance.- 

The original of the Northern Canon was written in the Nonhrrn 
Sanskrit language, perhaps because the Kashmir and northern ^^ , 
priests, who formed Kanishka's Council, belonged to isolated Canons. 
Himalayan settlements which had been little influenced by the 

* The latest efforts to fix the date of Kanishka are Jittle rnore than 
records of conflicting authorities. See Dr. James Fergusson*s paper in the 
yournal of the R^yai Asiatk Society^ Article ix., April 18S0; and Mr. E, 
Thomas' comprehensive disquisition on the Sih and Gupta coins, pp, 18 79 
of Ihe Report of th£ Architohgical Survey of Weittrti India for 1874-75, 
4x0^ London, 1876. • Beal, Catena, p. 253. 

148 BUDDHISM, 543 B.a TO 1000 A.D, 

growth of the Indian vernacular dialects. In one of these 

dialects, the Mdgadhf of Behar, the Southern Canon had been 

compiled by Asoka and expanded by commentators. Indeed, 

the Buddhist compilations appear to have given the first literary 

impulse to the Prakrits or spoken Aryan dialects in India : as 

represented by the Pali or Magadhi of the Ceylonese Buddhist 

scriptures, and the Mahdrishtri of the ancient sacred books of 

the Jains. The northern priests, who compiled Kanishka's 

Canon, preferred the * perfected * Sanskrit, which had become 

"by that time the accepted literary vehicle of the learned 

throughout India, to the Prakrit or * natural' dialects of the 

Gangetic valley. Kanishka and his Kashmir Council (40 

A. D*?) became to the Northern or Ti be to-Chinese Buddhists^ 

what Asoka and his Patnd Council (244 b.c.) had been to the 

Buddhists of Ceylon and the South* 

Buddhbm Buddhism was thus organized as a State relig^ion by the 

national Councils of Asoka and Kanishka. It started from Brih- 

religion ; manical doctrines ; but from those doctrines, not as taught in 

hermitages to clusters of Brdhman disciples, but as vitalized by 

a preacher of rare power in the capital cities of India. Buddha 

did not abolish caste. On the contrary, reverence to Bnkh* 

mans and to the spiritual guide ranked among the four great 

sets of duties, with obedience to parents, control over self, and 

acts of kindness to all men and animals. He introduced, 

however, a new classification of mankind, on the spiritual basis 

of believers and unbelkners. 

iisrcliuious 'pj^^ former took rank in the Buddhist community, — 
orders; ^ ,. , . , . . , . ^ 

at first, accord mg to their age and ment ; m later times, as 

laity 1 and clergy^ {Lt. the religious orders). Buddhism carried 
transmigration to its utmost spiritual use, and proclaimed our 
own actions to be the sole ruling influence on our past, present-r 
and future states^ It was thus led into the denial of any 
external being or god who could interfere with the immutable 
law of cause and effect as applied to the soul. But, on the 
other hand, it linked together mankind as parts of one 
universal whole, and denounced the isolated self-seeking o^ 
the human heart as * the heresy of individuality.'® Its mission 
was to make men more moral, kinder to others, and happier 
themselves ; not to propitiate imaginary deities. It accord- 
ingly founded its teaching on man's duty to his neighbour, 
instead of on his obligations to God; and constructed its 

■ Sramana^ Mtks/m (monk or religious mendicant), hhikshunf (nunli. 
> Sakdj'oditthL 



ritual on the basis of relic-worship or the commemoration of ami 
good men, instead of on sacrifice. Its sacred buildings were j^^f^^^jj^^^, 
not temples to the gods, but monasteries (vtMras) for the 
religious orders, with their bells and rosaries ; or memorial 
shrines,* reared over a tooth or bone of the founder of the faith. 

The missionary impulse given by Asoka quickly bore fruit. Spread of 
In ihc year after his great Council at Patna (244 b.c), his son i^utliJ^Jistn. 
Mahindo ^ carried Asoka's version of the Buddhist scriptures 
in the Magadhi language to Ceylon. He took with him a in the 
band of fellow-missionaries ; and soon afterwards, his sister, ^?^f^ \ 
the princess Sanghamitta, who had entered the Order, followed etc!, "544 
with a company of nuns. It was not, however, till six hundred "c^ ^^ 
years later {410-452 a.d,) that the Ceylonese Canon was ^-^^ "** ^^' 
written out in Pali, the sacred Mdgadhi language of the 
isouthem Buddhists, About the same time, missionaries from 
Ceylon finally established the faith in Burma {450 a-d,). The 
Burmese themselves assert that two Buddhist preachers landed 
in Pegu as early as 207 ac. Indeed, some Burmese date the 
arrival of Buddhist missionaries just after the Patna Council, 
244 B.a, and point out the ruined city of Tha4un, between the 
Siiaung (Tsit-taiing) and Salwin estuaries, as the scene of their 
pious labours. Siam was converted to Buddhism in 6^^ a. a ; 
Java received its missionaries direct from India between the 5th 
and the 7th centuries, and spread the faith to Bali and Sumatra,^ 

While Southern Buddhism was thus wafted across the In the 
ocean, another stream of missionaries had found their way ,^,°5'^' 
by Central Asia into China, Their first arrival in the Chinese andccmury 
empire is said to date from the 2nd century b,c, although it ^-c, to 
was not till 6$ a.d, that Buddhism there became the estab- ' * 

lished religion. The Greco-Bactrian kingdoms in the Punjab, 
aiid beyond it, afforded a favourable soil for the faith. The 
Scythian dynasties who succeeded the Greco- Bactrians accepted 
Buddhism ; and the earliest remains which recent discovery has 

* Sftipas^ (cpts^ literally * heaps or luinuli ; * dagohas or d/uUn-^cpas^ 
* relic-preservers ; ■ chaityas, * Sanskrit, Mahcndra. 

* All these dales are uncertain. Tbey are founded on the Sijigalesc 
chronology, but ihe orthodox in the respective countries place their national 
coiivcrsion at remoter periods. Occasionally, however, the dates can be 
tested from eattcmal sources. Thus we know from the Cliiuese traveller 
Fa-Hian, that up to about 414 A-D. Java was sull unconverted, Fa- 
Hian says, 'Heretics and Brahmans were numerous there, and the law o{ 
Baddha is in nowise entertained.' The Burmese chroniclers go back to a 
tiine when the duration of human life was ninety mil lions of years ; and 
when a single dynasty ruled for a period represented by a unit followei:! 
by 140 cyphers. See The Imperial Gautteer cf India^ Article Sandoway. 

on Chris- 

ISO BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 AM. 

unearthed in AfghinistAn are Buddhist. Kanishka's Council, 
soon after the commencement of the Christian era, gave the great 
impetus to the faith beyond the Himalayas, Tibet, South Central 
Asia, and China, by along the regular missionary routes of 
Northern Buddhism ; the Kirghiz are said to have carried there- 
bgion as far west as the Caspian; on the east, Buddhism was in- 
troduced into the Corea in 372 a.d*, and thence into Japan in 552. 

Buddhist doctrines are believed to have deeply affected 
religious thought in Alexandria and Palestine. The question 
is yet undecided as to how far the Buddhist ideal of the holy 
life, with its monks, nuns, relic-worship, bells, and rosaries, 
influenced Christian nionachism ; and to what extent Buddhist 
philosophy aided the development of the Gnostic heresies, 
particularly those of Basilides and Manes, which rent the early 
church. It is certain that the analogies are striking, and have 
been pointed out alike by Jesuit missionaries in Asia, and by 
oriental scholars in Europe.^ The form of abjuration for those 
who renounced the (inostic doctrines of Manes, expressly 
mentions Bo^ and the Sfv^tapos {Buddha and the Scythian 
or Sdkya)— seemingly, says Weber, a separation of Buddha 
the Sdkya into two. At this moment, the Chinese in San 
Francisco assist their devotions by pictures of the Buddhist 
(ioddess of Mercy, imported on thin paper from Canton, which 
the Irish Roman Catholics identify as the Virgin Mary with 
the Infant in her arms, an ayreole round her head, an adoring 
figure at her feet, and the Spirit hovering in the form of a bird.* 

But it is right lo point out that the early Nestorian Chris- 
tians in China may have been the source of some of these 
resemblances. The liturgy of the Goddess of Mercy, Kwan- 
yin, in which the analogies to the Eastern Christian office are 
most strongly marked, have been traced with certainty only as 
far back as 1 4 1 2 a.d. in the Chinese Canon. ^ Professor Max 

* For the latter nspect of the question, see Weber, founding on Lassen^ 
Retiati, and Beal, HisL Ind, Lit.^ p, 309, note 363, ed, 1878, 

* See also paty p. 153, i*olemical writers, Chrislian and Chinese, have 
with uqyal injustice accused Buddhism and Christianity of consciously 
plagiarizing each others rites. Thus Kuang-Hsien, the distingui&hcil 
member of the Astronomical Board, who brought about the Chinese perse- 
cution of the Christmns from 1 665 to 1671, writes of them : 'They pil/cr 
this talk aboul heaven and hell from the refuse of Buddhism, and then turn 
round and revile Buddhism. '— The Dtath-Mmtf to the Corrupt Doctriuii ^ 
TUn-^hu {ut, Christianity) J p. 46 (Shanghai, 1870), Sec also the rcmarlgs 
of Jao-chow — * The man most distressed in heart ' — in the same collection. 

' For an excellent account from the Chinese texts of the worship and 
liturgy ofKwan-yin, Hhe Saviour,' or in her female form as the Godd^s of 
Mercy, see BcaFs Cahna cf BMddhht Scriptures, 3^3-397 (Triibner, 1871). 



|yller endeavoured to show that Buddha himself is the original 
Saint Josaphat, who has a day assigned to him by both the 
iieek and Roman churches.^ 

Professor Miiller's Essay* has led to an examination of the Buddha as 
rhole evidence bearing on this subject'* The results may be 5^^^?^^**" 
us summarized. The Roman Martyrulog)' at the end of the 
for the 27th November, states: * Apud Indos Persis 
lilimos sanctorum Barlaam et Josaphat (commemoratio), 
lonim actus mirandos Joannes Damascenus conscripsit/ 
Mr Indians who bordtr on Ptrsia^ Saints Barlaam and 
I/, whost wonderful works have been writ fen of by St John 
of Damascus. The storj* of these two saints is that of a young Legend of 
Indian prince, Josaphat, who is converted by a hermit, Barlaara. j^^^^^n/* 
Josaphat undergoes the same awakening as Buddha from the Josaphat. 
pleasures of this world* His royal father had taken similar 
precautions to prevent the youth from becoming acquainted 
with the sorrows of life. But Josaphat, like Buddha, is struck 
by successive spectacles of disease, old age, and death ; and 
abandons his princely state for that of a Christian devotee. 
He converts to the faith his father, his subjects, and even 
the magician employed to seduce him* For this magician, 
Tbeudas, the Buddhist schismatic Devadatta is supposed to 
have supplied the orginal ; while the name of Josaphat is 
itself identified by philologers with that of Boddhisattvv^a, the 
complete appellation of Buddha.* 

This curious transfer of the religious teacher of Asia to the Early 
Christian Martyrology has an equally curious histor)% Saint ^^^^^^^^ 
Jolin of Damascus wrote in the 8th century in Greek, and 
an Arabic translation of his work, belonging to the nth 
century, stLU sur\'ives. The story of Josaphat was popular in 
liie Greek Church, and was embodied by Simeon the Meta- 
plinst in the lives of the saints, circ 11 50 a.d. The Greek 
forni of the name is 'Iwoo-a^.* By the 12th century, the 

^Ckifif/tvma Cemmn PVorhhop^ vol. iv. pp. 177-189, ed, 1875. 

^ Cof^emporary Rfvicw^ July 1S70. 

'Fox a list of ihc authorities, and an icivestigation of them from the 
^^iQ Catholic side, by Emmanuel Cosquin, see Rtvu£ dts Quations 
fiiHifriquis^ Ivi. pp. 579-600; Paris, Oclobcr 1880^ 

*Thc earlier form of Josaphat was loasaph in Greek and Youasaf or 
Vowiaif in Arabic, an evident derivation from the Sani>krit Boddhi- 
«(t»a, through the Persian form Boudasp (Weber). The name of the 
^i^vm Theudas is in like manner an accurate philological reproducLion 
o^Devadaita or Thevdat. 

• S«e the valuable note in Colonel Yule's Marco Pol&y vol. ii. pp. 302-309 
fioded, 1875). J 


152 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A. D. 

Life of Barlaam and Josaphat had already reached Western 
Europe in a Latin form. During the first half of the 13th 
century, Vincent de Beauvais inserted it in his Speculum 
HistariaU ; and in the latter half of that century it found a 
place in the Golden Legend of Jacques de Voragine. Mean- 
while, it had also been popularized by the troubadour, Guy de 
CambraL From this double source, the Golden Legend of the 
Church and the French poem of the people, the story of 
Barlaam and Josaphat spread throughout Europe. German, 
Proven9al, Italian, Polish, Spanish, English, and Norse versions 
carried it from the southern extremity of the Continent to 
Sweden and Iceland. 

In 1583, the legend was entered in the Roman Martyrology 

for the 27th day of November, as we have already seen, upon 

the alleged testimony of St John of Damascus. A church in 

Palermo still (1874) bears the dedication, Divo Josaphat^ 

The Roman Martyrology of Gregory xiii., revised under the 

auspices of Urban viii., has a universal acceptance throughout 

Catholic Christendom ; although from the statements of Pope 

Benedict xiv., and others, it would appear that it is to be 

used for edification, rather than as a work resting on infallible 

authority.^ However this may be, the text of the two legends, 

and the names of their prominent actors, place beyond doubt 

the identity of the Eastern and the Western story. 

A Japanese It is difficult to enter a Japanese Buddhist temple without 

h ranalo- ^^^^g Struck by analogies to the Christian ritual on the one 

^es* to hand, and to Hinduism on the other. The chantings of the 

d Chris- P"^^^^> ^'^^^ bowing as they pass the altar, their vestments, 

tianiiy. rosaries, bells, incense, and the responses of the worshippers, 

remind one of the Christian ritual. * The temple at Rokugo,* 

writes a recent traveller to a remote town in Japan, * was very 

beautiful, and, except that its ornaments were superior in 

solidity and good taste, differed little from a Romish church. 

The low altar, on which were lilies and lighted candles, was 

draped in blue and silver ; and on the high altar, draped in 

crimson and cloth of gold, there was nothing but a closed 

shrine, an incense - burner, and a vase of lotuses.'^ In a 

Buddhist temple at Ningpo, the Chinese goddess of mercy, 

* Yule, op, cit, p. 308. 

' This aspect of the question is discussed at considerable length by 
Emmanuel Cosquin, pp. 583-594. He gives the two legends of Buddha 
and of Barlaam-Josaphat in parallel columns, pp. 590-594 of the Jitvue des 
Questions Historiques^ vol. Ivi., already cited. 

' Miss Bird's Unbeaten Tracks in Japan^ vol. i. p. 295 (ed. 1880). 


Kwan-yin» whose resemblance to the V\tg\T\ Mary and Child Serpent 
has already been mentioned (p. 1 50), is seen standing on a ^ji^^j^ 
sequent, bruising his head with her heel 

The Hindus, while denouncing Buddha as a heretic, hnve Buddha as 
been constrained to admit him to a place in their mythology. ^^ ^^']![jj^ 
They regard him as the ninth, and hitherto last, incarnation of 
Vishnu, — the Lying Spirit let loose to deceive men until the 
tenth or final descent of Vishnu, on the white horse, with a 
flaming sword like a comet in his hand, for the destruction of 
the wicked and the renovation of the world. 

While on the one hand a vast growth of legends has arisen Ruddha's 
around Buddha, tending to bring out every episode of his life JJ^*^^?!!^''^^ 
into strong rehef| efforts have been made on the other hand to 
explain away his personal identity. No date can be assigned 
with certainty for his existence on this earth. The Northern 
Buddhists have fourteen different accounts, ranging from 2422 Misdate 
to 546 BX,* The Southern Buddhists agree in starting from 
the I St of June 543 b.c as the day of Buddha's death. This 
latter date, 543 b.c, is usually accepted by European writers ; 
but Indian chronology, as worked back from inscriptions and 
coins,^ gives the date circ. 4S0. Some scholars, indeed, have 
argued that Buddhism is merely a religious development of 
the Brihmanical Sankhya philosophy of Kajjila {anie^ p, 99) ; 
that Buddha*s birth is placed at a purely allegorical site, Kapila- 
vastu, 'the abode of Kapila*; that his mother is called Miy^- 
dc\% in reference to the Mdyd doctrine of KapilVs system ; 
and that his own two names are symbolical ones, Stddartha, 
*he who has fulfilled his end/ and Buddha, 'the enlightened* 

Buddhism and Brahmanism are un(]uestionably united Links whh 
by intermediate links. Certain of the sncrcd texts of the 
Brahnians, particularly the Vrihad Aranyaka and the Atharva 
Upanishad of the Yoga systenij teach doctrines which 
are essentially Buddhistic* According to Wilson and others, 
Buddha had possibly no personal existence;^ Buddhisni 

* Csoma tie Korbs, on the aulhonly of Tibetan Mss,, Tibetan Gratn- 
^ptar, p. 199, A debt long overdue has at length been paiil lo one of the 

single-mmdcd of oriental scholars by the puhlicatioti of Dr. Theodore 
ika*s Life and iVorks of AUxandtr Csama de AV/t^.f. (Trubner, 18^5.) 
' General Cunningham works back the date of Buddha's death lo 478 
B.C, and lakes this as his siarting-point in ihe Corpus Imcnpttonum 
Jtuikarutn^ p. vii. The subject is admirably discussed by Mr. Rhys 
Davids in the Jniernatiotal Numismata OtiftitaHa (Ceylon fasciculus), 
pp. 3S-56, He arrives at 412 h.l\ as the mo4it probable dale, Dr, 
Uldenlxrrg fi^cs it at about 4S0 B.c* 

* Professor 11. H, Wilson uent so far as to &ay, * It seems not impossible 


154 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

Buddhism was merely the Sinkhya philosophy widened into a national 
Sinkh a^*^ religion ; and the religious life of the Buddhistic orders was 
system? the old Brdhmanical type popularized.^ The theory is at any 
rate so far true, that Buddhism was not a sudden invention of 
any single mind, but a development on a broader basis of a 
philosophy and religion which preceded it. Such specula- 
tions, however, leave out of sight the two great traditional 
features of Buddhism — namely, the preacher's appeal to the 
people, and the undying influence of his beautiful Hfe. Senart*s 
still more sceptical theory of Buddha as a Solar Myth, has 
completely broken down under the critical examination of 
Buddhism Buddhism never ousted Brihmanism from any large part of 

^*^"«^ '1. India. The two systems co-existed as popular religions from 
oust Brah- , , , ^ ^ , ,, , . , . , , , / 

manism. the death of Buddha durmg thirteen hundred years (543 ac. 

to about 800 A.D.), and modem Hinduism is the joint product 
of both. The legends of Buddha, especially those of the 
Northern Canon,^ bear witness to the active influence of Brdh- 
manism during the whole period of Buddha's life. After his 
death, certain kings and certain eras were intensely Buddhistic; 
but the continuous existence of Brdhmanism is abundantly 
proved from the time of Alexander (327 b.c) downwards. The 
historians who chronicled Alexander's march, and the Greek 
ambassador Megasthenes, who succeeded them (300 b.c.) in 
their literary labours, bear witness to the predominance of 
Brahmanism in the period immediately preceding Asoka. In- 
scriptions, local legends, Sanskrit literature, and the drama, 
disclose the survival of Brdhman influence during the next 
six centuries (244 b.c. to 400 a.d.). From 400 a.d. we have 
the evidence of the Chinese pilgrims, who toiled through 
Central Asia into India to visit the birthplace of their faith.^ 

* Never did more devoted pilgrims,' writes the greatest living 

that Sdkya Muni is an unreal being, and that all that is related of him is 
as much a fiction as is that of his preceding migrations and the miracles 
that attended his birth, his life, and his departure.' The arguments are 
dealt with by Weber, Hist Ind, Lit., pp. 284-290, ed. 1878. 

* Dr. Oldenberg's Buddha, Sein Leben, contains valuable evidence on 
this subject (Hoey's transl. pp. 46,48 to 59, etc.). See also TVte Sdnkhya 
Aphorisms of KapUa, Sanskrit and English, with illustrative texts from the 
Commentaries by Dr. Ballantyne, formerly Principal of the Benares College, 
3rd ed. (Trubner, 1885.) 

* See the Life of the Buddha and the Early History of his Order ^ derived 
from the Tibetan texts, by Mr. Woodville Rockhill of the U. S. Legation 
in China ; also Oldenberg's Buddha, 

' The Si-yu'ki, or Buddhist Records of the Western World, translated 
from the Chinese, by Samuel Beal (Trubner, 2 vols. 1884), has completed 

student of iheir lives,^ * leave their native country to encounter Bud^ism 
the perils of travel in foreign and distant lands ; never did n^^ijiism, 
disciples more ardently desire to gaze on the sacred vestiges 400 a. p. to 
of their religion ; never did men endure greater sufferings by ^'^^ ^'^'' 
desert, mountain, and sea, than these simple-minded, earnest 
Buddhist priests.' Fa-Hian entered India from Afghanistan, Fa-Ilian, 
and journeyed down the whole Gangetic valley to the Bay of ^^ ^'^' 
Bengal in 399-413 a.d. He found Brahman priests equally 
honoured with Buddhist monks, and temples to the Indian 
gods side by side with the religious houses of the Buddhist 

Hiuen Tsiang, a still greater pilgrim, also travelled to India Iliucn 
from China by the Central Asia route, and has left a fuller ]!i^"^* 

■^ ^ ' 029 A. IK 

record of the state of the two religions m the 7th century. 
His wanderings extended from 629 to 645 a.d. Everywhere 
throughout India he found the two systems eagerly com- 
peting for the suffrages of the pco]>le. By this time, indeed, 
Brdhmanism was beginning to reassert itself at the expense of 
the Buddhist religion. The monuments of the great Buddhist 
monarchs, Asoka and Kanishka, confronted him from the 
moment he neared the Punjab frontier ; but so also did the 
temples of Siva and his *dread* queen Bhima. Throughout 
North- Western India he found Buddhist convents and monks 
surrounded by * swarms of heretics,' />. Brahmanical sects. 

The political power was also divifled, though Buddhist 
sovereigns still predominated. A Buddhist monarch ruled 
over ten kingdoms in Afghan istdn. At Peshawar, the great 
monastery built by Kanishka was deserted, but the populace 
remained faithful In Kashmir, the king and people were 
devout Buddhists, under the teaching of 500 monasteries and 

an J perfected the work bcgim by Julien and Rerausat. Wr. Bears new 
volumes throw a flood of light on the social, religious, and politiov] condi- 
tion of India from the 5th to 7th centuries A, U, The older authorities are 
Foe Koue Ki, ctt Helation des Kayaumrs Bomfdftiqves ; Voy(^ges darts la 
Tariarie, tAfghanutan ei fhUt^ h fin du iv. sikle, par Chi-fa-Hiatt, 
transbted by A. Kemtisat, reviewed by Klaproih and l>pndrcsse, 1836. 
Mr* Beat's Travels of (he Buddhist Pilgrim Fa-Hian^^ translated with Notes 
and Prolegomena, 1869 ; Julien's V&yn^es dtts PiUrins BouddhisUs^ X. i. ; 
Nisi aire de la P'ie de Hiouin-Thsaftg €t de sfs Voyagrs dans T Inde^ tmn&- 
htcd from the Chineise, 1853, I, ii. and iii. ; Mhmires sur ks Contrks 
OcciditUaUx, par Hiouin- Tit sang, translated from the Chinese, 1857*59. 
C. J. Ncumann*s Pilgerfahrttn Buddhistischtr PriesUr von China nach 
Ittdien^ aus dcm Chittesischtn iilitrsetzi^ 1S83, of which only one volume 

' is published ; General Cunninghanrs Ancient Geography &f India^ and 

1 his Reports oftht Arehdological Survey of India (various dates), 
' Si-yu^ki^ Mr. Bears Introduction, pp. k., x» 

iS6 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

5000 monks. In the country identified with Jaipur, on the 

other hand, the inhabitants were devoted to heresy and war. 

Buddhism Buddhist influence in Northern India seems, during the 7th 

629-645 century A.D., to have centred in the fertile plain between the 

A.D. Jumnaand the Ganges,and in Behar. At Kanauj (Kanyikubja), 

on the Ganges, Hiuen Tsiang found a powerful Buddhist 

monarch, Sfliditya, whose influence reached from the Punjab 

to North-Eastem Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the 

Narbadd river. Here flourished 100 Buddhist convents and 

10,000 monks. But the king's eldest brother had been lately 

slain by a sovereign of Eastern India, a hater of Buddhism ; 

and 200 temples to the Brihman gods reared their heads 

under the protection of the devout Sfldditya himself. 

Sfliditya appears as an Asoka of the 7th century a.d., 
and he practised with primitive vigour the two great Buddhist 
virtues of spreading the faith and charity. The former he 
Council of attempted by means of a general Council in 634 a.d. Twenty- 
6I4 A D^' one tributary sovereigns attended, together with the most 
learned Buddhist monks and Brdhmans of their kingdoms. 
But the object of the convocation was no longer the undis- 
puted assertion of the Buddhist religion. It dealt with the 
two phases of the religious life of India at that time. First, a 
discussion between the Buddhists and Brihman philosophers 
of the Sinkhya and Vaiseshika schools; second, a dispute 
between the Buddhist sects who followed respectively the 
Northern and the Southern Canons, known as *the Greater 
and the Lesser Vehicle of the Law.* The rites of the popu- 
lace were of as composite a character as the doctrines of their 
teachers. On the first day of the Council, a statue of Buddha 
was installed with great pomp; on the second, an image of 
the Sun-god ; on the third, an idol of Siva. 
Slliditya's Siliditya held a solemn distribution of his royal treasures 
c anty. every five years. Hiuen Tsiang describes how on the plain 
near AUahibid, where the Ganges and the Jumna unite 
their waters, the kings of the Empire, and a multitude of 
people, were feasted for seventy-five days. Siladitya brought 
forth the stores of his palace, and gave them away to Brahmans 
and Buddhists, to monks and heretics, without distinction. At 
the end of the festival, he stripped off his jewels and royal 
raiment, handed them to the bystanders, and, like Buddha of old, 
put on the rags of a beggar. By this ceremony, the monarch 
commemorated the Great Renunciation of the founder of the 
Buddhist faith. At the same time, he discharged the highest 
duty inculcated alike by the Buddhist and Brdhmanical religions. 


namdy almsgiving. The vast monastery of Nalanda ^ formed Monastery 
4 seal of learning which recalls the universities of Mediseval ^^^^^ ' 
Kurope. Ten thousand monks and novices of the eighteen 
Buddhist schools here studied theology, philosophy, law, 
ffccicnce, especially medicine, and practised their devotions. 
J They lived in lettered ease, supported from the royal funds, 
I J3ut even this stronghold of Buddhism furnishes a proof that 
Puddhism was only one of two hostile creeds in Indin, 
During the brief period with regard to which the Chinese 
records afford information, it was three times destroyed by the 
nics of the faith.- 

Hiuen Tsiang travelled from the Punjab to the mouth of the Mingling 
langes, and made journeys into Southern India, But everj^- ism and 
^bere he found the two religions mingled. Buddh-Gayd, which Brahman- 
liolds so high a sanctity in the legends of Buddha, had already j.'^"^* '^^9- 
Ixcome a great Brdhman centre. On the east of Bengal, ^ ' ' 
^^Jam had not been converted to Buddhism. In the south- 
vest, Orissa was a stronghold of the Buddhist faith. But in 
the seaport of Tamluk, at the mouth of the Hdglf, the temples 
lo the Brdhman gods were five times more numerous than 
the monasteries of the faithful On the Madras coast, 
Ituddhism flourished ; and indeed, throughout Southern India, 
t^e faith seems still to have been in the ascendant, although 
struggling against Brahman heretics and their gods. 

During the 8th and 9th centuries a.d., Brahmanism be- Victory of 
f^e the ruling religion. There are legends of persecutions, l^'^n^""^^"- 
'tjstigated by Brdhman reformers, such as Kumarila Bhatta 900 a.d. 
*ad Sankara Acharya. But the downfall of Buddhism seems 
^In have resulted from natural decay, and from new movements 
reiigious thought, rather than from any general suppression 
the sword. Its extinction is contemporaneous with the rise 
Hinduism, and belongs to a subsequent chapter. 
Xn the lith century, it was chiefly outlying States, like 
Kashmir and Orissa, that remained faith foL When the Muham- 
^-acUns come permanently upon the scene, Buddhism as a 
popular faith has almoist disap[>eared from the interior Provinces 
^^ India, Magadha, the cradle of the religion, still continued 
Buddhist under the Pdl Rdjds down to the Musaluuin conquest 
^^ Bakhtiyir Khilji in 1199 a.d.^ 

* Idenlified with ibe modem B.ii%ij;4on» near Caj'd. The Great Monastery 
^ix be tnced by a mass of brick ruinfi, 1600 feet long by 400 feet deep. 
'*^cmI CanntngYiiini's Ancirtit Gto^aphy of Fndia^ pp. 468-470, ed» 1 87 1. 

* Bml \ OUetia 0/ Btuidhist Sa-iptiires frcm ih t Ch iites^t p. 3 7 1 , ed . 1871. 
' MS. m&temb^ supplied lu the author by General Cuntiitigham, lu 


iS8 BUDDHISM, 543 B.C. TO 1000 A.D. 

Buddhism During nearly a thousand years, Buddhism has been a 

religion, banished religion from its native home. But it has won greater 

1000 A. D. triumphs in its exile than it could have ever achieved in the 

land of its birth. It has created a literature and a religion for 

nearly half the human race, and has affected the beliefs of 

the other half. Five hundred millions of men, or forty per 

cent, of the inhabitants of the world, still acknowledge, with 

more or less fidelity, the holy teaching of Buddha. Afghanistan, 

Nepil, Eastern Tdrkistdn, Tibet, Mongolia, Manchuria, 

China, Japan, the Eastern Archipelago, Siam, Burma, Ceylon, 

and India, at one time marked the magnificent circumference 

Its foreign of its conquests. Its shrines and monasteries stretched in a 

conquests, continuous line from what are now the confines of the Russian 

Empire to the equatorial islands of the Pacific During 

twenty-four centuries, Buddhism has encountered and outlived 

a series of powerful rivals. At this day it forms, with 

Christianity and Isldm, one of the three great religions of the 

world ; and the most numerously followed of the three. 

Buddhist In India its influence has survived its separate existence. 

in7ndta ^^^ Buddhist period not only left a distinct sect, the Jains ; but 
it supplied the spuritual basis on which Br^manism finally 
developed from the creed of a caste into the religion of the 
people. A later chapter will show how important and how 
permanent have been Buddhistic influences on Hinduism. 
The Buddhists in British India in 1881 numbered nearly 3^ 
millions, of whom 3 J millions were in British Burma; and 
166,892 on the Indian continent, almost entirely in North- 
Eastern Bengal and Assam. Together with the Jain sect, the 
Buddhist subjects of the Crown in British India amount to close 
on four millions (1881).^ The revival of Buddhism is always 
a possibility in India. This year (1885)1 an excellent Buddhist 
journal has been started in Bengali, at Chittagong. 

The Jains. The Jains number about half a million in British India. 
Like the Buddhists, they deny the authority of the Veda, except 

whose Archaeological Reports and kind assistance this volume is deeply 

^ The Buddhists proper were returned in 1881 for British India at 
3,418,476; of whom 3,251,584 were in British Burma; 155,809 in the 
Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal ; and 6563 in Assam. The Jains 
proper were returned at 448,897 in British India by the Census of 1881. 
But except in a few spots, chiefly among the spurs of the Himalayas and in 
Assam and South-Easteni Bengal, the Indian Buddhists may be generally 
reckoned as Jains. 



far as it agrees with their own doctrines. They disregard 

«d^ce; practise a strict morality ; believe that their past and 

/utune Slates depend upon their own actions rather than on any 

firtemal deity ; and scrupulously reverence the vital principle 

m man and beast They differ from the Buddhists chiefly in 

their ritual and objects of worship. The veneration of good 

men departed is common to both, but the Jains have expanded 

and methodized such adoration on lines of their own. 

The Buddhists admit that many Buddhas have appeared 
in successive lives upon earth, and attained Ntn*dfia or 
beatific extinction ; but they confine their reverence to a 
comparatively small number* The Jains divide time into Jain doc- 
successive eras, and assign twenty-four y/>f<Jj, or just men made ^^^"'^^• 
perfect, to each»* They name twenty-four in the past age, 
iwenty-four in the present, and twenty-four in the era to come ; 
aiid place colossal statues of white or black marble to this 
gxat company of saints in their temples. They adore above 
ail the two latest, or twenty-third and twenty- fourth /inas of 
the present era — namely, Parsvandth ^ and Mahavf ra. 

I The Jains choose wooded mountains and the most lovely jain 
fcticits of nature for their places of pilgrimage, and cover them ^«^pl« 
with cxquisitely-carved shrines in white marble or stucco, 
l^iiasnith Hill in Bengal, the temple city of Pdlitina in 
Kiihiawir, and Mount Abii, which rises with its gems of 
ardiilecture like a jewelled island from the Rdjputina plains, 
ionn well-known scenes of their worship. The Jains are a 
^althy community^ usually engaged in banking or wholesale 
coiamerce, devoid indeed of the old missionary spirit of 
Buddhism, but closely knit together among themselves. 
Their charity is boundless; and they form the chief sup- 
porters of the beast hospitals, which the old Buddhistic 
tenderness for animals has left in many of the cities of India, 
Jainism Is, in its external aspects. Buddhism equipped with Relation 
^ ^nivthology — a mythology, however, not of gods, but of saints. °n,f*^^5J" 
^f ^ui in Its essentials, Jamism forms a survival of beliefs ism. 
^^teiior to Asoka and Kanishka, According to the old view, 
'^^ Jains are a remnant of the Indian Buddhists who saved 
^^msclves from extinction by compromises with Hinduism, 
***<i so managed to erect themselves into a recognised caste. 

ITmio such titles as Jag^ata-prabhu, * lord of llie world ; * Kslifnakarrna, 
*^^t!i from ceremonial acts ; ' Sarvajna, ' all-knowing ; ' Adhfswara, 
J**presne lord ; * Tirthankara, * he who has crossed over the world ; ' and 
'be who has conquered the human passiaos,' 
* Popularly rendered Para^niih. 

i6o BUDDHISM, 543 B,C. TO 1000 A.D. 

Jains According to the later and truer view, they represent in 

earlier unbroken succession the Nigantha sect of the Asoka edicftT 
Uuddhists? *^^^ Jains themselves claim as their founder, Mahiivfra, the 
teacher or contemporary of Buddha ; and the Nigantb^ 
appear as a sect independent of, indeed opposed to, the 
Buddhists in the Rock Inscriptions of Asoka and in tJje^ 
Southern Canon {pitakas). 

Mahdvfra, who bore also the spiritual name of Vardha 
*The Increaser,* is the 24th Jina or * Conqueror of the 
sions,* adored in the present age of Jain chronology. Liki^ 
Buddha, he was of princely birth, and lived and laboured in the 
same country and at the same time as Buddha, Accordinf 
to the southern Buddhistic dates, Buddha * attained rest ' 543 
B.C., and Mahavira in 526 nx. According to the Jain texlSi 
Mahdvfra was the predecessor and teacher of Buddha. 

of the 

A theory has accordingly been advanced that the Buddhii 
of Asoka {244 B.C.) w^as in reality a later product than the 
Nigantba or Jain doctrines.^ The Jains are divided into theSwel- 
ambaras, * The White Robed,* and the Digambaras, *TheNaketl' 
The Tibetan texts make it clear that sects closely analogous to 
the Jains existed in the time of Buddha, and that they were 
antecedent and rival orders to that which Buddha established.' 
Even the Southern Buddhist Canon preserves recollections of a 
struggle between a naked sect like the Jain Diganibaras, and 
the decenUy robed Buddhists.^ This Digambara or Nigantha 
sect (Nirgiantha, * those who havi^ cast aside every tie*) was 
very distinctly recognised by Asoka's edicts; and both the 
Swetdmbara and Digambara orders of the modern Jains 6nd 
mention in the early copper-plate inscriptions of Mysore, «*fv. 
5th or 6ih centur)' a.d. The Jains in our own day feel strongly 
on this subject, and the head of the community at Ahmaddbdd 
has placed many arguments before the writer of the present 
work to prove that their faith was anterior to Buddhism, 

Until quite recently, however, European scholars did not 
admit the pretensions of the Jains to pre-Buddhistic antiquity, 

^ This subject was discusi^cd in Mr. Etlwarcl Thomas' jfainum^ or tfu 
Early Faith cf Asoka ; in Mr. khys Daviils' article in 7 he Academy of 
13th Seplcml)er 1879; in liis HibUrt Ltiturcs^ p. 27 ; and in the Numu- 
nmia Oritnialia (Ceylon fasciculus), pp, 55, 60. 

* Mr. Woodville Rockhiirs Life of the Buddha^ from the Bkah-Hgyur and 
Bstan-Hgyur in variit ktis, 1884, 

^ See for example ihe curious story of the devout Bufldhist bride frcim 
the Burmese sacred liooks, in Bishop BigAndct*s Life 0/ Gaudama^ 
257-259, vol. i, ed, 1882. 


H. H. Wilson questioned their importance at any period 
earlier than twelve centuries ago.^ Weber regarded ' the 
Jains as merely one of the oldest sects of Buddhism ; ' and 
Lassen believed that they had branched off from the 
Buddhists/- M. Barth, after a careful discussion of the 
^ evidence, still thought that wc must regard the Jains * as a 
sect which took its rise in Buddhism.*^ On the other hand, 
Oldenberg, who brings the latest light from the Pali texts to 
bear on the question, accepts the identity of the Jain sect with 
the Niganthas * into whose midst the younger brotherhood of 
Buddha entered^* 

The learned Jacobi has now investigated this question from Jacobi's 
the Tain texts themselves.^ Oldenberg had proved, out of the ^pvcstij^a- 
Buddhist scriptures, that Buddhism was a true product of question. 
Brahman doctrine and discipline. Jacobi shows that both 
•Buddhism and Jainism must be regarded as religions 
developed out of Brdhmanism not by a sudden reformation, 
but prepared by a religious movement going on for a long 
time/*' And he brings forward evidence for believing that 
Jainism was the earlier outgrowth ; that it was probably 
founded by Pdrsvanath, now revered as the 23rd Jina ; 
and merely reformed by Mahdvira, the contemporary of 
Buddha,^ The outfit of the Jain monk, his alms - bowl, Jaimsni 
rope, and water vessel, was practically the equipment of the ^^^*jji^'^" 
previous Brahman ascetic.^ In doctrine, the Jains accepted 
the Brdhman pantheistic philosophy of the Atmdn^ or 
Universal Soul. They believed that not only animals and 
plants, but the elements themselves, earth, fire, water, and 
wind, were endowed with souls. Buddha made a further 
divergence. He combated the Brahman doctrine of the 
Universal Soul ; and the Jain dogma, of the elements and 

* Essays and Lictures on the Religion of the Hindus , hy \l. H. Wilson, 
Dr. Reinhold Rost's edition, p. 329, vol. i. (1862). 

■ Weber's Indisfke Studien^ xvi. 210, and Lassen's Indisehe AHerihumS' 
kunde^ iv. 763 et seq, 

* Earth's Heiigimts &f India, ed. 18S2, p. 151 ; also Banh*s Revue de 
tffist&ire des Reiip'ons^ iii. 90. 

* Buddha, his Life^ his Doctrine^ his Order ^ by Prof. Hermarm Olden- 
berg. Hoey*s translation (1882), p. 67. See also his pp. 66 and (foot- 
note) 77, and 175. 

* Jaina Sutras, Part L, the Acharanga Sutra, and ihe Kalpa Sutra, by 
Hermann Jacobi, forming vol. %>.\\, of Max Midler's Saered Booh iff the 
tasi. Clarendon Press, 1S84, 

* Jacobi, op. cit. Introduction, xxxii. ^ Op. di, xjtxiv. 

* For slight differences, see JacoU, xxviii. 



BUDDHISM, 543 b.c TO looo a.d. 

Dale of 
the Jain 

Jains an 
dent sect. 

minerals being endow^ with souls, finds no place in Buddhist 

Jacobi believes that the Jain texts were composed or 
collected at the end of the 4th century b.c. ; that the origin of 
the extant Jain literature cannot be placed earlier than about 
300 B.C. ; and that their sacred books were reduced to writing 
in the 5th century a.d.^ He thinks that the two existing 
divisions of the Jains, the Swetambaras and the Digambaras, 
separated from each other about two or three hundred years 
after the death of the Founder ; but • that the development of 
the Jain church has not been at any time violently interrupted* 
That, ' in fact, we can follow this development from its true 
beginning through its various stages, and that Jainism is as 
much independent from other sects, especially from Buddhism, 
as can be expected from any sect' ^ 


In its superficial aspects, modem Jainism may be described 
as a religion allied in doctrine to ancient Indian Buddhism, 
but humanized by saint-worship, and narrowed from a national 
religion to the exclusive requirements of a sect. 

of Buddh- 
ism in 

The noblest survivals of Buddhism in India are to be found, 
however, not among any peculiar body, but in the religion of 
the people ; in that principle of the brotherhood of man, with 
the re-assertion of which each new revival of Hinduism starts ; 
in the asylum which the great Vaishnav sect affords to women 
who have fallen victims to caste rules, to the widow and the 
outcast ; in that gentleness and charity to all men, which take 
the place of a poor-law in India, and give a high significance 
to the half-satirical epithet of the * mild ' Hindu. 

^Op. cit, xxxiii. * Jacobi, op. cit. xxxv. and xliii. » Op. cit. xlvi. 



THE GREEKS IN INDIA (327 TO 161 B.c). 

Religion and Philosophy have been the great contributions 
of India to the world. We now come to deal with India, not 
as a centre of influence upon other nations, but as acted on 

by them. 

The External History of India commences with the External 
Greek invasion in 327 B.C. Some indirect trade between India ^he'hStory 
and the Mediterranean seems to have existed from very ancient of India. 
times Homer was acquainted with tin,^ and other articles 
of Indian merchandise, by their Sanskrit names; and a list 
has been made of Indian products mentioned in the Bible.'- 
The ship captains of Solomon and Hiram not only brought 
Indian apes, peacocks, and sandal-wood to Palestine ; they also 
brought their Sanskrit names.^ This was about 1000 b.c The 
Assyrian monuments show that the rhinoceros and elephant were 
among the tribute offered to Shalmaneser 11. (859-823 b.c.).* 
But the first Greek historian who speaks clearly of India is Early 
Hekataios of Miletos (549-486 b.c) ; the knowledge of Hero- ^^^^^^ 
dotos(45o B.c) ended at the Indus ; and Ktesias, the physician 549-40*1 
(401 B.c), brought back from his residence in Persia only a ^•^• 
f^ facts about the products of India, its dyes and fabrics, 
monkeys and parrots. India to the east of the Indus was first 
"^de known to Europe by the historians and men of science 
*ho accompanied Alexander the Great in 327 b.c Their 
narratives, although now lost, furnished materials to Strabo, Megas- 
^liny, and Arrian. Soon afterwards, Megasthenes, as Greek 3(^298 


Greek, Kassiteros ; Sanskrit, Kastira ; hence, the Kassiterides, the Tin 
^^ ^illy Islands. Elcphas, ivory, through the Arabian f/epA (from Arabic 
''» ^ and Sanskrit Ma, domestic elephant), is also cited. 

S''G. Bird wood's Handbook to the British Indian Section of the Paris 
^^^Mtion of 1878, pp. 22-35. For economic intercourse with ancient 
*'^^ see Del Mar's History of Money in Ancient Countries, chaps, iv. 

^ Hebrew, Kophim, tukijim, almugim = Sanskrit, kapi, sikhl, valgukam. 
^'ofcssor Max Duncker*s Ancient History of India, p. 13 (ed. 1881). 


ambassador resident at a court in the centre of Bengal 
(306-298 B.c), had opportunities for the closest observation. 
The knowledge of the Greeks concerning India practically 
dates from his researches, 300 b.c.^ 
Alexan- Alexander the Great entered India early in 327 b.c; crossed 

^edftion ^^^ Indus above Attock, and advanced, without a struggle, 
327-325' over the intervening territory of the Taxiles ^ to the Jehlam 
"•c- (Jhelum) (Hydaspes). He found the Punjab divided into petty 

kingdoms jealous of each other, and many of them inclined to 
join an invader rather than to oppose him. One of these local 
monarchs, Porus, disputed the passage of the Jehlam with a 
force which, substituting chariots for guns, about equalled 
the army of Ranjft Singh, the ruler of the Punjab in the present 
century.^ Plutarch gives a vivid description of the battle from 
Alexander's own letters. Having drawn up his troops at a 
bend of the Jehlam, about 14 miles west of the modern field 
of Chilianwdla,* the Greek general crossed under cover of a 
tempestuous night. The chariots hurried out by Porus stuck 
in the muddy margin of the river. In the engagement which 
followed, the elephants of the Indian prince refused to face the 

* The fragments of the Indika of Megasthenes, collected by Dr. 
Schwanbeck, with the first part of the Indika of Arrian ; the Periplus 
Maris Erythraei, with Arrian's account of the voyage of Nearkhos ; the 
Indika of Ktesias ; and Ptolemy's chapters relating to India, have been 
edited in four volumes with prolegomena by Mr. J. W. M*Crindle, M.A. 
(Triibner. 1877, 1879, 1882, and 1885). They originally appeared in the 
Indian Antiquary^ to which this volume and the whole Imperial Gazetteer 
of India are much indebted. General Cunningham's Ancient Geography 
of India^ with its maps, and his Reports of the Archaological Survey ^ 
Vincent's Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients (2 vols. 4to, 1807), 
and the series of maps, on an unfortunately small scale, in General- 
Lieutenant von Spruner's Historisch-Geographischen Atlas (Gotha), have 
also been freely availed of. 

* The Takkas, a Turanian race, the earliest inhabitants of Rawal 
PiNDi District. They gave their name to the town of Takshdsila or 
Taxila, which Alexander found *a rich and populous city, the largest 
between the Indus and Hydaspes,* identified with the ruins of Deri 
Shah AN. Taki or Asanir, on the road between Lahore and Pindi 
Bhatiyan, was the capital of the Punjab in 633 a.d. When names are 
printed in capitals, the object is to refer the reader to the fuller informa- 
tion given in the Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

* Namely, * 30,ocx> efficient infantry ; 4000 horse ; 300 chariots ; 200 
elephants' [Professor Cowell]. The Greeks probably exaggerated the 
numbers of the enemy. Alexander's army numbered 'about 50,000, 
including 5000 Indian auxiliaries under Mophis of Taxila.* — General Cun- 
ningham, Am. Geog. of India, p. 172. See his lucid account of the battle, 
with an excellent map, pp. I59-I77i ed. 1871. 

* And about 30 miles south-west of Jehlam town. 

ALEXANDER JN INDIA, 327-325 b.c 165 

Craks, and, wheeling round, trampled his own army under 
fcKJt. ]^^5 son fell early in the onset; Porus himself fled 
wounded; but on tendering his submission, he was confirmed 
in his kingdom, and became the conqueror's trusted friend. 
Alexander built two memorial cities on the scene of his victory, 

I —Bucephala on the west bank, near the modern Jalalpur, 
immcd after his beloved charger, Bucephalus, slain in the battle ; 

I and Nikaia, the present Mono, on the east side of the river 

Alexander advanced south-east through the kingdom of the Alexander 
younger Porus to Amritsar, and after a sharp bend backward j?^^ -^^^ 
to the west, to fight the Kathaei at Sangala, he reached the 327 326 
Bcas (Hyphasis). Here, at a spot not far from the modern ^'■'^• 
tele-field of Sobrion, he halted his victorious standards.^ 
He had resolved to march to the Ganges ; but his troops were 
worn out by the heats of the Punjab summer, and their spirits 
broken by the hurricanes of the south-west monsoon* The 
nitive tribes had already risen in his rear, and the Conqueror 
rjf the VV^orld was forced to turn back, before he had crossed 
tvcD the frontier Province of India. The Sutlej, the eastern 
Districts of the Punjab, and the mighty Jumna, still lay between 
liim and the Ganges. A single deteat might have been fatal to 
tearmy; if the battle on the Jehlam had gone against him, 
ikot 1 Greek would probably have reached the Afghin side 
^thc passes- Yielding at length to the clamour of his men, 
^^ led them back to the Jehlam. He there embarked 8000 
0* his troops in boats previously prepared, and floated them 
down the river j the remainder marched in two divisions along 
the banks. 

The country was hostile, and the Greeks held only the Alexander 
W on which they encamped At Mdltin, then as now the '^^2?",^'^' 
<*pilal of the Southern Punjab, Alexander had to fight a pitched 
battle with the Malli, and was severely wounded in taking the 
city. His enraged troops put every soul within it to the sword. 
Farther down, near the confluence of the five rivers of the 
I'unjab, he made a long halt, built a town, — Alexandria, the 
Modern Uchh, — ^and received the submission of the neighbour- 
'"« States, A Greek garrison and Satrap, whom he here left 
behind, laid the foundation of a more lasting influence. Having 
<^^^tistructed a new fleet, suitable for the greater rivers on which 
^ was now to embark, he proceeded southwards through 
Sitid, and followed the course of the Indus until he reached 

^^^ change in the course of the Sutlej has altered ks oM position 
WWcio the Bcas at this point. The best small map of Alexander'* rnuic 
*^'^ ^» IB Geneial Cunningham *s A tic. G^Jf. e/fni/iu, p. 104, cd, 1S71. 


1 66 


325 B.C. 

ResulU of 
Greek ex- 




the ocean. In the apex of the delta he founded or refounded 
a city — Patala — which survives to this day as Haidaribid, the 
native capital of Sind.^ At the mouth of the Indus, Alexander 
beheld for the first time the majestic phenomenon of the 
tides. One part of his army he shipped off under the com- 
mand of Nearkhos to coast along the Persian Gulf; the other 
he himself led through Southern Baluchistdn and Persia to 
Susa, where, after terrible losses from want of water and famine 
on the march, he arrived in 325 b.c^ 

During his two years' campaign in the Punjab and Sind, 
Alexander captured no province, but he made alliances, 
founded cities, and planted Greek garrisons. He had trans- 
ferred much territory from the tribes whom he had half- 
subdued, to the chiefs and confederations who were devoted 
to his cause. Every petty court had its Greek faction ; and the 
detachments which he left behind at various positions from 
the Afghin frontier to the Beas, and from near the base of 
the Himalayas to the Sind delta, were visible pledges of his 
return. At Taxila (Deri-Shahan) and Nikaia (Mong) in the 
Northern Punjab; at Alexandria (Uchh) in the Southern 
Punjab ; at Patala (Haidarabad) in Sind ; and at other points 
along his route, he established military settlements of Greeks 
or their allies. A body of his troops remained in Bactria. In 
the partition of the Empire after Alexander's death in 323 B.C., 
Bactria and India eventually fell to Seleukos Nikator, the 
founder of the Syrian monarchy. 

326 B.C.; 

Meanwhile, a new power had arisen in India. Among the 
Indian adventurers who thronged Alexander's camp in the 
Punjab, each with his plot for winning a kingdom or crushing 
a rival, Chandra Gupta, an exile from the Gangetic valley, 
seems to have played a somewhat ignominious part He tried 
to tempt the wearied Greeks on the banks of the Beas with 

> For its interesting appearances in ancient history, see General Cun- 
ningham's Anc, Geog, of India^ pp. 279-287, under Patala or Nirankot. 
It appears variously as Pattala, Pattalene, Pitasila, etc It was formerly 
identified with Tatta (Thatha), near to where the western arm of the 
Indus bifurcates. See also M'Crindle's Commerce and Navigation of the 
Erythraan Sea^ p. 156 (Triibner, 1879). An excellent map of Alexander's 
campaign in Sind is given at p. 248 of Cunningham's Anc, Geog. of India. 

' The stages down the Indus and along the Persian coast, with the 
geographical features and incidents of Nearkhos' Voyage, are given in the 
second part of the Indika of Arrian, chapter xviii. to the end. The river 
stages and details are of value to the student of the modem delta of the 
Indus. — M*Crindle's Commerce and Navigation of the Erythraan Sea, pp. 
153-224 (1879). 

SELEUKOS IN INDIA, 312^306 b.c 


schemes of conquest in the rich south-eastern Provinces ; but 
having personally offended Alexander, he had to fly the camp 
(326 B.c), In the confiised years which followedj he managed, 
with the aid of plundering hordes, to found a kingdom on 
the ruins of the Nanda dynasty in Magadha, or Behar (316316B.C.: 
B.a).^ He seized their capital, Fatahputra, the modern Patna ; 
established himself firmly in the Gangetic valley, and com- 
pelled the Punjab principalities, Greeic and native alike, 
to acknowledge his suzerainty/- While, therefore, Seleukos 
Nikator was winning his way to the Syrian monarchy during 
the eleven years which followed Alexander's death, Chandra 
(jupta was building up an empire in Northern India, Seleukos 
reigned in SjTia from 312 to 280 Rc; Chandra Gupta in the 312 b.c* 
Gangetic valley from 316 to 292 B.C. In 312 B.C., the power 
of both had been consolidated, and the two new sovereignties 
were soon brought face to face. 

About that year, Seleukos, having recovered Babylon, pro- Seleukos 
ceeded to re-establish his authority m Ractria and the Punjab. ^" 1"^^"^» 
In the Punjab, he found Greek influence decayed, Alex- b.c. 
ander had left a mixed force of Greeks and Indians at Taxila. 
But no sooner had he departed from India, than the Indians 
rose and slew the Greek governor. The Macedonians next 
massacred the Indians. A new governor, sent by Alexander, 
murdered the friendly Punjab prince, Porus ; and was himself 
driven out of India, by the advance of Chandra Gupta from the 
Gangetic valley. Seleukos, after a war with Chandra Gupta, 
determined to ally himself with the new i>ower in India rather 
than to oppose it In return for 500 elephants, he ceded the 
Greek settlements in the Punjab and the Kibul valley ; gave 
his daughter to Chandra Gupta in marriage ; and stationed an 
ambassador, Megasthenes, at the Gangetic court (306—298 B.C.). 306-298 
Chandra Gupta became familiar to the Greeks as Sandrokottos, ^'^ ' 
King of the Prasii and Gangaridae ; his capital^ Pataliputra,-* 
or Patnd, was rendered into Palimbothra, On the other hand, 
the Greeks and kings of Grecian dynasties appear in the rock- 
inscriptions under Indian forms.'* 

* CarpHs Inscripiioniim iHtiUnnim^ i. 7. Jacobi'syijiV/a Stlfras^ xliii. 

* For the dynasty of Chandra Gupta, see Numismaia Orunfalia (Ceylon 
fa5iciculus), pp. 41-50, 

* The modern Patni, or Pattana, means simply * the city.' For its 
identification with Pataliputra by means of Mr, Kavenshaw^s final dia- 
coireries, see General Cunningham's Am, Cfog. of Imiin^ p. 452 ^/ seq, 

* The Greeks as Yonas (Yavanas), from the 'l«ofif or lonians. In ihe 
Inscriptions of Asoka, live Greek princes appear : Antiochns (of Syria) ; 
Plolemy ( PhiladeJphas of Egypt); Antigonos tConatos of Macedon) ; 

1 68 


The India 
of Megas- 
300 B.C. 

His seven 
of the 

•Errors 'of 



Megasthenes has left a lifelike picture of the Indian people. 
Notwithstanding some striking errors, the observations which 
he jotted down at Patnd, three hundred years before Christ, 
give as accurate an account of the social organization in the 
Gangetic valley as any which existed when the Bengal Asiatic 
Society commenced its labours at the end of the last century 
(1784). Up to the time of Megasthenes, the Greek idea ot 
India was a very vague one. Their historians spoke of two 
classes of Indians, — certain mountainous tribes who dwelt in 
Northern Afghdnistdn under the Caucasus or Hindu Kush, 
and a maritime race living on the coast of Baluchistdn. Of 
the India of modern geography lying beyond the Indus, they 
practically knew nothing. It was this India to the east of the 
Indus which Megasthenes opened up to the western world. 

He describes the classification of the people, dividing them, 
however, into seven castes instead of four,^ — namely, philo- 
sophers, husbandmen, shepherds, artisans, soldiers, inspectors, 
and the counsellors of the king. The philosophers were the 
Brihmans, and the prescribed stages of their life are indicated. 
Megasthenes draws a distinction between the Brdhmans 
(Bpaxfiavcs) and the Sarmanai (Sap/uivac), from which some 
scholars infer that the Buddhist Sramanas or monks were a 
recognised order 300 b.c, or fifty years before the Council of 
Asoka. But the Sarmanai might also include Brdhmans in the 
first and third stages of their life as students and forest 
recluses. 2 The inspectors,^ or sixth class of Megasthenes, have 
been identified with the Buddhist supervisors of morals, after- 
wards referred to in the sixth edict of Asoka. Arrian's name 
for them, hria-Koiroi, is the Greek word which has become our 
modem Bishop or m^erseer of souls. 

It must be borne in mind that Indian society, as seen by 
Megasthenes, was not the artificial structure described in 
Manu, with its rigid lines and four sharply demarcated castes. 
It was the actual society of the court, the camp, and the 
capital, at a time when Buddhist ideals were conflicting with 
Brdhmanical types. Some of the so-called errors of Megas- 

Magas (of Kyrene) ; Alexander (li. of Epirus). — Weber, Hist, Ind. Lit., 
pp. 179, 252. But see also Wilson, Joum. Roy, As. Soc.^ vol. xii. (1850), 
and Cunningham*s Corpus Inscrip. Jndic, pp. 125, 126. 

^ Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and Arrian^ being fragments 
ofthelndika, by J. W. M*Crindle, M.A., p. 40, ed. 1877. 

* Brahmacharins and Vdnaprasthas (iA«^/fl<). Weber very properly 
declines to identify the 2«f^ay«i exclusively with the Buddhist Sramanas. 
Hist. Ind. Lit., p. 28, ed. 1878. 

' The \^»fu (Deodorus, Strabo), Witntvt (Arrian). 



r/icnes \mt been imputed to him from a want of due apprecia- 

hon of this fact Others have been proved by modern inquiry 

to be no errors at all. The knowledge of India derived by 

\\it Greeks chiefly, although by no means exclusively, from 

Mcgaslhenes includes details which were scarcely known to 

Eitropeans in the last centur)% The Aryan and Aboriginal 

dements oi the population* or the White and Dark Indians ; 

the two great harvests of the year in spring and autumn ; the 

lalt-mines ; the land-making silt brought down by the rivers 

from the Himalayas ; the great changes in the river-courses ; 

irul even a fairly accurate measurement of the Indian 

jicninsula — were among the points known to the Greek writers. 

From those sources, the present wTiter has derived pregnant 

faints in regard to the physical configuration of India. The 

account which Mcgastlienes gives of the size of the Indus and 

n^ Ulces, points to the same conclusion as that reached by 

tfie most recent obser>'ations, in regard to the Indian rivers 

being originally lines of drainage through great watery regions. 

In their upper courses they graduvilly scooped out their beds, 

»nd thus produced a low-level channel into which the fens 

Imd marshes eventually drained. In their lower courses they 

ittnidacted their great operations of land-making from the silt 

ithich their currents had brought down from above. In regard 

1 1^ the rivers, as in several other matters, the * exaggerations * 

hf Megasthenes turn out to be nearer the truth than was 

I inspected until the Statistical Survey of 187 1. 

The Brdhmans deeply impressed Alexander by their learning 

I »d ^sterities. One of them, Kalanos by name, was tempted, 

ROtfithstanding the reproaches of his brethren, to enter the 

f wvice of the conqueror But falling sick in Persia, Kalanos 

jdetetimned to die like a Brdhman, although he had not consist- 

f railylived as one- Alexander, on hearing of the philosopher's 

I tRolvcto put an end to his life, vainly tried to dissuade him ; 

*tei loaded him with jewels, and directed that he should be 

Attended with all honours to the last scene. Distributing the 

mostly gifts of his master as he advanced, wearing a garland of 

^trs, and singing his native Indian hymns, the Brahman 

itiOttnted a funeral pyre, and serenely perished in the flames. 

*^t Greek ambassador observed with admiration the ab- 
^^^ of slavery in India, the chastity of the women, and the 
Murage of the men. In valour they excelled all other Asiatics ; 
^^^y required no locks to their doors ; above all, no Indian was 
*^^^ known to tell a lie- Sober and industrious, good farmers, 
^^ skilful artisans, they scarcely ever had recourse to a law- 

The cjia 



the Brdh- 

323 « '^♦ 

300 B.C. 





suit, and lived peaceably under their native chiefs. The kingly 
government is portrayed almost as described in Manu, with its 
hereditary castes of councillors and soldiers. Megaslhenes 
mentions that India was divided into 118 kingdoms; some 
of which ^ such as that of the Prasii under Chandra Gupta, 
exercised suzerain powers. The village system is well described, 
each little rural unit seeming to the Greek an independent 
republic Megasthenes remarked the exemption of the hus- 
bandmen (Vaisyas) from war and public services ; and enume- 
rates the dyes, fibres, fabrics, and products (animal, vegetable, 
and mineral) of India. Husbandry depended on the periodical 
rains ; and forecasts of the weather, with a view to * make 
adequate provision against a coming deficiency/ formed a 
special duty of the Brahmans. * The philosopher who errs in 
his predictions observes silence for the rest of his life/ 

256 B.C, 

Greeks in 


Greek io» 
flucnoe on 
Indian art. 

Before the year 300 b.c, two powerful monarchies had thus 
begun to act upon the Brahmanism of Northern India, from 
the east and from the west. On the east, in the Gangetic 
valley, Chandra Gtipt a (316-292 b.c) firmly consolidated the 
dynasty which during the next century produced Asoka 
(264-223 B,c), established Buddhism throughout India, and 
s])read its doctrines from Afghanistdn to China, and from 
Central Asia to Ceylon. On the west, the heritage of Seleukos 
{312-280 B.C.) diffused Greek influences, and sent forth Greco- 
Bactrian expeditions to the Punjab, Antiochos Theos (grand- 
son of Seleukos Nikator) and Asoka (grandson of Chandra 
Gupta), who ruled these probably conterminous monarchies, 
made a treaty w^ith each other, 256 B.C. In the next century, 
Eukratides, King of Hactria, conquered as far as Alexander's 
royal city of Fatal a, the modern Haidaribdd in the Sind 
Delta J and sent expeditions into Cutch and Gujarat, 1 81-161 
B.c Menander advanced farthest into North-Western India, 
and his coins are found from Kdbul, near which he pro- 
bably had his capital, as far as Muttra on the Jumna. The 
Buddhist successors of Chandra Gupta profoundly modified 
the religion of Northern India from the east ; the empire of 
Seleukos, with its Bactrian and later offshoots, deeply influenced 
the science and art of Hindust;in from the west 

We have already seen how much Brahman astronomy owed 
to the Greeks, and ho%v the builders' art in India received its 
first impulse from the architectural exigencies of Buddhism. 
The same double influence, of the Greeks on the west and of 
the Buddhists on the east of the Brihmanical Middle I^nd of 



Bengal, an be traced in many details* What the Buddhists 
•tfcro the architecture of Northern India, that the Greeks were 
to Ml sculpture. Greek faces and profiles constantly occur in 
[indent Buddhist statuary. They enrich almost all the larger 
Duseums in India, and examples may be seen at South Kensing- 
The purest specimens have been found in the Punjab, 
where the Greeks settled in greatest force. In the Lahore col- 
lection there was, among other beautiful pieces, an exquisite little 
figure of an old blind man feeling his way with a staff. Its 
sTibdued pathos, its fidelity to nature, and its living movement 
dmmatically held for the moment in sculptured suspense, 
arc Greek, and nothing but Greek. It is human misfortune, 

[that has culminated in wandering poverty* age, and blindness 
Mhe very curse which Sophocles makes the spurned Teiresias 
throw back upon the doomed king — 

• Blind, having s«cn ; 
Poor, having rolled in wealth \ be wiih a staff 
Feelmg bis way to a strange land shuU go/ 

As we proceed eastward from the Punjab, the Greek type Gfrek and 
"begins to fade. Purity of outline gives place to lusciousness Hindu 
of form* In the female figures, the artists trust more and sciLbtiire. 
tnore to swelling breasts and towering chignons, and load the 
neck rith constantly-accumulating jewels. Nevertheless, the 
Oftcian type of countenance long survived in Indian art. It 
is perfectly unlike the coarse, conventional ideal of beauty 
tn tnodcm Hindu sculptures, and may perhaps be traced as 
late as the delicate profiles on the so-called Sun Temple at 
Kaxarak, built in the 12th century a»d, on the Orissa shore* 
N'ol only did the Greek impulse become fainter and fainter Greek 
Indian scul[)ture with the lapse of time, but that impulse ^^^^'^ ^^^ 
" itself gradually derived from less pure and less vigorous 
:es. The Greek idea! of beauty may possibly have been 
ght direct to India by the oflicers and artists of Alexander 
^c Great, But it was from Graeco-Bactria, not from Greece 
^Iffthat the practical masters of Greek sculpture came to the 
I^unjah, Indeed, it seems probable that the most prolific stream 
^Vizh artistic inspirations reached India from the Roman 
f-'Dpire, and in Imperial times, rather than through even the 
^f^direct Grecian channels represented by the Bactrian kingdom. 

h must suffice here to indicate the ethnical and dynastic Foreign 
jnftuences thus brought to bear upon India, without attempt- ^"'^"enccs 
\H to assign dates to the individual monarchs. The 
Chronology of the twelve centuries intervening between the 

on India, 




Graeco - Bactrian period and the Muhammadan conquest 
still depends on a mass of conflicting evidence derived from 
inscriptions, legendary literature, unwritten traditions, and 
coins. ^ Four systems of computation exist, based upon the 
Vikramdditya, Saka, Seleucidan, and Parthian eras. 

Greeks in 


in India. 

