Mathura A District Memoir Chapter-8
Mathura A District Memoir By F.S.Growse
SOME six miles above Mathura is a point where the right bank of the Jamuna assumes the appearance of a peninsula, owing to the eccentricity of the stream, which first makes an abrupt turn to the north and then as sudden a return upon its accustomed southern course. Here, washed on three of its sides by the sacred flood, stands the town of Brinda-ban, at the present day a rich and prosperous municipality, and for several centuries past one of the most holy places of the Hindus. A little higher up the stream a similar promontory occurs, and in both cases the curious formation is traditionally ascribed to the resentment of Baladeva. He, it is said, forgetful one day of his habitual reserve, and emulous of his younger brother’s popular graces, led out the Gopis for a dance upon the sands. But he performed his part so badly, that the Jamuna could not forbear from taunting him with his failure and recom mending him never again to exhibit so clumsy an imitation of Krishna’s agile movements. The stalwart god was much vexed at this criticism and, taking up the heavy plough which he had but that moment laid aside, he drew with it so deep a furrow from the shore that the unfortunate river, perforce, fell into it, was drawn helplessly away and has never since been able to recover its original channel.
Such is the local rendering of the legend; but in the Puranas and other early Sanskrit authorities the story is differently told, in this wise; that as Balarama was roaming through the woods of Brinda-ban, he found concealed in the cleft of a kadamb tree some spirituous liquor, which he at once con sumed with his usual avidity. Heated by intoxication he longed, above all things, for a bathe in the river, and seeing the Jamuna at some little distance, he shouted for it to come near. The stream, however, remained deaf to his summons; whereupon the infuriated god took up his ploughshare and breaking down the bank drew the water into a new channel and forced it to follow wherever he led. In the Bhagavata it is added that the Jamuna is still to be seen following the course along which she was thus dragged. Professor Wilson, in his edition of the Vishnu Purana, says, “The legend probably alludes to the construction of canals from the Jamuna for the purpose of irrigation; and the works of the Muhammadans in this way, which are well known, were no doubt proceded by similar canals dug by the order of Hindu princes." Upon this suggestion it may be remarked, first, that in Upper India, with the sole excep tion of the canal constructed by Firoz Shah (1351-1388 A.D.) for the supply of the city of Hisar, no irrigation works of any extent are known ever to have been executed either by Hindus or Muhammadans certainly there are no traces of any such operations in the neighbourhood of Brinda-ban; and secondly, both legends represent the Jamuna itself as diverted from its straight course into s single winding channel, not as divided into a multiplicity of streams. Hence it may more reasonably be inferred that the still existing involution of the river is the sole foundation for the myth.
The high road from Mathura to Brinda-ban passes through two villages, Jay-sinh-pur and Ahalya-ganj, and about half way crosses a deep ravine by a bridge that boars the following inscription:-Sri. Pul banwaya Maharaj Des mukh Bala-bai Sahib beti Maharaj Madho Ji Saindhiya Bahadur Ki ne marfat Khazanchi Manik Chand ki, Jisukh karkun, gumashta Mahtab Rae ne sambat 1890, mahina asarh badi 10 guruvasare. Close by is a masonry tank, quite recently completed, which also has a commemorative inscription as follows: Talab banwaya Lala Kishan Lal beta Fakir Chand Sahukar, jat Dhusar, Rahnewala Dilli ke ne, sambat 1929 mutabik san 1872 Isvi. That the bridge should have been built by a daughter of the Maharaja of Gwaliar and the tank constructed by a banker of Delhi, both strangers to the locality, is an example of the benefits which the district enjoys from its reputation for sanctity. As the road between the two towns is always thronged with pilgrims, the number of these costly votive offerings is sure to be largely increased in course of time; but at present the country on either side has rather a waste and desolate appearance, with fewer gardens and houses than would be expected on a thoroughfare connecting two places of such popular resort. An, explanation is afforded by the fact that the present road is of quite recent construction. Its predecessor kept much closer to the Jamuna lying just along the khadar lands-which in the rains form part of the river bed-and then among the ravines, where it was periodically destroyed by the rush of water from the land. This is now almost entirely disused; but for the first two miles out of Brindaban its course is marked by lines of trees and several works of considerable magnitude. The first is a large garden more than 4O bighas in extent, surrounded by a masonry wall and supplied with water from a distance by long aqueducts. In its centre is a stone temple of some size, and among the trees, with which the grounds are ever-crowded, some venerable specimens of the khirni form an imposing avenue. The garden bears the name of Kushal, a wealthy Seth from Gujarat, at whose expense it was constructed, and who also founded one of the largest temples in the city of Mathura. A little beyond, on the opposite side of the way, in a piece of waste ground, which was once an orchard, is a large and handsome bauli of red sand-stone, with a flight of 57 steps leading down to the level of the water. This was the gift of Ahalya Bai, the celebrated Mahratta Queen of Indor, who died in 1795. It is still in perfect preservation, but quite unused. Further on, in the hamlet of Akrur, on the verge of a cliff overlooking a wide expanse of alluvial land, is the temple of Bhat-rond, a solitary tower containing an image of Bihari Ji. In front of it is a forlorn little court-yard with walls and entrance gateway all crumbling into ruin. Opposite is a large garden of the Seth’s, and on the roadway that runs between, a fair, called the Bhat-mela, is held on the full moon of Kartik; when sweetmeats are scrambled among the crowd by the visitors of higher rank, seated on the top of the gate. The word Bhat-rond is always popularly connected with the incident in Krishna’s life which the mela commemorates-how that he and his brother Balaram one day, having forgotten to supply themselves with provisions before leaving home, had to borrow a meal of rice(bhat) from some Brahmans’ wives-but the true etymology (though an orthodox Hindu would regard the suggestion as heretical) refers, like most of the local names in the neighbourhood, merely to physi cal phenomena, and Bhat-rond may be translated ‘ tide-wall,’ or ‘ break-water.’
Similarly, the word Brinda-ban is derived from an obvious physical feature, and when first attached to the spot signified no more than the ‘tulsi grove;’ brinda and tulsi being synonymous terms, used indifferently to denote the sacred aromatic herb known to botanists as Ocymum sanctum. But this explanation is far too simple to find favour with the more modern and extravagant school of Vaishnava sectaries; and in the Brahma Vaivarta Purina, a mythical per sonage has been invented bearing the name of Vrinda. According to that spurious composition (Brah. Vai, v. iv. 2) the deified Radha, though inhabit ing the Paradise of Goloka, was not exempt from human passions, and in a fit of jealousy condemned a Gopa by name Sridama to descend upon earth in the form of the demon Sankhachura. He, in retaliation, sentenced her to become a nymph of Brinda-ban and there accordingly she was born, being, as was supposed, the daughter of Kedara, but in reality the divine mistress of Krishna: and it was simply his love for her which induced the god to leave his solitary throne in heaven and become incarnate. Hence in the following list of Radha’s titles, as given by the same authority (Brah. Vai., v. iv. 17), there are three which refer to her predilection for Brinda-ban:
Radha Rasesvari, Rasavasini, Rasikesvari,
Krishna-pranadhika, Krishna-priya, Krishna-swarupini
Krishna, Vrindavani, Vrinda, Vrindavana-vinodini,
Chandavati, Chandra-kanta, Sata-chandra-nibhanana,
In the Padma Purana, Radha’s incarnation is explained in somewhat differ ent fashion; that Vishnu being enamoured of Vrinda, the wife of Jalandhara, the gods, in their desire to cure him of his guilty passion, begged of Lakshmi the gift of certain seeds. These, when sown, came up as the tulsi, malati and dhatri plants, which assumed female forms of such beauty that Vishnu on seeing them lost all regard for the former object of his affections.
There is no reason to suppose that Brinda-ban was ever the seat of any large Buddhist establishment; and though from the very earliest period of Brah manical history it has enjoyed high repute as a sacred place of pilgrimage, it to probable that for many centuries it was merely a wild uninhabited jungle, a description still applicable to Bhandir-ban, on the opposite side of the river, a spot of equal celebrity in Sanskrit literature. Its most ancient temples, four in number, take us back only to the reign of our own Queen Elizabeth; the stately courts that adorn the river bank and attest the wealth and magnificence of the Bharat-pur Rajas, date only from the middle of last century; while the space now occupied by a series of the largest and most magnificent shrines ever erected in Upper India was, fifty years ago, an unclaimed belt of wood-land and pasture-ground for cattle. Now that communication has been established with the remotest parts of India, every year sees some splendid addition made to the artistic treasures of the town; as wealthy devotees recognize in the stability and tolerance of British rule an assurance that their pious donations will be completed in peace and remain undisturbed in perpetuity.
When Father Tieffenthaler visited Brinda-ban, in 1754, he noticed only one long street, but states that this was adorned with handsome, not to say magnificent, buildings of beautifully carved stone, which had been erected by different Hindu Rajas and nobles, either for mere display, or as occasional residences, or as embellishments that would be acceptable to the local divinity. The absurdity of people coming from long distances merely for the sake of dying on holy ground, all among the monkeys-which he describes as a most intolerable nuisance-together with the frantic idolatry that he saw rampant all around, and the grotesque resemblance of the Bairagis to the hermits and ascetics of the ear lier ages of Christianity, seem to have given the worthy missionary such a shock that his remarks on the buildings are singularly vague and indiscriminating. Mons. Victor Jacquemont’ who passed through Brindle-ban in the cold weather of 1829-3O, has left rather a fuller description. He says, “This is a very ancient city, and I should say of more importance even than Mathura. It is considered one of the most sacred of all among the Hindus, an advantage which Mathura also possesses, but in a less degree. Its temples are visited by multitudes of pilgrims, who perform their ablutions in the river at the differ ent ghats, which are very fine. All the buildings are constructed of red sand-stone, of a closer grain and of a lighter and less disagreeable colour than that used at Agra: it comes from the neighbourhood of Jaypur, a distance of 200 miles. Two of these temples have the pyramidal form peculiar to the early Hindu style, but without the little turrets which in the similar buildings at Benares seem to spring out of the main tower that determines the shape of the edifice. They have a better effect, from being more simple, but are half in ruins." (The temples that he means are Madan Mohan and Jugal Kishor). "A larger and more ancient ruin is that of a temple of unusual form. The interior of the nave is like that of a Gothic church; though a village church only, so far as size goes. A quantity of grotesque sculpture is pendent from the dome, and might be taken for pieces of turned wood. An immense number of bells, large and small, are carved in relief on the supporting pillars and on the walls, worked in the same stiff and ungainly style. Many of the independent Rajas of the west, and some of their ministers (who have robbed them well no doubt) are now building at Brinda-ban in a different style, which, though less original, is in better taste, and are indulging in the costly ornamentation of pierced stone tracery. Next to Benares, Brinda-ban is the largest purely Hindu city that I have seen. I could not discover in it a single mosque. Its suburbs are thickly planted with fine trees, which appear from a distance like an island of verdure in the sandy plain." (These are the large gardens beyond the tem ple of Madan Mohan, on the old Delhi road.) “The Doab, which can be seen from the top of the temples, stretching away on the opposite side of the Jamuna, is still barer than the country on the right bank."
At the present time there are within the limits of the municipality about a thousand including, of course, many which, strictly speaking, are mere ly private chapels, and thirty-two ghats constructed by different princely bane factors. The tanks of reputed sanctity are only two in number. The first is the Brahm Kund at the back of the Seth’s temple; it is now in a very ruinous condition, and the stone kiosques at its four corners have in part fallen, in part been occupied by vagrants, who have closed up the arches with mud walls and converted them into dwelling-places. I had began to effect a clearance and make arrangements for their complete repair when my transfer took place and put an immediate stop to this and all similar improvements. The other, called Govind Kund, is in an out-of-the-way spot near the Mathura road. Hitherto it had been little more than a natural pond, but has lately been enclosed on all four sides with masonry walls and flights of steps, at a cost of Rs. 30,000, by Chaudharani Kali Sundari from Rajshahi in Bengal. To these may be added, as a third, a masonry tank in what is called the Kewar-ban. This is a grove of pipal, gular, and kadamb trees which stands a little off the Mathura road near the turn to the Madan Mohan temple: It is a halting-place in the Banjatra, and the name is popularly said to be a corruption of kin vari, ‘ who lit it ? With reference to the forest conflagration, or davanal, of which the traditional scene is more commonly laid at Bhadra-ban, on the opposite bank of the river. There is a small temple of Davanal Bihari, with a cloistered court-yard for the reception of pilgrims. The Gosain is a Nimbarak. A more likely derivation for the name would be the Sanskrit word kaivalya, meaning final beatitude. Adjoining the ban is a large walled garden, belonging to the Tehri Raja, which has long been abandoned on account of the badness of the water. The peacocks and monkeys, with-which the town abounds, enjoy the benefit of special endowments bequeathed by deceased Rajas of Kota and Bharat-pur. There are also some fifty ckhattras, or dole-houses, for the distri bution of alms to indigent humanity, and extraordinary donations are not unfre quently made by royal and distinguished visitors. Thus the Raja of Datia, a few years ago, made an offering to every single shrine and every single Brahman that was found in the city. The whole population amounts to 21,000, of which the Brahmans, Bairagis and Vaishnavas together make up about one half. In the time of the emperors, the Muhammadan made a futile attempt to abolish the ancient name, Brinda-ban, and in its stead substitute that of Muminabad; but now, more wisely, they leave the place to its own Hindu name and devices and keep themselves as clear of it as possible. Thus, besides an occasional official, there are in Brinda-ban no followers of the prophet beyond only some fifty fami lies, who live close together in its outskirts and are all of the humblest order, such as oilmen, lime-burners and the like. They have not a single public mosque nor even a Karbala in which to deposit the tombs of Hasan and Husain on the feast of the Muharram, but have to bring them into Mathura to be interred.
