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depositories of either religion. He enters with some minuteness into the history of Zoroaster, the * REFORMER, not the INVENTOR, of the Magian religion ; he traces his “secret footsteps," and those of Darius Hystaspes, his royal patron, to the “ woody solitudes” (as they are expressly called by Ammianus Marcellinus) of the venerable BRACIMANS in “ Upper India," most probably the mountains of NAUORACUT, and, again following the reformer back to Persia, after having been instructed in the most profouud and mysterious rites practised in their consecrated caverns, attentively marks his motions and observes his imitative conduct. From the invaluable treatise of Porphyry above-mentioned, the author is enabled to describe the particular ornaments of that lonely cave to which he afterwards retired in Media, “ the astronomical symbols, and other mathematical apparatus," with which it was decorated : and, from his reviving, throughout Persia and Media, the veneration for fire, as well as his erecting the stupendous FIRETEMPLE at Balk, the author forms those conclusions which are submitted to the reader in the pages more immediately following. --The author supports his deductions, by a very curious passage, given at large by Origen, from Celsus, one of the most learned philosophers among the antients, concerning the SEVEN GATES, emblematical of the SEVEN PLANETS, erected in the MITHRATIC caverns, through which the sidereal metempsychosis was performed; and contrasts that passage with others cited from the Ayeen Akbery, in proof that there actually did exist, even so late as in Abul Fazil's time, among the rocky mountains in Upper Hindostan, EXCAVATIONS the most numerous and prodigious, and CARVED IDOLS of the most astonishing fabrication.
A general view is now taken of the sculptured imagery in the caverns of Elephanta, in which are exhibited, as well the substance of all the preceding descriptions, as the respective hypotheses formed from the survey of them by French and English travellers. — Those of Niebuhr by far the most correct and satisfactory --a more particular description of the Elephanta Pagoda; its style of architecture, dimensions, ornaments, recesses, cisterns for the water of purification, &c. &c.— The stupendous figure of the grand Indian triad of Deity, BRAHMA, VEESHNU, and Seeva, minutely described and illustrated by an accurate engraving.
The other more remarkable statues successively delineated - Both the figures and their ornamental symbols plainly allusive to the theological notions at this day prevalent among the Hindoos. — The Hindoo nation divided into innumerable sects, but ultimately branched forth into two principal ones, that of VEESHNU and that of MAHADEO, or SEEVA, i.e. the worshippers of the Deity in his preserving and his destroying capacitiy. -- The system of religion professed by the former, throughout this Dissertation, represented as the primitive, mild, benevolent; system of thcology originally established in Hindostan. That professed by the latter full of terror and productive of the most licentious practices. The indecent worship of Seeva, his rites and symbols described with as much delicacy as possible, consistently with perspicuity. The Lingam similar to the PHALLUS of the Greeks and the PRIAPUS of the Romans: --- The sacred recess, or Sacel. lum of ServA. -- An extended survey of that curious but degrading superstition. - The Lingam an emblem, in India, of the creative power -- allotted as a symbol to Seeva, the DESTRUCTIVE POWER, upon that philosophical principle of the Brahmins, that “ to destroy is only to generate and re-produce in another way.'
The author now enters on the third section, containing the parallel of the INDIAN and EGYPTIAN systems of theology, in which that base species of worship forins tire first distinguishing feature. --A description of the origin of Phallic worship in Egypt from Diodorus Siculus. --An instance exhibited, from Athenæus, of the splendour displayed at a Phallic festival, celebrated in Egypt by Pto. lemy Philadelphus. , The same with that of BAALPeor in Scripture. --The Greeks borrowed and infamously refined upon it in their orgies of Bacchus.-- The remarkable similitude of a fact recorded in a prophane writer, relative to the introduction of the PHALLICA at Athens, and a circumstance related in Scripture, in regard to the Philistines, who had captured and profaned the ark of God. The former history in the prophane
writer.no forgery from the latter, as asserted by Patrick and Bochart; but the mode of punishment and propitiation agreeably to the usage of Eastern countries. - Demonstrated to be so by a passage in Tavernier's Voyages in India, and another in the Sketches of Mr Crauford. - The author apologizes for going so largely into so disagreeable a subject, but affirms, that, without the explanation, the Indian system of theology, of which it engrosses so large a portion, would be utterly unintelligible. He concludes it for the present, since the enormities promoted by the doctrine must be noticed in a succeeding part of the Dissertation, by displaying its atrociousness; and refers, for the genuine origin of such nefarious rites, to the principles and practices of that vitiated son of Noah, the earliest idolater of the post-diluvian world, who led the first colony from Chaldea to the banks of the Nile. - That the most venerated IDOLS of India are the ATTRIBUTES of God personified, or RAJAHs exalted, by their piety or bravery, to the rank of divinities, must be evident, from the gene. ral view of this Pantheon of India; since superior power could not be displayed in hieroglyphic representation more forcibly than by a figure with numerous hands, nor excelling wisdom more aptly delineated than by a circle of heads; since the radiated crown of glory naturally points out the divinity of the possessor, and the serpent, from his great vigour and revirescence, is equally in Egypt and in India the known emblem of Deity.
The author, continuing the parallel between the theology of India and Egypt, proceeds to examine the more numerous, and scarcely less astonishing, excavations and hieroglyphic sculptures of CANARAH, in the island of Salsette the most authen. tic accounts of them, those inserted in the seventh volume of the Archæologia, and in the preliminary discourse to Mr Anquetil's Zend-Avesta. -- The island itself, and the external appearance of the caverns described. The rocks themselves, in which they are hewn, bear strong marks of calcination.- Asserted by M. Anquetil to be hewn by the chissel into a pyramidal form.–Pyramids so constructed to resemble the figure of a flame of fire.-The external figure adduced as probable proof of the antient internal worship.--The caverns of Canarah, from their appearance, denominated by the natives “ the city of Canarah.”--A' general description of the caverns. The eminences of the rocks probably used by the Brahmins as observatories. The architecture considered. . This pagoda, from its height, and from its arched roof, far more magnificent than that of Elephanta.The tanks for ablution numerous, and the temple of Seeva, with the PHALLUS, every where discernible. - Visible recesses for the lamps that, proÞably, were kept constantly burning. - The astonishing height of the GREAT ALTAR and magnitude of the colossal statues. - An attempt to display, in animated language, the stupendous magnificence and splendour of the Mithratic wor