In the midst of the confusion, we see dim masses 
moving southwards from Central Asia into India. The 
Graeco-Bactrian kings are traced by coins as far as Muttra on 
the Jumna. Their armies occupied for a time the Punjab, as 
far south as Gujardt and Sind. Sanskrit texts are said to 
indicate their advance through the Middle Land of the 
Brdhmans {Madhya - desha) to Sdketa (or Ajodhya), the 
capital of Oudh, and to Patnd in Behar.^ Megasthenes was 
only the first of a series of Greek ambassadors to Bengal.^ 
A Grecian princess became the queen of Chandra Gupta at 
Patnd {circ 306 B.C.). Graeco-Bactrian girls, or Yavanfs, were 
welcome gifts, and figure in the Sanskrit drama as the per- 
sonal attendants of Indian kings. They were probably fair- 
complexioned slaves from the northern regions. It is right 
to add, however, that the word Yavan has a much wider 
application than merely to the Greeks or even to the Bactrians. 
The credentials of the Indian embassy to Augustus in 
22-20 B.a were written on skins; a circumstance which per- 
haps indicates the extent to which Greek usage had overcome 
Brdhmanical prejudices. During the century preceding the 
Christian era, Scythian or Tartar hordes began to supplant 
the Graeco-Bactrian influence in the Punjab. 

The The term Yavana, or Yona, formerly applied to any non- 

•Yavanas; Br^hmanical race, and especially to the Greeks, was now ex- 
tended to the Sakae or Scythians. It probably includes many 
various tribes of invaders from the west. Patient effort will be 
required before the successive changes in the meaning of 
Yavana, both before and after the Greek period, are worked 




* Report of the Archaological Survey of Western India for 1874-75, p. 
49 (Mr. £. Thomas* monograph). 

* Goldstucker assigned the Yavana siege of Saketa (Ajodhya), men- 
tioned in the Mahibhishya, to Menander ; while the accounts of the Gargi 
Sanhitd in the Yoga Purina speak of a Yavana expedition as far as Patna. 
But, as Weber points out {Hist, Ind, Lit,^ p. 251, footnote 276), the ques- 
tion arises as to whether these Yavanas were Graeco- Br.ctrians or Indo- 
Scythians. See, however. Report of Archaological Suri'cy of Western India 
for 1874-75, p. 49, and footnote. 

* Weber, Hist, ind. Lit,, p. 251 (ed. 1878), enumerates four. 


out The word travelled far, and has survived with a strange 
vitality in out of the way nooks of India. The Orissa 
dux)niders called the sea-invaders from the Bay of Bengal, 
Yavanas, and in later times the term was applied to the 
Musalmins.^ At the present day, a vernacular form of the 
word is said to have supplied the local name for the Arab 
settlers on the Coromandel coast.^ 

^ Hunter's Orissa^ vol. L pp. 25, 85, and 209 to 232 (ed. 1872). 

' Bishop Caldwell gives Yavanas (Yonas) as the equivalent of the 
Sooagas or Mohammadans of the western coast : Comparative Grammar 
ijlkDwjidian Languages^ 2nd edition, p. 2 (Triibner, 1875). 




Migrations The foregoing chapters have dealt with two streams of popula- 
iraTAsUr' '^^^ which, starting from Central Asia, poured through the north- 
western passes of the Himalayas, and spread themselves out 
upon the plains of Bengal. Those two great series of migrations 
are represented by the early Vedic tribes, and by the Graeco- 
Bactrian armies. The first of them gave the race-type to 
Aryan, Indian civilisation ; the second impressed an influence on 
Indian science and art, more important and more permanent 
than the mere numerical strength of the invaders would seem 
to justify. But the permanent settlement of the early Vedic 
tribes, and the shorter vehement impact of the Graeco-Bactrian 
invaders, alike represent movements of the Aryan section of the 
human race. Another great family of mankind, the Turanian, 
and Tur- had also its home in Central Asia. The earliest migrations of the 
anian. Turanians belong to a period absolutely pre-historic ; nor has 
inductive history yet applied its scrutiny to I'uranian antiquity 
with anything like the success which it has achieved in regard 
to the beginnings of the Aryan peoples. 
Scythic Yet there is evidence to show that waves of Turanian origin 

movements overtopped the Himalayas or pierced through their openings 
India. in^o India from very remote times. The immigrants doubtless 
represented many different tribes, but in the dim twilight of 
Indian history they are mingled together in confused masses 
known as the Scythians. There are indications that a branch of 
the Scythian hordes, who overran Asia about 625 b.c, made its 
way to Patala on the Indus, the site selected by Alexander in 
325 K.c as his place of arms in that delta, and long the capital 
of Sind under the name of Haidaribdd. One portion of these 
Patala Scythians seems to have moved westwards by the Persian 
Gulf to Assyria ; another section is supposed to have found its 
way north-east into the Gangetic valley, and to have branched 
off into the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, among whom Buddha 

THE SCYTHIAN KANISHKA, 40 jld. (?) 175 

s boni*^ During the two hundred years before the Christian 
era, liic Sqthic movements come a Uitie more clearly into 
light, and m the first century after Christ those movements 
aiJminate in a great Indian sovereignty. About 126 b.c,| 
Tartar tribe of Su are said to have conquered the Greek 
Synasty in Bactria, and the Grseco-Bactrian settlements in the 
hnjab were overthrown by the Tue-Chi.^ 

Two centuries later, we touch solid ground in the dynasty 
ihose chief representative, Kanishka, held the Fourth Bud- 
hist Council, dn\ 40 a-d., and became the royal founder of 
forthem Buddhism. But long anterior to the alleged Tue- 
li settlements in the Punjab, tribes of Scylhic origin had 
ind their way into India, and had left traces of non-Ar)'an 
f|gin upon Indian civilisation, I'he sovereignty of Kanishka 
tlie fim century a,d. was not an isolated effort, but the 
etied fruit of a series of ethnical movements, 
Ccnain scholars believe that even before the time of Buddha, 
are relics of Scythic origin in the religion of India. It 
been suggested that the Asivanudha^ or Great Horse 
crifice, in some of its developments at any rate, was based 
OQ Scjihic ideas. * It was in effect/ writes Mr. Edward 
' a martial challenge, which consisted in letting the 
who was to crown the imperial triumph at the year's 
go free to wander at will over the face of the earth j its 
isor being bound to follow its hoofs, and to conquer or 
liale ' the chiefs through whose territories it passed. Such 
'Qtotj'pe seems to him to shadow forth the life of the 
Asian communities of the horseman class, * among 
captured steed had so frequently to be traced from 
to camp, and surrendered or fought for at last/ ^ The 
iU5 connection between the Hoise Sacrifice and the Man 
itice of the pre- Buddhistic religion of India has often been 
That connection has been explained from the Indian 
view, by the substitution theory of a horse for a human 
But among the early shepherd tribes of Tibet, the 
ces coexisted as inseparable parts of The Great 

'C^ma pf tki Buddhist Scriptures from the Chimse^ by S. BcaJ, pp. 

'"I30, See aUo Herodotus, i. toj to io6 ; Csoma de Kf\xQ%^ Jeunial 

\Bing. 1S35; and H. H. Wilson, ^rw/w Antiqua^ p. 212, quoted 

i», Hist J fid. Lit, p, 28s, cd. 1S7S, 
! Gulgnes, supported by Professor Cowell on the evidence of coins. 
lAppejuiuto Klphinstone's y/firtf/^f/ZW/a, p. 269, e«L 1866. 
I ^ ^tf^n ^f Anhitehgtcal Survey pf Western Jndia^ pp, 37, 38 (1876). 
|»ta sec, in epposiiion to Mr, Thomas' view, M» Scoart In the French 
Aiiali^itf, 1875, p, 126* 

126 B.C. (?) 

40 A.D. (?) 


The Hor^se 



Oath. Each year the Tibetans took The Little Oath to ih< 
chiefs, and sacrificed sheep, dogs, and monkeys. But eve'x;jp; 
third year they solemnized The Great Oath with offerings of 
men and horses, oxen and asses. ^ 
HutJdha, a Whatever significance may attach to this rite, it is certain 
Scyihiant?) ^j^^^ ^^ ^^ advent of Buddhism, Scythic influences made 
themselves felt in India. Indeed, it has been attempted to 
establish a Scythic origin for Buddha himself. One of his 
earlietit appearances in the literature of the Christian Churoh 
is as Buddha the Scythian, It is argued that by no meTtf 
accident did the Fathers trace the Manich^an doctrine to 
Scythianus, whose disciple, Terebinthus, took the name of 
Buddha.2 As already stated, the form of abjuration of tl^^ 
Manichaean heresy mentions BoSSa and 2*cv^ta.i/os (Buddf^^ 
and the Scythian or Sakya), seemingly, says Weber, a separatii 
of Buddha Sakya-muni into two.^ The Indian Buddhists of t't^e 
Southern school would dwell lightly on, or pass over altogether r, 
a non- Aryan origin for the founder of their faith. We ha' 
seen how the legend of Buddha in their hands assimilat 
itself to the old epic type of the Aryan hero. But a Scyttm ic 
origin would be congenial to the Northern school of Buddhisim^ • 
to the school which was consolidated by the Scythic monarch fc 
Kanishka, and which supplied a religion during more than l^* 
centuries to Scythic tribes of Central Asia. 
Meaning We find, therefore, without surprise, that the sacred boolc5 
of Sakya- ^f Tibet constantly speak of Buddha as the Sakya. In them* 
Buddha is the heir-apparent to the throne of the Sakyas ; his 
doctrine is accepted by the Sakya race ; and a too strict 
adherence to its tenets of mercy ends in the destruction of the 
Sakya capital, followed by the slaughter of the Sakya peoj>le.* 
If we couid be sure that Sakya really signified Scythian, this 
evidence would be conclusive. But the exact meaning of Sakya, 
although generally taken to be the Indian representative of 
Scythian, as the Persian Sakse was the equivalent of Scythae, 
has yet to be determined. At one time it seemed as if the 

^ Early History of Tibet, in Mr, Woodville Ko\:W\\\h Lift of tht BuiMAa, 
from the Tibetan Classics, p. 204 (Triibner, 1S84). 

* * I believe the legend of Sakya was perverted into the history ^ 
Scythianus,' BeaPs Cattna of the Bttddhtst S<ripiures from ikt Chin^^% 
p. J 29 (Trulincr, 1S71). 

^ WebcTS History of in Jian LiUmtttre^ p, 309, footnote 363 (Tnibn^^» 

1S78). But Buddhism probably reached the Early Church through ^^^ 

Scythians; so that Buddha might be called Skiithianos, as the Scytbi-*^ 

religious founder, without implying that he was a Ixjrn Scythian, p"^*^ 

^w/, chap. ix. * Vidt ant£^ p. 140, 


Tibetan records might settle the i)oinL These hopes have, 
however, been disappointed, as the earliest Tibetan records 
prove to be a reflex of foreign influences rather than a deposi- 
tor of indigenous traditions. 
Tibet, Klhoten, and other countries to the north of the Artificial 
Himilayas, on adopting Buddhism, more or less unconsciously x^jbJj'an 
'^€ast their national traditions into Buddhist moulds.^ These traditions, 
coontries formed the meeting-place of two distinct streams of 
dviUsation, — the material civilisation of China, and the religious 
civilisation of India. Some of the early Tibetan legends seem 
to be clumsy copies of the stories of the first Chinese sovereigns 
recorded in the Bamboo Books.* The Tibetan classics further 
obscure the historical facts, by a tendency to trace the royal lines 
of Central Asia to the family or early converts of Buddha ; as 
certain medieval families of Europe claimed descent from 
the Wise Men of the East ; and noble gentes of Rome found 
their ancestors among the heroes of the Trojan war. Thus 
the first Tibetan monarch derived his line from Prasenadjit, 
King of Kosala, the life-long friend of Buddha; and the 
dynasty of Khoten claimed, as its founder, a son of King 

The truth is, that while Tibet obtained much of its material Sources of 

civilisation from China, its medicine, its mathematics, its -^^^^ ^^d 

'eights and measures, its chronology, its clothing, its mul- traditions. 

^es, tea, and ardent spirits ; it received its religion and letters 

from India, together with its philosophy, and its ideal of the 

spiritual life. The mission of the seven Tibetan nobles to India 

to find an alphabet for the yet unwritten language of Tibet, is an 

historical event of the 7 th century a.d. The Indian monastery 

ofNalanda was reproduced with fidelity in the great Hsamyas, 

or religious house at Lhasa. The struggle between Chinese 

*nd Indian influences disclosed itself alike in the public disputa- 

6w» of the Tibetan sects, and in the inner intrigues of the 

palace. One of the greatest of the Tibetan monarchs married 

^ wives, — ^an Indian princess who brought Buddhist images 

from Nepal, and a Chinese princess who brought silk-brocades 

^ whisky from China.^ We must therefore receive with 

caution the evidence as to the original signification of the 

word Sakya, derived from the records of a nation which 

^ so lately indebted for its ideas and its traditions to later 

foreign sources. 

' ^; Histories of Tibet and Khoten, in Mr. Rockhill's Life of the 

, . ' P- 232, etc 
;f«, p. 203. » Lhm, pp. 213-215. 


Evidence That evidence should, however, be stated. The Tibetan 
traditions" sacred books preserve an account of the Sakya creation ; of the 
as to the non-sexual procession of the ancient Sakya kings ; and of the 
Sakyas. settlement of the Sakyas at Kapila, the birthplace of Buddha. 
Their chief seat was the kingdom of Kosala, near the southern 
base of the Himalayas. Tibetan traditions place the early 
Indian homes of the Sakyas on the banks of the Bhdgfrathf, as 
distinctly as the Vedic hymns place the homes of the primitive 
Aryans on the tributaries of the Indus. They claim, indeed, 
for Buddha a Kshattriyan descent from the noble Ishkvaku or 
Solar line. But it is clear that the race customs of the Indo- 
Sakyas differed in some respects from those of the Indo-Aryans. 
Sakya race At birth, the Sakya infant was made to bow at the feet of a 
^"^* tribal image, Taksha Sakya-vardana, which, on the presentation 
of Buddha, itself bowed down to the divine child.^ In regard 
to marriage, the old Sakya law is said to have allowed a man 
only one wife.^ The dead were disposed of by burial, although 
cremation was not unknown. In the topes or funeral mounds 
of Buddhism is apparently seen a reproduction of the royal 
Scythian tombs of which Herodotus speaks.^ Perhaps more 
remarkable is the resemblance of the great co-decease of 
Buddha's companions to the Scythian holocausts of the 
followers, servants and horses of a dead monarch.* On the 
death of Buddha, according to the Tibetan texts, a co-decease 
of 18,000 of his disciples took place. On the death of the 
faithful Maudgalyayana, the co-decease of disciples amounted 
to 70,000; while on that of Sariputra, the co-decease of 
Buddhist ascetics was as high as 80,000.^ The composite 
idea of a co-decease of followers, together with a funeral 
mound over the relics of an illustrious personage, was in 
accordance with obsequies of the Scythian type. 
Scythic Whatever may be the value of such analogies, the influence 

in^Ind/a"^ of the Scythian dynasties in Northern India is a historical 
40-634 fact. The Northern or Tibetan form of Buddhism, represented 
by the Scythian monarch Kanishka and the Fourth Council ^ 
in 40 A.D., soon made its way down to the plains of Hindu- 
stan, and during the next six centuries competed with the 
earlier Buddhism of Asoka. The Chinese pilgrim in 629-645 

^ Mr. Rockhiirs Life of the Buddha, p. 17. 2 jci^„i^ p. j^, 

' Herodotus, iv. 71, 127. 

* The slaughter of the king's concubine, cup-bearer, and followers is 
also mentioned in Herodotus, iv. 71 and 72. 

• Mr. Rockhill's Life of the Buddha, p. 141, footnote 3, and p. 148. 
" Numiiinata Orieiitalia (Ceylon fasc), p. 54. 



found both the Northern or Scythic and the Southern 
5 of Buddhism in full vigour in India. He spent fourteen 
cths at China-pati, the town where Kanishka had kept bis 
hostages in the Punjab ; and he records the debates 
ireen the Northern and Southern sects of Buddhists in 
fcfous places. The town of China-pati, ten miles west of the 
Sliver,^ bore witness to later ages of the political connection 
Northern India with the Trans- Hi mil ay an races of Central 
Eastern Asia, The Scythic influence in India was a 
fmstic as well as a religious one. The evidence of coins 
the names of Indian tribes or reigning families, such as 
iSakas, Huns, and Nagas, point to Scythian settlements 
' south as the Central Provinces, - 

ome scholars believe that the Scythians poured down upon 

in such masses as to supplant the previous population. 

Jats or Jits,^ who now number 4 J millions and form one- 

j of the inhabitants of the Punjab, are identified with the 

r; and their great sub-division the Dhe with the Dahae, 

Strabo places on the shores of the Caspian, This 

' has received the support of eminent investigators, from 

H. H. Wilson to General Cunningham, the late 

^General of the Archaeological Survey of India.* The 

ngdiWsion between the Jats and the Dhe has, indeed, been 

back to the contiguity of the Massa-getae or Great 

it^ and the Dahae, who dwelt side by side in Central Asia, 

may have advanced together during the Scythian 

ents towards India on the decline of the Grjeco-Bactrian 

Without pressing such identifications too closely in 

^scnicc of particular theories, the weight of authority is in 

*"! of a Scythian origin for the Jdts, the most numerous and 

able section of the agricultural population of the Punjab.'^ 

ar descent has been assigned to certain of the Rajjyut 

l1 Cunoingbam*^ Anc, Ctog, ef India , p. 200, 
Mwr*s Sfff /^r?/ Texts, chap, v, vol. i. (186S) ; Sir C. Griirit*B Gazettetr 
ft^fCm/ral Pr^z'tnces^ Ixx., etc. (Nag^pur, 1 870) ; Reports of \.\\^ Arcfnro" 
»i Survey &/ /m/ia ami of IVaUrn India ; Professor II. H. Wilson 
t>t. F. Hall), Vishnu Furdna, ii. 134. 

The word occurs as Jats and Jats; but the identity of the two forms 
1*01 establUhecl by reference to the Aln-i-Akiiari, Some arc tiow 
!i«lti5^ uthcrs Muhammadans. 

ijce among other places, part iv. of hi* Arcluiological Reports^ p. 19. 
^tSM thcans * great ' in Pehlevi. 

"yftoolfi \^ mentioned, however, that Dr, Tnimpp believed them to 
*^J' "J^^tt orijjin {Zfitsch. d. Dmtsch, Morg, Gt^Hh^h., xv, p. 690). See 
J T^'ne** admimblc edition of Sir Henry Elliott's Glossary ofth€ Races 
' ^^A^Wisiem Pnyvitues^ vol. i. pp. Uo-fJ7, ed. 1869. 

in India, 

elements in 
the popu* 
1 at ion- 




tribes. Colonel Tod, still the standard historian of Rdjdsthdn, 
strongly insisted on this point 

(2)The The relationship between the Jats and the Rdjputs, 

ajputs. although obscure, is acknowledged ; and although the jus 
connubii no longer exists between them, an inscription seems 
to show that they intermarried in the 5th century a.d.^ 
Professor Co well, indeed, regards the arguments for the Scythic 
descent of the Rijputs as inconclusive.^ But authorities of 
weight have deduced, alike from local investigation ^ and 
from Sanskrit literature,* a Scythic origin for the Jits and for 
certain of the Rdjput tribes. The question has lately been 
discussed, with the fulness of local knowledge, by Mr. Denzil 
Ibbetson, the chief Census officer for the Punjab in 1881. 
His conclusions are — First, that the terms Rdjput and Jdt 
indicate a difference in occupation and not in origin. Second, 
that even if they represent distinct waves of migration, sepa- 
rated by an interval of time, ' they belong to one and the same 
ethnic stock.' Third, *that whether Jats and Rdjputs were 
or were not originally distinct,* * the two now form a common 
stock ; the distinction between Jdt and Rdjput being social 
rather than ethnic' ^ We shall see that earlier migrations of 
Central Asian hordes also supplied certain of the Ndgd, or 
so-called aboriginal, races of India. 

Indian The Scythic settlements were not effected without a struggle. 

struggle As Chandra Gupta had advanced from the Gangetic valley, and 

Scythians, rolled back the tide of Graeco-Bactrian conquest, 312-306 B.C., 

* Inscription discovered in Kotah State ; No. i of Inscription Appendix 
to Colonel Tod's Annals and Anttquitiis of Rdjdsthdn^ vol. i. p. 701, 
note 3 (Madras Reprint, 1873). Although Tod is still the standard 
historian of Rajputana, and will ever retain an honoured place as an 
original investigator, his ethnical theories must be received with caution. 

* Appendix to Elphinstone's H}sL Ind,^ pp. 250 et seq.^ ed. 1866. 

' Tod's Kdjdsthdn^ pp. 52, 483, 500, etc., vol. i. (Madras Reprint, 


* Dr. Fitz- Edward Hall's edition of Professor H. H. Wilson's Vishnu 
Purdnoy vol. ii. p. 134. The IJunas, according to Wilson, were *ihe 
white Huns who were established in the Punjab, and along the Indus, as 
we know from Arrian, Strabo, and Ptolemy, confirmed by recent discoveries 
of their coins and by inscriptions.' *I am not prepared,' says Dr. Fitz- 
Edward Hall, ' to deny that the ancient Hindus when they spoke of the 
Hunas included the Huns. In the Middle Ages, however, it is certain 
that a race called Huna was understood by the learned of India to form a 
division of the Kshattriyas. ' Professor Do wson's Diet. Hind, Mythology^ 
etc., p. 122. 

* See the ethnographical volume of the Punjab Census for 1881, paras. 
421, 422 d seq,y by Mr. Denril Jelf Ibbetson, of the Bengal Civil Service, 
p. 220 (Government Press, Calcutta, 1883). 



[SO ^he native princes who stemmed the torrent of Scythian 
lirasion are the Indian hercKJS of ihe first centur>' before and 
' Christ Viknundditya, King of Ujjain, appears to have 
^lOB hfs paramount place in Indian stor)* by driving out the 
mvaders. An era, the Samvat, beginning in 57 u.c.» was Samtfot 
founded in honour of his achievements. Its date * seems ^^"^ 57 
at variance with his legendary victories over the Scythian 
funishka in the ist century after Christ^ But the verj^ title 
(jfits founder suffices to commemorate his struggle against 
the northern hordes, as Vikramdditya Sak^ri, or Vtkramaditya, 
the Enemy of the Scythians. 

The name of Vikramdditya, * A very Sun in Prowess/ was 
borne, as we have seen, by several Indian monarchs. In 
bter ages their separate identity was merged in the ancient 
ftnoi^Ti of the Slayer of the Scythians, who thus combined the 
Utne of many Vikramddityas. There was a tendency to 
saignto his period the most eminent Indian works in science 
lpoetr>v — works which we know must beiong to a date long 
' the first century of our era. His reign forms the Augustan 
'6n of Sanskrit literature; and tradition fondly ascribed the 
highest products of the Indian intellect during many later cen- 
turies to the poets and philosophers, or Nine Gems, of this 
Vikramiditya*s Court As Chandra Gupta, who freed India from 
the Greeks, is celebrated in the drama Mudrd rdkshasa ; so 
iWramiditya, the vanquisher of the Scythians, forms the central 
■loj'iJ personage of the Hindu stage. 

Vikramaditya's achievements, however, furnished no final de- Sdka or 
iivtiance, but merely form an episode in the long struggle between J^^y^li j^^ 
the Indian dynasties and new races from the north. Another a n. 

^br era, the Sdka^ literally the Scythian, takes its com- 

llBencement in 78 a.d.,® and is supposed to commemorate the 

I defeat of the Scythians by a king of Southern India, Salivdhand.* 

luring the seven centuries which foUowed, three powerful mon- 

[ iichics, the Senas, Gu])tas, and Valabhis, established themselves 

^^vaimm^ the 'Year.' The uncertainty Avhich surrounds even tliis 
^••ectpted finger-post in Indian chronology may l>e seen from Dr. J* 
f^Vt^K/Eii paper * On the Saka and Saniivat and GuptA eras' {ytmrnal 
\^^*Ai.Soc,, New Series, vol. xii.). especially p. 172. 
I %Tbe Httshka, Juihlut, and Kanishka family of the Kiijti Tarangini^ 
l«*Chn!iDiclw of Kashmir, are proved by inscriptions to belong to the 4th 
|<atiryof ibe Selcuddan era, or the 1st century a.d. 
'Moftday, t4th March 78 A.D., Julian style. 
Gejcml Cunningham ; see also Mr. Kdw, Thomas' letter, dated iGth 
^JP^«iil)eT 1874^ t'^ The Academy^ which brings this date within the period 
*« the Kanishka family (2 B.C. to 87 A.IJ.), 


Sena (Sah) 
60 B.C. to 
235 A.D. 









57 B.C. to 

544 A.D. 

in Northern and Western India. The Senas and Singhas, or 
Sitraps of Surishtra,are traced by coins and inscriptions from 60 
or 70 B.C to after 235 a.d.^ After the Senas come the Guptas 
of Kanauj,* in the North-Westem Provinces, the Middle Land 
of ancient Brdhmanism. The Guptas introduced an era of 
their own, commencing in 319 a.d. ; and ruled in person or 
by viceroys over Northern India during 150 years, as far to 
the south-west as Kdthidwir. The Gupta dynasty was over- 
thrown by foreign invaders, apparently a new influx of Huns 
or Tartars from the north-west (450-470 A.D.). 

The Valabhfs succeeded the Guptas, and ruled over Cutch, 
north-western Bombay,3and Mdlwd, from 480 to after 722 a.d.* 
The Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsiang, gives a full account of 
the court and people of Valabhf (630-640 a. d. ). Buddhism was 
the State religion, but heretics, Le, Brdhmans, abounded ; and 
the Buddhists themselves were divided between the northern 
school of the Scythian dynasties, and the southern or Indian 
school of Asoka. The Valabhfs seem to have been overthrown 
by the early Arab invaders of Sind in the 8th century. 

The relations of these three Indian dynasties, the Senas, 
Guptas, and Valabhfs, to the successive hordes of Scythians, 
who poured down on Northern India, are obscure. There 
is abundant evidence of a long-continued struggle, but the 
efforts to affix dates to its chief episodes have not yet pro- 
duced results which can be accepted as final. Two Vikrama- 
ditya Sakiris, or vanquishers of the Scythians, are required 
for the purposes of chronology ; and the great battle of Koriir 
near Miiltan, in which the Scythian hosts perished, has been 
shifted backwards and forwards from 78 to 544 a.d. ^ 

The truth seems to be that, during the first six centuries of 
the Christian era, the fortunes of the Scythian or Tartar races 
rose and fell from time to time in Northern India. They more 
than once sustained great defeats ; and they more than once 
overthrew the native dynasties. Their presence is popularly 

^ By Mr. Newton. See Mr. E. Thomas on the Coins of the Sah Kings, 
ArchaoL Rep, Western Jmtia, p. 44 (1876) ; and Dr. J. Fergusson, Journal 
Roy, As, Soc.f 1880. 

* Now a town of only 16,646 inhabitants in Fanikhdbid District, but 
with ruins extending over a semicircle of 4 miles in diameter. 

3 Lat-desha, including the collectorates of Surat, Broach, Kaira, 
and parts of Baroda territory. 

* The genealogy is worked out in detail by Mr. E. Thomas, «/ su/>ra, 
pp. 80-82. 

* 78 A.D. was the popularly received date, commemorated by the StUa 
era ; 'between 524 and 544 A.D.' is suggested by Dr. Fergusson (p. 284 
oi Journal Roy. As, Soc,, vol. xii.) in 1880. 



^tesfd during the centur)' before Christ by Vikramaditya 
(57 RC?); daring the ist ctniury after Christ, it is represented 
^)'t)je Kanishka family (2 b.c to 87 a.d,) ; it was noted by 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, about 535 a.d. 

A recent writer on the subject^ believe^ that it was the 

*tee Huns who overthrew the Guptas between 465 and 470 

i.ix He places the great battles of Konir and Maushari, 

jviikh * freed India from the Sakas and Hdnas/ between 524 

I ^^ 544 A.IX But these dates still lie in the domain of in- 

dttctn^e, indeed almost of conjectural, history. Cosraas Indico- 

Ipbstes, who traded in the Red Sea about 555 A-a, speaks of 

[Ife Huns as a powerful nation in Northern India in his days.^ 

\V1iile Greek and Scythic iniluences had thus been at w^ork in The prc- 
Konhem India during nine centuries (327 dx. to 544 a.o«), -^'7*" . 
inother (so<alled indigenous) element was profoundly affecting ancieni 
the future of the Indian people. A previous chafjier has traced \^^^^* 
ilic fortunes, and sketched the present condition, of the pre- 
Ar)^ "aborigines,* The Brahraanical Ar)'ans never accomplished 
U Complete subjugation of these earlier races. The tribes and 
^s of non-Aryan origin numbered in 1S72 about 18 millions 
01 Eiilisli territory ; while the castes who claim a pure Aryan 
I descent are under 16 millions.'* The prc-Aryans have influ- 
tnced the popular dialects of ever)* Province, and in Southern 
India they still give their speech to 2S millions of people. 

The Vedic settlements along the five rivers of the Punjab 
«erc merely colonies or confederacies of Aryan tribes, who had 
P^isW in among a non- Aryan population. ^Vhen an Ar)an Thefr 
^ily advanced to a new territorv, it had often, as in the case ^^^1^^^ 
IliiePindava brethren, to clear the forest and drive out the 
ginal people. This double process constantly repeated 
•^; and as late as 1O57, when the Hindu Raja founded the 
present city of Bareillv, his first work was to cut down the 
jungle and expel the old Katheriyas. The ancient Brihmanical 
^doms of the Middle Land {Madhya-dtsha), in the North- 
"Citem Provinces and Oudh, were surrounded by non- Aryan 
ttiki AH the legendary advances beyond the northern centre 
•^Aiyaa civilisation, narrated in the epic poets, were made into 
1^. j- FeiKn^son, Jourtmi Roy. As. Sac, pp. 282-284, etc. (1H80). 
. *n^^ia Christiana^ lib, xi. p. 338 ; apad Fergusson, ut supra, 
yj|*^terfttimber included both Bralimans (10,574,444) and Ksbattriyas 
, ^^ Z?^"^ (Sj240*495)» l^ut, as wc have just seen, some of the Rajput tribes 
t' - ^*^ l« be of Scyihic origin, while others have laecn incorporated from 


'^J' non* Aryan Xtihc^ {vuie anJe^ ^. 91}. Such no n* Aryan RAjpuK 
owtnuraber any survivals of tiie Vsusyas of |nirc Aryan descent. 









of Rdwal 


Sixth Cen- 
tury B.C.; 

327 B.C. 

the territory of non-Arj^an races. When we begin to catch 
historical glimpses of India, we find the countries even around 
the northern Aryan centre ruled by non-Ar)'an princes. The 
Nandas, whom Chandra Gupta succeeded in Behar, appear as 
a Sddra or non- Aryan dynasty; and according to one account, 
Chandra Gupta and his grandson Asoka came of the same stock. ^ 

The Buddhist religion did much to incorporate the pre- Aryan 
tribes into the Indian polity. During the long struggle of the 
Indo-Aryans against Graeco-Bactrian and Scythian inroads (627 
B.C. to 544 A.D.), the Indian aboriginal races must have had an 
increasing importance, whether as enemies or allies. At the end 
of that struggle, we discover them ruling in some of the fairest 
tracts of Northern India, In almost every District throughout 
Oudh and the North-Western Provinces, ruined towns and forts 
are ascribed to aboriginal races who ruled at different periods, 
according to the local legends, between the 5th and nth 
centuries a.d. When the Muhammadan conquest supplies a 
firmer historical footing, after 1000 a.d., non-Aryan tribes were 
still in possession of several of these Districts, and had only 
been lately ousted from others. 

The Statistical Survey of India has brought together many 
survivals of these obscure races. It is impossible to follow that 
survey through each locality ; the following paragraphs indicate, 
with the utmost brevity, a few of the results. Starting from the 
West, Alexander the Great found Rawal Pindi District in 
the hands of the Takkas or Takshaks, from whom its Greek 
name of Taxila was derived. This people has been traced 
to a Scythian migration about the 6th century b.c.^ Their 
settlements in the 4th century ac. seem to have extended 
from the Paropamisan range* in Afghinistin to deep into 
Northern India. Their Punjab capital, Takshdsila, or Taxila, 
was the largest city which Alexander met with between the Indus 
and the Jehlam (327 b.c.).* Salihdvana, from whom the Sdka 

' The Mudrd-rdkshasa represents Chandra Gupta as related to the last 
of the Nandas ; the Commentator of the Vishnu Purdna says he was the 
son of a Nanda by a low-caste woman. Prof. Dowson's Diet. Hindu 
Mythology ^ etc., p. 68 (Triibner, 1879). 

' Such dates have no pretension to be anything more than intelligent 
conjectures based on very inadequate evidence. With regard to the Tak- 
shaks, see Colonel Tod and the authorities which he quotes, Rdjdsthdu, 
vol. i. p. $^/>assim, pp. 93 e/ seq. (Madras Reprint, 1 873). 

^ Where Alexander found them as the Parae-takae — poJiari or Hill 

* Arrian. The Brdhman mythologists, of course, produce an Aryan pedi- 
gree for so important a person as King Taksha, and make him the son of 
liharata and nephew of Rama-chandra. 




or Scythian era took its commencement (78 a.d.), is held by 
some authorities to have been of Takshak descent.^ In the 
7th century a.d., raki/-^ perhaps derived from the same race, 
was the capiul of the Punjab. The Scythic Takshaks^ indeed, 
are supposed to have been the source of the great Serpent Race, 
the Takshakas or Nagds, who figure so prominently in Sanskrit 
literature and art, and whose name is still borne by the Ndgd 
tribes of our own day. The Takkas remaining to the present 
time are found only in the Districts of Delhi and Karnal. 
They number 14,305, of whom about thrte - fourths have 
adopted the faith of Isldm. 

The words N4gi and Takshaka in Sanskrit both mean 
a * snake/ or tailed monster. As the Takshakas have been 
questionably connected with the Scythian 1'akkas, so the Nigds 
ha\'e been derived, by conjecture in the absence of evidence, 
from the Tartar patriarch Nagas, the second son of Elkhan. ' 
Both the terms, Nagds and Takshakasi seem to have been 
loosely applied hy the Sanskrit writers to a variety of non-Ar}'an 
peoples in India, whose religion was of an anti^Aryan t}pe. 
We learn, for example, how the five Pdndava brethren of 
the Mahibharata burned out the snake-king Takshaka from 
his primeval Khdndava forest, The laksliaks and Ndgas 
were the tree and serpent worshippers, whose rites and 
objects of adoration have impressed themselves deeply on the 
architecture and sculptures of India, They included, in a 
confused manner^ several different races of Scythic origin. 

The chief authority on Tree and Serpent Worship in India 
has deliberately selected the term * Scythian ' for the anti- Aryan 
elements, which entered so largely into the Indian religions 
both in ancient and in modern times,"* The Chinese records 
give a full account of the Ndga geography of ancient India. 
The Nagd kingdoms were both numerous and powerful, and 
Buddhism derived many of its royal converts from them. The 

* Tod, Ktijiisihi'ut^ vol, i, p. 95 ^cd. JS73). 

* Talci, or Asarur, 45 miles west of Lahore. General Cunningham, Ane^ 
ijtog, of India^ p, 191, and Map vi, {nA. iSji)* This Takl lies, however, 
GonKiderably to the south-east of the Takshasila of Alexander's expedition. 

* Tod, A'djiisthdft^ vol, i. p. 53 (ed. 1S73) ; a very doiil4ful authorily. 

* Dr, J. Fcrgusson^s Trtt and Serpent IVorship^ pp. 71, 72 (India 
Museum, 410, |868). For the results of more recent local research, sec 
Mr* Riven -Caniacs papers in the Jounmi oj the As, S&c.^ Bettgal^ *Tbe 
Snake Symbol m India,' 'Ancient Scidplurings on Rocks,' * Stone Carv- 
ings at Miinpuri,* etc. i the Honourable Rio Sahib Vishvanaks Nardyan 
Mandlik'i* * Serpent- Worship in Wc-stcrn India.' and other e^ays in ihe 
Bombay Ai* Stx. Jountal ; also, A'e/orfs of ArchiJCQlo^ccU Survey, Wealern 


Takshaks ; 
78 A.T). 

633 A,l». 
18S1 kA\ 






Chinese chroniclers, indeed, classify the Nagi princes of India 

into two great divisions, as Buddhists and non - Buddhists. 

The serpent-worship, which formed so typical a characteristic 

of the Indo-Scythic races, led the Chinese to confound those 

tribes with the objects of their adorations ; and the fierce Indo- 

1)€come Scythic Ndgas would almost seem to be the originals of the 

Dragon- Dragon races of Chinese Buddhism and Chinese art The 

races of compromises to which Buddhism submitted, with a view to 

China. winning the support of the Nig£ peoples, will be referred 

to in the following chapter, on the Rise of Hinduism. 

As the Greek invaders found Riwal Pindi District in 
lK)ssession of a Scythic race of Takkas in 327 rc, so the 
Musalmin conqueror found it inhabited by a fierce non- Aryan 
The race of Ghakkars thirteen hundred years later. The Ghakkars 

ofRiw^ for a time imperilled the safety of MahmiSd of Ghazni in ioo8. 
Pindi, Farishta describes them as savages, addicted to polyandry and 
1008-1857 infanticide. The tide of Muhammadan conquest rolled on, 
but the Ghakkars remained in possession of their sub-Hima- 
layan tract ^ In 1205 they ravaged the Punjab to the gates of 
Lahore; in 1206 they stabbed the Muhammadan Sultin in 
his tent ; and in spite of conversion to Islim by the sword, it 
was not till 1525 that they made their submission to the 
Emperor Babar in return for a grant of territory. During the 
next two centuries they rendered great services to the Mughal 
dynasty against the Afghdn usurpers, and rose to high influence 
in the Punjab. Driven from the plains by the Sikhs in 1765 
A.D., the Ghakkar chiefs maintained their independence in 
the Murree (Marri) Hills till 1830, when they were crushed 
after a bloody struggle. In 1849, Rdwal Pindi passed, with 
the rest of the Sikh territories, under British rule. But the 
Ghakkars revolted four years afterwards, and threatened 
Murree, the summer capital of the Punjab, as lately as 1857. 
The Ghakkars are now found in the Punjab Districts of R£wal 
Pindi, Jehlam, and Hazira. Their total number was returned 
at 25,789 in 1 88 1. They are described by their British officers 
as * a fine spirited race, gentlemen in ancestry and bearing, and 
clinging under all reverses to the traditions of noble blood.* ^ 

Pre- The population of Rawal Pindi District has been selected to 

HaremV illustrate the long-continued presence and vitality of the pre- 
District. Aryan element in India. Other parts of the country must be 

* For a summary of their later history, see article on Rawal Pindi 
District, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

* The Imperial Gazetteer of Iftdia^ article Rawal Pindi District. 




more briefly dealt with* Proceeding inwards into the North- 
western Provinces, we everywhere find traces of an eariy 
Buddhist civilisation in contact with, or overturned by, rude 
non-Aryan tribes. In Bareilly District, for example, the wild 
Ahfrs from the north, the Bhils from the south, and the Bhars 
from the east, seem to have expelled highly-developed Ar}an 
communities at some |>eriod before looo a.d. Still farther to 
the east, all remains of pre-historic masonry in Oudh and the 
North- Western Provinces are assigned to the ancient Buddhists 
or to a non-Ar)'an race of Bhars, 

The Bhars appear to have possessed the north Gangetic The Bluirs 
plains in the centuries coeval \^nth the fall of Buddhism* *" Ow^lh. 
Their kingdoms extended over most of Oudh, Lofty mounds 
covered with ancient groves mark the sites of their forgotten 
cities ; and they are the mysterious * fort-builders ' to whom 
the peasantry ascribe any ruin of unusual size. In the 
central valley of the Ganges, their power is said to have 
been crushed by the Sharki dynasty of Jaunpur in the end In Jauii- 
of the 14th century. In the Districts north of the Gan- P^"^^ 
getic plain, the Bhars figure still more prominently in local 
traditions, and an attempt has been made to trace their con- 
tinuous history. In Gorakhpur Disirict, the aboriginal in Gorakh- 
Tharus and Bhars seem to have overwhelmed the early P"''- 
outposts of Aryan civilisation several centuries before Christ. 
Their ap[»earance on the scene is connected with the rise of 
Huddhisn^. They became vassals of the Buddhist kingdom 
of Behar on the south-east; and on the fall of that power, 
about 550 A.D.» they regained their independence. The 
Chinese pilgrim in the 7th century comments in this region 
on the large number of monasteries and towers — the latter 
probably a monument of the struggle with the aboriginal 
Bhars, who were here finally crushed between the 7th and the 
loth centuries a.d. In 18S1, the total Bhar population of 
Uudh and the North- Western Provinces numbered 349^ 113. 

As we advance still farther eastwards into Bengal, we find 
that the non-.\ryan races have within historical time supplied a 
large part of the Hindu population. In the north, the Koch The Koch 
established their dominion upon the ruins of the Aryan S{oj|k ^^ 
kingdom of Kamrilp, which the Afghdn King of Bengal had Bengal, 
overthrown in 1489. The Koch gave their name to the 
Native State of Kuch Behar ; and their descendants, together In Kuch 
with those of other non- Aryan tribes, form the mass of the ^^"^• 
people in ihe neighbouring liritish Districts, such as Rangpur. In Rang- 
In 1881, they numbered i| million in Northern Bengal and P^^* 




Behar. One part of them got rid of their low origin by becom- 
ing Musalmdns, and thus obtained the social equality which 
Isldm grants to all mankind. The rest have merged more or 
less imperfectly into the Hindu population ; and about three- 
quarters of a million of them claim, in virtue of their position 
as an old dominant race, to belong to the Kshattriya caste. 
They call themselves Rijbansis, a term exactly corresponding 
to the Rdjputs of Western India. The Hinduized Rijds of 
Kuch Behar obtained for their ancestors a divine origin from 
their Brahman genealogists, in order to efface their aboriginal 
descent ; and among the nobility all mention of the Koch tribe 
was avoided. The present Mahdrijd married the daughter 
of the celebrated theistic apostle, Keshab Chandra Sen, the 
leader of the Brahmo Samdj. He is an honorary major in the 
British army, and takes a prominent part in Calcutta and 
Simla society. 

A hams of 

Proceeding still eastwards, the adjacent valley of Assam was, 
until the last century, the seat of another non-Aryan ruling 
race. The Ahams entered Assam from the south-east about 
1350 (?) A-D. ; had firmly established their power in 1663 ; 
gradually yielded to Hinduism ; and were overpowered by 
fresh Buddhist invasions from Burma between 1750 and 1825, 
when the valley was annexed to British India. The Ahams 
have been completely crushed as a dominant race ; and their 
old national priests, to the number of 253,860, have been 
forced to become tillers of the soil for a living. But the 
people of Assam are still so essentially made up of aboriginal 
races and their Hinduized descendants, that not 130,000 
persons of even alleged pure Aryan descent can be found in a 
population exceeding 4 J millions.^ 




south of 



The foregoing summary has been confined to races north of 
the Ganges. Passing to the southern Gangetic plain, we find 
that almost every tract has traditions of a pre-Aryan tribe, 
either as a once-dominant race or as lying at the root of the 
local population. The great Division of Bundelkhand con- 
Aborigines tains several crushed peoples of this class, and takes its name 

in Central from the Bundelas, a tribe of at least semi-aboririnal descent. 
India ; ° 

^ The Brihmans in Assam number only 119,075 (being fewer than the 
Kalitas or old priests of the Ahams, 253,860), out of a total population 
in Assam of 4,881,426 ; while the Koch alone number about 230,382, and 
even the crushed Ahams 179,314. For further particulars regarding these 
races, see The Imperial Gazetteer of India ^ article Assam. 


'ES. 1S9 

.is wt rise from the Gangetic plains into the highlands of 

liie Central Provinces, we reach the abiding home of the noa- 

Arfm tnbes. One such race after another — Gaulis, Niigas, 

Condi:, Ahirs, Bhils — ruled from the Satpura plateau.^ Some 

I of their chiefs and leading families now claim to be Kshattriyas; 

land a section of one of the lowest races, the Chauhins, 

IboTTOwcd their name from the noble * Chauhin * Rdjputs, 

In the Lower Provinces of Bengal, we find the delta in Lower 
[peopled by masses of pre-Aryan origin. One section of them ^'^S*!; 
(merged into low-class Hindus ; another section has sought 
I more equal social organization by accepting the creed of 
Jfuhammad. But such changes of faith do not alter their 
Jeilinial type ; and the Musalman of the delta dififers as widely 
I race from the Afghdn, as the low-caste Hindu of the delta 
fcTS from the Brahman. Throughout Southern India, the in 
K\Tyan elements form almost the entire population, and ?^?*^^*'*'" 
I supplied the great Dra vidian family of language^, which 
Sipokcn by 28 millions of people. Two of our oldest and 
most faithful allies in the Madras Presidency, the enlightened 
djrwstyof Travancore, and the ancient princes of Pudukotta, 
arc survivals of the time when non- Aryan sovereigns ruled over 
Soutbem India. 

The Scythic inroads, and the ancient N4gi and so-called 
tribes, have» however^ not merely left behind 
; of races in individual Districts, They have affected 
[lie character of the whole population, and profoundly 
ed the religious beliefs and domestic institutions of 
In the Veda we see highly developed communities 
'^C the Ar)'an stock, worshipping bright and friendly gods, 
honouring woman, and assigning to her an important position 
in ihe family life: Husband and wife were the Dampaft, or 
joint Hilers of the Indo-Aryan household. Traditions of the 
Worn of woman among the ancient Aryan settlers survive in 
tbe muyamvara or Maid en *s Own Choice of a Husband, in 
the epK poems, 

The curtain of Vedic and Post-Vedic literature falls upon 
^c scene before the 5th century B.C. When the curtain rises 
^ the domestic and religious life of mediaeval India, in the 

' See CismuL Pto V i % c es, 77i£ Imperial Gazetteer &f India. The G aul is 
vt IoqUj beiieved to have liccn earlier fort^buildefs than the Goods (see 
fcrttample, article SaOSER); and some of the Gond chiefs trice iheir 
**"^l ^hriiugh 54 generations lo a well-recorded ancestor assigned to 91 
*^^ t*ct Tht Impenal Gauitar of Indm, article SvR vNtsUAH). 

and Naga 

On the 




life of 





Purdnas about the loth century a.d., a vast change has taken 
place. The people are no longer sharply divided into civilised 
Aryans and rude non-Aryans, but into castes of a great mixed 
population. Their religion is no longer a worship of bright 
and friendly gods, but a composite product of Aryan spiritual 
conceptions and non-Aryan superstitions. The position of 
woman has also altered for the worse. Husband and wife are 
no longer * joint rulers ' of the household. The Maiden's Own 
Choice has fallen into disuse, or survived only as a Court 
pageant ; the custom of child-marriage has grown up. The 
widow has been condemned to a life of privation, or has 
been taught the merit of extinguishing her existence on her 
husband's funeral pile. 

The following chapter will exhibit this amorphous growth, 
popularly known as Hinduism. Orthodox Hindus are 
The unfortunately in the habit of claiming the authority of the 

the^eda. ^^^^ ^*^^ ^'^^ mediaeval institutions, for the evil as well as for 
the good. As a matter of fact, these institutions are the joint 
product of non-Aryan darkness and of Aryan light. The 
Scythic, and Nagi, and so-called aboriginal races, with their 
indifference to human suffering, their polyandric households, and 
their worship of fear and blood, have left their mark deep in 
the Hindu law-codes, in the terrorizing of the Hindu religion, 
and in the degradation of woman. English scholarship has 
shown that the worst feature of Hinduism, widow-burning, had 
no authority in the Veda. When it is equally well understood 
that the darker features of Hinduism, as a whole, rest not 
upon the Vedic scriptures, but are the result of a human 
compromise with non-Aryan barbarism, the task of the Indian 
reformer will be half accomplished. It is with a true popular 
instinct that the great religious movements of India in our day 
reject the authority of mediaeval Hinduism, and appeal back 
to the Veda. 

[^91 ] 



From these diverse races, pre-Aryan, Arj^an, and Scythic, RrsE of 
the population of India has been made up. The task of J^*^^^'^*^' 
organizing them fell to the Brdhmans. That ancient caste, 
which had never quitted the scene even during the height 
of the Buddhistic supremacy, stepped forward to the front 
of the stage upon the decay of the Buddhist faith. The 
Chinese pilgrim, about 640 a.d, had found Brdhmanisra 
and Buddhism co-existing throughout India, The conflict of 
creeds brought forth a great line of Brdhman apostles, from 
the Sth lu the 16th century a,d., with occasional successors 
down to our own day. The disintegration of Buddhism, as 
we have seen, occupied many hundred years, perhaps from 

[300 to 1000 A.D.l 

The Hindus take the Sth century as the turning-point in the Kumarila, 
struggle. About 750 a,d., arose a holy Brdhman of Bengal, ^^ ^^ 
Kumdrila Bhatta by name, preaching the old Vedic doctrine 
of a personal Creator and God. Before this realistic theolog)% 
the impersonal abstractions of the Buddhists succumbed ; and 
according to a later legend, the reformer wielded the sword of 
the flesh not less trenchantly than the weapons of the spirit* 
A Sanskrit writer, Madhava-Achdrya, of the 14th century a.d,, 
relates how Sudhanwan, a prince in Southern India, 'com- 
manded his servants to put to death the old men and the Persecu- 
children of the Buddhists, from the bridge of Rdma [the ridge i'/^,[5j[ji,'f^^ 
of reefs which connects India with Ceylon] to the Snowy 
Mountain : let him w*ho slays not, be slain.' ^ 

* From the language of llie Sa<3tlharn>a Pundarika, translated inlo 
Chinese before the end of ihe jrtl centnry A.D.» H, H. Wilson infers 
that even at thai early date *the career of the Biiddhi^its had noi l^een one 
of uninterrupted success, sihhough the oppo^iilion had not Ijeen such as 
to arrest their progress* (£xw'J, voL ii, p. 366, ed. 1S62). The existence 
of Buddhism in India is abundantly altestcd to 1000 A.D. 

' Quoted hy If. H. Wilson, ut supra. See also Lassen's Imiiiche 
AiU'tihuttislmtik, vol, iv. p. 70S ; Colcbrookc's Esfays^ p. 190. 



True value 
of the 

Ijasis of 

caste and 

Caste has 1:1 
of Hindu- 

The nicc- 
orlf^in of 

by 'occu- 
pation ^ 
and ' lo- 
cality, ' 

of casie. 

It IS needless to say that no sovereign existed at that time 
in India whose power to persecute extended from the Htmi- 
layas to Cape Comorin. So far as the legend has any tnith, 
it refers to one of many local religious reprisals which took 
place at the Indian courts during the struggle between the 
Buddhists and the Brihmans. Such reprisals recurred in btcr 
days, on a smaller scale^ between the rival Hindu sects. The 
legend of Kuoiarila is significant^ however, as placing on a re- 
ligious basis the series of many-sided evolutions which resulted 
in Hinduism. These evolutions were the result of ethnicil 
processes, more subtle than the scheming of any caste of men 
The Brdhmans gave a direction to Hinduism^ but it was 
natural development of the Indian races which produced it 

Hinduism is a social organization and a religious 
federacy. As a social organization, it rests upon caste, 
its roots deep down in the ethnical elements of the Indi 
people. As a religious confedcracyi it represents the o 
tion of the old Vedic faith of the Brahmans with Buddhii 
on the one hand, and with the ruder rites of the pre-. 
and IndO'Scythic races on the other. 

The ethnical basis of caste is disclosed in the fourfold divii 
of the people into the 'twice-born' Aryan castes, indi 
the Brdhmans, Kshattriyas (Rdjputs), and Vaisyas; and i 
* once-born * non- Aryan Siidras. The Census proves that this 
classification remains the fundamental one to the present day. 
The three * twice-born* castes still wear the sacred thread, and 
claim a joint, although an unequal, inheritance in the holy 
books of the Veda. The ' once-born ' castes are still denied 
the sacred thread, and their initiation into the old religioQS 
literature of the Indo-Ar)^ans has only been effected by the 
secular teaching of our Anglo-Indian schools. But while caste 
has thus its foundations deep in the distinctions of race, lu 
superstructure is regulated by another system of division, based 
en the occupations of the people. The early classification of \ 
the people may be expressed either ethnically as *twice-bom* 
Ar)'ans, and ' once-born ' non-Ar)'ans ; or socially, as priests, 
warriors, husbandmen, and serfs, C^ these two principles ol 
classification, according to race and to employment, sti^t 
further modified by geographical position^ has been built 1^ 
the ethnical and social organization of Indian caste. 

From the resulting cross-divisions arises an excessive co^ 
plexity, which renders any brief exposition of caste superfici -* 
As a rule, it may be said that the Aryan or * twice-bor^ ' 
castes adhere most closely to the ethnical principle 






division; the *once-bom' or distinctly non-Ar>'an to the 
same principle, but profoundly modified by the concurrent 
principle of employment ; while the mixed progeny of the two 
are classified solely according to their occupation. But even Even the 
among the Brdhmans, whose pride of race and continuity of ^''^"™***^ 
tradition should render them the firmest ethnical unit among ethnical 
the Indian castes, classification by emplo)Tnent and by geo- ^^^^ 
graphical situation plays a very important part ; and the Brdh- 
mans, so far from being a compact unit, are made up of several 
hundred castes, who cannot intermarry, nor eat food cooked 
by each other. They follow ever)* employment, from the 
calm pandits of Behar in their stainless white robes, and the 
haughty priests of Benares, to the potato-growing Brabmans 
of Orissa, * half naked peasants^ struggling along under their 
baskets of yams, with a filthy little Brihmanical thread over 
their shoulder/ * 

In many parts of India, Brdhmans may be found earning The Brah- 
their livelihood as porters, shepherds, cultivators, potters, and ^^" ^^^^^ 
fishermen, side by side with others who would rather starve ' 
and see their wives and little ones die of hunger, than 
demean themselves to manual labour, or allow food prejxtred 
by a man of inferior caste to pass their lips. Classification by 
locality introduces another set of distinctions among the 
Brihmans, In Lower Bengal jails, a convict Brihman from 
Behar or the North- Western Provinces used to be highly 
valued, as the only person who could prepare food for all classes 
of Brihman prisoners* In 1864, the author saw a Brdhman 
felon try to starve himself to death, and submit to a flogging 
rather than eat his food, on account of scruples as to whether 
the birthplace of the N'orth -Western Brahman, who had cooked 
it, was equal in sanctity to his own native district. The 
Brahmans are popularly divided into ten great septs, according 
to their locality ; five on the north, and five on the south of tlie 
Vindhya range.^ But the minor distinctions are innumer- 
able. Thus, the first of the five northern Brahman septs, the 

* See Hunter*s Oriua, vol i. pp. 238 ^ sr^. (cd. 1872), where 25 pages 
arc devotecl to the diversities of the Brahmans in occupation and race. 
Also Bindu Tribts and CasUi, by the Kcv. M. A, S herring, Imrod, xjsL 
T^ol. ii. i4to. Calcutta^ 1879)- 

t* Thus tabulated according lo a Sanskrit mnemonic Shka: — 
L The five Gauras north of the Vindhyd range— 
(i) The Sdranmtas, so csdlcd from the couiury watered by 
the river Saraswatl. 
(2) The Kdnyakuhjits, so calkd from the Kanyakubja or 
Kanauj country. 


Sdraswatas in the Punjab, consist of 469 classes.^ Sherring 
enumerated 1886 separate Brdhmanical tribes.^ Dr. Wilson, 
of Bombay, carried his learned work on Caste to the length of 
two volumes, aggregating 678 pages, before his death; but he 
had not completed his analysis of even a single caste — the 
The lower It will be readily understood, therefore, how numerous are 
more^com- '^^ sub-di visions, and how complex is the constitution, of the 
plex. lower castes. The Rijputs now number 590 separately- 

named tribes in different parts of India.* But a process of 
synthesis as well as of analysis has been going on among the 
Indian peoples. In many outlying Provinces, we see non- 
Aryan chiefs and warlike tribes turn into Aryan Rdjputs 
before our eyes.* Well-known legends have been handed 
down of large bodies of aliens being incorporated from 
time to time even into the Brdhman caste.^ But besides 
these * manufactured Brdhmans,' and the ethnical syncretisms 
which they represent, there has been a steady process of 
amalgamation among the Hindus by mixed marriage.* The 
The build- SiSdras, says Mr. Sherring, * display a great intermingling 
aiffes. ^^ races. Every caste exhibits this confusion. They form 
a living and practical testimony to the fact that in former 
times the upper and lower classes of native society, by which I 

(3) The Gauras proper, so called from Gaur, or the country 

of the Lower Ganges. 

(4) The Utkalasy of the Province of Ulkala or Odra (Orissa). 

(5) The MaUhilas, of the Province of Mithila (Tirhut). 
II. The five Dravidas south of the Vindhya range — 

(i) The MahdrdshtraSj of the country of the Mardthi language. 

(2) The Andhras or TaUangas^ of the country of the Telugu 


(3) The Dravidas proper, of the country of the Dravidian or 

Tamil language. 

(4) The Kanidtasy of the Karnitika, or the country of the 

Canarese language. 

(5) The Curjaras^ of Gurjarashtra, or llie country of the 

Gujarati language. 
^ Compiled by Pandit Radhd Krishna, quoted by Dr. J. Wilson, Imiian 
Caste y part ii. pp. 126-133. 

* Hindu Tribes and Castes^ pp. xxii.-xlvi. voL ii. (4to, Calcutta, 1879). 
' See Sherring, Hindu Tribes and Castes y vol. ii. pp. Iv.-lxv. 

* See Sherring, Hindu Tribes and CasteSy vol. ii. p. Ixvii. 

* Hunter's Orissay vol. i. p. 247 (in Oudh), p. 248 (in Bhagalpur), 
p. 254 (in Malabar), etc. 

* See two interesting articles from opposite points of view, on the 
synthetic aspects of caste, by the Rev. Mr. Sherring, of Benares, and by 
Jogendra Chandra Ghose, in the Calcutta RevieWy Oct. 1880. 


Ditan the Hindu and non-Hindu population of India, formed 
aJluEices with one another on a prodigious scale, and that the 
offspring of these alliances were in many instances gathered 
together into separate castes and denominated Siidras.** 

The Hindu custona now forbids marriage between (1) per- The slow 
sons of the same^/m or kindred, and {2) persons of different ^^J^j JJ* 
*Mt^ Hut this precise double rule has been arrived at only ifindu 
after many intermediate experiments in endogamous and exo- j"^"i^e 
famous tribal life. The transitions are typified by the polyandry 
of Draupadi in the Mahdbhdrata, and by many caste customs 
fcbting to marriage, inheritance, and the family tie, which 
sunrive to this day. Such survivals constitute an important 
bfinch of law, in fact, the domestic * common law' of India^^ 
ind famish one of the chief difficulties in the way of Anglo- 
Indian codification. Thus, to take a single point, the rules Survivals 

' regarding marriage esthibit every phase from the compiilsor>' *' ^^^^^ 
polyandry of the old Nairs, the permissive polyandry of the 
Punjab Jats, and the condonement of adultery with a husband's 
brother or kinsman among the Karakat Vellalars of Madura ; 
to the law of Levirate among the Ahirs and Nuniyds, the legal 
rwaarriage of widows among the low-caste Hindus, and the 

I stringent provbions against such re-marriages among the higher 
cwta. At this day, the Nairs exhibit several of the stages in 

I tte advance from polyandric to monogamous institutions. 
The conflict between polyandry and the more civilised marriage 
system of the Hindus is going on before ottr eyes in Malabar. 
Among the Koils, although polyandry is forgotten, the right of 
&posing of a girl in marriage slill belongs, in certain cases, 
to the maternal uncle, — a relic of the polyandric system ot 
succession through females. This tribe also preserves the form 
flfmaniage by * capture.' 

The Brdhmanas indicate that the blood of the Hindus Ancient 
^ even in the early post-Vedic period, greatly intermingled^^ mingling 
The ancient marriage code recognised as lawful, unions of 
^^ of higher caste with females from any of the lower ones, 
^ their offspring * had a quite different social status from 

' C%tiuitii Riviav, cxlii. p. 225. 

* .^mtrng many treatises on this subject, Arthur Steele's Laxo und Custom 
tf Hindu GiJ/r/ (1S68) deals with Western India ; Nelson *s Vieu» of Hindu 
^ U^77)i and Bumeirs JJnyazid/id^j, etc., may be quoted for the 
Madrai Ptcsidcncy ; Beames' admirable edition of Sir Henry Elliol's 
^^'»^ ff/ the North * Wtstcrn Priwimes^ and Sherring's Himiu Tribes 
Wd<s more strictly legal treatises), for Bengal. 

f u^ ^^^^^^y^ Brdhmatm of ihc Krishna ^'ajur Veda (quoted by Dr. 
J >^i/»eo, Coju^ k pp. 127-132) enumerates 159 castes. * Atmhfna. 



The * oc- 
basis of 

(if * fjKccu- 
pa I ion 

The Vais 


smiths of 

the progeny^ of illicit concubinage. The laws of M*ttu 
disclose how widely such connections had influenced tb^ 
structure of Indian society 2000 years ago ; and the Census 
proves that the mixed castes still form the great body of tJwf 
Hindu population. In dealing with Indian caste, we must 
therefore allow, not only for the ethnical and geographical 
elements into which it is resolvable, but also for the synthetic 
processes by which it has been built up. 

The same remark applies to the other principle of cbadfr 
cation on which caste rests, namely, according to the employ- 
ments of the people* On the one hand, there has been a 
tendency to erect every separate employment in each sejiarate 
Province into a distinct caste. On the other hand, there has 
^ been a practice (which European observ^ers are apt to over- 
look) of the lower castes changing their occupation, and in 
some cases deliberately raising themselves in the social scale 
Thus the Vaisya caste, literally the vis or general body of 
the Aryan settlers, were in ancient times the tillers of the 
soil They have abandoned this laborious occupation to the 
Siidra and mixed castes, and are now the merchants and 
bankers of India. ' Fair in complexion,' writes the most 
accurate of recent students of caste,^ *with rather delicaw 
features, and a certain refinement depicted on their coun- 
tenances, sharp of eye^ intelligent of face^ and polite of 
bearing,' the Vaisyas * must have radically changed since the 
days when their forefathers delved, sowed, and reaped.' Indcedj 
so great is the change, that a heated controversy is going on in 
Hindu society as to whether the Bengali b*iniyds^ or merchant- 
bankers, are really of Vaisya descent or of a higher origin. 

Such a rise in the social scale is usually the unconscious 
work of time, but there are also legends of distinct acts of self- 
assertion by individual castes. In Southern India, the gold- 
smiths strenuously resisted the rule of the Brahmans, and for 
ages claimed to be the true spiritual guides, styling themselves 
ik/uiryas, * religious teachers,* and wearing the sacred thread- 
Their pretensions are supposed to have given rise to the 
great division of castes in Madras, into the * Right-hand,' or 
the cultivating and trading castes who supported the Brahmans; 

^ rraiihma. For an arrangement of 134 Indian castes, according ^ 
their origin, or * procession' from (i) regular full marriage by mctnb*'* 
of the same caste, (2) aftnloma^ (3) pratihma^ (4) Vrdtya-Saataitt (S) 
atlukery, (6) incest, (7) degeneration ; Wilson, Jnduitt Coite^ u, pp. 3^7®* 

* The Rev, Nf , A. Sherring (deceased, alas, since the above was writtcfl« 
after a life of noble devotion and self-.sacrificc to the Indian peopW^ 
CaimUa Revitw^ Octobci 1880, p, 22a ^ 


^the 'Left-hand,' chiefly craftsmen who sided with the artisan 
0|)fX)sition to Brdhman supremacy.^ 

In fiengal, a similar opposition came from the literary class. The 
Tbc Dattas, a sept of the Kiyasth or writer - caste, re- of^Bengal. 
noonced the position assigned to them in the classification 
of Hindu society. They claimed to rank next to the Brdhmans, 
and thus above all the other castes. They failed ; but a 
native author' states that one of their body, within the 
memory of men still living, maintained his title, and wore 
the sacred thread of the pure * twice-born.' The Statistical 
Sonrey of India has disclosed many self-assertions of this 
soct, although of a more gradual character and on a smaller 
scale. Thus, in Eastern Bengal, where land is plentiful, the 
Shihas, a section of the Sun's or degraded spirit-sellers, have. The 
in our own time, advanced themselves first into a respectable ^* 
cultivating caste, and then into prosperous traders. Some of 
the Telis or oil-pressers in Dacca District, and certain of the Telfs, 
Timbulfs or /i«- growers in Rangpur, have in like manner ^^^ " ^ 
risen above their hereditary callings, and become bankers and 
grain merchants. These examples do not include the general 
opening of professions, effected by English education — the 
great solvent of caste. 

There is therefore a plasticity as well as a rigidity in caste. Plasticity 
Its plasticity has enabled caste to adapt itself to widely ^."^ ,. . 
separated stages of social progress, and to incorporate caste, 
the various ethnical elements which make up the Indian 
people. Its rigidity has given strength and permanence to 
the corporate body thus formed. Hinduism is internally 
bosely coherent, but it has great powers of resistance to 
external pressure. Each caste is to some extent a trade- Caste, as 
gwld, a mutual assurance society, and a religious sect. As a ofYrade^ 
tiade-union, it insists on the proper training of the youth of guilds, 
its craft, regulates the wages of its members, deals with trade- 
Winquents, and promotes good fellowship by social gather- 
^Dgs. The famous fabrics of mediaeval India, and the chief 
kx:al bdustries in our own day, were developed under the 
^'^rvision of caste or trade guilds of this sort. Such guilds 
^y still be found in many parts of India, but not always 
^the same complete development.^ 

Thii subject is involved in much obscurity. The above sentences 
**hody the explanation given in Nelson's Vieiu of the Hindu Law, as 
*^'**^istmd by the High C(niri of Madras, p. 140 (Madras, 1877). 

Jogendrt Chandra Ghose, Calcutta Revinu, cxlii. p. 279 (October 1880). 

'»'« Statistical Accounts or Gazetteers of the Bombay Districts dcvoto 
'special section to such trade-guilds in every District. 