It is still customary to consider the religion of the Hindus as a compact system, which has existed continuously and without any material change ever since the remote and almost pre-historic period when it finally abandoned the comparatively simple form of worship inculcated by the ritual of the Vedas. The real facts, however, are far different. So far as it is possible to compare natural with revealed religion, the course of Hinduism and Christianity has been identical in character; both were subjected to a violent disruption, which occurred in the two quarters of the globe nearly simultaneously, and which is still attested by the multitude of uncouth fragments into which the ancient edifice was disintegrated as it fell. In the west, the revival of ancient litera ture and the study of forgotten systems of philosophy stimulated enquiry into the validity of those theological conclusions which previously had been unhesitatingly accepted-from ignorance that any counter-theory could be honestly maintained by thinking men. Similarly, in the east, the Muhammadan inva sion and the consequent contact with new races and new modes of thought brought home to the Indian moralist that his old basis of faith was too narrow; that the division of the human species into the four Manava castes and an outer world of barbarians was too much at variance with facts to be accepted as satis factory, and that the ancient inspired oracles, if rightly interpreted, must dis close some means of salvation applicable to all men alike, without respect to colour or nationality. The professed object of the Reformers was the same in Asia as in Europe-to discover the real purpose for which the second Person of the Trinity became incarnate; to disencumber the truth, as He had revealed it, from the accretions of later superstition; to abolish the extravagant preten sions of a dominant class and to restore a simpler and more severely intellec tual form of public worship. In Upper India the tyranny of the Muhamma dans was too tangible a fact to allow of the hope, or even the wish, that the con querors and conquered could ever coalesce in one common faith: but in the Dakhin and the remote regions of Eastern Bengal, to which the sword of Islam scarcely extended, and where no inveterate antipathy had been created, the appeared less improbable. Accordingly, it was in those parts of India that the great teachers of the reformed Vaishnava creed first meditated and reduced to system those doctrines, which it was the one object of all their later life to promulgate throughout Hindustan. It was their ambition to elabo rate so scheme so broad and yet so orthodox that it might satisfy the require ments of the Hindu and yet not exclude the Muhammadan, who was to be ad mitted on equal terms into the new fraternity; all mankind becoming one great family and every caste distinction being utterly abolished.
Hence it is by no means correct to assert of modern Hinduism that it is essentially a non-proselytizing religion; accidentally it has become so, but only from concession to the prejudices of the outside world and in direct opposition to the tenets of its founders. Their initial success was necessarily due to their intense zeal in proselytizing, and was marvellously rapid. At the present day their followers constitute the more influential, and it may be even numerically the larger half of the Hindu population: but precisely as in Europe so in India no two men of the reformed sects, however immaterial their doctrinal differences, can be induced to amalgamate; each forms a new caste more bigoted and exclusive than any of those which it was intended to supersede, while the founder has become a deified character, for whom it is necessary to erect a new niche in the very Pantheon he had laboured to destroy. The only point upon which all the Vaishnavas sects theoretically agree is the rever ence with which they profess to regard the Bhagavad Gita as the authoritative exposition of their creed. In practice their studies-if they study at all-are direct ed exclusively to much more modern compositions, coached in their own verna cular, the Braj Bhasha. Of these the work held in highest repute by all the Brinda-ban sects is the Bhakt-mala, or Legends of the Saints, written by Nabha Ji in the reign of Akbar or Jahangir. Its very first couplet is a compendium of the theory upon which the whole Vaishnava reform was based:
Bkakt-bhakti-Bhagavant-guru, chatura nam, vapu ek: which declares that there is a divinity in every true believer, whether learned or unlearned, and irrespective of all caste distinctions. Thus the religious teachers that it celebrates are represented, not as rival disputants-which their descendants have become-but as all animated by one faith, which varied only in expression; and as all fellow-workers in a common cause, viz., the moral and spiritual elevation of their countrymen. Nor can it be denied that the writing of many of the actual leaders of the movement are instinct with a spirit of asceticism and detachment from the world and a sincere piety, which are very different from the ordinary outcome of Hinduism. But in no case did this catholic simplicity last for more than a single generation. The great teacher had no sooner passed away than his very first successor hedged round his little band of followers with new caste restrictions, formulated a series of narrow dogmas out of what had been intended as comprehensive exhortations to holiness and good works; and substituted for an interior devotion and mystical love-which were at least pure in intent, though perhaps scarcely attainable in practice by ordinary humanity-an extravagant system of outward worship with all the sensual accompaniments of gross and material passion.
The Bhakt-mala, though an infallible oracle, is an exceedingly obscure one, and requires a practised hierophant for its interpretation. It gives no legend at length, but consists throughout of a series of the briefest allusions to legends, which are supposed to be already well-known. Without some such previous knowledge the poem is absolutely unintelligible. Its concise notices have therefore been expanded into more complete lives by different modern writers, both in Hindi and Sanskrit. One of these paraphrases is entitled the Bhakt Sindhu, and the author, by name Lakshman, is said to have taken great pains to verify his facts. But though his success may satisfy the Hindu mind, which is constitutionally tolerant of chronological inaccuracy, he falls very far below the requirements of European criticism. His work is however useful, since it gives a number of floating traditions, which could otherwise be gathered only from oral communications with the Gosains of the different sects, who, as a rule, are very averse to speak on such matters with outsiders.
The four main divisions, or Sampradayas, as they are called, of the reformed Vaishnavas are the Sri Vaishnava, the Nimbarak Vaishnava, the Madhva Vaishnava, and the Vishnu Swami. The last sect is now virtually extinct; for though the name is occasionally retained, their doctrines were entirely re-modelled in the sixteenth century by the famous Gokul Gosain Vallabhacharya, after whom his adherents are ordinarily styled either Vallabhacharyas or Gokulastha Gosains. Their history and tenets will find more appropriate place in connection with the town of Gokul, which is still their headquarters
The Sri Sampradaya was altogether unknown at Brinda-ban till quite recently, when the two brothers of Seth Lakhmi Chand, after abjuring the Jaini faith, were enlisted in its ranks, and by the advice of the Guru, who had re ceived their submission, founded at enormous cost the great temple of Rang Ji. It is the most ancient and the most respectable of the four reformed Vaishnava communities, and is based on the teaching of Ramanuja, who flourished in the 11th or 12th century of the Christian era. The whole of his life was spent in the Dakhin, where he is said to have established no less than 700 monasteries, of which the chief were at Kanchi and Sri Ranga. The standard authorities for his theological system are certain Sanskrit treatises of his own composition entitled the Sri Bhaishya, Gita Bhashya, Vedartha Sangraha, Vedanta Pradipa and Vedanta Sara. All the more popular works are composed in the dialects of the south, and the establishment at Brinda-ban is attended exclusively by foreigners, the rites and ceremonies there observed exciting little interest among the Hindus of the neighbourhood, who are quite ignorant of their meaning. The sectarial mark by which the Sri Vaishnavas may be distinguished consists of two white perpendicular streaks down the forehead, joined by a cross line at the root of the nose, with a streak of red between. Their chief dogma, called Visishthadwaita, is the assertion that Vishnu, the one Supreme God, though invisible as cause, is, as effect, visible in a secondary form in material creation.
They differ in one marked respect from the mass of the people at Brinda-ban, in that they refuse to recognise Radha as an object of religious adoration. In this they are in complete accord with all the older authorities, which either totally ignore her existence, or regard her simply as Krishna’s mistress and Rukmini as his wife. Their mantra or formula of initiation, corresponding to the In nomine Patris, &c., of Christian Baptism, is said to be Om Ramayanamah, that is, ‘ Om, reverence to Rama.’ This Sampradaya is divided into two sects, the Tenkalai and the Vadakalai. They differ on two points of doctrine, which however are considered of much less importance than what seems to outsiders a very trivial matter, viz., a slight variation in the mode of making the sectarial mark on the forehead. The followers of the Tenkalai extend its middle line a little way down the nose itself, while the Vadakalai terminate it exactly at the bridge. The doctrinal points of difference are as follows: the Tenkalai maintain that the female energy of the god-head, though divine, is still a finite creature that serves only as a mediator or minister (purusha-kara) to introduce the soul into the presence of the Deity; while the Vadakalai regard it as infinite and untreated, and in itself a means (upaya) by which salvation can be secured. The second point of difference is a parallel to the controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians in the Christian Church. The Vada kalai, with the ratter, insist on the concomitancy of the human will in the work of salvation, and represent the soul that lays hold of God as a young monkey which grasps its mother in order to be conveyed to a place of safety. The Tenkalai, on the contrary, maintain the irresistibility of divine grace and the utter helplessness of the soul, till it is seized and carried off like a kitten by its mother from the danger that threatens it. From these two curious but apt illustrations the one doctrine is known as the markata kishora-nyaya, the other as the marjala-kishora-nyaya; that is to say ‘the young monkey theory,’ or ‘the kitten theory.’ The habitues of the Seth’s temple are all of the Tenkalai persuasion.
The Nimbirak Vaishnavas, as mentioned in a previous chapter, have one of their oldest shrines on the Dhruva hill at Mathura. Literally interpreted, the word Nimbirak means ‘the sun in a nim tree;’ a curious designation, which is explained as follows. The founder of the sect, an ascetic by name Bhaskaracharya, had invited a Bairagi to dine with him and had prepared everything for his reception, but unfortunately delayed to go and fetch his guest till after sunset. Now, the holy man was forbidden by the rules of his order to eat except in the day-time and was greatly afraid that he would be compelled to practise an unwilling abstinence: but at the solicitation of his host, the sun-god, Suraj Narayan, descended upon the nim tree, under which the repast was spread, and continued beaming upon them till the claims of hunger were fully satisfied. Thenceforth the saint was known by the name of Nimbarka or Nimbaditya. His special tenets are little known; for, unlike the other Sampradayas, his followers (so far as can be ascertained) have no special literature of their own, either in Sanskrit or Hindi; a fact which they ordinarily explain by saying that all their books were burnt by Aurangzeb, the conventional bete noire of Indian history, who is made responsible for every act of destruction. Most of the solitary ascetics who have their little hermitages in the different sacred groves, with which the district abounds, belong to the Nimbirak persuasion. Many of them are pious, simple-minded men, leading such a chaste and studious life, that it may charitably be hoped of them that in the eye of God they are Christians by the baptism of desire, i.e., according to S. Thomas Aquinas, by the grace of having the will to obtain salvation by fulfilling the commands of God, even though from invincible ignorance they know not the true Church. The one who has a cell in the Kokila-ban assured me that the distinctive doc trines of his sect were not absolutely unwritten (as is ordinarily supposed), but are comprised in ten Sanskrit couplets that form the basis of a commentary in as many thousands. One of his disciples, a very intelligent and argumentative theological student, gave me a sketch of his belief which may be here quoted as a proof that the esoteric doctrines of the Vaishnavas generally have little in common with the gross idolatry which the Christian Missionary is too often content to demolish as the equivalent of Hinduism. So far is this from being the case, that many of their dogmas are not only of an eminently philosophical character, but are also much less repugnant to Catholic truth than either the colourless abstractions of the Brahma Samaj, or the defiant materialism into which the greater part of Europe is rapidly lapsing.
Thus their doctrine of salvation by faith is thought by many scholars to have been directly borrowed from the Gospel; while another article in their creed, which is less known, but is equally striking in its divergence from ordinary Hindu sentiment, is the continuance of conscious individual existence in a future world, when the highest reward of the good will be, not extinction, but the enjoyment of the visible presence of the divinity, whom they have faithfully served while on earth; a state therefore absolutely identical with heaven, as our theologians define it. The one infinite and invisible God, who is the only real existence, is, they maintain, the only proper object of man’s devout contemplation. But as the incomprehensible is utterly beyond the reach of human faculties, He is partially manifested for our behoof in the book of creation, in which natural objects are the letters of the universal alphabet and express the senti ments of the Divine Author. A printed page, however, conveys no meaning to anyone but a scholar, and is liable to be misunderstood even by him; so, too, with the book of the world. Whether the traditional scenes of Krishna’s adventures have been rightly determined is a matter of little consequence, if only a visit to them excites the believer’s religious enthusiasm. The places are mere symbols of no value in themselves; the idea they convey is the direct emanation from the spirit of the author. But it may be equally well expressed by different types; in the same way as two copies of a book may be word for word the same in sound and sense, though entirely different in appearance, one being written in Nagari, the other in English characters. To enquire into the cause of the diversity between the religious symbols adopted by different nationali ties may be an interesting study, but is not one that can affect the basis of faith. And thus it matters little whether Radha and Krishna were ever real personages; the mysteries of divine love, which they symbolize, remain, though the symbols disappear; in the same way as a poem may have existed long before it was committed to writing, and may be remembered long after the writing has been destroyed. The transcription is a relief to the mind; but though obviously advantageous on the whole, still in minor points it may rather have the effect of stereotyping error: for no material form, however perfect and semi-divine, can ever he created without containing in itself an element of deception; its appearance varies according to the point of view and the distance from which it is regarded. It is to convictions of this kind that must be attributed the utter indifference of the Hindu to chronological accuracy and historical research. The annals of Hindustan date only from its conquest by the Muhammadans - a people whose faith is based on the misconception of a fact, as the Hindus’ is on the corrupt embodiment of a conception. Thus the literature of the former deals exclusively with events; of the latter with ideas.
At Bathi another Bairagi of the same Sampradaya, by name Gobardhan Das, who knew most of the Bhagavad Gita by heart, told me that their chief seat was at Salimabad in Jodhpur territory, where the Gosain had a complete library of the literature of the sect. He quoted some of the books by name, the Siddhanta Ratnanjali, the Girivajra, the Ratna-mala, the Setuka, the Jahnavi, and the Ratna-manjusha; but he could not specify the authors, or give any definite information as to their contents. Neither could he give a clear expla nation of any difference of doctrine between his own sect and the Sri Vaishnavas. Like Ram Das, the Pandit at Kokila-ban, the great point on which he insisted was that all visible creation is a shadow of the Creator and is therefore true in a measure, though void of all substantial and independent existence. A view which is aptly represented by the lines: -
The sun, the moon, the stars, the seas, the hills and the plains ?
Are not these, O soul, the vision of him who reigns?
Is not the vision He ? tho’ He be not that which He seems?
Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams ?
All we have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool:
the illustration given in the last line being the very one which these Hindu dreamers most frequently bring forward.The Madhya Vaishnavas form a scattered and not very numerous community, and none of their temples, either at Brinda-ban or elsewhere in the district, are of any note. Their founder, Madhvacharya, was a native of Southern India, born in the year 1199 A. D. The temple where he ordinarily resided is still in existence at a place called Udipi. Here he had setup a miraculous image of Krishna, made with the hero Arjun’a own hands, which had been casually thrown as ballast into a ship from Dwaraka, which was wrecked on the Malabar coast. He is said to have been only nine years of age when he composed the Bhasha or commentary on the Gita, which his disciples accept as of divine authority. Their distinctive doctrine is the assertion of an essential Duality (Dwaita) between the Jivatma, or principle of life, and the Paramatma, or Supreme Being. Their sectarial mark consists of two perpendicular white lines down the forehead, joined at the root of the nose and with a straight black streak between, terminating in a round mark made with turmeric.
In addition to these four original Sampradayas, there are three schools of more modern origin, called respectively Bengali, or Gauriya Vaishnavas, Radha Vallabhis and the disciples of Swami Hari Das.
