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the slight breakfast, is served. Then comes a substantial breakfast. Tiffin is not omitted, and at midday the principal meal is spread out before the gods. After this a siesta is indulged in, from which they are awakened by the sounds of sweet music and the turning of lights, which is called Arati. After this comes more bathing, dressing, eating, and the turning of lights, and other ceremonies, ending in supper; and about eleven at night bedsteads are brought in, when the divine personages are requested to retire to rest for the night. To this ought to be added ritual mantras, or the utterance of words in a particular form adapted to each period of the day. There is also music and dancing, and a corps of Nautch girls are specially kept for the purpose. These persons are supposed to be of respectable character, and Rajendralala Mitra gives the case of Mira Bai, daughter of Surya, Rana of Jeypur, who became one, and devoted herself to the service of Rangchhodji. We have the curious statement given that these ladies are formally married to the divinity of the temple, to which they remain attached for ever.' From dawn to eleven at night is a long day, and it will be seen that Jagannatha has as busy a time of it as any popular prince in our own western regions. He certainly escapes the laying of foundation stones, and having to make speeches at public dinners; but to make up for these, he has a large number of festivals to go through, and which have to be performed with much minuteness of ceremony. Jagannatha does suffer from this hard work, and like ordinary mortals requires a rest; a fortnight's respite is given about the beginning of June, when the figures are placed in a chamber called the Andur Ghar, or sick chamber. It would seem that the constant bathing and dressing does tell even on Jagannatha and his friends, and this interval is used to improve their complexions by a fresh coat of paint. When new images have to be made it is also done at this season. On the last day of the fortnight the eyes are painted, this being a distinct ceremony. At the Holi Festival it was at one time the custom to bring out the images and indulge them in the pleasures of a swing; but about three centuries ago the swing broke down, and Jagannatha got one of his arms damaged, and this part of the ceremony was given up.

The festivals connected with the worship of Puri are too numerous to describe, and they would be of but little interest unless something could be said about their origin and meaning. The space allowed in a paper of this kind is too small for the consideration of such a question. It will be enough to give the following from Professor Wilson. In an article on the Religious Festivals of the Hindus, he says: The universal festivals, which are probably traceable among all nations elevated above barbarism, and which may have been handed down by tradition from the earliest periods in the history of the human race, are manifestly astronomical, and are intended to commemorate the revolutions of the planets, and the recurrence of cyclical intervals of longer and shorter durations.' The Rath Yatra, or Car Festival of Jagannatha, as it takes place about the end of June, has probably some

connection with the summer solstice. Its identity with the Buddhist ceremony of the Procession of Images which Fah Hian describes at Khoten and Pataliputra, or Patna, in the beginning of the fifth century, can scarcely be doubted. The festival is not confined to Puri; Jagannatha has temples in other places, but they are more plentiful perhaps in the south of India than in the north; this may be accounted for by the statement that along the Ganges the worship of Siva prevails, and it has been explained that Jagannatha is a form of Vishnu; but wherever the Lord of the World has temples, the Rath Yatra is celebrated. In the south of India there are few places where the cars will not be found, and they are generally highly ornamented with carved figures. There are three cars at Puri, one for each of the idols. They are very large and heavy; by means of bamboos and coloured cloth a high Sikra or tower is formed, about fifty feet in height. The tower is in shape the same as the steeple surmounting the sanctum of a Hindu temple, thus making the car in reality a moveable temple on wheels. The images are brought out of the temple, not by the priests, 'but by a set of aboriginal men called Daityas, or barbarians, to which this class has belonged from time immemorial.' They are supposed to be the descendants of Visvavasa, a rustic fowler who served at the primitive shrine of Vishnu on the Blue Hill on the arrival of Indradyumna, presenting us with a curious illustration of the conservatism of hereditary rights in India. After the images are placed in the cars they are richly apparelled, and golden hands and feet are added to them. The Rajah of Khurda appears with a grand Sowarie of horses, elephants, and followers. He is the hereditary sweeper of the temple ; barefooted, and with a jewelled broom he sweeps the ground and worships the images, presenting flowers and incense. He then takes the ropes of each car successively and pretends to drag them, but there are 4,200 coolies also pulling at the ropes; these coolies are a special class kept for this purpose, having lands rent free in some neighbouring villages. In addition to these are the crowd of pilgrims all anxious to get a pull at the ropes, and by thus serving 'Jagannathjee' to 'rend asunder the bonds of sin for ever.' As this crowd is very undisciplined the cars move irregularly, and their progress is but slow, so that three or four afternoons are usually spent to get along the Baradand, which is the great broad road, about two miles long, to the Gundicha Garh, which is a temple in a garden. Here the figures remain for four or five days, and are brought back again in the cars. The return journey is often still slower than the other, for the greater portion of the pilgrims depart, and there is often a want of power to drag the cars along. When they get back to the great temple, a ceremony is gone through which symbolises the re-conquest of the Blue Hill, and when this has been performed, the Daityas carry the images into the temple, and the ceremonies are at an end.