In Ahmadabad District* each trade forms a separate 
guild. All heads of artisan households are ranged under their 
Its proper guild. The objects of the guild are to regulate com- 

©nlri^et^ petition among the members, and to uphold the interest of 
the body in disputes with other craftsmen. To moderate com- 
petition, the guild appoints certain days as trade holidays, when 
any member who works is punished by a fine. A special 
case occurred in 1873 among the Ahmad^bdd bricklayers. 
Men of this class sometimes added 3d. to their daily wages 
by working extra time in the early morning. But several 
/amilies were thereby thrown out of employment Accord- 
ingly the guild met, and decided that as there was not employ- 
ment for all, no man should be allowed to work extra time. 

The decisions of the guild are enforced by fines. If the 
offender refuses to pay, and the members of the guild all 
belong to one caste, the offender is put out of caste. If the 
guild contains men of different castes, the guild uses its 
influence with other guilds to prevent the recusant member 
from getting work. The guild also acts in its corporate 
capacity against other crafts. For example, in 1872, the 
Ahmaddbdd cloth - dealers resolved among themselves to 
reduce the rates paid to the sizers or idgids. The sizers* 
guild refused to prepare cloth at the lower rates, and 
An Indian remained six weeks on strike. At length a compromise was 

of the 

* strike.* 



interests V 
caste : 

arrived at, and both guilds signed a stamped agreement. 

Besides its punitive fines, the guild draws an income from 
fees levied on persons beginning to practise its craft. This 
custom prevails at Ahmaddbdd in the cloth and other industries. 
But no fee is paid by potters, carpenters, and inferior artisans. 
An exception is made, too, in the case of a son succeeding to 
his father, when nothing need be paid. In other cases, the 
amount varies, in proportion to the importance of the trade, 
from £^ to ;;^5o. The revenue from these fees and from 
punitive fines is expended in feasts to the members of the guild, 
in the support of poor craftsmen or their orphans, and in 
charity. A favourite device for raising money in Surat is for 
the members of a trade to agree to keep a certain date as a 
holiday, and to shut up all their shops except one. The right 
to keep open this one shop is let by auction, and the amount 
bid is credited to the guild-fund. 

Within the guild, the interests of the common trade often 
supersede the race element of the theoretically common caste. 
Thus, in Surat, each class of craftsmen, although including men 
1 See the article, The Imptrial Gazetteer of India, 


of different castes and races, conibme to form a guild, with 
a council, a head-man, and a common purse for charity and 
eoteitainments. In Ahmadibdd, Broach, and many industrial in trade 
centres, the trade organization into guilds co-exists with, or ^^"^'^^^ ' 
dominates, the race-structure of caste. A twofold organization 
also appears in the village community. Caste regulates the in the vil- 
theoretical position of every family within it ; but the low- J^ni^y"*" 
castes often claim the headship in the village government. 

In Bir^t Sub -district in Bengal, of 5818 enumerated Low-caste 
Village Heads, only 15 were Brahmans or Rijputs, 4 were y*^^^^* 
Kiyasths, while 3524 belonged to the Siidra or inferior castes, 
down to the detested cow-skinners and corpse-bearers; the 
residue being Muhammadans, with 13 native Christians. In 
Southern India, the Village Head is sometimes of so low a 
caste that he cannot sit under the same roof with his colleagues 
in the village government He therefore hands up his staff, 
which is set in the place of honour, while he himself squats 
on the ground outside. The trade-guild in the cities, and the Caste and 
village community throughout the country, act, together with .* ™"^"^^ , 
caste, as mutual assurance societies, and under normal con- 
ditions allow none of their members to starve. Caste, and the No 'poor- 
trading or agricultural guilds concurrent with it, take the place l^^. *" 
of a poor-law in India. 

h is obvious that such an organization must have some Caste 
weapons for defending itself against lazy or unworthy members, rewards. 
The responsibility which the caste discharges with regard to 
feeding its poor, would otherwise be liable to abuses. As a 
natter of fact, the caste or guild exercises a surveillance over 
each of its members, from the close of childhood until death. 
If a man behaves well, he will rise to an honoured place in 
hb caste ; and the desire for such local distinctions exercises 
^ important influence in the life of a Hindu. But the 
caste has its punishments as well as its rewards. Those Caste pun- 
punishments consist of fine and excommunication. The fine *'^^^"»^"^^- 
'Kually takes the form of a compulsory feast to the male 
roembers of the caste. This is the ordinary means of purifica- 
tion, or of making amends for breaches of the caste code. 

Excommunication inflicts three penalties : First, an interdict Excommu- 
^inst eating with the fellow-members of the caste. Second, "^cation, 
an interdict against marriage within the caste. This practically 
amounts to debarring the delinquent and his family from 
respectable marriages of any sort. Third, cutting off the 
fleiinquent from the general community, by forbidding him 
"^ ''sc of the village barber and washerman, and of the 


priestly adviser. Except in very serious cases, excommunica- 
tion is withdrawn upon the submission of the offender, and 
his payment of a fine. Anglo-Indian law does not enforce 
caste-decrees. But caste punishments exercise an efficacious 
restraint upon unworthy members of the community, precisely 
as caste rewards supply a powerful motive of action to good 
ones. A member who cannot be controlled by this mixed 
discipline of punishment and reward is eventually expelled ; 
and, as a rule, an * out-caste ' is really a bad man. Imprison- 
ment in jail carries with it that penalty ; but may be condoned 
after release, by heavy expiations. 

Rccapitu- Such is a brief survey of the nature and operation of caste. 

lation of jj^j ^^ cross-divisions on which the institution rests ; its con- 
flicting principles of classification according to race, employ- 
ment, and locality ; the influence of Isldm in Northern India ; 
of the * right-handed ' and * left-handed ' branches in the 
South ; ^ 2lnd the modifications everywhere effected by social 
or sectarian movements, render a short account of caste full 
of difficulties. 

Thereligi- Hinduism is, however, not only a social organization resting 
of Hindu- "P^° QZ!^^^ \ it is also a religious federation based upon w^or- 
ism. ship. As the various race elements of the Indian people 

have been welded into caste, so the simple old beliefs of the 
Veda, the mild doctrines of Buddha, and the fierce rites of 
the non-Aryan tribes have been thrown into the melting-pot, 
and poured out thence as a mixture of alloy and dross to be 
worked up into the Hindu gods. In the religious as in the 
social structure, the Brahmans supplied the directing brain- 
Its stages power. But both processes resulted from laws of human 
evolution, deeper than the workings of any individual will ; 
and in both, the product has been, not an artificial manufac- 
ture, but a natural development. Hinduism merely forms one 
link in the golden chain of Indian religions. We have seen 
that the career of Buddha was but a combination of the ascetic 
and the heroic Aryan life as recorded in the Indian epics. 
Indeed, the discipline of the Buddhists organized so faithfully 
the prescribed stages of a Brihman*s existence, that it is 
difficult to decide whether the Sarmanai of Megasthenes were 
Buddhist clergy or Brdhman recluses. If accurate scholarship 
cannot accept Buddhism as simply the Sdnkhya philosophy 
turned into a national religion, it admits that Buddhism is a 
natural development from Brdhman ism. An early set of 

* See Crole's Statistical Account of ChingUput District ^ pp. 33, 34 (1879). 

of evolu 


intennediate Unks is found in the darsanas, or philosophical 
sjstems, between the Vedic period and the establishment ot 
fioddhism as a national religion under Asoka (1400? to 250 
&c). A later set is preserved in the compromises effected 
daring the final struggle between Buddhism and Brdhmanism, 
ending in the re-assertion of the latter in its new form as the 
religion of the Hindus (700 to 1000 a.d.). 

Buddhism not only breathed into the new birth its noble Buddhist 
spirit of charity, but bequeathed to Hinduism many of its JJjf JJIJJl*^ 
institutions unimpaired, together with its scheme of religious duism. 
life, and the material fabric of its worship. At this day, the 
meUjan or bankers' guild, in Surat, devotes part of the fees 
that it levies on bills of exchange to animal hospitals ; true Beast 
survivals of Asoka's second edict, which provided a system °^^^^^ '* 
of medical aid for beasts, 250 years before Christ. The 
cenobitic life, and the division of the people into laity 
and clergy, have passed almost unchanged from Buddhism 
into the present Hindu sects, such as the Vaishnavs or 

The Hindu monasteries in our own day vie with the Buddhist Monas- 
convents in the reign of Sfldditya ; and Purf is, in many respects, ^^'^'^** 
a modem unlettered Nalanda, The religious houses of the 
Oiissa delta, with their revenue of ;^5o,ooo a year,^ are but 
Hindu developments of the Buddhist cells and rock-monas- 
teries, whose remains still honeycomb the adjacent hills. 

If we examine the religious life of the Vishnuite commu- 
nities, we find their rules are Buddhistic, with Brdhmanical 
Kasons attached. Thus the moral code of the Kabir-panthis The rcli- 
consists of five rules : * First, life, whether of man or beast, g'^us life, 
must not be violated ; because it is the gift of God. Second, 
humanity is the cardinal virtue ; and the shedding of blood, 
•hcther of roan or beast, a heinous crime. Third, truth is the 
peat principle of conduct ; because all the ills of life and 
Ignorance of God are due to original falsehood {tndyd). 
Fourth, retirement from the world is desirable ; because the 
desires of the world are hostile to tranquillity of soul, and to 
the undisturbed meditation on God. Fifth, obedience to the 
spmtual guide is incumbent on all. This last rule is common 
to tvery sect of the Hindus. But the Kabfr-panthfs direct 
^"^pop'ito examine well his teacher's life and doctrine before 

'"ato th^nl- ^ ^^^ Committee of native gentlemen appointed to inquire 
sjf ;f^^ ma/ks, dated 25th March 1869, par. 15. 

• ^^'ilson's Religion of the Hindus^ vol. i. p. 94 (cd. 1862). 


he resigns himself to his control. If we did not know that 
Buddhism was itself an outgrowth from primitive Brihmanism, 
we might hold this code to be simple Buddhism, with the 
addition of a personal God But knowing, as we do, that 
Brdhmanism and Buddhism were themselves closely con- 
nected, and that they combined to form Hinduism; it is 
impossible to discriminate how far Hinduism was made up by 
direct transmission from Buddhism or from Brdhmanism. 

Buddhist The influence of Buddhism on the Christianity of the western 
influences world has been referred to at p. 152. Whatever uncertainties 
religions, ^^^ly Still obscure that question, the effect of Buddhism upon 
the present faiths of Eastern Asia admits of no doubt. The 
best elements in the teaching of Buddha have survived in 
modem Hinduism; and Buddhism carried with it essential 
doctrines of Brdhmanism to China and Japan, together with 
Serpent certain characteristics of Indian religious art. The snake 
ornamen- ornamentation, which figures so universally in the religion 
of India, is said to have been carried by Buddhism alike to 
In the east and the west Thus, the canopy or baldachino over 

Hinduism; jj^^^^j^,g j^^^^ delights in twisted pillars and wavy pat- 
In terns. These wave-like ornaments are conventionalized into 
Buddhism; doud curves in most of the Chinese and Japanese canopies ; 
but some of them still exhibit the original figures thus 
symbolized as undulating serpents or Ndgds. A serpent 
baldachino of this sort may be seen in a monastery at Ningpo.^ 
It takes the place of the cobra-headed canopy, which in India 
shelters the head of Siva, or of Vishnu as he slept upon the 
In Chris- waters at the creation of the world. The twisted columns 
tian an. -^^hich support the baldachino at St. Peter's in Rome, and the 
fluted ornamentation so common over Protestant pulpits, are 
said to have a serpentine origin, and an eastern source. The 
association of Buddha with two other figures, in the Japanese 
temples, perhaps represents a recollection of the Brahman 
triad. The Brdhmanical idea of trinity, in its Buddhist 
development as Buddha, Dharma (the Law), and Sangha (the 
Congregation), deeply penetrates the faith. The Sacred Tooth 
of Buddha at Ceylon is a reproduction of the phallic linga of 
Coalition Buddhism readily coalesced with the pre-existing religions 
i^mwith^* °^ primitive races. Thus, among the hill tribes of Eastern 
earlier Bengal, we see the Khyaungthas, or * Children of the River/ 
gions : , yj^^ authority for this statement is an unpublished drawing by Miss 
Gordon Gumming. 



into Buddhists without giving up their aboriginal rites. In India : 
ill offer rice and fruits and flowers to the spirits of hill 
and strewn ; * and the Buddhist priests, although condemning 
the oistom as unorthodox, do not very violently oppose it. In in Japon. 
Jj[in, a Buddhist saint visited the hill-slope of Hotoke Iwa in 
767 A.D. ; declared the local Shinto deity to be only a mani- 
festation of Buddha ; and so converted the old idolatrous high- 
place into a Buddhist shrine. Buddhism has thus sened as Shrines 
a link between the ancient faiths of India and the modem ^^^^5"^^* 
worship of the eastern world. It has given sanctity to the centres faiihs, 
of common pilgrimage, to which the great faiths of Asia resort. 
Thus, the Siva- worshippers ascend the top of Adam's Peak in Adam's 
Ceylon, to adore the footprint of their phallic god, the Swa- 
fada; the Buddhists repair to the spot to revere the same 
lymbol as the footmark of Buddha ; and the Muhainmadans 
Tcnerate it as a relic of Adam, the Semitic father of 

Many common shrines of a similar character exist in India. Scikhi 

Tl)* famous place of pilgrimage at Sakhi SarwMr crowns the ^*^^^''*^' 

%h bank of a hill stream at the foot of the Sulaimin range, 

ta the midst of desert scenery, well adapted to penitents who 

^uld monify the flesh. To this remote spot, ihe Mubam- 

inadans come in honour of a Musalman saint ; the Sikhs to 

a memorial of their theistic founder, Ndnak ; and the 

to perform their own ablutions and rites. The mount 

Madras, associated in Catholic legend with the martyrrlom 

<*f St, Thomas, was originally a common hill-shrine for Muham- 

Mdans, Christians, and Hindus, b'uch hill-shrines for joint 

ftonhip are usually either rock-fortresses, like Kalinjar in the 

Vorth-VS^estern Provinces and Chunar overhanging the Ganges, 

or nver-islands, like the beautiful islet on the Indus just below 

iHe new railway bridge at Sakkar. The object of common 

a^lomion is frequently a footmark in stone. This the Hindus 

Generate as the footprint of Vishnu or Siva {Vishmtpad or 

&itf^^; while the Musalmdns revere it as the footprint 

«f Muhammad {Kadam-rasui), The mingled architecture of 

sonie of these pilgrim-sites attests the various races and creeds 

tbat combined to give them sanctity. Buddhism, which in 

wra« respects was at first a revolt against Brdhman supremacy, 

Has done much to maintain the continuity between the ancient 

and the modem religions of India, 

"^ndmsin, however, derived its elements not merely from 
"^ Planter's Staiistual Arxount 0/ Bfffgal^ voL vL p. 40, etc. 



Non- the two ancient Aryan faiths, the Brdhmanical and the Bta 
cteroentsin *i^*st. In its popular aspects, it drew much of its strengS 
llmduism. and many of its rites, from the Nagi and other non-Aryl 
peoples of India. Buddhists and Brihmans alike end 
vourcd, during their long struggle, to enlist the masses i 
their side. The Nagi kingdoms were divided, as we has 
seen, by the Chinese geographers into those which 
accepted Buddhism, and those which had not A chief featUI 
Nasi rites, in Niga- worship was the reverence for dragons or taSd 
monsters. This reverence found its way into media 
Buddhism, and became an important element in Buddhij 
Serpent- mythology. The historian of Tree and Serjnent worship ga 
wurship in g^ f^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^ * Buddhism was little more than a revi^^ 
of the coarser superstitions of the aboriginal races, purified i 
refined by the application of Aryan morality.'^ 

The great monastery of N aland a owed its foundation to 1 
supposed influence of a tailed monster, or Ndga, in a nci 
bouring tank. Many Hindu temples still support colonies Ij 
sacred crocodiles ; and the scholar who has approached 1 
subject from the Chinese point of view^ comes to the 
elusion that * no superstition was more deejily embeddedj 
the [ancient] Hindu mind than reverence for Ndgis or dr 
Buddhism from the first had to contend as much against I 
under current of Nigi reverence in the |3opular mind, as 
against the supercilious opposition of the philosophic Brih- 
man in the upper current. At last, as it would seem, driven 
to an extremity by the gathering cloud of persecution, the 
Buddhists sought escape by closing with the popular creeA 
and endeavouring to enlist the people against the priests; 
but with no further success than such a respite as might be 
included within some one hundred years,' ^ 
Phallic This conception of the process is coloured by rao 

i^iTmndu- ^^^^^^ ^^*^ t\\^i^ can be no doubt that Hinduism incorpon 
Urn. many aboriginal rites. It had to provide for the non-Ai] 

as well as for the Aryan elements of the |>opulation, an 
combined the Brahman ism and Buddhism of the Aryans will 
the fetish-worship and religion of terror which swayed the non- 
Aryan races. Some of its superstitions seem to have been 
brought by Turanian or Scythian migrations from Centt^^ 
Asia. Serpent- worship is closely allied to, if indeed it does 

' Fci^usson*s Trte and Serpent IVorship^ pp. 62, wilh footnote, rf *^' 
{4to, l868). This view must l>e taken subject to limitations, 

* Cattna &f Buddhisi Scriptures from the Chvuse^ pp. 415, 416* _^ 
Samuel Heal (Triibner, 1871). 




not take its origin in, that reverence for the symbols of human 

reproduclion which formed one of the most widely - spread 

religions of pre-historic man. Phallic or generative emblems 

are on earth what the sun is in the heavens. The sun, as the 

type of celestial creative energy, was a primitive object of Aryan 

adoration. Later BrahmaDism, and its successor Hinduism, 

seem to have adopted not only the serpent, but the Unga and TheHintTu 

jfoni^ or the terrestrial organs of male and female creative ^[*^^'^ ^"'^ 

energy, from the nGn-Ar)^an races. The early Aryan ritual of 

the Vedas was addressed to the elements, particularly to 


The worship of the phallic emblem or imga finds only a 
doubtful sanction, if any at all» in those ancient scriptures ;i 
but the Purinas disclose it in full vigour (looo a.o,); and 
the Muhammadans found it in every part of India. It is not 
only the chief religion to the south of the Vindhyas, but it is 
universally recognised by the Hindus, Such symbolism fitted 
well into the character of the third person of their triad — Siva, 
the Reproducer, as well as the All- Destroyer. To the Brih- 
mans it supplied a popular basis for their abstruse doctrines 
regarding the male and female energy in nature. Phallic T^xt 
worship harmonized also with their tendency to supply each god 'creative 
with a correlative goddess, and furnished an easily- understood ^"*^^Ey» 
symbolism for the Sdkta sects, or worshippers of the divine 
creative power,* so numerous among the Hindus. For the 
i-aboriginal tribes and half-Hinduized low- castes, this 
-conception of Siva as the All- Destroyer and Reproducer, 
organized on a philosophical basis their old religion of pro- 
pitiation by blood.^ 

The fetish and tree worship of the non-Aryan races also Feii^h- 
entered largely into Hinduism. The first Englishman ^ who ^'^orship in 
tried to study the natives as they actually are, and not as the '" "^^"^ 
Brahman s described them, was struck by the universal preva- 
lence of a worship quite distinct from that of the Hindu deities. 
A Bengal village has usually its local god, which it adores The /<i^d- 


* Hp H. Wilson's Rdigi&m of the Hindus^ vol, i. p. 220 (e<I. 1S62). 

^ The relation of these rites of ihe semi-Hinduized low-castes to the 
religion of ihe non-Aryan races is treated at consitkrablc (englh, from 
personal observation, in Hunter's Annah oj Rural Bmgai, pp. 127-136 and 
194, 5lh edition* 

• jyt, Francis Buchanan, who afterwarUs t(x>k the name of Hamilion. 
ills surveyor the North-Eastern Distncis of Bengal, 1807-13, forms a noble 





either in the form of a rude unhewn stone, or a stump, or a 
tree marked with red-lead Sometimes a lump of day placed 
under a tree does for a deity; and the attendant priest, 
when there is one, generally belongs to the half-Hinduized 
low-castes. The rude stone represents the non-Aryan fetish; 
and the tree seems to owe its sanctity to the non-Aryan belief 
that it forms the abode of the ghosts, or gods, of the villagt 
We have seen how, in some Santdli hamlets, the worshi];^ 
dance round every tree ; so that they may not, by any evi 
chance, miss the one in which the village spirits happen to 

As the non-Aryan phallic emblems were utilized by Hindo- 
ism in the worship of Siva, the All-Destroyer and Reprodaoei; 
so the household fetish sdlagrdm has supplied a symbol for tke 
rival Hindu deity Vishnu, the Preserver. The sdlagrdm (ofttt 
an ammonite or curved stone) and the tniasi plant are the 
insignia of Vishnuism, as universally as the linga is of Sivawri | 
In both cases the Brihmans enriched the popular fetish-woislq» 
with deep metaphysical doctrines, and with admirable roonl 
codes. The Sivaite devotee carries round his neck, or hidden 
about his person, a miniature phallic emblem, linga; the 
sdlagrdm and tulasi are the objects of reverence among all 
the Vishnuite sects.^ 

The great Vishnuite festival of Bengal, the rath-jiir^ 
when Jaganndth, the *Lord of the World,' is dragged in 
his car to his garden-house, is of Buddhist origin. But 
it has many a humbler counterpart in the forest excundoDS 
which the Bengal villagers make in their holiday clothes to 
some sacred tree in the neighbouring grove or jungle. Theie 
jungle rites find special favour with the low-castes, and disck»c 
curious survivals of the non-Hinduized element in the wor- 
shippers. Blood sacrifices and the eating of flesh have loi^ 
been banished from the popular Vishnuite sects. But on 
such forest festivals, the fierce aboriginal instincts even ia 
the mixed castes, who accept in ordinary life the restraints 
of Hinduism, break loose. Cowherds have been seen to 

series of MS. folios in the India Office, much in need of a competent 
editor. Montgomery Martin made three printed volumes out of them by 
the process of drawing his pencil through the parts which did not iottfcat 
him, or which he could not understand. These he published under tbe 
title of the History^ AntiqnUies^ Topography^ attd Statistics of Easttrm 
India (3 vols., 1838). 

' See, inter alia, pp. 15, 39, 50, 54. 1 16, 1 1 7, 140, 149. 1 79, 181, ^4^ 
vol. i. of II. H. Wilson's /Religion of the Hindus (ed. 1862). 



feed on swine-flesh, which at all other times they regard with 

The ceremonies, where they can pretend to a consiious 
meaning, have a propitiatory or necromantic tinge. Thus, 
in BfrbhiSm District the mixed and low castes of the chief 
town repair once a year to the jungle, and make offerings 
10 a ghost who dwells in a bcl-Xxt^. Buchanan - Hamilton 
describes such sacrifices as 'made partly from fear, and partly 
to gratify the appetite for ftesh.'^ In examining the western Non- 
ethnical frontier of Lower Bengal^ the rites of the nomAr)'an fj^^^s^niprn,. 
hilimen aie found to merge into the Hinduism of the plains.* ing into "* 
The evidence shows that the Hindus derived from non-Aryan Hinduism. 
sources ihetr phallic emblem, the lin^a, their household 
fetish, the sdhgram^ their village gOi% griim-dtTafaSf with the 
ghosts and demons that haunt so many trees, and the bloody 
rites of their national deity, Siva. Among the Hindus, these 
superstitions are often isolated and unconnected with each 
other ; among the Santils and other non- Aryan races, they 
form riveted links in a ritnal of fear and propitiation. 

The development of Hinduism out of pre-existing religious Erdhman 
types, although a natural evolution, bears the impress of j!V"^,'*^f^ ^'^ 
human guidance. Until the 12th century a.d., the Brihmans 
supplied the directing energy in opposition to the Buddhists, 
and founded their reforms on a re-assertion of the personality 
of God. But by that period, Buddhism had ceased to struggle 
for a separate existence in India ; and the mass of the people 
began to strike out religious sects upon popular rather 
than on Brahmanical lines. The work of the early Brdhman 
reformers was accordingly carried on after the 12th century, 
in part by low-caste apostles, who popularized the old Brah- Ijow- 
manical conception of a personal God, by infusing into it the *^^''**:, 
Buddhist doctrine of the spiritual equality of man. Many 
of the Hindu sects form brotherhoods, on the Buddhist model, 
within which the classification by caste gives place to one 
based on the various degrees of perfection attained in the 
religious lite. 

Most of the Hindu reformations since the 12th century The 
thus preserve what was best in each of the two ancient Hindu 
faiths of India — namely^ the personal God of the Brahmans, J^y p^ " '^ 
and the spiritual equality of the Buddhists, Among the 
Hindus, every preacher who would really appeal to the 

* History^ €ic^ cf Eastern Indian from ihe Buchanan Mss., vol, i. p, 194. 
' Hunter's Annalt 0/ KurnU Bengal ^ p. 194, 5th edition. 



popular heart must fulfil two conditions, and conform to a 
certain type. He must cut himself off from the world by a 
solemn act, like the Great Renunciation of Buddha ; and he 
must come forth from his solemn communing with a simple 
message. The message need not be original. On the con- 
trary, it must consist of a re-assertion, in some form, of the 
personality of God and the equality of men in His sight 

The Hindu Hinduism boasts a line of religious founders stretching in 
torum. ^ almost unbroken succession from about 700 a.d. to the present 
day. The lives of the mediaeval saints and their wondrous 
works are recorded in the Bhakta-Mdld, literally, * The Garland 
of the Faithful,* compiled by Ndbhdjf about three centuries 
ago.^ This difficult Hindi work was popularized by later 
versions and commentaries,* and a vast structure of miracle 
and fable has been reared upon it It is the Golden legend 
and Acta Sanctorum of Hinduism. The same wonders are 
not recorded of each of its apostles, but divine interpositions 
abound in the life of all. The greater ones rank as divine 
incarnations prophesied of old. Some were born of virgins ; 
others overcame lions ; raised the dead ; their hands and feet 
when cut off sprouted afresh ; prisons were opened to them ; 
the sea received them and returned them to the land unhurt, 
while the earth opened and swallowed up their slanderers. 
Their lives were marvellous, and the deaths of some a solemn 

Thus on Kabir's decease, both the Hindus and Musal- 
mdns claimed the body, the former to burn it, the latter to 
bury it, according to their respective rites. While they 
wrangled over the corpse, Kabfr suddenly stood in the midst, 
and, commanding them to look under the shroud, vanished. 
This they did. But under the winding-sheet they found only 
a heap of beautiful flowers, one-half of which they gave to be 
burned by the Hindus in their holy city, while the other half 
was buried in pomp by the Musalmins. His name lives in 
the memory of the people; and to this day pilgrims from 
Upper India beg a spoonful of rice-water from the Kabfr 
Monastery at Purf, at the extreme southern point of Bengal 

^ H. H. Wilson, writing in the Asiatic Researches (Calcutta, 1828), says 
about * 250 years ago.* — See Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Asiatic 
Society^ vol. iit p. 4. 

' The best known are those of Narayan Das, about the time of Shah 
Jahdn (1627-58) ; the tihd of Krishna Dis (1713) ; and a later version 
*in the more ordinary dialect of Hindusidn.' — Wilson's Religions of the 
Hitidus^ vol. I pp. 9, 10 (ed. 1862). 

of the 




The first in the line of apostles was Kumdrila, a bhatta or 
Brahman of Bt^har. The legend relates that he journeyed 
into Southern India, in the Sth century a, a, commanding 
princes and people to worship one God. He stirred up a 
persecution against the Buddhists or Jains in the State of 
Rudrapur, — a local persecution which later tradition niagni- 
[ fied into a general extermination of the Buddhists from the 
Himalayas to Cape Comorin.^ In Hindu theology he figures 
as a teacher of the later Miminsa philosophy, which ascribes 
the universe to a divine act of creation, and assumes an all- 
powerful God as the cause of the existence, continuance, and 
dissolution of the world. The doctrine of this personal deity, 
* the one existent and universal soul,' * without a second ' 
(adwaita), embodies the jihilosophical argument against the 
Buddhists. Rumania bequeathed his task to his famous 
disciple Sankara Acharya, in whose presence he is said to have 
solemnly committed his body to the flames. 

With the advent of Sankara Achirya we touch firmer historical 
ground Born in Malabar, he wandered over India as an itine- 
rant preacher as far north as Kashmir, and died at Kedarndth 
in the Himalayas, aged 32. One of his disciples has narrated 
his life's work under the title of * The Victory of Sankara/ - a 
record of his doctrines and controversial triumphs, Sankara 
moulded the later Miminsd or Vedantic philosophy into its 6nal 
form, and popularized it as a national religion. It is scarcely 
too much to say that, since his short life in the Sth or 9th 
century, ever)' new Hindu sect has had to start with a personal 
God. He addressed himself to the high^aste philosophers on 
the one hand, and to the losv-caste multitude on the other. 
He left behind, as the twofold result of his life's work, a 
compact Brahman sect and a popular religion. 

The Brdhman sect are the Smartas, still powerful in Southern 
India. Sankara taught that there was one sole and supreme 
God, Brdhma Para Brahma^ distinct alike from any member of 
the old Brdhman triad, or of the modern Hindu pantheon ; the 


91 h cen- 
tury A.I1, 

His tw*o- 
fold wurk. 

His seel of 



^ The local persecution is reconled by An and a Giri, a disciple of 
Sankara about tbc 8lh or 9th century A.n., and the author of the Sankara- 
Vijaya, The magniftcd version appears in ihc Sat-va Banana Sangra/m 
of Madhava Acharya, in the 14th century. See, however, the Mackenzie 
Mss. in the India Office Library, 

'The Sankara- Vijaya of Ananda Giri, published in the Bihiwthfui 
Ifidka, and critically examined by Kashinath Trimbak Tclang in vol. v\ 
of the Indian Antiquary. Bui, indeed, Sankara is the first great figure in 
almost every Hindu hagiology, or book of saint.s, from the Sarva Darsana 
Sanj^aha of Madhava Achdrya downwards. 



Ruler of the universe and its inscrutable First Cause, to be wor- 
shipped, not by sacrifices, but by meditation, and in spirit and 
in truth. The Smdrta Brdhmans follow this philosophic side 
of his teaching ; and of the religious houses which he founded 
some remain to this day, controlled from the parent monastery 
His re- perched among the western ranges of Mysore.^ But Sankara 

i^°"o°[e '^^^^^^^^ '^^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^^ *s ^*°^ ^^ ^^^' ^^ ^^ose who could 
' not rise to so high a conception of the godhead, he allowed 
the practice of any rites prescribed by the Veda, or by later 
orthodox teachers, to whatsoever form of the godhead they 
might be addressed Tradition fondly narrates that the founders 
of almost all the historical sects of Hinduism — Sivaites, Vishnu- 
ites, Sauras, Sdktas, Gdnapatyas, Bhairavas — were his disciples.^ 
But Siva-worship claims Sankara as its apostle in a special 
sense. Siva- worship represents the popular side of his teach- 
ing, and the piety of his followers has elevated Sankara into 
an incarnation of Siva himself.^ 
Growth of Nothing, however, is altogether new in Hinduism, and it is 
worehip • "e^^l^ss to say that Siva had won his way high up into the 
pantheon long before the preaching of Sankara, in the 9th 
century a.d. Siva is the Rudra of the Vedas, as developed 
by Brdhman philosophy, and adapted by Sankara and others 
to popular worship. Rudra, the Storm-God of the Vedic 
hymns, had grown during this process into Siva, the Destroyer 
and Reproducer, as the third person of the Brdhman 
triad. The Chinese pilgrims supply evidence of his worship 
before the 7th century a.d., while his dread wife had a temple 
at the southernmost point of India at the time of the Periplus 
(2nd century a.d.), and gave her name to Cape Comorin.* 
Siva ranks high in the Mahibhdrata, in various passages of 
uncertain date ; but does not reach his full development till the 
Purdnas, probably after the loth century a.d. His worship in 
Bengal is said to have been formulated by Paramata Kdlandla 
at Benares;^ but Sankara's teaching gave an impulse to it 

' See Sringiri {TA€ Imperial Gazetteer 0/ India) for a brief account of 
the chief-priest of the Smirta sect, which has its head-quarters in this 
monastery. Also the Statistical Account of Mysore and Coorg^ by Lewis 
Rice, vol. ii. p. 413, etc. (Bangalore Government Press, 1876.) 

• Wilson's Religion of the Hindus, vol. i. p. 28 (1862). 

* This rank is claimed for Sankara by Madhava Ach4rya in the I4lh 
century A. D. ; indeed, Siva's descent as Sankara is said to have been fore- 
told in the Skanda Purdna, Sankara is one of the names of Siva. 

* From Kumdri or Kany4-kum4ri, the Virgin Goddess, a name of Durga, 
wife of Siva. 

• As Visweswara, or Lord of the Universe, under which name Siva is 
still the chief object of worship at Benares. 


21 I 

throughout all India, especially tn the south \ and later tradition 
makes Paramnta himself a disciple of Saiikara, 

In the hands of Sankara's followers and apostolic suc- 
cessors, Siva- worship became one of the two chief religions 
of India, As at once the Destroyer and Reproducer^ Siva 
represented profound jjhilosophical doctrines, and was early 
recognised as being in a special sense the god of the Brdhmans. ^ 
To them he was the symbol of death as merely a change of life. 
On the other hand, his terrible aspects, preserved in his long list 
of names from the Roarer ( Rudra) '^ of the Veda, to the Dread 
One (Bhima) of the modern Hindu Pantheon, well adapted 
him to the religion of fear and propitiation prevalent among 
the ruder non-Aryan races. Siva, in his twofold character, 
thus became the deity alike of the highest and of the lowest 
castes. He is the Maha-deva, or Great God of modern 
Hinduism ; and his wife is Devf, pre-eminently the Goddess. 
His universal symbol is the Isnga^ the emblem of repro- 
duction ; his sacred beast, the bull, connected with the same 
idea ; a trident tops his temples. 

His images partake of his double nature. The Brahmanical 
conception is represented by his attitude as a fair-skinned man, 
seated in profound thought, the symbol of the fertilizing Ganges 
above his head, and the bull (emblem alike of procreation and 
of Aryan plough-tillage) near at hand. I'he wilder non-Aryan 
aspects of his character are signified by his necklace of skulls, 
his collar of twining ser|>ents, his tiger-skin, and his club with 
a human head at the end. His five faces and four arms have 
also their significance from this double aspect of his character, 
Ar>'an and non-Aryan. His wife, in like manner, appears in her 
Aryan form as Umd, * Light,' the type of high-bom loveliness ; 
in her composite character as Durga, a golden -co loured woman, 
beautiful but menacing, riding on a tiger ; and in her terrible 
non-Aryan aspects, as Kilf, a black furj\ of a hideous coun- 
tenance, dripping with blood, crowned with snakes, and hung 
round uith skulls. 

As an Aryan deity, Siva is Pasu-pati, the Lord of Animals 
and the Protector of Cows ; Sambhu, the Auspicious ; Mrityun- 
jaya, the Vanc[uisher of I>eath ; Visuanatha, Monarch of AIL 
In his non- Aryan attributes, he is Aghora, the Horrible ; Virii- 
pdksha, of Mis-shapen Eyes ; Ugrii, the Fierce ; Kapala-mdlin, 

* A Sanskrit text tlcclares Siva to be the tiJiiiafii^ or special god of the 
Brihmans ; Vishny, of the KshatlHyas ; Brahttia, of the VaUyas ; and 
Gane^ of the Sudras. 

* From the root tud^ weep. 

lu pliilo- 
aspects ; 

lis tcrrihk 

a sped s of 

and of 
Durga, Ins 

Their two- 
fold sets of 



aspects of 




of skulls. 

Garlanded with Skulls. So also Devi, his female form, as an 
Aryan goddess is Umd, the lovely daughter of the mountain 
king, Himavat;^ Arya, the Revered; Gauri, the Brilliant 
or Gold-coloured ; Jagad-gaurf, the World's Fair One; Bhavdni, 
the Source of Existence ; and Jagan-mdtd, the Mother of the 
Universe. Her non- Aryan attributes appear in her names of 
Kdli or Sydma, the Black One ; Chandf, the Fierce ; Bhaiiavi, 
the Terrible ; Rakta-danti, the Bloody-Toothed. 

The ritual of Siva-worship preserves, in an even more 
striking way, the traces of its double origin. The higbcr 
minds still adore the Godhead by silent contemplation, as pre- 
scribed by Sankara, without the aid of external rites. The 
ordinary Brdhman hangs a wreath of blossoms around the phalBc 
iingUy or places before it offerings of flowers and rice. But the 
low-castes pour out the lives of countless victims at the feet 
of the terrible Kdli, and until lately, in time of pestilence and 
famine, tried in their despair to appease the relentless goddess j 
by human blood. During the dearth of 1866, in a temple to \ 
Kalf within 100 miles of Calcutta, a boy was found with his 
neck cut, the eyes staring open, and the stiff clotted tongue 
thrust out between the teeth. In another temple at HdgH 
(a railway station only 25 miles from Calcutta), tiie head was 
left before the idol, decked with flowers. ^ Such cases are tnic 
survivals of the regular system of human sacrifices which we 
have seen among the non- Aryan tribes.* They have nothing 
to do with the old mystic purusha-medfia or man-offering, 
whether real or symbolical, of the ancient Aryan faith ;* but 
they form an essential part of the non-Aryan religion of tenor, 
which demands that the greater the need, the greater shall be 
the propitiation. 

Such sacrifices are now forbidden, alike by Hindu 
custom and English law. H. H. Wilson found evidence that 
they were regularly offered by the Kdpdlika sect of Sivaite 
Hindus eight centuries ago; and representatives of those 

^ Monarch of the Himdlayas. 

=* The Calcutta Englisht/mn of 19th May 1866 ; Annals of Rural Bengal^ 
p. 128, 5th edition. 

* As among the Kandhs, ante, chap. iii. 

■* See Dr. Haug's Origin of Brdhmanism, p. 5 (Poona, 1863). fhe 
Purusha-sukta of the Rig Veda, x. 90, verses 7-15 ; and the Punisha-medha 
of the Satapaiha Brdhmana, i. 2, 3, 6, and xiii. 6, i. i ; and of the Aiiarey4 
Brdhmana, ii. 8, with other passages quoted throughout Dr. Mair's Samkrik 
Texts, seem to have an allegorical and mystical significance, rather than 
to refer to a real sacrifice. See also Wilson's Essay on Human Sacrifices, 
Journal Roy, As, Soc, vol. viii. p. 96 (1852). 


lleous votaries of Siva, * smeared with ashes from the funeral 

e, and their necks hung round with human skulls/ survive 

! this dayJ Colonel Keatinge mentions that he has seen 

i sacrificial troughs near Jaintiapur, now used only for goats, 

bich exactly fitted the size of a man. The new troughs 

reduced to the dimensions of the animals at present 

ed ; and the greater length of the ancient ones is explained 

a legend of human sacrifices. The Statistical Surrey of 

has brought to light many traditions of such offerings. 

hill tribes between Sylhet and Assam hunt a monkey at 

g-time, and crucify it on the margin of the village lands. 

arently as a substitute for the Spring man-sacrifice,^ A 

nan life was sometimes devoted to the preservation of an 

lake, or of a river embankment ; a watchman of 

nginal descent being sacrificed,^ or a virgin princess walled 

I the breach.* 

Another Sivaite festival was the Charak-Puji, or Hook-Swing- 

; Festival, during which men were suspended from a pole by a 

ok thrust through the muscles of the back, and then swung 

\ air. in honour of Kali. In 1863, the orders of Govern- 

nt for abolishing this festival were carried out in a border 

iDistrict, Bfrbhum, lying between the Hindu plains and the 

jnoii'^Aryan highlands. The low-castes, in reality semi-abori- 

Ipnes, and only half-Hinduized, assembled round the poles 

[ind foretold famine from the loss of their old propitiatory 

Intcs. As they thought the Spring ceremonies absolutely 

lessciitial before commencing tillage, the British officer suggested 

ilhey might swing a man by a rope round his waist instead of 

Ititha hook through his back. This compromise was accepted 

some, but the better-informed cultivators gloomily assured 

\ officer that the ceremonies would have no good effect on 

J crops without the spilling of biood^ 

The thirteen chief sects of Siva - worshippers faithfully 

iresent the composite character of their god. Sankara 

til behind him a succession of teachers, many of whom rose 

the rank of religious founders. The Smdrta Brihmans 

till maintain their life of calm monastic piety. The Dandh^ 

* H. H, Wilson's Rdigim of the Hindus^ voL i, p, 264. 
■ As among the Kandhs, antt^ chap, lii. 
^ See Sakilaypatna, Th€ Imperial Gauttttr of India. 

* See AhanTasacaram, Tht Imported Gazetteer of India. 

* II b right to say that very little blogd was lost, and the wounds causetl 
ircre slight ; indeed, slighter than those sometimes left behind by the 
slewen which were fixed through the cheek or tongue of the swinger 
daring the performance. 







or ascetics, divide their time between begging and meditation. 
Some of them adore, without rites, Siva as the third person 
of the Aryan triad. Others practise an apparently non- Aryan 
ceremony of initiation by drawing blood from the inner part 
of the novice's knee, as an offering to the god in his more 
terrible form, Bhairava. The Dandis follow the non-Aryan 
custom of bur)ring their dead, or commit the body to some 
Gradations sacred Stream. ^ The Yogis include every class of devotee, 
worshfp. ^'^^"^ ^^ speechless mystic who, by long suppressions of the 
breath, loses the consciousness of existence in an unearthly 
union with Siva, to the impostor who sits upon air, and the 
juggler who travels with a performing goat. The thirteen 
Sivaite sects descend, through various gradations of self- 
mortification and abstraction, to the Aghoris^ whose abnegation 
extends to eating carrion, or even human corpses, and gashing 
their own bodies with knives. 
Sivaite Within the last few years a small Aghorf community took 

corpse- up ^^y^ abode in a deserted building on the top of a mount 
near Ujjain, To inspire terror and respect, they descended to 
the burning ghdt^ snatched the charred bodies from the funeral 
pile, and retreated with them to their hill. The horror- 
stricken mourners complained to the local officer of the 
Mahdrdjd Sindhia, but did not dare to defend their dead 
against the squalid ministers of Siva. In the end, the Mahd- 
rdjd*s officer, by ensuring a regular supply of food for the 
devotees, put a stop to their depredations. 
Non- The lowest Sivaite sects follow non- Aryan rather than Aryan 

typS" types, alike as regards their use of animal food and their bloody 
spiritual- worship. These non-Aryan types are, however, spiritualized 
ized by the into a mystic symbolism by the Sivaite Sdktas, or worshippers 
of the creative energy in nature {Sakti), The * right-hand ' 
adorers* follow the Aryan ritual, with the addition of an 
Sakta or offering of blood.* * Their Tantras or religious works take 
Tantnk ^^g f^j^ ^f j^ dialogue between Siva and his lovely Aryan 
bride,* in which the god teaches her the true forms of prayer 
and ceremonial. But the * left-hand ' worship * is an organized 
five-fold ritual, of incantation, lust, gluttony, drunkenness, and 
blood. The non-Aryan origin of these secret rites is attested 

' Cf. the SantAls and the Dimodar river, ante, chap. iii. 

* Dakshinas or Bh^ktas. > The bait, 

* Usually in the form of Umi or Pirvatf. 

' Vimis or V^micharis, whose worship comprises the five-fold Makara, 
* which taketh away all sin/ namely — mdnsa (flesh), matsya (fish, the symbol 
of ovarian fertility), madya (intoxicating spirits), maitkuna (sexual inter- 
course), mudrd (mystical gesticulations). 



by the use of meats and drinks for]>idden to all respectable 
Hindus ; perhaps also by the commuaity of women, possibly an 
unconscious sumval of the non-Aryan forms of polyandry and 
primitive marriage by capture.* The Kinchuliyas, one of the Secret 
lowest of the Sivaite sects^ not only enforce a community of ^^^^*^' 
women, but take measures to prevent the exercise of indi- 
vidual selection, and thus leave the matter entirely to divine 
chance. Even their orgies, however, are spiritualized into a 
mystic symbolism ; and the Dread Goddess surely punishes 
the votary who enters on them merely to gratify his lusts, 

Siva-worship thus became a link between the highest and Siva and 
the lowest castes of Hindus. Vishnu, the second person compared 
of the Aryan triad, supplied a religion for the intermediate 
classes, Siva, as a philosophical conception of the Brihmans, 
afforded small scope for legend ; and the atrocities told of 
him and his wife in their terrible forms, as adapted to the 
non - Ar>^an masses, were little capable of refined literary 
treatment. But Vishnu, the Preserver, furnished a congenial 
I heme for sacred romance* His religion appealed, not to 
the fears, but to the hopes of mankind, Siva-worship com- 
bined the Brihmanical doctrine of a personal God with non- 
Aryan bloody rites; Vishnu- worship, in its final form as a 
popular religion, represents the coalition of the same Brdh- 
manical doctrine of a personal God, with the Buddhist 
principle of the spiritual equality of man. 

Vishnu had ahvays been a very human god, from the time 
when he makes his appearance in the Veda as a solar myth, 
the * Unconquerable Preserver ' striding across the universe in 
three steps.^ His later incarnations made him the familiar 
friend of man. Of these * descents ' ^ on earth, ten or twenty- 
two in number, Vishnu-worship, with the unerring instinct of 

* Cf, also the festival of the RukmiHi-haran-ekdiiasi at Puri. See Hunter's 
OnssOf vol. t. p. 131. 

* Probably at first connected with the nsjug, zenith, and setting of the 
sun in his daily course. 

' Avatdms, The Jen chief ones are : (i) the Fish incarnation ; (2) ihe 
Tortoise, (3) the Boar, (4) the Mitn-Uon, (5) the Dwarf, (6| Parasu-r4ma 
or Rima with the Axe, (7) Rama or Kaiiia*chandra, (8) Krishna, (9) 
Buddha, and (10) Kalk(, the White Horse, yet to come, The first four 
arc myibological beasts, perhaps representing the progress of animal life 
through the eras of fishes, reptiles, and mamniaJs, developing into Ii.ilf- 
fonncd man. From another aspect, the Fish represents the j'cwi, or ovarian 
fertility ; the Tortoise, the Hn^a ; the Hoar, the terrestrial ferliliier ; and 
the Man-Lion, ihc ccJcsiial, These four appeared m the ijatya Yuga, an 

always a 

Vishnu as 
a hero* 



His later 


circ, 1045 


a popular religion, chose the two most beautiful and mo«t 
human for adoration. As Rdma and Krishna, Vishnu attracted 
to himself innumerable loving legends. R^ma, his sevenlli 
incarnation, was the hero of the Sanskrit epic, the Riroi)'aM. 
In his eighth incarnation, as Krishna, Vishnu becomes die 
high-souled prince of the other epic, the Mahibharata: k 
afterwards grew into the central figure of Indian pastoral 
puetry ; was spiritualized into the supreme god of the Vishniiitc 
Purdnas ; and now flourishes as the most popular deity of ik 

I'he worship of Vishnu, in one phase or another, is the 
religion of the bulk of the middle classes ; with its roots deep 
down in beautiful forms of non-Aiyan nature-worship, and 
its top sending forth branches among the most refined 
Brihmans and literary sets. It is a religion in all things 
graceful. Its gods are heroes or bright friendly beings, whu 
walk and converse with men. Its legends breathe an almost 
Hellenic beauty. The pastoral simplicities and exquisite 
ritual of Vishnu belong to a later age than Siva - worship, 
with its pandering to the grosser superstitions of the massei 
Whatever may be the philosophical priority of the two creeds, 
Vishnuism made its j>opular conquests at a later period than* 
Sivaite riles. 

In the itth century, the Vishnuite doctrines were gathei 
into a religious treatise. The Vishnu Purdna dates froffl^ 
about 1045 A.D./ and probably represents, as indeed its nam( 
implies, * ancient ' traditions which had co-existed with Sivaisi 
and Buddhism for centuries. It derived its doctrines fn 
the Vedas, not, however, in a direct channel, but filtc: 
through the two great epic poems, the Rimdyana and 
Mahibharata. The Visknu Purdna forms one of the eighteen 
Purdnas or Sanskrit theological works, in which the Brdhman 
moulders of Vishnuism and Sivaism embodied their rival systeml^B 
These works especially extol the second and third membci^ 
of the Hindu triad, now claiming the pre-eminence for Vishnu 

astronomical period anlerior to the present world* The fifth of dwif{ 
incarnation represents early man in thcTrela Yuga, or second astronomi^ 
period, also long anterior to ihe present mundane one. The next th 
incarnations represent the Heroic Age ; the ninth or Buddha, the Reli| 
Age. The tenth stands for the end of all things, according to the lliu 
apocalypse, when Vishnu shall appear on a white horse, a drawn sword^ 
Ittazing like a cornel, in his hand, for the destruction of the wicked and 
the renovation of the world. The Bhdgavata PnrAna gives twenty-two 
mcamations of Vishnu. 

* Pieface to the Vishttu Purdna. H, !I. Wikon, p. cxii. (cd- 1S64)* 


deity, and now for Siva ; but in their higher flights 

I recognition that both are but forms for representing 

one eternal God Their interminable dialogues are said 

run to 1,600,000 lines. ^ But they exhibit only the 

aical aspect of what were destined to become the two 

idoaal faiths of India, and they are devoid of any genuine 

ttpathy for the people. 

I'he Vishnu Purana starts with an intolerance equal to 

at of the ancient code of Manu, It still declares the 

riests to have sprung from the mouth, and the low-castes 

om the feet, of God.'^ Its stately theogony disdains to touch 

legends of the people. It declares, indeed, that there is 

God \ but He is the God of the Brahmans, to whom He 

[ives the earth as an inheritance, and in His eyes the ruder 

lodiaa races are as naught* This is the general tenor of its 

Qes, although more enlightened, perhaps because later, 

Ifckssages occur. In the Vishnu Purana, Buddha is still an 

laTtJhheretic, who teaches the masses to despise the Veda, but 

disciples are eventually crushed by the bright Aryan 

It is true that in the concluding book, when treating 

I of the last Iron Age, to which this world has now come, some 

I nobler idea of God's dealing with man gleams forth. In that 

llimcof uni%'ersal dissolution and darkness, the sage consoles 

I us with the assurance that devotion to Vishnu will suffice for 

[ialvation to all persons and to all castes.*^ 

Yishnuisro had to preach a diftereni doctrine before it could 

beccmie, as it has for ages been, a religion of the people. 

The fim of the line of Vishnuite refoiniers was Riminuja, a 

Brahman of Southern India. In the middle of the 12th cen- 

itiry, he led a movement against the Sivaites, proclaiming the 

unity of God, under the title of Vishnu, the Cause and the 

• Creator of all things. Prosecuted by the Chola king, who 

tnd to enforce Sivaite conformity throughout his dominions, 

I Kimanuja fled to the Jain sovereign of Mysore. This prince 

I he converted to the Vishnuite faiih by expelling an evil spirit 

Ifrom his daughter. Seven hundred monasteries, of which 

|four still remain, are said to have marked the spread of his 

Joctrine before his death. Raminuja accepted converts from 

very class, but it was reserved for his successors to formally 

Dtinciate the brotherhood of man. 

At the end of the 13th century a.d., according to some 

f^ Preface to the P'iihnu Purdna, p. xxiv. H. H. Wilson (ed. 1S64). 

Vtshntt Pktrdna, lib. k cap. vi, p, 89. H. H. Wilson (cd. 1S64). 
"• lliknu pMrdna, lib. vL cap. iu IL 11. Wilson, p. cxxxviii, 


1045 A.l>. 


arc, 1150 




I 300-1400 


Mis low. 



authorities, or at the end of the i4lh, according to others, the 
great reformalion, which made Vishnu-worship a national 
religion of India, took place, Rdmanand stands fifth in tlie 
apostolic succession from Raradnuja, and spread his doctrine 
through Northern India* He had his head-quarters ia a 
monastery at Benares, but wandered from place to place 
preaching the One God under the name of Vishnu, aud 
choosing twelve disciples, not from the priests or nobles, but 
among the despised castes. One of thera was a leather- 
dresser^ another a barber, and the most distinguished of ail 
was the reputed son of a weaver. The list shows that every 
caste found free entrance into the new creed. 

The life of a disciple was no life of ease. He was called 
upon to forsake the world in a strictly literal sense, and 
to go about preaching or teaching, and living on alms. His 
old age found an asylum in some monastery of the brother- | 
hood Rdmdnuja had addressed himself chiefly to the pure 
Aryan castes, and wrote in the language of the Brihroans. 
Raniiinand appealed to the people, and the literature of his 
sect is in the dialects familiar to the masses. The Hindi 
vernacular owes its development into a written language, 
partly to the folk-songs of the peasantry and the war-ballads of 
the Rdjput court-bards, but chiefly to the literary requirements 
of the new popular faith. Vishnuism has deeply impressed 
itself on the modem dialects of Northern India. ^ fl 

Kabir, one of the twelve disciples of Rdm4nand, carried bis 
1J80-1420 doctrines throughout Bengal As his master had laboured to 
gather together all castes of the Hindus into one commojL 
faith^ so Kabfr, seeing that the Hindus were no longer ^H 
whole inhabitants of India, tried, about the beginning of ^t 
15th century, to build up a religion that should embrace 
Hindu and Muhammadan alike. He rejected caste, denounced 
image-worship, and condemned the hypocrisy and arrogance 
of the Brahmans. According to Kabfr, the chief end of man 
is to obtain purity of life, and a perfect faith in God. The 
wTitings of his sect acknowledge that the god of the Hindu \% 
also the god of the Musalmdn, His universal name is The 

* The three best known sets of such rcHgious treatises are — <i) ibi 
voluminous works ascribed to Kabfr {cue. 14CX} A.D.) and his followeii 
preser\'ed at the head -quarters of his sect, the Kabir Chaurd it Bcn*m 
(2) the Granih, or scriplurcs of various Bhagats or Vishnuitc religioti 
founder!^, esprcially of Dadu in Rajputana, and of the Sikh Guru) 
beginning wiih Ninak <I469) ; and {3) the Bhaktamdld, or Roll of it 
Bhaktas or apostles, the Goldea Legend of Vishnuism already referred ta 


1 lis doc 



nner, whether He be invoked as the AH of the Muhammadafis, 

r as the Rima of the Hindus. *To All and to Rima we owe 

rUfe,' say the scriptures of his sect,^ *and should show like 

ndcmess to all who live- What avails it to wash your mouth, 

> count your beads, to bathe in holy streams, to bow in temples, 

, whilst you mutter your prayers or journey on pilgrimage, 

ceitfulness is in your heart? The Hindu fasts every 

rleventh day ; the Musalman on the Ramazdn. Who formed 

J remaining months and days, that you should veneiaie but 

ne? If the Creator dwell in tabernacles, whose dwelling is 

universe? The city of the Hindu god is to the east 

enares], the city of the Musalmdn god is to the west 

l[Mecca]; but explore your own heart, for there is the god, 

I of the Musalmdns and of the Hindus, Behold but One 

all things. He to whom the world belongs, He is the 

I felber of the worshippers alike of AK and of Rdma, He is 

my guide. He is my priest.* * Kablr was pre-eminently the 

Vishnuite apostle to Bengal ; but his followers are also 

numerous in the Central Provinces, Gujarat, and the Deccan. 

Kabir's teaching marks another great stride in the Vish- 
m\t reformation. His master, Raminand, had asserted an 
ibsiract equality of castes, because he identified the deity with 
ilie worshipper He had regarded the devotee as but a mani- 
festation of the divinity, and oo lowness of birth could degrade 
the godhead. As Vishnu had taken the form of several of the 
inferior animals, such as the Boar and the Fish incarnations, 
«o might he be born as a man of any caste, Kabir accepted 
ibis doctrine, but he warmed it by an intense humanity. All 
tbe chances and changes of life, the varied lot of man, his 
differences in religion, his desires, hopes^ fears, loves^ are but 
liie work of Mdyd, or illusion. To recognise the one Divine 
Spirit under these manifold illusions, is to obtain emancipation 
! *nd the Re^t of the Soul. That Rest is to be reached, not by 
b«irot-offerings or sacrifices, but, according to Kabir, by faiih 
\lfhakti\ by meditation on the Supreme, by keeping His holy 
' names, Hari, Ram, Govind, for ever on the lips and in the 
The labours of Kabfr may be placed between 1380 and 
^1420 A,D, In 1486, Chaitanya was born, who spread the 
Ushnuite doctrines, under the worship of Jagannath, through- 
but the deltas of Bengal and Orissa. Signs and wonders 

» The Vijak of Bhagodas, one of Kabfr's disciples. The rival claims of 

Hindus and Mutalroins to Kabir*s body have already been inemioned. 
' S^bda^ W* Abridged from H. H, Wilson s Works, i. Si (ed, 1S64). 

of Vishnu* 
ism with 
1420 A,l». 

The Otic 
Gm\ uf 

hood of 

The Rc?r 
of the Soul. 


1 486- 1 527 


2 20 


anya*s life. 


• Lil>crji- 
I ion ' tvf 
the soul 

ft 11) a sect. 


attended Chaitanya through life, and during four centuries be 
has been worshipped as an incarnation of Vishnu, Extricat- 
ing ourselves from the halo of legend which surrounds and 
obscures the apostle, we know little of hrs private life except 
that he was the son of a Brahman settled at Nadiyi n«ar 
Calcutta ; that in his youth he married the daughter of a 
celebrated saint ; that at the age of twenty-four he forsook the 
world, and, renouncing the state of a householder, repaired to 
Orissa, where he devoted the rest of his days to the propagatioa 
of the faith. He disappeared miraculously in 1527 A.a 

\\ ith regard to Chaitanya's doctrine we have ample evidence. 
No race or caste was beyond the pale of sah^tion. The 
Musalmins and Hindus shared his labours, and profited by his 
preaching. He held that all men are alike capable of faith, 
and that all castes by faith become equally pure* Implicit 
belief and incessant devotion were his watchwords. Con- 
templation rather than ritual was his pathway to salvation 
Obedience to the religious guide is the great characteristic 
of his sect ; but he warned his disciples to respect their 
teachers as second fathers, and not as gods. The great end 
of his system, as of all Indian forms of worship, is the 
liberation of the soul He held that such liberation does 
not mean the mere annihilation of separate existence. It 
consists in nothing more than an entire freedom from the 
stains and the frailties of the body. The liberated soul dwells 
for ever, either in a blessed region of perfect beauty and sin- 
lessness, or it soars into the heaven of Vishnu himself, high 
above the myths and mirages of this world, where God 
appears no more in his mortal incarnations, or in any otl 
form, but is known in his supreme essence.^ 

The followers of Chaitanya belong to every caste, but tt 
acknowledge the rule of the descendants of the ori| 
disciples {gosiini). These guidins now number 23,063 
Bengal alone. The sect is oj^en alike to the married and 
unmarried. It has its celibates and wandering mendicants, 
but its religious teachers are generally married men. Thef 
live with their wives and children in clusters of houses around 
a temple to Krishna \ and in this way the adoration of 

* Besides the notices of Chaitanya in H. II. Wilson^s works, the rea^eJ 
is referred to a very carefal essay by Babu Jogcndra Chandra Ghoa^ 
entitled ChaitanycCs Ethics (Calcutta, 1884). AJr, Ghosh bases his woi^* 
upon the original writings of Chaitanya and his followers. The pnr«^^ 
author is indebted to him br a correction of one year in the dat« 
Chflitftnya'* birth, calculated from the Chaitanya Charitdmriia. 




Chaitanya has become a sort of family worship throughout 
Orissa, The landed gentry worship him with a daily ritual 
in household chapels dedicated to his name. After his 
death, a sect arose among his followers, who asserted the 
spiritual independence of women. ^ In their monastic en- 
closures, male and female cenobites live in celibacy \ the 
women shaving their heads, with the exception of a single 
lock of hair. The two sexes chant the praises of Vishnu and 
Chaitanya together, in h}iiin and solemn dance. One im- 
portant doctrine of the Vishnuite sects is their recognition of 
the value of women as instructors of the outside female com- 
munity. For long, their female devotees were the only teachers 
admitted into the zaminas of good families in Bengal Fifty 
years ago, they had effected a change for the better in the 
state of female education, and the value of stich instruction was 
assigned as the cause of the sect having spread in Calcutta/^ 
Since that time, Vishnuite female ascetics of various sorts 
have entered the same field. In some instances the bad 
crept in along with the good» and an effort made in 1863 to 
utilize them in the raechanistn of Public Instruction failed.-* 

The analogy of woman's position in the Vishnuite sects 
to that assigned to her by ancient Buddhism is striking. But 
the analogy becomes more complete when the comparison is 
made with the extra-mural life of the modern Buddhist nun 
on the Punjab frontier. Thus, in Lahul (Lahaul) some of the 
nuns have not, as in Tibet, cloisters of their own. They are 
attached to monasteries, in which they reside only a few months 
of the year; and which they may permanently quit, either in 
order to marry or for other sufficient reasons. In 1868, there 
were sevent}'-one such Buddhist nons in Lahul, able to read and 
write, and very closely resembling in iheir life and discipline 
the better orders of Vishnuite female devotees in Bengal 
One of them was sufficiently skilled in astronomy to calculate 

The death of Chaitanya marked the beginning of a spiritual 
decline in Vishnu-worship. About 1520, Vallabha-Swami 
preached in Northern India that the liberation of the soul 
did not depend upon the mortification of the body ; and that 

< The Spashlha Dayakas. 

' Wilson's Religion of Hindu i^ vol. i. p. 171 (ed. 1S62). 

* The official details of this interestin^r and once promising experiment 
at Dacca will be found in Apj>eiidix A. to the Report of the Director of 
Public Instruction, Bengal, for 1863-64, pp, 83-90; for 1864-65, pp. 
155*158; and in each subsequent Annual Report to 1869. 

* Shcrring's Hindu Tribes^ vol. ii. p, 9 (410, Calcutta), 

The place 
It assigns 
to worn en « 

Model Ti 



cirt: 152Q 


God was to be sought, not in nakedness and hunger and 
solitude, but amid the enjoyments of this life. An opulent 
sect had, from an early period, attached itself to the worship 
of Krishna and his bride Ridhd ; a mystic significance being, 
of course, assigned to their pastoral loves. Still more popular 
among women is the modern adoration of Krishna as the 
Bdla Gopdla, or the Infant Cowherd, — a faith perhaps uncon- 
Child- sciously stimulated by the Catholic worship of the Divine 
wore ip. Q\{i\^^ The sect, however, deny any connection of their Infant 
god with the babe Jesus, and maintain that their worship is a 
legitimate and natural development of Vishnuite conceptions. 
Another influence of Christianity on Hinduism may possibly be 
traced in the growing importance assigned by the Krishna sects 
to bhakti, or faith, as an all-sufficient instrument of salvation. 
Krishna- Vallabhi-Swamf was the apostle of Vishnuism as a religion 
worship. ^£ pleasure. When he had finished his life's work, he de- 
scended into the Ganges; a brilliant flame arose from the 
spot ; and, in the presence of a host of witnesses, his glorified 
form ascended to heaven. The special object of his homage 
was Vishnu in his pastoral incarnation, in which he took the 
form of the divine youth Krishna, and led an arcadian life in 
the forest. Shady bowers, lovely women, exquisite viands, 
and everything that appeals to the sensuousness of a 
tropical race, are mingled in his worship. His daily ritual 
consists of eight services, in which Krishna's image, as a 
beautiful boy, is delicately bathed, anointed with essences, 
splendidly attired, and sumptuously fed. The followers of the 
first Vishnuite reformers dwelt together in secluded monasteries, 
or went about scantily clothed, living upon alms. But the 
Vallabhi-Swimi sect performs its devotions arrayed in costly 
apparel, anointed with oil, and perfumed with camphor or 
sandal. It seeks its converts, not among weavers, or leather- 
dressers, or barbers, but among wealthy bankers and mer- 
chants, who look upon life as a thing to be enjoyed, and 
upon pilgrimage as a holiday excursion, or an opportunity 
for trade. 
A religion In a religion of this sort, abuses are inevitable. It was a 
ofpleasure. ,.gyolt against a system which taught that the soul could 
approach its Maker only by the mortification of the body. It 
declared that God was present in the cities and marts of men, 
not less than in the cave of the ascetic Faith and love were 
its instruments of salvation, and voluptuous contemplation its 
approved spiritual state. It delighted to clothe the deity in a 
beautiful human form, and mystical amorous poems make a 



Bjgepart of its canonicalliterature. One of its most valued 
iKeological treatises is entitled The Ocean of Love, Prcm Love 
and although its nobler professors always recognised ^'^*^****' 
^spiritual character, to baser minds it has become simply a 
of pleasure. The loves of Rddhd and Krishna, that 
and pastoral redolent of a wild-flower aroma as ethereal 
he legend of Psyche and Cupid, are sometimes materialized 
\ a sanaion for licentious rites. 

\ few of the Vishnuite sects have been particularized in order Numernus 
! show the wide area of religious thought which they cover, ^'^shnuiie 
the composite conceptions of which their beliefs are 
\ up. But any attempt at a complete catalogue of them The 
the scope of this work. H. H. Wilson divided ^T"""}^ 

X 1111 . ^^^^^ 

into twenty pnncipal sects, and the branches or lesser vubmiiiL- 
►therhoods number not less than a hundred* Their series **'**^^^- 

^ous founders continued until the present century, when 
f began to merge into the more purely theistic movements 

day. Indeed, the higher Vishnuite teachers have always Tlicistti: 
en theistic. The Statistical Survey of India has disclosed [J]^^J^^' 
oysuch reformations, from the Kartdbhajas^ of the Districts 
und Calcutta, to the Satnimis * of the Central Provinces. 
le of these sects are poor local brotherhoods, with a 
religious house ; others have developed into wide- 
and wealthy bodies \ while one theistic church has 
pwn into a great nation, the Sikhs, the last military power The Slkbs, 

we had to subdue in India,^ Ndnak Shah, the spiritual Nanak 
nder of the Sikhs, was nearly contemporary with Kabir, and ^^^^^• 
Bght doctrines in the Punjab but little diflering from those of 
Bengal apostle.* The Vishnuite sects now include almost 
whole population of Lower Bengal, excepting the very 
and the very lowest castes. In many of their com- 
, caste is not acknowledged. Such sects form brother- Brother- 
I which recognise only spiritual distinctions or degrees ; li^o*!*" 
a new social organization is thus provided for the 
nfoTtanate, the widow, or the out-caste. In lately Hinduized 
^ovinces like Assam, Vishnu-worship has become practically 
^e religion of the people. 
The Car Festival of Jagannilh is perhaps the most typical Jogannitli^ 

' Set Hunters Siaiistuai Account of Sengai, vol. L pp» 73^75 (Twekty* 
IFouiParcamas); vol, il pp. 53-55 (Nadiya). 
I ' See r*; Imperial GatetUer of Itidia^ article Cen 1 RAL Prov i nces, 
^ ^ Tkt Imperial Gaititeer 0/ India, tkTtidefi Amritsar and FuNjAR. 
" *** tbeologica! aspects of the Sikhs, 5=ee Wilson *3 Ktligion ef the 
^*^, Vol i. pp. 267-275 (cd, 1862). 