The first-named community has had a more marked influence on Brinda-ban than any of the others, since it was Chaitanya, the founder of the sect, whose immediate disciples were its first temple builders. He was born at Nadiya in Bengal, in 1485 A. D., and in his youth is said to have married a daughter of Vallabhacharya. However that may be, when he had arrived at the age of 24 he formally resigned all connection with secular and domestic affairs and com menced his career as a religious teacher. After spending six years in pilgrimages between Mathura and Jagannath, he finally settled down at the latter place, where, in 1527 A.D., being then only 42 years old, he disappeared from the world. There is reason to believe that he was drowned in the sea, into which he had walked in an ecstasy, mistaking it for the shallow waters of the Jamuna, where he saw, in a vision, Krishna sporting with the Gopis. His life and doctrines are recorded in a most voluminous Bengali work entitled Chaitanya Charitamrita, composed in 1590 by one of his disciples, Krishna Das. Two of his colleagues, Adwaitanand and Nityanand, who, like himself, are styled Maha Prabhu, presided over his establishments in Bengal; while other six Gosain settled at Brinda-ban. Apart from metaphysical subtleties, which naturally have but little hold on the minds of the populace, the special tenet of the Bengali Vaishnavas is the all - sufficiency of faith in the divine Krishna; such faith being adequately expressed by the mere repetition of his name without any added prayer or concomitant feeling of genuine devotion. Thus roughly stated, the doctrine appears absurd; and possibly its true bearing is as little regarded by many of the more ignorant among the Vaishnavas themselves as it is by the majority of superficial outside observers. It is, however, a legitimate deduction from sound principles: for it may be presumed that the formal act of devotion would never have been commenced had it not been prompted at the outset by a devotional intention, which intention is virtually continued so long as the act is in performance. And to quote from a manual of a purer faith, "it is not necessary that the intention should be actual throughout; it is sufficient if we gray in a human manner; and for this only a virtual intention is required; that its to say, an intention which has been actual and is supposed to continue, although, through inadvertence or distraction, we may have lost sight of it. The sectarial mark consists of two white perpendicular streaks down the forehead, united at the root of the nose and continued to near the tip. Another characteristic is the use of a rosary of 1O8 beads made of the wood of the tulsi. The recognized leaders of the Brinda-ban community were by name Rupa and Sanatana, the authors of several doctrinal commentaries and also, as is said, of the Mathura Mahatmya. With them were associated a nephew, named Jiva, who founded the temple of Radha Damodar, and Gopal Bhatt, founder of the temple of Radha Raman, together with some others of less note, whose names vary in different lists.In the Bhakta Mala they are enumerated as follows:-
श्रीरूपसनातन भक्तिजल श्रीजीवगुसांई सर गंभीर ।।
वेला भजन सुपक्व कषायन कबहु न लागी ।
बृन्दाबन दृढ़वास जुगल चरनन अनुरागी ।
पोथी लेखनि पांनि अघट अक्षर चित दीनौ ।
सद ग्रंथन कौ सार सवै हस्तामल कीनौ ।
संदेह ग्रंथ छेदन समर्थ रस राशि उपासिक परम धीर ।
श्रीरूपसनातन भक्तिजल श्रीजीवगुसांई सर गंभीर ।। १ ।।
2-श्रीबृन्दाबन की माधुरी इनि मिलि आस्वादन कियौ ।
सरवस राधारमन भट्टगोपाल उजागर ।
हृषीकेश भगवान विपुलवीठल रस सागर ।
थानेश्वरी जगन्नाथ लोकनाथ महामुनि मधू श्रीरंग ।
कृष्णदास पण्डित उभै अधिकारी हरि अंग ।
घमण्डी जुगलकिशोर भृत्य भूगर्भ दृढ़ व्रत लियौ ।
बृन्दावन की माधुरी इनि मिलि आस्वादन कियौ ।। २ ।।
" Sri Rupa and Sanatan and Sri Jiva Gosain were as a deep lake filled with water of devotion. With them prayer was ever ripe and in season and never bitter to the taste. Firmly fixed at Brinda-ban, full of devotion to the feet of the dual god, with their hands writing books and with their soul fixed on the formless idea, they held in their grasp all the essence of divine love, able to resolve the mysteries of the scriptures, worshippers of the all-blissful, ever staunch in faith. Sri Rupa and Sanatan and Sri Jiva Gosain were as a deep lake filled with water of devotion.
" These are they who met together at Brinda-ban and tasted all its sweetness. Gopal Bhatt, who beautified the temple of Radha Raman with all that he possessed; Hrishikes and Bhagavan Das and Bithal-vipul, that ocean of grace: Jagannath of Thanesar; the great sage Loknath; Madhu and Sri Rang; the two Pandits named Krishan Das, who had mastered Hari in all his parts; Ghamandi, servant of Jugal Kishor, and Bhugarbha, the rigid ascetic. These are they who met together at Brinda-ban and tasted all its sweetness."
The founder of the Radha Vallabhis was by name Hari Vans. His father, Vyasa, was a Gaur Brahman of Deva-ban in the Saharanpur district, who had long been childless. He was in the service of the Emperor and on one occa sion was attending him on the march from Agra, when at last his wife, Tara, gave birth to a son at the little village of Bad, near Mathura, in the Sambat year 1559. In grateful recognition of their answered prayers, the parents named the child after the god they had invoked, and called him Hari Vans, i.e., Hari’s issue. When he had grown up, he took to himself a wife, by name Rukmini, and had by her two sons and one daughter. Of the sons, the elder, Mohan Chand, died childless; the descendants of the younger, Gopinath, are still at Devaban. After settling the daughter in marriage, he determined to abandon the world and lead the life of an ascetic. With this resolution he set eat lone on the road to Brinda-ban and had reached Charthaval, near Hodal, when there met him a Brahman, who presented him with his two daughters and inisisted upon his marrying them, on the strength of a divine command, which he said he had received in a vision. He further gave him an image of Krishna with the title of Radha Vallabh, which on his arrival at Brinda-ban was set up by Hari Vans in a temple that he had founded between the Jugal and the Koliya ghats on the bank of the Jamuna. Originally he had belonged to the Madhvacharya Sampradaya and from them and the Nimbaraks, who also claim him, his doctrine and ritual were professedly derived. But in consequence of the mysterious incident, by which he had been induced to forego his intention of leading a celibate life and take to himself two now wives; or rather in consequence of his strong natural passions, which he was unable to suppress and therefore invented a fiction to excuse, his devotion was all directed not to Krishna himself, except in a very secondary degree, but to his fabled mistress Radha, whom he deified as the goddess of lust. So abominable a system was naturally viewed at first with no little amazement, as is clear from the language of the Bhakt Mala ,which is as follow:-
।। मूल ।।
श्रीहरिवंसगुसांई भजन की रीति सकृत कोऊ जानि है ।।
श्रीराधाचरणप्रधान हृदै अति सदृढ़ उपासी ।
कुंजकेलि दंपति तहांकी फरत षवासी ।।
सर्वसुमहाप्रसाद प्रसिधिता के अधिकारी ।
विधि निषेध नहि दास अनन्य उत्कंठ ब्रतधारी ।।
श्रीव्याससुवन पथ अनुसरै सोई भलें पहिचानि है ।
श्रीहरिवंसगुसांइंर् भजन की रीति सकृत कोऊ जानि है ।।
“The Gosain Sri Hari Vans: who can understand all at once his method of devotion? With feet of blessed Radha were the highest object of worship; a most staunce-soudled devotee; who made himself the page in waiting on the divine pair in their bower of love; who gloried in the enjoyment of the remnants of all that was offered at their shrine; a servant who never pleaded obligation of dispensation; a votary of incomparable zeal. Account him blessed who follows in the path of Vyasa’s great son, the Gosain Sri Hari Vans; who can understand all at once his method of devotion?”
In the gloss, or supplement of Priya Das, composed in the year Sambat 1769, the same sentiment is expanded and a reference made to the legend of the Brahman and his two daughters.
।। टीका ।।
श्रीजूकी रीति कोऊ लाषनिमें एक जानें
राधाई प्रधान मानें पाछें कृष्ण ध्याइये ।
निपट विकट भात होत नसुभावऐसो
उनही की कृपादृष्टि नैंकु किहूं पाईये ।
विधि औ निषेध छेद डारै प्रानप्यारै हियें
जियें निज दास निस दिन वहै गाईये ।
सुषद चरित्र सब रसिक विचित्र नीकें
जानत प्रसिद्ध कहा कहिकै सुनाईये ।
आये यह त्यागि राग वट्यो प्रिय प्रीतम सों
विप्र बड़भाग हरिआज्ञादई जानियें ।
तेरी उभय सुता व्याह देवो नाम मेरो
उनको जो वंस प्रसंस जग मांनियें ।
ताही द्वार सेवा विस्तार निज भगतनि की
अगतनिकी गति सो प्रसिद्ध पहिचांनियें ।
मांनि प्रिय बात ग्रह गह्यो सुष लह्यो सब
कह्यो कैसैं जात यह मनमें न आंनियें ।
राधिकावल्लभलालआज्ञासो रसाल दई
सेवा मो प्रकास ओ विलास कुंजधाम को ।
सोई विस्तार सुषसार दृगरूप पियो
दियो रसिक जिन लियो पछि वाम को ।
निसि दिन गांन रस माधुरी को पान उर
अंतर सिहांन एक काम स्यामास्याम को ।
गुन सो अनूप कहि कैसैंकै सरूप कहें
लहै मन मोद जैसें और नहीं नाम को ।।
THE TEMPLE OF RADHA-VALLABH
“Would you know the one point in a thousand of Sri Hit Ji’s ways ? he adored Radha first and after her Krishna. A most strange and unnatural fashion, that none could even faintly comprehend save by his favour. He obliterated all distinction between obligation and dispensation; his beloved was in his heart: he lived only as her servant, singing the praises of the divinity night and day. All the faithful know his many edifying and holy actions; why tell and repeat them, since they are famous already.
"He left his home and came; his passion for Radha and Krishna had so grown: but you must know Hari had given an order to a wealthy Brahman: ‘ Bestow your two daughters in marriage, taking my name, and know that their issue shall be famous throughout the world. By their means my worship shall spread among my faithful people, a path for the pathless, of high renown.’ Obedient to the loving order he went home; the delight of all was past telling, for it was more than the mind could even conceive. Radha’s dear spouse gave the gracious command: ‘Publish abroad my worship and the delights of my sylvan abode.’ He drank in with his very eyes the essence of bliss and gave it to every client who supported the cause of the female divinity. Night and day imbibing the honeyed draught of sweet song and cherishing it in his soul, with no thought but for Syama and Syam. How is it possible to declare such incomparable merit ? The soul is enraptured at the sound more than at that of any other name."
By his later wives he had two sons, Braj Chand and Krishan Chand, of whom the latter built a temple to Radha Mohan, which is still in the possession of his descendants. The former was the ancestor of the present Gosains of the temple of Radha Vallabh, the chief shrine of the sect. This was built by one of his disciples, a Kayath named Sundar Das, who held the appointment of treasurer at Delhi. One of the pillars in the front gives the date as Sambat 1683. An earlier inscription, of 1641, was noticed by Professor Wilson, but this would seem to have been over the gateway leading into the outer court, which since then has fallen down and been removed. On the opposite side of the street is a monument to the founder, which however the present generation of Gosains are too ungrateful to keep in repair. They are the descendants of Braj Chand’s four sons, Sundar-Bar, Radha Ballabh Das, Braj-Bukhan and Nagar Bar Ji; and the heads of the four families so derived are now Daya Lal, Manohar Ballabh, Sundar Lal and the infant son of Kanhaiya Lal.
