صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

only Monotheists? perhaps endeavoured to purify the faith of the learned by insisting on the existence of a God, and to sublime or exalt the superstition of the multitude by substituting a simple sign or mark for the representations of men and beasts, or by teaching the mere "Fetichists," that their plain black stone or block of wood, should lead them to think of the invisible ruler of the universe. I would thus regard "Vedantism" as the philosophical, and "Saivism" as the political or social, the theologic or theogonic, aspect of the genius of Brahminism. The worship of Kalee, or "Saktism" in general, similarly marks the superstitious phase of the old Hindoo mind, for the rude still every where propitiate the dread Goddess of famine, pestilence, and death, while I would regard the Vaishnuvce sect as representing the compromise of Brahmanism with Buddhism of the unity of God with the multiplicity of his powers and the variety of his aspects. This view admits of a civilization of the Southern and Western Coasts of India, and of the existence of a consanguineous race from the Ghats to the Himalayas, before the rise of the Brahmins, who with their warlike Kshutrees may have originally emigrated from Central Asia, but who during a long sojourn on the banks of the Ganges, had a form and direction given to their latent energies which made them the Greeks of the East, the Achæans of the wide spread Pelasgians of India, and which also rendered their civilization eminently national and characteristic. Buddhism may have been imported or adopted from Egypt and Babylon, but Vedantism is the native product of the mind of the dwellers on the Ganges with some intermixture of Mithraic traditions.

Racesén.-Racesén is a double-walled fort standing on a hill nearly isolated, and situated between Bhojpoor and Bhilsa. It was formerly the possession of a Tooer Rajpoot family of some local repute. Baber proposed marching against it, Akber made it the head-quarters of a "Sircar" or Zillah, but Aurungzeb afterwards removed the establishments to Bhilsa. Neither the Hindoo nor the Mahometan buildings are of great extent or merit, neither docs the inscription appear to establish any thing of moment, although the date 1582 Sumbut serves to show the degree to which power had there been recovered by the Hindoos of Malwa.

Bhilsa.-Bhilsa is situated about half a mile from the right bank of the Betwah or Behterwantee River. Its ancient name is stated to have

been Bhudráwat, and it is related that the Pandoos gave battle to the then Raja, in order that they might obtain the white horse with the black ear to enable them to perform the "Uswoomed" sacrifice and to challenge the supremacy of India. The horse was stabled upon the precipitous rock of "Lohanghee" to the eastward of the town, and the Lord of Bhilsa had to yield it to his conquerors. On the opposite bank of the Betwah is still to be seen the site of a town known as Beisnuggur, and there is still a tribe in this part of India called the Beis or Beius, which claims to be Rajpoot. The present walls of Bhilsa are said to have been built by a Bheel Chief, and the name may possibly show it to have been the seat of a tribe, which has been pushed further to the westward within the historical period.

Bhilsa itself contains one edifice only of any note, viz: a mosque of rude workmanship built on the site of a "Beeja (Vijaya) Mundur” destroyed by Aurungzeb. From the fragments or portions of this temple which are still visible it would appear to have been a very elaborate work. The mosque is only curious, as a building, from its two minarets which are each formed by clustering together four pillars of irregular bases so as to form upon the whole two sides of a square in plan. The minarets are nearly destroyed, and the building suffered somewhat during the Mahratta wars from the ill directed fire of Ameer Khan's cannon. The inscription which accompanies this, is to be seen on a stone built into the wall of a narrow passage. *

The " Topes" near Bhilsa.-The "Topes" and other Buddhist remains at Satcheh Kanchkhera about 4 miles to the south-west of Bhilsa, are however the monuments which give to that place its chief antiquarian interest. To these may be added the "Topes" at Peepleca, Bijolce, six or seven miles south-east from the two and the Vaishnuvee sculptures at Oodchghir about a mile and a half west of Bhilsa and nearly double that distance north of the Satcheh "Topes"

The two Topes at Satcheh were visited in 1819 by Captain Fell, [see Journ. As. Soc. for 1834, p. 488, &c.], when they were in better preservation than they are now, for an opinion confidently expressed by that officer, that they contained chambers or were not solid, led to two attempts to excavate them on the part of amateurs or antiquaries.

* The words of the Inscription are read, but the language is not understood, by the Pundits here; some terms or words seem to be pure Sanscrit.

Instead however of driving small galleries at nearly the level of the ground into the interior, the explorers began digging pits as it were into the buildings, from the top or at about half way down the side, and as the stones used in the construction of the hemispheres were not cemented with lime, a third of one monument and a fifth portion of the other have been destroyed. Falling rubbish has upset or buried stone colonnades and the searches for coins or inner chambers do not appear ever to have reached the bottom of either Tope.

The two Topes in question are commonly known as the "Sass-bhow ka bitha" or as the "wife's and good mother's dung stacks," from their supposed resemblance to heaps of dried cowdung cakes. The word "Tope" is wholly unknown in this part of India, although it is the representative of a Sanscrit original.

The Buddhist monuments at Satcheh are built on three platforms or stages, and stretch east and west across a low range of hills. The highest portion of the highest platform, the edge indeed of a precipice, is occupied by a temple containing an image, and flanked on either side by rows of chambers. This uppermost stage seems moreover, for the most part to have been covered with buildings or cells used by the members of the religious establishment at the place. The centre nearly of the middle platform is occupied by the larger Tope at a distance of about 140 yards from the temple or shrine already mentioned. The smaller Tope is at a somewhat greater distance from the larger Tope, and occupies the third or lower stage which however has never been completed or properly cleared.

On the upper and middle stages there are several small temples or shrines, some of which still contain images of Buddha mostly of the kind which represent him as seated on the lotus-adorned throne. Some figures have a light drapery which does not conceal the shape, and in some the halo which usually invests the head is carved to resemble the expanded hoods of snakes. The shrines themselves are all flat-roofed, and not of the ordinary "Chaitya" or "Degopa" type with which the labours of Mr. Hodgson have rendered us familiar. On the central stage also are remains of what seem to have been small Topes, and indeed in one instance a regularly built circular wall is painly discernible. The larger Tope has a circular base 120 feet in diameter, according to a rough measurement. The basement is 14 feet high and it slopes

[subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][graphic]



« السابقةمتابعة »