1^ VVtUon's Kiligicti of the Hindus^ vol i. p. 269, 



suicides did at rare intervals occur, although they were opposed 
to the spirit of the worship. 
Lil>elson An ludian ' procession means a vast multitude of excitable 
jagannat . jjgj^gs ready for any extravagance. Among Indian proces- 
sions, that of Jagannith to his countr}'-house stands first; 
and the frenzied affrays of the Muharram might as fairly 
be assigned to the deliberate policy of the British Govern- 
ment, as the occasional suicides at the Car Festival may be 
charged against the god. The travellers who tell the most 
sensational stories are the ones whose narratives prove that 
they went entirely by hearsay, or who could not them- 
selves have seen the Car Festival at Purf. The number of 
deaths, whether voluntary or accidental, as registered by the 
dispassionate candour of English officials, has always been 
insignificant, indeed far fewer than those incident to the party 
processions of the Musalmdns; and under improved police 
His gentle arrangements, they have practically ceased. So far from en- 
doctrmcs. couraging religious suicides, the gentle doctrines of Jaganndth 
tended to check the once common custom of widow-burning. 
Even before the Government put a stop to sati in 1829, our 
officials observed its comparative infrequency at Puri. Widow- 
burning was discountenanced by the Vishnuite reformers, and 
is stigmatized by a celebrated disciple as *the fruitless union 
of beauty with a corpse.' 

Thereligi- The worship of Siva and Vishnu operates as a religious 
of Himlu- t>ond among the Hindus, in the same way as caste supplies 
ism. the basis of their social organization. Theoretically, the 

Hindu religion starts from the Veda, and acknowledges its 
divine authority. But, practically, we have seen that Hindu- 
ism takes its origin from many sources. Vishnu-worship and 
Sivaite rites represent the two most popular combinations of 
The these various elements. The highly-cultivated Brahman is a 

*^osen pure theist; the less cultivated worships the divinity under 
devoid, some chosen form, ishta-devatd. The conventional Brdhman, 
especially in the south, takes as his * chosen deity,' Siva in his 
deep philosophical significance, with the phallic linga as his 
emblem. The middle classes and the mercantile community 
adore some incarnation of Vishnu. The low-castes propitiate 
Siva the Destroyer, or rather one of his female manifestations, 
such as the dread Kalf. 
Practical But every Hindu of education allows that his special object 
iT V ^^^ °^ homage is merely his ishta-devaid^ or own chosen form 
under which to adore the Deity, Param-eswara. He admits 


that there is ample scope for adoring God under other Its toler- 
manifestations, or in other shapes. Unless a new sect takes ^"^®' 
the initiative, by rejecting caste or questioning the autho- 
rity of the Veda, the Hindu is slow to dispute the orthodoxy 
of the movement Even the founder of the Brahma Samdj, 
or modem theistic church of Bengal, lived and died a Hindu. ^ 
The Indian vernacular press cordially acknowledges the merits 
of distinguished Christian teachers, like Dr. Duff of Calcutta, 
or Dr. Wilson of Bombay. At first, indeed, our missionaries, 
in their outburst of proselytizing zeal, spoke disrespectfully 
of Hinduism, and stirred up some natural resentment. But 
as they more fully realized the problems involved in con- 
wsion, they moderated their tone, and now live on friendly 
t«nns with the Brihmans and religious natives. 

An orthodox Hindu paper, which had been filling its Hindu 
columns with a vigorous j>olemic entitled * Christianity pij^"^^ ^^ 
Destroyed,' no sooner heard of the death of the late Mr. tianity. 
Sierring, than it published a eulogium on that devoted mis- 
aonaiy. It dwelt on *his learning, affability, solidity, piety, 
knevolence, and business capacity.* The editor, while a 
stout defender of his hereditary faith, regretted that * so little 
of Mr. Shening's teaching had fallen to his lot.' ^ The Hindus 
tfc among the most tolerant religionists in the world. 

Of the three members of the Hindu Triad, the first person, Modern 
Brihma, has now but a few scattered handfuls of followers ; ^^ndu ^^** 
tijc second person, Vishnu, supplies a worship for the middle Triad, 
dosses ; around the third person, Siva, in his twofold aspects, 
kas grown up that mixture of philosophical symbolism with 
propttiatory rites professed by the highest and by the lowest 
OBtes. But the educated Hindu willingly recognises that, 
fceyond and above his chosen Deity of the Triad, or his 
fa^urite incarnation, or his village fetish, or his household 
^grdm, dwells the Param-eswara, the One First Cause, The One 
'Ijom the eye has not seen, and whom the mind cannot p^^' 
conceive, but who may be worshipped in any one of the forms eswaka. 
in which he manifests his power to men. 

The best short account of this deeply interesting movement, and of 
•** ^ leader Rammohan Roy, will be found under the title of Indian 
'*<"^ Reformers, by Professor Monier Williams, in the Journal of the 
kvfd Asiatic Society, Jan. 1881, vol. xiii. See also his Modem India 
(Trtboer, 1879) ; and Miss Collet's Brahmo Year Book (Williams & 
Nwgate, annually). 

The Kcevl-bachan Stidha, quoted in the Chronicle of the London Mis* 
""^fj Sode// fox Novcml>cr 1880, p. 792. 


Recapiiu- The foregoing chapters indicate how, out of the early Aryan 

lation. j^j^^ non-Aryan races of India, as modified by Greek and 

Scythic invasions, the Hindu population and the Hindu 

Three religion were built up. We shall next consider three series of 

ii^^cnccs- influences which, within historic times, have been brought to 

bear, by nations from the West, upon the composite people 

thus formed. The first set of these influences is represented by 

(1) Chris- the early Christian Church of India, a Church which had its 
tianity, origin in a period long anterior to the mediaeval Hinduism 

of the 9th century, and which is numerously represented by 

(2) Islam, the Syrian Christians of Malabar in our own day. The second 

foreign influence brought to bear upon India from the West 

consisted of the Muhammadan invasions, which eventually 

3) British created the Mughal Empire. The third influence is repre- 

Rule. sented by the European settlements, which culminated in the 

British Rule. 

229 ] 



Christianity now forms the faith of over two millions of 
the Indian population. Coeval with Buddhism during the 
last nine centuries of its Indian histor}', the teaching of 
Christ has^ after the lapse of another nine hundred years, 
more than twelve times more followers than the teaching of 
Buddha upon the Indian continent. Adding Burma, where 
the doctrines of Gautama still remain the creed of the people, 
there are over two millions of Christians to under three and a 
half millions of Buddhists ; or to four millions of Buddhists 
and Jains. Christianity, while a very old religion in India, 
is also one of the most active at the present day. The 
Census of i88t disclosed that the Christians in British and 
Feudatory India had increased by more than one-fifth since 
1S72; and this increase^ while partly the result of more 
perfect enumeration, represents to a large extent a real growth. 

The origin of Christianity in India is obscure. Early 
tradition, accepted popularly by Catholics, and more doubtfully 
by Protestants, connects it with St, Thomas the Apostle, 
who is said to have preached in Southern India, on the 
Malabar and Coromandel coasts ; to have founded several 
churches ; and finally, to have been martyred at the Little 
Mount, near Madras, in 68 a,d. The Catholic tradition 
narrates further, that a persecution arose not long after, in 
which all the priests perished ; that many years later, the 
Patriarch of Babylon, while still in communion with Rome, 
heard of the desolate state of the Indian Church, and sent 
forth bishops who revived its faith j that about 486 a.d., 
Nestorianism spread from Babylon into Malabar. 

To orthodoxy this tradition has a twofold value. It assigns 
an apostolic origin to the Christianity of India ; and it explains 
away the fact that Indian Christianity, when it emerges into 
history, formed a branch of the unorthodox Nestorian Church. 
Modern criticism has questioned the evidence for the evangel- 
istic labours of the Doubting Apostle in Southern India. It 

ily coeval 

for 900 

of Chrii?- 
lianity in 




of the 



t»r India. 


The three 
of St. 

has brought to light the careers of two later niissioaaries, bothJ 
bearing the name of Thomas, to whom, at widely separaiedl 
dates, the honour of converting Southern India is assigne4| 
Gibbon dismisses the question of their respective claims in i 
comTnient triplet : — * The Indian missionary St, Thomas, it 
Apostle, a Manicha^an, or an Armenian merchant/^ 

This method of treatment scarcely satisfies the jnes* 
century ; and the Statistical Survey of India has thrown fresh 
light on the Syrian Christians of the Southern Peninsula, 
this day they number 304,410,' or more than double the nuiubcrl 
of Native Protestants in India in 1861, Indeed, until within tiie| 
past ten years, the remnants of ihe ancient Syrian Church hai 
still a larger native following in India than ail the ProiestantI 
sects put together,^ It would be unsuitable to dismiss \ 
ancient and so numerous a body without some attempt toi 
trace their history. That history forms the longest continuous 
narrative of any religious sect in India except the Jains. 

The Syrian Church of Malabar had its origin in the! 
period when Buddhism was still triumjihant ; it witnessed the J 
birth of the Hinduism which superseded the doctrine andj 
national polity of Uuddha ; it saw the arrival of the Muharo-j 
madans who ousted the Hindu dynasties; it suffered cniellyj 
from the Roman inquisitors of the Portuguese; but it has J 
survived its i>ersecutors, and has fonned a subject of inierestJ 
to Anglican inquirers during the past eighty years.* 

The three legends of St. Thomas, the missionary of Southei 
India, may be summarized as follows. According to ihci 
Chaldsean Breviary and certain Fathers of the Catholic Church, i 

* Dedim and Fall of tht Roman Empire (quarto edition, 1788), wl. wi 
P- 599» fooinoie 12a. 

* Cmstis of India, iSSi, vol. iL pp. 20, 31, The Census officeTS retnf*! 
the whole as 'Syrians,' without discrijiiiualing between Jacubie* *wl | 
Syrian Catholics. A Maiement kindly supplied to the author by ibeVi^f- 1 
Apostolic of Verapolj returns the Syrian Catholics within his jufisdici»ofl I 
at over 2oo,ooO| and Ihe Jacobites at about 100,000. The lallef ■'^1 
chiefly under the jurisdiction of the Roman vicars-apostolic of Vcrapw* \ 
and (^>uilon, but are still distinguished as 'Catholics of the Syrian htc' i 

^ See i^otistant Missions in Indfa^ Bunua^ and Ctyhn^ Siatl^**^i 
Tables, 1S81, drawn up under tlic authority of the Calcuiia Misjiona^Tj 
Conference. This valuable coinjjilalion returns 138,751 Native rrolcst*"*! 
Christians in 1S61, aud 2241258 m iKjt, in India, exclusive of Burma- J 

* From the time of Claudius Buchanan and liihhop licbcr downwaJ^ 
See Anaiic RtstarchcSy voL vii., * Account of St. Thome Chhsiiaiii 00 t 
coast of Atalabar/ by Mr. Wrede ; Buchanan's Christian R<Si.anhti ^ 
Asia^ 4ih ed. (iJ*M), pp. 106, 145 j Heter's Jounutl^ vol. ii.; Bish*^ 
Middleton*s Lijt 0/ Le Bas^ chapters ix.-xii, (iliji); Hough's IM» 
Chrisiianiiy in Imiia^ 5 vols. (1839-60). 


St Thomas the Apostle converted many countries of Asia, and 
found a martyrs death in India. The meagre tradition of the 
early Church was expanded by the Catholic writers of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries. The abstract by Vincenzo 
Maria makes the Apostle commence his work in Mesopotamia, 
and includes Bactria, Central Asia, China, 'the States of the 
Great Mogul,' Siam, Germany, Brazil, and Ethiopia, in the 
circle of his missionary labours. The apostolic traveller then 
sailed east again to India, converting the island of Socotra on 
the way, and after preaching in Malabar, ended his labours 
on the Coromandel coasL* The final development of the 
tradition fills in the details of his tlealh. It would appear that 
on the 2ISl December 68 a.d,, at Mailapur, a suburb of 
Madras, the Brahraans stirred up a tumult against the Apostle, 
whoj after being stoned by the crowd, was finally thrust through 
with a spear upon the S]>ot now known as St. Thomas' Mount 

The second legend assigns the conversion of India to 
Thomas the Manichaean, or disciple of Manes, towards the 
end of the third century. Another legend ascribes the honour 
to an Armenian merchant, Thomas Cana, in the eighth century. 
The story relates that Mar Thomas, the Armenian, settled in 
Malabar for purposes of trade, married two Indian ladies, and 
grew into power with the native princes. He found that such 
Christians as existed before his time had been driven by 
persecution from the coast into the hill-country. Mar Thomas 
secured for them the privilege of worshipping according to 
their faith, led them back to the fertile coast of Malabar, and 
became their archbishop. On his deaths his memory received 
the gradual and spontaneous honours of canonization by the 
Christian communities for whom he had laboured, and his 
name became identified with that of the Apostle, 

\\^atever may be the claims of the Armenian Thomas as the 
re-builder of the Church in Southern India, he was certainly 
not its founder. Apart from the evidence of Patristic litera- 
ture, there is abundant local proof that Christianity flourished 
in Southern India long before the eighth century. In the sixth 
century, while Buddhism was still at the height of its power, 
Kalydn, on the Bombay coast, was the seat of a Christian bishop 
from Persia,^ 

^ The Book qf Scr Marco Poh the Vfnefian, Colonel Vulc*s second 
edition, vol. ti. p. 343, r»ole 4 (1875). 

* Gatetiter of the Bombay PresUctuy^ vol. xiiL part i., Thana District, 
pp, 66, 200, etc It is not necessary to tlispule vvlselhcr iht seat of thiK 
bishopric was the modern Kalyan or Quilon (CoJIam), a<» the coast fioin 
Bombay southwards to Uuilon bore indetinitcly the name nf Caliaiia« 

52 1068 

Legend : 
St. Thomas 

(68 A. IX). 

Legem 1 1 
the Maoj- 
chc^an (?77 

Legend : 
the Ar- 

The three 
examined ; 

the third ; 


the second The claims of Thomas the Manichaean have the European 
legend ; support of the Church historians, La Croze,^ Tillemont, and 
others. The local testimony of a cross dug up near Madras 
in 1547, bearing an inscription in the Pehlvi tongue, has 
also been urged in his favour. The inscription is probably of 
the seventh or eighth century a.d., and, although somewhat 
variously deciphered, bears witness to the sufferings of 
and the For the claims of St Thomas the Apostle, a longer and more 

' ancient series of authorities are cited. The apocryphal history 

of St. Thomas, by Abdias, dating perhaps from the end of the 
first century, narrates that a certain Indian king, Gondaphorus, 
sent a merchant called Abban to Jesus, to seek a skilful 
architect to build him a palace. The story continues that the 
Lord sold Thomas to him as a slave expert in that art* The 
Apostle converted King Gondaphorus, and then journeyed on 
to another country of India, under King Meodeus, where he 

* Histoire du Christiauisme des Indes^ 2 vols. i2mo (The Hague, 1758). 

• Professor Haug reads it thus : * Whoever believes in the Messiah, and 
in God above, and also in the Holy Ghost, is in the grace of Him who 
bore the pain of the cross. ' Dr. Bumell deciphers it more diffidently: — 
* In punishment [?] by the cross [was] the suffering of this [one] : [He] who 
is the true Christ and God above, and Guide for ever pure.' Yule*s Marco 
Polot 2nd ed., p. 345, vol. ii.; also p. 339, where the cross is figured. 

' This legend forms the theme of the Hymnus in Festo Sancti Thomac 
Apostolic ad Vesperum^ in the Mozarabic Breviary, edited by Cardinal 
Lorenzana in 1775. Its twenty-one verses are given as an appendix in Dr. 
Rennet's Madras monograph. Three stanzas will here suffice : — 
* Nuncius venit de Indis 
Quaerere artificem : 
Architectum construere 

R^um palatium : 
In foro deambulabat 
Cunctorum venalium. 

Habeo servum fidelem, 
Locutus est Dominus, 
Ut exquiris talem, aptum 

Esse hunc artificem : 
Abbanes videns, et gaudcns, 
Suscepit Apostolum.' 
The hymn assigns the death of the Apostle to the priest of a sun temple 
which had been overthrown by St. Thomas : — 

' Tunc sacerdos idolorum 

Furibundus astitit, 

Gladio transverberavit 

Sanctum Christi martyrem. 
Glorioso passionis 
Laureatum sanguine.' 



i slain by lances.^ The existence of a Ring Gondaphorus 

> been established by coins, which would place him in the 
t centur)' b.c, or within the first half of the first century of 

era.* But, apart from difficulties of chronology, it is 

' that the Gondaphorus of the coins was an Indo-Scythic 

onarch, reigning in regions which had no connection with 

abaj. His coins are still found in numbers in Afghanistan 

I the Punjab, especially from Peshdwar to Ludhiana. He 

> essentially a Punjab potentate. 

The mention of St. Thomas the Apostle in connection with Wide 
dia by the Fathers, and in the Offices of the Church, does ^^^^^^ ^^ 
: bring him nearer to Malabar, or to the supposed site of his 
rtyrdom at Madras* For the term * India/ at the period 
► which these authorities belong, referred to the countries 
bond Persia, including Afghdnistdn and the basins of the 
ppper Oxus, Indus, and Ganges, rather than to the southern 
f of the peninsula. In the early accounts of the labours of imhe 
Thomas, the vague term India is almost ahvays associated '^**"<^'^^ 
Hih Persia, Media, or Bactria.^ Nor does the appellation of 
. Thomas as the Apostle of India in the Commemorations 
fthc Church, help to identify him with the St, Thomas who 
ficachcd on the Malabar and Coromandel coasts. For not 
i&ly does the indeterminate character of the word still adhere 
) their use of * India,' but the area assigned to the Apostle's 
i is so wide as to deprive them of value for the purpose 
'iocal identification. Thus, the Chaldsean Breviary of the 
bar Church itself states that * by St. Thomas were the 

' Colood Yule's Marco /V>/p, second edition, vol. ii. p* 243. Dr. Kennet, 

I tB iniere&ting monograph cm I tied Si, Ihomai^ the Apmile cf India ^ 

I5 (Madras, Ife82), says: — *The history of Abdias was published for 

' ftrst lime by Wolfgang La^ctus, under the title of Abdia BabyhnitF, 

fftictfi ft Afcstofarum Diiafuii^ d£ Historia ctrfaminis A/osie/ui, iidn 

*^ - Julio Afrifano Inter prHt, Basi lis?, 1532/ 

^Of the vanous dates, see Colonel Yule's MarnQ Poh^ second edition, 

' '^ P* 343* Colonel Ywle's Cathay deals with the Chinese and Central 

'•tiispecis of the legend of St. Thomas (2 vols. 1866). 

Thus the Pauhal ChronicU of Bi^^hop l>orntheui (bom A.D. 254) says : 

rj«c Apostle Thomas, after having preached the gospel to the rarlhiariSi 

**«Si Persians., Germanians [an agricnhural people of Persia mentioned 

I Herodotus^ i. 125], Bactrians, and Magit suffered martyrdom at Cala- 

\% town of India.* Ilippolytus, Bishop of Poitusj (nVro 220 A. D.), 

' to bU Thomas, Parthja^ Media, Persia, Hcrcanisi, the Bactri, the 

ittiid, while ascribing the conversion of India to St. Bartholomew, 

I Calainina, a city of India, as the place of St, Thomas* martyr- 

Thc Metropolitan Johannes, who attended the Council of Niccca in 

F5i *<»Wribed as Bishop of * India Maxima and Persia.' Dr. Kenneths 

^ph (Madras, 1882); Hough, i, pp. 30 to 116, 








glimpse ill 
( hristiansj 
iina 190 


Reel from 


in ancient 

Chinese and the Ethiopians converted to the Truth/ while 
of its anthems proclaims: *The Hindus, the Chinese, t1 
Persians, and all the peoj^le of the Isles of the Sea, ihey wha 
dwell in Syria and Amaenia, in JavTin and Roumania, call 
Thomx'j to remembrance, and adore Thy Name, O Thou otir 
Redeemer ! ' 

Candid inquiry must therefore decline to accept the con- 
nection of St, Thomas with the * India' of the early Chuidi 
as proof of the Apostle's identity with Thomas, the missionary 
to Malabar. Nevertheless, there is evidence to indicate that 
Christianity had reached Malabar before the end of the sewnd 
century a.d., and nearly a hundred years previous to the 
jiosed labours of Thomas the Manichaean {circa 277 a.ix), 
the 2nd century a Roman merchant fleet of one hundred 
steered regularly from Myos Homius on the Red Sea, 
.Arabia, Ceylon, and Malabar. It found an ancient Jewi 
colony, the remnants of which still remain to this day as 
Beni'lsraels,^ y]>on the Bombay coast. Whether these Ji 
emigrated to India at the time of the Dispersion, or at a lal 
period, their settlements probably date from before the 
century of our era. 

The Red Sea fleet from Myos Hormus, which traded 
this Jewish settlement in India, must in all likelihood 
brought with it Jewish merchants and others acquainted 
the new religion of Christ which, starting from Palestine, hid 
penetrated throughout the Roman world. Part of the fleet, 
moreover, touched at Aden and the Persian Gulf, themselves 
early seats of Christianity. Indeed, after the direct sea-couisc 
to Malabar by the trade winds was known, the main navigation 
to India for some time hugged the Asiatic coast Chrisuan 
merchants from that coast, both of Jewish and other nict; 
would in the natural course of trade have reached Malabar 
within the second century a.d.^ The Buddhist polity then 
supreme in Southern India was favourable to the reception of 
a faith whose moral characteristics were humanity and self* 
sacrifice. Earlier Jewish settlors had already familiarized the 
native mind with the existence of an ancient and imposing 

* For their present numbers and condition, see the Bombay Cautktr^ by 
Mr. J. M. Cam^jbell, LL.D., of the Bombay Civil Service, vol. 3d. pp^Sj 
and 421 \ vol. xiiL p. 273, 

- The Roman iradc with the suuthem coast of India probably dates 
from, or before, the Apostolic period. Of 522 silver denarii found ftctt 
Coinibaiore in JS42, no fewer than IJS were coins of AugustuK, and 378 of 
Tiberius, Another find near Calicut about 1S50 contained an OMrnn of 
Augustus, with several hundred coins, none later than the Empcfof Nero* 



religion in Palestine. When that religion was presented in its 
new and more attractive form of Christianity, no miraculous 
intervention was probably required to commend it to the 
tolerant Buddhist princes of Southern India, 

About 190 A.D., rumours, apparently brought back by the Mahbar 
Red Sea fleet, of a Christian community on the Malabar coast, ^,>"^J'^'^' 
nred the zeal of Pantaenus of Alexandria. Panta;nus, in his a.d, 
earlier years a Stoic philosopher, was then head of the cele- PaEtarnus, 
brated school which formed one of the glories of his city. He 
started for India ; and although it has been questioned whether 
he reached India Proper, the evidence seems in favour of his 
having done so. He 'found his own arrival anticipated by 
some who were acquainted with the Gospel of Matthew*; to 
whom Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached ; and 
had left them the same Gospel in the Hebrew, which also was 
preserved until this time/^ His mission may be placed at 
the end of the 2nd century. Early in the 3rd century^ St Hippniy- 
Hippolvtus, Bishop of Portus {€m\ 220 A.D.), also assigns the 2^20 Zd! 
conversion of India to the Apostle Bartholomew. To Thomas 
he ascribes Persia and the countries of Central Asia, although 
he mentions Calamina, a city of India, as the place where 
Thomas suffered death. 

Indeed, the evidence of the early Christian writers, so far 
as it goes, tends to connect St Thomas with the India of the 
ancient world, — that is to say, with Persia and Afghdnistdn, — 
and St Bartholomew with the Christian settlements on the 
Malabar coast Cosmos Indicopleustes writes of a Christian Cosmos 
Church in Ceylon, and on the Callian or Malabar seaboard ^^^^^^- 
\ar€, 547 A.D.). But he makes no mention of its foundation riVf. 547 
by St Thomas, which, as an Alexandrian monk, he would have ^'^' 
been almost sure to do had he heard any local tradition of 
the circumstance. He states that the Malabar Bishop was 
consecrated in Persia ; from which we may infer that the 
Christians of Southern India had already been brought within 
the Nestorian fold There is but slight evidence for fixing 
upon the Malabar coast as the scat of the orthodox Bishop 
Frumentius, sent forth by Athanasius to India and the East, 
^ira 355 A,D. 

The truth is, that the Christians of Southern India belonged Nestarian 
from their first clear emergence into his tor)' to the Syrian *-^°^*^ ^" 
rite. If, as seems probable, Christianity was first brought to 
Malabar by the merchant fleet from the Persian Gulf, or the 

' Dr, Kennet, quoting Eusebius, in his monograph on St, Thomas^ tin 
Apcstit ^flmU&t p. 9 (Madras, iSSa), 




Side by 
siiie with 
i^^t 1000 

Its wide 

Asiatic coast of the Arabian Sea, the Malabar Christians 1 
fullow the Asiatic forms of faith. When, therefore, in the ; 
century, Nestorianism, driven forth from Europe and 
conquered the allegiance of Asia, the Church of Soud 
India would naturally accept the Nestorian doctrine. 

It should be remembered that during the thousand years wlj 
Christianity flourished in Asia, from the 5th to the I5thcena 
it was the Christianity of Nestorius. The Jacobite sect A% 
m the midst of the Nestorians ; and for nearly a the 
years, the Christianity of these types, together with Buddhil 
formed the two intelligent religions of Central Asia. Ho 
Buddhism and Christianity mutually influenced each 
doctrine and ritual still remains a complex problem. 
Christianity in western Central Asia appears to have offei 
longer resistance than Buddhism to the advancing ava 
of Islam ; and in the countries to the west of Tibet it sur 
its Buddhist rival * Under the reign of the Caliphs,' 
Gibbon, *the Nestorian Church was diffused from Chin 
Jerusalem and Cyprus; and their numbers, with those of| 
Jacobites, were computed to surpass the Greek and 

The mar\ellous history of the Christian Tartar pOU 
Prester John, king, warrior, and priest, is a mediaeval le 
based on the ascendancy of Christianity in some of*i 
Central Asian States,^ The travellers in Tartary and 
from the 12th to the 15th century, bear witness to' 
extensive survival, and once flourishing condition, of I 
Nestorian Church, and justify Pierre Bergeron's descrip 
of it as *«^pandue par toute FAsie.*^ The tenn Catholi 
which the Nestorians applied to their Patriach, and) 
Jacobites to their Metropolitan, survives in the languag 
Central India. The mediaeval travellers preserve it in va 
forms;* and the British Embassy to Yarkand, in iSjJi') 

* Decline amf Fall of the I^oman Emphty p. 598^ vol. iv. (qiiiiil 
1788). Gibljon quotes his aulhorities for this statement in a fo 
The whole subject of early Chmtianity in Central Asia and Giina* 
been discussed with exhaustive learning in Colonel Vulc*s Cathay^ an 
iVay ThUhtr. Hakluyt Society, 2 vols. lS66. 

■ * Voyage de Rubruquis en Tartarie,* chap, xix.^ in the quarto s 
of Voyages en AH^t published at the Hague in 1735* Guillaunie dc Rfl^ 
quis was an ambassador of Louis IX., sent to Tartary and China in I*S 
A.D, Colonel Vule also ^\es the stor)' of Prester John in Man^I^ 
vol. i. pp. 229-233 (cd. 1S75). 

^ *Traiie des Tartares,' par Pierre Berj^eron* chap. iii. in ihe Hi^ 
f]Uarto of Voyages en Asic^ above quoted (1735). 

* fiUhaUk^ Jatolic^ Jatdic ; originally Ctithailk^ 





came upon a story of * a poor and aged /atlik^ or Christian 
[ pdest'i 

Whether the Christians on the coast of Malabar were a direct ' Thonias ^ 
offshoot of the Nestorian Church of Asia, or the result of an ^^ Persia '^ 
earlier seedling dropped by St. Thomas or St. Bartholomew 
on their apostolic travels, it is certain that from their first 
appearance in local histor}\ the Malabar Christians obeyed 
bishops from Persia of the Nestorian rite.* By the 7 th cen- 
tury, the Persian Church had adopted the name of Thomas 
Christians, and this title would in time be extended to all its 
branches^ including that of Malabar, The early legend of the and uf 
Manichaean Thomas in the 3rd century, and the later labours "' ^^' 
of the Armenian Thomas, the rebuilder of the Malabar Church, 
in the Sth, had endeared that name to the Christians of 
Southern India. In their isolation and ignorance, they con- 
founded the three names, and concentrated their legends of 
the three Thomases in the person of the Apostle." Before the 
14th century, they had completed the process by believing that 
Si* Thomas was Christ 

The fitness of things soon required that the life and death Legend 
of the Apostle should be localized by the Southern Indian j^^*'^^^ 
Church. Patristic literature clearly declares that St. Thomas locali^il \ 
had suffered martyrdom at Calamina, probably in some country 
east of Persia, or in Northern India itself The tradition of 
the Church is equally distinct, that in 394 a.d. the remains of 
the Apostle were transferred to Edessa in Mesopotamia,* The 
attempt to localize the death of St. Thomas on the south- in ^M\c of 
western coast of India started, therefore, under disadvantages, cl'^cuhits, 
A suitable site was, however, found at the Mount near Madras, 
one of the many hill shrines of ancient India which have 
formed a joint resort of religious persons of diverse faiths, — 
Buddhist, Muhammadnn, and Hindu {<mte^ p. 203). 

Marco Polo, the first European traveller who has left an ijih cen- 
account of the place, gives the legend in its undeveloped form o'fThe *" 


* Dr* Bellcw's * History of Kashgar/ in the Official Report ef Sir 
DoHglas Ftfrsyth's AMissi<m^ p. 127. (Quarto, Foreign Office Press, Cal- 
cutta, 1875.) 

■ Mr, Campbeirs Bombay Caixttier, Tliana District, chap» iiL (Bombay, 

^ The Jacobites, or followers of Jacobus Baradaeus, prefer in the same 
way to deduce Ihcir name and pedii^ree from the Aposile James. Gibbon, 
iv« 603, footnote (ed 1788). 

< For the authorities, see Dr, Kennel's Madras monograph, St, Thomas^ 
Ihi ApostU of Imiia (18S2) ; and Colonel Yules criucal note, Mono Polo^ 
vol* ii. p- 342 (2nd edition, 1875). 



at the 


legend as 

by the 

Relics at 

Final form 
of the 

in the 13th century. The Apostle had, it seems, been acci- 
dentally killed outside his hermitage by a fowler, who, * not 
seeing the saint, let fly an arrow at one of the peacocks. And 
this arrow struck the holy man in the right side, so that he 
died of the wound, sweetly addressing himself to his Creator.' ^ 
Miracles were wrought at the place, and conflicting creeds 
claimed the hermit as their own. * Both Christians and 
Saracens, however, greatly frequent the pilgrimage,' says Marco 
Polo truthfully, although evidently a little puzzled.* * For the 
Saracens also do hold the Saint in great reverence, and say 
that he was one of their own Saracens, and a great prophet.' 
Not only the Muhammadans and Christians, but also the 
Hindus seem to have felt the religious attractions of the spot. 
About thirty years after Marco Polo, the Church itself was, 
according to Odoric, filled with idols.^ Two centuries later, 
Joseph of Cranganore, the Malabar Christian, still testifies to 
the joint worship of the Christian and the heathen at St. 
Thomas' Mount. The Syrian bishops sent to India in 1504 
heard * that the Church had begun to be occupied by some 
Christian people. But Barbosa, a few years later, found it half 
in ruins, and in charge of a Muhammadan/jr^/r, who kept a 
lamp burning.' * 

Brighter days, however, now dawned for the Madras legend. 
Portuguese zeal, in its first fervours of Indian evangelization, 
felt keenly the want of a sustaining local hagiology. Saint 
Catherine had, indeed, visibly delivered Goa into their hands ; 
and a parish church, afterwards the cathedral, was dedicated 
to her in 15 12. Ten years later, the viceroy Duarte Menezes 
became ambitious of enriching his capital with the bones of an 
apostle. A mission from Goa despatched to the Coromandel 
coast in 1522, proved itself ignorant of, or superior to, the 
well-established legend of the translation of the Saint's remains 
to Edessa in 394 a.d., and found his sacred relics at the 
ancient hill shrine near Madras, side by side with those of a 
king whom he had converted to the faith. They were brought 
with pomp to Goa, the Portuguese capital of India, and there 
they lie in the Church of St, Thomas to this day.* 

The finding of the Pehlvi cross, mentioned on a previous 
page, at St. Thomas* Mount in 1547, gave a fresh colouring to 

1 Colonel Yule's Marco Polo (2nd edition, 1875), vol. ii. p. 340. 

* Idem, ii. pp. 337-338- ' /<^w, ii. p. 344. * Ibid, 

• Ibid. Colonel Yule's Cathay (2 vols. i86i3) should also be referred to 
by students of the legend of St. Thomas, and his alleged labours in Asia 
and India. 




the legend- So far as its inscription goes, it points to a Persian, 
and probably to a Manicha^an origin. But at the period when 
it was dug up, no one in Madras could decipher its Pehlvi 
characters. A Brdhman impostor, knowing that there was a 
local demand for martyrs, accordingly came forward with a 
fictitious interpretation. The simple story of Thomas' acci- 
dental death from a stray arrow, had before this grown into a 
cruel martyrdom by stoning and a lance-thrust, with each spot 
in the tragedy fixed at the Greater and Lesser Mount near 
Madras. The Brahman pretended to supply a confirmation 
of the legend from the inscription on the cross — a c on firm a- 
tion which continued to be accepted until Dr. Burnell and 
Professor Hang published their decipherments in our owm 
day. *In the i6th and 17th century/ says Colonel Yule, 
* Roman Catholic ecclesiastical story-tellers seem to have 
striven in rivalry who should most recklessly expand the travels 
of the Apostle.' 

The lying interpretation of the Brdhman, and the visible 
relics in the church at Goa, seem to have influenced the 
popular imagination more powerfully than the clear tradition of 
the early Chtirch regarding the translation of the Apostle's relics 
to Edessa. Our own King Alfred has been pressed into the 
service of St Thomas of Madras. *This year,' 8S3 a,d., says 
the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, vSighelm and Athelstane carried 
to Rome the alms which the king had vowed to send thither, 
and also to India to St, Thomas and to St. Bartholomew/ ^ 
Gibbon suspects * that the English ambassadors collected 
their cargo and legend in Egy|>t.' '^ There is certainly no 
evidence to show that they ever visited the Coromandel coast, 
and much to indicate that the 'India' of Alfred was the India 
of the early Church, and far north-west of the Madras ex[)Ioits 
of the Apostle. The legend of St. Ihomaii' Mount has in our 
own century been illustrated by the eloquence and learning 
of bishops and divines of the Anglo-Indian Church. * Rut/ 
concludes Colonel Vule, *J see that the authorities now 
ruling the Catholics at Madras are strong in disparagement 
of the special sanctity of the localities, and of the whole story 
connecting St. Thomas with Mailapur,' the alleged scene of his 

* Hottgh, i. p. 104 {1S39); Dr. Kennel's Madras monograph, Si, Th&masj 
tht Afosiii 0/ hidia, pp. 6» 7 (1882). 

* Deciiru ami Fait of the Romiin Empire ^ voL \\. p, 599, foQtnote I2J 
(ed* 178S) ; Iloughj vol. L pp. 105-107. 

* Colonel Ynle's MaixQ Poit^, ii. p. 344 (cJ. 1875). 




hut to 



of the 

The St. 
a military 
caste : 

As a matter of history, the life of the Nestorian Church in 
India has been a troubled one. A letter from the Patriarch 
Jesajabus to Simeon, Metropolitan of Persia, shows that before 
660 A.D., the Christians along the Indian coast were destitute 
of a regular ministry.^ In the 8th century, the Armenian 
friar Thomas found the Malabar Christians driven back into 
the recesses of the mountains. In the 14th century. Friar 
Jordanus declared them to be Christians only in name, 
without baptism. They even confounded St Thomas with 
Christ* A mixed worship, Christian, Muhammadan, and 
Hindu, went on at the old high place or joint hill shrine near 
Madras. In some centuries, the Church in Southern India 
developed, like the Sikhs in the Punjab, into a military sove- 
reignty. In others, it dwindled away ; its remnants lingering 
in the mountains and woods, or adopting heathen rites. The 
family names of a forest tribe ^ in Kinara, now Hindus, bear 
witness to a time when they were Christians ; and there were 
probably many similar reversions to paganism. 

The downfall of the Nestorian Church in India was due, 
however, neither to such reversions to paganism nor to any 
persecutions of native princes; but to the pressure of the 
Portuguese Inquisition, and the proselytizing energy of Rome. 
Before the arrival of Vasco da Garaa in 1498, the St. Thomas 
Christians had established their position as a powerful military 
caste in Malabar. The Portuguese found them firmly organized 
under their spiritual leaders, bishops, archdeacons, and priests, 
who acted as their representatives in dealing with the Indian 
princes. For long they had Christian kings, and at a later period 
chiefs, of their own.* In virtue of an ancient charter ascribed 
to Cherumal Perumal, Suzerain of Southern India in the ninth 
century a.d., the Malabar Christians enjoyed all the rights of 
nobility.* They even claimed precedence of the Nairs, who 
formed the heathen aristocracy. The St. Thomas Christians 

^ Assemani Bibliothcca^ quoted by Bishop Caldwell, Comparative 
Grammar of the Dravidian Languages^ p. 27, footnote (ed. 1875). 
Jesajabus died 660 a.d. 

' Jordanus, quoted in Mr. J. M. CampbelFs Bombay Gazetteer ^ vol. xiii. 
part i. p. 200 (ed. 1882). 

* The Mardthi Sidis. For an interesting account of them, see Mr. J. M, 
Campbell's Bombay Gazetteer^ Kanara District, vol. xv. part i. p. 397 
(ed. 1883). 

* Histoire du Christ ianisme des Indes, par M. V. La Croze, vol. i. p. 72, 
ii. p. 133, etc. (2 vols. i2mo, The Hague, 1758). 

* Jdem^ i. p. 67. For details, see The Syrian Church of Malabar^ by 
Edavalikel Philipos, p. 23, and footnote (Oxford, 1869). Local legend 
vainly places Chemmal Perumal and his grant as far back as 345 a. d. 



and the Nairs were, in fact, the most important mtlitary caster 
on the south-west coast ^ They supplied the bodygoard of the 
local kings ; and the Christian caste was the first to learn the 
use of gunpowder and fire-arms. They thus became the 
matchlockmen of the Indian troops of Southern India, usually 
placed in the van, or around the person of the prince. 

The Portuguese, by a happy chance, landed on the ver}^ 
Province of India in which Christianity was most firmly estab- 
lished, and in which Christians had for long formed a recog- 
nised and respected caste. The proselytizing energy of the new- 
comers could not, however, rest satisfied with their good fortune. 
That energy was vigorously directed both against the natives 
and the ancient Christian communities. Indeed, the Nestorian 
heresy of the St. Thomas Christians seemed to the fervour of the 
friars to be a direct call from heaven for interference by the 
orthodox Church. The Portuguese established the Inquisition, 
as we shall presently see, at Goa in 1560. After various Portu- 
giiese attempts, strongly resisted by the St. Thomas Christians, 
the latter were incorporated into the Catholic Church, by the 
labours of Alexis de Menczes, Archbishop of Goa, in 1599. 
The SjTiod held by him at Udayampura {or Diamper), near 
Cochin, in that year denounced Nestorius and his heresies, and 
put an end to the existence of the Indian Nestorian Church. 

No document could be more exhaustively complete than 
the Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Diamper, in its pro- 
visions for bringing the Malabar Christians within the Roman 
fold.^ The sacred books of the St. Thomas congregations, their 
missals, their consecrated oil and church ornaments, were 
publicly burned ; and their religious nationality as a separate 
caste was abolished. But when the firm hand of Archbishop 
Menezes was withdravvn, his parchment conversions began to 
lose their force. Notwithstanding the watchfulness of the 
Goa Inquisition over the new converts, the Decrees of the 
Synod of Diamper fell into neglect,^ and the Malabar Christians 
chafed under a line of Jesuit prelates from r6oi to 1653. 

In 1653 they renounced their allegiance to their Jesuit 

* For the military aspects of the Christian caste of St, Thomas, see 
La CroMj {op. Hi.\ ii. pp. \1%^ 129, ijo^ 140, 155, etc. The History of 
the Church 0/ Afa/akir and S^'nod of Diamfcr<, by the learned Michael 
Gcdde«, Chancellor of the Cathedral Church of Sarum (London, 1694), an 
earlier and independetii work, bears out this view. 

*The Acts and Decrees of the %nod of Diamper (1.^. Udayampura) 
occupy 346 pa^cs of the Chancellor of Sarum's History o/t hi Church 0/ 
Malnfmr^ pp. 97-443 (ed* 1 694). 

^ La Croze, ii. p. 193, 

VOL. VI, <} 

and re* 

ctTorts at 
their cun» 
version to 

Synod of 


Reversions bishop. A Carmelite mission was despatched from Rome in 
vereions^ '^S^ ^^ restore order. The vigorous measures of its head, 
1653-1663. Joseph of St Mary, brought back a section of the old Christian 
communities; and Joseph, having reported his success at 
Rome, returned to India as their bishop in 1661. He found 
the Protestant Dutch pressing the Portuguese hard on the 
Malabar coast, 1 661-1663. But the old military caste of 
Malabar Christians rendered no assistance to their Catholic 
superiors, and remained tranquil spectators of the struggle, 
till the capture of Cochin by the Dutch brought about the 
ruin of the Portuguese power in 1663. 
Malabar- The Malabar Christians, thus delivered from the temporal 
freed by'*^ power of the Portuguese, re-asserted their spiritual independ- 
the Dutch, ence. The Portuguese had compelled the native princes to 
'^3 ; persecute the old Christian communities \ and by confiscations, 
imprisonments, and various forms <3if pressure, to drive the 
Indian Nestorians into reconciliation with Rome.^ Such a 
persecution of a long recognised caste, especially of a valued 
military caste, was as foreign to the tolerant spirit of Hinduism, 
as it was lepugnant to the policy of the Indian princes, and it 
has left a deep impression on the traditions of the south-western 
coast. The native Jacobite historian of the Church of Malabar 
rises to the righteous wrath of an old Scottish covenanter in 
recounting the bribing of the poorer -chiefs by the Portuguese, 
and the killings, persecutions, and separations of the married 
clergy from their wives. The new Dutch masters of the southern 
coast, after a short antagonism to the Carmelite prelate and 
the native bishop whom he Idt behind, lapsed into indifference. 
They allowed the Roman missionaries free scope, but put an 
end to the exercise of the temporal power in support of the 
Catholic bishop. 2 

The chief spiritual weapon of conversion, a weapon 

dexterously used by the Portuguese Viceroys, had been the 

interruption of the supply of Nestorian bishops from Persia. 

receive a This they effected by watching the ports along the west 

l/sho*^^ coast of India, and preventing the entrance of any Nestorian 

1665. ' prelate. The Syrian Church in India had therefore to struggle 

on under its archdeacon, with grave doubts disturbing the 

mind of its clergy and laity as to whether the archidiaconal 

consecration was sufficient for the ordination of its priests. 

The overthrow of the Portuguese on the seaboard put an end 

to this long episcopal blockade. In 1665, the Patriarch of 

» La Croze, vol. ii. pp. 169, 176, 183, 189, 192, 198, 203, etc. 
* La Croze, vol. ii. pp. 204, 205. 


Anlioch sent a bishop, Mar Gregory, to the orphaned Syrian 
Church of India, But the new bishop belonged to the 
Jacobite instead of the Nestorian branch of the Asialic Church. 
Indian Nestorianism may therefore be said to have received 
its death-blow from the Synod of Diami^r in 1599* 

Since the arrival of Mar Gregory in 1-665, the old Syrian Mablur 
Church of India has remained divided into two sects. The ^hnsnans 
Pazhiia ktUiakdr, or Old Church, owed its foundation to Arch- 1665 ; 
bishop Menezes and the Synod of Diamper in 1599, and its 
reconciliation, after revolt, to the Carmelite bishop, Joseph of 
St Mary, in 1656. It retains in its services the Syrian language 0) Syrian 
and in part the Syrian ritual. But it acknowledges the ?^^^'f!' 
supremacy of the Pc^pe, and his vicars-apostolic Its members 
are now known as Catholics of the Syrian RitCi to distinguish 
them from the converts made direct from heathenism to the 
Latin Church by the Roman missionaries. The other section 
of the Syrian Christians of Malabar is called the Putten kuttakar, , 

» (2) TactJ'- 

or New Church, It adheres to the Jacobite tenets introduced bites, 
by its first Jacobite bishop, Mar Gregory, in 1665. 100,000? 

The present Jacobites of Malabar condemn equally the Tenets of 
errors of Arius, Nestorius, and the bishops of Rome.* They l^^j . 
hoid that the Bread and Wine in the Eucharist become the jacobiits. 
Real Body and Blood of Christ, and give communion in both 
kinds mixed together. They ])ray for the dead, practise con- 
fession^ make the sign of the cross, and obsen-e fasts. But 
they reject the use of images \ honour the Mother of Jesus 
and the Saints only as holy persons and friends of God j allow^ 
the consecration of a married layman or deacon to the otfice 
of priest ; and deny the existence of purgator)% In their 
Creed they follow the Council of Nicsea (325 a.d.). They 
believe in the Trinity ; assert the One Nature and the One 
Person of Christ, and declare the procession of the Holy Ghost 
to be from the Father, instead of from the Father and the Son,^ 

The Syrian Catholics and S>Tian Jacobites of Malabar main- Nesto- 
tain their diflerences with a high degree of religious vitality at "^i^^*^"™, 
the present day. Their congregations keep themselves distinct Malabar, 
from the Catholics of the Latin Rite converted direct from 
heathenism, and from the Protestant sects. Ko Nestorian 
Church is now known to exist in Malabar,^ The Syrian 

* The Syrian Christians of Miihlfar^ being a Catechism of iheir doctrijit: 
and ritual, by Eciavalikcl Philipos, Chorcpiscopus and Calhanar {i.e. 
priest) of the Great Churcb of Cottayam in Travancore, pp. 3, 4, S 
(Parker, 1S69). 

* The above summary U condensed from the Catechism of CdaVs\like 
Philipos, <>/. eiL pp. 9-13, 17» 19. ' Idem^ p. 29. 



guese mis- 
1500 A. a, 


Native re- 
prisals or 
* pcrsecu* 

I If ogress. 

Xavicr and 


Chrisiians were returned in 18 71 at about one-third of i 
million ; but the Census officers omitted to distinguish between! 
Catholic Syrian and Jacobites. The Catholic Archbis* 
and Vicar- Apostolic of VerapoH, to whose kind assists 
this chapter is indebted in many ways, estimates the Syj 
Catholics at 200,000, and the Jacobites at 100,000. The to 
for all Southern India cannot, however, be ascertained 
the next Census of 1891. 

Roman friars had visited India since the 13th century, 
first regularly equipped Catholic mission, composed of Y^ 
ciscan brethren, arrived from Portugal in 1500. Their atti 
on the native religions seemed part of the Portuguese polic 
aggression on the Native States. The pious Portuguese tno 
were popularly identified with the brutal Portuguese sokiie 
whose cruelties have left so deep a stain on early Europ 
enterprise in India. The military attempts of the Portugu^ 
and thei.r ill-treatment of the native princes and the 
population, provoked unmerited hatred against the disinten 
if someiimes ill-judged, zeal of the Portuguese missionariei j 

Native reprisals, which certain writers have dignified by I 
name of persecutions, occasionally took place in return 
Portuguese atrocities. But the punishments suffered by 1 
friars were usually inflicted for disobedience to the native 
power, or for public attacks on native objects of vcnerati 
such attacks as are provided for by the clauses in the An 
Indian Penal Code, which deal with words or signs calcula 
to wound the religious feelings of others. Attacks of this ki| 
lead to tumults among an excitable population, and 10 seri 
breaches of the peace, often attended with bloodshed 
native princes, alarmed at the combined Portuguese assault i 
their territory and their religion, could not be expected j 
decide in such cases with the cold neutrality of an Anglo-Indil 
magistrate. Father Pedro de Covilham was killed in isoaf 

For some lime, indeed, missionar>^ work was almost Cflj 
fined to the Portuguese settlements, although King Emmair 
(1498-1521) and his son John m. (1521-57) had muchJ 
heart the conversion of the Indians. The first bishop in In 
was Duarte Kunez, a Dominican (1514-17); and John 1 
Albuquerque, a Franciscan, was the first bishop of Goa (1531 
53), With St. Francis Xavier, who arrived in 1542, began ll 
labours of the Society of Jesus in the East, and the progrcsi 
Christianity became more rapid. 

St. Francis' name is associated with the Malabar co 
and with the maritime tracts of Madura and Southern Madi^^^' 






He completed the conversion of the Paravars in Tinnevelli 
District,* His relics repose in a silver shrine at Goa,^ 
Punnaikiyal, in Tinnevelli, was the scene, in 1549, of the 
death of Father Antonio Criminale, the protomartyr of the 
Society of Jesas ; and in the following year, several other 
lives were lost in preaching the gospel. Goa became an 
Archbishopric in 1577, In 1596 to 1599, the Archbishop of 
Goa, Alexis de Menezes, an Atigustinian, succeeded in recon- 
ciling the Indian Nestorians to Rome ; and at the Synod of 
Diaiuper (Udayampura, near Cochin) in 15991 the affairs of the 
Indian Christians were settled. The use of the Syrian rite was 
retained after it had been purged of its Nestorianism. The 
later history of the Syrian Christians in Malabar has already 
been traced 

The Jesuit mission to the Madras coast dates from 1606, 
and is associated with the names of Robert de Nobili (its 
founder, who died 1656), John de Bntto (killed in Madura 
1693), Beschi the great scholar {who died about 1746), and 
other illustrious Jesuits, chiefly Portuguese.^ They laboured 
in Madura, Trichinopoli, Tanjore» Tinnevelli, Salem^ etc. The 
mission of the Karnatic, also a Jesuit mission, was French in 
its origin, and due in some measure to Louis xiv» in 1700, 
lis centre was at PondicherrL 

The early Jesuit missions are particularly interesting. Their 
priests and monks became perfect Indians in all secular 
matters^ dress, food, etc, and had equal success among all 
castes, high and low. In the south of the peninsula they 
brought, as we have seen, the old Christian settlements of the 
Syrian rite into temporary communion with Rome, and con- 
verted large sections of the native population throughout 
extensive districts. The Society of Jesus had also numerous 
although less important missions in the north of India. 
During the 17th and i8th centuries, rehgious troubles and 
difficukies arose in Western India through the action of 
the missionaries in regard to caste observances. Schisms 
troubled the Church* The Portuguese king claimed, as against 
the Pope, to appoint the Archbishop of Goa ; and the Dutch 
adventurers for a time [xirsecuted the Catholics along the 

But in the i6th century it seemed as if Christianity was 
destined to be established by Jesuit preachers throughout 

* S«c article Ti.nneveixi DisTRrcT, The Imperial CautUir &/ India. 

* Sec article GOA, 7%e Imperial Cautt/tr qf InJia, 

* Sec articles ^^ADURA and TiNN'tVELLi, iUeni^ 

St. Francis 

Alexis dtf 

Syrian rite 
but re- 





work doae 
by the 



1 6th antl 
I7lh cen- 

Stations in 

I^asiiis of 
t;ufse rule. 

anfl con- 

a large part of India. The literary activity of mission 
belonging to the Order was also very great. Their early e6ro! 
in ihe cause of education, and in printing books in 
various languages, are remarkable De Nobili and 
have been named Fathers Arnauld and Calmette should 1 
be forgotten. 

But apart from works of scholarship, the early Ind 
Jesuits have left literary memorials of much interest and %*a 
Their letters, addressed to the General of the Order in EaroJ 
afford a vivid glimpse into the state of India during the 16 
and lytli centuries. One volume,^ which deals with the ] 
ending in 1570, furnishes by way of preface a topographid 
guide to the Jesuit stations in the East Separate sections i 
devoted to Goa, Cochin, Bassein, Thana, and other places i 
Western India, including the island of Socotra, in which 
Jesuit brethren still found remnants of the Christians of J 

The letters, as a whole, disclose at once the vitality and 
weakness of the Portuguese position in the EasL The Lu 
tanian conquest of India had a deeper fascination, 
appeared at the time to have a higher moral significance : 
Christendom than afterwards attached to our more hesiutiJ 
and matter-of-fact operations. Their progress formcdj 
brilliant triumph of military ardour and religious zeal, 
resolved not only to conquer India, but also to convert 
Only by slow degrees were they compelled in secret to 1 
that they had entered on a task, the magnitude of which 
had not gauged, and the execution of which proved to 1 
altogether beyond their strengtJi. All that chivalry ai| 
enthusiastic piety could effectj they accomplished. But th 
failed to fulfil either their own ho|jes, or the expectations whil 
they had raised in the minds of their countrymen at ho 
Their viceroys had to show to Europe results which they 
not able to produce ; and so they were fain to accept 1 
shadow for the substance, and in their ofificial despatch^ I 
represent appearances as realities. In their military namtii?i 
every petty Raja or village chief who sent them a fe«r pun 
kins or mangoes, becomes a tributary Rex, conquered by thd 
arms or constrained to submission by the terror of their i 
In their ecclesiastical epistles, the whole countrj* is a 1 

* Return a Socittati Jesu in Orittttc Gestanwi Volumat^ ColofJlx, Afll 
1574. It purports 10 have been iranslareU into Latin from the SpM" 
n he author has to thank Mr. Ernest Satow, of's Japanese J 
lion, for a loan of this curious volume. 


¥rith milk and honey, and teeming with a population 

for sacramental riteSt 

be swift downfall of the Portuguese power, based upon Parochial 

quest and conversion, will he exhibited in a later chapter. ;yff^^^/-^* 
^ , . , tion of 

the Portuguese are the only European nation who have portu- 

lled, or left behind them, a Christian State polity in India» g««^* 
this day, their East India settlements are territorially 
ged in parishes; and the traveller finds himself surrounded 

churches and other ecclesiastical features of a Christian 
try* among the rice-fields iind jungles of Goa and Damin. 
parochial organization of Pbrtugucse India was the direct 
It of the political system imposed on the viceroys from 

rope. But, indirectly, it represents the methed adopted by 
Society of Jesus in its efforts at conversion. The Jesuits 

fed to a large extent by means of industrial settlements. 

y of theic stations consisted of regular agricultural com- 

nities, with lands and a local jurisdiction of their own. 

lecd, both in the town and country, convcraion went hand 

hand with attempts at improved husbandny, oc with a train- 
in some mechanical art 

This combination of Christianity with organized labour may Thana, a 
be understood from a description of two indi;vidual settle- J«^suit 
ts:^ Thdna, a military agricultural stition ;; and Cochin, j^^q ^'p^ 

tollegiate city and naval port I'hana, says a Jesuit letter- 

iler in the middle of the i6th century, is a fortified town 

the Brethreji have a number of converts. Once on a 

a wrinkled and deformed old man came to them from 

t parts, greatly desiring to be matle a Christian. He was 

dlngly placed before a picture of the Blessed Virgin, and» 

ing sought 10 kiss the Child, was forthwith baptized. He 

in peace and joy next morning. Many boys and girls 

e likewise bought from the barbarians for a few pence 

These swelled the family of Christ, and were trained 

in doctrine and handicrafts. During the day they plied 

nr trades as shoemakers, tailors* weavers, and iron-workers ; cUmiian 

their return at evening to the College, they sang the craftsmen, 

techism and litanies in alternate choirs. Others of them 

w employed in agriculture, and went forth to collect fruits 

to work with the Christian cultivators in the fields. 

There was also a Christian vilbge, the Hamlet of the 

* Tljc following details were chiefly con^tenscd from the Rei-um a 
i^sif Jcsu in Oricute Gistarum Vdumat^ already referred to. This 
^ U no longer in the aulhor^s possession, nnd as no copy is procurable 
India, ihe pages cannot be cited nor ibe exact lAords verified. 



Trinity, 3000 paces off, upon temple lands bought up and 
consecrated by the Order. The Society had, moreover, certain 
and culti- farms, yielding 300 pieces of gold a year. This money sup- 
^*'°'^ ported the widows and orphans, the sick, and catechumens 
while engaged in their studies. The poorer converts were 
encouraged in agriculture by a system of advances. Eveiy- 
thing seemed to prosper in the hands of the Jesuit Brethren, 
and their very goats had kids by couplets and triplets every yeir. 
The husbandmen * are all excellent cultivators and good men,' 
well skilled in the Mysteries, and constant in the practice 
of their faith, assembling daily together ad signum angclUa 
salutationis. 'Even in the woods, boys and men are heard 
chanting the Ten Commandments in a loud voice from the 
tops of the palm-trees.' 
Jesuit rural The management of the mission stations seems to have been 
liwh" "^' admirable. Four or five Brothers of the Order regulated alike 
the secular and the spiritual affairs of each community. One 
of them was a surgeon, who cured ulcers, sores, and dangerous 
maladies. The Christian village of the Trinity had, moreover, 
certain gardens which the inhabitants held in common, well 
irrigated and rich in vineSy figs, and medicinal fruits. The 
catechism was publicly rehearsed once on ordinary days, twice 
on holidays. They held frequent musical services ; the youths 
chanting the psalms, robed in white. The Thana choristers, 
indeed, enjoyed such a reputation that they were invited to 
sing at the larger gatherings at Bassein ; and were much em- 
ployed at funerals, at which they chanted the * Misericordia ' 
to the admiration alike of Christians and heathens. Besides 
their civil and secular duties in the town of Thana, and at the 
Christian village and farms, the Brethren of the Order visited a 
circle of outposts within a distance of thirty thousand paces ; 
* to the great gain of their countrymen, whom they strengthen 
in their faith ; and of the natives (barbari)^ whom they re- 
claim from their errors and superstitions to the religion of 
Cochin, a The Station of Thdna discloses the regulated industry', 
collegiate spiritual and secular, which characterized the Jesuit settlements 
in India. Cochin may be taken to illustrate the educational 
labours of the Order and its general scheme of operations. 
The College of the Society, writes brother Hieronymus in 
1570,1 has two grammar schools, attended by 260 pupils, who 
have made excellent progress both in their studies and in the 
practice of the Christian sacraments. They are all skilled in 
^ Letter to the General of the Order, dated Cochin, February 1570. 




the tenets of the faith ; many of them have learned the 
catechism, arranged in questions and answers, and are now 
teaching it to the heathen. The rites of confession and com- 
munion are in constant use, and resorted to on saints* days by 
300 or 400 persons. An equal concourse takes place when 
Indulgences are promulgated ', and on a late occasion, when 
the jubilee granted by the Pope in 1568 was celebrated, ^sucti 
was the importunity of those seeking confession, that our priests 
could not find a breathing space for rest from morning to 
night/ At the College Church alone a thousand persons 
received the Eucharist, chiefly new communicants. A whole- 
sale restitution of fraudulent gains took place, with a general 
reconciliation of enemies, and a great quickening of the faith 
in all. *So vast was the concourse at this single church, with- 
out mentioning the other churches in the city, that we had 
from time to time to push out the throngs from the edifice into 
the courtyard, not without tears and lamentation on their part.' 

The College of the Order likewise ministered to the Portu- jesujt 
guese fleet stationed off Cochin ; and the writer relates, with Cniiegt- at 
perhaps pardonable exaggeration, the strict discipline which 
the Brethren maintained among both officers and men, Durini:^ 
the winter ihey had also collected a fund, and with it redeemed 
^s^ Portuguese who, the year before, had fallen into captivity 
among 'the Moors.' These men, on coming to offer up public 
thanksgiving in church, edified the worthy fathers by relating 
how^ the Christians still remaining in captivity continued firm 
in the Catholic faith, although sorely tormented mcommodis li 
crudatibm. They told how one youth, in particular, * who had 
attended our school, on being tied to a tree and threatened by 
the Moors with bows and arrows, had bravely answered that 
he would give up his life rather than his faith.' Uikju which 
the Moors seem to have laid aside their lethal weapons, and 
let the lad off with a few kicks and cuffs. Another boy had at 
first apostatized ; but his fellow -captives, foremost among them 
a nobleman of high station^ threw themselves at his feet, and 
begged him to stand firm. The boy burst into tears^ and 
declared that he had been led astray by terror, but that he 
would now rather die than abandon his religion. He proved 
himself as good as his word, rushed in front of his persecutors, 
and openly proclaimed himself to be still a Christian. ' The 
Moors,' as usual, seem to have taken the affair with much good 
nature ; and, after another little comedy of tying him to a tree 
and threatening to shoot him and cut his throat, let their young 
apostate go. 





Efforts at 
royal con- 

* I come now,* continues Father Hieronymus, * to the harvest 
of this year.* He goes on to describe the work of itinerating, 
from which we gather that the King of Cochin was friendly 
rather than otherwise to the members of the Order and their 
converts, protecting them by letters patent, and even giving rise 
to hopes of his own conversion. No fewer than 220 natives 
were baptized in one day ; and the Father adduces, as a proof 
of their sincerity, the fact that they did not expect any material 
advantage from their conversion. ' For neither do they look 
for a present of new clothes at their baptism, nor for anything 
else from us, excepting spiritual food* They think themselves 
greatly honoured by the name of Christians, and labour to 
bring others to the truth*' Among the converts the Nairs 
figure a good deal ; and an acolyte of this race, notwithstand- 
ing that he was harassed by the 'oldftr Christians,' brought in 
other Nairs, by twos and threes, for baptism. The worthy 
Father uses ' Nair ' as the name of * a certain military class,' 
and so touches on the actual position held by this tribe 
three hundred years ago.. 

Conversion was not, however, always without its troubles. 
The story of a young Moor, whose mother was a cruel woman, 
and buried him in the ground up to his mouth for turning a 
Christian, is told with honest pride. Hi* unkind parent likewise 
placed a huge stone round his head, designing that he should 
die a slow and painful death. But the boy managed to peep 
through a cleft in the stone, and spied some travellers passing 
that way, whereupon, although he had formerly known nothing 
of I^tin, he managed to shout out the two words, '' exopto 
Christum^ On hearing this^ the travellers dug up the lad and 
took him before the Governor, who, in an obliging manner, 
gave over the boy to the College to be baptized, and sent the 
mother to prison. The neophytes seem to have been spirited 
lads ; and the Father narrates how about two thousand of them 
took part in the military games held when the fleet was lying 
off Cochin^and distinguished themselves so greatly with various 
sorts of darts and weapons, that * they came next to the Portu- 
guese soldiers.' 

The College took advantage of the illness of the king during 
the course of the year to try to convert him ; but his majesty, 
although civil and friendly, declined their well-meaning efforts. 
They were more successful with two * petty Rajas ' (reguli) in 
the neighbourhood, who, 'being desirous of the Portuguese 
friendship/ professed an interest in spiritual matters on behalf 
of themselves and people. Three hundred, apparently of their 


ibjccts, promised to get themselves baptized as soon as a 

urch should l)e btiik. • But,' concludes the candid chronicler, 

this particular people have a grievously bad reputation as 

it is much to be prayed for that they will keep their 

* From another instance of a royal conversion^ it appears 

I the introduction of Christianity, with * letters of privilege ' 

converts, was a favourite method among the weaker Rdjis 

ir securing a Portuguese alliance. 

Thestor)^ of the Catholic missions thus graphically told by The 

\t Reritm Gcstamm Voiumm of the 16th century, is con- JJ^^^^.^'" 

^' Mission, 

liued tor the 17th and iSth by the letters from the Jesuit 17th and 
ithere in Malal>an These letters have been edited by Le '^^^ ^^"' 
kre Bertrand in four volumes, which throw an important light, 
lot only upon the progress of Christianity in India, but also 
IpOTi the social and political state of the native kingdoms in 
ifcich that progress was made.^ The keynote to the i)olicy 
f the Society of Jesus, in its work of Indian evangelization, is 
fven in the following words : — * The Christian religion cannot 
K regarded as naturalized in a country, until it is in a position 
J propagate its own priesthood.'^ 

This was the secret of the wide and permanent success 
\ the Catholic missions ; ifc was also the source of their 
hief troubles. For in founding Christianity on an indigenous Huc^viion 
tasis, the Fathers had to accept the necessity of recognis- "^ *^^'^" 
indigenous customs and native prejudices in regard to 
The disputes which arose divided the Jesuit mission- 
fer many years, and had to be referred, not only to the 
eral of the Order, but teethe Pope himself. The Qitesiion 
'^ HiUs Malabares occupies many pages in Pere Bertrand's 
Names.* In the end, a sj^ecial class of native priests was 
iteigned to the low castes, while an upper class ministered to 
he Indians of higher degree. Tlie distinction was rigidly main- 
Wned in the churches. Pt;re Bertrand gives the plan of a 

-V/jMtffV/'j Historiqius stir hs Missions dts onins nligi^tix \l vol. 2nd 
K^it\% 1862): La Misjtcn dn Madari tfapris des documetits inidtts 
ivolv, Pari*, 184S, 1850, 1854), The fiist edition of the Afcmoins 
BWJ'onijFitfi ( Paris 1S47) forined apparently an iniroduciioii to the three 
'tklucm of Letters which constitute Pere Uerirand's La Mission du Afadun^. 
r^ewiihor take$ this opportunity of acknowledging his obligations lo the 

ilWiiics of St, Xavicr's College, Cilcutta, for the loan of Pere Bertrand's 
^^ and for much kind assistance in his inquiri«fs. 