।। अथ राधासुधानिधिर्लिख्यते ।।
यस्या: कदापि वसनाञ्चलखेलनोत्थधन्यातिधन्यपवनेन कृतार्थमानी ।
योगीन्द्रदुर्गमगतिर्मधुसूदनोऽपि तस्या नमोऽस्तु वृषभानुभुवो दिशेपि ।। १।।
संर्वार्थसाररसर्वार्षकृपार्द्रदृष्टेस्तस्या नमोऽस्तु वृषभानुभुवो महिम्ने ।। २ ।।
यो ब्रह्मरुद्रशुकनारदभीष्ममुख्यैरालक्षितो न सहसा पुरुषस्य तस्य ।
सद्योवशीकरणचूर्णमनन्तशक्तिं तं राधिकाचरणरेणुमहं स्मरामि ।। ३ ।।
आधाय मूर्द्धनि यदापुरुदारगोप्य: काम्यं पदं प्रियगुणैरपि पिच्छमौले: ।
भावोत्सवेन भजतां रसकामधेनु तं राधिकाचरणरेणुमहं स्मरामि ।। ४ ।।
कन्दर्प्पकोटिसरमूर्च्छितनन्दसूनुसञ्जीविनी जयति कापि निकुञ्जदेवी ।। ५ ।।
तन्न: प्रतिक्षणचमत्कृतचारुलीलालावण्यमोहनमहामधुरांगभंगि ।
राधाननं हि मधुरांगकलानिधानमाविर्भविष्यति कदा रससिन्धुसारम् ।। ६ ।।
यत्किंरीषु बहुश: खलु काकुवाणी नित्यं परस्य पुरुषस्य शिखण्डमौले: ।
तस्या: कदा रसनिधेर्वृषभानुजायास्तत्केलिकुञ्जभवनांगनमार्जनी स्याम् ।। ७ ।।
वृन्दानि सर्वमहतामपहाय दूराद्वृन्दाटवीमनुसर प्रणयेन चेत: ।
सत्तारणीकृतसुभावसुधारसौघं राधाभिधानमिह दिव्यनिधानमस्ति ।। ८ ।।
केनापि नागरवरेण पदे निपत्य सम्प्रार्थितेकपरिरम्भरसोत्सवाया: ।
सभ्रूविभंगमतिरंगनिधे: कदा ते श्रीराधिके नहि नहीति गिर: शृणोमि ।। ९ ।।
यत्पादपद्मनखचन्द्रमणिच्छटाया विस्फूर्ज्जितं किमपि गोपवधूष्वदर्शि ।
पूर्णानुरागरससागरसारमूर्ति: सा राधिका मयि कदापि कृपां करोतु ।। १० ।।
उज्जृम्भमानरसवारिनिधेस्तरंगैरङ्गैरिव प्रणयलोलबिलोचनाया: ।
तस्या: कदानु भविता मयि पुण्यदृष्टिर्वृन्दाटवीनवनिकुञ्जगृहाधिदेव्या: ।। ११ ।।
वृन्दावनेश्वरि तवैव पदारविन्दं प्रेमामृतैकमकरन्दरसौघपूर्ण ।
हृघर्पितं मधुपते: स्मरतापमुयग्र निर्वापयत्परमशीतलमाश्रयामि ।। १२ ।।
राधाकरावचितपल्लववल्लरीके राधापदांकविलसन्मधुरस्थलीके ।
राधायशोमुखरमत्तखगावलीके राधाविहारविपिने रमतां मनो मे ।। १३ ।।
कृष्णामृतं चल विगाढुमितीरिताहं तावत्सहस्व रजनी सखि यावदेति ।
इत्यं विहस्य वृषभानुसुते हि लपश्येमानं कदा रसदकेलिकदम्बजातं ।। १४ ।।
पादांगुलीनिहितदृष्टिमपचपिष्णुं दूरादुदीक्ष्य रसिकेन्द्रमुखेन्दुविम्बं ।
वीक्षे चलत्पदगतिं चरिताभिरामां झंकारनूपुरवतीं वत कर्हि राधाम् ।। १५ ।।
उज्जागरं रसिकनागरसंगरङ्गै कुञ्जोदरे कृतवती नु मुदार जन्याम् ।
सुस्नापिताहि मधुनैव सुभोजिता त्वं राधे कदा स्वपिषि मत्करलालिताङ्घ्रि: ।। १६ ।।
लावण्यसिन्धुरमृच्छविरूपसिन्धु: श्रीराधिका स्फुरतु मे हृदि केलिसिन्धु: ।। १७ ।।
दृष्ट्वैव चम्पकलतेव चमत्कृतांगी वेणुध्वनिं क्व च निशम्य च विव्हलांगी ।
सा श्यामसुन्दगुणैरनुगीयमानै: प्रीता परिषवजतु मां वृषभानुपुत्री ।। १८ ।।
श्रीराधिके सुरतरंगिनितम्बभागे काञ्चीकलापकलहंसकलानुलापै: ।
मञ्जीरसिञ्जतमधुव्रतगुञ्जिताङ्घ्रि:पंकेरुहै: शिशिरयस्व रसच्छटाभि: ।। १९ ।।
श्रीराधिके सुरतरंगिणिदिव्यकेलिकल्लोलमालिनि लसद्वदनारविन्दे ।
श्यामामृताम्बुनिधिसंगमतीब्रवेगिन्यावर्त्तनाभिरुचिरे मम सन्निधेहि ।। २० ।।
सत्प्रेमसिन्धुमकरन्दरसौघधारासारानजस्रमभित: स्रवदाश्रितेषु ।
श्रीराधिके तव कदा चरणारविन्दगोविन्दजीवनधनं शिरसा वहामि ।। २१ ।।
संकेतकुञ्जमनु कुञ्जरमन्दगामिन्यादाय दिव्यमृदुचन्दनगन्धमाल्यम् ।
त्वां कामकेलिरभसेन कदा चलन्तीं राधे नु यामि पदवीमुपदर्शयन्ती ।। २२ ।।
गत्वा कलिन्दतनयाविजनावतारमुद्वर्त्तयन्त्यमृतमंगमनंगजीवम् ।
श्रीराधिके तव कदा नवनागरेन्द्रं पश्यामि मग्न्नयनं स्थितमुच्चनीपे ।। २३ ।।
सत्प्रेमराशिसरसो विकसत्सरोजं स्वानन्दसिन्धुरससिन्धुविवर्द्धनेन्दुम् ।
तच्छ्रीमुखं कुटिलकुन्तलभृंगजुष्ट श्रीराधिके तव कदा नुविलोकयिष्ये ।। २४ ।।
लावण्यसाररससारसुखैकसारे कारुण्यसारमधुरच्छविरूपसारे ।
वैदग्ध्यसाररतिकेलिविलाससारे राधाभिधे मम मनोऽखिलसारसारे ।। २५ ।।
अद्भुतानन्दलोभश्चेन्नाम्ना रससुधानिधि: ।
स्तंवोऽयं कर्णकलशैर्गृहीत्वा पीयतां बुधा: ।। १७० ।।
विरचिता श्रीराधारससुधानिधि: संपूर्णम् ।। ० ।।
1."Hail to the home of Vrisha-bhanu’s daughter, by whom once and again even Madhu-sudan-whose ways are scarce intelligible to the greatest sages-was made happy, as she playfully raised the border of her robe and fanned him with its delicious breeze.
2."Hail to the majesty of Vrisha-bhanu’s daughter, the holy dust of whose lotus feet, beyond the conception of Brahma, Siva and the other gods, is alto gether supernaturally glorious, and whose glance moistened with compassion is like a shower of the refined essence of all good things.
"I call to mind the dust of the feet of Radhika, a powder of infinite virtue, that incontinently and at once reduces to subjection the great power, that was beyond the ken even of Brahma, Rudra, Sukadeva, Narada, Bhishma and the other divine personages.
4. "I call to mind the dust of the feet of Radhika, which the noble milkmaids placed upon their head and so attained an honour much desired by the votaries of the god with the peacock crest, dust that like the cow of heaven yields the fullness of enjoyment to all who worship with rapturous emotion.
5."Glory to the goddess of the bower, who with an embrace the quintes sence of heavenly bliss, like a bountiful wave of ambrosia, sprinkled and restored to life the son of Nanda, swooning under the stroke of Love’s thousand arrows.
6."When will there visit us that essence of the ocean of delight, the face of Radha with sweet coy glances, bewildering us with the brilliance of ever twinkling sportive play, a store-house of every element of embodied sweetness?
7." When shall I become the handmaid to sweep the court-yard of the bower of love for the all-blissful daughter of Vrisha-bhanu, among whose servants oft and again every day are heard the soft tones of the peacock-crested god?
9." When shall I hear the voice of blessed Radha, that fountain of delights crying ‘Nay, Nay,’ with knitted brows, as some gallant suitor, fallen at her feet, begs for the rapturous joy of her embrace ?
10." When, oh when, will Radhika show me favour, that incarnation of the fullness of the ocean of perfect love, the marvellous glory of the glistening splendour of whose lotus feet was seen among the herdsmen’s wives ?
11." When shall I attain to the blissful vision of the golddess of the blooming bowers of the woods of Brinda-ban, her eyes all tremulous with love, and the different members of her body like the waves of an overflowing ocean of delight ?
12." O queen of Brinda-ban, I betake me to thy lotus feet, fraught with the honeyed flood of love’s ambrosia, which planted in Madhu-pati’s heart, assuaged by their grateful coolness the fierce fever of desire.
13." Fain would my soul loiter in the woods sacred to Radha’s loves, where the sprays of the creepers have been plucked by Radha’s hands, where the fragrant soil blossoms with Radhika’s footprints, and where the frequent birds are madly garrulous with Radha’s praises.
14." When, O daughter of Vrisha-bhanu, shall I experience the conceit induced by excess of voluptuous dalliance, I your handmaid, charged with the message, ‘Come and enjoy Krishna’s dainties,’ and answered with the smile, Only stay, friend, till night comes.’
15." Ah ! when shall I behold Radha, with downcast eyes, bashfully steal ing a distant glance at the moon-like orb of the face of the lord of lovers, as she tips with twinkling feet, all graceful in her movements, to the music of her own bangles ?
16." When, O Radha, will you fall asleep, while my hands caress your feet, after I have tenderly bathed you and fed you with sweet things, wearied with your vigil through a night of dalliance in the inmost bower, in the delicious embrace of your paragon of lovers ?
17." O that the ocean of wit, the singular ocean of love’s delights, the ocean of tenderness, the ocean of exuberant pitifulness, the ocean of loveliness, the ocean of ambrosial beauty and grace, the ocean of wantonness, blessed Radhika, world manifest herself in my soul.
18." O that the daughter of Vrisha-bhanu, looking up all tremulous and glistening in every limb like the flowering champa, would clasp me in her arms, charmed by my chanted praises of Syam-sundar, as she listens for the sound of his pipe !
19." Blessed Radhika, cool me with the multiplicity of love that breathes in the swan-like melody of the girdle that binds your loins reddened with dalliance, and in the tinkling of the bangles, like the buzzing of bees, clustered round your sweet lotus feet.
20." Blessed Radhika, wreathed with the surge of a Ganges wave of heavenly dalliance, with lovely lotus face and navel as a whirl in the stream, hastening on to the confluence with Krishna, that ocean of sweetness, draw near to me.
21." When, O blessed Radha, shall I rest upon my head your lotus feet, Govind’s life and all, that ever rain down upon the faithful abundant torrents of the honeyed flood of the ocean of perfect love?
22." When, O Radha, stately as an elephant in gait, shall I accompany you to the bower of assignation to show the way, bearing divinely sweet sandal wood and perfumes and spices, as you march in the excitement of love’s rapture?
23." O blessed Radha, having gone to some secluded slope of the Jamuna and there rubbing with fragrant unguents your ambrosial limbs, the very life of Love, when shall I see your prince of lusty swains, with longing eyes, mounted on some high kadamb tree .
24."When, O blessed Radhika, shall l behold your heavenly face, clustered-as if with bees-with wanton curls, like some lotus blossoming in a lake of purest love, or a moon swelling an ocean of enjoyment, an ocean of delight.
25." Ah! the name of Radha, perfection of loveliness, perfection of delight, sole perfection of happiness, perfection of pity, perfection of honeyed beauty and grace, perfection of wit, perfection of the rapturous joys of love, perfection of all the most perfect that my soul can conceive !
170. " O ye wise, if there be any one desirous of transcendental happiness, let him fill the pitcher of his ears and drink in this panegyric, called the Rasa sudha -nidhi, or ‘ Treasury of Love’s delights."
The Hindu poem, the Chaurasi Pada, is much more popular, and most of the Gosains know at least some of its stanzas by heart. There is a commentary upon it by Lok-nath, dated Sambat 1855, and another in verse, called the Rahasya artha-nirupana by Rasik Lal, written in Sambat 1734. Neither of the two, however, is of much assistance to the student; all the simple passages being paraphrased with wearisome prolixity, while real difficulties are generally skip ped. I subjoin the text and translation of the first 12 stanzas:-
अथ श्रीहितहरिवंशकृतवाणी लिख्यते ।।
राग बिभास ।।
।। १ ।।
जोई जोई प्यारौ करै सोई मोहि भावै
भावै मोहि जोई सोई सोई करैं प्यारे ।
मोकौं तों भावती ठौर प्यारेके नैंननि में
प्यारौ भयो चाहै मेरे नैंननिके तारे ।
मेरैं तौ तन मन प्राणहूं तैं प्रीतम प्रिय
अपने कोटिक प्राण प्रीतम मोसौं हारे ।
जैश्रीहितहरिवंशहंसहंसिनी सांवल गौर
कहौ कौंन करै जलतरंगनि न्यारे ।।
।। २ ।।
प्यारे बोली भामिनी आजु नीकी जामिनी भेट नवी मेघमौं दामिनी ।।
मोंहन रसिकराइ री माई तासौं जु मानु करै ऐसो कौंन कामनी ।।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश श्रवन सुनत प्यारी राधिकारवनसौं मिली गजगामिनी ।।
।। ३ ।।
प्रात समै दोऊ रस लंपट सुरत जुद्ध जैजुत अतिफूल ।
श्रमवारिज घन विंदु वदनपर भूषन अंगहि अंग विकूल ।।
कछु रह्यो तिलक सिथल अलकावलि वदनकमल मानों अलिभूल ।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश मदनरंग रंगि रहे नैंन बैन कटि सिथल दुकूल ।।
।। ४ ।।
आजु तो जुवती तेरौ वदन आनंद भर्यो पियके संगमके सूचत सुपचैंन ।
आलस वलित बोल सुरंगरंगे कपोल विंथकित अरुण उनींदे दोऊ नैंन ।।
रुचिर तिलक लेस किरत कुसुम केस सिर सीमंत भूषित मानौं तैं न
करुणा करि उदार राषत कछू न सार दसन वसन लागत जब दैंन ।।
काहेकौं दुरति भीर पलटे प्रीतम चीर बस किये स्यांम सिषै सत मैंन ।
गलित उरसि माल सिथल किंकिनीजाल जैश्रीहितहरिवंश लतागृह सैंन ।।
।। ६ ।।
कौंन चतुर जुवती प्रिया जाहि मिलत लाल चोरव्है रैंन ।
दुरवति क्यौंच दुरै सुनि प्यारे रंगमै गहलै चैंनमैं नैंन ।।
उर नषचंद विराने पट अटपट से बैंन ।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश रसिक राधापति प्रमथित मैंन ।।
।। राग विलावल ।।
आजु निकुजमंजुमैं पेलत नवलकिशोर नवीन किशोरी ।
अति अनुपम अनुराग परस्पर सुनि अभूत भूतल पर जोरी ।।
विद्रुम फटिक विविध निर्मित धर नवकर्पूरपराग न थोरी ।
कोमल किशलय सैंन सुपेसल तापर स्याम निवेसित गोरी ।।
मिथुन हासि परिहासि परायन पीक कपोल कमल पर झोरी ।
गौर स्याम भुज कलह मनोहर नीवी बंधन मोचत डोरी ।।
हरिउर मुकर विलोकि अपुनपो विभ्रम विकल मानजुत भोरी ।
चिवुक सुचारु प्रलोइ प्रवोधित पिय प्रतिविंव जनाइ निहोरी ।।
नेति नेति वचनामृत सुनि सुनि ललितादिक देषत दुरिचोरी ।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश करत करधूनन प्रनय कोप मालावलि तोरी ।।
।। ८ ।।
अतिहीं अरुण तेरे नैंन नलिन री ।
अलसजुत इतरात रगमगे भय निसिजागर मषिन मलिन री ।।
सिथल पलकमें उठत गोलकगति विधयौ मोहन मृग सकत चलि न री ।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश हंसकलगामिन संभ्रम देत भंवरिनी अलीन री ।।
।। ९ ।।
बनी राधा मोंहनकी जोरी ।
इंद्रनीलमणि स्याम मनोहर सातकुंभ तन गोरी ।।
भाल विसाल तिलक हरि कामिनि चिकुरचंद विच रोरी ।
गज नाइक प्रभु चाल गयंदनि गति वृषभानु किसोरी ।।
नील निचोल जुवति मोहन पटपेती अरुण सिर षोरी ।
जै श्रीहितहरिवंश रसिक राधापति सु रत रंग मैं वोरी ।।
।। १० ।।
आजु नागरीकिशोर भांवती विचित्र जोर
कहा कहौं अंग अंग परममाधुरी ।।
करत केलि कंठ मेलि वाहुदंड गंड गंड
परस सरस रासलास मंडली जुरी ।
स्यांम सुंदरी बिहार बासुरी मृदंग तार
मधुर घोस नूपुरादि किंकिनी चुरी ।
जै श्री देषति हरिवंश आलि निर्तनी सुगंध चालि
वारि फेरिदेति प्राण देह सौं दुरी ।।
।। ११ ।।
मंजुल कल कुंजदेस राधाहरि विशदवेश
राकानभ कुमुदवंधु शरद जामिनी ।
स्यामलदुति कनकअंग विहरत मिलि एकसंग
नीरद मनी नील मध्य लसत दामिनी ।
अरुन पीत नव दुकूल अनुरागमूल
सौरभजुत सीत अनिल मंदगामिनी ।
किशलयदलरचित सैंन बोलत पिय चाटु बैंन
मान सहित प्रतिपद प्रतिकूल कामिनी ।
मोहनमन मथत मार परसत कुच नीवी हार
वेपथजुत नेति नेति वदत भामिनी ।
नरवाहन प्रभुसुकेल बहु बिधि भर भरत झेलि
सौरतरसरूपनदी जगतपावनी ।।
।। १२ ।।
चलहि राधिके सुजान तेरे हित सुषनिधान
रासु रच्यो स्याम तट कलिंदनंदिनी ।
निर्तत जुगवतीसमूह रागरंग अतिकतूह
बाजत रसमूल मुरलिका अनंदिनी ।
बंसीवट निकट जंहां परमरमणभूमि तंहां
सकलसुषद मलय बहै वायु मंदिनी ।
जाति ईषदविकास कानन अतिसय सुवास
राकानिस सरदमास विमल चांदिनी ।
नरवाहन प्रभु निहार लोचन भरि घोषनारि
नषसिष सौंदर्य काम दुषनिकंदनी ।
विलसहु भुज ग्रीव भामिनी सुषसिंधु झेलि
नव निकुंज स्याम केलि जगतबंदनी ।।
TRANSLATION OF THE FIRST TWELVE STANZAS OF THE CHAURASI PADA.
