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measured by the sun, 'while, returning from Capricorn towards the east, he directs his course to the northern parts. But, with the Egyptians, the beginning of the year is not Aquarius, as among the Romans, but 'Cancer: for, the star SoThis borders on Cancer, which star the Greeks denominate Kuvos, or the Dog. When this star rises, they celebrate the calends of the months, which begins their year; because this is the place of the heavens where generation commences, by which the world subsists. On this account the doors of the Homeric caverns are not dedicated to the east and the west, nor to the equinoctial signs, Aries and Libra, but to the north and south, and particularly to those ports, or celestial signs, which are the nearest of all to these -quarters of the world : and this because the present cave is sacred to souls and to NYMPHS, the divinities of waters. A passage remarkably consonant to the
preceding, and equally replete with astronomical allusions, occurs in Macrobius, a writer profoundly versed in all the mysteries of the Oriental world.
Pythagoras (says that writer t) thought that the empire of Pluto began downwards
** Vide Porphyrius de Antro Nympharum, p. 265. + Macrobius in Somnium Scipionis.
from the milky way, because souls falling thence appear already to have receded from the gods. Hence be asserts that the nutriment of milk is first offered to infants, because their first motion commences from the Galaxy, when they begin to fall into terrene bodies. On this account, since those who are about to disciod are yet in Cai cer, and have not left the Galaxy, they rank in the order of gods;, but when, by falling, they arrive at the Lion, in this constellation they enter on the exurdium of their future condition, because, in the Lion, the rudiments of birth and certain primary exercises of human nature coinmence. But Aquarius is opposite the Lion, and presently sets after the Lion rises;. hence, when the sun is in Aquarius, funeral rites are performed to departed souls, because he is then carried in a sign which is contrary or adverse to human life.” *
During the progress of this arduous andertaking, it has been my misfortune to have toiled alone, or only assisted by such Sanscreet publications as have yet seen the light under the sanction of Sir William Jones, Mr Halhed, and Mr Wilkins. Had the two latter gentlemen, who are the best Sanscreet scholars
* Macrobius in Somnium Scipionis, lib. i. cap. 12, p. 61, edit. oct. Variorum. Ludg. Bat. 1670.
now in Europe, deigned to honour my in-' fant work with the same notice which it has experienced from the great Orientalist, who is unfolding to the Asiatic world the mild laws of this country, and dispensing justice, according to that noble system of jurisprudence, to the once-oppressed progeny of Hindostan, this production might possibly have come before the public less obscured with error and less unworthy of their applause. Upon the present curious and interesting topic, in particular, an occasional communication with these celebrated Indian scholars would, doubtless, have enabled me to throw new light, and in a higher degree to gratify excited curiosity. Happily, however, not deprived of the advantage of their productions, I proceed to glean such scattered fragments of inforınation as appear to me elucidatory of the sidereal migration of the soul aspiring after the raptures of divine absorption in BRAHME, the supreme good. « The Indians (says Mr Halhed) have, in all ages, believed in the transmigration of souls, which they denominate KAYAPREWA'Esh and KAYAPELUT; this latter term literally answers to the word Metempsychosis. An antient Shaster, called the Geeta, written by Vyasa, has a beautiful stanza upon the system of the Transmigration, which
he compares to a change of dress.
Their creed, in this respect, is, that those souls, which have attained to a certain degree of purity, either by the innocence of their manners or the severity of their mortifications, are removed to regions of happiness proportioned to their respective merits; but that those, who cannot so far surmount the prevalence of bad example and the forcible degeneracy of the times as to deserve such a promotion, are condemned to undergo continual punishment in the animation of successive animal forms, until, at the stated period, another renovation of the FOUR YUGs, or grand periods, shall commence upon the dissolution of the present.”
The preceding extracts have sufficiently evinced the truth of these observations by Mr Halhed. With respect to the sidereal migration, we are obliged with the following additional intelligence.
They suppose that there are fourteen BHOOBUNS, or spheres, seven below and six above the earth. The seven inferior worlds are said to be altogether inhabited by an infinite variety of serpents. The earth itself is called Bhoor, and mankind who inhabit it BHOOR-LOGUE. The spheres, gradually ascending thence, are, 1. BOBUR, whose inhabitants are called BOBUR-LOGUE; 2. the SwER
GEH-LOGUE; 3. the MAHURR-LOGUE; 4. the JUNNEH-LOGUE; 5. the TEPPEH-LOGUE; 6. the SUTTEE-LOGUE.'
The term LOGUE, according to Mr Holwell, signifies literally a people, a multitude, a congregation; and DEWTAH-LOGUE the angelic host.*
The Bobur is the immediate vault of the visible heavens, in which the sun, moon, and stars, are placed. The Swergeh is the first paradise and general receptacle for those who merit a removal from the earth. The Mahurr-logue are the Fakers and such persons as, by dint of prayer, have acquired an exraordinary degree of sanctity. The Junnehlogue are also the souls of pious and moral men, and beyond this sphere they are not supposed to pass without some uncommon merits and qualifications. The sphere of Tuppeh is the reward of those who have all their lives performed some wonderful act of penance and mortification, or who have died martyrs for their religion. The Suttee, or highest sphere, is the residence of Brahma and his particular favourites, whence they are also called Brahma-logue. This is the place of destination for those men who have never uttered a falsehood during their whole lives,
• Holwell, vol. ij. p. 35.