'Condensed from Perc Bertrand, Misiicns, vol. L p, I. 

'tV example, Mimoires HisionqmSy vol. i. pp. 353 ^/ jty. Indeed, this 
%lunic U largely devoted lo the polemics of the question. AlaO La Missn^n 
jn MaJuT^^ vol, ii. pp. 140 a seq, ; vol, iv. pp. 404 to 496 ; and in many 
•KbcT placci of Pcre Ikrlrand's work. 




1 7th and 
iHih cen- 



Malabar church as laid before the sovereign Pontiff in 172 
which shows a systematic demarcation between the high ai 
low castes even during divine service. Whatever may \m 
been lost of the primitive Christian e<r]uality by this system, 
had the merit of being adpated to native habits of thougi 
and it was perhaps unavoidable in an Indian church whii 
endeavoured to base itself upon an indigenous priesthcXH 
1 he adoiKion of native terms by the Jesuit Fathers, such as^fl 
teacher ; sanydsi^ hermit, etc., also led to embittered discussiofll 

The letters disclose, however, other and more agrceab 
aspects of the early missions to India. A few of iheni compl 
of the dangers and discomforts of missionary life in a tropi 
climate and among a suspicious people.^ But, as a rule, li« 
are full of keen observation and triumphant faith. Some 
them are regularly divided into two pans; the first beil 
dtjvoted to the secular history of the period, or *Ev2;nemenl 
politiques;' the second to the current affairs and progress 
the mission. Others are of a topographical and statislii 
character. Many of them record signs and wonders voud 
safed on behalf of their labours. A pagan woman, for ( 
ample, who had been possessed of a devil from birth, 
delivered from her tormentor by baptism, and enten into 
state of joy and peace. Another native lady, who had deH 
mined 10 burn herself on her husband s funeral pile, and 
resisted the counter entreaties of her family and the Villi 
Head, miraculously renounced her intention when sprink! 
with ashes consecrated by the priest Throughout, the letl 
breathe a desire for martyrdom, and a spiritual exultation 
sufferings endured for the cause. 

One very touching epistle is written by de Britto h 
his prison the day before his execution, 'I await death/ 
writes to the Father Sui>erior, *and I await it with imiKitienC 
It has always been the object of my prayers. It forms to-4 
the most precious reward of my labours and my sufferings^ 
Another letter relates the punishment of Father de Saa,seveat 
of whose teeth were knocked out by blows, so that he aljn< 
died under the pain (a.d, 1700), His tormentor was, howevi 
miraculously punished and converted to the faith.* The n 

^ The plan of the church is given at p. 434 of Pt-re Berirantl's Miai^^ 
du Aiadur^y vol iv. ed. 1854. The aierits of the question are so i^^l 
di^ctissetl in that voIuibc that it is unnccessarj' to reopen the question I 

3 For example, Lcttrt du Pire Bahhaiat\ dated Tanjorc, 1653, p}-^ 
vol. iii. pp. I it scq. 

^ La Miisimi du M&duri^ vol. iiL p. 447. Letter dated 3rd Fcbi 
1693. * Vol, iv. pp. 63-6S. 



striking events take place in Malabar and Cochm. But in other 
parts of India, also, there were triumphs and sufferings. ' Even 
herCt' writes Pbre Petit from Pondicherri, * we are not altogether 
without some hope of martyrdom, the crown of apostleship.* ^ 
It is natural that such writers should regard as martyrs^ their 
brethren who fell victims to popular tumults stirred up by their 
own preaching. Penalties for sectarian affrays, or for insults 
to the native religions, such as would now be punished by the 
Indian Penal Code, figure as 'persecutions.' The Salvationists 
have of late suffered several * persecutions ' of this sort from 
Anglo-Indian magistrates. 

Nor are the literary labours of the Fathers without a fitting Literary 
record. Bishop Caldwell lately expressed his regret that the thej^ui^s. 
biography of Father Beschi, the Tamil scholar and poet, 
should yet be unwritten,^ But the defect is supplied, not on^y 
in an elaborate notice of Beschi's life and works, but also 
by Beschi's own letters to the General of the Order, ^ Severn 1 
epistles of de Nobili are of scarcely less interest in the annals 
of Indian Christianity. 

The arguments of the Catholic missionaries were enforced The Poriu- 
by the weapons of the secular power. In 1560, the Portuguese EJ^fg^i^JJ 
established the Inquisition at Goa, under the Dominican 1560-18/2. 
Order. At first the establishment was of a modest and tenta- 
tive character ; the functionaries numbering only five, and the 
whole salaries amounting in 1565 to ;^7i a year.^ But by 
degrees it extended its operations, until in 1800 the functionaries 
numbered 47. The Goa Inquisition has formed the subject 
of much exaggerated rumour, and the narrative of one of its 
prisoners startled and shocked Europe during the seventeenth 
century.^ Dr. Claudius Buchanan recalled public attention to 
the subject hy his vividly coloured letters at the beginning of 
the nineteenth centur>%'* The calmer narrative of Da Fonseca, 
derived from the archives of Goa, proves that the reality was 
sufficiently terrible. No continuous statistics exist of the 

^ Vol. iv. p, 158. 

* A Political and General History of the District of Tinntvellit by 
Bishop Caldwell (Madras Governnient Press, 1881), p. 239. 

^ Pcre Bcrtrand. vol. iv. pp. 342-375. 

* O Chronisia de JisstMry^ vol. iv, p. 51. Quoted in Fonseca^s Coa^ 
p. 2i7<Rorabay, 1878). 

* /ieiaiimi de l^ Inquisition dc Gifa^ \>y the Physician Dellon^ who was 
confined in one of %ls celU in 1674. Pyrard, Fryer, and other travellers 
have also left notices of ihe Goa Inquisition. 

■ See his Letters and Journal dated 1808, pp. 150-176 of Chrtittan 
Rtsearchei in A$ia^ 4th cd. (i^i 0- 


punishments inflicted. But the records repeatedly speak of 
the necessity for additional cells, and in 1674 they numbered 
Number of j^q hundred. Seventy-one autos dafe^ or general jail deliveries, 
are mentioned between 1600 and 1773. The total number of 
persons condemned on these occasions is unknown. But at 
a few of the autos it is said that ' 4046 persons were sentenced 
to various kinds of punishment, of whom 3034 were males 
and 1 01 2 females.'^ These punishments included 105 men 
and 16 women condemned to the flames, of whom 57 were 
burned alive and 64 in effigy. 
Christians jt is not necessary to inquire how far such examples of 
ample of religious punishment in Portuguese territory were responsible 
religious for the persecution of the Catholic missionaries in Cochin and 
pereecu- Malabar. Nor, in passing judgment on the Hindu princes, 
should we forget the perpetual military aggressions and 
occasional cold-blooded massacres by the Portuguese on the 
southern and western coasts. Christian missions in Northern 
India had scarcely anything to fear from the native powers. 
Indeed, under Akbar, and almost throughout the entire period 
of the Mughal Emperors until the accession of Aurungzeb, 
Christianity seems to have been regarded with an enlightened 
interest, and certainly without disfavour, by the Delhi court. 
More than one of the Mughal queens and princes are said to 
have been Christians ; and the faith was represented both by 
Imperial grants and in ithe Imperial seraglio. Many of the 
great Hindu Feudatories also displayed a courteous indiffer- 
ence to the Christian missionaries, and a liberal recognition 
of their scientific and secular attainments. 
Inquisition fhe Inquisition at Goa was temporarily suspended in 1774, 

abolished , ^ . li- l j • t t ,• , i • « , , 

1812. Dut re-established m 1779. It was abolished m 181 2, and the 

ancient palace in which it had been held was pulled down in 

1820. The debris were finally removed in 1859 on the occasion 

of the exposition of the body of St. Francis Xavier.^ 

The In 1759, Portugal broke up the Society of Jesus, seized 

pressed"^ its property, and imprisoned its members. France did the 

1759-73- same in 1764; and to prevent greater evils, Clement xiv. in 

1773 was forced to suppress the Society altogether. The 

French Revolution followed. These events deprived the Indian 

^ Da Fonseca's Goa^ p. 220. The original authorities quoted are 
O Chrouista de Tissuary, Historia dos Principaes actos e Procedimhiios da 
Inquisi^Tio etti Portugal^ Lisboa, 1845, p. 38; and F. N. Xavier in the 
Gabinkc Litterario^ vol. iii. pp. 89 and 280 ; Narrofao da Inquisifio dc 
Goa, pp. 143 </ seq, {Nova Goa, 1866). 

^ A popular account of its histoiy will he found in Mr. E. Rehatsek's 
*IIoly Inquisition at Goa,' Cclcutta Karciv, No. 145, April 18^1. 


1^^^^ tnissions alike of priests and of funds, and for a lon^' 
"Sft\ey languished, served in the south only by a few priests 
^ ^oa and Pondicherrl That dismal period, however, pre- 
f setiUsome illustrious names; among them two well-known writers, 
the Abb^ Dubois of Mysore, and the Carmelite Fra PaoUno 
tic San Bariholomco (in India 1774-90). In the absence of 
I priests to sustain the courage of the Christians, every occa- 
|!wnal or local persecution told. Tip^, about 17S4, forcibly 
I circtimdsed 30,000 Catholics of Kanara, and deported them 
[to the country abav*e the Ghats. Many native Christians 
[liTed and died without ever seeing a priest ; they baptized 
own children, »taught them the prayers, and kept up 
ily worship in their churches. 
Belter days, however, dawned. In 18,14, ^^ Society of The 
3esus was re- established ; under Gregory xvl, its missions J"^'^^ 
gan a new life» and have since made great progress. Their lishcd, 
-ity is, however, hampered by the action taken in Europe '^'4* 
; the religious orders. The claims of Portugal to appoint 
chbishop of Goa, and through him to regulate clerical 
[fatronage, as opposed to the right of the Pope, have occasioned 
hisms in the past, and still give rise to discord. 
The Roman Catholics tlirougbout all India^ British, Fetida- Numbtfrnf 
llonr; and Foreign, number altogether 1,356,037 souls, as ^"^^r 
pietumed in the table to be presently given from the Madras m India. 
\C(itkii£ Dir^aoty for 1885. The Census Report of 1881, 
ftidding the latest figures for Portuguese and French India, 
jgivtsa total of 1,248,801, 

The Roman Catholic missions are mainuined by many of Orgatiim' 
I the European nations, and are nearly equally divided between ti^>nf»fih^' 
[the secular and regular clergy. Almost every mission contains caiholic 
ft mixture of races among its priests ; even Holland, Scot- missions. 
Iin(J,and Germany being ably represented. Although all are 
I directed by Europeans, seven - eighths of the priests aru 
flKUives. It is also worthy of remark that^ in the list of bishops 
[dunng the last 300 years, the nnmes of several natives are 
found, some of them Brahmans. The Roman Catholic mis- 
[ *ions are presided over by sixteen bishops (vicars and prefects 
apostolic), the delegates of the Pope, who governs the missions 
himself, without the intervention of the Camera. Side by 
*ide with these papal vicars-apostolic, who are also bishops, 
tht Archbishop of Goa (appointed by the King of Portugal) Arch- 
es an independent jurisdiction over a certain number ofhishof-of 
Catholics outside his diocese, who are scattered over India, ^* 
l^ui chiefly in the south. The prefect-apostolic of Pondicherri 




His sepa- 
rate juris- 

J Hi pair on 
iUm 1600, 

J 67 3, 

oi 1S57. 


presides over the Catholics in several British Districts 
throughout the southern French possessions. In Potidichcj 
he has technically jurisdiction only over * those who wear hal 

The independent jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Goa,! 
the dissensions to which it gave rise, have been referred 1 
It had its origin in the Jus patron at us granted by Po| 
Clement vai. to King Philip, By the Pontifical Bull, 
Portuguese king was charged with the support of the Catbb 
churches in India, and in return was invested with 
patronage of their clergy. On the ruin of the PomigUflj 
power in India by the Dutch, it was held that the sovereji 
was no longer in a position to fulfil his part of the agreemei 
The Indian clerg)' became a growing charge upon Rom 
In 1673, therefore, Clement x. abrogated the jurisdiction I 
the Portuguese Archbishop of Goa beyond the limits of t 
Portuguese settlements. In 1674^ two Briefs declared 
the Portuguese bishops had no authority over thevicarea 
missionaries- apostolic sent from Rome to India. 
orders only produced a long ecclesiastical dispute. Accd 
ingly, in 1837, Gregory xvi, published his Bull, Multa pradm 
dividing the whole of India into vicariates -apostolic, 
forliade the Goancse prelates to interfere in their mana] 

The Portuguese Archbishop of Goa disregarded this de 
and the Indo-Lusitanum schisma continued until i86ir 
1857, a concordat was agreed to by the Pope and the Kid 
of Portugal, by which such churches as were then under tD 
apostolic vicars should remain under the same, while tha 
which then acknowledged the Goanese jurisdiction sboull 
continue under the Archbishop of Goa. In 1S61, joint co^ 
missioners were sent out from Rome and Portugal to put ill 
arrangement into execution. In the end, the Pojie granted I 
some time, ^ad tempus^' to the Archbishop of Goa an cxti 
ordinary jurisdiction over certain churches, served by Goanci 
priests^ but beyond the Portuguese dominions. Such chun 
are still to be found in Malabar, Madura, Ceylon, Mad 
Bombay, and apparently in the lower delta of Bengal It I 
intended that this independent jurisdiction of the PortugueS 
Archbishop of Goa shall in time lapse to the vicars-apostol 
appointed from Rome. But meanwhile it continues to thisc 
and still gives rise to occasional disputes,^ 

' The foregoing two paragraphs on the cxtrnonlinary junsiliction of \ 
Archbishop of Goa are corickn&ed from MS. materials supplied 10 1 
author by ihc papal Vicar- Apostolic of Verapoli. 


as 7 

As the ecclesiastical and civil divisions of India do not 
correspond, it is difficult to comiiare missionary with official 
statistics. The Catholics in French territory numbered, 
according to the Madras Caiholk Dirtdory for 18S5, 35,2 26, 
and in Portuguese territory in i88i, 252,477. This leaves 
'»o7 0,334 Catholics for British India and the Native States, 
according to the Madras Dinctory for 1S85, or 963,058 
according to the Census Report of i88t* Catholics are most 
numerous in the Native States of Travancore and Cochin 
(comprised in the vicariates of Verapoli and Quilon). The 
archdiocese of Goa, with 660 priests, nearly all natives, for a 
very small territory containing over 250,000 Catholics, is a 
witness to the sternly proselytizing system of the Portuguese. 

Verapoh, the smallest in area of the Roman vicariates, 
contains the largest number of priests and Catholics. These 
are chiefly the descendants of the Nestorians converted to 
Rome in the 16th century, and were divided by the Census 
of 1881 into two classes — of the Syrian rite, 141,386, and of 
the Latin rite, 80,600. They were directed by 14 European 
Carmelite priests, and by 375 native priests, 39 of the Latin 
rite, and 336 of the Syrian rite. 

The Census of 1881 relumed the Syrian Christians alto- 
gether apart from the Roman Catholics, but did not distin- 
guish between Jacobites and Catholics of the Syrian rite. Out 
of a total of 304,410 Syrians in all India, 301,442 are returned 
by the Census Report as within the Native Slates of Travan- 
core and Cochin {the vicariates of Verapoli and Quilon). The 
Census Report returned the total number of Roman Catholics 
in Travancore and Cochin at 274,734; while the returns officially 
accepted by the heads of the Catholic Church give the number 
m the Madras Caiholk Directory at 378,096. From private 
inquiries since made, it appears that the discrepancy arises 
from the fact that the number of Catholics was underrated at 
the time of the Census. About 100,000 Roman Catholics of 
the Syrian rite, belonging to the jurisdiction of the vicars- 
apostolic of Verapoli and Quilon^ seem to have been included 
among the Syrian Jacobites, 

The Pondicherri and Madura vicariates represent parts of 
the famous Jesuit missions of Madura and of the Karnidc. 
In Bombay city, and along the fertile maritime strip or Konkan 
between the Western Gh^ts and the sea, the Roman Catholics 
form an important section of the native population* 

The following table shows the Roman Catholic population 
for all India, as returned by the authorities of the Church, 


tion of 



Syrian and 



Roman Catholic Population of British India and 
Native States. 

{According to the * Madras Catholic Directory^ for 1885.) 


Vicariate-Apostolic of Madras, 

,, ,, Haidarabad (Nizam's Dominions), 

„ „ Vizagapatam, .... 

n If Mysore, 

,, ,, Coimbatore, .... 

,, ,, Quilon (South Travancore), . . , 

,, ,, Verapoli (North Travancoreand Cochin),. 

>, M Mangalore, 

„ „ Pondicherri (within British Territory), 

M *> Bombay, 

M I* Agra, ' 

Patna, I 

„ M Punjab, 

„ „ Western Bengal, 

Prefecture-Apostolic of Central Bengal, 
Vicariate-Apostolic of Eastern Bengal, 

,, „ Southern Burma, 

,, „ ' Eastern Burma, 

Total in British India and Native States, 











Roman Catholic Population of Portuguese 
Settlements in India. 

{According to the Census of February X^th^ 1 881.) 




Total in Portuguese Settlements in India, 





Roman Catholic Population of French 
Seti'lemeni*s in India. 

{According to the * Madras Catholic Directory * for 1885.) 






Total in French Settlements in India, . 

Grand Total in British, Native, and Foreign India, . 






The Roman Catholics in India steadily increase; and as in Catholic 
former tiities, the increase is chiefly in the south, especially in P^^'^g''*''^^- 
the missions of Pondicherri and iNIadura. The number of 
Catholics in British and French India and the Native States, 
but exclusive of the Portuguese Possessions, rose from 732,887 
in 1S51, to 934,400 in 1871, and to 1,103,560 in 1881. The Pondi- 
Pondicherri mission lately performed over 50,000 adult baptisms ^[Js^J.ji 
in three years. In the Madura vicariate, the increase is princi- 
J ally in Tinnevelli and Rimndd. The converts are chietly 
agricultunsts, but are by no means confined to the lov castes. 

The principal Catholic colleges in India are those of the Catholic 
Society of Je^us, at Calcutta, Bombay, and Negapatam. ^°^^^ses. 
Another Jesuit college has lately been opened at Mangalore 
in South Kanara, a District in which there are over 3000 
Catholic Brahmans. England, being a Protestant country, 
supplies few priests, and hence Catholic missions have much 
difficulty in maintaining colleges where English is the vehicle 

F~ pf higher education. The statistics of the Catholic schools 
are incomplete, owing 10 want of information about certain 
parts of the Goa jurisdiction. But the number of Catholic ami 
schools actually returned in 1880, including Goa, was 1514, 
with 51,610 pupils. In British India and the Native States, 
the children in Catholic schools increased from 28,249 ^^ ^^7 't 
to 44,699 in 1881. 

The Roman Catholics work in India with slender pecuniary 
resources. They derive their main support from two great 
Catholic organizations, the Association for the Propagation of 
the Faith, and the Society of the Holy Childhood, The 
former contributes ^^24,464 yearly to Indian missions, and the 
latter ;^i2,3oo» making a total of Xs^^?^^ 'This is exclusive 
of the expenditure within the Archbishopric of Goa ; but it 
represents the European contributions to the whole Vicariates 
under the Pope. In 1880 they maintained a staff of 16 bishops 
and iu8 priests, teaching 1236 schools, with 40,907 pupils, 
and giving religious instruction to 1,002,379 native Christians. 
The Roman Catholic priests deny themselves the comforts 
considered necessaries for Europeans in India* In many Dis- 
tricts they live the frugal and abstemious life of the natives, 
and their influence reaches deep into the social life of the 
communities among whom they dwell 

^m The first Protestant missionaries in India were Lutherans, First Pro- 
^^Eiegenbalg and Plutschau, who in i 705 began work under the '^'^^^."^ 
f patronage of the Kmg of Denmark at the Danish settlement 




tion of the 

of Tranquebar. Ziegenbalg and many of the early Lutheran 
missionaries were men of great ability; and, besides their 
translations of the Scriptures, some of their writings still hold 
a high place in missionary literature. Ziegenbalg began the 
translation of the Bible into Tamil, and his successor Schultze 
completed it in 1725. This was the first Protestant transla- 
tion of the Scriptures in India. Schultze also translated the 
whole Bible into Hindustdni Ziegenbalg died in 17 19, leaving 
355 converts. In spite of the patronage of the Kings of Den- 
mark and England, and the liberal assistance of friends in 
Europe, the Lutheran mission made at first but slow progress, 
and was much hindered and opposed by the local Danish 
authorities. Gradually it extended itself into Madras, Cudda- 
lore, and Tanjore ; schools were set up, and conversion and 
education went hand in hand. 

In 1750, arrived the pious Schwartz, whose name is bound 
up with the history of Tanjore and adjacent Districts until his 
death in 1798. He was the founder of the famous Tinne- 
velli missions.^ Next to the Lutherans come the Baptists of 
Serampur, with the honoured names of Carey, Marshman, 
and Ward In the i8th century, the English East India 
Company did not discourage the labours of Protestant mis- 
sionaries. It had allowed Kiernander, originally sent out by 
the Danes, to establish himself at Calcutta in 1758. But 
subsequently, it put every obstacle in the way of missionaries, 
and deported them back to England on their landing. Carey 
arrived in 1 793. In 1 799, to avoid the opposition of the English 
East India Company, he established himself with four other 
missionaries at Serampur (15 miles from Calcutta), at that time, 
like Tranquebar, a Danish possession. Then began that won- 
derful literary activity which has rendered illustrious the group 
31 transla- of * Serampur missionaries.' In ten years, the Bible was trans- 
lated, and printed, in whole or part, in 31 languages; and by 
1 8 16, the missionaries had about 700 converts. The London 
Missionary Society (established 1795) entered the field in 1798, 
and its missions have gradually grown into importance. 

The opposition of the East India Company continued till 
1813, when it was removed by the new Charter. The same 
document provided for the establishment of the bishopric of 
Calcutta, and three archdeaconries, one for each Presidency. 
Up to this period the Established Church of England had 
attempted no direct missionary work, although some of the East 
India Company's chaplains had been men of zeal, like the 
- See article Tinneveli.i, T/ie Impenal Gazetteer of India, 

in Tan- 


nander in 



tion with 


of Cal- 


ardent Henry Marty n (1806- 11). The first Bishop of Calcutta 
(Middleton) arrived in 1814. From this time the Church of 
England has constantly kept up a missbnary connection with 
India, chieHy by means of its two great societies^the Church 
Missionary Society, which sent out its first representative in 1 814; 
and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, which did 
so in 1826, Their most successful stations are in Southern India, 
where they have gathered in the seed so\^ti by the Lutheran 
missions. The second Bishop of Calcutta was the well-known 
Heber (1823-26)* In 1S35, under a new Charter of the East 
India Company, the see of Madras was established^ and in 
1837, that of Bombay. In 1877, owing to the extension of 
mission work in Tinnevelli, two missionaries were appointed 
bishops, as assistants to the Bishop of Madras ; the dioceses of 
Inhere and Rangoon also were separated from Calcutta, and 
bishops appointed. The missionary bishopric of Travancore 
and Cochin was established in 1S79. It has no connec- 
tion with Government, nor have the assistant bishops in 

The first missionary of the Church of Scotland was Dr. Presby- 
Alexander Duff (1830-63), to whom the use of English as ^P^*'^^ "'*** 
the vehicle of higher education in India is largely due. Mis- 1830-63. 
^« sionaries of numerous other Protestant societies (European other 
^^^and American) have since entered India, and established missions, 
numbers of churches and schools. They have furnished 
memorable names to the roll of Indian educators, such as 
Judson (Baptist) in Burma^ 1813-50, and John Wilson (Pres- 
byterian) of Bombay, 1843-75. 



The progress of the several Protestant missions in India statbitcs • 
may be thus stated: — In 1830 there were 9 societies at "^^ P''^* 
work, and about 27,000 native Protestants in all India, missions. 

'eylon, and Bunna. By 1870 there were no less than 35 
'societies at work; and in 1871 there were 318,363 converts 
(including Ceylon, etc., as above). In 1852 there wTre 
459 Protestant missionaries, and in 1872 there were 606. 
Between 1856 and 187S, the converts made by the Baptist Progress, 

iocieties of England and America, in India, Ceylon, and jf^g to 
Burma, increased from about 30,000 lo between 80,000 
and 90,000. Those of the Basle missions of Germany 
multiplied from 1060 to upwards of 6000; those of the 
Wesleyan Methodist missions of England and America, from 
7500 to 12,000; those of the American Board, from 3302 to 






increase of 
ants, 1851- 

use of 

work of 

Its rapid 


about 12,000; those of the Presbyterian missions of Scotland, 
England, Ireland, and America, connected with 10 societies, 
from 821 to 10,000; those of the missions of the London 
Missionary Society, from 20,077 to 48,000; and those of the 
Church Missionary Society and of the Society for the Propa- 
gation of the Gospel, from 61,442 to upwards of 164,000.^ 

The increased activity of the Protestant missionary bodies 
in India, during the past third of a century, may be seen from 
the table ^ on the following page. Between 1851 and 1881, the 
number of mission stations has increased nearly threefold ; 
while the number of Native Protestant Christians has multiplied 
by more than fivefold, the number of communicants by nearly 
tenfold, and the number of churches or congregations by 
sixtcenfold. This is partly due to the extended employment 
of native agency in the work. The native ordained pastors 
have been increased from 21 in 1 85 1 to 575 in 188 1, and the 
native lay preachers from 493 to 2856. The Protestant Church 
in India has greatly gained in strength by making a freer use of, 
and reposing a more generous confidence in, its native agents. 
Its responsible representatives report the increase of Native 
Christians in India, Burma, and Ceylon,^ from 185 1 to 186 1, 
at 53 per cent. ; from 1861 to 187 1, at 61 per cent. ; and from 
187 1 to 1881, at 86 per cent. 

The activity of the Protestant missions has not, however, 
been confined to the propagation of their faith. Their services 
to education, and especially in the instruction of the people in 
the vernacular languages, will hereafter be referred to. But 
the vast extension of these services during late years is less 
generally recognised. The number of pupils in Protestant 
mission schools and colleges has risen from 64,043 in 1851 to 
196,360 in 1881, or more than threefold. The standard of 
instruction has risen at an equal pace, and the mission 
institutions successfully compete with the Government colleges 
at the examinations of the Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay 
Universities. Female education has always formed a subject 

* The Rev. M. A. Sherring, in the ChronicU of t)u London Missionary 
Society y August 1 879. 

* Compiled from Tlu Statistical Tables for 1881, issued under instruc- 
tions of the Calcutta Missionary Conference (Thacker, Spink, & Co., 
Calcutta, 1882). It should be remembered that the statistical organization 
was more perfect in 1881 than in 185 1. To Mr. W. Rees Philipps this 
chapter is indebted for many materials and figures regarding Indian 
Christian missions in their earlier years. 

' The table given on next page deals only with India and Burma, and 
excludes Ceylon. Op. cit, pp. x. and xiii. 


oC peculiar care among the missionary bodies. The number 
xi girls' day schools belonging to Protestant missions in India 
•lone has risen from 285 in 185 1 to 11 20 in 1881. This is 
tidudve of girls' boarding schools and zandna work* The 
total number of female pupils, under Protestant mission 
teaching in India alone, exclusive of Burma, has multiplied 
from ii;i93 ^^ ^^5' to 57j893 in 1881. 

The great success of the missionaries of late years in their Extended 
ichool work, as in their preaching, is due to the extended ^^^j^^ 
use of native agency. Complete statistics are available on agency. 
tWs point only for 1 87 1 and 1 88 1 . The number of * Foreign ' ^ 
ind Eurasian male teachers belonging to Protestant missions 
in India and Burma, has decreased from 146 in 1871 to 
101 in 188 1 ; while the native Christian teachers have been 
doubled, from 1978 in 1851 to 3675 in 1881. In 1881, there 
'icrealso 2468 non-Christian native teachers employed ; making 
ttotalof6i43 native teachers in missionary employ in 1881, 
against loi 'Foreign' and Eurasian teachers. The native female 
teachers, Christian and non-Christian, have increased from 
W3 in India and Burma in 1871, to 1996 in 1881. The 
Mowing table may now be left to speak for itself : — 

Summary of Protestant Missions in India 
AND Burma. 













SUdons. .... 




Foiogntfand Eurasian or- 

dained agents. 





Natiye ordained agents, 





Foreign and Eurasian lay 

preachers, . 




flatire lay preachers, 





Qmiches or congregations, 




Native Christians, 










Male pnpils in schools. 
Female pupils in schools, . 









Toial male and female 

Papils, .... 





tflnduding British, European, American, and all others, not natives of 

* The pupils for 1851 were in India only ; no returns being available for 
Boima for that year. 

^ The return of total pupils is exclusive of 65,728 boys and girls attending 
Sanday schools. The returns for 185 1 and 1 861 are as a whole less com- 
PWc than those for 1871 and 1881. 

'oclnding British, European, American, and all non-Indian teachers. 



of Chris- 
tian popu- 
lation in 




The foregoing pages have briefly traced the history of 
Christianity in India, and disclose the recent progress made 
by its main branches, Catholic and Protestant, among the 
natives. It remains to exhibit the Christian population as a 
whole, including both Europeans and Indians. In comparing 
the results, it must be borne in mind that the figures have 
been derived from various sources, and that the areas of 
enumeration in some cases overlap each other. Thus, the 
jurisdictions of the Catholic vicars-apostolic supply a basis for 
calculation which differs from the territorial areas adopted 
by the Census of British India. Every effort has been 
made to allow for such causes of error, and to render the 
following tables a true presentment of the Christian popula- 
tion of India, British, Feudatory, and Foreign. It will be 
observed that the total number of Christians has increased 
during the nine years from 1872 to 1881 by 365,251. In 
British India alone the increase has been 270,807, or 30*2 per 
cent. The total number of Christians was 2,148,228 in 1881, 
as against 1,782,977 in 1872. 

Total Christian Population in India in 1872 and 
IN 1881. 






1881. j Increase 



i Figures for 
1 1872 less 
\ complete 
I than for 

) .881. 

In British India, . 
In Native States, . 
In Portuguese India, 
In French India, . 











Total, . 






The Census of 1881 returned the Christian population in 
British and Native India, according to sect. This return is 
useful as affording a test of the figures given in the foregoing 
pages from the Roman Catholic and Protestant missions. It 
will be observed that the two sets of figures practically agree, 
allowing for differences in the areas of the enumeration. In 
the total for all India these sources of discrepancy disappear ; 
but it must be remembered that that total includes both 
Europeans and natives. 






» VMD moo M 

t M r<> r«.>Q O >■ ▼ Ov ^ ^ 


« ■♦ t* o r»>oo «»»o ♦ •« « 





5 ■♦ • 

a ( 

(•^0 00 

i ? 

• w) <n M ro 

00 ot o on ^ f»»«« 
n -<roo ^•^'^ 
« « cT cT t^ ^ • 

:5 \ 



.- . 

: : 










. * 




M 00 





. 00 

m --. 

M « 



*• ♦ lo 









«8 O » S.O " C 

.2 tTcg B«. bco g 

i §5 &^ 2.-S § 


""^^ 3 - *^ - 

I aide's I 

3 S q-S f^ 

I K 3 B o S 5 




The Government of India maintains an ecclesiastical estab- 
lishment for its European soldiers and officials. It devotei 
on an average ;^66o,ooo a year to their medical require* 
ments, and ;^i 60,000 to their spiritual wants.^ The two 
following tables show the ecclesiastical staff, and the number 
of soldiers and Government servants who attend their minis- 
trations. In making up the second table, it has not been 
found practicable to bring the statistics of attendance beyond 
the date of the last Parliamentary return of 1880. During die 
year 1879, to which the attendance columns in the second 
table refer, a large European force was absent in the field, and 
the church attendance of European troops was decreased by 
about 13,000 officers and men. 

Indian Ecclesiastical Staff, 1884. 





No. Pay. 








£. £ 



Church of England- 


I 4598 

1280 ) 
960 > 9a' 960 




I ; 960 




I ! 960 






I 1 2560 
















Church of Scotland- 





960 600 




1 140 




... 1 




1 140 

3 990 



Roman Catholic 











15 ' Z^>oJ 






18 j 360JI 240 

- . 

Total, . 


... 1 8 

242 1 ... 1 ... 

4 ■; - 

a Tlie registrar of the Calcutta Diocese is also registrar of the Lahore Diocese. 

b These are the senior Presbyterian Chaplains in the three PresidendeSb 

c This is an allowance for furnishing ecclesiastical returns for transmissioD to 
England, paid to certain Roman Catholic Bishops in official communicatioii 
with the British Government The number of Catholic Bishops is sixteen for 
all India. 

d There is also an intermediate class on ;f 300 per annum. In addition to 
their rates of pay, Roman Catholic priests receive horse allowance at ;f 36 per 

In the following table, it should be borne in mind that 
the salaries and number of chaplains refer to 1884, while 
the attendance is that of 1879, when a large force was in 
the field. The attendance in ordinary years is estimated 

' The average cost of the ecclesiastical establishment during the ten yean 
ending 1883 was;^i6o,657. 


: at over 50,000. This would raise the total Church attendance 
[ of British troops and Government servants (exclusive of women 
[and children) to about 55,000. 

IxDiAN Ecclesiastical Ministrations. 

' If 










ss % 


Cfciunrh of £ng];Lnd« 



33,843 3I9I 




a^/Sa 479 1 


Oiizxtih of Rome^ . 

Tola}. , . . . 



10,586 6a 1 


j£«65,S7i 1 


37,:iio 4^91 1 41*501 1 




While Buddhism was giving place to Hinduism throughoit 
India, and Christianity under Nestorian bishops was spread- 
ing along the coast of Malabar, a new faith had arisen m 
Early Arab Arabia. Muhammad, bom in 570 A.D., created a conquering 
ikS^to religion, and died in 632. Within a hundred years after 
liombav his death, his followers had invaded the countries of Asia as 
7^^A D ^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^ Hindu Kush. Here their progress was stayed, 
and Isldm had to consolidate itself, during three more cen- 
turies, before it grew strong enough to grasp the rich priicof 
India. But, almost from the first, the Arabs had fixed eager 
eyes upon that wealthy country. Fifteen years after the deaA 
of the prophet, Usman sent a sea-expedition to Thdna and | 
Broach on the Bombay coast (647 ? a.d.). Other raids towaids ' 
Sind took place in 662 and 664, with no results. 
Muham- In 711, however, the youthful Kisim advanced into Sind, to 
Tu\^^ claim damages for an Arab ship which had been seized at an 
in Sind, Indian port. After a brilliant campaign, he settled himself inthe 
711-S28? Indus valley; but the advance of the Musalmdns depended 
on the personal daring of their leader, and was arrested by 
his death in 714 a.d. The despairing valour of the Hindus 
struck the invaders with wonder. One Rdjput garrison pe* 
ferred extermination to submission. They raised a hi^ 
funeral pile, upon which the women and children first thre* 
themselves. The men then bathed, took a solemn ferewell 
of each other, and, throwing open the gates, rushed upon the 
Their ex- besiegers and perished to a man. In 750, the Rijputs arc 
828 a"d ^^^^ ^^ ^^^^ expelled the Muhammadan governor, but it was 

not till 828 A.D. that the Hindus regained Sind. 
India on The armies of Islam had carried the crescent from the 
the eve Hindu Kush westwards, through Asia, Africa, and Southern 
Muham- Europe, to distant Spain and Gaul, before they obtained afoot- 
madan hold in the Punjab. This long delay was due, not only to 
^ioooTd ^^^^ daring of individual tribes, such as the Sind Rdjputs just 



mentioned, but to the militaTy organization of the Hindu 
kingdoms. To the north of the Vindhyas, three separate 
groups of princes governed the great river - valleys. The 
Rdjputs ruled in the north-west, throughout the Indus plains, Hindu 
and along the upper waters of the Jumna. The ancient _^"f)ofTbc 
Middle Land of Sanskrit times (MadhyanJesha) was divided north ; 
among powerful kingdoms, with their suzerain at Kananj. 
The lower Gangetic valley, from Behar downwards, was stiil 
in part governed by Pal or Buddhist dynasties, whose names 
are found from Benares to jungle-buried hamlets deep in the 
Bengal delta.* The Vindhya ranges stretched their wall of 
forest and mountain between the northern and southern halves 
of India, Their eastern and central regions were t^eopled by (2) o^ the 
fierce hill tribes. At their western extremitVi towards the ^" * 
Bombay coast, lay the Hindu kingdom of Mdlwa, with its 
brilliant literary traditions of Vikramaditya, and a vast feudal 
array of fighting mea India to the south of the Vindhyas was 
occupied by a number of warlike princes, chiefly of non-Ar}an 
descent, but loosely grouj^ed under three great over-lords, 
represented by the Chera, Chola, and Pandya dynasties. - 

Each of these groups of kingdoms, alike in the north and llimUi 
in the souths had a certain power of coherence to oppose to a J^e^Jg^^^"^^ 
foreign invader ; while the large number of the groups and 
units rendered conquest a very tedious process, Ym even when 
the over-lord or central authority was vanquished, the separate 
groups and units had to be defeated in detail, and each State 
supplied a nucleus for subsequent revolt. We have seen how 
the brilliant attempt in 711, to found a lasting Muhammadan 
dynasty in Sind, failed. Three centuries later, the utmost 
efforts of two great Musalman invaders from the north-west only 
succeeded in annexing a small portion of the frontier Punjab 
Province, between 977 and J176A.D. The Hindu power in slow pro- 
Southern India was not completely broken till the battle of?J^*^* 
Tc-llikot in 1565 ; and within a hundred years, in 1650, the great niadans in 
Hindu revival had commenced which, under the form of the India, 
Marathd confederacy, was destined to break up the Mughal 

^ For example, at Sahhar^ on the norihem bank of ihe Burfganga, once 
the capital of the Bhiiiya or Buddhist Pal Raja Harischandra, In r839, 
Ihe otily trace that remained of hk traditional residence wa« a brick mound, 
covered with jungle. See Itunter^s Statist icai Atcmttt of Batgai^ vol. 
V, pp. 72, 73, 118. In L<jwer iJengat, the lluddiiist Pals had given place 
to the BrahtJianif.ed Sens of Nadiya before the Mohammadan.s reached that 
Pro^'ince for the first time in 1 199. 

* See The Imperial Gazetteer of hidia^ articles Chera, Ciioi.a, and 
Pa SOYA. ^ 




only par- 

and tem- 

India from 
the Musal- 

Empire in India. That Empire, even in the north of India, 
had only been consolidated by Akbar^s policy of incorporating 
Hindu chiefs and statesmen into his government (1556-1605). 
Up to Akbar's time, and even during the earlier years of his 
reign, a series of Rdjput wars had challenged the Muham- 
niadan suj)remacy. In less than two centuries after his death, 
the successor of Akbar was a puppet in the hands of the Hindu 
Marathds at Delhi. 

The popular notion that India fell an easy prey to the 
Mu Salmans is opposed to the historical facts. Muharamadan 
rule in India consists of a series of invasions and partial 
conquests, during eleven centuries, from Usmdn's raid, circ, 647, 
to Ahmad Shdh's tempest of invasion in 1761 a.d. They 
represent in Indian history the overflow of the nomad tribes of 
Central Asia, towards the south-east ; as the Huns, Tiirks, and 
various Tartar tribes disclose in early European annals the 
westward movements from the same great breeding-ground of 
nations. At no time was Islim triumphant throughout the 
whole of India. Hindu dynasties always ruled over large 
areas. At the height of the Muhammadan power, the Hindu 
princes paid tribute, and sent agents to the Imperial Court. But 
even this modified supremacy of Delhi lasted for little over a 
century (1578-1707). Before the end of that brief period, 
the Hindus had begun the work of reconquest. The native 
chivalry of Rdjputdna was closing in upon Delhi from the 
south; the religious confederation of the Sikhs was growing 
into a military power on the north-west. The Mardthis had 
combined the fighting powers of the low-castes with the states- 
manship of the Brihmans, and were subjecting the Muham- 
madan kingdoms throughout all India to tribute. So far as 
can now be estimated, the advance of the English power at the 
beginning of the present century alone saved the Mughal 
Empire from passing to the Hindus. 

This chapter will necessarily confine its survey to the 
essential stages in the spread of the Musalmdn conquest, 
and will pass lightly over the intermediate princes or minor 
dynasties who flit across the scene.^ The annexed summary 
presents a view of the whole : — 

^ The Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstonc's I/isfoty of India is still the 
standard popular work on the Muhammadan period. Professor CovvelPs 
edition (Murray, 1866) incorporated some of the new materials accumu- 
lated since Mr. Elphinstone wrote. But much of the original work is a 
reproduction of FiHshta, and requires to be re-written from Sir Henry 
Elliot's Persian Historians and the results of the Archaeological and 




OF India ( 

\ House OF Ghazni (Turki). 
[001-11S6. Mahmud of Ghazni 
to Sultan KhushL Pp. 272-7$. 

. House of Ghor (Afghan?). 
1S6-1206. Muhammad Ghori 
(Shahab-ud-din). Pp. 275-78. 

. Slave Kings (chiefly Turki). 
2o6-i29a Kutab-ud-din to Bal* 
ban and Kaikubad. Pp. 278-80. 

House of Khilji (Tiiiki?). 

190-1320. Jalal-ud-din to Nasir- 

nddio Khusru. Pp. 280-83. 

. House of Tughlak (Punjab 

Turks), 1320-1414. Pp. 283-86. 

ipa Ghiyas - ud - din Tughlak. 

P. 283. 
1324. Muhammad Tughlak. Pp. 

IJSI. Firuz Tughlak. P. 285. 
1414. Endof the dynasty. P. 286. 
[lmi{>tion of the Mughals under 
Timur (Tamerlane) in 1398- 
99, leaving behind him a fifteen 
years' anarchy under the last 
of the line of Tughlak, until 
ike accession of the Sayyids 
101414. P. 285.] 
VI. Thf. Sayyids. 
UH-USO. Curtailed power of 
Whi. P. 286 passim. 
VII. The Lodis (Afghans). 
H5t>-iS26. Feeble reigns; inde- 
pendent Sutes. P. 286. 

'HL House OF Timur (Mughal), 

'526-1530. Baliar. P. 290. 
'5y>-i556.Humayun. Pp. 290-91. 

Conquerors and Dynasties 

[Sher Shah, the Afghan gover- 
nor of Bengal, drives Huma- 
yun out of India in 1540, 
and his Afghan dynasty rules 
till 1555. P. 291.] 
1556-1605. Akbar the Great. 

Pp. 291-300. 
i6o5-i627.Jahangir. Pp. 300-302. 
1628-1658. Shdh Jahan, deposetl. 

Pp. 302-305. 
1 658- 1 707. Aurangzeb or Alam- 

gir I. Pp. 306-312. 
1 707-1 7 1 2. Bahadur Shah, or 

Shdh A lam i. P. 312. 
1712. Jahandar Shah. P. 312. 
i7i3-i7i8.Farrukhsiyyar. P. 312. 
1 7 19 -1748. Muhammad Shah 
(after two boy Emperors). Pp. 


[Irruption of Nadir Shah the 
Persian, 1738-1739- Pp- 


1 748- 1 754. Death of Muhamma<I 

Shdh ; and accession of Ahmad 

Shdh, deposed 1754. P. 313. 

1754-1759- Alamglr II. P. 313. 

[Six invasions of India by 

Ahmad Shah Duranf, the 

Afghan, 1748 -1761. Pp. 


1759-1806. Shah Alam 11., titular 
Emperor. P. 313. 

1806-1834. AklKirii., titular Em- 
peror. P. 313. 

1 834- 1 857. Muhammad Bahadur 
Shah, titular Em|>eror ; the 
seventeenth and last Mughal 
Emperor ; died a State prisoner 
at Rangoon in 1862. P. 313. 

mistical Surveys. The present chapter has chiefly used, besides 
i>hiDStone, the following works for the Muhammadan period : — (i) Sir 
3iiy Elliot's History of India as told by its 07vn Historians^ i.e, the 
^ and Persian travellers and writers, edited by Professor Dowson, 
rdla. 1867-77 (Trubner); (2) Mr. Edward Thomas' Chronicles 0/ 
Patkdn Kings of Delhi ^ especially for reigns from 1193 to 1554, for 
A period he gives the initial dates of the Hijra years (Triibner, 1871) ; 
Mr. Edward Thomas* Revenue Resources of the Mughal Empire^ with 
lanuscript marginal notes ; (4) Lieut. -Colonel Brigg's Translation of 
unmad Kasim Firishta's History of the Rise of the Muhammadan 






k^n, 977 


of Ghajtiu, 

His seven- 
teen iiiva- 


The first collision between Hinduism and Islam on 
Punjdb frontier was the act of the Hindus, In 977, Jiijl 
the Hindu chief of Lahore, annoyed by Afghin raids, led i 
troops up the passes against the Muhammadan kingdom! 
Ghaznf, in Afghdnistin. Subuktigin, the Ghaznivide priij 
after severe fighting, took advantage of a hurricane to cat^ 
the Hindu retreat through the pass. He allowed them, 1 
ever, to return to India on the surrender of fifty elepha 
and the promise of one million dirhams (about X^S^c 
Tradition relates bow Jaipdl, having regained his capital, \ 
counselled by the Brdhman, standing at his right hand^ not! 
disgrace himself by paying ransom to a barbarian ; while 1 
nobles and warrior chiefs, standing at his left, implored \m\ 
keep faith. In the end, Subuktigin swept down the passes] 
enforce his ransom, defeated J^ipalt and left an Afghdn off 
with 10,000 horse to garrison Pcshdwan Subuktigin was s 
afterwards called away 10 fight in Central Asia, and his It 
raid left behind it only this outpost.^ But henceforthi 
Afghdns held both ends of the passes. 

In 997, Subuktigin died, and was succeeded by his 
Mahmiid of Ghazni, aged sixteen. This valiant moo 
reigned for thirty-three years,^ and extended the limits oil 
falher^s little Afghan kingdom from Persia on the west, to dd 
into the Punjab on the east. Having spent four years in { 
solidating his power to the west of the Khaibar Pass, he 1 
forth in 1001 a.d. the first of his seventeen* invasions of Ind 

Power in India ; (5) Reports of ihe Archaeological Survey of \Vc 
India, ant! mare rials supplied by the Stalisu'cal Sur\ey of the ' 
Provinces of Itrdia ; (6) Professor Blochmann*s Ain i-Akbati (Cal 
'873)1 together with Gladwin's older translation (2 vols, iSoo). Whcft^ 
dates or figures in this chapter differ from Elphinsione*s, they are dei 
from the original Persian authorities, as adopted by Sir Henry Elliot I 
Mr, Thomas. 

1 The TMkh Yamini, written arc. 1020, by Al 'Lhbi, a ; 
Sultan Mahmiid, is the contemporary authority for this invasion, 
translated in Sir Henry Elliotts Persian Historians^ vol. ii, pp. lft-34. 
materials for the invasions of Subuktigin are firishta^ i. pp. 11-35 ( 
1829) ; and Sir Henry Elliotts Persiatt //is/crians, vols. 11. ill. ix, and^ 

^ His chronicler, Al 'Utbi, never once mentions Delhi or Lahore. 

' The Tahakdt'i'Ndsirf (Sir Henry Elliotts Persian Historians ^ vflrt 
p. 270) speaks of the * 36th year of his reign/ But the dates 997 lo 1 
5»eero authoritative. The original materials for the invasions of Mabi 
are Firishia^ i. pp. 37-82 ; and Sir Henry Elliotts Persian HiiiorimS^ 
voIsp i. ii. ill. and iv» 

* This number, and subsequent details, are taken from the anlhoriliei ^ 
translated in Sir Hcnrj' Elliot's Persian Historians ^ vols. ii. lii, iv.: and ' 
critically examined in the Appendix to his second volume^ pp. 434-478 (|S6<^K 



Of these, thirteen were directed to the subjugation of the 
Punjab; one was an unsuccessful incursion into Kashmir; the 
remaining three were short but furious raids against more 
distant cities — Ranauj, Gwalior, and Somndth. 

Jaipip, the Hindu frontier chief of Lahore, was again 
defeated. According to Hindu custom, a twice-conquered 
prince was deemed unwortliy to reign ; and Jaipil, mount- 
ing a funeral pile, solemnly made over his kingdom to his Patriotic 
son, and burned himself in his regal robes. Another local qP^k^^^'^ 
chief, rather than yield himself to the victor, fell upon his Hindus 
own sword. In the sixtli expedition (1008 a. d.}, the Hindu '^^*°® *-^' 
ladies melted their ornaments, while the poorer women spun 
cotton, to support their husbands in the war. In one great 
battle, the fate of the invaders hung in the balance, Mahmud, 
alarmed by a coalition of the Indian kings as far as Oudh 
and Malwa, entrenched himself near Peshawar. A sortie 
which he made was driven back, and the wild Ghakkar 
tnl>e ^ burst into the camp and slaughtered nearly 4000 

But each expedition ended by further strengthening the Mfthmud*^ 

Muhammadan foothold in India, Mahmud carried away P'"°^*^'"" 

enormous booty from the Hindu temples, such as Thaneswar 1001-1024. 

and Nagarkot, and his sixteenth and most famous expedition 

was directed against the temple of Somndth in Gujarat (1024 

A.D.). After bloody repulses, he stormed the town ; and the 

Hindu garrison, leaving 5000 dead, put out in boats to sea. 

The famous idol of Somnath was merely one of the twelve 

iingas or phallic emblems erected in various parts of India. 

But Mahmud having taken the name of the * Idol-Smasher/ Expctliiiou 

the mcwlern Persian historians gradually converted the plunder *° ^*^™' 

^ ^ , . . , , _ f . . '^ ■ T- . i ^^uh 1024. 

of Soranath into a legend of his pions 7.eal Forgetting the 

contemporary accounts of the idol as a rude stump of stone, 

Firishta tells how Mahmud, on entering the temple, was offered 

* Firishta .says, * 30,000 Ghakkars with their heads and feet bare.* 
Colonel Brigg's Firishta^ vol i. p. 47 (eti. 1829). Elphinstone gives the 
number of Mahmud's expcditiuns somewhat differently from the number 
and order adopted in the above text from the Persian rtuthorliits, translated 
by Sir Henry Elliot. Thus* Elphinstone gives the expedition of lOoS a,tk 
as the fourth (p. 32S), xvhile Sir Henry EUiot gives it as the sixth 
{Persian Hiitorians^ vol. i. |). 444). In the same way, Elphinstone gjvt-s the 
Somnith expedition as the twelfth (p. 334, cd. j866), while .Sir Henry 
Elliot gives il as the sixteenth (vol. it. p. 468). These instances must 
sufHce to indicate the diflerences betwceini Elphinstone and the later 
materials derived from Sir Henry Ellitvl and Mr. Kdward Thomas» In 
subsequent pages, the nvore accurate materials will be ysctl without {jau-sing 
to point out such ditTercticcs. 




FIciton of 
the jewcl- 



Ivesults of 
M ah mud's 
1030 A.D, 


M ah mud's 
juiiiice and 

an enormous ransom by the priests if he would s| 
image.^ But Mahmiid cried out that he would raillfi 
remenibered as the breaker than the seller of idols, and cloi 
the god open with his mace. Forthwith a vast treasure < 
jewels poured forth from its vitals, which explained ih 
liberal offers of the priests, and rewarded the disintei 
piety of the monarch. The growth of this myth can be 
traced,- but it is still repeated by uncritical historians. 
linga or solid stone fetish of Somnath, had no stomacl 
could contain no jewels, 

Mahnmd carried off the temple gates, with fragments 
phallic emblem, to Ghazni,^ and on the way nearly pei 
with his army in the Indus desert. But the famous 
wood gates of Somnath/ brought back as a trophy from 
by our troops in 1842, and paraded through Northern 
were as clumsy a forgery as the story of the jewel-belliei 
itself. Mahmiid died at Ghazni in 1030 a.d. 

As the result of seventeen invasions of India, and V 
five years' fighting, Mahmiid had reduced the western 
of the Punjab to the control of Ghazni, and left the 
brance of his raids as far as Kanauj on the east, and 
in the south. He never set up as a resident sov 
India. His exj^editions beyond the Punjab were the 
tures of a religious knight-errant, with the plunder of a 
city, or the demolition of an idol, as their object, rather 
serious efforts at conquest. But as his father had left 
war as an outpost garrison, so Mahmiid left the Punjab 
outlying Province of Ghazni. 

The Muhammadan chroniclers tell many stories, not 
Mahmiid's valour and piety, but also of his thrift* One 
poor woman complained thai her son had been killed by 
in a distant desert of Irak. Mahmtid said he was very 
but that it was difficult to prevent such accidents so h 
the capital The old woman rebuked him with these 

^ Colonel Brigg s Firishta^ vol. i. pp. 72, 73 (ed. 1829). 

* Sir H, Elliot's Hutery of India from the Persian Hiitorians^s 
270, frum the TahahU-i-Ndiirt ; also Appendix, vol. ii. p. 476; ' 
pp. 182, 183* from the HabihU'S-Siyar of Khondamlr. But sec, < 
I S3 2, H. H. Wilson in the Aswtit Nesearckes^ vol. xvii, pp* 1 94 4 
A foumlalion for Firishta's invention is, however, to be found in 1 
temporary account of Al Biruni (970- 1 029 A.u.), who says that tbei 
the tinga was garnislied with gems of gold. 

* Of the fijiir fragments, he deposited one in the Jama Masjid it GS 
another at the entrance of his palace, and the third he sent l<i Mfi 
the fourth to Medina. TahakAi'i-NdsifL 

HOUSE OF GHOR, 1152^1186. 


* Keep therefore no more territory than you can rightly govern.* 
The Sultan forthwith rewarded her, and sent troops to guard 
all caravans passing that way. Mahmdd was an enlightened 
patron of poets, and his liberality drew the great Ferdousi to 
his courL The Sultin listened with delight to his Shdh-ndftiah, 
or Book of Kings, and j^rumised him a dirham^ meaning a 
golden one, for each verse on its completion. After thirty 
years of labour, the poet claimed his reward. But the Sultdn 
finding that the poem had run to 60,000 verses, offered him 
60,000 silver dirhams, instead of dirhams of gold, Ferdousi 
retired in disgust from the court, and wrote a bitter satire 
which records to this day the base birth of the monarch, 
Mabmud forgave the satire, but remembered the great epic, 
and, repenting of his meanness, sent 100,000 golden dirhams 
to the poet. The bounty came too late. For as the royal 
messengers bearing the bags of gold entered one gate of 
Ferdousi's city, the poet*s corpse was being borne out by 

During a century and a half, the Punjab remained under 
Mahmiid's successors, as a Province of Ghazni. But in 1152, 
the Afghans of Ghor* overthrew the Ghaznivide dynasty; and 
Khusrii, the last of Mahmiid's line, fled to Lahore, the capital 
of his outlying Indian territory. In 1186, this also was 
wrested from him \ ^ and the Ghorian prince Shahab-ud-dfn, 
better known as Muhammad of Ghor, began the conquest of 
India on his own account. But each of the Hindu princi- 
l>ahties fought hard, and some of them still survive seven 
centuries after the torrent of Afghin invasion swept over their 

On hts first expedition towards Delhi, in 119:, Muhammad 
of Ghor was utterly defeated by the Hindus at Thanes war, 
badly wounded, and barely escaped with his life. His scattered 
hosts were chased for 40 miles. But he gathered together 
the wreck at Lahore, and, aided by new hordes from Central 
Asia, again marched into Hindustan in 11 95* Family quarrels 
among the Rajputs prevented a united effort against him, 

* Ghor, one of the oldest scats of the Afghan race, x-^ now a mined 
town of Western AfghAnislin, 120 mtlcs somh-ea-st of HeraE. The feud 
between Ghor and Gbaini' was of long standing and great bitterness. 
Mahmud of Gha/,n( had subdueil Ghor in loio A.D. ; but about 1051 
the Ghorian chief captured Ghaini, and dragged its chief inhabitants lo 
Ghor, where he cut their throats, and used their blood for making morlar 
for the fortifioiiions. After various reprisals, Ghor llnally triumphed over 
Ghazni in 1 152. 

' TabakM-i'KAsirL Sir II, ElU'H's Pi-rsian Historiam, vol. U. p. sSt, 


House of 





mad of 

His first 






among the 

pageant at 
1 2th cen- 
tury A.D. 

A nvay- 
amvara^ or 

tion of 
circ, 1 1 84. 

The cities of Delhi and Kanauj stand forth as the centres of 
rival Hindu monarchies, each of which claimed the first place 
in Northern India. A Chauhdn prince, ruling over Delhi and 
Ajmere, bore the proud name of Prithwf Rdji or Suzerain. 
The Rahtor king of Kanauj, whose capital can still be traced 
across eight square miles of broken bricks and rubbish,^ cele- 
brated a feast, in the spirit of the ancient Horse-sacrifice,- 
to proclaim himself the Over-lord. 

At such a feast, all menial offices had to be filled by royal 
vassals; and the Delhi monarch was summoned as a gate- 
keeper, along with the other princes of Hindustdn. During 
the ceremony, the daughter of the King of Kanauj was nomin- 
ally to make her swayamvara^ or * own choice ' of a husband, 
a pageant survival of the reality in the Sanskrit epics. The 
Delhi Raj4 loved the maiden, but he could not brook to stand 
at another man's gate. As he did not arrive, the Kanauj 
king set up a mocking image of him at the door. When 
the princess entered the hall to make her choice, she looked 
calmly round the circle of kings, then stepping proudly past 
them to the door, threw her bridal garland over the neck 
of the ill-shapen image. Forthwith, says the story, the 
Delhi monarch rushed in, sprang with the princess on his 
horse, and galloped off towards his northern capital The 
outraged father led out his army against the runaways, 
and, having called in the Afghdns to attack Delhi on the 
other side, brought about the ruin of both the Hindu 

The tale serves to record the dissensions among the Rijput 
princes, which prevented a united resistance to Muhammad of 
Ghor. He found Delhi occupied by the Tomdra clan, Ajmere 
by the Chauhdns, and Kanauj by the Rdhtors. These Rijput 
States formed the natural breakwaters against invaders from 
the north-west. But their feuds are said to have left the King 
of Delhi and Ajmere, then united under one Chauhdn Over- 
lord, only 64 out of his 108 warrior chiefs. In 1193, the 
Afghdns again swept down on the Punjab. Prithwi Rdjd of 
Delhi and Ajmere^ was defeated and slain. His heroic 
princess burned herself on his funeral pile. Muhammad of 
Ghor, having occupied Delhi, pressed on to Ajmere ; and in 

^ See article Kanauj, 7 he Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

• Anva-medha^ described in a previous chapter. 

' Descended from the eponymous Raja Aja of Ajmere, circ, 145 a.d. ; 
and on the mother's side, from Anang Pdl Tuar, Raja of Delhi, who 
adopted him ; thus uniting Delhi to Ajmere. See article Ajmere-Mer- 
wara, in The ImpericU Gazetteer of India, 


1194, overthrew the rival Hindu monarch of Kanauj, whose 
body was identified on the field of battle by his false teeth* 
The brave Rahtor Rajpots of Kannuj, with other of the Knjput 
Rdjput clans in Northern India, quitted their homes in large "jjjf^']^^'*"^ 
bodies rather than submit to the stranger. I'hcy migrated jiLuana. 
to the regions bordering on the eastern desert of the Indus, 
and there founded the military' kingdoms which bear their 
race-name, Rajputina, to this day. 

Histor}^ takes her narrative of these events from the matter- 
of-fact statements of the Persian annalists,' But the Hindu 
court-bard of Prithvvi Raja left behind a patriotic version 
of the fall of his race. His ballad-chronicle, known as the 
Prithwirdj Rdsati of Chdnd, is one of the earliest poems in 
Hindi It depicts the Musalnian invaders as beaten in all the 
battles except the last fatal one. Their leader is taken prisoner 
by the Hindus, and released for a heavy ransom. But the 
quarrels of the chiefs ruined the Hindu cause. 

Setting aside these patriotic songs, Benares and Gwalior mark 
the south-western limits of Muhammad of Ghor*s own advance. 
But his general, Bakhtiydr Khilji, conquered Behar in 1199^2 Mulmm- 
and Lower Bengal down to the delta in 1203, On the (.'^ ,p^| ,^jr 
approach of the Musalmdns» the Brdhmans advised lakshman Bengal, 
Seo, the King of Bengal, to remove his residence from Nadiya ■^*^^' 
to some more distant city. But the prince, an old man 
of eighty, could not make up his mind until the Afghdn 
general had seized his capital, and burst into the palace one 
day while his majesty was at dinner. The monarch slipped 
out by a back door without having time to put on his shoes, 
and fled to Puri in Orissa, where he spent his remaining 
days in the service of Jagannath.^ 

Meanwhile the Sultin, Muhammad Ghorf, divided his time 
between campaigns in .\fghinistin and Indian invasions ; 
and he had little time to consolidate his Indian conquests. 
Even in the Punjab, the tribes were defeated rather than sub- 
dued In 1203, the Ghakkars issued from their mountains, 

' Firishia (i. 161-187), the TaluMi-i-Ndiiri of Minhaju-s-SiraJ, and 
others; irtuislatcd m Sir Henry Elliot's JWsian Historians^ vols. ii. v. 
and vi. 

' History of Bettgal frotn the first Muhammadan Invasion io 1757, by 
Major Charles Stewart, p. 25 (Calcutta, 1847), The nearly contemporary 
authority is the TnhMld-Ndsiri {\221 -41) ^ Sir H. ¥.U\Qi\ Perxian His- 
iorians, vol. ii. pp, 307-309. 

* Stewart^ p. 27. The Tahakdi-i-NdsiH merely says *he went towjird* 
Sankfiit ' (;iV) yagannaih?); Sir tl. Elliui's Ptrsian HiitortafiSi v^A. ii. 
P' J09. 



mad of 
work in 

India sub- 




* SJave 

took Lahore,^ and devastated the whole Province.* In 1206, 
a party of the same clan swam the Indus, on the bank of 
which the Afghan camp was pitched, and stabbed the Sultdn 
to death while asleep in his tent.* 

Muhammad of Ghor was no religious knight-errant like 
MahmiSd of Ghaznf, but a practical conqueror. The objects 
of his distant expeditions were not temples, but Provinces. 
Subuktigfn had left Peshdwar as an outpost of Ghazni (977 
A.D.) ; and Mahmiid had reduced the western Punjab to an 
outlying Province of the same kingdom (1030 a.d.). That 
was the net result of the Tiirki invasions of India. But 
Muhammad of Ghor left the whole north of India, from the 
delta of the Indus to the delta of the Ganges, under Muham- 
madan generals, who on his death set up for themselves. 

His Indian Viceroy, Kutab - ud - dfn, proclaimed him- 
self sovereign of India at Delhi, and founded a line which 
lasted from 1206 to 1290. Kutab claimed the control over 
all the Muhammadan leaders and soldiers of fortune in 
India from Sind to Lower Bengal. His name is preserved 
at his capital by the Kutab Mosque, with its graceful 
colonnade of richly - sculptured Hindu pillars, and by the 
Kutab Mindr^^ which raises its tapering shaft, encrusted with 
chapters from the Kuran, high above the ruins of old Delhi. 
Kutab-ud-dfn had started life as a Tiirkf slave, and several of 
his successors rose by valour or intrigue from the same low 
condition to the throne. His dynasty is accordingly known 
as that of the Slave Kings. Under them India became for 
the first time the seat of resident Muhammadan sovereigns. 
Kutab-ud-dfn died in 1210.^ 

The Slave 



The Slave Dynasty found itself face to face with the three 
perils which have beset the Muhammadan rule in India from 
the outset, and beneath which that rule eventually succumbed. 
First, rebellions by its own servants, Musalmdn generals, 
or viceroys of Provinces; second, revolts of the Hindus; 

* Firishta^ vol. i. pp. 1 82- 1 84. 

'As far south as the country near Muhan, TAjti'l-Ma-dsir ; Sir II. 
Elliot *s Persian Historians^ vol. ii. pp. 233-235 ; Tdrikh-i-Alfi^ v. 163. 
The Muhammadan historians naturally minimize this episode. 

' Sir H. Elliot's Persian Historiofts, vol. ii. pp. 235, 297, 393. Brigg's 
Firishttty vol. i. pp. 185, 186. 

* The Imperial Gazetteer of Indian ^ article Delhi City. 

* The original materials for Kutab-ud-din Aibak's reign are to be found 
in Firi hta, vol. i. pp. 189-202 (ed. 1829) ; and the Persian Historians, 
translated by Sir Henry Elliot, vols. ii. iii. iv. and v. 



third, fresh invasions, chiefly by Mughals, from Central 

Akamsli^ the third and greatest Sultin of the Slave line fts difficul- 
(1211-36 A,D.)^ had to reduce the Muharamadan Governors of ^*^" 
Lower Bengal and Siod, both of whom had set up as inde- 
pendent rulers ; and he narrowly escaped destruction by a 
Mughal invasion. The MuglmJs under Changfz Khdn swept 
through the Indian passes in pursuit of an Afghan prince; but 
their progress was stayed by the Indus, and Delhi remained un- 
touched. Before the death of Altarash (i 236 a,d.), the Hindus Aliamsh, 
had ceased for a time to struggle openly ; and the Muhammadan *^" S^* 
Viceroys of Delhi ruled all India on the north of the Vindhya 
range, including the Punjab^ the North- Western Provinces, 
Oudh» Behar^ Lower Bengal, Ajmere, Gwalior, Mdlwi, and 
Sind The Khali f of Baghdad acknowledged India as a 
separate Muhammadan kingdom during the reign of Altarnsh, 
and struck coins in recognition of the new Empire of Delhi 
(1229 A.D,).^ Altarnsh died in 1236. 

His daughter Raziyd was the only lady who ever occupied The 
the Muhammadan throne of Delhi (1236-39 a.d,). learned ^^P'^^"^ 
in the Kurin, industrious in public business, firm and energetic 123^30. 
in every crisis, she bears in history the mascuMne name of 
the Siiitdn RaziydL But the favour which she showed to the 
master of the horse, an Abyssinian slave, offended her Afghan 
generals ; and after a troubled reign of three and a half years, 
she was deposed and put to death,- 

Mughal irruptions and Hindu revolts soon began to under- Mughal 
mine the Slave dynasty. The Mughals are said to have burst in-uptions 
through Tibet into North - Eastern Bengal in 1 245 f and 
during the next forty-four years, repeatedly swept down the 
Afghdn passes into the Punjab (1244-88). The wild Indian 
tribes, such as the Ghakkars* and the hillmen of Mewat, 
ravaged the Muhammadan lowlands almost up to the capital. 