I. " Whatever my Beloved doeth is pleasing to me; and whatever is pleasing to me, that my Beloved doeth. The place where I would be is in my Beloved’s eyes; and my Beloved would fain be the apple of my eyes. My Love is dearer to me than body, soul, or life; and my Love would lose a thousand lives for me. Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans ! The loving pair, one dark, one fair, are like two cygnets; tell me who can separate wave from water?
II." O my Beloved, has the fair spoken? this is surely a beautiful night; the lightning is folded in the lusty cloud’s embrace. O friend, where is the woman who would quarrel with so exquisite a prince of gallants ? Rejoice, Sri Hari Vans ! dear Radhika hearkened with her ears and with voluptuous emotion joined in love’s delights 
III. "At day-break the wanton pair, crowned with victory in love’s conflict, were all-exuberant. On her face are frequent beads of labour’s dew, and all the adornments of her person are in disarray, the paint-spot on her brow is all but effaced by heat, and the straggling curls upon her lotus face resemble roaming bees. (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans !) her eyes are red with love’s colours and her voice and loins feeble and relaxed.
IV. " Your face, fair dame, to-day is full of joy, betokening your happi ness and delight in the intercourse with your Beloved. Your voice is languid and tremulous, your cheeks aflame, and both your weary eyes are red with sleeplessness; your pretty tilak half effaced, the flowers on your head faded, and the parting of your hair as if you had never made it at all. The Bounti ful one of his grace refused you no boon, as you coyly took the hem of your robe between your teeth. Why shrink away so demurely ? you have changed clothes with your Beloved, and the dark-hued swain has subdued you as completely as though he had been tutored by a hundred Loves. The garland on his breast is faded, the clasp of his waist-belt loose (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans !) as he comes from his couch in the bower.
V. "To-day at dawn there was a shower of rapture in the bower, where the happy pair were delighting themselves, one dark, one fair, bright with all gay colours, as she tripped with dainty foot upon the floor. Great Syam, the glorious lord of love, had his flower wreath stained with the saffron dye of her breasts, and was embellished with the scratches of his darling’s nails; she too was marked by the hands of her jewel of lovers. The happy pair in an ecstasy of affection make sweet song, stealing each other’s heart (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans!) the bard is fain to praise, but the drone of a bee is as good as his ineffectual rhyme.
VI. " Who so clever, pretty damsel, whom her lover comes to meet, stealing through the night? Why shrink so coyly at my words? Your eyes are suffused and red with love’s excitement, your bosom is marked with his nails, you are dressed in his clothes, and your voice is tremulous. (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans !) Radha’s amorous lord has been mad with love.
VII. "Today the lusty swain and blooming dame are sporting in their pleasant bower. O list ! great and incomparable is the mutual affection of the happy pair, on the heavenly plain of Brinda-ban. The ground gleams bright with coral and crystal and there is a strong odour of camphor. A dainty couch of soft leaves is spread, on which the dark groom and his fair bride recline, intent upon the joys and delights of dalliance, their lotus cheeks stained with red streaks of betel juice. There is a charming strug gle between dark hands and fair to loose the string that binds her skirt. Beholding herself as in a mirror in the necklace on Hari’s breast, the silly girl is troubled by delusion and begins to fret, till her lover wagging his pretty chin shows her that she has been looking only at her own shadow.’ Listening to her honeyed voice, as again and again she cries ‘Nay, nay,’ Lalita and the others take a furtive peep (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans!) till tossing her hands in affected passion she snaps his jewelled necklet.
VIII. “Ah, red indeed are your lotus eyes, lazily languishing and inflamed by night-long watch, and their collyrium all faded. From your drooping eyelids shoots a glance like a bolt, that strikes your swain as it were a deer and he cannot stir. (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans!) O damsel, voluptuous in motion as the swan, your eyes deceive even the wasps and bees.
IX. " Radha and Mohan are such a dainty pair, he dark and beautiful as the sapphire, she with body of golden lustre: Hari with a tilak on his broad forehead and the Fair with a roli streak amidst the tresses of her hair: the lord like a stately elephant in gait and the daughter of Vrishabhanu like an elephant queen: the damsel in a blue vesture and Mohan in yellow with a red khaur on his forehead (Rejoice, Sri Hit Hari Vans!) Radha’s amorous lord is dyed deep with love’s colours.
X. “To-day the damsel and her swain take delight in novel ways. What can I say ? they are altogether exquisite in every limb; sporting together with arms about each other’s neck and cheek to cheek, by such delicious contact making a circle of wanton delight. As they dance, the dark swain and the fair damsel, pipe and drum and cymbal blend in sweet concert with the tinkling of the bangles on her wrists and ankles and the girdle round her waist. Sri Hit Hari Vans, rejoicing at the sight of the damsels dancing and their measured paces, tears his soul from his body and lays them both at their feet.
XI. " The pavilion is a bright and charming spot; Radha and Hari are in glistening attire and the full-orbed autumnal moon is resplendent in the heaven. The dark-hued swain and nymph of golden sheen, as they toy together, show like the lightning’s flash and sombre cloud. In saffron ves ture he and she in scarlet; their affection deep beyond compare; and the air, cool, soft and laden with perfumes. Their couch is made of leaves and blossoms and he woos her in dulcet tones, while coyly the fair one repulses his every advance. Love tortures Mohan’s soul, as he touches her bosom, or waist-band, or wreath, and timorously she cries ‘off, off.’ Pleasant is the sporting of the glorious lord, close-locked in oft-repeated embrace, and like an earth-reviving river is the flood of his passion.
XII. " Come Radha, you knowing one, your paragon of lovers has started a dance on the bank of the Jamuna’s stream. Bevies of damsels are dancing in all the abandonment of delight; the joyous pipe gives forth a stirring sound. Near the Bansi-bat, a sweetly pretty spot, where the spicy air breathes with delicious softness, where the half-opened jasmine fills the world with overpowering fragrance, beneath the clear radiance of the autumnal full moon, the milkmaids with raptured eyes are gazing on your glorious lord, all beautiful from head to foot, quick to remove love’s every pain. Put your arms about his neck, fair dame, pride of the world, and lapped in the bosom of the Ocean of delight, disport yourself with Syam in his blooming bower."
If ever the language of the brothel was borrowed for temple use, it has been so here. But, strange to say, the Gosains, who accept as their Gospel these sensuous ravings of a morbid imagination, are for the most part highly respectable married men, who contrast rather favourably, both in sobriety of life and intellectual acquirements, with the professors of rival sects that are based on more reputable authorities. Several of them have a good know ladge literary Hindi; but their proficiency in Sanskrit is not very high; the best informed among them being unable to resolve into its constituent elements and explain the not very recondite compound suduruha, which will be found in the second stanza of the Radha-sudha.
To indicate the fervour of his passionate love for his divine mistress, Hari Vans assumed the title of Hit Ji and is popularly better known by this name than by the one which he received from his parents. His most famous disciple was Vyas Ji of Orchha, of whom various legends are reported. On his first visit to the Swami he found him busy cooking, but at once propounded some knotty theological problem. The sage without any hesitation solved the difficulty, but first threw away the whole of the food he had prepared, with the remark that no man could attend properly to two things at once. Vyas was so struck by this procedure that he then and there enrolled himself as his disciple, and in a short space of time conceived such an affection for Brinda-ban that he was most reluctant to leave it even to return to his wife and children. At last, however, he forced himself to go, but had not been with them long before he determined that they should themselves disown him, and accordingly he one day in their presence took and ate some food from a scavenger’s hand. After this act of social excom munication he was allowed to return to Brinda-ban, where he spent the remainder of his life and where his samadh, or tomb, is still to be seen.
Another disciple, Dhruva Das, was a a voluminous writer and composed as many as 42 poems, of which the following is a list: 1, Jiv-dash; 2, Baid -gyan; 3, Man-siksha; 4, Brindaban-sat; 5, Bhakt-namavali; 6, Brihadbaman Puran; 7, Khyal Hulas; 8, Siddhant Bichar; 9, Priti-chovani; 10, Anand ashtak; 11, Bhajanashtak; 12, Bhajan-kundaliya; 13, Bhajan-sat; 14, Sringar-sat; 15, Man-sringar; 16, Hit-sringar; 17, Sabha-mandal; 18, Ras-mukta vali; 19, Ras-hiravali; 20, Ras-ratnvali; 21, Premavali; 22, Sri Priya Ji ki namavali; 23, Rahasya-manjari; 24, Sukh-manjari; 25, Rati-manjari; 26, Neh-manjari; 27, Ban-bihar; 28, Ras-bihar; 29, Rang-hulas; 30, Rang bihar; 31, Rang-binod; 32, Anand-dasa; 33, Rahasya-lata; 34, Anand-lata; 35, Anurag-lata; 36, Prem-lata; 37, Ras-anand; 38, Jugal-dhyan; 39, Nirtya bilas; 40, Dan-lila; 41, Man-lila; 42, Braj-lila.
The only one of the three more important modern schools which yet remains to be mentioned is that founded by Swami Hari Das. The Gosains, his des cendants, who now, with their wives and children, number some 500 persons, own one of the most conspicuous of the modern temples, which is dedicated to Krishna under his title of Bihari Ji, or in more popular phrase Banke Bihari. This is not only their head-quarters, but appears to be the only temple in all India of which they have exclusive possession. It has lately been rebuilt at a cost of Rs. 70,000; a sum which has been raised in the course of 13 years by the contributions of their clients from far and near. It is a large square red sand-stone block of plain, but exceedingly substantial, character, with a very effective central gateway of white stone. This has yet to be completed by the addition of an upper story; but even as it stands, the delicacy of its surface carving, and the extremely bold projection of its eaves, render it a pleasing specimen of the style of architecture now in vogue at Brinda-ban-one of the few places in the civilized world where architecture is not a laboriously studied reproduction of a dead past, but a still living art, which is constantly developing by a process of spontaneous growth. The estate is divided into two shares or bats, according to the descent of the Gosains. Their founder was himself a celibate; but his brother Jagannath had three sons, Megh Syam, Murari Das and Gopinath Das, of whom the third died childless, the other two being the ancestors of the present generation. As is usual in such cases, the two families are at war with one another, and have more than once been obliged to invoke the assistance of the law to prevent a serious breach of the peace. Beyond the saintliness of their ancestor, but few of them have any claim to respect, either on account of their learning-for the majority of them cannot even read-or for the correct ness of their morals. There are, however, two exceptions to the general rule-one for each bat-in the person of the Gosains Jagadis and Kishor Chand; both of whom are fairly well read, within the narrow limits of their own sec tarian literature, beyond which they have never dreamed of venturing.
In the original Bhakt-male of Nabha Ji, the stanza referring to Hari Das stands as follows:
| मूल |
आशधीर उद्योत कर रसिक छाप हरिदास की ।।
जुगलनामसों नैंम जपत नित कुंजबिहारी ।।
अविलोकत रहैं केलि सखी सुखको अधिकारी ।।
गांनकला गंधर्व श्यांमश्यांमाकों तोषें ।।
उत्तम भोग लगाय मोर सरकट तिमि पोषें ।।
नृपति द्वार ठाढ़े रहें दरशन आशा जास की ।।
आशधीर उद्योत कर रसिक छाप हरिदास की ।।
which may be thus translated:
"Tell we now of Hari Das, the pride of Asdhir, who sealed the list of the saints; who, bound by a vow to the perpetual repetition of the two names of Kunj-bihari, was ever beholding the sportive actions of the god, the lord of the Gopis delights; who was a very Gandharv in melodious song and propitiated Syam and Syama, presenting them with the daintiest food in daily sacrifice and feeding the peacocks and monkeys and fish; at whose door a king stood waiting in hope of an interview; Hari Das, the pride of Asdhir, who sealed the list of the saints."
This is followed by the Gloss, or Supplement of Priya Das:
श्री स्वामी हरिदास रसराशि को बषांनि सकै
रसिकताकी छाप कोई जाप मधि पाई है ।।
ल्यायौ कोऊ चोवा वाकौ अति मन भोवा वामै
डार्यौ लै पुलनि यह षोवा हिय आइयै ।।
जांनिकै सुजांन कही लै दिषावौं लालप्यारे
नैंशिकु उघारे पट सुगंध बुड़ाइयै ।।
पारशपषांन करि जल उदवाइ दियौ
कियौ तव शिष्य ऐसैं नाना बिधि गाइयै ।।
which may be thus rendered:
“Who can tell all the perfections of Sri Swami Hari Das, who by ever muttering in prayer the sacred name came to be the very seal of devotion. Some one brought him perfume that he valued very highly; he took and threw it down on the bank; the other thought it wasted. Said the sage, knowing his thoughts: ‘ Take and show him the god:’ he slightly raised the curtain; all was drenched with perfume. The philosopher’s stone he cast into the water, then gave instruction: many are the legends of the kind."?