The above is but a slight sketch of what takes place, but it gives the more important details; whoever wishes to study the subject should consult Rajendralala Mitra's book. That author thinks that No. 631 (NO. CLI. N. s.)


the ceremony marks the anniversary of Buddha's birthday, which is quite possible. It may have been connected with that as well as the solstice; but there is this difficulty, that a ceremony which lasts about a fortnight gives fourteen different days with which to make the identification, and Hindu festivals depend on the dark or light half of the moon, adding much to the task of fixing them with the exact day in our Western calendars. Owing to changes in faith, as well as modes of regulating the calculations of time, old ceremonies have, in most cases, got detached from the exact point in the solar revolution they were intended to mark, so that it requires very great care to work out problems of this kind. Taking out gods in procession, or carrying them from one place to another, is a very ancient kind of ceremony, and has been more or less common to all religions. Herodotus, ii. 63, gives an example, which took place at Papremis, in Egypt, which bears a strong resemblance to the Orissan ceremony. An image-placed in a wooden temple, gilded all over-was placed in a four-wheeled carriage, and drawn about. The most prominent point given by Herodotus was a fight which took place to get into a temple, and which might have been the counterpart of the re-conquest of the Blue Hill. According to Homer, Zeus went to banquet with the blameless Ethiopians, and returned on the twelfth day; this is close on the time taken up with the Ratha Yatra. But the curious point is, Diodorus thought that the Greeks got this story from Egypt, and that it is founded on a ceremony connected with the Theban Jupiter, whose image in a shrine was carried every year into Ethiopia, where it stayed for a certain time, and was brought back again to Thebes. There was, most probably, a solar signification in this ceremony, as there is in the Ratha Yatra; but we are far from being able as yet to give an opinion whether the people of India got their customs from Egypt or not; it is quite possible that the Greeks did not even get the idea of Zeus going to the Ethiopians from that source. That such ceremonies existed in Egypt, and were common to the Buddhists, is evidence of their great antiquity; it is evidence that the Car Festival of Jagannatha is a rite which has, at least, descended from a very remote period; and although, like many other religious performances, it is associated with much that is absurd and ridiculous, we can see that it is a very important relic of far past ages, and its details may be of the utmost value in working out some of the problems of comparative mythology.

What might be called the Restaurant Department of the Temple at Puri ought to receive some short notice before closing this article. Jagannatha and his relatives breakfast, dine, and sup; this part of the ceremonial is managed by placing large quantities of food in the hall of offerings, called the Bhoga Mandapa, one of the halls in front of the sanctuary, and by opening a door the divinities can see them from their throne. The Rajah of Khurda, who has already been mentioned, has a number of special rights; one of them being that he sends particular kinds of food, which is taken into the sanctuary; this is sold to the pilgrims, and the money is credited to the rajah.

All the food brought in is sold, the proceeds going to the priests and the temple fund. The amount of food which has to be cooked is very large, so much so that a new and larger kitchen had to be added to the establishment, and the cooks are busy at work from three or four in the morning till ten or eleven at night. The cooks are of the lowest caste of people, and are supposed to be the descendants of Visvavasu, the fowler, and who have rights connected with the temple dating from the legendary Indradyumna. Visvavasu was a hunter, and these cooks are called sawars, from savara, a wild hunter. The absence of caste within the limits of Puri has been noticed as an evidence that the customs must have been founded under Buddhist