* Chronkki of the Pafhin A'ings &/ Ddhi^ by Edward Thomas, p. 46 
iMiltie, 187 1 ), Original materials for ShsLms-ud-din Altarnsh: Firuhta^ 
vol, i. pp. 205-212 (iS29)j Sir Henry Elliofs Persian Nistariam^ vols, 
ii, iii. iv. 

' Thomas' Chronicles 0/ the Paifuin A'iu^s, PP- 104-108 ; FirisAia, voL L 
pp. 217-- 222 ; Sir Henry EUiol's Persian /fijfflrians^ vols. ii. and iii. 

* This invasion of Bengal is discrediLed by the latest and most critical 
historian, Mr. Edward Thomas, in his Paihfin A'ings ef Delhi, p, 121, 
note (ctl, 1S71). On the other side, sec Firishtay voh i. p. 231, but cf. 
CoL Brigg's footnote I and the Tabakdi-i-Ndiirim Sir H. Elliotts Persian 
Historians^ vol. ii. pp. 264^ 344 j * In March 1245, the infidels of Changfz 
Khan came to th« gales of Lakhnauii * (Ganr). 

* Fur an account of the GhakKars, litk anU^ p. 186, chap, vii 

1244 8ii. 






to the 

His llftcen 
rnyal pen- 

Rajput revolts foreshadowed that inextinguishable viialiiy « 
the Hindu military races, which was to harass, from ftrst I( 
last, the Moghal Empire, and to outlive it Under the Statne 
kings, even the north of India was only half subdaed to tk 
Muhammadan sway. The Hindus rose again and a^in ifl 
Malwa, Rdjputdna, Bundelkhand, along the Ganges, and in lie 
Jumna valley, marching to the river bank opposite Delhi itsdf.' 

The last monarch but one of the Slave line, Balban (1265^ 
A*D,), had not only to fight the Mughals, the wild non-A; 
tribes, and the Rajput clans ; he was also compelled 
massacre his own viceroys. Having in his youth entl 
into a compact for mutual support and advancement 
forty of his Tiirki fellow-slaves in the palace, he had, 
he came to the throne, to break the jKJwerful confedc 
thus formed. Some of his provincial governors he pubBj 
scourged; others w^ere beaten to death in his prea 
and a general, who failed to reduce the rebel Muhamn 
Viceroy of Bengal, was hanged. Balban himself moved < 
to the delta, and crushed the Bengal revolt with a men 
skill His seventy against Hindu rebels knew no boui 
He nearly exterminated the Jadun Rajputs of Mewat^toJ 
south of Delhi, pulling 100,000 persons to the sword 
then cut down the Ibrests which formed their retreats, k 
opened up the country to tillage. The miseries caused by iJk 
Mughal hordes in Central Asia, drove a crowd of prince* awl 
poets to seek shelter at the Indian court. Balban boasted that 
no fewer than fifteen once independent sovereigns had fed^Mi 
his bounty, and he called the streets of Delhi by the nimesof 
their late kingdoms, such as Baghdad. Kharizm, and Ghflt 
He died in 12S7 a.d/- His successor was poisoned, andtk 
Slave dynasty ended in 1290.* 

Iliiu*;c of 


In that year Jalil-udKiinj a ruler of Khilji, sticcecdedl 
the Delhi throne, and founded a line which lasted for thiilf 
years {1290-1320 A.a). The Khiljf dynasty extended ih^ 
Muhammadan power into Southern India, Ala-uddin, the 
nephew and successor of the founder, w*hen Goveroor « 
Karra,* near Allahabad, pierced through the Vindhya n^ 

' Thomas' Paihtm Kin^s^ 151. 

^ iMateriais for the reij;n of lialbflii (Ghiyis^uil-cUn Balban): Sir Me<*l 
Elliots Ptrsian Histonatts, vol. lii. pp. 38, 97, 546, 59J (iS/f); firu^ 
voL i. pp. 247-272 (1829), 

^ Mr, E. I'homas* Pathtin A'ht^s, pp. 138-142. 

* Forty miles north-west of Allahabad » once the c^tpttfil of an i«np 
fief, now a rainecl town. Sec Tke /mfiriai GauUftr a/Indta^ article \ 

KII//JI DVXASTV, 1 2 90- 1 3 20. 


his cavalry, a«d plundered the Buddhist temple city of 

500 miles off. After trj'ing his powers against the Ala-ud- 
dlioiis Hindu princes of Bundelkhand and Malwd, >>«^ ^mnhem 

ived the idea of a grand raid into the Deccan. With raids, 
ii>d of 8000 horse^ he rode into the heart of Southern *294- 

On the way he gave himself out as flying trom his 
c*s court, to seek service with the Hindu King of Rijdma- 
The generous Rdjput princes abstained from attacking 
ugee in his flight, and Ala-ud-dm surprised the great city of 
[iri,the modern Daulatdbad, at that time the c^ipital of the 
kingdom of Maharashtra, Having suddenly galloped 
its streets, he announced himself as only the advance 
1 of the whole imperial anny, levied an immense booty, 
■ied it back 700 miles to the seat of his Governorship 
the banks of the Ganges, He then lured the Sukan 
l-ud-din, his uncle, to Karra, in order to divide the spoil ; 
murdered the old man in the act of clasping his hand 

il-din scattered his spoils in gifts or charity, and pro- Kcign of 
limed himself Sultan (i 295-1315 a.d.).^ The twenty years jtin.^iigs- 
' his reign founded the Muhammadan sway in Southern 1315; 
dia. He reconquered Gujarat from the Hindus in i297;AIa-ud- 
nured Rintimbur,^ after a difHcuU siege, from the Jaipur *^^'^'^^^; , 
BjpQts m 1300; took the fort of Chittor^ and partially sub- n. IwMa, 
ted the Sesodia Rdjputs (1303) ; and having thus reduced i295-*3oi- 
»c Hindus on the north of the Vindhyas^ prepared for the 
^un<]ucst of the Deccan, But before starling on this great 
«pedition^ he had to meet five Mughal inroads from the north. 
In 1205 he defeated a Mughal invasion under the walls of his 
npiLiL Delhi ; in 1304-5 he encountered four others, sending 
ilt pnsoners to Delhi* where the chiefs were trampled by 
tltrphants, and the common soldiery slaughtered in cold blood. 
He cnished with equal severity several rebellions which took 
phce among his own family during the same period ; first 
jotting out the eyes of his insurgent nephews, and then 
Wielding them (1299-1300), 

Having thus arranged his affairs in Northern India, he under- Ills con- 
too^ the conquest of the South. In J 303 he had sent his ^'^^'j^^^[^ 
eunuch slave, Malik Kdfur, with an army through Bengal, to intUa, 
•^tud Warangal, the capital of the Hindu kingdom of Teling- 'jOj- «5* 

Ifirjinas' Paihdn Kings ^ p. ^44. 
'AUieriALs for Ihc reign of Ali-ud-dln Khiljf : Sir llenr>" Elliot's 
^^^^mHkUfriant^ vol. iiL (1871); Firishta, vol. i. pp. 321-382 (1829). 
Se^iftiti^ Rl^timbuii, Tht impo-itd Gasftieer &/ /nJia, 





mad an 

ana* In 1306, Kafur marched victoriously through 
and Khandesh into the Mardthd country, where he capti 
Deogiri, and persuaded the Hindu king Ram Deo to J 
with him to do homage at Delhi* While the Sultan .AJi-ud 
His gene- was conquering the Rijputs in Mdrwar, his slave genfl 
Kafu?^^ Kafur, made exi>editions through the Karnitic and Mli 
rishtra, as far south as Adam's Bridge, at the extremity I 
India, where he built a mosque. 
Extent of The Muhammadan Sultan of India was no longer roerelf ^ 
ihe Mu- Afchan kintj of Delhi. Three great waves of Lnvaston : 
novvcr in Central Asia had created a large Muhammadan popubtioii| 
-^^ Northern India, First came the Tdrkis, represented b)M 
^ ' house of Ghazni ; then the Afghdns (commonly so calk 

represented by the house of Ghor ; finally the Mughals, hafi 
failed in their rei>eated attempts to conquer the Punjab, tol 
service in great numbers with the Sultans of Delhi, Un 
the Slave Kings the Mughal mercenaries had become so [ 
ful as to require to be massacred (1286). About 1292,1 
r>oimlaLioQ ^^^^^^and Mughalsj having been converted from iheir oldTa 
in India, rites to Muhammadan tsm, received a suburb of Delhi, I 
1286-1311, called Mughalpur, for their residence. Other immigratio 
Mughal mercenaries followed. After various plots, AU-ud 
slaughtered 15,000 of the settlers, and sold their familie 
slaves (131 1 A.D. ). 

The unlimited supply of soldiers which A1i-ud-d(n co 
thus draw upon from the Tiirkf, Afghan, and Mughal 
iaS6-i3ri. in Northern India and the countries beyond, enabled 
to send armies farther south than any of his prcdecc 
But in his later years, the Hindus revolted in Gujarat ;1 
Rajputs reconquered Chittor; and many of the Muto 
madan garrisons were driven out of the Deccan. On tlic 
capture of Chittor in 1303, the garrison had preferred deatlito 
submission. The peasantry still chant an early Hindi balhd. 
telling how the queen and thirteen tliousand women thrc«^ 
themselves on a funeral pile, while the men rushed ujkju tlif 
swords of the besiegers, A remnant cut their way to the 
Aravalli Hills; and the Rajput independence, although '" 
abeyance during Ala-ud-din's reign, was never crushed HavJHr 
imprisoned his sons, and given himself up to paroxysms of r^^ 
and intemperance, Ala-ud-din died in 1315, helped 
grave, it is said, by poison given by his favourite gen 

A renegade ^^^^U'"* 

Ilitidu During the four remaining years of the house of Khilji^ 

]?^'r^^^: actual power passed to Khusru Khdn, a low-caste ren^ 



TUCBLAK DYNASTY, r32o-i4i4. 


Hindu, who imitated the military successes and vices of his Khuiru. 
latron, Malik Kdfur, and then i>ersonally superintended his 
murder.* Khusrii now became all in all to the debauched 
Emperor Mubarik ; slew him, and seized the throne. While 
outwardly professing Islam, Khusrii desecrated the Kuran by 
using it as a scat, and degraded the pulpits of the mosques 
into pedestals for Hindu idols. In 1320 he was slain, and 
the Khilji dynasty disappeared - 

The leader of the rebellion was Ghiyds-udnifn Tughlak, 
who had started life as a Tdrki slave, and risen to the frontier 
Governorship of the Punjab. He founded the Tughlak 
dynasty, which lingered on for ninety four years (132C-1414), 
although subuierged for a time by the invasion of Timtir 
(Tamerlane) in 1398, Ghiyds-ud-din Tughlak (1320-24 a,d.) 
removed the capital from Delhi to a spot about four miles 
farther east, and called it Tughlakabid 

His son and successor, Muhammad Tughlak ( 1 324-5 t)^ 
was an accomplished scholar, a skilful captain, and a severely 
abstinent man.^ But bis ferocity of temper, perhaps inherited 
from the tribes of the steppes, rendered him merciless as a judge 
and careless of human suffering. The least opposition drove him 
into outbursts of insane fury. He wasted the treasures accumu- 
lated by Ala-ud'din in buyhig off the Mughal hordes, who again 
and again swept down on the Punjab. On the other hand, in 
fits of ambition, he raised an army for the invasion of Persia, 
and sent out an expedition of 100,000 men against China. 
The first force broke up for want of pay, and plundered his own 
dominions; the second perished almost to a man in the Hima- 
layan passes. He planned great conquests into Southern 
India, and dragged the whole inhabitants of Delhi, 800 miles 
off, to Deogiri, to which he gave the name of Daulatibad* 
I'wice he allowed the miserable suppliants to return to Delhi ; 
twice he compelled them on pain of death to quit it. One 
of these forced migrations took place amid the horrors of a 
famine ; the citizens perished by thousands, and in the end 
the king had to give up the attempt. Having drained his 
treasury^ he issued a forced currency of copper coins, by 
which he tried to make the king's brass equal to other men*s 

* Thomas' Paihan Kin^^ pp. 1 78, 179. ' ///<•/«, pp. 1S4, 1S5. 

' Materials for his refijn : Sir Henry F2llint*s Persian HistoHam^ vols, i. 
iii. V. vi. vii. ; Finshia, vol i. pp. 408-443 (cd. 1S29) ; Elphmstone*s 
narrative of this reign is an atlmirable &i>eciincn of his spirited siyk of 
work, pp. 403-410 (ctJ. 1S66). 

House of 


1334 5*' 


mad eX' 
13^4 5<- 


His forcwl 



Revolt of 
I he Tro- 

fie flays 



Tlis reign 
line long 

111 ad 

Tughlak s 

II 151 'man 

silver.^ During the same century, the Mughal conqueror ^ 
China^ Kublai Khin, had expanded the use of paj>er nofts^ 
early devised by the Chinese ; and Kai Khdtii had introducd 
a bad imitation of it into Persia- Tughlak's forced nmency 
« [uick!y brought its own ruin. Foreign merchants refused ihc 
worthless brass tokens, trade came to a stand, and the kmg 
had to take payment of his taxes in his own deprecialed 

Meanwhile the Provinces began to throw off the Delhi yoke 
Muhammad Tughlak had succeeded in 1524 to the greatest 
Kiupire which had^ u[j to that time, acknowledged a Muham- 
madan Sultan in India, But his bigoted zeal for Islam forbade 
him to mist either Hindu iirinces or Hindu officers; and be 
thus found himself compelled to fill every high post with 
tnreign Muhammadan adventurers, who had no interest m 
the stability of his rule. I'he annals of the i^eriod present a 
long series of outbreaks, one part of the Empire renouncing 
its allegiance as soon as another had been brought back to 
subjection. His own nephew rebelled in Milwd, and bdflg 
caught, was flayed alive (1338). The Punjab governor revolted 
(1339)* was crushed, and put to death. The Musalmdn Vic^ 
roys of Lower Bengal and of the Coromandel coast set tip 
for themselves (about 1340), and could not be subdued- 
The Hindu kingdoms of Karnata and Telingana recovered 
their independence {1344), and expelled the Musalmifl 
garrisons. The Muhammadan governors in the Deccan also 
revolted, while the troops in Gujardt rose in mutiny* Mu- 
hammad Tughlak rushed with an army to the south to tak« 
vengeance on the traitors, but hardly had he put down their 
rising than he was called away by insurrections in Gujant, 
Malvvi, and Sind. He died in 1351, while chasing rebeb ifl 
the lower valley of the Indus. 

Muhammad Tughlak was the lirst Musalmdn ruler of Iwfe 
who can be said to have had a revenue system. He increased 
the land-tax between the Ganges and the Jumna ; in some 
Districts ten-fold, in others twenty-fold. The husbandmen M 
before his tax-gatherers, leaving their villages to lapse int< 
jungle, and formed themselves into robber clans. He cmefl 
punished all who trespassed on his game preserves ; and ti 
invented a kind of man-hunt without precedent in the anna 
of human wickedness. He surrounded a large tract with h 
army, 'and then gave orders that the circle should cic? 

^ Thomas' Pathdn A'inj^St p, 243. See hi5 valuable monograph eniitl 
• Muhammad Bin Tughlak *s Forced Currency,' &p, eii, pp. 239-261. 



Awards the ceiitrct and that all within it (mostly inoffensive 
peasants) should be slaughtered like wild beasts. This sort of 
hunt was more than once repeated ; and on a subsequent 
occasion, there was a general massacre of the inhabitants of 
the great city of Kanauj. These horrors led in due time to 
famine; and the miseries of the country exceeded all powers 
of description,' ^ 

His son, Firuz Tughlak (135J-S8), ruled mercifully, but 
had to recognise the independence of the Muhammadan 
kingdoms of Bengal and the Deccan, and suffered much from 
bodily infirmities and court intrigues.- He undertook many 
public works, such as dams across rivers for irrigation, tanks, 
caravan-sariis, mosques, colleges, hospitals, and bridges. But 
his greatest achievement was the old Jumna Canal This 
work drew its waters from the Jumna, near a j>Dint where it 
leaves the mountains, and connected that river with the 
Ghaggar and the Sutlej by irrigation channels.'^ Part of it has 
been reconstructed by the British Government, and spreads a 
margin of fertility on cither side to this day. But the dynasty 
of Tughlak soon sunk amid Muhammadan mutinies and 
Hindu revolts; and under Alahmdd, its last real king, 
Northern India fell an easy prey to the great Mughal invasion 
of 1398. 

In that year, Timur (Tamerlane) swept through the Afghdn 
passes at the head of the united hordes of Tartary, He 
defeated the Tughlak King, Mahmiid, under the walls of 
Delhi, and entered the capital. During five days, a massacre 
raged ; * some streets were rendered impassable by heaps of 
dead/"* while Timur calmly looked on and held a feast in 
honour of his victOT}^ On the last day of 1 598 he resumed 
his march, with a * sincere and humble tribute of grateful 
praise ' to God, in Ffruz's marble mosque on the banks of the 
Jumna. He crossed the Ganges, and prt)cectled as far as 
Hard war, after another great massacre at Meerut, Then, 
skirting the foot of the Himalayas, he retired through their 
north-western passes into Central Asia (1399)- 

Timur left no traces of his power in India^ save ruined 
cities. On his departure, Mahmdd Tughlak crept back from 

1 Eiphinslone's History of India ^ jip. 405, 406 (ed. l866|. 
' Materials for his rcij^^ri : Sir ilenr),' Elliot's Persian Hiitorians^ vols. i. 
iiL iv. vi. viii, ; Firiahta^ vol. x, pp. 444-465 (ecL 1S29). 

* Thomas' Paihdn Kui^^s, p. 294. See article Jumna Canal, 
Western, The Impitiai Ga^dkcr af India. 

* Firishta^ vol. i, p. 493, His whole account of Timdr's invasiori is %'cry 
vivid, vol. i. pp, 485 497 (cd. 1829). 

FIfU?. Shah 











Ruin of 
the Tugh- 
laks, 1399, 


his retreat in Gujardt, and nominally ruled till 141 2. The 
Tughlak line ended in 14 14. 
The It was succeeded by the Sayyid dynasty, who ruled from 

f ^P-to. ^^^^ *'^^ ^450' The Afghdn house of Lodi followed, from 1450 
to 1526. But some of these Sultdns reigned over only a few 
miles round Delhi ; and during the whole period, the Hindu 
princes and the local Muhammadan kings were practically inde- 
pendent throughout the greater part of India. The house of 

The Lodfs Lodi was crushed beneath the Mughal invasion of Bdbar in 1 5 26. 
1 450- 1 526. 

Hindu Babar founded the Mughal Empire of India, whose last 

ofth^^"™^ representative died a British State prisoner at Rangoon in 
Deccan. 1862. Before entering on the story of that great Empire, we 
must survey for a moment the kingdoms, Hindu and Muham- 
madan, on the south of the Vindhya range. The three ancient 
Chcra, kingdoms, Chera, Chola,- and Pdndya occupied, as we have 
Pdndyiu"*^ seen,^ the Dravidian country peopled by Tamil-speaking races. 
Pindya, the largest of them, had its capital at Madura, and 
traces its foundation to the 4th century b.c. The Chola 
kingdom had its head-quarters successively at Combaconum 
and Tanjore. Talkad, in Mysore, now buried by the sands 
of the Kdveri, was the capital of the Chera kingdom. The 
1 1 6th king of the Pdndya dynasty was overthrown by the 
Muhammadan general Malik Kdfur, circ. 1304. But the Musal- 
mins failed to establish their power in the extreme south, 
and a series of Hindu dynasties ruled from Madura over the 
old Pdndya kingdom until the i8th century. No European 
kingdom can boast a continuous succession such as that of 
Madura, traced back by the piety of genealogists to the 4th 
century b.c. The Chera kingdom enumerates fifty kings, and 
the Chola sixty-six, besides minor dynasties. 
Kingdom But authentic history in Southern India begins with the 
ofVijaya- Hin^ju kingdom of Vijayanagar or Narsinha, which flourished 
1118-1565. from 1 1 18 to 1565 A.D. The capital can still be traced within 
the Madras District of Bellary, on the right bank of the 
Tungabhadra river, — vast ruins of temples, fortifications, tanks, 
and bridges, now inhabited by hyaenas and snakes. For at least 
three centuries, Vijayanagar dominated the southern part of 
the Indian peninsula. Its Rdjds waged war and made peace 
on equal terms with the Muhammadan Sultans of the Deccan. 

Those Sultdns derived their origin from the conquest of 

* At the beginning of this chapter ; and articles Chera, Chola, 
Pandya, in The Imperial Gazetteer 0/ India, 

BAHMANI KINGS, 1347-1523. 


Ali-ud-diti {post 1303 A.D.). After a period of confused fighting, Muham- 
the Bahmanf kingdom of the Deccan emerged as the represen- J"^*^^" 
tative of Miihammadan rule in Southern India. Its founder, in the 
Zafar Khan, an Afghan general during the reign of Muhammad r>ec<:an, 
Ttjghlak (1325-51), defeated the Delhi troops, and set up as '^^^* 
Musalmin sovereign of the Deccan. Having in early youth 
been the slave of a Brahman who had treated him kindly and 
foretold his future greatness, he took the title of Eahmanf,i 
and transmitted it to his successors. 

The rise of the Bahmanf dynasty is usually assigned to The 
the year 1347, and it lasted for 178 years, until 1525.^ j^^ Bahmani 
successive capitals were Gulbargab, Warangat^and Bfdar, all in t347-r5*25. 
the Haidarabid territory ; and it loosely corresponded with the 
Nizdm*s Dominions of the present day. At the height of 
their power, the Babmani kings claimed sovereignty over half 
the Deccan, from the Tungabbadra river in the south to Orissa 
in the north, and from Masulipatam on the east to Goa on the 
west- Their direct government was, however^ much more 
confined. In their early struggle against the Delhi throne, they 
derived support from the Hindu southern kingdoms of Vijaya- 
nagar and Warangal But during the greater part of its career, 
the Bahmanf dynasty represented the cause of Isldm against 
Hinduism on the south of the Vindhyas* Its alliances and 
its wars alike led to a mingling of the Musalman and Hindu 

For example, the King of M.<hvd invaded the Bahmanf Composite 
dominions with a mixed force of 12,000 Afghins and Rijputs, t^^47!i't-n: 
The Hindu Rdji of Vijayanagar recruited his armies from 
Afghan mercenaries, whom he paid h^^' assignments of land, 
and for whom he built a mosque. The Muhammadan Babmani 
troops, on the other hand, were often led by converted Hindus. 
The Bahmani army was itself made up of two hostile Mmgling 
sects of Musalniins. One sect consisted of Shiis, trbiefly ^Jj^^jJJ^^"1, 
Persians, Tiirks or Tartars from Central Asia; the other^ of mans, 
native-born Musalmins of Southern India, together with Abys- 
sinian mercenaries, both of whom professed the Sunni faith. 
The rivalry between these Musalman sects frequently imperilled 
the Bahmanf throne. The dynasty reached its highest power Fall of 
under the Bahmani Ald-ud-dfn IL about 1437, and was broken ^!^"^f"^ 
up by its discordant elements between 14S9 and 1525. 1489-1523, 

1 His royal name in full was Sultan (or Sh£h) Ala*ud-dfn Gango BahmanL 
* These cxiremc dates are taken from I'homas' Paihdn Kings ^ pp. 
540, 341. Materials for ihe Bahmanf dynasty : Sir Henry Elliot's Ptnian 
JHsi&riaftSj vols, iv, vjj. viii. ; finshiit, vol ii. pp. 283-558 (ed, 1S29). 


Five Mu- Out of its fragments, fiY^ independent Muhammadan king- 
SutcT"^"^ doms in the Deccan were formed. These were— (i) The Adil 
of the Shdhi dynasty, with its capital at Bijdpur, founded in 1489 by 
^^688 ^ ^^^ Amurath il, Sultin of the Ottomans ; annexed by the 
' • Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in i686~88. (2) The Kutab Shdhi 

dynasty, with its capital at Golconda, founded in 1512 by a 
Tiirkomin adventurer ; also annexed by Aurangzeb in 1687-88. 

(3) The Nizdm Shahi dynasty, with its capital at Ahmadnagar, 
founded in 1490 by a Brdhman renegade from the Vijayanagar 
Court ; subverted by the Mughal Emperor Shdh Jahin in 1 636. 

(4) The Imad Shihi dynasty of Berar, with its capital at 
Ellichpur, founded in 1484 also by a Hindu from Vijayanagar ; 
annexed to the Ahmadnagar kingdom (No. 3) in 1572. (5) 
The Barfd Shdhi dynasty, with its capital at Bfdar, founded 
1492-1498 by a Ttirki or Georgian slave. The Band Shdhi 
territories were small and undefined; independent till after 
1609. Bidar fort was finally taken by Aurangzeb in 1657. 

Fall of Space precludes any attempt to trace the history of these local 

kincdom Muhammadan dynasties of Southern India. They preserved 
of Vijaya- their independence until the firm establishment of the Mughal 
nagar. Empire in the north, under Akbar's successors. For a time 
they had to struggle against the great Hindu kingdom of 
Battle of Vijayanagar. In 1565 they combined against that power, and, 
1365. ' aided by a rebellion within Vijayanagar itself, they overthrew 
it at Tdlikot in 1565. 

The battle of Tilikot marks the final downfall of Vijaya- 
nagar as a centralized Hindu kingdom. But its local 
Hindu chiefs or Niyaks seized upon their respective fiefs, 
and the Muhammadan kings of the south were only able 
Independ- to annex a part of its dominions. From the Ndyaks are 
and P ^K * descended the well-known Palegdrs of the Madras Presidency, 
gars of and the present Mahdrdjd of Mysore. One of the blood- 
Southern royal of Vijayanagar fled to Chandragiri, and founded a line 
which exercised a prerogative of its former sovereignty by 
granting the site of Madras to the English in 1639. Another 
scion, claiming the same high descent, lingers to the present 
day near the ruins of Vijayanagar, and is known as the Rajd 
of Anagundi, a feudatory of the Nizim of Haidardbad. The 
independence of the local Hindu chiefs in Southern India, 
throughout the Muhammadan period, is illustrated by the 
Manjardbad family, which maintained its authority from 1397 
to 1799.^ 

Lower Bengal threw off the authority of Delhi in 1340. Its 
* See article Manjarabad, The Imperial Gazetteer of hiMa. 


Muhammadan governor, Fakfr-uddin, set up as sovereign, with Indepen- 
his capital at Gaur, and stamped coin in his own name. A ^^"^*^ ?^ 
succession of twenty independent kings ruled Bengal until 1538, 1340-1576; 
when it was temporarily annexed to the Mughal Empire by 
Humayiin. It was finally incorporated with that Empire by 
Akbar in 1 5 76. The great province of Gujardt in Western India Of Guja 
had in like manner grown into an independent Muhammadan ^^ll}^^^ ' 
kingdom, which lasted for two centuries, from 1391 till con- 
quered by Akbar in 1573. Malwd, which had also set upas 
an independent State under its Muhammadan governors, was 
annexed by the King of Gujarit in 1531. Even Jaunpur, Of Jaun- 
including the territory of Benares, in the very centre of the P""^*' 39+- 
Gangetic valley, maintained its independence as a separate 
Musalmdn State for nearly a hundred years from 1394 to 1478, 
under the disturbed rule of the Sa}7ids and of the first Lodi at 


[ 290 1 


THE MUGHAL EMPIRE (1526 TO 1761 A.D.). 

State of When, therefore, Babar invaded India in 1526, he found it 

ic26^ *^ divided among a number of local Muhammadan kings aal 

Hindu princes. An Afghdn Sultin of the house of Lodl^ 

with his capital at Agra, ruled over what little was left of the 

Early life historical kingdom of Delhi. B^bar, literally the lion, bon 

*/ 82^1^26 ^" '"^^^^ ^^'^^ ^^^ ^*^'^ ^^ descent from Timiir the Tartar. M 

' the early age of twelve, he succeeded his father in the pcl^ 

kingdom of Ferghdna on the Jaxartes (1494); and ate 

romantic adventures, conquered Samarkand, the capital of 

Tamerlane's line in 1497. Overpowered by rebellion, and 

driven out of the Valley of the Oxus, he seized the kingdom of 

Kdbul in 1 504. During twenty-two years he grew in strenglfc 

Invades on the Afghan side of the Indian passes, till in 1526 he bunt 

India, through them into the Punjab, and defeated the Delhi soverdga 

^^^ * Ibrdhim Lodf at Pdnipat This was the first of the three greit 

l^attles of battles which decided the fate of India on that same plain, to 

Panfpat. '^^ 1526, 1556, and 1761. Having entered Delhi, he receiwd 

the allegiance of the Muhammadans, but was speedily attadrtd 

Conquers by the Rdjputs of Chittor. In 1527, Bibar defeated them at 

Northern Fatehpur Sfkri near Agra, after a battle memorable for its pcdi 

I "26-30. ^^^ ^^^ Babar's vow, in his extremity, never again to toudi 

wine. He rapidly extended his power as far as Miiltin and 

Behar. He died at Agra in 1530, leaving an Empire whicli 

stretched from the river Amu in Central Asia to the bordeis 

of the Gangetic delta in Lower Bengal. 

Ilumayun, His son, HuMAVUN, succeeded him in India, but had to 

1530^50'' ^^^^ ^^^^ Kdbul and the Western Punjab to his rival brother 

Kdmrdn.^ Humiyun was thus left to govern a new conquest, 

A.D. ^ Reign OF HuMAYUN :— , 

1530. Accession to the throne. Capture of Lahore and occupation of At ] 
Punjab by his rival brother Kaniran. Final defeat of the Lodls onte j 
Mahmiid Lodf, and acquisition of Jaunpur by Humdyiia. . 

1532. Humayun's campaigns in Malwa and Gujarat. 

[fbo/no/e conthiufd on mxff^ 



I^SLt the same time was deprived of the base from which his 

iwn his supplies. The Mughal hordes who had 

apanied Bdbar were more hateful to the long-settled 

Afgbdns than the Hindus themselves. After ten years 

ng, Huraiyiin was driven out of India by the Bengali Humayim 

ns under Sher Shih, the Governor of Bengal While fly- f^^^jj^,^ 

^through the desert of Sind, as an exile to Persia, his famous Shih. 

L Akbar was bom to hira in the petty fort of Uniarkot (1542). 

Shah set up as Emperor, but was killed while storming Afghan 

rock-fortress at Kalinjar (1545)- His son succeeded to p]^^^]^^ *^^ 

^ power. But under his grandson, the third of the Afgk-in 1540-56. 

the Provinces revolted, including Malwd, the Punjab, 

I Bengal HumayiSn returned to India, and with Akbar* then 

in his thirteenth year, defeated the Indo-Afghan army 

r a desperate battle at Pampat {1556). India now passed 

' from the Afghans to the Mughals. Sher Shdh's line dis- Humayim 

i ; and Humavun, having recovered his Kabul dominions, f*:S^l"^ 
' r ; , T. tr- . 1- J ■ r ' his ihronc. 

ned agavn for a few months at Delhi, but died in 1556. 

THE Great, the real founder of the Mughal Empire Akbar the 
lit existed for two centuries, succeeded his father at the age of ^^^^* . 

r . 1 556* 1 005. 

Bltcen,^ Bom in 1542, his reign lasted for almost fifty years» 
1556 to 1605, and was therefore contemporary with that 
(oor own Queen Elizabeth (155S-1603). His father, Humi- 
left but a small kingdom in India, scarcely extending 
id the districts around Agra and Delhi. At the lime of 
.y\in'& death, Akbar was absent in the Punjab under the 
ship of Bairam Khan, fighting the revolted Afghins. 
a Tiirkomin by birth, had been the support of the 
Humdyun, and held the real command of the army 
restored him to his throne at Panipat in 1556, He now 

HumayTin defeated by Sher Stiih, ihe Afghan ruler of Bengal, at 
Oiapir Chit, near Baxdr, the Miighal army being ulterly routed. 
Retreats to Agra. 
Hatniyun finally defeated by Sher Shah near Kanauj, and escapes 
Persia as an exile* Sher Sliah ascends the Delhi throne. 
Htuniyun's return to India, and defeat of the Afghans ai Panipat hy 
m yooog son Akbar. Remounts the throne, but dies in a few 
months, and is succeeded by Akbar. 
r dales see Thomas' PaihAn Kingi^ pp. 379, 38a Materials for Huma- 
I'sreigo: Sir Henry Elliot's Pfrsutn Historians ^ vols. iv. v. vi.; Firishia^ 
L ii. pp. 154-180 (1829) ; Elphinstone, pp. 441-472 (1866). 
^Mtlerials forTcign of Akbar: the Ain-i-Akbari, of Abul Fail (old 
tlation by Francis Gladwin, 2 vols., iSoo ; best edition by Professor 
hmanii (Calcutta, 1873), left unfinished at his death) ; Sir Henry 
ilC% Persian HUt^ians, vols, i. v. and vi. ; finshta^ vol, iu pp. 1812-82; 
, 49S-547 (i»66). 


29J THE MUGHAL EMPURE, 1526-1761. 


reigns for 

work in 

became the Regent for the youthhil Akbar, under the hoi 
title of Khan Biba, equivalent to *the King's Father/ 
and skilful as a general, but harsh and overbearing, he I 
many enemies j and Akbar, having endured four 
thraldom, took advantage of a hunting - party to throw ( 
minister's yoke (1560). The fallen Regent, after a sti 
between his loyalty and his resentment, revolted, was dcfe 
but pardoned. Akbar granted him a liberal pension ; 
Bairim was in the act of starting on a pilgrimage to Me 
when he fell beneath the knife of an Afghin assassin, 1 
father he had slain in battle. 

The chief events in the reign of Akbar are summariJ 
below. 1 India was seething with discordant elements, 
earlier invasions by Turks, Afghans, and Mughals had Ic 
powerful Muhammadan population in India under their ( 
chiefs. Akbar reduced these Musalmin States to Provind 
of the Delhi Empire. Many of the Hindu kings and lUj| 
nations had also regained their independence ; Akbar brouj 
them into political dependence to his authority. This do 
task he effected partly by force of arms, but in part also! 

* Rkk.n of Akbar, 1556-1605 t — 
1542, Btrm .it Omarkot \\\ Sind» 
1555-56. Regains the Delhi throne for bis father by ihc great victory fl 

the Afghans at Fanlpal (Bairam Khan in actual commandl 

his father after a few months in 1556, under regency of Bdram Kbi 
1560, Akbar assumes the direct mfinagemenl of the kingdom. Rew 

Bakani, who i^ defeated and pardoned. 
1566. Invasion of the Piiiijah by Akbar's rival brother Hakint, ' 

1561-68, Akbar subjugates the Rajput kingdoms to the Mughal 1 
1 572-7 J. Akbar's campai^jn in Gujarat^ and its re-annexation to thcEapl 
1576. Akbar 's rccomiuest of Bengal \ its tinnl anntxaiion to the Maj 

1581-93^ Insurrection in Gujarat. The Trovince finally subjuplet^f 

1593 to the Muglial Empire. 
1586. Akbnr'ii cont^ucst of Kashmir : its hnal revolt quelled in 15^. 
1592. Akbar's comjuesl iiinl annexation of Sind to the Mughal Empire j 

1594. Hib subjugation of Kandahar, and consolidation of the Mughal I 
over all India north of the \*indhyas as far as Kabul and KandaMr^ 

1595, Unsuccessful expedition of A k bar's army to the I>ecc3m agjual 
Ahmadnagar umkr his son Trince Murad. 

1599, Set:ond expedition against Ahmadnagar by Akbar in pen>oo. t'^ 

tures the town, but fails to establish ?iilughal rule. 
160 1. Annexation of Khantlesh» and return of Akbar to Northem Indi* 
1605. Akbar's death at Agra. 

N.H. — Such phrases as 'Akhar's conquest* or *AkbtrV 
mean the com|uest or campaign by Akbar*s arioies, and do not na 
imply his personal presence. 




alliances. He enlisted the Rajput prmces by marriage and 
l)y a sympathetic policy in the support of his throne. He 
then employed them in high posts, and played off his Hindu 
generals and Hindu ministers against the Mughal party in 
Upper India, and against the Afghan faction in Bengal 

On his accession in T556, he found the Indian Empire 
confined to the Punjab, and the districts around Agra and 
Delhi, He quickly extended it at the expense of his nearest 
neighbours, namely, the Rdjputs. Jaipur was reduced to a 
fief of the Empire ; and Akbar cemented his conquest by 
marrying the daughter uf its Hindu prince. Jodhpur was in 
like manner overcome ; and Akbar married his heir, SaUm, 
who afterwards reigned under the title of Jahangir, to the 
grand-daughter of the Raja, The Rajputs of Chittor were 
uver[}owered after a long struggle, but disdained to mingle their 
high-caste Kshattriyan blood even with that of an Emperor. 
They found shelter among the mountains and in the deserts 
of the Indus, whence they afterwards emerged to recover 
most of their old dominions, and to found their capital of 
Udaipur, w^hich they retain to this day. They still boast that 
alone, among the great Rdjput clan% they never gave a 
daughter in marriage to a Mughal Emperor, 

Akbar pursued his policy of conciliation towards all the Hindu 
States. He also took care to provide a career for the lesser 
Hindu nobility. He appointed his Hindu brother-in-law, the 
son of the Jaipur Rajd, to be Governor of the Punjab. Riji 
Mdn Singh, also a Hindu relative, did good war-service for Akbar 
from Kiibul to Orissa. He ruled as Akbar's Governor of 
Bengal from 1589 to 1604; and again for a short time under 
Jahangir in 1605-06, Akbar's great finance minister, Raja 
Todar Mall, was likewise a Hindu, and carried out the first 
land settlement and survey of India. Out of 415 mansabddrs^ 
or commanders of horse, 51 w^ere Hindus. Akbar abolished 
the jasia/i^ or tax on non-Musalmans, and placed all his sub- 
jects upon a political equaiity. He had the Sanskrit sacred 
books and epic poems translated into Persian, and show^ed a 
keen interest in the literature and religion of his Hindu sub- 
jects. He respected their laws, but he put down their in- 
human rites. He forbade trial by ordeal, animal sacrifices, 
and child marriages before the age of puberty. He legalized 
the re-marriage of Hindu widows, but he failed to abolish 
widow-burning on the husband*s funeral pile, although he took 
steps to ensure that the act should be a voluntary one. 

Akbar thus incorporated his Hindu subjects into the 

tion of 
1 liiidus. 


of Rajputs, 

ment of 



Reform of 



294 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

Indian effective machinery of his Empire. With their aid he reduced 

madaiT' ^^^ independent Muhammadan kings of Northern India. He 

States subjugated the Musalmdn potentates from the Punjab to 

redixced by Behar. After a struggle, he wrested Bengal from its Afghan 

princes of the house of Sher Shdh, who had ruled it from 

1539 to 1576. From the latter date, Bengal remained during 

two centuries a Province of the Mughal Empire, under 

governors appointed from Delhi (i 576-1765). In 1765 it 

passed by an imperial grant to the British. Orissa, on the 

Bengal seaboard, submitted to Akbar's armies under his Hindu 

general, Todar Mall, in 1574. 

On the opposite coast of India, Gujardt was reconquered from 
its Muhammadan king in 1572-73, although not finally subjugated 
until 1593. Mdlwd had been reduced in 1570-72. Kashmir 
was conquered in 1586, and its last revolt quelled in 1592. Sind 
was also annexed in 1591-92; and by the recovery of Kandahar 
in 1594, Akbar had extended the Mughal Empire from the 
heart of Afghdnistdn across all India north of the Vindhyas to 
Orissa and Sind. The magnificent circumference of Mughal 
conquest in Northern India and Afghanistan was thus complete. 
Capital Akbar also removed the seat of the Mughal government 

from^elhi ^^°"^ Delhi to Agra, and founded Fatehpur Sikri to be the future 
to Agra, capital of the Empire. From this latter project he was, how- 
ever, dissuaded, by the superior position of Agra on the great 
water-way of the Jumna. In 1 566 he built the Agra fort, whose 
red sandstone battlements majestically overhang the river to 
this day. 
Akbar's His efforts to establish the Mughal Empire in Southern India 

Southern ^'^''^ ^^^^ successful. Those efforts began in 1586, but during 
India. the first twelve years were frustrated by the valour and states- 
manship of Chdnd Bibf, the queen - regent of Ahmadnagar. 
This celebrated lady skilfully united the Abyssinian and the 
Persian factions ^ in the Deccan, and strengthened herself by 
an alliance with Bijdpur and other Muhammadan States of 
the south. In 1599, Akbar led his armies in person against 
the princess; but, notwithstanding her assassination by her 
mutinous troops, Ahmadnagar was not reduced till the reign 
Only of Shdh Jahdn, in 1637. Akbar subjugated Khandesh ; and 

Kiidndcsh ^^^^^ ^^^ somewhat precarious annexation, his conquests in 
the Deccan ceased. He returned to Northern India, perhaps 
feeling that the conquest of the south was beyond the strength 
of his young Empire. His last years were rendered miserable 
by the intrigues of his family, and by the misconduct of his 
* Professing the hostile Sunni and Shiah creeds. 




beloved son, Prince Salim, afterwards Jahangfr, In 1605 he His deaLlu 
died, and was buried in the noble maasoleiim at Sikandra, 
whose mingled architecture of Buddhist design and Arabesque 
tracery bear witness to the composite faith of the founder of 
the Mughal Empire, In 1873, the British Viceroy, Lord 
Northbrooki presented a cloth of honour to cover the plain 
marble slab beneath which Akbar lies. 

Akbar's conciliation of the Hindus, and his interest in their 
literature and religion, made him many enemies among the 
pious Musalniins. His favourite wife was a Rdjput princess ; 
another of his wives is said to have been a Christian ; and he 
ordered his son Prince Murad» when a child, to take lessons in 
Christianity. On Fridays (the Sabbath of Islam) he loved to AkbarV 
collect professors of many religions around him. He listened ^el'tjinus 
impartially to the arguments of the Brahman and the Musalmdn, 
the Parsi, the ancient fire-worshipix;r, the Jew, the Jesuit, and the 
sceptic philosopher. The history of his life, the Aklmr-namah^ 
records such a conference, in which the Christian priest Red if 
disputed with a body of Muhammadan mullds before an assembly 
of the doctors of all religions, and is given the best of the argu- 
ment Starting from the broad ground of general toleration, 
Akbar was gradually led on by the stimulant of cosmopolitan 
discussion to question the truth of his inherited beliefs. 

The counsels of his friend Abul Fazl,^ coinciding with that 
sense of superhuman omnipotence which is bred of despotic 
power, led him at last to promulgate a new State religion,—* the His new 
Divine Faith/ based upon natural theology^ and comprising 
he best practices of all known creeds. Of this eclectic creed 
Akbar himself was the prophet^ or rather the head of the Church. 
Every morning he worshii>ped in public the sun, as the repre- 
sentative of the divine soul which animates the universe, 
while be was himself worshipped by the ignorant multitude. Divine 
It is doubtful how far he encouraged this popular adoration, ^^^^^^^l^j.'/' *" 
but he certainly allowed his disciples to prostrate themselves 
before him in private. The stricter Muhammadans accused 
him, therefore, of accepting a homage permitted only to God.^ 

1 Ahul Fail 15 accused » by the unanimous voice of ikc Muhammadan 
'historians, of leading away Akbar's religiDUS sympalhies from Ihlam* See 
the valualjlc biography of Shaikh Alml Faxd-i- AUdmi^ prefixed lu Bloch- 
mann's Ain-i Akbari^ p, stxix., etc, 

* Akbar*s pcr^'ersion from hlam has formed the subject of much learned 
censure by Mulla 'Abdul Kadir Badauni and other Musalmin writers. 
The question is exhausiively dealt with by Blochmann in a * Note ' of 46 
liagcs: Ain-l-Akhari^ pp. 167-213. Sec alsto Sir Henry Elhots Persian 
historians^ voj. v, pp, 477 ft scq. 


296 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

Akbar's Akbar not only subdued all India to the north of the 

tio^ofThe ^^'^^^y^ Mountains, he also organized it into an Empire. 

Empire. He partitioned it into Provinces, over each of which he placed 

a Governor, or Viceroy, with full civil and military control. 

This control was divided into three departments — the military, 

Army the judicial, including the police, and the revenue. With a 

reorms. ^|^^ ^^ preventing mutinies of the troops, or assertions of 

independence by their leaders, he reorganized the army on 

a new basis. He substituted, as far as possible, money 

payments to the soldiers, for the old system of grants of land 

\jdgirs) to the generals. Where this change could not be 

carried out, he brought the holders of the old military fiefs 

under the control of the central authority at Delhi He further 

checked the independence of his provincial generals by a sort 

of feudal organization, in which the Hindu tributary princes 

took their place side by side with the Mughal nobles. 

Akbar's The judicial administration was presided over by a lord justice 

justTcc,"*^ (i«//r-/-fl^/) at the capital, aided by Kdzis or law-officers in 

the principal towns. The police in the cities were under a 

superintendent or kohifdly who was also a magistrate. In 

country districts where police existed at all, they were left 

to the management of the landholders or revenue officers. 

But throughout rural India, no regular police force can be said 

to have existed for the protection of person and property until 

and police, after the establishment of British rule. The Hindu village 

had its hereditary watchman, who in many parts of the 

country was taken from the predatory castes, and as often 

leagued with the robbers as opposed them. The landholders 

and revenue-officers had each their own set of mjTmidons 

who plundered the peasantry in their names. 

Akbar's Akbar's revenue system was based on the ancient Hindu 

revenue customs, and survives to this day. He first executed a survey 

to measure the land. His officers then found out the 

produce of each acre of land, and settled the Government 

share, amounting to one-third of the gross produce. Finally, 

they fixed the rates at which this share of the crop might be 

commuted into a money payment. These processes, known 

as the land settlement, were at first repeated every year. 

But to save the peasant from the extortions and vexations 

incident to an annual inquiry, Akbar's land settlement was 

afterwards made for ten years. His officers strictly enforced 

the payment of a third of the whole produce, and Akbar's 

land revenue from Northern India exceeded what the British 

lake at the present day. 



From his fifteen Provinces, including Kibul beyond the 
Afghan frontieTj and Khindesh in Southern India, Akbar Akbar's 
demanded 14 millions sterling per annum ; or excluding Kabul, |.g"gj,^,(. 
Khdndesh, and Sind, 12 J millions. The British land-lax from 
a much larger area of Northern India was only iif millions 
in 1883.^ Allowing for the difference in area and in the 
purchasing power of silver, Akbar's tax was about three times 
the amount which the British take. Two later returns show 
the land revenue of Akbar at r6A and 17 J millions sterling. His total 
The Provinces had also to support a local militia {khnt = ^*^^^""'=' 
ifkumi) in contradistinction to the regular royal army, at a cost 
of at least 10 millions sterling. Excluding both Kdbul and 
Khandesh, Akbar's demand from the soil of Northern India 
exceeded 2 2 millions sterling per annum, under the two items 
of land revenue and militia cess. There were also a number 
of miscellaneous taxes, Akbar's total revenue is estimated at 
42 millions.- 

' Namely^ Bengal, /"s,? 16, 796; Assam, £z^Sf%^'* North - Western 
Provinces au^ Oudli, jf5joo,8i6; and Punjab, /^ 1,8% 807 : total, 
£ii,J92yg22.—Adwims/raftm Reports (1S82-83). 

' Provinces of the Delhi Extfire under Akbar, crRC. 1580L 

Land-tax in Rupees. 

1. Allababid, , 

2. Agra, 

3. Oudh, 

4. Ajnncre, 

5. Gujarat, 

6. Behar, 

7. Bengal, 

8. Delhi, 

9. Lahore, 
10. Miiltan, 
ir, Malwa, 
12* Berar, 

13. Khandesh, . 

14. Ahmad na gar (only nominally a Province, 

yielded no revenue)^ 

15. Tarta{Sind), 


16. Kabul (onailling pajinents in kind), 

5i 3 1 0.677 

7, 153.449 






Grand Total, 



The land revenue was rctttmtrd at 16^ millions hterHng in 1594. and 
;£,' 1 7,450,000 at Akbar's dealh in 1605. The aggregate taxation of Akbar 
was 32 millions sterling ; with 10 inilHons for militia cess {Inimi) \ total, 
42 millions sterling. See Thomas' hinrfute Resources ofih€ Mughal Empirf^ 
pp. 5-21 and p. 54 (Triibner, 1871). These and the following conversions 

298 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1 526-1 761. 

The large 
totals of 

Are they to 
be relied 


Since the first edition of this work was written, the author 
has carefully reconsidered the evidence for the large revenue 
totals under the Mughal Emperors. The principal authority 
on the subject is Mr. Edward Thomas, F.R.S., who has summed 
up the results of a lifetime devoted to Indian numismatics, in 
his Revenue Resources of the Mughal Empire from a.d. 1593 
to A.D. 1707.^ No one can study that work without acknow- 
ledging the laborious and accurate research which Mr. Thomas 
has devoted to the points involved. His results were accepted 
without reserve in the first edition of The Imperial Gazetteer 
of India. Since the publication of this work, however, the 
author has received several communications from Mr. H. G. 
Keene, questioning the soundness of Mr. Thomas' conclusions. 
Those conclusions point to a comparatively heavier taxation 
under the Mughal Emperors than under British rule; and 
have been made the basis of contrasts flattering to the British 
administration. The author felt it, therefore, incumbent on him 
to submit Mr. Keene's views to the scrutiny of the two most 
eminent numismatists now living, namely General Cunningham 
and Mr. Edward Thomas himself. 

Mr. Thomas, after examining the counter-statements, ad- 
heres to his former conclusions. General Cunningham is 
inclined to think that the great totals of revenue recorded by 
Muhammadan writers, could not have been actually enforced 
from India at the different periods to which they refer. He 
thinks that individual items may be reduced by a technical 
scrutiny.2 But that scrutiny only affects certain of the entries. 
He rests his general conclusion on wider grounds, and believes 
that the revenues recorded by the Muhammadan writers re- 
present rather the official demand than the amounts actually 
realized. The following pages will reproduce Mr. Edward 
Thomas' conclusions, as revised by himself for the first edition 
of this work. But they are reproduced subject to the con- 
siderations stated in the present paragraph. 

are made at the nominal rate of 10 rupees to the pound sterling. But 
the actual rate was then about 8 or 9 rupees to the £, The real revenues 
of the Mughal Emperors represented, therefore, a considerably larger sum 
in sterling than the amounts stated in the text and footnotes. The pur- 
chasing power of silver, expressed in the staple food -grains of India, was 
two or three times greater than now. 

* This monograph was written as a supplement to Mr. Thomas' Chrmticks 
of the Pathdn Kings of Delhi, (TrUbner & Co. , 1 87 1 . ) 

' See General Cunningham's Letter, dated 5th July 1883, printed in 
the paper 'On some Copper Coins of Akbar,' in the Jourual of the 
Asiatic Society of Bengal^ vol. liv. Part I., 1885. 



ay be here convenient to exhibit the revenues of the Mughal 
1 Empire in India, as compiled by Mr. Edward Thomas J^!Jl"*ir^, 
uhammadan authorities and European travellers, during a.d. 
my from its practical foundation by Akbar to its final 
>D imder Aurangzeb in 1697, and thence to its fall in 


^^^ ^^ ?^ ?^ ^^ ^ 


2 rt 
« c ^, 

^«. . . . 

ZZt, . . . 

S: go . 







X < 

N fO "^ »nvO t^ 00 

• - - •» ^ 
• - • »rt 


On O ^ e>< fO 





300 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

RijaTcKlar Akbar's Hindu minister, Kaja Todar Mall, conducted 
Mall. revenue settlement, and his name is still a household 

Abal Fazl. among the husbandmen of Bengal, Abul Fazl, the maul 
letters and Finance Minister of Akbar, compiled a Statist 
Survey of the Empire, together with many vivid pictures of 1 
niaster^s court and daily life, in the Ain-i-Akhari—Ti work 
l»erennial interest, and one which has proved of great ^aluel 
carrying out the Statistical Survey of India at the present* 
Abul Fazl was killed in 1602, at the instigation of \ 
Sah'm, the heir to the throne. 

Salim, the favourite son of Akbar, succeeded his ^herj 
laliiQgir, 1605, and ruled until 1627 under the title of Jahascir,! 
1605^7? Conqueror of the World. The chief events of his reign ) 
summarized bclow.^ His reign of twenty-two years was r 
\n reducing the rebellions of his sons, in exalting the iDfluei^ 

^ The old translation is by Gladwin {1800); the best is b j thetitft^ 
BIcjchmann, Principal of ibe Calcutta Mttdrttsaii^ or MuhammadaiK 
\^'hc«e early tieaih was one of ihe greatest losses which Fenian scl> 
has sustained in this century^ 

* Reign of Jahangjr, 1605-27 :— 

1605. Accession of Jahangir. 

1606. Flight, rebellion, and imprisionment of his cldett son, KhiisdL 
r6lo. Malik Ambar recovers Ahmad nagar from the Mu^hals, and re-H 

independence of the Deccan dynasty, with its new capital al J 

i6n. JahaBgir's marriage with Nur Jahan. 

t6i2. Jahanglr again defeated by Malik Ambar In an attempt CO I 

1613-14, Defeat of the Udaipur Rlja by Jaliangir's son Shah Jal 

Unsuccessful revolt in Kabul against Jabingir. 
1615. Embassy of Sir T, Roe to the Court of Jahangir. 
1616-17. Temporary re-conquest of Ahmad n agar by Jahangir'ss 

1 62 1. Renewed disturbances in the Deccan j ending in treaty withS 

Jahan, Capture of Kandahar from Jahangir's troops by the Pei 
1G25-25. Rebellion against Jahangir by his son Shah Jahan. who, 1 

defeating the Govemor of Bengal at Rijmahal, seized that Pft 

and Behar^ but was himself overthrown by Mahibai Khan, hisf 

general, and sought refuge in the Deccan, where he unites with lusO 

opponent Malik Ambar. 

1626. The successful general Mahabat Khan seizes the person of Jsl 
Intrigues of the Empress Niir Jahin. 

1627* Jahanglr recovers bis liljerty^ and sends Mahibat Kh4n < 
Shah Jahan in the Deccan. Mahabat joins the rebel prince J^ 
the Emperor Jabangir* 

1627. Death of Jahingir. 
Materials for Jahangir's reign : Sir Henry Elliot*:^ /Vrxjtf* Bt^ 

vols. V. vi. and vii. ; Elphinstooc, pp. 550-603. 

JAHANGIR, 1605-1627. 


of his wife, and in drunken self-indulgence. In spite of long 
wars in the Deccan, he added little to his father's territories, 
India south of the Vindhyas still continued apart from the 
northern Empire of Delhi. Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian 
minister of Ahmad nagar, maintained, in spite of reverses, the 
independence of that kingdom. At the end of Jahdngir's 
reign, his rebel son, Prince Shah Jahdn, was a refugee in the 
Deccan, in alliance with Malik Ambar against the Mughal 
troops. The Rajputs also began to re-assert their indepen- 
dence. In 1614, Prince Shdh Jahan on behalf of the Emperor 
defeated the Udaipur Rdji. But the conquest was only 
partial and for a time. Meanwhile, the Rajputs formed an 
important contingent of the imperial armies, and 5000 of 
their cavalry aided Shan Jahan to put down a revolt in Kabul 
The Afghan Province of Kandahar was wrested from Jahang(r 
by the Persians in 1621. The land-tax of the Mughal Empiie 
remained at 17 J millions under Jahangir, but his total revenues 
were estimated at 50 millions sterling.^ 

The principal figure in Jahingfr's reign is his Empress, Niir 
Jahdn/- the Light of the Wodd, Born in great poverty, but 
of a noble Persian family, her beauty won the love of jahingtr 
while they were both in their first youths during the reign of 
Akbar The old Emperor tried to put her out of his son's 
way, by marrying her to a brave soldier, who obtained high 
employment in Bengal Jahangir on his accession to the 
throne commanded her divorce. Her husband refused, and 
was killed His wife, being brought into the imperial palace, 
lived for some time in chaste seclusion as his widow, but in 
the end emerged as Nur Jahan, the Light of the World, She 
surrounded herself with her relatives, and at first influenced 
Jahiingfr for his good But the jealousy of the imperial 
princes and of the Mughal generals against her party led to 
I intrigue and rebellion. In 1626, her successful general, 
NLihdbat Khdn, found himself compelledj in self-defence, to 
turn against her. He seized the Emperor, whom he kept, 
[ together with Nur Jahan, in captivity for six months. Jahangfr 
died in the following year, 1627, in the midst of a rebellion 
against him by his son Shdh Jahin and his greatest general, 
Mahabit Khan, 

Jahangffs personal character is vividly portrayed by Sir 
Thomas Roe, the first British Ambassador to India (161 5). 

' Mr. Edward Thomas^ Rfvenut Rtseurcu of the Mughal Empin, 
pp. 21-26 and p. 54, 

" Otherwise known as Nur Mahal, the Light of the Pdacc, 

uf hi-s Mill, 

of the 

The Kni- 
press iS'iir 




302 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 15 26-1 761. 

drunk en 

) .thing ir's 




Agra continued to be the central seat of the govenm 
but the imperial army on the march formed in itself a spleo 
capital Jahangfr thought that Akbar had too openly sevi 
himself from the Muhammadan faith. The new Emperor < 
formed more strictly to outward observances, but ladced \ 
inward religious feeling of his father. While he foflrbade^ 
use of wine to his subjects* he spent his own nights in drun 
revelr>\ He talked religion over his cups until he 
a certain stage of intoxication, when he * fell to weeping, I 
to various passions, which kept them to midnight.' In pu8 
he maintained a strict appearance of virtue, and never alio 
any person whose breath smelled of wine to enter his pre 
A courtier who had shared his midnight revels, and indis< 
referred to them next morning, was gravely examined 
who were the companions of his debauch, and one of I 
was bastinadoed so that he died. 

During the day-time, when sober, Jahangfr tried to 
wisely for his Empire. A chain hung down from 
citadel to the ground, and communicated with a clusta 
golden bells in his own chamber, so that every suitor 
apprise the Emperor of his demand for justice without i 
intervention of the courtiers. Many European adventi 
repaired to his court, and Jahangfr patronized alike their I 
and their religion. In his earlier years he had accepted ' 
eclectic faith of his father. It is said that on his accession! 
had even permitted the divine honours paid to Akbai to 1 
continued to himself His first wife was a Hindu princ 
figures of Christ and the Virgin Mar)^ adorned his ro 
and two of his nephews embraced Christianity with his 1 

Shah J ah an hurried north from the Deccan in 1627, 1 
proclaimed himself Emperor at Agra in January 162S.- 

' Elphinstone's Hhi,^ p, 560 (cd. 1S66), on the aathozity of 
Hawkins, Terry, CoryaL 

* Materials for Shah Jahin's reign : Sir Henry Elliotts Ikniam 
iorians^ vols, vt vit, and viit. ; Elphinstone, pp. 574-603. 

Reign of Shah Jahan, 1628-58 :— 

1627. Imprisonment of Nur Jahan on the death of Jahangfr, by Astf 
on Whalf of Shih Jahan. 

1628. Shah JahAn returns from the Deccan and ascends the tH^ 
(January). IJc murtlcrs his brother and kinsmen. 

i62S-3a Afghan uprisings against Shah Jahan in Northern India «^i^ 
the Deccan. 

SHAH /A HAN, 1628-1658, 


put down for ever the court faction of the Empress Niir Jahin, 
by confining her to private life upoa a liberal allowance j and 
by murdering his brother Shahriydr» with all members of the 
house of Akbar who might prove rivals to the throne. He was, 
however, just to his people, blameless in his private habits^ a 
good financier, and as economical as a magnificent court, 
splendid public works, and distant military expeditions could 

Under' Shdh Jahin, the Mughal Empire was finally shorn of 
its Afghan Province of Kandahdr; but it extended its con- 
ijuests in the Deccan, and raised the magnificent buildings in 
Northern India which now form its most splendid memorials* 
After a temporary occupation of Balkh, and the actual re-con- 
quest of Kandahar by the Delhi troops in 1637; Shah Jahdn 
lost much of his Afghan territories, and the Province of 
Kandahar was severed from the Mughal Empire by the 
Persians in 1653, On the other hand, in the Deccan, the 
kingdom of Ahmad nagar (to which El lie h pur had been united 
in 1572) was at last annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1636. 
Bfdar fort was taken in 1657, while the remaining two of the 
five Muhammadan kingdoms of Southern India,^ namely 
Bijdpur and Golconda, were forced to pay tribute, although 
not finally reduced until the succeeding reign of Aurangzeb. 
the Mardthas now appear on the scene, and commenced, 

35. Shall Jahan*s wars In the Deccan with Ahmadnagar and Hijapur ; 
UfiHUcccssful .siege of Bijapiir, 
1634. Sliahji Bhonsla, grandfather of Stvaji^ the founder of the Maiatha 
power, attempts to restore the indepcmienl King of Ahmadnagar, but 
iails, and in 1636 makes peace with the Emperor Shdh Jahan. 

1636. Bijapur and Golconda agree to pay tribute to Shah Jahiu, Final 
submission of Ahmadnagar to the Mughal Empire, 

1637, Re-conquest of Kandahar by Shah Jahin from the Persians. 

1645. Invasion and temporary conquest of Balkh by Sh&h Jahan. Balkh 
was abandoned two years later. 

1647-53, Kandahar again taken by the Persians, and three unsuccessful 
attempts made by the Empe^or^s sons Aurangieband Dara to recap- 
ture it. Kandahar finally lost to the Mughal Empire, 1653. 

1655-56- Renewal of the war in the Deccan under Prince Aurangzeb. 
y\h attack on Haidarabdd, and temporary submission of the Gotconda 
king to the Mughal Empire. 

1656, Renewed campaign of Shah Jahan*s armies against Bijapur. 

1657-58. Dispute as to the succession between the Emperor's sons. 
Aurangieb defeats Dira ; imprisons Murad^ his other brother ; deposes 
his father by confining him in his palace^, and openly assumes Ihe 
government. Sh^h Jahan dics^ practically a State prisoner in the 
fort of Agra, in 1666. 
• Vidtattif^ end of chap, x- 


finally in 

in the 

304 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

unsuccessfully at Ahmadnagar in 1637, that series of persistent 
Hindu attacks which were destined in the next century to break 
down the Mughal Empire. 

Aurangzeb and his brothers carried on the wars in Southern 
India and in Afghdnistdn for their father, Shdh Jahan. 
?^»f '^ , Save for one or two expeditions, the Emperor lived a mag- 
buildings. nificent life in the north of India. At Agra he raised the 
Taj Mahal, exquisite mausoleum of the Tdj Mahdl, a dream in marble, 
designed by Titans and finished by jewellers.^ His Pearl 
Mosque, the Moti Masjid, within the Agra fort is perhaps the 
purest and loveliest house of prayer in the world. Not con- 
tent with enriching his grandfather Akbar's capital, Agra, with 
these and other architectural glories, he planned the re-transfer 
of the seat of Government to Delhi, and adorned that city with 
Delhi buildings of unrivalled magnificence. Its Great Mosque, or 
osque. J^fJ^^ Masjidy was commenced in the fourth year of his reign 
Shih ^ and completed in the tenth. The palace at Delhi, now the 
palace\t ^^"^^ covered a vast parallelogram, 1600 feet by 3200, with 
Delhi. exquisite and sumptuous buildings in marble and fine stone. 
A deeply-recessed portal leads into a vaulted hall, rising two 
storeys like the nave of a gigantic Gothic cathedral, 375 feet 
in length ; * the noblest entrance,* says the historian of archi- 
tecture, *to any existing palace.** The Diwdn-i-KMs^ or 
Court of Private Audience, overlooks the river, a masterpiece 
of delicate inlaid work and poetic design. Shdh Jahan 
spent many years of his reign at Delhi, and prepared the 
city for its destiny as the most magnificent capital in the 
world under his successor Aurangzeb. But exquisite as are 
its public buildings, the manly vigour of Akbar's red-stone 
fort at Agra, with its bold sculptures and square Hindu con- 
struction, has given place to a certain effeminate beauty in the 
marble structures of Shdh Jahdn.^ 

' Shah Jahan's architectural works are admirably described in Dr. 
James Fergusson's Hist, Architecture^ vol. iii. pp. 589-602 (ed. 1876). 
See also article Agra City, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

* Fergusson's Hist, Architecture^ vol. iii. p. 592. See also article 
Delhi City, The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

1648-49 :— 
In India — Land-tax in Rupees. 

1. Delhi, ..... 25,ocx),ooo 

2. Agra, ..... 22,500,000 

3. Lahore, ..... 22,500,000 

4. Ajmere, . .... 15,030,000 

Carry forward, . . 85,000,000 



Akbar*s dynasty lay under the curse of rebellious sons. As 
Jahingir had risen against his most loving father, Akbar ; and 
as Shah Jahao had mutinied against Jahangfr ; so Shdh Jahdn 
in his turn suffered from the intrigues and rebellions of his 
family. In 1658, Shdh Jahdn, old and worn out, fell ill; and 
in the following year his son Aurangzeb^ after a treacherous 
conllict with his brethren, deposed his father, and proclaimed 
himself Emperor in his stead. The unhappy Shah Jahdn was 
kepi in confinement for seven years, and died a State prisoner 
in the fort of Agra in 1666. 

Under Shdh Jahan, the Mughal Empire attained its highest 
union of strength with magnificence* His son Aurangzeb 
added to its extent, but at the same time sowed the seeds 
of its decay. Akbar's land revenue of lyj millions had 
been raised, chiefly by v^t^* conquests, to 22 millions sterling 
under Shah Jahdn. But this sum included Kashmir, and five 
Provinces in Afghdnistdn, some of which were lost during Shdh 
Jahdn*s reign. The land revenue of the Mughal Empire within 
India, under Shdh jahan, was 20 J millions. The magnificence 
of Shdh Jahan 's court was the wonder of European travellers. 
His Peacock Throne, with its tail blazing in the shifting natural 
colours of rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, was valued by the 
jeweller Tavern ler at 6 J millions sterling* 

Brought forward, . Ks. 85,000,000 

5. D^iiiJalibad, 

6. Berar, . 

7. Alimadabad, 

8. Bengal, , 

9. AllaMbAil, 

10. Behar, . 

11. Malwa, . 

12. Khiiificsh, 

13. Ourlh, . 

14. Teliiifjana, 

15. MuUan, , 

16. Orissa, . 

17. Tatta(Sind), . 
tJi. Bagl^nah, 

of Prince 
zeb, 1657. 