Probably few will deny that at least in this particular passage the disciple in more obscure than his master; and the obscurity, which is a sufficiently prominent feature in the English translation, is far greater in the Hindi text, where no indication is given of a change of person, and a single form answers indiffer ently for every tense of a verb and every case of a noun. The Bhakt-Sindhu expands the two stanzas into a poem of 211 couplets and supplies a key to all the allusions in the following detailed narrative:
Brahm-dhir, a Sanadh Brahman of a village now called Haridaspur, near Kol, had a son, Gyandhir, who entertained a special devotion for Krishna under his form of Giridhari-’ the mountain-supporter and thus made frequent pil grimages to the holy hill of Gobardhan. On one such occasion be took to him-self a wife at Mathura, and she in due time bore him a son, whom he named As dhir. The latter eventually married a daughter of Ganga-dhar, a Brahman of Rajpur-a small village adjoining Brinda-ban-who on the 8th of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadon in the sambat year 1441 give birth to Hari Das. Form his earliest childhood he gave indications of his future sanctity, and instead of joining in play with other children was always engaged in prayer and religious meditation. In spite of his parents entreaties he made a vow of celibacy, and at the age of 25 retired to a solitary hermitage by the Man Sarovar, a natural lake on the left bank of the Jamuna, opposite Brinda-ban. He afterwards removed to the Nidh-ban in that town, and there formally received his first disciple, Bithal-Bipul, who was his own maternal uncle. His fame soon spread far and wide, and among his many visitors was one day a Khattri from Delhi, by name Dayal Das, who had by accident discovered the philosopher’s stone, which transmuted into gold everything with which it was brought in contact. This he presented as a great treasure to the Swami, who however tossed it away into the Jamuna; but then seeing the giver’s vexation, he took him to the margin of the stream and bade him take up a handful of sand out of the water. When he had done so, each single grain seemed to be a facsimile of the stone that had been thrown away and, when tested, was found to possess precisely the same virtue. Thus the Khattri was made to understand that the saints stand in no need of earthly riches, but are complete in themselves; and he forthwith joined slumber of Hari Das’s disciples.
Some thieves, however, hearing that the sage had been presented with the philosopher’s stone, one day when he was bathing, took the opportunity of stealing his salagram, which they thought might be it. On discovering it to be useless for their purpose, they threw it away under a bush, and as the saint in his search for it happened to pass by the spot, the stone itself found voice to tell him where it lay. From that time forth he received every morning by miraculous agency a gold coin, out of which he was to provide the temple-offerings (bhog) and to spend whatever remained over in the purchase of grain wherewith to feed the fish in the Jamuna and the peacocks and monkeys on its banks.
One day a Kayath made him an offering of a bottle of atar worth Rs. 1,000, and was greatly mortified to see the Swami drop it carelessly on the ground, so that the bottle was broken and the precious essence all wasted. But on being taken to the temple he found that his gift had been accepted by the god, for the whole building was fragrant with its perfume. 16." When, O Radha, will you fall asleep, while my hands caress your feet, after I have tenderly bathed you and fed you with sweet things, wearied with your vigil through a night of dalliance in the inmost bower, in the delicious embrace of your paragon of lovers ?
Again, a minstrel at the court of the Dehli Emperor had an incorrigibly stupid son, who was thereupon expelled in disgrace. In his wanderings he happened to come to Brinda-ban, and there threw himself down on the road to sleep. In the early morning the Swami, going from the Nidh-ban to bathe, stumbled over him, and after hearing his story gave him the name of Tan-sen, and by the mere exercise of his will converted him at once into a most accom plished musician. On his return to Delhi, the Emperor was astonished at the brilliancy of his performance, and determined himself to pay a visit to Brinda-ban and see the master under whom he had studied. Accordingly, when he was next at Agra, he came over to Mathura, and rode out as far as Bhat-rond half-way-whence he preceded on foot to the Nidh-ban. The saint received his old pupil very graciously, but took no notice of his royal companion, though he knew perfectly well who he was. At last, as the Emperor continued beg ging that he might be of some service, he took him to the Bihari ghat close by, which for the nonce appeared as it’ each one of its steps was a single precious stone set in a border of gold; and there showing him one step with a slight flaw in it, asked him to replace it by another. This was a work beyond the capacity even of the great Emperor, who thereupon contented himself with making a small endowment for the support of the sacred monkeys and peacocks and then went his way after receiving a most wearisome amount of good advice.
No further incident is recorded in the life of Hari Das, the date of whose death is given as Sambat 1537. He was succeeded as Mahant by his uncle Bithal-Bipul; and he by Bihari Das. The latter was so absorbed in enthu siasm that a Sarasvat Brahman, of Panjabi extraction, by name Jagannath, was brought over from Kol to administer the affairs of the temple; and after his death the succession was continued through several other names, which it seems unnecessary to transcribe.
Thus far the narrative of the Bhakt-Sindhn; which, it will be seen, affords an explanation of the obscure allusions in the Bhakt-Mala to the two presenta tions of the atar and the philosopher’s stone, the daily feeding of the monkeys and peacocks and the Emperor’s visit. In other matters, however, it is not at all in accord with the traditions accepted by the Swami’s descendants; for they say that he was not a Sanadh by caste, but a Sarasvat; that his family came not from Kol or Jalesar, but from Uchch near Multan, and that he lived not four centuries ago, but at the most only three. It would seem that the author of the Bhakt-Siudhu was the partisan of a schism in the community, which occurred about 50 years or so ago, and that he has moulded his facts accordingly; for the Jagannath whom he brings over from Kol is not named in a genuine list of the Mahants, which will be given hereafter. That he is utterly at fault in his dates, Sambat 1441-1537, is obvious at a glance; for the Emperor who visited Brinda-ban was certainly Akbar, and he did not ascend the throne till Sambat 1612. It is true that Professor Wilson, in his Religious Sects of the Hindus, where he mentions Hari Das, describes him as a disciple and faithful companion of Chaitanya, who was born in 1485 and died in 1527 A. D. But although Hari Das had imbibed the spirit of Chaitanya’s teaching, I know of no ground for maintaining that there was any personal intercourse between the two; had it been so, that fact would scarcely have escaped record in the Bhakt-Mala or some one of its modern paraphrases. Moreover, I have by me a small pothi of 680 leaves, which gives a complete list of all the Mahants and their writings from the founder down to the date of the MS., which is Sambat 1825. The list is as follows: Swami Hari Das, Bithal Bipul, Biharini Das, Nagari Das, Saras Das, Naval Das, Narhar Das, Rasik Das, and Lalit-Kishori, other-wise called Lalit-mohani Das. Allowing 2O years for each incumbency, which is rather a high average, since only an elderly man would be elected for the post, the date of Hari Das’s death is thrown back only as far as Sambat 1665. His writings, moreover, are not more archaic in style than the poems of Tulsi Das, who died in Sambat 1680; and therefore on all grounds we may fairly conclude as an established fact that he flourished at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century A. D., in the reigns of the Emperors Akbar and Jahangir.
Each of the Mahants named in the above list is described as being the disciple of his immediate predecessor, and each composed some devotional poems, which are known as sakhis, chaubolas, or pads. The most voluminous writer is Biharini Das, whose padas occupy 684 pages. In many of them he expresses the intensity of his mystical devotion in terms of exaggerated warmth, which are more suggestive of an earthly than a divine passion. But the short extract that follows is of a different character, and is of special interest as confirming the conclusion already stated as to the date of Hari Das; since it mentions by name both the Emperor Akbar and also the death of his famous friend Birbar, which occurred in 1590 A.D
।। राग गोरी ।।
कहा गर्वे रे मृतक नर ।।
स्वांन स्यार को खान पांन तन ऐठिं चलत रे निलज निडर ।।
यहै अवधि बहु विदित जग वांमन बड़े भये बीरबर ।।
मरत दूष्यौ हियौ न जियौ कियो न सहाइ साहि अकबर ।।
स्वासन निकसत  सुर असुर राषे रोंथि  काल करतर ।।
इतहि न उतहि बीचही भूल्यौ है फिरत कोंन के थर ।।
सुखद सरन हरिचरनकमल भजि बादि फिरत भटकत घरघर ।।
श्रीबिहारीदास हरिदास विपुलबल लटकि लग्यो संग सर्वोपर ।।
" Why boastest thou thyself, O mortal man ? thy body shall be the prey of dogs and jackals, though without shame or fear thou now goest delicately. This is known throughout the world to be the end of all: a great man was the Brah man Birbar, yet he died, and at his death the Emperor Akbar was sad of heart, nor himself longer lived nor aught availed. When gods or demons breathe out their life, Death holds them in his maw, suspended, neither here nor there, but in an intermediate state. All astray and swelling with pride, on whom is thy trust? Adore Hari’s blessed lotus feet; to roam and wander about from house to house is all vanity. By the strong aid of Hari Das, Biharini Das has found and laid hold of the Almighty." The founder of the sect has himself left only two short poems, filling 41 leaves, entitled Sadharan Siddhant and Ras ke pada. The former is here given both in the original text and in a translation. Most of the habitues of the temple know the greater part of it by heart, though I have ascertained that very few of them have more than the vaguest general idea of the meaning. Even the best-informed of the Pujaris-Kishori Chand-who went over it carefully with me, supplied an interpretation of some passages which after consolations with other Pandits I could see was quite untenable and was obliged to reject. The connection of ideas and the grammatical construction are often so involved that it is highly probable my version may still be not altogether free of errors, though I have done my best to eliminate them. The doctrine inculcated does not appear to differ in any essential point from the ordinary teaching of the other Vaishnava sects: the great duties of man, by the practice of which he may have an assured hope of attaining to ultimate salvation, being defined as submission to the divine will, detachment from the world, and an unquestioning faith in the mystery of the incarnation.
।। ० ।। अथ श्रीस्वामीहरिदासजीकृत साधारणसिद्धांत लिष्यते ।। ० ।।
।। रागविभास ।।
ज्यौंही ज्यौंही तुम राषतहौ त्यौंही त्यौंही रहियतहै हो हरि ।।
और तौ अचरचे पाय धरौं सुतौ कहौ कौन के पेंड भरि ।।
जद्मप हौं अपनौ भायौ कियौ चाहौं कैसैं करि सकौं जो तुम राधौ पकरि ।।
श्रीहरिदास के स्वांमी श्यामाकुंजबिहारी
पिजरा के जनावर लौं तरफराय रहौ उड़िवेकौं कितोक करि ।। १ ।।
काहूको बस नांहि तुम्हारी कृपातें सब होय श्रीबिहारी बिहारनि ।।
और मिथ्याप्रपंच काहेकौं भाषियै सो तौ है हारनि ।।
जाहि तुमसौं हित तासौं तुम हित करौ सब सुषकारनि ।।
श्रीहरिदासके स्वांमी श्यांमाकुंजबिहारी प्रांननिके आधारनि ।। २ ।।
कबहूं कबहूं मन इत उत जातैं यातै अब कौंन है अधिक सुष ।।
बहुत भांति नयत आंनि राष्यौ नाहितौ पाव तौ दुष ।।
कोटि कामलावन्य बिहारी तातैं मुहांचुहीं सब सुष लियें रहत रुष ।।
श्रीहरिदासके स्वांमी श्यांमाकुंजबिहारी दिन देषत रहौंविचित्र मुष ।। ३ ।।
हरि भजि हरि भज छांड़ि न मान नर तन कौ ।।
जिन वंछैरे जिन वंछैरे तिलतिल धनकौं ।।
अनमागैं आगैं आवैगौ ज्यौं पल लागैं पलकौं ।।
कहि हरिदास मीच ज्यौं आवै त्यौं धन है आपुनकौ ।। ४ ।।
।। राग विलावल ।।
हे हरि मोसौं न विगारनकौं तोसौं न संह्मारनकौं मोहि तोहि परी होड़ ।।
कौंनधौं जीतै कौंनधौं हारै परिबदी न छोड़ ।।
तुम्हारी मायाबाजी पसारी विचित्र मोहे मुनि काके झूले कोड़ ।।
कहि हरिदास हम जीते हारे तुम तहु न तोड़ ।। ५ ।।
वंदे अषत्यार भला ।।
चित न डुलाव आव समाधि भीतर न होहु अगला ।।
न फिर दरदर पदरदर न होहु अधला ।।
कहि हरिदास करता किया सो हुवा सुमेर अचल चला ।। ६ ।।
हित तौ कीजै कमलनैंनसों जा हित के आगैं और हित के लागै फीकौ ।।
कै हित कीजै साधुसंगतसौं ज्यौं कलमषि जाय जीका ।।
हरिकौ हित ऐसौ जैसौ रंग मजीठ ।।
संसार हित ऐसौ जैसौ रंग कसूम दिन दुतीकौ ।।
कहि हरिदास हित कीजै बिहारीसों और निवाहू जीकौ ।।७।।
तिनका बयार के बस ।।
ज्यौं भावै त्यों उड़ाय लेजाय आपने रस ।।
ब्रह्मलोक शिलोक और लोक अस ।।
कहे श्रीहरिदास बिचार देषौ बिना बिहारी नाहिं जस ।। ८ ।।
संसार समुद्र मनुष्य मीन नक्र मगर और जीव बहुबंदसि ।।
मन वयार प्रेरे सनेहफंद फंदसि ।।
लोभ पिंजरा लोभी मरजिया पदारथचारि षंदषंदसि ।।
कहि हरिदास तेई जीव पारभये जे गहि रहे चरन आनंदनंदसि ।। ९ ।।
हरि के नामकौ आलस कित करत है रे काल फिरत सर सांधे ।।
बेर कुबेर कछू नहि जानत चढ्यौ फिरत है कांधे ।।
हीरा बहुत जवाहिरसंचे कहा भयो हस्ती दरबांधे ।।
कहि श्रीहरिदास महलमें बनिता बनठाढ़ी भई ।।
तब कछु न चलत जब आवत अंतकी आंधे ।। १० ।।
देषौ इनि लोगन की लावनि ।।
बूझत नाहिं हरिचरनकमलकौं मिथ्या जन्म गवावनि ।।
जब जमदूत आय घेरतहै करत आप मनभावनि ।।
कहै श्रीहरिदास तबही चिरजीवै कुंजबिहारी चितावनि ।। ११ ।।
मन लगाय प्रीति कीजै कर करवासों ब्रजवीथिन दीजे सोहनी ।।
बृंदाबनसों बनउपबनसौं गुंजमाल हाथ पोहनी ।।
गो गोसुतनसों मृगी मृगसुतनसों और तन नेंक न जोहनी ।।
श्रीहरिदासके स्वांमी श्यांमां कुंजबिहारी सो चित ज्यौ सिरपर दोहनी ।। १२ ।।
।। राग कल्यान ।।
हरिकौ ऐसौई सब खेल ।।
मृगतृष्णा जग ब्यापि रह्यौ है कहूं बिजौरौ न बेलि ।।
धनमद जोवनमद राजमद ज्यौं पंछिन में डेल ।।
कहै श्रीहरिदास यहै जिय जानौं तीरथकौसौ मेल ।। १३ ।।
माई धनि वे मृगी जे कमलनैंनकों पूजित अपनें अपनें भरतारन सहित ।।
धनि वे गाइवछ वेई जे वंशरस पीवत श्रवन दोंना ज्यौं जाइ न बहत ।।
पंछीन होंहिं मुनिजन जेते केते सेवहि दिन काम क्रोध लोभ रहित ।।
सुनि श्रीहरिदास हमारे पति ते कठिन न जान दें हये राषत गहत ।। १४ ।।
।। राग वरारी ।।
लाल मेरे दूधकी दोहनी ।।
मारग जात गाहि रह्यो री अंचरा मेरो, नाहिन देतहों बिना बोहना ।।
नागरि गूजरि ठगिलीनो मेरा लाल गोरोचनकौ तिलक माथै मोहना ।।
श्रीहरिदासके स्वांमी इहां ऐसोई न्याव है या नगरी जिन बसो री सोहनी ।। १५ ।।
।। राग कान्हरो ।।
झूठी बात सांची करि दिषावतहौ हरि नागर ।।
निसि दिन बुनत उधेरतहो जाय प्रपंचकौ सागर ।।
ठाठ बनाय धर्यौ मिहरीकौ है पुरुषतें आगर ।।
सुनि हरिदास यहै जिय जानों सुपनेंकौसौ जागर ।। १६ ।।
जगतप्रीति करि देषी नाहि नेंग टीकौ कोऊ ।।
छत्रपति रंकलौं देषै प्रकृति बिरोध न बन्यौ कोऊ ।।
दिन जु गये बहुत जन्मनके ऐसौ जावौ जिन कोऊ ।।
सुनि हरिदास मीत भलौ पायौ बिहारी ऐसै पावौ सब कोऊ ।। १७ ।।
लोग तो भूल्यौ भलै भूल्यौ तुम मति भूलौ मालाधारी ।।
आपनौ पति छांड़ि औरनिसौं रति ज्यों दारनिमें दारी ।।
स्याम कहत जे जीव मोतें बिमुष जोकौं जिंन दूसरी करडारी ।।
कहि हरिदास जज्ञ देवता पितरनकौं शरधा भारी ।। १८ ।।
जौलौ जीवै तौलौ हरि भज रे मन और बात सब बादि ।।
द्यौस चारके हलाभला में तू कहा लेगौ लादि ।।
धनमद जोवनमद राजमद भूल्यौ नगर बिवादि ।।
कहि श्रीहरिदास लोभ चरपटभयौ काहेकी लगै फिरादि ।। १९ ।।
प्रेमसमुद्ररूपरस गहिरे कैसे लागै घाट ।।
बेकार्यौदै जानि कहावत जानिपन्यौ की कहा परी वाट ।।
काहूकौ सर सूधौ न परै मारत गाल गलीगली हाट ।।
कहि श्रीहरिदास जानि ठाकुर बिहारी तकत न ओटपाट ।। २० ।।
।। इति श्रीस्वामी हरिदासजीकृत साधारणसिद्धांत के पद संपूर्णम् ।।
TRANSLATION OF THE SIDDHANTA OF SWAMI HARI DAS.