influences; this peculiarity appears in a more marked form in relation to the food than in any other. All who are familiar with India must know how particular the Brahmans are about the cooking of everything they eat. It is not mere touch that has to be avoided, even the shadow of a low caste person, or a European, will spoil any amount of food if it comes even near to it. I had an experience of this when travelling in the Himalayas. Among my coolies were some Brahmans; they always separated from the others to do their cooking. One day, while passing them, and keeping wide of the ground they occupied, I noticed one was making a soup with vegetables. As we were in a high region, near to the source of the Ganges, I asked where he found the vegetables; he answered, 'In the jungle;' at the same time, lifting the brass dish from the fire, he poured out its contents on the ground, and said it was 'biggar gia,' or spoiled. Understanding at once that I was the cause, I asked how?' for I had preserved a distance from him of four or five yards. He pointed to my foot, which was touching the end of a fallen trunk, and he had made his fire at the other end of it, so that I was actually touching a part of his fire. This was the contamination which had rendered his food unclean. The contrast to the ideas here indicated will be conveyed by stating that if I had been able to put my hand in my pocket and produced some of the food cooked in the temple at Puri, this Brahman would have eaten it without a scruple, and would have considered that I had conferred the greatest of favours upon him. The principal kind of food of which such large quantities are prepared is a young description of rice; it is beaten out, so that every grain of it is flattened. It is called 'Atukulu,' but it is perhaps better known as mahaprasad, or great offering.' There are shops at the temple for the sale of it, and the pilgrims take it home with them to give to friends, by whom it is looked upon as the most precious of gifts. The water from the Zem-zem well at Mecca, which the Mahommedan pilgrims carry away with them, is as nothing in comparison to this sacred rice, although it is cooked by low caste people. Should a coolie or a sweeper bring this consecrated food and present it to a Brahman, it would be at once accepted and eaten. It should be eaten the moment it is received, without any discrimination of time, place, or circumstance.' inherent virtue is great. Should anyone have killed a cow, or even

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taken the life of a Brahman, or committed any more heinous crime, if that were possible, the eating of a single grain of this rice would at once remove all taint of the sin, and render the person free from all the consequences hereafter. The books sold at Puri contain numerous tales illustrating the sin-destroying power of the Mahaprasad, and their character may be judged of by the following remarks from Hunter's 'Orissa':

Woe to him who denies the efficacy of the Mahaprasad, the Great Offering! A hundred tales among the people warn priestly arrogance of the wrath of a despised god. There came a proud man from northern India, who swore he would look upon the Lord of the World, but that he would eat no leavings of mortal or immortal beings. But as he crossed the bridge outside the sacred city his arms and legs fell off, and there he lay on the roadside for two months, till a dog came out of the town eating a fragment of the holy food, and dropped some as he passed. The proud man crawled forward on his stomach, and grubbing with his mouth in the mire, ate the leavings, all slavered from the unclean animal. Thereupon the mercy of the good lord Jagannath visited him; new limbs were given him, and he entered the holy city as a humble disciple.

The worshippers of Vishnu in their sraddhas, or periodical funeral services to the dead, always place a grain of this rice on the cakes which are presented to the manes.

In December of 1875, when the Prince of Wales was in India, I took a steamer from Madras to Calcutta, in order to be at the latter place on the arrival of his Royal Highness. The vessel called at a number of places along the coast. At Gangam, Mr. Davidson, the collector, came on board, to proceed to Calcutta. As Puri was in his district I made some inquiries about it, and to answer my questions he called two of his native officials. I sat on the deck for some hours. talking with these men, and got some of the information in this article from them. Where their statements differ from that of Rajendralala Mitra's, I have preferred the latter as an authority. They were very pleased at the interest I took in relation to Jagannatha, and as a mark of their appreciation they presented me with a small quantity of the Mahaprasad, which I preserve as one of my most curious relics. They also presented me with two other kinds of food from the temple; they are rolled up in leaves and tied with grass, but I have not opened them. The Mahaprasad seems as if every grain had been beaten out singly, else it would be difficult to explain why none of it has escaped the process, and it is not likely that machinery is used in the kitchen of Jagannathjee. These men, after seeing Calcutta, intended to proceed to Buddha Gaya as a pilgrimage. It was at that place where Buddha attained to supreme intelligence, sitting under the sacred Bo Tree. Buddhists come from Burmah and other countries to it in pilgrimage, and so also do the worshippers of Vishnu from all parts of India. These two men from Puri were no doubt Vishnavas, and their journey to Buddha Gaya illustrates the connection between the worship of Buddha and Vishnu, which it has been one of the objects of this article to make out. WILLIAM SIMPSON.

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