Land Revenue of India, 
19. Kashmir, 
30, Kabul, . 

21. Baikh, . 

22. Kan J aha r, 

23. Badakhalian, 






Total R<. 220,000,000 
• Mr. Edward Thama.' Rtvenm ReiQuras of tht Mughal Empin, p. 28. 

3o6 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

Aurang- AuRANGZEB proclaimed himself Emperor in 1658, in the 

usurpa- room of his imprisoned father, with the title of Alamgir, the 

tion, 1658. Conqueror of the Universe, and reigned until 1707. Under 

Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire reached its widest limits.^ 

But his long rule of forty-nine years merely presents on a 

more magnificent stage the old unhappy type of a Mughal 

His reign, reign. In its personal character, it commenced with his 

1 658- 1 707. rebellion against his father; consolidated itself by the murder 

of his brethren ; and darkened to a close amid the mutinies, 

intrigues, and gloomy jealousies of his own sons. Its public 

aspects consisted of a magnificent court in Northern India ; 

conquests of the independent Muhammadan kings in the south ; 

and wars against the Hindu powers, which, alike in Rdjputdna 

and the Deccan, were gathering strength for the overthrow of 

the Mughal Empire. 

The chief events of the reign of Aurangzeb are summarized 
below. 2 The year after his accession, he defeated and put 
to death his eldest brother, the noble but impetuous Dara 

* Materials for Aurangzeb's reign : Sir Henry Y}Xv^'C% Persian Historians, 
vols. vii. and viii. ; Elphinstone, pp. 598-673. 

* Reign of Aurangzeb, 1658 1707 :— 

1658. Deposition of Shah Jahan, and usurpation of Aurangzeb. 

1659. Aurangzeb defeats his brothers Shuja and Dira. Ddra, his flight 
being betrayed by a chief with whom he sought refuge, is put to death 
by order of Aurangzeb. 

1660. Continued struggle of Aurangzeb with his brother Shuja, who 
ultimately fled to Arakan, and there perished miserably. 

1 66 1. Aurangzeb executes his youngest brother, Murad, in prison. 

1662. Unsuccessful invasion of Assam by Aurangzeb's general Mir Jumld. 
Disturbances in the Deccan. War between Bijapur and the Marathas 
under Sivajf. After various changes of fortune, Sivaji, the founder of 
the Maratha power, retains a considerable territory. 

1662-1665. Sivaji in rebellion against the Mughal Empire. In 1664 he 
assumed the title of Rdja, and asserted his independence ; but in 1665, 
on a large army being sent against him, he made submission, and 
proceeded to Delhi, where he was placed under restraint, but soon 
afterwards escaped. 

1666. Death of the deposed Emperor, Shah Jahdn. War in the Deccan, 
and defeat of the Mughals by the King of Bijapur. 

1667. Sivajf makes peace on favourable terms with Aurangzeb, and ob- 
tains an extension of territory. Sivajf levies tribute from Bijapur and 

1670. Sivajf ravages Khandesh and the Deccan, and there levies for the 

first time chauih^ or a contribution of one-fourth of the revenue. 
1672. Defeat of the Mughals by the Maralha Sivaji. 
1677. Aurangzeb revives \)^t.jaziah or poll-tax on non-Muhammadans. 

[Footnote continued on next fa^e. 


(1659). After another twelve months' struggle, he drove out of He mur- 
India his second brother, the self-indulgent Shiija, who perished J^^f* ^i*^ 
miserably among the insolent savages of Arakan (1660-61),^ 
His remaining brother, the brave yo Jng Marad, was executed 
in prison the following year {1661), Aurangzeb, having thus 
killed off his brethren, set up as an orthodox sovereign of the 
strictest sect of Islam ; while his invalid father, Shlh Jahan, 
lingered on in prison, mourning over his murdered sons, until 
1666, when he died. 

Aurangzeb continuedi as Emperor, that persistent policy of ^ubjtiga- 
the subjugation of Southern India which he had so brilliantly so"them 
commenced as the lieutenant of his father, Shah Jahdn, Of India, 
the five Muhammadan kingdoms of the Deccan, three, namely 
Bidar, and Ahmadnagar-with-Elichpur, had fallen to Aurang- 
zeb*s arms before his accession to the Delhi throne,- The 
two others, Bijipur and Golconda, struggled longer, but 
Aurangzeb was determined at any cost to annex them to 
the Mughal Empire. During the first half of his reign, 
or exactly twenty - five years, he waged war in the south 
by means of his generals {1658-S3), A new Hindu power Rise of the 
had arisen in the Deccan, the Marathis.^ The task before ^^^""^'^^ 


Aurangzeb's armies was not only the old one of subduing 
the Muhammadan kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda, 

1679. Auranfjzcb at war ^ ith the RAjputs. RclielUon of Prince Akbar, 
Aurangzeb^i youngest son, who joins tlie Rajptuts, but whose army 
deserts him. Prince Akbar is forced 10 fly to the Marathia, 

1 681. Aurangzeb has to continue the war with the Rikjputs. 

[i672-l6So» Maratha progress in the Deccan. Sivaji crowns himself an 
independent sovereign at Raigarh in 1 674. His wars with Bijapur 
and the Mughals. Sivajf dies in 1680, and is succeeded by his son, 

1683. Aurangieb invades the Deccan in person, at the head of his Gnunl 

|6S6-'S8. Aurangzeb conc^ners Bijapur and Golconda, ami annexes them to 
the Empire (i6SSk 

1689. Aurangzeb captures Sambhaji, and barbarously puis him to 

1692. Guerilla war with the Marat has under independent leaders. 

1698. Aurangieb captures Jinji from the Maralhas. 

1699-1701. The Maratha war. Capture of Satam and Manitha forts by 
the Mughals under Aurangieb, Apparent ruin of Marathas, 

1702-05. Successes of the Marathas. 

1706. Aurangzeb retreats to Ahmadnagar, and 

1707. Miserably dies there (Fcbmary). 

' See article Akyab, The /mptruti Gazetteer of India* 
' The five kingdoms have l>een described in chapter x. 
» For the rise and history of the Marathas, sec next chapter, xii. 

3o8 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

but also of crushing the quick growth of the Maidtha ^^ 

During a quarter of a century his efforts failed. Bijipur and 

Golconda were not conquered. In 1670, the Mardtha leader, 

Sivajf, levied chauih, or one-fourth of the revenues, as tribate 

from the Mughal Provinces in Southern India ; and in 1674, 

Sivaji enthroned himself an independent sovereign at Rdigarh. In 

h^?S. ^ 680-8 1, Aurangzeb's rebel son, Prince Akbar, gave the 

prestige of his presence to the Mardtha army. Aurangab 

felt that he must either give up his magnificent life in the 

north for a soldier's lot in the Deccan, or he must relinquish 

his most cherished scheme of conquering Southern India. 

He accordingly prepared an expedition on an unrivalled scak 

Aurang- of numbers and splendour, to be led by himself. In 1683 he 

southern arrived at the head of his Grand Army in the Deccan, an^ 

campaign, spent the next half of his reigri, or twenty-four years, in ti« 

1683-1707. i^gj^ Golconda and Bijdpur fell after another long struggki 

and were finally annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1688. 

His 20 But the conquests of these two last of the five Muham 

Mardtha niadan kingdoms of the Deccan only left the arena bare fei 

war, the Marathds. Indeed, the attacks of the Mardthds on th< 

I 88-1707. j^^ Muhammadan States had prepared the way for the annen 

tion of those States by Aurangzeb. The Emperor waget 

war during the remaining twenty years of his life (i 688-1707 

against the rising Hindu power of the Mardthds. Their firi 

great leader, Sivajf, had proclaimed himself king in 1674, ani 

died in 1680. Aurangzeb captured his son and successo 

Sambhajf in 1689, and cruelly put him to death; seized th( 

Mardthi capital, with many of their forts, and seemed in th< 

first year of the new century to have almost stamped out thei 

existence (1701). But after a guerilla warfare, the MaiilWfe 

His again sprang up into a vast fighting nation. In 1705 they « 

AnrT"^ covered their forts ; while Aurangzeb had exhausted his health 

worn out, his treasures, and his troops, in the long and fruitless struggle 

'705- His soldiery murmured for arrears ; and the Emperor, now old 

and peevish, told the malcontents that if they did not like his 

service they might quit it, while he disbanded some of h* 

cavalry to ease his finances. 

Aurangzeb Meanwhile the Mardthds were pressing hungrily on th< 

lieinmed imperial camp. The Grand Army of Aurangzeb had gro** 

during a quarter of a century into an unwieldy capital. I^ 

movements were slow, and incapable of concealment I 

Aurangzeb sent out a rapid small expedition against the Mf 

athds who plundered and insulted the outskirts of his camp 



they cut it to pieces. If he moved oot against them in force, 
they vanished. His own sokliery feasted with the enemy, wlio 
prayed with mock ejaculations for the health of the Emperor 
as their best friend. In 1706, the Grand Army was so disor- IIU 
ganized lliat Aurangzeb opened negotiations with the Mar- '^*^^'^' 
dthds. He even thought of submitting the Mughal Provinces 
to their tribute or ckmtih. But their insolent exultation broke 
off the treaty, and the despairing Aurangzeb, in 1706, sought 
shelter in Ah mad n agar, where he died the next year. Dark 
suspicion of his sons* loyally, and just fears lest they should 
subject him to the fate which he had inflicted on his own father, 
left him alone in his last days. On the approach of death, he Aurang* 
gave utterance in broken sentences to his worldly counsels \\ 
and adieus, mingled with terror and remorse, and closing 1707J 
in an agony of desperate resignation ; ' Come what may, I 
have launched my vessel on the waves. Farewell ! Farewell 1 
Farewell \ ' ^ 

The conquest of Southern India was the one inflexible 
purpose of Aurangxeb's life, and has there f«Dre been dealt 
with here in a continuous narrative. In the north of India, 
great events had also transpired. Mirjunilaled the imperial Mfr 
troops as far as Assam, the extreme eastern Province ofJ^"^'?!* 
India (1662). But amid the pestilential swamps of the ramy to As^m, 
season, the army melted away, its supplies were cut oflT, and *^6^- 
its march was harassed by swarms of natives who knew 
the country and defied the climate. Mir Jumld succeeded in 
extricating the main body of his troops, but died of exhaustion 
and a broken heart before he reached Dacca, 

In the west of India, Aurangzeb was not more fortunate. 
During his time the Sikhs were growing into a power, but it 
was not till the succeeding reigns that they commenced the 
series of operations which in the end wrested the Punjab 
from the Mughal Empire, Aurangzeb^s bigotry arrayed Aurang- 
against him the Hindu princes and peoples of Northern India. ^*:^*^ 
He revived the jaztah or insulting poll-tax on non-Musalmdns policy. 
(1677), drove the Hindus out of the administrationt and Oppresses 
oppressed the widow and children of his father's faithful ^'jf 
Hindu general Jaswant Singh. K local sect of Hindus was 
forced into rebellion in 1676 ; and in 1677, the Rajput States The R5j- 
combined against him. The Emi>eror waged a protracted war l"*^^ revolt, 

1 Aurangteb^s Litters form a fiopttlar Persian book in India to this flaj\ 
His ootinsels to his sons are ctlifying and most pathetic ; ami the whole 
work is written in a deeply religioLts lone, which couhl scarcely have been 

310 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

and can- 
not be 


The land 
30 to 38 




against them ; at one time devastating Rdjputana, at another 
time saving himself and his army from extermination only by a 
stroke of genius and rare presence of mind. In 1679, his son, 
Prince Akbar, rebelled and joined the Rijputs with his division 
of the Mughal army. From that year, the permanent alienation 
of the Rdjputs from the Mughal Empire dates; and the 
Hindu chivalry, which had been a source of strength to Akbar 
the Great, became an element of ruin to Aurangzeb and his 
successors. The Emperor sacked and slaughtered throughout 
the Rdjput States of Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. The 
Rijputs retaliated by ravaging the Muhammadan Provinces 
of Mdlwd, defacing the mosques, insulting the ministers 
of Isldm, and burning the Kurdn. In 1681, the Emperor 
patched up a peace in order to allow him to lead the Grand 
Army into the Deccan, from which he was destined never to 

All Northern India except Assam, and the greater part of 
Southern India, paid revenue to Aurangzeb. His Indian 
Provinces .covered nearly as large an area as the British 
Empire at the present day, although their dependence on 
the central Government was less direct. From these Pro- 
vinces his net land-revenue demand is returned at 30 to 38 
millions sterling; a sum which represented at least three 
times the purchasing power of the land revenue of British 
India at the present day. But it is doubtful whether the 
enormous demand of 38 millions was fully realized during 
any series of years, even at the height of Aurangzeb's power 
before he left Delhi for his long southern wars. It was 
estimated at only 30 millions in the last year of his reign, 
after his absence of a quarter of a century in the Deccan. 
Fiscal oppressions led to evasions and revolts, while some or 
other of the Provinces were always in open war against the 

The following statements exhibit the Mughal Empire in its final 
development, just before it began to break up. The standard 
return of Aurangzeb*s land revenue was net ;£34,505,89o ; 
and this remained the nominal demand in the accounts of 
the central exchequer during the next half-century, notwith- 
standing that the Empire had fallen to pieces. When the 
Afghdn invader, Ahmad Shdh Durdnf, entered Delhi in 1761, 
the treasury officers presented him with a statement showing 
the land revenue of the Empire at ;£^34,5o6,64o. The highest 
land revenue of Aurangzeb, after his annexations in Southern 
India, and before his final reverses, was 38^ millions sterling ; 

^f^^^pIoF/NCES UNDER AURANGIEB. 511 ^^^^H 

of which close on 38 millions were from Indian Provinces,^ Iijgbc>t ^H 

The total revenue of Aurangzeb was estimated in 1695 at 80 ^y^^nQj*"'^ ^1 

millions, and in 1697 at jji millions sterling.^ The gross millions, ^J 

taxation levied from British India, deducting the opium excise^ '^95* ^^| 

which is paid by the Chinese consumer, averaged 35 J milHons ^^^H 

sterling during the ten years ending 1879; and 40 J millions ^^H 

from 1879 to 1S83. The table on a previous page, showing the ^^| 

growth of the revenues of the Mughal Empire from Akbar to ^^^^^| 

Aurangzeb, may be contrasted with the taxation of British ^^^H 

India, as given in chapter xv. ^^^| 

1 Provinces of the Ueuh Empire under Aurakgzeb. ^^| 

Land Revenue m Auilangzeb 

Land Revenue of Aurangzeh ^^H 

IN 1697 (ticcordiiiij to Maimccij. 

in 1707 (according to RamusioJ. ^^H 


Rupees. ^^^H 

I. Delhi,. , . 12,550,000 

I. Delhi,. . 30.543,753 ^H 

2. Agra, . . 22, 203^550 

2. Agra, . 

28,669,003 ^H 

3. Lahore, 23,305,020 

3. Ajmere, 

16,308,634 ^H 

4, Ajmere. . 21,900,002 

4, Allahabad, , 

11,413*5^1 ^H 

5. Gujarat, . . 23,395,000 

5. Punjab, 

20,653,302 ^H 

6. iMihva, . 9,906,250 

6. Oudh, , 

8,058,195 ^H 

7. Behar, , , 12,150,000 

7, Miiltin, 

5.3<^i.073 ^H 

8. Multaii, . . 5.025,000 

8, Gujarat, 

15,196,228 ^^H 

9, Talta(Siml), . 6,002,000 

9. Bchar, 

10,179,025 ^^B 

la Bi^kar, , a,400,ooo 

10. bind, . 

2,295,420 ^^H 

II. Orissa, . , 5,707,500 

ir. Daulaiabiul, 


12. AlUbaLui, , . 7,738^000 

12. :^ialwa, 

to.097o4i ^^^H 

13. DcccaiH . 16,204,750 

13, Berar, . 


14, Berar, . . , 15,807,500 

14. Khindesh, . 


15. Khandesh, , . 11,105,000 

15, Bidar, . 

9.324.359 ^^^1 

16. Uaglana, . . 6,885,000 

tb, Bengal, 


17. Nande (Namlair), 7,200,000 

17. Orihsa, 

3.570,500 ^^H 

18. Bengal, . 40,000,000 

tS. Haidaril^d, 

27,834,000 ^^^H 

19, Ujjatn, . . 20.000,000 

19, Bijiipur, 


20, Kajmahal, , 10,050,000 

— ^^^^^H 

21. Bijapur, . 50,000,000 



^_ 22. Gokunda, . . 50,000,000 

20. Kashmir, . 



21. Kabul, 

4.025,983 ^^H 

^B Total, , 379.534i552 

i 23. Kashmfr. . . 3,505,000 

Grand Total, 

301,796.864 ^H 

^^ 24. Kabul, 3.207.250 

or;C3o,i79i^^^ ^H 

^^P Grand Total, . 386,246,802 


or j^38.624,68o 

The above lists are taken from Mr. Edward Tbcmiif' Rn*mHt RfSffurces ^^H 

0fi/u Mughal Empir€^ pp. 46 and 50. The whole subject is admirably ^^H 

discusacd ivi his chapter enutled * Atirangzcb's Revenues,' pp. H it aq. ^^H 

The four returns of the land revenue for ius reign are, mtt^ 24 mirUun.s ^^^| 

m 1655; i\\ millions in later official documents; 3SJ millions in 1697 ; ^^^H 

30 millions in 1707. ^^H 

^ Mr. tdwnrd 'Ihomas' Krvtmu Ret&nrcts 0/ ihe Mughal Empirt^ p. 54, ^^| 

^ 1 

312 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

Character Aurangzeb tried to live the life of a model Muharamadan 
zeb ""^^"^ Emperor. Magnificent in his public appearances, simple in 
his private habits, diligent in business, exact in his religious 
observances, an elegant letter - writer, and ever ready with 
choice passages 1 alike from the poets and the Kurdn, his life 
would have been a blameless one, if he had had no father 
to depose, no brethren to murder, and no Hindu subjects to 
oppress. But his bigotry made an enemy of every one who 
did not share his own faith ; and the slaughter of his kindred 
compelled him to entrust his government to strangers. 
The Hindus never forgave him ; and the Sikhs, the Rdjputs, 
and the Mardthds, immediately after his reign, began to close 
in upon the Empire. His Muhammadan generals and viceroys, 
as a rule, served him well during his vigorous life. But at his 
death they usurped his children's inheritance. The succeed- 
ing Emperors were puppets in the hands of the too powerful 
soldiers or statesmen who raised them to the throne, controlled 
them while on it, and killed them when it suited their purposes 
Decline to do SO. The subsequent history of the Empire is a mere 

Pj*^* , record of ruin. The chief events in its decline and fall are 
Mughal . , , , , 

Empire, summanzed below.* 

^ The Decline and Fall of the Mughal Empire, 
From death of Aurangzeb to that of Muhammad Bahadur Shdh, 1 707-1862. 

1707. Succession contest between Muizzim and Alam, two sons of 
Aurangzeb ; victory of the former, and his accession under the title 
of Bahddur Shdh ; controlled by the General Zul-flkar Khdn. Revolt 
of Prince Kambaksh ; his defeat and death. 

1 710. Expedition against the Sikhs. 

1 712. Death of Bahadur Shah, and accession of his eldest son, Jahandar 
Shih, after a struggle for the succession ; an incapable monarch, who 
only ruled through his was/r, Zul-ffkar Khan. Revolt of his nephew, 
Farukhsiyyar ; defeat of the Imperial army, and execution of the 
Emperor and his prime minister. 

1 713. Accession of Farukhsiyyar, under the auspices and control of 
Husain AH, Governor of Behar, and Abdulla, Governor of Allahibdd. 

1716. Invasion by the Sikhs ; their defeat, and cruel persecution. 

1 7 19. Deposition and murder of Farukhsiyyar by the Sayyid chiefs 
Husain AH and Abdulla. They nominate in succession three boy 
Emperors, the first two of whom died within a few months after 
their accession. The third, Muhammad Shah, commenced his reign 
in September 1 7 19. 

1720. Murder of Husain AH, and overthrow of the Sayyid * king-makers.' 
1720-48. The Governor of the Deccan, or Nizam-ul-Mulkh, establishes his 

independence, and severs the Haidardbad Provinces from the Mughal 
1732-43. The Governor of Oudh, who was also Waztr of the Empire, 
becomes practically independent of Delhi. 

[/-ootnotc continued on next page. 



For a time, Mughal Emperors still ruled India from Delhi, 
But of the six immediate successors of Aurnngzeb, two were The sfx 
under the control of an unscrupulous general, Zulfikir Khan,* kin^*s''*^' 
while the four others were the creatures of a couple of Sayyid 
adventurers who well earned their title of the * king-makers.' 
From the year 1720, the breaking up of the Empire took a 
more open form. The Nizim-ul-Mulkh, or Governor of the 


1735-51. General decline of the Empire; revolts within, and Invasion of 
Nadfr Shah from Persia (T7J9). Tht- Marithds obtain Malwii (1743*, 
followed by the cession of 8oulhetn Ori^sa and tribute from Bengal 
(1751), First invasion uf India l^y AhmciU Shah Diirani, who had 
nbiained the throne of Kandahar (1747); his defeat in Sirhind 

1748. Death of Muhammad Shah. 

1748-50, Accession of Ahmad i?hah, his son ; disturbances by the RohillA 
Afghans in Oudh, and defeat of ihe Imperial troops. 

1751. The Rohilla insurrection crushed with the aid of the ^raralhas. 

'75*~52' Second invasion of India by Ahmad Sluih During, and cession 
of die Punjab to him. 

1754. Deposition of the Emperor, and accession of Alamgir n, 

1756. Third invasion of India by Ahinail Shah Duiani, and sack of 

1759-61, Fourth invasion of India by Ahmad Shah Durdni^ and murder 
of the Emj-jeror Alamglr 11. by hi^ tvadt\ Ghizi-ud-dln, The Alaraihi 
conquests in Northern India, The Maiaihas cumplcie their organiza* 
tton for the conquest uf Hindustan ; capture of Delhi, 

1761-1805. The third battle of Tanipat, between the Afghans under 
Ahmad ShAb and the Mamthas ; defeat of the latter. From this 
time the Mughal Enipire ceased to exist, except in name. The 
victory of Baxar, gained by Major Monro, breaks the Mughal power 
in Bengal. The Diwanf, or administration, of riengal, Bchar, and 
Ori^sa is granted by the Emperor to the lJriti,4i in 1 765. The nominal 
Emperor on the death of Abmgir it, was Shah Alam li., an exile^ 
who resided till 1771 in Allahabad, a pensioner of the British. In 
1771 he threw in his fortunes wiih the Mardthas, who restored him 
to a fragment of his hertditar}' dominions. The Emperor was blinded 
and imprisoned by rebels. He was afterwards rescued by ihe Maraiha^, 
but was virtually a prisoner in iheir bands till J 803, when ihtf Maratha 
power was overthrown by Lord Lake. Shih Alam died in l4^o6, and 
was succeeded by his son, 

i?o6-l837. Akbar 11., who succeeded only to the nominal dignity, and 
lived till 1S37 ; when he was followed by 

1837-62. Muhammad Bahadur Shah, the seventeenth Mwgbal Emperor, 
and last of the race of Timur. For his complicity in the Mutiny of 
1S57 he was dtposcd and bani>hed for life to Rangoon^ where he 
died, a British State prisoner, in 1S62* Two of his sons and grand- 
son were shot by Hodson in 1S57, to prevent a rescue, and for their 
participation in the murder nf English women ; nd cbildien at Dtlhi. 
* Sir Henry Elliot's Persian His/otians, vol, vii. pp. 34S-558 (Triibner, 

314 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1761. 

of the 
1720-48 ; 

of Oudh, 


sion of 
the Sikhs, 



from the 

Deccan,^ established his independence, and severed the kigot: 
part of Southern India from the Delhi rule (1720-48). Tta 
Governor of Oudh,* originally a Persian merchant, who hai 
risen to the post of Wazfr or Prime Minister of the Empin^^ 
established his own dynasty in the Provinces which had be»^ 
committed to his care (1732-43). 

The Hindu subjects of the Empire were at the same time 
establishing their independence. The Sikh sect in the Punjal^ 
driven by oppression into revolt, had been mercilessly crushrf 
in 1 7 10-16. The indelible memory of the cruelties tbei 
inflicted by the Mughal troops nerved the Sikh nation with 
that hatred to Delhi which served the British cause so well Id 
1857. In 1716, the Sikh leader, Banda, was carried ab«* 
by the insulting Mughals in an iron cage, tricked out in tht^ 
mockery of imperial robes, with scarlet turban and ckA^ 
of gold. His son*s heart was torn out before his eye% 
and thrown in his face. He himself was then pulled to- 
pieces with red-hot pincers, and the Sikhs were exterminated.^ 
like mad dogs (17 16). The Hindu princes of Rajputdna weie 
more fortunate. Ajft Singh of Jodhpur asserted his independ- 
ence, and Rdjputdna practically severed its connection with 
the Mughal Empire in 17 15. The Mar^thds having enforced 
their claim to black-mail (chauth) throughout Southern Indiii 
burst through the Vindhyas upon the north, obtained the cession 
of Mdlwd (1743) and Orissa (1751), with an Imperial grant fof 
tribute from Bengal (1751). But the great Hindu militarf 
revival represented by the Mardtha power demands a separate 
section for itself, and will be narrated in the next chapter. 

While the Muhammadan governors and Hindu subjects of 
the Empire were thus asserting their independence, two net 
sets of external enemies appeared. The first of these con- 
sisted of invasions from the north- west In 1739, Nadir Shib, 
the Persian, swept down with his destroying host, and, after a 
massacre in the streets of Delhi and a fifty-eight days* sack, 
went off with a booty estimated at 32 millions sterling.' Six 
times the Afghans burst through the passes under Ahmad Shai» 
Durdnf, plundering, slaughtering, and then scornfully retiring to 
their homes with the plunder of the Empire. In 1738, Kibul 
the last Afghdn Province of the Mughals, had been se«red 
from Delhi ; and in 1 752, Ahmad Shdh the Afghan obtained th« 

^ Chin Khilich Khan or Azaf Shdh, a Turkoman Sunni. 

- baadat AH Khan, a Persian Shiah. 

^ Mill's H I slofy of British India, vol. ii. p. 456 (Wilson's edition, \W)r 



cession of the Punjab, The cruelties inflicted upon Delhi and 
Northern India during these six invasions form an appalhng 
tale of bloodshed and wanton cruelty. The miserable capital 
opened her gates, and was fain to receive the Afghans as 
guests. Yet on one occasion it suffered for six weeks every 
enormity which a barbarian army can inJlict upon a prostrate 
foe. Mean^vhile the Afghan cavalry were scouring the country, 
slaying, burning, and mutilating in the meanest hamlet as in 
the greatest town. They took especial delight in sacking the 
holy places of the Hindus, and murdering the defenceless 
votaries at the shrines. 

A horde of 25,000 Afghan horsemen swooped down uijon 
the sacred city of Muttra during a festival, while it was 
thronged with peaceful Hindu pilgrims engaged in their devo- 
tions. * They burned the houses/ says the Tyrolese Jesuit 
Tieffenthaler, who was in India at that time, * together witli 
their inmates, slaughtering others with the sword and the 
lance ; hauling off into captivity maidens and youths, men and 
women. In the temples they slaughtered cows/ the sacred 
animal of the Hindus, *and smeared the images and pavement 
with the blood' The borderland between Afghanistan and 
India lay silent and waste ; indeed, districts far within the 
frontier, which had once been densely inhabited, and which 
are now again thickly peopled, were swept bare of inhabitants. 

Another set of invaders came from the sea. In the wars 
between the French and English in Southern India, the last 
vestiges of the Delhi authority in the Madras Presidency dis- 
appeared (1748-61). The victory of Baxar, gained by Major 
Munro in 1764, broke the Mughal power in Northern India, 
and drove the Emperor himself to seek shelter in our camp. 
Bengal, Behar, and Orissa were handed over to the English 
by an imperial grant in 1765. We technically obtained these 
furlile Provinces as the nominee of the Emi^eror; but the third 
battle of Pinfpat had four years previously reduced the throne 
of Delhi to a shadow. The third battle of Panfpat was fought 
in 1761, between the Afghan invader .\hmad Shah and the 
Maratha powers, on the memorable plain on which Bdbar in 
15^6, and Akbar in 1556, had twice won the sovereignty of 

That sovereignty was now, after little more than two centuries 
of Mughal rulci lost for ever by their degenerate descendants. 
The Afghdns defeated the Marithas at Panfpat in 1761 ; and 
during ihe anarchy which followed, the British patiently built 
up a \\^^ power out of the wreck of the Mughal Empire, 





1747 t»l' 

t»f the 


from the 

Fall of the 

Battle of 

3i6 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE, 1526-1 761. 

Mughal pensioners and imperial puppets reigned still at Delhi 
over a numerous seraglio under such lofty titles as Akbar il oI 
Alamgfr (Aurangzeb) 11. But their power was confined to 
palace, while Mardthis, Sikhs, and Englishmen struggled foi 
Last of the the sovereignty of India. The last nominal Emperor emeigrf 
1862 ^^"^ ^ moment as a rebel during the Mutiny of 1857, and died 

a State prisoner in Rangoon in 1862. 



THE MARATHA POWER (1634 TO 1818 A.D.). 

^E British won India, not from the Mughals, but from the British 
iindus. Before we appeared as conquerors, the Mughal not ^^"' 
pire had broken up. Our conclusive wars were neither with the 
Delhi King, nor with his revolted governors, but with the ^ughals, 
Hindu confederacies, the Marathds and the Sikhs. Our the 
Mardthd war dates as late as 1818, and the Sikh Confedera- Hindus. 
was not finally overcome until 1849. 

About the year 1634, a Mardthd soldier of fortune, Shahji Rise of the 
Phonsla by name, began to play a conspicuous part in ^^^^^^*^^=^- 
SoQthern India ^ He fought on the side of the two independent ^honsi^ 
Muhammadan States, Ahmadnagar and Bijapur, against the 1634. 
Mi^hals ; and left a band of followers, together with a military 
Cefy to his son Sivajf, born in 1627.2 Sivajf formed a national Sivaji. 
iMOty out of the Hindu tribes of Southern India, as opposed 
alike to the imperial armies from the north, and to the 
independent Muhammadan kingdoms of the Deccan. There 
were thus, from 1650 onwards, three powers in the Deccan : 

* The original authorities for the Maratha history are — (i) James Grant 
DulTs Jfutory a/ifu AfardMs, 3 vols. (Bombay reprint, 1863) ; (2) Edward 
Scott VVaring's History 0/ the Mardthds (quarto, 1810) ; (3) Major William 
Thome's Memoir of the War in India conducted by General Lord Lake 
(ipiaito, 1818) ; (4) Sidney J. Owen's Selections from the Despatches of the 
Marquis of WelUsUy (1877) ; (5) his Selections from the Indian Despatches 
^ike Duke 0/ Welling on (1880); and (6) Henry T. Prinsep's Narrative 
§f Political and Military Transactions of British India under the Marquis 
of Hastily (quarto, 1820). The very brief notice of the Maraihas which 
the scope of the present work allows, precludes an exhaustive use of these 
Storehouses. But it should l>e mentioned that the later history of the 
Madithas (since 1819) has yet to be written. The leading incidents of that 
history are described in separate articles in The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 
To save space, this chapter confines itself, as far as practicable, to referrin<; 
in footnotes to those articles. Ample materials will be found in the 
Gazetteers of the Bombay Districts and Central Provinces. 

* Grant DufTs History of the Mardthds, vol. i. p. 90 (ed. 1863). 

3i8 THE MARATHA POWER, 1634-1818, 

Three first, the ever-invading troops of the Delhi Empire; second, 
paruesin ^^ forces of the two remaining independent Muhammadan 
Deccan, States of Southern India, namely, Ahmadnagar and Bijdpur ; 
1650. third, the military organization of the local Hindu tribes, which 

ultimately grew into the Mar^tha confederacy. 
Strength of During the eighty years' war of Shdh Jahdn and Aurangzeb, 
or third ^^^ a view to the conquest of Southern India (1627-1 707), 
party. the third or Hindu party fought from time to time on either 
side, and obtained a constantly-increasing importance. The 
Mughal armies from the north, and the independent Muham- 
madan kingdoms of the south, gradually exterminated each 
other. Being foreigners, they had to recruit their exhausted 
forces chiefly from outside. The Hindu confederacy drew its 
inexhaustible native levies from the wide tract known as 
Mahdrdshtra, stretching from the Berars in Central India to 
Courted by near the south of the Bombay Presidency. The Mardthds 
two^^^^' were therefore courted alike by the Imperial generals and by 
the independent Muhammadan sovereigns of the Deccan. 
With true Hindu statecraft, their leader, Sivaji, from time to 
time aided the independent Musalmdn kingdoms of the 
Deccan against the Mughal avalanche from the north. Those 
kingdoms, with the help of the Marathds, long proved a match 
for the imperial troops. But no sooner were the Delhi armies 
driven back, than the Mardthas proceeded to despoil the 
independent Musalmdn kingdoms. On the other hand, the 
Delhi generals, when allied with the Marathds, could com- 
pletely overpower the independent Muhammadan States. 
Sivajf, Sivaji saw the strength of his position, and, by a course 

dt'd 1680' ^^ treachery, assassination, and hard fighting, won for the 
Mardthds the practical supremacy in Southern India.^ As a 
basis for his operations, he perched himself safe in a number 
His hill of impregnable hill forts in the Bombay Presidency. His 
forts. troops consisted of Hindu spearmen, mounted on hardy 

His army ponies. They were the peasant proprietors of Southern India, 
men ^ and could be dispersed or called together on a moment's 
notice, at the proper seasons of the agricultural year. Sivajf 
had therefore the command of an unlimited body of troops, 
without the expense of a standing army. With these he 
swooped down upon his enemies, exacted tribute, or forced 
His tactics, them to come to terms. He then paid off his soldiery by a 
part of the plunder ; and while they returned to the sowing or 

' The career of Sivaji is traced in Grant DufFs History of the Mardthds^ 
vol. i. pp. 90-220. The Bombay reprint of Grant Duff*s History^ in three 
volumes, 1863, is invariably referred to in this chapter. 



reaping of their fields, he retreated with the lion^s share to his 
hill forts. In 1659 he hired the Bijipur general into an ambush, 
stabbed him at a friendly conference, and exterminated his 
army. In 1662-64, Sivajf raided as far as the extreme north 
of the Bombay Presidency, and sacked the Imperial city of 
Surat. In 1664 he assumed the title of king (Rajd), with the 
royal prerogative of coining money in his own name.^ 

The year 1665 foond Sivajf helping the Mughal armies 
against the independent Musalman State of Bijapur. In 
1666 he was induced to visit Delhi. Being coldly received 
by the Emperor Aurangzeb, and placed under restraint, he 
escaped to the south, and raised the standard of revolt,^ In 
1674, Sivaji enthroned himself with great pomp at Raigarh, 
weighing himself in a balance against gold, and distributing 
the precious counterpoise among his Brdhmans.^ After sending 
forth his hosts as far as the Karnatik in 1676, he died in 1680. 

The Emperor Aurangzeb would have done wisely to have left 
the independent Musalmdn Kings of the Deccan alone, until 
he had crushed the rising Maratha power. Indeed, a great 
statesman w^ouid have buried the old quarrel between the 
Muhammadans of the north and south, and united the whole 
forces of Islam against the Hindu confederacy which was 
rapidly organ lifing itself in the Deccan. But the fixed rt^solve 
of Aurangzeb s life was to annex to Delhi the Muhammadan 
kingdoms of Southern India, By rhe time he had carried 
out this scheme, he had wasted his armies, and left the 
Mughal Empire ready to break into pieces at the first touch 
of the Mardthas. 

Sambhaji succeeded his father, Sivaji, in 1680, and reigned 
till 16S9.* His life was entirely spent in wars with the Portu- 
guese and Mughals, In 1 689, Aurangzeb captured him. The 
Plmperor burnt out his eyes with a red-hot iron, cut out the 
tongue which had blasphemed the Prophet, and struck off his 

His son, Sahu, then six years of age, was also captured and 
kept a prisoner till the death of Aurangzeb. In 1707 he was 
restored, on acknowledging allegiance to Delhi. But his long 
captivity among the Mughals left him only half a Marathd.'' 



Enthrnnes If, 




zcb's mis- 





1 707- 

^ Grant Duff's History &fihe Mardtkds, vol. i. |X 146. 

* /(iertty vol. i. chap. v. adfimm. * Idim^ vol. i. pp. 191-193. 

* For the career of Sambhajf, see Grant Dufi^» History 0/ the A/ardt/ubj 
vt)L i. pp. 220-261. 

* The career of Sahu is traced in Grant DuflTs History of thi Mardthds^ 
Vi*l. I pp» 297-306* 

320 THE MARATHA POWER, 1634-1818. 

Rise of the 

Sdtdra and 
Kolhapur ; 
the last of 

of the 










in the 

beyond it : 

To Bengal, 

1742-51 ; 

He wasted his life in his seraglio, and resigned the rule of his 
territories to his Brdhman minister Bdlajf Vishwandth, with 
the title of Peshwd.^ This office became hereditary, and the 
I>ower of the Peshwd superseded that of the Marathd kings. 
The family of Sivaji only retained the little principalities of 
Sdtdra and Kolhdpur. Sdtdra lapsed, for want of a direct heir, 
to the British in 1848. Kolhdpur has survived through their 
clemency, and was ruled, under their control, by the last 
adopted representative of Sivajfs line^ until 1883. On his 
death, in December 1883, another Mardthi youth of high 
family was placed by the British Government, in virtue of the 
adoption sanad, on the State cushion of Kolhdpur. 

Meanwhile the Peshwas were building up at Poona the 
great Marithd confederacy. In 17 18, Bdlajf, the first Peshwd, 
marched an army to Delhi in support of the Sayyid 'king- 
makers.'* In 1720* he extorted an Imperial grant of the 
chauth or * one-fourth' of the revenues of the Deccan. The 
Mardthds were also confirmed in the sovereignty of the 
countries round Poona and Sdtdra. The second Peshwd, 
Bdji Rdo (1721-40), converted the tribute of the Deccan 
granted to his father into a practical sovereignty. In fifteen 
years he wrested the Province of Mdlwd from the Empire 
(1736), together with the country on the north-west of the 
Vindhyas, from the Narbada to the Chambal.^ In 1739® he 
captured Bassein from the Portuguese. 

The third Peshwd, Bdlaji Bdjf Rao, succeeded in 1740, and 
carried the Mirathd terror into the heart of the Mughal 
Empire.^. The Deccan became merely a starting-point for 
a vast series of their expeditions to the north and the east 
Within the Deccan itself he augmented his sovereignty, at the 
expense of the Nizdm, after two wars. The great centres of the 
Mardthd power were now fixed at Poona in Bombay and Ndgpur 
in the Berars. In 1741-42, a general of the Berar branch 
of the Mardthds known as the Bhonslas, swept down upon 
Bengal ; but, after plundering to the suburbs of the Muham- 
madan capital Murshiddbdd, he was driven back through Orissa 
by the Viceroy Ali Vardi Khdn. The * Mardthd Ditch,' or 

^ For Balajl's career, see Grant Duffs Hist, of the Mardthds ^ vol. i. pp. 

2 See articles Kolhapur and Satara, Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

' Vide ante^ p. 313. 

* Grant Duff's History of the Mardthds^ vol. i. pp. 324, 325. 
^ Grant Duff's History of the Mardthds^ vol. i. pp. 393-395. 

* For Bdji Rao's career, see op. cit. vol. i. pp. 344-410. 
" His career is sketched in op. cit. vol. ii. pp. 1-115. 



semicircular moat around part of Calcutta, records to this day 
the panic which then spread throughout Bengal Next year, 
1743, the head of the Berar Manithas, Raghuji Bhonsla, himseh' 
invaded Bengal in force. From this date, in spite of quarrels 
between the Poona and Berar Mardthas over the spoil, the 
fertile Provinces of the Lower Ganges became a plundering 

ouiid of the Bhonslas. In 1751 they obtained a formal 

ant from the Viceroy Ah' Vardl of the chauth or • quarter- 
revenue ' of Bengal, together with the cession of Orissa. 
In Northern India, the Poona Marithds raided as far as the 
Punjab, and drew down upon them the wrath of Ahmad Shah, 
the Afghan, who had wrested that Province from Delhi, At 
the third battle of Panfpat, the Mardthds were overthrown, by 
the combined Muhammadan forces of the Afghans and of 
the Provinces still nominally remaining to the Mughal Empire 

The fourth Peshwd, Madhu Rdo, succeeded to the Maratha 
sovereignly in this moment of ruin.^ The Hindu confederacy 
seemed doomed to destruction, alike by internal treachery and 
by the superior force of the Afghdn arms. As early as 1742, 
the Poona and Berar branches had taken the field against each 
other, in their quarrels over the plunder of Bengal. Before 
1761, two other branches, under Holkar and Sindhia, had set 
up for themselves in the old Mughal Province of Mdlwd and 
the neighbouring tracts, now divided between the States of 
Indore and Gwalior. At Pdnipat, Holkar, the head of the 
Indore branch, deserted the Hindu line of battle when he saw 
the tide turn, and his treachery rendered the Maratha rout 
complete. The fourth Peshwd was little more than the 
nominal centre of the five great Maratha branches, with their 
respective head -quarters at Poona, the seat of the Pcshwas ; 
at Ndgpur, the capital of the Bhonslas, in Berar; at Gwalior, 
the residence of Sindhia ; at Indore, the capital of Holkar; 
and at Baroda, the seat of the rising power of the Gdekwdrs. 
Madhu Rdo, the fourth Peshwd, just managed to hold his own 
against the Mohammadan princes of Haidardbdd and Mysore, 
and against the Jihonsla branch of the Mardthds in Berar. 
His younger brother, Ndrayan Rdo, succeeded him as fifth 
Peshwd in 1772, but was quickly assassinated." 

From this time the Pesh\vd*s power at Poona begins to 
recede, as that of his nominal masters, the lineal descendants 

' For his career, see Grant DufTs Hiit. of (he Manithds^ vol. ii. pp. 


* Grant DufiTs Histoty of tht Mardthds^ vol. ii. pp. 174-17S, 

To the 







The five 


of the 

322 THE MARATHA POWER, 1634-1818. 

of Sivajf, had faded out of sight at Sitira and Kolhipur. 
The Peshwds came of a high Brdhman lineage, while tlic, 
actual fighting force of the Mardthas consisted of low-casttJ 
Hindus. It thus happened that each Marathi general wiuj 
rose to independent territorial sway, was inferior in casB^ 
although possessed of more real power than the Peshwa, the 
titular head of the confederacy. Of the two great noithei^ 
houses, Holkar was descended from a shepherd,^ and SindUa 
from a slipper-bearer. 2 These potentates lay quiet for a time 
Progress after their crushing disaster at Pdnipat But within ten 

northern ^^ ^^^' ^^^^^ ^^^^* ^^^^ *^^^ finally established themsdw 
Marathas. throughout Mdlwd, and invaded the Rdjput, Jdt, and RohOi 

Provinces, from the Punjab on the west to Oudh on the 
Sindhia (i 761-71). In 1765, the titular Emperor, Shah Alam, 
i?^ik ^^"^ ^"'^ ^ British pensioner after his defeat at Baxar. 
17611803. 177^ he made overtures to the Mardthds. Holkar 

Sindhia nominally restored him to his throne at Delhi, but 

held him a virtual prisoner till 1803-04, when they were ow 

thrown by our second Mardthd war. 

Tl,e The third of the northern Mardthd houses, namely, 

Bnonslas Bhonslas of Berar and the Central Provinces, occupied thc» 

1*75^18^-3. selves with raids to the east. Operating from their basis 

Nagpur,3 they had extorted, by 1751, the cJiauth or 'quarter 
revenue ' of Bengal, together with the sovereignty of Oriss^: 
The accession of the British in Bengal (1756-65) put a stop 
to their raids in that Province. In 1803, a division of oH; 
army drove them out of Orissa. In 181 7, their power 
finally broken by our last Mardthd war. Their head-quarttt 
territories, now forming the Central Provinces,* were admim-i 
stered under the guidance of British Residents from 18 17 to 
1853. On the death of the last Raghuji Bhonsla, witbo*; 
issue, in 1853, Ndgpur lapsed to the British. 
The The fourth of the northern Mardthd houses, namdfi 

(Jaekwars Baroda,^ extended its power throughout Gujardt, on the north*. 
^ ^"^ ^' western coast of Bombay, and the adjacent peninsula of; 
Kdthidwdr. The scattered but wealthy dominions known tt 
the Territories of the Gdekwdr were thus formed. Since 
our last Mardthd war, in 1817, Baroda has been ruW bf 
the Gdekwdr, with the help of a British Resident and* 

* See article Indore, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

* See article Gwalior, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

* See article Nagpur, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

* See article Central Provinces, The Imperial Gauttecr of InditL, 

* See article Baroda, The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 



subsidiary force. In 1874, the reigning Gdekwar, having 
attempted to poison ihe Resident, was tried by a High Com- 
mission consisting of three European and three native 
members, found guilty, and deposed. But the British 
Government refrained from annexing the State, and raised a 
descendant of the founder of the family from poverty to the 
State cushion. 

While these four northern houses of the Marithds were 
]>ursuing their separate careers, the Peshwd*s power was being 
broken to pieces by family intrigues. The sixth Peshwa, 
Madhu Rdo Ndriyan, was born after his father's death, and 
during his short life of twenty-one years the power remained 
in the hands of his minister, Ndnd Farnavis, Raghuba, the 
uncle of the late Peshwd, disputed the birth of the posthumous 
child, and claimed for himself the office of Peshwl The 
infant's guardian, Nand Farnavis, having invoked the aid of 
the French, the British sided with Raghuba. These aUiances 
brought on the first Maritha war {1779-81), ending with the 
treaty of Salbai (1782). That treaty ceded the islands of 
Saisette and Klephanta with two others to the British, 
secured to Raghubd a handsome pension, and coniirmed 
the child -Peshwi in his sovereignty. The latter, however, 
only reached manhood to commit suicide at the age of 

His cousin, Bajf Rio 11., succeeded him in 1795 ^^ ^"^^ 
seventh and last Peshwd, The northern Mardthd house of 
Holkar now took the lead among the Marathds, and forced the 
Peshwa into the arms of the English. By the treaty of Basse in 
in I So?, the Peshwd agreed to receive and pay for a British 
force to maintain him in his dominions. The northern 
Mardthd houses combined to break down this treaty. The 
second Mardthd war lollowed (1803-04). General Wellesley 
crushed the forces of the Sindhia and Nagpur houses on the 
great fields of Assaye and Argaum in the south, while lx)rd 
Lake disposed of the Mardthd armies at Laswdri and Delhi in 
the north. In 1804, Holkar was completely defeated at Dig, 
These campaigns led to large cessions of territory to the 
British, the overthrow of the French influence in India, and 
the replacement of the titular Delhi Emperor under the 
protection of the English. In iSty-iB, the Peshwa, Holkar, 
and the Bhunsla Mardthds at Nagpur took up arms, each on 
his own account, against the British, and were defeated in 
detail That war finally broke the Mardthd |)ower. The 
Peshwd, Baji Rio, surrendered to the British, and his territories 

Bamda in 




First Mar- 
k\\A war, 
J 779-81. 

and last 


Last ftfjir- 
atha war, 

324 THE MARATHA POWER, 1 634-181 8. 

were annexed to our Bombay Presidency.^ The Peshwa 

remained a British pensioner at BithiSr, near Cawnpore, on a 
End of the magnificent allowance, till his death. His adopted son grew 
1*8^0^^^' "P ''^^^ ^^ infamous Nani Sihib of the Mutiny of 1857, when 

the last relic of the Peshwds disappeared from the eyes of 


* For a summary of the events of this last Mardthd war, vide post^ pp. 
401, 402. Also Grant Duff's History of the li/ardihds, vol. iii. passim. 




The foregoing chapters have summarized the successive 
settlements of Asiatic peoples in India, The remainder of 
ihisvolmTie will deal with altogether different aspects of Indian 
history. For the three essential stages in that history are — 
first, the long struggle for India by the races of Asia ; second, 
a shorter struggle for India by European nations j third, the 
consolidation of India under British rule. From the great 
contest of five thousand years, England emerged the victor 
We have seen how the tidal waves of Asiatic populations — 
pre-Ar)'an, Ar)^an, Scythic, Afghdn, and Mughal — swept across 
India from the north. The next chapter (xiv.) will exhibit the 
briefer, but not less eventfol, efforts of the European maritime 
powers to enter India from the sea. The conquest of India 
by the British, and an account of the administration which 
they have established throughout its widely separated Provinces, 
will conclude this volume* 

The three 
stages in 


St niggle 
for IiitliA 
by the 
races ; 

(2) l»y I he 
nations ; 

(3) Con- 
of Ifidin 

The inroads under Alexander the Great and his successors Greek 

had proved momentary episodes, — episodes, moreover, of an '^^^^ads 

Asiatic rather than of a European type. The Greek and * .' * 

and scmi* 
Grseco-Bactrian hosts entered India from the north; they Asiairc in 

effected no settlements beyond the frontier Province ; and the ^yp^^ 

permanent element in their forces consisted of Asiatic rather 

than of European troops. The civilisation and organization of 

India, from a prehistoric period many thousand years before 

Christ down to the 15 th century a.d., had been essentially the 

work of Asiatic races. Since the end of that century, when the 

Portuguese landed on the Malabar coasts the course of Indian 

history has been profoundly influenced by European nations. 

Before entering on this new period, therefore, it is desir- Asiatic 

able to obtain a clear idea of India, as moulded by the ^f^j^^^^^f ''' 

sunival of the fittest among the Asiatic peoples who had 

struggled for the Indian supremacy during so many thousand 

years. The social constitution of the Indian races on the 



As found 
by the 

twofold basis of religion and caste, has been fully explained 
Their later political organization under the Afghdns, Mughals, 
and Mardthds, has been more briefly summarized. It 
remains, however, to exhibit the geographical distribution of 
the Indian races, and the local landmarks, literatures, and lan- 
guages, which the Europeans found on their arrival in India. 

India in 
the I St 

India in 
the i6th 


Before the beginning of the Christian era, Northern India 
was partitioned out among civilised communities in which the 
Aryan element prevailed, while the southern peninsula was 
covered with forests, and dotted with the settlements of non- 
Aryan peoples. The Northern Aryans had a highly developed 
literary language, Sanskrit. They spoke less artificial cognate 
dialects, called Prakrits, which (equally with the Sanskrit) 
had grown out of the primitive Indo-Germanic tongue. The 
non-Aryans of Southern India at that period knew nothing 
of the philosophy or sciences which flourished in the north. 
They had not even a grammatical settlement of the principles 
of their own language ; and they used vernaculars so uncouth 
as to earn for them, from the civilised Aryans, the name of 
Mlechchhas, meaning the people of imperfect utterance or 
broken speech.^ 

When the European nations arrived in India during the 
1 6th and 17th centuries, all this had changed. The stately 
Sanskrit of the Northern Aryans had sunk into a dead 
language, still used as a literary vehicle by the learned, but 
already pressed hard by a popular literature in the speech 
of the people. The Prdkrits, or ancient - spoken dialects, 
had given place to the modern vernaculars of Northern 
India. In Southern India a still greater change had taken 
place. The obscure non-Aryan races had there developed 
a political organization and a copious literature, written 
in vernaculars of their own, — vernaculars which, while richly 
endowed for literary uses, remained non-Aryan in all essentials 
of structure and type. 

The Dra- 

Leaving aside, for the moment, the changes among the 
Aryans in the north, let us briefly examine this survival of 
prehistoric non-Aryan life in the southern peninsula. The 
non-Aryan races of the south were spoken of by Sanskrit 
authors under the general name of Dravidas, and their 

^ For the ideas connoted by this word, and its later application to the 
Huns and Musalmdns, see the Honourable K. T. Telang's Essay on the 
Mudrdrdkhasa^ pp. 4-7, 12, etc., and footnotes. Bombay. 




languages under the vague term FaisdM, The latter tenti 
covered, however, a wider linguistic area, from the speech of the 
Bhotas of Tibet to that of the Pdndyas or Tamil-speaking 
tribes of Southern India. 

Modern philology^ rejecting any generic term, proves that 
the scattered non- Aryan languages of India belong to sepirate 
stocks. Some of the isolated tribes^ who still survi%'e in their 
hill and forest retreats around Bengal, entered from the nortlv 
east, and brought with them dialects akin to the Chinese. The 
great body of Dra vidian speech in the south seems, however, 
to have had its origin, equally with the Ar}an languages, to 
the north-west of the Himdiayas. It would apiJcar that long The 
before the Ar}*an invasions, a people speaking a very primi- rjrjvvjijian 
live Central Asian language, had entered by the Sind passes. 
These were the Dravidas or Dravidians of later times. Other 
non- Aryan races from the north pushed them onwards to 
the present Dravidian country in the south of the peninsula. 
But the Dravidians had left more than one colony on their 
line of march. The Brahufs of the Sind frontier, the Gonds 
and Kus of the Central Provinces, the Uraons of Chutia 
NagiJur, with a tribal offshoot in the Rdjmahdl hills overlooking 
the Gangetic valley,^ remain to this day as landmarks along 
the Dravidian route through India, 

The Dravidian language contains words apparently belongmg The 
to a phase of human speech, anterior to the separation of the p^a^^'J^'^" 
Indo-Germanic from the Scythian stocks.^ It presents affinities 
to the present Ugrian of Siberia, and to the present Finnish of 
Northern Europe; while its analogies to the ancient Behistun 
tablets of Media have been w^orked out by the great Dravidian 
scholar of our times,^ Those tablets recorded the life of 
Darius Hystaspes in the old Persian^ together with a rendering 
in the speech of the Scythians of the Medo-Persian Empire. 
They date from the 5th century B.c, and they indicate a Hs place 
common starting * place of the Turanian family of Ian- '" philo- 
giiages whose fragments have been scattered to the shores of '*^^' 

* Introduction to ike Malto Language, p. iv, (Agra, 1SS4), by ihe Rev, 
Ernest Droese ; to whom the auttior is itittcbtcd fur valuable local details 
which he hopes to iticorporaie hereafter in a larger work. 

* Comparative Grammar cf the Dravidian Languages ^ by Bishop 
CaldweH, p» 46, ed. 1875. Uiirortunatcly, the paging of that ediuon 
repeats itself, running as far as |x 154 in the int reduction ^ and commencing 
again (in a slightly diflcrcnt type) at p. 1 of the Grammar itself. Except 
when otherwise memioned, the pa;;es cited in this book refer to the first 
or introdyctory series of Bishop Caldwell's numeralji, 

^ IJemy pp. 68-72, and io6» 


the Baltic, the Steppes of Northern Siberia, and the Malabar 
coast This family belongs to the primaeval agglutinative 
phase of human speech, as opposed to the inflectional stage 
which the later Aryan migrations into India represent The 
Dravidians found refuge, after their long wanderings, in the 
sea-girt extremity of the Indian peninsula. In its isolation this 
Turanian speech has there preserved its primitive type, and 
forms one of the most ancient relics of the prehistoric world. 
The The extrusion of the Dravidians from Northern India had 

in Sanskrit taken place before the arrival of the Aryan-speaking races, 
literature. The Dravidians are to be distinguished from the later non- 
Aryan immigrants, whom the Vedic tribes found in possession 
of the valleys of the Indus and Ganges. These later non- 
Ar)'ans were in their turn subjugated or pushed out by the 
Aryan newcomers ; and they accordingly appear in the Vedic 
hymns as the * enemies ' (Dasyus) and * serfs ' (Siidras) of the 
Indo-Aryan settlers. The Dravidian non-Aryans of the south, 
on the other hand, appear from the first in the Sanskrit as 
friendly forest folk, the monkey armies who helped the Aryan 
hero Rima on his march through Southern India against the 
demon king of Ceylon. 

The Tamil language still preserves evidence of a Dravidian 

civilisation before the southern advance of the Aryans which 

the Rdmdyana represents. * They had " kings," ' writes Bishop 

Pre-Aryan Caldwell,^ * who dwelt in " strong houses," and ruled over small 

ci^lUa^" *' districts of country." They had "minstrels" who recited 

tion. " songs " at " festivals," and they seem to have had alphabetical 

" characters " written with a stylus on palmyra leaves. A bundle 

of those leaves was called a ** book." They acknowledged the 

existence of God, whom they styled K6 or King. They 

erected to his honour a "temple," which they called K6-il, 

God's house. Marriage existed among them. They were 

acquainted with the ordinary metals, with the exception of tin, 

lead, and zinc ; with all the planets ordinarily known to the 

ancients, excepting Mercury and Saturn. They had numerals 

up to a hundred, some of them up to a thousand. They had 

"medicines;" "hamlets "and "towns," but no cities; "canoes," 

" boats " and even " ships " (small decked coasting vessels). 

Dravidian * They were well versed in "agriculture," and delighted 

arts. jj^ u war." They were armed with " bows " and " arrows," with 

"spears" and "swords." All the ordinary or necessary arts of 

life, including "spinning," "weaving," and "dyeing," existed 

^ Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages^ condensed from 
pp. 117, 118. 



among them. They excelled in *' pottery/* as their places o\ 
sepulture show. They were ignorant, not only of every branch 
of " philosophy/* but even of ** grammar." Their undeveloped 
intellectual condition is especially apparent in words relating 
to the operations of the mind To express "the will'' they 
would have been obliged to describe it as " that which in the 
inner part says, 1 am going to do so and so/** 

While the Dravidians appear in Sanskrit literature as 
friends or allies, the Aryans were not their conquerors, 
but their 'instructors' or * fathers.* The first Brdhman 
settlers in the south came as hermits or sages, who 
diffused around them a haio of higher civilisation. The 
earliest of such Brdhman colonies among the Dravidians, led 
by the holy Agastya, has long faded into the realms of 
mythology, * The Vindhya Mountains/ it is said, * prostrated 
themselves before Agastya/ still fondly remembered as the 
Tamir-muni, pre-eminently the Sage to the Tamil race. He 
introduced philosophy at the court of the first Pandyan king, 
wrote many treatises for his royal disciple, and now lives for 
ever in the heavens as Canopus, the brightest star in the 
Southern Indian hemisphere. He is worshipped as Agastes- 
wara, the Lord Agastya, near Cape Comorin. But the orthodox 
still believe him to be alive, although invisible to sinful 
mortals, hidden away in the conical mountain called Agastya's 
Hill, from which the sacred river of Tinnevelli springs. 

This legend serves to indicate the intluence of Sanskrit civilisa- 
tion and learning among the Dra vidian race. That influence 
was essentially a friendly one. The Brahmans became the 
* fathers* of the less advanced race j and although they 
classified the non-Aryan multitude as Sudras, yet this term 
did not connote in Southern India the ideas of debasement 
and servitude which it affixed to the non-Aryan races in the 
north. The Buddhist missionaries were probably the first 
Atyan instructors of the Dravidian kings and peoples, and 
their labours must have begun before the commencement of 
the Christian erx 

Bishop Caldwell takes the Aryan emigration under Vijaya, 
from Magadha in Bengal to Ceylon, circa B.C. 550, as the start- 
ing-point of Aryan civilisation in Southern India, Dr. Burnell, 
however, bebeves that Aryan civilisation had not penetrated 
deeply among the Dravidians until the advent of Kum.irila, 
the Brahman reformer from Behar in the 8th century a.d.* 
' Dr. Burnell a article in the Indian Antiquary for October 1 872. 

Legcml of 

Brdh manic 

on tile 



menl of 


Brdhman hermits had doubtless taught the Dravidian 

and Brihman sages had adorned Dravidian courts Ion 

this latter date. But it was from the great religious ^^ 

of the 8th century, that the continuous and widespread xvmL^^^^ 

of Brdhman civilisation in Southern India took its rise. 

Dravidian The Brdhman apostles of the Sivaite and Vishnuite ^^ 

speech ^^Qxti the 8th to the 12th century a.d.,^ composed I 

religious treatises in Sanskrit The intellectual awakeralj^ 

produced by their teaching, also gave the first impulse to rf^ 

use of the vernacular languages of India for literary purposed' J 

The Dravidians gratefully acknowledge that they owe 4^' 

settlement of the grammatical principles of their speediW. 

Sanskrit sages, among whom the legendary Agastya holds 

intovcr- highest rank. But the development of that speech intotl 

nacular vernacular literature w^as chiefly the work of the Dravidifliij 
literatures. , , *,,,i- , ^.t. ii- 

themselves. Indeed, the first outburst of their vernacular w 

rature sprang from the resistance of their previous Buddhistk 

faith to the Brdhmanical religious revival. 

The Dra- Before the arrival of the European nations in the 16th ani 
vidian J yji^ centuries, four Dravidian dialects had developed literatoRi 
The Tamil, the Telugu, the Kdnarese, and the Malayalail 
are now literary languages of established reputation. Bi< 
space compels us to concentrate our attention on the oldet, 
and most influential of the vernacular literatures of Southern 
The India, — the Tamil. This language, in its structure and iti 

Tamil. vocabulary, forms the best representative of cultivated Dravidiat 
speech. It has not feared to incorporate such philosophical, I^ 
ligious, and abstract terms as it required from the Sanskrit But 
its borrowings in this respect are the mere luxuries or dclicadei 
of the language, and they have left unaffected its roW 
native fabric. * Tamil,' writes Bishop Caldwell, * can readily 
dispense with the greater part or the whole of its Sanskrit, and 
by dispensing with it, rises to a purer and more refined style.** 
He maintains that the Ten Commandments can be translated 
into classical Tamil with the addition of a single Sanskrit wai 
That word is * image.' 
First culii- According to native tradition, Tamil was first cultivated 
Tanii" ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^ Agastya. Many works, besides a grammar and 
treatises on philosophy and science, are ascribed to hnt 
His name served indeed as a centre around which Tamfl 
compositions of widely separated periods, including some fl< 
recent date, gather. The oldest Tamil grammar now extant, 
» Vide anUf pp. 209 awd 2\T. ' Comparative Grammar, pp. $0, $1- 




the Tol-Kippiyanij is assigned to one of his disciples. But 
the rise of a continuous Tamil literature belongs lo a later 
period. The Sivaite and Vishnuite revival of ihe Brdhman 
apostles in Souihern India, from the 8th century onwards, 
stirred up a counter movement on the part of the Jains, J?'" ^>'*^'^ 
Before that period, the Buddhism of ihe Uraviclian kmgdoms liier.iuire. 
had modelled itself on the Jain type. We shall see hereafter 
that early Buddhism in Northern India adopted the Prdkrit 
or vernacular speech for its religious treatises. On the same 
analogy, Buddhism in Southern India, as the religion of the 
people, defended itself against the Erahmanical revival of the 
8th century by works in the popular dialects. The Dra vidian 
Buddhists or Jams created a cycle of Tamil literature, anti- Qtij to tjtli 
Brdhmanical in lone, stretching from the 9th to the ijih^entiuy 



Its first great composition, the Kural of Tiruvalluvar, not later Its great 

than the 10th century a.d., is said to have been the work, of ^^'^"^'^^ 

^ poet, 900 

a poet sprung from the Pariah or lowest caste. It enforces the a-i>. (?) 

old Sankya philosophy in 1330 distichs or poetical aphorisms, 
dealing with the three chief desires of the human heart ; 
wealth, pleasure, and virtue. To the sister of its author, a 
Pariah poetess, are ascribed many compositions of the highest 
moral excellence, and of undying popularity in Southern 
India, The Jain period of Tamil literature includes works 
on ethics and language ; among them the Divakaram, literally 
the * Day-making ' Dictionary; The period culminated in the 
Chintimanf, a romantic epic of 15,000 lines by an unknown The Jam 
Jain author. Indeed, it is worthy of remark that several of the ^^^^' 
best Indian authors, whether Sanskrit or vernacular, have left 
no indication of their names. As it was the chief desire of 
an Indian sage to merge his individual existence in the Uni- 
versal Existence ; so it appears to have been the w^ish of many 
Indian men of letters of the highest type to lose their literary 
individuality in the school or cycle of literature to which they 

Contemporaneous with the Jain cycle of Tamil literature, The Tamil 
the great adaptation of the Ramdyana was composed by ^^^'^^- 
Kambar for the Dravidian races. This work is a Tamil para- ' 
phrase or imitation, rather than a translation of the ancient 
Sanskrit epic, A stanza prefixed to the work states that it 
was finished in the year corresponding lo 886 a.d. But this 
stanza may itself be a later addition ; and Bishop Caldwell, 
after a careful examination of the whole evidence, places the 
work after 1100. 



Tamil Between that period and the i6th century, two encyclopaedic 

h' mno- collections of Tamil hymns in praise of Siva were gradually 

logics. formed. They breathe a deeply religious spirit, and the 

earlier collection {post 1200 a.d.) still holds its place in the 

affections of the Tamil-speaking people. The later collection 

was the work of a Sivaite devotee and his disciples, who 

devoted themselves to uprooting Jainism (circ, 1500 a.d.). 