1." O Hari, as thou disposest, so all things abide. If I would shape my course in any different fashion, tell me whose tracks could I follow. If I would do my own will, how can I do it, if thou holdest me back ? (The lords of Sri Hari Das are Syama and Kunj-bihari). Put a bird in a cage, and for all its fluttering it cannot get away
2." O Bihari, Biharini, none else has any power; all depends on your grace. Why babble of vain systems of happiness? they are all pernicious. To him who loves you, show love, bestowals of happiness (the lords of Sri Hari Das are Syama and Kunj-bihari), the supporters of all living creatures.
3." At times the soul takes flight hither or thither; but it finds no greater joy. Discipline it in every way and keep it under, or you will suffer. Beautiful as a myriad Loves is Bihari; and Pleasure and all delights dwell in his presence (the lords of Sri Hari Das are Syama and Kunj-bihari) be ever contemplating his manifold aspects.
4. “Worship Hari, worship Hari, nor desert him out of regard for thy mortal body. Covet not; covet not the least particle of wealth. It will come to you unsought, as naturally as one eyelid droops upon the other. Says Sri Hari Das, as comes death, so comes wealth, of itself (or like death, so is wealth-an evil).
5.“O Hari, there is no such destroyer as I am, and no such restorer as thou art:betwixt me and thee there is a contest. Whichever wins or loses, there is no breaking of the condition. Thy game of illusion is wide-spead in diverse ways: saints are bewildered by it and myriads are led astray. Says Bari Dias, I win, thou losest, but there is no change in thy love.
6. “Set your affection on the lotus-eyed, in comparison with whose love all love is worthless; or on the conversation of the saints: that so the sin of your soul may be effaced. The love of Hari is like the durable dye of the madder; but the love of the world is like a stain of saffron that lasts only for two days. Says Hari Das, set your affection on Bihari, and he knowing your heart will remain with you for ever.
8. “A straw is at the mercy of the wind, that blows it about as it will and carries it whither it pleases. So is the realm of Brahma, or of Siva, or this present world. Says Sri Hari Das: this is my conclusion, I have seen none such as Bihari.
9. "Man is like a fish in the ocean of the world, and other living creatures of various species are as the crocodiles and alligators, while the soul like the wind spreads the entangling net of desire. Again, avarice is as a cage, and the avaricious as divers, and the four objects of life as four compartments of the cage. Says Hari Das, those creatures only can escape whoever embrace the feet of the son of bliss.
10. "Fool, why are you slothful in Hari’s praises ? Death goeth about with his arrows ready. He heedeth not whether it be in season or out of season, but has ever his bow on his shoulder. What avail heaps of pearls and other jewels and elephants tied up at your gate? Says Sri Hari Das, though your queen in rich attire await you in her chamber, all goes for nothing when the darkness of your last day draweth nigh.
11.“See the cleverness of these people: having no regard for Hari’s lotus feet, their life is spent to no purpose; when the angel of death comes and encompasses them he does what seemeth him good. Says Sri Hari Das: then is he only found long-lived, who has taken Kunj-bihari to his soul.
12.“Set your heart upon securing his love. With water-pot in hand perambulate the ways of Braj and, stringing the beads of your rosary, wander through Brinda-ban and the lesser groves. As a cow watches her own calf and a doe its own fawns and has an eye for none other (the lords of Sri Hari Das are Syama and Kunj-bihari) be your meditation on them as well balanced as a milk-pail on the head.
13.“All is Hari’s mere sport, a mirage pervading the universe without either germ or plant. The pride of wealth, the pride of youth, the pride of power, are all like the crow among birds. Says Sri Hari Das, know this of a surety, all is but as a gathering on a feast-day, that is quickly dispersed.
14.“O sister, how happy are the does who worship the lotus-eyed, each with her own lord. Happy too the calves that drink in the melody of his pipe in their ears as in a cup from which no drop can be spilt. The birds too are like holy men, who daily do him service, free from lust, passion, and avarice. Hearken, Sri Hari Das, my husband is a difficulty; he will not let me go, but holds me fast..
15.“O friend, as I was going along the road, he laid hold of my milk-pail and my dress; I would not yield to him unless he paid me for luck. ‘ O clever milk-maid, you have bewitched my boy with the lustre of the go-rochan patch on your forehead’ (O lord of Sri Hari Das), this is the justice we get here; do not stay in this town, pretty one.’ 
16.“O clever Hari, thou makest the false appear true; night and day thou art weaving and unweaving; thou art an ocean of deceit. Though thou affectest the woman (In this stanza it is the god’s illusive power, or Mays, that is addressed, rather than the god himself. )in form and name, thou art more than man. Hearken ye all to Hari Das and know of a truth it is but as when one wakes out of sleep.
17."The love of the world has been tested; there is no real accord. See, from the king to the beggar, natures differ and no match can be found. The days of many births are past for ever; so pass not thou. Hearken to Hari Das, who has found a good friend in Bihari; may all find the like
18."People have gone astray; well they have gone, but take thy rosary and stray not thou. To leave thy own lord for another is to be like a strumpet among women. Syama declares: those men rebel against me who prefer another and those too (says Hari Das) who make great sacrifice to the gods and perform laboured funeral rites for departed ancestors. 
19.“Worship Hari from the heart as long as you live; all things else are vain. It is only a matter of fourdays, what need of much baggage. From pride of wealth, from pride of youth, from pride of power, you have lost your-self in mere village squabbles. Says Hari Das, it is greed that has destroyed you; where will a complaint lie.
20."In the depth of the delights of an ocean of love how can men reach a landing-place ? Admitting his helplessness  he cries, What way of escape is open ? No one’s arrows fly straight, for all his boasting in street and marketplace. Says Sri Hari Das: know Bihari to be a god who overlooks all defects in his votaries."
The Maluk Dasis, another modern sect of limited importance, have one of their religious houses at Brinda-ban, with a temple dedicated to Ram Ji, near the Kesi ghat. Their founder, according to the most probable tradition, lived in the reign of Aurangzeb, and was a trader by occupation. He is said to have written a Hindi poem called the Dasratna, together with a few short Sakhis and Padas in the same language; but no specimen of his composition has ever been published, nor is it known what, if any, are the distinctive tenets of the sect. Probably, they will be found to differ in no material respect from the doctrines of faith and quietism as inculcated by Hari Das; though, an impor tant practical difference consists in the recognition of Rama, rather than Krishna, as the incarnation to be specially worshipped. I had intended to visit their Guru and collect from him the materials for a brief sketch of their history and literature, in order to complete this chapter; but unfortunately I neglected to do so while at Mathura, and have now lost the opportunity of supplying the omission.
Another small and obscure sect, that of the Pran-nathis, is again one of the few, of whose literature Professor Wilson, in his essays on the religion of the Hindus, was unable to furnish a specimen. The sect has a single representa tive at Mathura, and from him, before I left, I obtained a copy of one of the poems of Pran-nath himself.
It is very curious, both from the advanced liberalism of its theological ideas and also from the uncouthness of the language, in which the construction of the sentences is purely Hindi, while the vocabulary is mainly supplied from Persian and Arabic sources. The writer, a Kshatriya by caste, lived at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and was under the special patronage of Chhattrasal, the famous Raja of Panna in Bundelkhand, who is commonly said by the Muhammadans to have been converted to Islam, though in reality he only went as far as Pran-nath, who endeavoured to make a compromise between the two religions. His followers are sometimes called Dhamis, from Dham, a name of the supreme spirit, or Parmatma, and like the Sikhs and several of the later Hindu sects are not idolators, so far that they do not make or rever ence any image of the divinity, but if they have any temple at all, the only object of religious veneration which it contains is a copy of the works of the founder. His treatises, which, as usual, are all in verse, are fourteen in num ber, none of them of very great length, and bear the following titles:-1, The book of Ras; 2, of Prakas; 3, of Shat-rit; 4, of Kalas; 5, of Sanadh; 6, of Kirantan; 7, of Khulasa; 8, of Khel-bat; 9, of Prakrama Illahi Dulhan (an allegory in which the Church, or ‘ Bride of God,’ is represented as a holy city); 10, of Sagar Singer; 11, of Bare Singer; 12, of Sidhi Bhasa; 13, of Marafat Sagar; 14, of Kiyamat-nama. The shortest is the last, of which I now pro ceed to give the text, followed by an attempt at a translation, which I am afraid is not altogether free from error, as I am not much versed in Kuranic literature and may have misunderstood some of the allusions. The owner of the MS., Karak Das by name, though professing so liberal a creed, was not a particularly enlightened follower of his master, for I found it impossible to convince him that the Isa of the Kuran, so repeatedly mentioned by Pran-nath, was really the same as the incarnate God worshipped by the English. Like most of the Bairagis and Gosains with whom I have talked, his idea was that the fiery and impetuous foreign rulers of the country were Suraj-bansis, or descendants of the sun, and that the sun was the only God they recognized, as was evidenced by their keeping the Sunday holy in his honour.