During the same centuries, the Vishnuite apostles were equally 

Tamil prolific in Tamil religious song. Their Great Book of the Four 

hymno-^^ Thousand Psalms constitutes a huge hymnology dating from 

lojjy. the 1 2 th century onwards. After a period of literary inactivity, 

the Tamil genius again blossomed forth in the i6th and 

1 7th centuries with a poet-king as the leader of the literary 


The Sittar In the 1 7th century arose an anti-Brdhmanical Tamil litera- 

'1^1 ture known as the Sittar school. The Sittars or sages were a 

Tamil sect who, while retaining Siva as the name of the One 

God, rejected everything in Siva-worship inconsistent with 

Their pure pure theism. They were quietists in religion, and alchemists 

theism. jj^ science. They professed to base their creed upon the true 

original teaching of the Rishfs, and indeed assumed to 

themselves the names of these ancient inspired teachers of 

mankind. They thus obtained for their poems, although 

written in a modern colloquial style, the sanction of a 

venerable antiquity. Some scholars believe that they detect 

Christian influences in works of the Sittar school. But 

it must be remembered that the doctrines and even the 

phraseology of ancient Indian theism and of Indian Buddhism 

approach closely to the subsequent teaching and, in some 

instances, to the very language of Christ.^ 

* The following specimens of the Sittar school of Tamil poetry are 
taken from Bishop Caldwell's Comparative Grammar^ p. 148. The first 
is a version of a poem of Siva-vdkya, given by Mr. R. C. Caldwell, the 
Bishop's son, in the Indian Antiquary for 1872. He unconsciously ap- 
proximates the verses to Christian ideas, for example, by the title, * The 
Shepherd of the Worlds,' which Bishop Caldwell states may have meant 
to the poet only * King of the Gods.* 

The Shepherd of the Worlds. 

How many various flowers 

Did I, in bygone hours, 
Cull for the gods, and in their honour strew ; 

In vain how many a prayer 

I breathed into the air, 
And made, with many forms, obeisance due. 


The Tamil ^vriters of the iSlh and 19th centuries are Modcni 
classified as modem. The honours of this period are divided 'TaJnil 
between a pious Slvaite and the Italian Jesuit, Beschl This 
missionary of genius and learning not only wrote Tamil prose BcschL 
of the highest excellence, but he composed a great religious 
epic in classical Tamil, which has won for him a conspicuous 
rank among Dravidian poets. His work, the Tenibavani, 
gives a Tamil adaptation of the narrative and even of the 
geography of the Bible, suited to the Hindu taste of the 
1 8th centur)^ 

Since the introduction of printing, the Tamil press has Recent 
been prolific. A catalogue of Tamil printed books, issued in ^*^^'^"*^*' 
Madras up to 1865, enumerated 1409 works. In the single 
year 1882, no fewer than 558 works were printed in the 
vernaculars in Madras, the great proportion of them being in 

While the non-Aryans of Southern India had thus evolved 

Beating my breast, aloud 

How oft I called the crowd 
To drag the village car ; how oft I stray'd, 

In manhood's prime, to lave 

Sunwards the Oowmg wave, 
And, circling Saiva fanes, my homage paid. 

But lhe>% the truly wise, 

Who know and realize 
Where dwells the Shepherd of the Worlds, uill ncVr 

To any visible shrine, 

As if it were divine. 
Deign to raise hands of worship or of pi aycr. 

The Unitv of God and of Truth. 

God 15 one, and the Veda is one ; 

The dLsinleresledj true Guru is one, and his initiatory rite one ; 

When this is obtained his heaven is one ; 

There is but one birlh of men upon the earthy 

And only one way for all men to walk in : 

But as for those who hold four Vcdos and six shastras^ 

And dififerent customs for dtlTerenl people, 

And believe in a plurality of gods, 

Down they will go to the fire of hell ! 

God is Love. 

The ignorant think that God and love are diflfcrcnt* 

None knows that God and love are the same. 

Uid all men know that God and love are the same, 

They would dwell together in peace, considering love ab Cod. 



of North- 
ern India 


Was San- 
skrit ever 
a vernacu 

a copious literature and cultivated spoken dialects out of 
their isolated fragments of prehistoric speech^ a more statelf 
. linguistic development was going on in the Aryan noitk 
The achievements of Sanskrit as a literary vehicle in the i 
various departments of poetry, philosophy, and science, hiit 
been described in chapter iv. at such length as the scopt j 
of this work permits. But Sanskrit was only the iiiotf 
famous of several Aryan dialects in the north. One of ib 
eminent modern teachers defines it as * that dialect whidi, j 
regulated and established by the labours of the nam 
grammarians, has led for the last 2000 years or more n 
artificial life, like that of the Latin during most of the same < 
period in Europe.' ^ The Aryan vernaculars of modem In& 5 
are the descendants not of Sanskrit, but of the spoken languaga ^ 
of the Aryan immigrants into the north. The Brahmanicd j 
theory is that these ancient spoken dialects, or Prdkrits, ?roe i 
corruptions of the purer Sanskrit. European philology hM | 
disproved this view, and the question has arisen whether i 
Sanskrit was ever a spoken language at all. \ 

Dr. John 

Hen fey 's 
view : 


This question has a deep significance in the history of the .. 
Indian vernaculars, and it is necessary to present, wth the ■- 
utmost brevity, the views of the leading authorities on the 
subject. Dr. John Muir, that clarum et venerabile nomen ia 
Anglo-Indian scholarship, devotes many pages to * reasons for 
supposing tliat the Sanskrit was originally a spoken language.'* 
He traces the Sanskrit of the philosophical period to the earlier 
forms in the Vedic hymns, and concludes 'that the old 
spoken language of India and the Sanskrit of the Vedas were 
at one time identical.' ^ 

Professor Benfey gives the results of his long study of the ques- 
tion in even greater detail. He believes that Sanskrit-speaking 
migrations from beyond the Himalayas continued to follow 
one another into India down to perhaps the 9th century RC 
That Sanskrit became the prevailing Indian vernacular dialect 
throughout Hindustdn, and as far as the southern borders of 
the Maratha country. That it began to die out as a spoken 
language from the 9th century b.c, and had become exUnd 
as a vernacular in the 6th century B.C. ; its place being taken 
by derivative dialects or Prdkrits. But that it still lingered in 
the schools of the Brahmans ; and that, about the 3rd century 

1 Professor \Vhitney*s Sanskrit Gravimar^ p. ix. Leipzig, 1879. 
- Muir's Sanskrit 7'extSy vol. ii. pp. 144-160, ed. 1874. 
' /</(•'//, p. 160, and Dr. Muir'^ long footnote, Ne. 181. 


c, it was brought back into public life as a sacred language 
ilh a view to refuting the Buddhistic teachers who wrote in 
k vernacular or Prdkrit dialects. Professor Benfey also 
hdds that about the 5th century a.d. Sanskrit had diffused 
feidf over the whole of India as a literary language. We 
^Bow that a subsequent revival of Sanskrit for the Purdnic or 
^rihodox treatises of the Brdhnians, as opposed to the new 
ipbctrines of the reformers who used the vernacular, actually 
|Bok place about the loth century a.d. 

4 Lassen inclines to the same general view. He thinks that, Lassen's 
§1 the time of Asoka, the main body of Aryans of Northern ^'*^^ * 
|bdia spoke local dialects ; while Sanskrit still remained the 
speech of Brdhmans, and of dignitaries of State. 
7 Sanskrit scholars of not less eminence have come to the Sanskrit 
[fODclusion that Sanskrit was not at any time a vernacular "^^^f ^ 
pjHigue. Professor Weber assigns it to the learned alone. He language. 
^inks that the Prdkrits, or Aryan vernaculars of Northern Weber's 
^idia, were derived directly from the more ancient Vedic ^^^w. 
•fclects; while Sanskrit was *the sum of the Vedic dialects 

ttostructed by the labour and zeal of grammarians, and 
i polished by the skill of learned men.* Professor Aufrecht Aufrecht's 
flpees *in believing that Sanskrit proper (i,e. the language ^^ew. 

4, the epic poems, the law books, nay, even that of the 

kfltinanas) was never actually spoken, except in schools or by 

tke learned.' 

The question has been finally decided, however, not by Evidence 
^JSniskrit scholars in Europe, but by students of the modern ^rom 
pAiyan vernaculars in India. During the past fourteen years, a J^ndlan 
ight light has been brought to bear upon the language and speech. 
■ Swature of ancient India, by an examination of the actual 
''. Vcch of the people at the present day. 

Two learned Indian civilians, Mr. Salmon Growse and Mr. 
;, John Beames, led the way from not always concurrent points 
rfvicw. In 1872, Mr. Beames' Comparative Grammar of the 
: Moiem Aryan Languages of India ^ opened up a new field of 
kman knowledge, and began to effect for the Aryan dialects 
of the North, what Bishop Caldwell's great work accomplished The new 
Ar iX)n-Aryan speech in Southern India. Dr. Ernest Trumpp's study of 
Grammar of the Sindhi Language followed, and would probably nacuiars, 
tove modified some of Mr. Beames* views. Another learned 1872-1885. 
Sennan officer of the Indian Government, Professor Rudolf 

' TTiree volumes, TrUbner & Co. The first volume was published in 
\J2 ; the last in 1879. 


Hcemle, further specialized the research by his Comparative 
Grammar of the Gaudian Languages (1880), with particular 
reference to the Hindi. The same scholar and Mr. George 
Grierson, of the Civil Service, have, during the present yeaV 
(1885), jointly brought out the first part of a Comparatii^ Diction- 
ary of the Bihari Language^ which will enable every European 
inquirer to study the structure and framework of a modem 
Aryan vernacular for himself. These and other cognate works 
have accumulated a mass of new evidence, which settles the 
relationship of the present Aryan vernaculars to the languages 
of ancient India. 
Results They prove that those vernaculars do not descend directly 

disclosed from Sanskrit. They indicate the existence of an Aryan speech 
nacularef' older than Sanskrit, older, perhaps, than the Vedic hymns ; 
from which the Sanskrit, the Prakrits or ancient spoken dialects 
of India, and the modern vernaculars were alike derived. 
Passing beyond the Vedic period, they show that ancient Aryan 
speech diverged into two channels. The one channel poured its 
stream into the ocean of Sanskrit, a language * at once archaic 
Diver- and artificial,' elaborated by the Brdhmanical schools.^ The 
gence of other channel branched out into the Prdkrits or ancient spoken 
and Pra- vernaculars. The artificial Sanskrit {Samskrita^ ue. the per- 
1^'it- fected language) attained its complete development in the 

grammar of Pinini (circ. 350 b.c.).2 The Prakrits {i,e, naturally 
evolved dialects) found their earliest extant exposition in the 
rdnini and grammar of Vararuchi, about the ist century b.c.^ But the 
Vararuchi. 4000 algebraic aphorisms of Pdnini mark the climax of the 
labours of probably a long antecedent series of Sanskrit 
elaborators, while Vararuchi stands at the head of a long series 
of subsequent Prakrit grammarians. 

The The spread of the Aryans from Northern India is best 

I'rakrits marked by the southern advance of their languages. The 

south. three great routes of Prakrit speech to the southward were — 

down the Indus valley on the west j along the Ganges valley 

to the east; and through certain historical passes of the 

* Ilcernle and Grierson 's ComparcUivc Diet iotiary of the Bihdri Language^ 
pp. 33 and 34. Secretariat Press, Calcutta, 1885. It should be remein- 
bered that Indian grammarians, when speaking of the Vedic language 
technically, do not call it Sanskrit, but Chhandas, They restrict the 
technical application of Sanskrit to the scholastic language of the Brah- 
mans, elaborated on the lines of the earlier Vedic. 

* Vide anU, pp. lOO et seq, 

* Hoernle's Cowparaiive Grammar of the Gaudian Languages^ p. xviii. 
et scq.f ed. 1880. 



pild/iyas in the centre. Between 500 B.C. and 500 .\.rv^ the Their 

Sfern or Apabhramsa dialects of Prakrit had spread across ^^i^^ ''"*^^* 

Indus basin, and down the Bombay coast During the 

ire period dialects of Eastern or Magadhi Prdkrit had 

Uf>ied the valleys of the Jumna and the Ganges. Aryan 

speaking the Mahardshtri and Sauraseni Prikrits, had 

through the Vindhyan passes, one of their great lines 

rch being that followed by the Jabalpur Railway at the 

It day. The Mahdrashtrf dialect reached as far south as 

, on the western coast. The peninsiila, to the south and 

of the Mahdrdshtri linguistic frontier, was inhabited by 

[Dravidian or Paisichf-speaking races. 

ly degrees the main Prakrits, or spoken Aryan dialects, Cla&stfita- 
krentiated themselves into local vernaculars, each occupying p*^", '^ 
3re contracted area. A series of maps has been compiled 
i^ing the stages of jthis process between 500 b.c and 1800 
^* Various classifications have been framed, both of the 

vernaculars and of the ancient Prakrits. Varamchi, Vara^ 
jearli^t Prd.krit grammarian extant, enumerates four classes ^^^1^ ^^^'^ 
|tbe 1st century b.c, — Mahdrashtrf, now Marithi;-" Saura- 
, now the Braj of the North-Wcstern Provinces ; Magadhi, 
Bihin ; and Paisdchi, loosely applied to outlying non- 
dialects from Nepal to Cape Comorin. 
I Apart from the last-named Paisdchi^ the literary Prdkrits The two 
divide themselves between two great linguistic areas. ^^V^ , 
"eni, with the so-called Mahardshtrf, occupied the 
part of the North-Western Provinces, and sent forth 
ots through the Vindhya passes as far south as Goa, 
li spread itself across the middle valley of the 
with its brightest literary centre in Behar. These 
the two parents of the most highly developed of the 
vernaculars of modern India. The Apabhramsa, or 
oken* dialects of the Indus region, may for the moment 
I left out of sight. 

I The Prdkrits, or spoken Aryan dialects of ancient India, Prikriis 
rived their first literary impulse from Buddhism. As the J^'^^*;^^^*:!' 
rimans elaborated bansknl mlo the wTitten vehicle for their j/ts, 

' Prefixed to Mfvrnk* and Grierson's Ccmparaiive Dittionary cf tht 
\ LoMgua^, Sec al.s<i tlic Language Map appended to Ilternle's 

Grammar of the Gaudian Languages, 
[f, Bearoes thinks thai there is as much of ihe Magadhf and Saitra- 
f^pem ihe mcxlem Marithl as there is of the Mahanxshld Prakrit, 
Grammar cf ihe Modern Aryan Lnnguages^ vol. i. p. 34, etl. 
He holds that Marathi reprotluces the name rather than the sub- 
^ <yf M aha rash trf. 
vou V t. Y 




scriptures ; 

orthodox religion, so the teachers of the new faith appealed to 
the people by works in the popular tongues. The Buddhist 

for their missionaries to Ceylon, circ, 307 b.c, carried with them 

' the spoken Prikrit of the Gangetic kingdom of Magadha. 

This dialect of Northern Indian became Pdli, literally the 

series or catena of holy scripture in Ceylon. While the early 

Buddhists thus raised the Eastern or Magadhf Prikrit of 

and by the Behar to a sacred language, the Jains made use of the Mahar- 








dshlrl Prdkrit of Western India for their religious treatises. 
In this way, the two most characteristic of the six)ken Aryan 
dialects of ancient India obtained a literary fixity, during the 
centuries shortly before and after the commencement of our 

The Prdkrits also remained the speech of the people, and 
underwent those processes of development, decay, and re- 
generation to which all spoken languages are subject. On 
the one hand, therefore, we have the literary Magadhf and 
Mahdrt[shtri Prdkrits of the beginning of the Christian era, the 
former embalmed in the Buddhist scriptures of Ceylon, the 
latter in the Jain sacred books of Western India. On the 
other hand, we have the spoken representatives of these two 
ancient Prakrits in the modem vernaculars of Behar and of 
the Mardthd country.^ 

<jf modern 
lars from 



The evolution of the modem vernaculars from the ancient 
Prdkrits is involved in deep obscurity. The curtain falls on 
the era of Prdkrit speech within a few hundred years after the 
birth of Christ, and does not again draw up until the loth 
century. When it rises, Prdkrit dialects have receded from 
the stage, and their place has been taken by the modern 
vernaculars. During the dark inter\'al, linguistic changes had 
taken place in the old Prdkrits not less important than those 
which transformed Latin into Italian and Anglo-Saxon into 
English. Those changes are now being elucidated by the 
series of comparative grammars and dictionaries mentioned 
on pp. 335-36. It is only practicable here to state the most 
important of the results. 

The old Prakrits were synthetical in structure. The 

^ This statement leaves untouched the question how far Marathf is the 
direct representative of Maharashtrf, or how far it is derived from the 
Saurasenf Prakrit. As already mentioned, both the Sauraseni and Mahar- 
ashtri poured through the Vindhya passes into South-Western India, and 
combined to form the second of the two main Prakrits referred to in 
the classification on a previous page. 



modern Ar)*an vernaculars of India are essentia!ly analytical The 

During the eight centuries while the curtain hangs down pi^^jtl^^s*^ 

before the stage, the synthetic inflections of the Prakrits 

had worn out. The terminals of their nouns and verbs 

had given place to post-positions, and to the disjointed 

modern particles to indicate lime, place, or relation. The 

function performed in the European languages by prepositions 

for the nouns are discharged, as a rule, by post-positions in 

the modern Indian vernaculars. The process was spontaneous, become 

and it represents the natural course of the human mind* vemacu^ 

*The flower of synthesis/ to use the words at once eloquent krs, 

and accurate of Mr. Bearaes, * budded and opened; and 

when full-blown began, like all other flowers, to fade. Its 

petals, that is its inflections, dropped olT one by one ; and in 

due course the fruit of analytical structure sprung up beneath 

it, and grew and ripened in its stead/ ^ 

As regards their vocabularies, the Aryan vernaculars of Three 

modern India are made up of three elements. One class of f„*^!"!!!^* 

* _ in vema- 

their words is named Tatsama, * the same as ' the corresponding culars ; 
words in Sanskrit. A second class is termed Tadbhava, ' similar Sanskrit 
in nature or origin* to the corresponding words in Sanskrit* p .. . ' 
The third class is called Desaja, or * countr>'-born.' This iatMavas. 
classification is an ancient one of the Indian grammarians, and Kon- 
it is so far artificial that it refers the modern vernaculars to Arynn 
Sanskrit standards ; while we know that the modern vernaculars '^'V'^' 
were derived not from the Sanskrit, but from the Prikrits. It 
suffices, however, for practical pur]>oses. 

The great body of modern Indian speech belongs to the Their 
second or Tadbhava class of words, and may be taken loosely ^^^^"^ 
to represent its inheritance from the old spoken dialects or work ; 
Prdkrils. But the vernaculars have enriched themselves for 
literary purposes by many terms imported directly from the 
Sanskrit ; to represent religious, philosophical, or abstract ideas, and Sans- 
These are the Tatsamas, * the same as* in Sanskrit, The dif- ^"^^^ *^""'"'^" 
ferent vernaculars borrow such 'idt-nticar words from Sanskrit 
in widely varying proiiortions. The strongest of the vernaculars, 
such as Hindi and Mardthf, trust most to their own Tadbhava 
or Prakrit element ; while the more artificial of them, like 
the Bengali and Uriyd, are most largely indebted to direct 
importations of Sanskrit words. 

The third element in modern vernacular speech is the 
Desaja, or *countr)^-born/ This represents the non-Aryan and 

* Mr. Beamcs' Comparativt Grammar ojthi Motiertt Aryan Lan^uagts 
ef India ^ vol. i. p. 45 (ed. 1872), 




element in 
the ver- 
naculars ; 

less im- 
port ant 

of non* 
voftls r 

in Sindhl, 





The real 


link II own. 

Other words not derived either from the Sanskrit ox the PVp^ 
At one time it was supposed, indeed, that the modern i"^^ 
culars of India were simply made up of the San'iknt o/^^ 
Aryan settlers, modified by, and amalgamated with, the sp< 
of the ruder non- Aryan races whom they subdued Mo< 
philology renders this theory no longer tenable. It has ^ 
that Sanskrit played a comparatively unimportant functia 
the formation of those vernaculars. It also tends to showj 
the non-Aryan element is less influential than was supp 
Both in structure and in vocabulary the modern vemac 
of India are the descendants neither of the written San 
nor of the aboriginal tongues, but of the Prakrits or 
dialects of the ancient Aryans. 

In regard to grammatical structure, this position is '■ 
firmly established- But the proportion of aboriginal or noB-' 
Aryan words in the modem Indian vernaculars still remaiw 
undetermined. The non-Ar)an scholars, with Brian Hodgsoft 
and Bishop Caldwell at their head, assign a con 
influence to the non- Aryan element in the modern verr; 
Dn Ernest Trumpp believes that nearly three-fourths of ^t 
Sindhf words commencing with a cerebral are taken fromsoiBe 
non'Ar}Mn or Scythic language, which he would prefer to ail 
Tatdr. He thinks, indeed, that there is very strong proof tw 
show that the cerebral letters themselves were borrowed, by 
the Prakrits and modern Indian vernaculars, from some idioio 
anterior to the introtluction of the Aryan languages into Indii 
Bishop Caldwell states that the non-Aryan element, even in 
the Northern Indian languages, has been estimated at flOfi' 
tenth of the whole, and in the Marathf at one-fifth.* 

Such generalizations are not accepted by the most ctninenl 
students of the Indo-Aryan vernaculars. Mr. Beames strongly 
expresses his view that the speech of the conquering Arjaitf 
completely overmastered that of the aboriginal tribes. Tl« 
early grammarians were wont to regard as Desaja, or noth 
Aryan, all words for which they could not discover a TittsaiQi 

^ See Mr. Brian Houghton Hodgson's AhoHgina tf Indian CitoiWi 
1849; and pp. 1-152 of vol. ii. of his MisctUanfmts Essays ^Tnllm«< 
iSSo). Also the Rev, Dr. Stuvenson's paper in the yourstai of tk ^^^ 
S&ritty &f Baminiy, 

* Bishop Caldwell's Comparative Grammar of tht Dravitiian LanC^' 
introcl. p. 57 (ed. 1875), Lassen held that llie aboriginal tribes noif^ 
inlrotluced * peculiar varieties into the Prakrit dialects/ but aliO 'oc* 
sioned very j^reai corruptions of sound and form in the Indo-Ari^n l*"" 
guages ' i/nJisc/tr AiUrthumskmtdCf \L 1 1 49). But the more recent Uv»f 
ligations of Beanies, Harnle, .md Gricrson render these dicta doublfil 



or Tadbhava origin. Ihit ihe more delicate processes of 
modern i»hilology have reduced ihc number of this class, and 
tend still further to diminish it. The truth is, that until a 
eunaplcte examination is made with the new lights, both of 
the vocabulary and of the siriicture of the Indian vernaculars, 
no final conclusion c^n be arrived at. 

Dr. Hctirnle thus sums up the existing knowledge in regard fre^ent 
to the group of Indian vernaculars on which he is the highest P^=^'|''^" 
aotnonty : M hat there are non-Aryan elements in the Bihari, question, 
I have no doubt. Considenng that the Aryans immigrated 
into India^ and absorbed large masses of the indigenous 
liopuiation into their ranks, it would be a wonder if no portion 
fjl the aboriginal languages had become incorporated into the 
Aryan sjieech. But what the several constituents of that 
aboriginal |K>rtion are, and what proportion they bear to the 
Arj^an clement in the vernacular language, it is impossible at 
liresent to form any scientific opinion. And what is more, — 
it is im|>ossible to say whether the assumed aboriginal portion 
of the Aryan speech was Dravidian, or some other language, 
such as Kolarian or Tibeto-Burman/ ^ 

Letter from Dr. Rutlolf Hcemlc to ihe author, daleil 28th May 18S5. 
lincmlc continues— * Attempts have Ijcen mnde now nnd then {€.^. in 
The Indian Atttiiptary) to show that some particular selected words of the 
North Indian languages are rciUy Dm vidian, liul thc*c. even supposing 
they had Ijccn aucccssful, would not enable any one to pronounce an 
opinion on the general question of tlic proportion of non-Arjan words in 
the Gautlian languages. As a matter of fact, some of ihese attempts, 
notahly those rcfeiTTng to the genitive nnd dative post- postilions {kA^ ke^ ki^ 
etc), have been conspicuous failures. It is now, 1 think» generally 
admitted that ihese post^positions are thoroughly Aryan, The trntli is, that 
the way in which the question of the non -Aryan element in ihc vernaculars 
5houkl he aj>proachcd has been hitherto abiiosi entirely misconceived. A 
little considcraiion must convince any one that whatever alKiriginal ele- 
ments there may be in the vernaculars, they must have been incorporated 
into them hefbre the present vernacular limes, I hat U,, in the pcdotl when 
Sannkrit and Prakrit flourished. The question therefore properly stands 
Ihus — What are the aboriginal elements in hianakrit and IVakrit? The 
vernaculars arose from Prakrit (aiiti in a certain sense from Sanskrit) 
according to certain phonetic laws peculiar to the Ar>'an languages. 
Hence it is next to useless to Irj' to refer Hihari (or any Aryan) verna- 
cular words direct to the Dravitlinn. They must in the hr^t place be 
referred Wck (by the well-known Arj'an phonetic laws) to their earlier 
forms in Prakrit and Sanskrit. Only when this is done, the question can 
properly 1^ asked whether they are Aryan or non- Aryan. And in order to 
decide this question, it wll, among other points, have to be considered 
whether they possess correlates in the other Aryan languages if,g, of 
Kurop«). But there is every probability that there is a considerable 
numtier of words in Sanskrit and Prakrit which are not Aryan, but only 



sition of 
ihe vcma- 
cuhrs : 

( 1) Prakrit 

(2) Abori. 
gin a! 

(3) Sans- 
krit bor- 

(4) FVrsian 

At present, therefore, we cannot advance further thaaj 
four following conclusions ; — First, that in grammatical 
tiire and in their vocabularies, the modern analytical 
naculars of India represent the old synthetic Prakrits; i^\ 
process of development, decay, and regeneration, whidi 1 
been going on» as the result of definite linguistic laws,dti 
the past fifteen hundred yeats. Second, that the modfl 
vernaculars contain a non-Aryan element, derived from ' 
so-called aborigines of India ; but that this element has 
slightly affected their grammatical structure, and that 
proportion which it holds in their vocabularies is yet undcl 
mined. Third, that the modem vernaculars have cnrid 
themselves, for literary and philosophical purposes, by< 
and conscious borrowings from the Sanskrit. Fourth, 
they have also imported many terms connected with 
administration, the land revenue, judicial business, and off 
life, from the Persian court language of the Afghdn vi 
Mughal dynasties. 

The seven 
(r) SindhL 

(2) ?iin- 

(3) Guja- 

(4) HtndL 

(3) Mara- 

The Arj^an vernaculars of modern India may be distribu) 
according to their geographical areas into seven main 

Towards the north-western frontier, Sindhi is spoken 
the descendants of the shepherd tribes and the settle 
who were left behind by the main stream of the prehisi 
Ar}'an immigrants. The Sindhi language abounds in words d 
non-Aryan origin ; it contains very few Tatsamas, i,t. Sanskij 
words in their original shape ; and it is almost destitute of I 
original literature. The Punjabi language is spoken in t!ii 
valleys of the Indus and its tributaries. Like the Sindhi, l 
contains few Tatsamas, Le, words borrowed directly from i 

Gujarathf occupies the area immediately to the south ( 
Punjabf; while Hindi is conterminous with the Punjabi 
the east. These two languages rank next to Punjabi 
respect to the paucity of words borrowed directly from 
Sanskrit. They are chiefly comjKJsed of Tadbhava, Le. wo 
representing the Prakrits or old spoken dialects. Ma 
is spoken tn the Districts to the south and east of the Gaja- 

Aryani£CtL The question, however, has never l>een syslcm&tically « 
satisfactorily investigated. Some attempts have latietly been made in t)iW 
direction by showing that not a few Sanskrit words are, in reality, Ptikrii 
words Sanskritized. lire next step wiD be to show ihat souic I'ra^r^ 
words are non-Aryan words Trakritiied (i>. Aryanixed).' 


rdthi frontier; Bengali succeeds to Hindf in the east of Bengal (6)nengalL 
and the Gangelic delta; while Uriya occupies the Mahanadi (7) Uriyd. 
delta and the coast of the Bay of Bengal from near the mouth 
of the Hiigli to the northern Districts of Madras. These 
three last-named vernaculars, Mardthf, Bengali, and Uriya* are 
most largely indebted to modern and artificial importations 
direct from the Sanskrit. 

With the exception of Sindhi, the modern vernaculars of Vcmacurar 
India have each a literature of their own. Some of them, htcratiuv. 
indeed, possess a very rich and copious literature. This subject 
scil! awaits careful study. The lamented Garcin de Tassy has Garcin de 
shown how interesting, and how rich in results, that study may "l^*^)'- 
be rendered. His history of Hindi literature,^ and his yearly 
review of works published in the Indian vernaculars, furm a 
unique monument to the memory of a scholar who worked 
under the disadvantage of never having resided in India. 
But the unexhausted literary stores of the Indian vernaculars 
can only be appreciated by personal inejuiry among the natives 
themselves. The barest summary of the written and unwritten 
works in the modern Indian vernaculars is altogether beyond 
the scope of the present work. It can merely indicate the 
wealth of unprioted, and in many cases unwritten, works 
handed down from generation to generation, arranged in 
geographical areas. The chapter will then conclude by 
selecting for description a few authors from three of the most 
advanced of the vernaculars — namely Hindi, Marithf, and 
Bengab'. It will not touch on the Persian or Musalman 
literature of the Delhi Empire. 

As regards the isolated vernacular of Orissa, the present Vernacular 
writer has elsewhere given an analytical catalogue of 107 Uriyd ^^^^*^*^ 
authors, with a brief description of 47 Uriya manuscripts of in Uriyd ; 
undetermined authorship.^ Several of the Uriya poets and 
theologians were prolific authors, and have left behind them 
a number of distinct compositions. Thus, Dina Krishna Dis 
{circ. 1550 A, a) was so popular a writep as to earn for 
himself the title of *The Son of God Jagannath.' Hts 
separate works number fifteen, and embrace a wide range 
of subjects, from * the Waves of Sentiment,* an account of 
the youthful sports of Krishna, to severe medical treatises. 
Another Orissa poet of the i6th century composed 25 works, 

' Hisioire dc In Literature HinJmne it Huuhustanit^ par M. Garcin 
de Tassy, 3 vols, large octavo, 2nd ed., Paris, 1870-71. 
* Hunter's Orissa^ vol \\, A pp. ix. ed. 1S72. 


on religious and metaphysical subjects, such as * A Walk round 
the Sacred Enclosures of the Puri Temple,' and * The Sea of 
the Nectar of Faith.' The greatest of the Uriyd poets, Upen- 
dra Bhanj, a Rajd of Gumsar, belongs to nearly the same 
period He left behind him 42 collections of poems and 
treatises, some of them of great length. 

Messrs. Hcemle and Grierson have lately exhibited the 
local literature of Behar, and its sub-divisions, with admirable 
learning and distinctness.^ It must suffice here to refer the 

in Bihari. Student to their lists of works in Bihdri and the modem dialects 
of the Gaudian group. 

Kajputana An idea of the wealth of poetry current in Rdjputina may 
be gathered from the following statement The figures are 
taken from a manuscript note forwarded to the author by the 
Rev. John Traill, Presbyterian missionary at Jaipur. Besides 
the ordinary Hindi works, such as translations from the Sanskrit, 
the Rdjputs have a vast store of religious poetry and traditional 
song, still living in the mouths of the people. The works of 
only a single sect can be specified in detail 

Dadu. Dadu, a religious reformer, born at Ahmadibad in 1544, 

left behind him a Bdni, or body of sacred poetry, extending 
to twenty thousand lines. His life, by Jai Gopdl, runs to 
three thousand lines. Fifty-two disciples spread his doctrine 
throughout Rdjputdna and Ajmere, each of them leaving, 
a large collection of religious verse. The literary fertility of 

Sacred the sect may be inferred from the works of nine of the 

poetry of a disciples. The poems and hymnology of Gharib Das are 
^^ ' said to amount to 32,000 lines; Jaisd is stated to have 
composed 124,000 lines; Prayag Dds, 48,000 lines; Rajab-ji, 
72,000 lines; Bakhna-ji, 20,000 lines; Bdba Banwdri Dds, 
12,000 lines; Shankar \^i&^ 4400 lines; Siindar Dds, 120,000 
hnes ; and Mddhu Dis, 68,000 lines. 

Dadu These figures are stated on the authority of Mr. Traill, 

hymno- ^nd they are subject to the qualification that no European 
** ' scholar has yet collected the writings of the sect They are 
given as reported by the natives among whom the poems 
are still current It is to be regretted that so little has yet 
been done to edit the stores of vernacular literature in the 
Feudatory States of India, A noble task lies before the more 
enlightened of the native princes ; and in this task they would 
receive the willing assistance of English scholars now in 

^ Comparative Dictionary of the Bihar I Language^ pp. 38-42 (quarto ; 
Calcutta, 1885). 



p J. ve macular 

A very brief notice of the most distinguished authors in Selected 
Hindi, Marithi, and Bengah^ iniist conclude this chapter, 
practic-al purposes, those three vernaculars represent the highest 
modem development of the modern Indian mind This is, 
of course, exclusive of the Dravidian literature in the south of 
India, which has already been dealt with at the beginning of 
the chapter. The monastic hterature of Burma is almost 
entirely a reproduction of the ancient Buddhist writings, and 
does not come within the scope of this work. 


Hindi ranks, perhaps, highest among the Indian vernaculars 
in strength and dignity. At the head of Hindi authors is 
Chand Bardai. Chand was a native of Lahore, but lived at 
the court of Prithwi Rdja, the last Hindu sovereign of Delhi, 
at the close of the twelfth century.^ His poems are a col- 
lection of ballads in which he recites, in his old age, the gallant 
deeds of the royal master whom he had served, and whose sad 
fate he had survived. They disclose the nncient Pnikrit in 
the very act of passing into the modern vernacular. In gram- 
matical structure they still retain many relics of the synthetic or 
inflectional type ; although the analytical forms of the modern 
vernaculars are beginning to crowd out these remnants of the 
earlier phase of the Indian speech. C hand's ballads have 
been printed, but they also survive in the mouths of the people. 
They are still sung by wandering bards throughout North- 
western India and Rrtjputana, to near the mouths of the 
Indus, and to the frontier of Baluchistan. 

The vernacular literatures derived their chief impulsCj how- 
ever, not from court minstrelsy, but from religious movemenis* 
Each new sect seems to have been irresistibly prompted to 
embody its doctrines in verse. Kabfr, the Indian Luther of 
the fifteenth ctntury, may be said to have created the sacred 
literature of Hindi/^ His Ramainfs and Sabdas form an 
immense body of religious poetry and doctrine. In the 
following century, Sur Das of Mathura, Nabhaji and 
Keshava Dds of Bijdpur, wrote respectively the Siirsdgar, the 
Bhaktam^li^, and the Rimchandrika, A brief notice of the 
Bhaktamala has already been given at pnge 208. In the 
seventeenth centurvj Bihari Ldl, of the ancient city of Amber 
near Jaipur, composed his famous Satsai ; and Bundel- 
khand produced its prince of poets, Lai Kavi, the author 
of the Chhatra Prakds, All these were natives of western 

For Prithwi Raja, vt\ie mttty chap, x. p. 276. 
' For Kabir's work as a reIig:ious refurmer, vide antt^ pp. 20S, siS. 

atilhors ; 

1 2ih cen- 
tury A.0. 


15th ccn- 
lury A.D. 

1 6th cen- 

I7tb ecu* 



iSlh ccn^ 

igth ccn- 



Dcva, i^tli 

imy k.iK 


17th CL-Il^ 

Utry A. I). 

Pa 11 till, 
iSik ccn- 
tuiy A.D. 

Hindusidn, except Kabir, who belonged to the 

The last troubled years of the Mughal d3masty in 
eighteenth century brought about a silence in Hindi liteiat^ 
That silence was effectually broken by the introduction of I 
printing press in the nineteenth century. It has been 
ceeded by a great outburst of Hindi activity in prose and 1 
Every decade now produces hundreds of Hindf public 
to some extent reproductions or translations of ancient aud 
but also to a large extent original work. 

The Mardihds are scarcely more celebrated as a milift 
than as a literary race. Their language is highly dcvelo 
and possesses structural complications attractive to the In 
student. The first Marathi poet of fame was Nam 
about the end of the thirteenth century. Like his co 
porary, Dnyinoba the author of the celebrated Dn>^eshi 
he was deeply impressed with the spiritual aspects of 
Indeed, almost all the Mardthi writers are religious 
About the year 1571, Sridhar compiled his huge 
adaptation or paraphrase of the Sanskrit Puranas. 

Marathi poetry reached its highest flight in the Abb 
or spiritual poems of Tukarim or Tukoba (cin\ 16 
This famous ascetic started life as a petty shopkeeper; 
failing in retail trade, he devoted himself to reUgion 
hterature. The object of his adoration was Vithoba, a i 
tion of Bishtu or Vishnu. Tukardm was the i)opular 
Western India of the reformed Vishnuite faith which Chaits 
had taught in Bengal. He inveighed with peculiar unc 
and beauty against the riches of the world, which in his \ 
years he had himself failed to secure. 

About 1720^ Mayiir Pandit or Moropanth poured forth ^j 
copious song in strains which some regard as even 
elevated than the poems of Tukardm. 

Besides its accumulations of religious verse, Marathi ] 
a prose literature, among which the chief compositions i 
Bakhars or Annals of the Kings. It is also rich in lo\*e \ 
and farcical poetry of a broad style of wit. 

ikngali Bengali is» in some respects, the most modem of the In 

literatme; vernaculars. As a spoken language, it begins on the 
where Hindi ends on the south ; that is to say, in the Gan 
valley below Behar. From Rdjmahal on the north to 
Bay of Bengal, and from Assam on the east to Orissa on ih 




west, Bengali forms the speech of about 50 mniions of people itsgeo- 
in the valleys and deltas of the Brahmaputra and the Ganges. fJe^."' 
The language exhibits clearly marked dialectical modifications 
in the north, the east, and the west, of this great area. But 
for literar)' purposes, Bengali may be regarded as a linguistic 
entity* Indeed, literary Bengali of the modern type is, to 
some extent, an artificial creation, Much more than the and 
Hindf, it has enriched itself by means of words directly im- J^^^^*^^*^ 
ported from the Sanskrit. Such words not only supply the 
philosophical, religious, and abstract temis of Bengali litera- 
ture, but they enter largely into the ever)^-day language of 
the people. I'his is to some extent due to the circumstance 
that the BengaHs have very rapidly adopted western ideas. 
With the introduction of such ideas arose the necessity for new 
terms; and for these terms, Bengali writers naturally turned 
towards the Sanskrit. 

The process has not been confined, however, to philosophic Sanskniiz- 
works. Even in poetry, the best Bengali writers of the present J?^ ^^'^' 
day affect a more classical style than that of their predecessors BengnU, 
from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centur)^ In 17 lines 
of Bengali verse taken from a contemporary periodical » the 
Banga-darshana^ there are only six or seven words which are 
not Sanskrit importations. *If we progress in this direction a 
century longer,' writes a native author, * the Bengali language 
will be distinguishable from the Sanskrit only by the case 
terminations and mood and tense terminations,' * The frame- 
work of the colloquial language still continues to be derived 
from the Prdkrit, although Sanskrit terms are diffusing them- 
selves even among the spoken language of the educated 

Bengali literature commences with the vernacular poets of Three 
the fourteenth century. During its first two hundred years, i^"2ff^ 
Bengali song was devoted to the praises of Krishna, and the literature ; 
loves of the young god. In the sixteenth century two great (i) 14th in 
revolutions, religious and political, took place in Bengal J^^^J^ ^*^"' 
In the political world, the independent Afghdn dynasty 
of Bengal succumbed to the advancing Mughal powers and 

1 Th£ LiUratarc &/ Bengal^ by Arcy Dae, p. 43, Calcutta, 1 877. Th!?* 
in teres ting volume is baMrd or^ the more elaborate Bengali work of Pandit 
Rimgah Nyaralna. A compleie treaimenl of the subject is still a desider- 
atum, which it is hoped that Bengali research will before long supply. 
Mr. Dae, whose volume has been freely used in the foUowmg pages, would 
confer a beneBt both on his countrymen and on European students of the 
Indian vernaculars, by undertaking the task. 


Bengal was finally incorporated as a Province of the Dellii 

(2) i6th to In religion, a reformation of the Sivaite religion was 
iSthcen- effected under Brdhman impulses, and Krishna - worship 

receded from its literary pre-eminence. During the next two 
hundred and fifty years Bengali poetry found its chief theme in 
the praises of Kill or Chandf, the queen of Siva, who is alike 
the god of Destruction and of Reproduction. Early in the 

(3) J9th nineteenth century, European influences began to impress them- 
century. selves on Bengali thought Bengali literature accordingly 

entered upon a third period, the period through which it is 

still passing, and which corresponds to the imported Western 

civilisation of India in the nineteenth century. 

Bid;)'apati Putting aside Jayadeva of Birbhiim, the Sanskrit singer in 

i4ih cen- ^^ twelfth century, Bengali poetry commences with Bidydpati 

tur}'. Thdkur, a Brdhman of Tirhiit Bidydpati adorned the court 

of King Sivasinha of TirhUt in the fourteenth century ; and a 

deed of gift, still existing, proves that he had made his fame 

before 1400 a.d. Although popularly claimed as the Chaucer 

of Bengal, he wrote in what must now be regarded as a Biharf 

rather than a Bengali dialect ; and recited in learned verse the 

Chandf loves of Ridha and Krishna. About the same period Chandi 

Das, isth j)^c a BirbhUm Brdhman, took up the sacred strain in the 
century. . 

Bengali tongue. Originally a devotee of the goddess Chandi, 

queen of Siva, he was mitaculously converted to the worship 

of Krishna, whose praises he celebrated in a less learned, but 

more forcible colloquial style. To' these two poets and their 

followers, Krishna was a lover rather than a deity; and his 

mistress Rddhi, more of a pastoral beauty than a goddess. 

But their poetry constantly realizes that beneath the human 

amours of the divine pair, lies a deep spiritual significance. 

Verses by This didactic side of their poetry may be illustrated by three 

Jiidydpati. verses of Bidydpati to Krishna under his title of Mddhava, 

*The Honeyed One.' 

A Hymn to Krishna. 

* O ! Madhava ! our final stay, 

The Saviour of the world Thou art, 
In mercy look upon the weak, 
To Thee I turn with trustful heart. 

Half of my life in sleep has past ; 

In illness — boyhood — years have gone, 
In pleasure*s vortex long I roamed, 

Alas I forgetting Thee, the One. 


Unnombered beings live am) die, 
They rise from Thee and sink in Thee, 

(Thou uncreate and without end !) 
Like ripples meklng in the sea, ' ^ 

, Al the beginning of the sixteenth century, the great religious 

W&mner Chaitanya - gave a more serious turn to the poetry of 

He preached the worship of Vislvnu, and the doctrine 

,rtg faith in that deity. Krishna was the pastoral incar- 

on of the god j but the Vishnuism taught by Chaitanyd 

Itzed the human element in the amours which the 

j'oets had somewhat warmly sung, Chaitanyi declared 

Wm spiritual equality of mankind^ and combated the cruel 

^ ^ons of caste. His doctrine amounted to a protest 

the Hinduism of his day, although it has been skilfully 

rated by the later Hinduism of our own. The oppo- 

. excited by Chaitanya's Vishnuite refonnation, took the 

of a revival of the worship of Siva and his queen, 

were thus, in the sixteenth centur>', two great religious 

lents going on in Bengal ; the one in favour of Vishnu, 

ind person of the Hindu triad ; and the other in favour 

liiu, the third person of that trinity. The more serious 

1 which Chaitanya gave to Vishnuism did not lend itself 

iputar song so easily as the human loves of Krishna, 

by the earlier Vishnuite poets. On the other hand^ 

iter revival of Sivaism accepted as its objects of adora- 

some form or other of the Goddess of Destruction and 

uction under her various names -* of Umi, Pdrvatf, 

Kdli, or Chandu These names suggested alike the 

and the mercies of the Queen of Siva, and appealed in 

ial manner to a people dwelling amid the stiJ|jendous 

rophes of nature in a deltaic Province like Bengal. 

"he result was an outburst of Bengali song, which took as 

iheme the praises of Chandi, the wife of Siva. Kirtibds 

a Brihman of Nadiya District in the sixteenth century, 

,s the transition stage. Kirtibds drew his inspiration from 

Sajisknt epics, and his great w^ork is the Bengali version of 

Rdmdyana, His translation is still recited by Ghattaks or 

at a thousand religious and festive gatherings every year 

houi Bengal Its modem versions have received much 

_hlly altered from the rendering of Mr. Dae's LitcreUun 0/ Bengal, 
KBose&Co,, Calcutta, 1877). 

YidgMfUt^ pp. 219-21, 

^or the different names of the wife of Siva, and the aspects of the 
ddcss which these names connote, vidt tattt^ pp. 211, 212. 


mcnts nf 
the l6th 








Ojha, i6i}i 

The transi- 
tion poet. 

MXldcss which 1 


re-touching from later poets of the classical or Sanskritizing 
school; but an old copy of 1693 proves that Kirtibds wrote 
in a strong colloquial style, with a ring and rhythm of peculiar 
His Ben- beauty. The Rdmdyana recites the achievements of the heroic 
jpH Ram- incarnation of Vishnu, and Kirtibds Ojhd may therefore be 
claimed as a Vishnuite poet But in reality his work marks 
the Sanskrit revival which gave the impulse to the Sivaite 
or Chandi poets of the next two and a half centuries. 
Sivaite and These Sivaite poets kept possession of Bengali literature during 
poets! i6th ^^ *S° years which elapsed before the commencement of the 
to i8th third or present period. First among them was Makunda 
century. j^^^ Chakravarti, a Brdhman of Bardwdn District, and a con- 
Makunda temporary of Kirtibds Ojhd in the i6th century. He was 
Kam. driven from his home by the oppressions of Muhammadan 

officers, and his verses give a lifelike picture of the Muham- 
madan land settlement of Lower Bengal. All classes, he says, 
were crushed with an equal tyranny ; fallow lands were entered 
as arable, and by a false measurement, three-fourths of a 
bighd were taxed as a full bighd. In the collection of the 
revenue, the oppressions were not less than in the assessment. 
The treasury officers deducted more than one rupee in seven for 
short weight and exchange. The husbandmen fled from their 
lands, and threw their cattle and goods into the markets, *so that 
a rupee worth of things sold for ten annas.* Makunda Rdm's 
family shared the common ruin ; but the young poet, after a 
wandering life, found shelter as tutor in the family of Bdn- 
kurd Deb, a powerful landholder of Birbhiim and Midnapur 
Districts. He was honoured with the title of Kabi Kankan, or 
the Jewel of Bards, and wrote two great poems besides minor 
The story His most popular work is the story of Kdlketn, the hunter. 
S^^'m^*^^^"' ^^^^^^"» ^ ^^"^ ^^ Indra, King of Heaven, is bom upon earth 
kunda as a poor hunter. In his celestial existence he had a devoted 
Kam. wife, and she, too, is born in this world, and becomes his 

faithful companion throughout their allotted earthly career. 
Their mortal births had been brought about by the goddess 
Chandi, queen of Siva, in order that she might have a city 
founded and dedicated to herself. The poor hunter and his 
wife, Fullord, after years of hardship, are guided to a buried 
treasure by their kind patroness, Chandi. With this, the 
hunter builds a city, and dedicates it to the goddess. But 
misled by a wicked adviser, he goes to war with the King of 
Kalinga on the south, is defeated, and cast into prison. In 
due time Chandi rescues her foolish but faithful servant At 


last the hunter and his true wife die and ascend to heaven* 
He lives again as the son of Indra, while FuUord again becomes 
his celestial spouse. 

The other poem of Makunda Rdni narrates the adventures The Sri- 
of a spice merchant, Dhanapaii^ and his son, Srimanta Sada- "Iff^^^r of 
gar. A celesiial nymph, Khullond, is sent down to live on Makumb 
earth as penance for a venial offence. She grows mto a ^^"^* 
beautiful girl, and is wedded by the rich merchant, Dhanapati, 
who has, however, already a first wife. Before the marriage 
can be consummated, the king of the countr}' sends off the 
merchant to Eastern Bengal to procure a golden cage for a 
favourite bird. The bride is left with his elder wife in 
the family home upon the 'banks of the Adjai, a river 
which separates Bfrbhiim and Bard wan Districts in South- 
western Bengal. A wicked handmaid excites the jealousy of 
the elder wife» and the girUbride is condemned to menial 
offices, and sent forth as a goat-herd to the fields. The kind 
goddess Chandi, however, converts the elder lady to a better 
frame of mind j the girl-bride is received back ; and on the 
return of her husband becomes his favourite wife- In due 
time she bears him a son, Srfmanta Sadagar, the hero of the 
subsequent stor)\ 

The king next sends the merchant for spices to Ceylon, and Voyage 
his voyage down the great rivers of Bengal and across the sea ^'t I,| ^^^^ 
is \i\idly described. From the towns mentioned on his route, Adi Gaiii;a 
it appears that in those days the water-way from Bard win toCeyknn 

^. : , , . , , . 1 T^ r r^ 1 '^^1> ct-'"* 

District and the neigh bourmg country, to the Bay of Bengal, iury» 
Jay by the Hiigli as far down as Calcutta^ and then struck 
south-eastward by what is now the dead river of the Adf- 
Ciangi.^ The poor merchant is imprisoned by the King of 
Ceylon, and there languishes until he is sought out by his 
brave son, Srimanta Sadagar, from whom the poem takes its 
name. Srfmanta is also seized, and led out to execution by 
the cruel king. But the kind goddess Chandi delivers both 
father and son, and the beautiful Khul1on:l receives back with 
joy her lost treasures from the sea. 

In the 17th century, the second of the two great Sanskrit Kasi RAm 
epics, the MaMbhdraia, was translated by Kdsi Rim Das, ^^\^ ^^t'l 
This poet also belonged to Bardwan District. His version 
still holds its place in the affections of the people, and 
is chanted by professional bards throughout all BengaL The Bengalf 
more tender episodes are rendered with feeling and grace ; ^,^'J''''-^* 

' Sec arlide Hucu River in The Impirial dn'tUer 0/ India* 


but the fiery quarrels and heroic spirit of the Sanskrit original 
lose much in the Bengali translation. 
Bengali The 1 8th century produced two great Bengali poets. In 

tJie^iSth '7^^» ^^"^ Prasdd Sen, of the Vaidya caste, was bom in 
centur>*. Nadiyd District. Sent at an early age as clerk to a Calcutta 
Rdm office, he scribbled verses when he should have been casting 

Prasad ^p accounts, and was reported for punishment by the chief 
clerk. The head of the business read the rhymes, dismissed 
the poet, but assigned to him a pension of Rs. 30 a month. 
With this he retired to his native village, and wrote poetry 
for the rest of his life. Ram Prasdd was a devout Tantrik 
or worshipper of the wife of Siva, and his poems consist 
chiefly of appeals to the goddess under her various names of 
Kali, Sakti, etc. His songs, however, are more often com- 
plaints of her cruelty than thanksgivings for her mercies.^ 
The Court The little Hindu court of Nadiyd then formed the centre of 
iLh^cen-^' learning and literature in Bengal, and the Rdjd endowed Rim 
tury. Prasid with 33 acres of rent-free land. The grateful poet in 

return dedicated to the prince his Kabiranjan^ or version of 
the tale of Bidyd Sundar. The fame of this version has, 
however, been eclipsed by the rendering of the same story by 
a rival poet Bhdrat Chandra. Two other well-known works, the 
Kdli Kirtan and the Krishna Kirtan^ in honour respectively 
of Kdli and Krishna, with many minor poems, have also come 
down from the pen of Rdm Prasad. 
Bharat The Other great Bengal poet of the i8th century was Bhdrat 

Chandra Chandra Rdi, who died 1760. The son of a petty Riji, he 
was driven from his home by the oppressions of the Rdjd of 
Bardwan, and after many adventures and imprisonment, ob- 
tained the protection of the chief native officer of the French 
Settlement at Chandarnagar. The generosity of the Rdjd of 
Nadiyd'-^ afterwards raised him to comfort, and he devoted 
his life to three principal poems. His version of the Bidyd 
Sundar is a passionate love poem, and remains the accepted 
rendering of that tale to the present day. The goddess 
Kdlf interposes at the end to save the hfe of the frail heroine. 
His other two principal poems, the Annadd Mangal and the 
Mdnsinha^ form continuations of the same work ; and, like it, 
are devoted to the glorification of the queen of Siva under her 
various names. 

With the printing press, and the Anglo-Indian School, arose 

' Dae's Literature of Bengal^ p. 147. (Calcutta, 1877.) 
' Mr. Dae snys, inadvertently, the Raja of Bardwan. . 



a generation of Bengalfs whose chief ambition is to live by the Recent 
pen. The majoritv find their career in official, mercantile, or p<^"S^l* 
professional employment. But a large residue become writers igih cen- 
of books ; and Bengal is at present passing through a grand tury. 
literary climacteric. Nearly 1300 works per annum are pub- 
lished in the vernacular languages of Lower Bengal alone. 
It is an invidious task to attempt to single out the most 
distingntshed authors of our own day. Amid such a climax of 
literary activity, much inferior work is produced- But it is not 
too much to say that in poetry, philosophy^ science, the novel 
and the drama, Bengali literature has, in this centur)% produced 
masterpieces without rivals in its previous history. In two 
departments it has struck out entirely new lines. Bengal f 
prose practically dates from Rdm Mohan Rdi ; and Bengali 
journalism is essentially the creation of the third quarter of the 
present century.* 

As Bengal? poetry owed its rise in the 14th century, and its Bengali 
fresh impulse in the i6thj to outbursts of religious song; so P'^^J^' '^ 
BengaH prose is the offspring of the religious movement 
hearled by the Rijd Rdm Mohan Rdi in the 19th. This great 
theistic reformer felt that his doctrines and arguments required 
a more serious vehicle than verse. When he died in 1833, he 
at once received the position of the father of Bengali prose,— 
a position which he still enjoys in the grateful memories of his 
countr^'meo.- Of scarcely less importance, however, in the 
creation of a good prose style, were two rival authors born in 
1820. Akkhai Kumir Datta enforced the theistic doctrines 
of the Brahma Samaj with indefatigable ability in his religious 
journal, the Tahvabodhini Patrikd, Reprints of his articles 
still rank as textbooks of standard Bengali prose. Iswar 
Chandra Vidyasagar, also born in 1820, devoted himself to 
social reform upon orthodox Hindu lines. The enforced 
celibacy of widows, and the abuses of polygamy, have formed 
the subject of his life-long attacks. 

An older worker, Iswar Chandra Gupta, bom 1809, took the 
lead in the modern popular poetry of Bengal. His fame has 

* From no list of 19th century BengaH ainhors should the following 
names be omitted :— Mohan Rdi, Akkhai Kumir Datta» Iswar 
Chandra Vidyasagarp Iswar Chandra Gupta, Madhu Sudan Daita, Mem 
Chandra Banarji^ Bankim Chandra Chattarji» Dino Bandhu Mitra, and 
Nabin Chandra Sen. 

* Raja Ram Mohan Rii (Rammohun Roy) is also well known for his 
English worksj of which it is pleasant to record that a collected reprint is 
now appearing under the editorship of Knbu Cogcndra Chandra Ghose* 
M,A. (Calcutta, 1S85). 

SOU VI, 2 


Modem been eclipsed, however, by Madhu Sudan Datta, born 1828, 
Bengali ^j^q ^^^ ranks higher in the estimation of his countrymen than 
19th cen- any Bengalf poet of this or any previous age. Madhu Sudan's 
lury* epic, the Meghndd Badh Kdbya, is reckoned by Bengalf critics 

as second only to the masterpieces of Valmiki, Kdliddsa, 
Homer, Dante, and Shakspeare. This generous appreciation 
is characteristic of the catholic spirit of Hinduism. For 
Madhu Madhu Sudan Datta became a Christian, lectured as pro- 
^™" fessor in a Christian college, went to England, and returned to 
1828-1875. Bengal only to die, after a too brief career, in 1875. His epic 
relates the death of Meghnad or Indrajft, greatest of the sons 
of Ravana, and takes its materials from the well-known episode 
in the Rdmdyana, Among Bengali poets still living. Hem 
Chandra Banarji occupies perhaps the highest place of honour. 
The In the Bengalf drama, Dina Bandhu Mitra, born 1829, died 

Drama^ 1873, led the way. His first and greatest work, the Nil 
Darpan or Mirror of Indigo, startled the community by its 
picture of the abuses of indigo planting a quarter of a 
century ago. It was translated into English by the well-known 
missionary and philanthropist, the Rev. James Long; and 
formed the ground of an action for libel, ending in the fine 
and imprisonment of the latter gentleman. In prose fiction, 
Bunkim Chandra Chattarjf, bom 1838, ranks first. The Bengali 
novel is essentially a creation of the last half century, and the 
Durgesh Nandini of this author has never been surpassed. 
But many new novelists, dramatists, and poets are now estab- 
lishing their reputation in Bengal ; and the force of the literary 
impulse given by the State School and the printing press seems 
still unabated. It is much to be regretted that so little of that 
intellectual activity has flowed into the channels of biography 
and critical histor)'. 

The mean- This chapter has dealt at some length with the vernacular 
chanter ^ literature of India, because a right understanding of that litera- 
ture is necessary for the comprehension of the chapters which 
follow. It concludes the part of the present book which treats 
of the struggle for India by the Asiatic races. In the next 
chapter the European nations come upon the scene. How 
they strove among themselves for the mastery will be briefly 
narrated. The conquest of India by any one of them formed 
a problem whose magnitude not one of them appreciated. 
The Portuguese spent the military resources of their country, 
and the religious enthusiasm of their Church, in the vain 


attempt to establish an Indian dominion by the Inquisition and Assaults 
the Sword. This chapter has shown the strength and the indigenous 
extent of the indigenous civilisation which they thus ignorantly civilisation 
and unsuccessfully strove to overthrow. ^"^^^* 

The Indian races had themselves confronted the problems 
for which the Portuguese attempted to supply solutions from 
without. One religious movement after another had swept 
across India ; one philosophical school after another had pre- 
sented its explanation of human existence and its hypothesis 
of a future life. A popular literature had sprung up in every 
Province. The Portuguese attempt to uproot these native 
growths, and to forcibly plant in their place an exotic civilisa- 
tion and an exotic creed, was foredoomed to failure. From 
any such attempt the Dutch and the French wisely abstained. 
One secret of the success of the British power has been its English 
non-interference with the customs and the religions of the J!^"'*"^*^'- 





The Portu- The Muhammadan invaders of India had entered from the 
fn^a/" north-west Her Christian conquerors approached by sea from 
Vasco da the south. From the time of Alexander to that of Vasco da 
^A^^' Gama, Europe held littie direct intercourse with the East. An 
occasional traveller brought back stories of powerful kingdoms 
and of untold wealth ; but the passage by sea was scarcely 
dreamed of, and by land, wide deserts and warlike tribes lay 
between. Commerce, indeed, struggled overland and vid the 
Red Sea ; being carried on chiefly by the Italian cities on the 
Mediterranean, which traded to the ports of the Levant^ But to 
the Europeans of the isth century, India was an unknown land, 
which powerfully attracted the imagination of spirits stimulated 

^ The following is a list of the most noteworthy early travellers to the 
East, from the 9th century to the establishment of the Portuguese as a 
conquering power in India in the i6lh. The Arab geographers will 
be found in Sir Henry Elliot's first volumes of the Indian Historians. 
The standard European authority is TAe Book of Ser Marco Polo the 
Vemtian^ edited by Colonel Henry Yule, C.B., 2 vols., second edition, 
1875. The author's best thanks are due to Colonel Yule for the assistance 
he has kindly afforded both here and in those articles of The Imperial 
Gazetteer of India^ which came within the scope of Colonel Yule's re- 
searches. The authorities for the more ancient travellers and Indian 
jjeographers are, as already stated, M'Crindle's Megasthenes and Arrian^ 
his Ktesias^ and his Navigation of the Erythraan Sea^ which originally 
appeared in the Indian Antiqtiary^ and were republished by Messrs. 
Trubner. The Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients in the 
Indian OceoHy by Dr. William Vincent, Dean of Westminster (2 vols, 
quarto, 1807), may still be perused with interest, although Dr. Vincent's 
materials have been supplemented by fuller and more accurate knowledge. 
883 A.D. King Alfred sends Sighelm of Sherbum to the shrine of Saint 

Thomas in * India.' The site of the shrine is doubtful, see chap. ix. 
851-916. Sulaiman and Abu Zaid, whose travels furnished the RelcUions 

of Reinaud. 
912-30. The geographer Mas'udi. 
1159-73. Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela; visited Persian Gulf, reported on 

1260-71. The brothers Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, father and uncle of 

Marco Polo ; make their first trading venture through Central Asia. 


by the renaissance, and ardent for discover>% The materials 
for this pericKl have been collected by Sir George Bird wood 
in his admirable official Report on the Old Records of the hidia 
Office (1879), to which the following paragraphs are largely 
indebted. The history of the various European settlements 
will be found in greater detail, under their respective articles, 
in The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed westwards under the PorJutjnesc 
Spanish flag to seek India beyond the Atlantic, bearing with ^'^>'^*^' 
him a letter to the great Khan of Tartary. He found America 
instead. An expedition tinder Vasco da Gama started from 
Lisbon five years later, in the opposite, or south-eastern, direc- 
tion. It doubled the Cape of Good Hope, and cast anchor ofT 
the city of Calicut on the 20th May 1498, after a protracted 
voyage of nearly eleven months. An earlier Portuguese 
emissary, Covilham, had reached Calicut overland about 1487- 

1271. They started on their second journey, accompanletl by Marco Polo ; 

and about 1275^ arrived at the Court of Kublai Khan in Shangiu, 

whence Marco Polo was entrustecl with several missions %q Cochin 

China, Khanbulig (Pekin), and the Indian Seas. 
1292, Friar John of Monie Corvino, afterwards Archbishop of Pekin ; 

spent thirteen nionlhs in India on his way to China. 
13*^-78, Ibn Batuta, an Arab of Taogiers ; after many years in the 

East, attached himself to the Court of Muhammad Tughlak at Delhi, 

1334-42, whence he was despatch e<:l on an Lnibas>y to China* 
1316-30. Odorico di Pordeoone, a Mmorile friar; travelled in the East 

and through India by way of Persi.i, Bombay, and Surat (where he 

collected the bones of four mi^ionaries martyred in 1321), to Malabar, 

the Coromandel coast, and thence to China and Tibet, 
1328. Friar Jordaniis of Scverac, Bishop of Quilon. 
133S-49. John de MarignolH, a Franciscan friar ; on his return fronn a 

miiksion to China, visited Qidlon in 1347, and made a pilgrimage to 

the shrine of St. Thomas in India in 1349. 
1327-72. Sir John Mandeville ; wrote his travels in India (supposed to be 

the first printed English book, London, 1499) ; but Ijcyond the 

Levant his travels are invented or borrow cci. 
1419-40, Nicolo Conti, a noble Venetian ; travelled ibroughoul Southern 

India and along the Bombay coast. 
1442-44. Abd-ur-Raz^ak ; during an embassy to India, visited Calicut, 

Mangalore, and Vijayanagir, where he was entertained in state by the 

Hindu sovereign of that kingdom, 
1468-74. Athanasius Nikittn, a Russian ; travelled from the Volga, 

through Central Asia and Persia, to Gujarat, Cam bay, and Chaul, 
I whence he proceeded inlanil to BIdar and Golconda. 

I 1494-99. Hieronimo di Santo Stcfano, a Genoese; visited the port of 

I Malabar and the Coromandel coast as a merchant adventurer, and 

I after proceeding to Ceylon and Pegu, saileil for Cambay. 

1 IS03-08. Travels of Ludovico di Varthema. In the Hakluyt Seriis, 


Slate of 
India on 
arrival of 

Raja of 

From the first, Da Gama encountered hostility from the Moon^ 
or rather Arabs, who monopolized the sea-borne trade; but be 
seems to have found favour with the Zamorinor Hindu Rijf d 
Malabar. An Afghdn of the Lodi dynasty was then on the 
throne of Delhi, and another Afghan king was ruling over Bengal 
Ahmadabid formed the seat of a Muhammadan dynasty ■ 
Gujarat. The five independent Muhammadan kingdoms of 
Ahmednagar, Bijdpur, Elichpur, Golconda, and Bfdar hsri 
partitioned out the Deccan. But the Hindu Rdji of Vijayanagr 
still ruled as paramount in the south, and was perhaps the vdsA 
powerful monarch to be found at that time in India, not 
excepting the Lodf dynasty at Delhi. 

After staying nearly six months on the Malabar coast, Di 
Gama returned to Europe, bearing with him the followi^ 
letter from the Zamorin to the King of Portugal : — ' Vasco dt 
Gama, a nobleman of your household, has visited my king^n 
and has given me great pleasure. In my kingdom there B' 
abundance of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, and prccioori 
stones. What I seek from thy country is gold, silver, coi4 
and scarlet' The safe arrival of Da Gama at Lisbon was cd^ 
brated with national rejoicings as enthusiastic as those whiA 
had greeted the return of Columbus. If the West Indiei 
belonged to Spain by priority of discovery, Portugal mj^ 
claim the East Indies by the same right. The Portugu«. 
mind became intoxicated by dreams of a mighty oriental empfe 
Portuguese The early Portuguese navigators were not traders or private 
expetii- adventurers, but admirals with a royal commission to conqaff 

tion, 1500. . , , , ^ ^, . . . » l-j 

territory and to promote the spread of Chnstianity. A secono 
expedition, consisting of thirteen ships and twelve hundred 
soldiers, under the command of Cabral, was despatched io ; 
1 500. * The sum of his instructions was to begin with preadh 
ing, and if that failed, to proceed to the sharp determination rf ; 
the sword.' On his outward voyage, Cabral was driven bf : 
stress of weather to the coast of Brazil Ultimately he readied ; 
Calicut, and established factories both there and at Cochin, i» 
spite of active hostilities from the natives. 
Portuguese In 1 502, the King of Portugal obtained from Pope Alei- 
supremacy ander VI. a bull constituting him * Lord of the Navigation, 
,1500- Conquests, and Trade of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India.* 
In that year Vasco da Gama sailed again to the East, witbi 
fleet numbering twenty vessels. He formed an alliance wi4 
the Rdjas of Cochin and Cananore against the Zamorin d 
Calicut, and bombarded the latter in his palace. In 1503, the 
great Alfonso d' Albuquerque sailed to the East in command oi 




one of three expeditions from Portugal. In 1505, a large fleet 
of twenty-two sail and fifteen thousand men was sent under 
Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Governor and 
Viceroy of India. 

In 1509, Albuquerque succeeded as Governor^ and widely 
extended the area of Portuguese influence. Having faile