But, without further preface, to proceed to the text of the poem. It stands as follows:
षास उमत सु कहियो जाई उठो मोमिनो क्यामत आई ।।
केहेतीहु माफक कुरांन तुमारे आगे करूं बयांन ।। १ ।।
जो कोइ षास उमत सिरदार षड़े रहो हो हुसियांर ।।
वसियतनामे देवे सांप अग्यांरैं सदी होसी बेबाक ।। २ ।।
बरकत दुनियां ओर कुरान ओर फकीरोंकी मेंहेरवांन ।।
ए दरगाहसे आये बयांन जबराइल लेजासी मकांन ।। ३ ।।
तिन दिन होसी अंधा धुंध द्वार तोवाके होसी वंध ।।
कह्या होसी ओर रेवेस तब कोइ किसी का नाही षेस ।। ४ ।।
अब कहो जी बाकी क्या रह्या निसान क्यांमतका जाहेर कह्या ।।
पातसाइ इसा बरस चालीस लिषा सिपारे अठाईस ।। ५ ।।
क्यां हिंदु क्यां मुसलमान सब ऐकठोर ल्यांवे इमांन ।।
सो क्या होसी उठे कुरांन ऐ बिचार देषों चित आंन ।। ६ ।।
नवसे नवे हुए बितीत तब हजरत इसा आए इत ।।
सो लिख्यां ग्यांरे सिपारे मांहे मे षिलाफ बात कहुगा नाहे ।।७।।
रूहअलां पेहेने जामे दोऐ लिख्यां कुरांने सोइ होऐ ।।
ए लिख्यां छठे सिपारे मांहे धोषे वाला जाऐ देषो ताहे ।। ८ ।।
ए जो बरंस इसाकी काही तिनकी तपसीर करदेउ सही ।।
दस अग्यांरै बारैके तीस इसा पातसाइ बरस चालीस ।। ९ ।।
सातर बरस ओर जो रहें सो तो पुल सरातके कहे ।।
मोंमिन चले बिजली की न्यांत मुतकई भी घोड़ेकी भांत ।। १० ।।
ओर जाहेरी उमन जो रही इस विध तिनकों दोजक कही ।।
पुलसरात कही षांडेकी धार गिरे कटे नही पावे पार ।। ११ ।।
अरंमियतसलूनमें कह्या ऐ ऐ जाऐ देषो दिल दे ।।
ऐ जाहेर कह्या बयान हिरदे अंधे न सके पेहेचान ।। १२ ।।
दसइ इसां अग्यारै इमांम बारै सदीमें फजर तमांम ।।
ऐ लिख्या बीच सिपारे आम तीसमां सिपारा कों नांम ।। १३ ।।
आऐइसामहंमद ओर इमांम सबकोइ आए करो सलाम ।।
पर ना देषों आंषों जाहेरी दिल दिदो देषोचित धरी ।। १४ ।।
अजाजीले देष्या वजूद तो आदमकों नकि सजूद ।।
सेजदे कीये तिन बेहद सो सारही हुए दर ।। १५ ।।
जो उनने देष्या आकार तोलागी लानत हुआ षुआर ।।
तव अजाजीले माग्यां वचंन के आदंम मेरा हुआ दुसमन ।। १६ ।।
उनकी औलादकी मारों राह सवोंके दिलपर होंउ पातसाह ।।
आदम अजाजीलसु ऐसी भई आंठमे सिपारे जाहेर कही ।। १७ ।।
फेर तुम लेत वाहींकी अकल पर क्यां करो तुम जो वाहीकी नसल ।।
तुम दजाल वाहेर ढूढत वह दीलपर वेंठा लें लानत ।। १८ ।।
उपर मांऐने ना होये पेहेचांन ऐ तुम सुनियो दिलके कांन ।।
हमेसा आवत हे जूं अव भी फेर आऐहे त्यूं ।। १९ ।।
सव पेगंवर जहूद षिलके बीच देषो दीदे दिलके ।।
ओतो आया हिंदुआ दरम्यांन जिनकु तुम केहेते कुफरांन ।। २० ।।
तुम ढूंढो अपने षिलके मांहे तामे तो साहेव आयां नाहे ।।
जिनकों केहेते कांफर जात सो सवकी करसी सिफात ।। २१ ।।
रव ना रषे किसीका गुमांन ओतो गरीवोपर मेहेरवांन ।।
परदा लिष्या हजरतके रोऐ पर तिनकी क्यां तुमकों नाही षवर ।। २२ ।।
परदा लिष्या वास्ते हिंदुओ मांहे पढ़े इसारत पावे नाहे ।।
जो देषतहे जेर जवर सो हकीकत पावें क्योंकर ।। २३ ।।
ऐसी हिंदुओ की कही सिफत आषर हिंदूओ में मुलकनवुवत ।।
और आप हजरत सालतपनाह सोतोजहूद फकीरो मे पातसाह ।। २४ ।।
पांचमे सिपारे ऐह वयांन न मानों सो जाऐ देषों कुरांन ।।
ओर हिंदुवी कितावो मेयौ कही वुधकलंकी आवेगा सही ।। २५ ।।
ओऐके करसी ऐकरस मसरक मगरब होसी वस ।।
कोईकहेसीदोउक्या होसीऐकवेर तिनका भी करदेउ नवेर ।। २६ ।।
सो इसारत षोले निज वुध विना हादी ना पईऐ सुध ।।
घोड़े कों लिष्या कलंकीकर ताकी किनकों नहीं षवर ।। २० ।।
जोतक कहे विजया अभेंनंद सब कलजुगको करसी निकंद ।।
अंजीर कहें इसा बुजरक सो आऐके सीक हक ।। २८ ।।
जहूद कहे मुसा वड़ा होऐ लाके हाथ छुटे सब कोऐ ।।
सारोने रसम जुदी कर रही सव वुजरकी धनी की कही ।। २९ ।।
पुं उरझे जुदे नांम घर रव आलंमकी आया आषर ।।
अपनी अपनी समझे सव जुदा न रह्या कोइ अव ।। ३० ।।
सव कितावो दइ साष जुदे नाम जुदी लिषी भांष ।।
सत असत दोउ जुदे कीऐ माया ब्रंह्म चीन्हा ऐके दीऐ ।। ३१ ।।
दोनो जहांनमे थी उरझन करम काउ सरियत चलंन ।।
करी हकीकत मारफत रोसंन साफ कीऐ आसमांन घरंन ।। ३२ ।।
ब्रंह्माउको भानों षेलाय सव जहांनकों कियो मिलाय ।।
गुहाइ षुदाकी षुदाइ देवे करे वयान हुकंम सिर लेवे ।। ३३ ।।
सव पूजसी साहेव सरत कलांमअलां यु केहें वत ।।
ऐ लिषा तीसरे सिपारे षोले अरस अजीमके द्वारे ।। ३४ ।।
ललतकदर के तीन तकरार तीसरी फजरमे कारगुजार ।।
रूहे फिरस्ते वजूद धरे लेलतकदर के माहे उतरे ।। ३५ ।।
षेर उतरी महीने हजार गिरो दोउ भइ सिरदार ।।
हुकंम दिया साहेव इनके हाथ भइ सलामती इनके साथ ।। ३६ ।।
केती गुहाई देउ कुरांन इनाइजूलनामेरोह वयान ।।
तीसरी तकरार की भइ फजर ग्यारैं सदी मे देषोगे नजर ।। ३७ ।।
ओर पेहेले सिपारे मे जो लिष्यां सो तुमो क्या नाही देष्यां ।।
साहेदी कुंनकी देवे जोये षास उमतका कहीये सोऐ ।। ३८ ।।
अव जोकोइ होवे षांस उमत देउ गुहाइ हो सावत ।।
उडाये गलफतहीये सावधांन छोडो पढ़ी का गुमान ।। ३९ ।।
हकलआकीन ओर सुनी जोऐ पेहले इमांन लऐवेगा सोऐ ।।
पीछे जाहेर हेसी साहेव तव तो इमांन ल्यावेगेसव ।। ४० ।।
भिस्त दोजक जाहेंर भई नफा किसी कान देवे कोई ।।
ले हिरदे हादीके पाये छचसाल यु कहे वजाऐ ।। ४१ ।।
“Go bell the chosen people; arise ye faithful, the day of judgment is at hand. I speak according to the Kuran and make my declaration before you. All ye heads of the chosen people, stand up and attend. The Testament (Wasiyatnama) gives evidence: Eleven centuries shall be completed after the blessing of the world by the Kuran and by him who was merciful to the poor. A voice shall come from the tabernacle and Gabrielshall take them to the appointed place. For three days, there shall be gloom and confusion, and the door of re peatance shall be closed. And what ? shall there be any other way ?Nay, noose shall be able to befriend his neighbour 
“Say now what shall be the duration of this life, and what the clear signs of the coming of the last day. Christ shall reign for forty years, as is written in the 28th Sipara. Hindus and Musalmans shall both alike bring their creed to the same point. And what shall come about, when the Kuran has thus been taken away ? this is a matter which I would have you now attentively con sider.
"When 991 years are past, then the Lord Christ will come. This is written in the 11th Sipara: I will not quote a word wrongly. The spirit of God (i.e.Christ) shall be clothed in vesture of two different kinds; so it is stated in the Kuran. This is in the 6th Sipara; whoever doubts me may see it there for himself. These now are the years of Christ, as I am going to state in detail. Take ten, eleven, and twelve thirty times (that it is say 10+11+12 X 30 =990). Then Christ shall reign 40 years. The other 70 years that remain (after 990+40, to make up 1,100) are for the bridge Sirat. The saints will cross it like a flash of lightning; the pious with the speed of a horse; but as for the merely nominal believers who remain, for them there are 10 kinds of hell; the bridge Sirat is like the edge of a sword, they fall or they get cut in pieces-none cross over. This is stated in the Amiyat Salum; go and look at it carefully. The statement is clear, but your heart is too blind to see it. Christ stands for 10, the Imam for 11, and in the 12th century, then shall be the perfect day-break. This is written in the Am Sipara, which is the 30th.
“When Christ, Muhammad, and the Imam are come, every one will come and bow before them. But you should see not with the eyes of the body, but, after reflection, with the eyes of the soul. Azazil saw in person, but would not bow to Adam. Though he had done homage times without number, it all went for nothing. When they saw his pridethe curse was pronounced and he became an outcast. Then Azazil asked a boon: ‘ Adam has become my enemy. I will pervert the ways of his descendants and reign in the hearts of them all.’ Thus it was between Adam and Azazil, as is clearly stated in the 8th Sipara. You take after him in sense, but what can you do, since you are his offspring. You look for Dajjal outside, but he sits at your heart, according to the curse.
“You have not understood the meaning of the above; listen to me now with the ears of the spirit. In like manner as He has always come, so will He come again. All the Prophets have been of Jewish race-look through them with the eyes of the soul-that is, they have sprung from the midst of Hindus, whom you call Kafirs. Search now among your own people; the Lord has never been born among them. The races whom you call heathen will all be sanctified through him. The Lord thinks scorn of no man, but is compassionate to all who are humble. A veil is said to be over the Lord’s face. What do you not know this ? By the veil is meant ‘among Hindus;’ mere reading does not convey the hidden intention; it you look only to the letter, hew to grate the spirit? Thus is declared the glory of the Hindus that the last of the Prophets shall be of them. And the Lord Christ, that great per, was the king of the poor Jews. This is stated in the 5th Sipara; if you do not believe me, go and examine the Karin your self. It is also stated in the Hindu books that Budh Kalanki will assuredly come. When he has come, be will make all alike; east and west will both be under him. Some one will say ‘ will both be at once?’ this, too, I will clear up, explaining the intention to the best of my ability; without a guide you would not get at the truth. Kalanki, it is said, will be on a horse-this every one knows-and astrologers say that Vijayabhinand will make an end of the Kalijug. Now, the Gospel says that Christ is the head of all and that he will come and do justice. The Jews say that Moses is the greatest and that all will be saved through him. All follow different customs and proclaim the greatness of their own master. Thus idly quelling they fix upon different names; but the end of all is the same, the supreme God. Each understands only his own language, but there is no real difference at bottom. All the scriptures bear witness that there are names in different languages; but truth and untruth are the two incompatibles, and Maya and Brahm have to be distinguished from one another. In both worlds there was confusion; some walking by the law of Hindu, others by the law of Muhammadan ceremonial. But knowledge has revealed the truth and made dear both heaven and earth: as the sun has made manifest all creation. and harmonized the whole world, so the power of God bears witness to God; he speaks and all obey. All who perform acts of religious worship do their to the Lord ;the word of the Most High has declared it so. It is written in third Sipara-that he opened the gates of the highest heaven.
"The Lalit ul-kadr (or night of power) has three contentions: on the third dawn the judgment will commence. The spirits and angels will appear in peon, for it was on that night that they descended: the blessings of a thousand months descended also. The chiefs will be formed into two companies God will give them his orders and through them there shall be salvation.
This is abundantly attested by the Kuran’; he statement is in the Ina anzal na chapter. After the third contention will be the dawn; in the eleventh cen tury it will be seen.And what is written in the first Sipara? You must have seen that they who accept the text Kun are to be called true believers. Now, if any one is a true believer, let him bear witness and prove the fact. Put off sloth; be vigi lant; discard all pride of learning. He who hears with perfect faith  will be the first to believe. Afterwards, when the Lord has been revealed, all will believe. Heaven and hell will be disclosed, and none will be able to profit another. Lay your soul at your master’s feet; this is what Chhatrasal tells you." From the doctrine as laid down by Pran-Nath, that any one religion is as true as another, it is easy to advance to the conclusion that all religions are equally false. This is the view taken in the ‘Byom Sar ‘ and Suni Sar,’ two short poems written in the time of Thakur Daya Ram of Hathras, by one of his retainers, named Bakhtawar. Their purport is to show that all is vanity and that nothing, either in earth or in heaven, either visible or invisible, natural or supernatural, has any real existence. Several of the lines are almost literally translated from the Sanskrit Vedanta Sara of Sadananda Parivrajakacharya, from which it would seem that the author, for all his atheism, did not contemplate any pronounced rupture with Hindu orthodoxy. He can scarcely be said to have founded a sect, though Professor Wilson speaks of his followers under the name of Sunya-vadis; but in every age of Hinduism there have been a few isolated individuals, such as Jabali and Charvaka, to whom such notions have recommended themselves. The following extracts are taken from a manuscript in the possession of Raja Hari Narayan Singh, the present representative of the chief, under whose patronage the poems were composed.
Commencement of the Byom Sar.
व्योमसार यह ग्रंथ है लयो वेद कौ सार श्रीठाकुर दयाराम यह कीनो व्योम बिचार ।। १ ।।
इत जमुना इत सुरसरी मध्य हाथरस जानि अंतरवेद सु भूमि है करै अघन की हानि ।। २ ।।
श्रीठाकुर दयाराम तहं नृपता करै अखंड ताकौ जसु परताप पुनि छाय रह्यौ नव खंड ।। ३ ।।
बैरिनि कै उर सालु है मित्रन कौ सुखकंद बढ़ै सदां परतापु पुनि जिमि द्वितीया कौ चंद ।। ४ ।।
अख़तावर जन आनि कैं कर्यौ तहां पुनि वास श्रीठाकुर किरपा करी जानि आपनौ दास ।। ५ ।।
तिन की कृपा कटाक्ष तें उपज्यो हीयें हुलास व्योम ज्ञान वरनन कह्यो अनुभव के परगास ।। ६ ।।
व्योम रुप सब जानियो है व्योमहि के मांहि ज्यों आपुहि में देखियै आपु आपना छांहि ।। ७ ।।
श्रीठाकुर यह आपुही मथि मथिकाढ़्यौ सार तिनही के उपदेश सुनि मैं यह कह्यो बिचार ।। ८ ।।
यही ज्ञान की सैंन तुम सज्जन हे सुनि लेउ पहलैं याकौं समझिकें पाछैं उत्तर देउ ।। ९ ।।
आदि सबनि की पोलितैं अंत पोलि ठहराइ मध्यहु में पुनि पोलि है सत गुरु दई बताइ ।। १० ।।
सब तें ऊंची पोलि है सब तें नीची पोलि मध्यहु में पुनिपोलि है सतगुरु कहि दई खोलि ।। ११ ।।
पोलहि में उपजै सबै पोलहि में बिनसंत पोल कहत आकाश सौं ताकौ आदि न अंत ।। १२ ।।
आद न जाकौ है कछू अंत न कबहूं होइ सदां एक रस रहत है पोलि कहावै सोइ ।। १३ ।।
"This book is called the Byom Sar and contains the essence of the Vedas, excogitated by Sri Thakur Daya Ram. Between the Jamuna and the Sursari, (i.e.., the Ganges) stands Hathras in the midst, in the holy land of Antarbed, where nought ill can thrive. There Thakur Daya Ram holds undisturbed sway, the fame of whose glory has spread through the whole universe-a thorn in the breast of his enemies, a root of joy to his friends, ever growing in splendour like the crescent moon. One Bakhtawar came and settled there and was favoured by the Thakur, who recognized his fidelity. Under the light of his gracious countenance, joy sprung up in his soul and he wrote the Science of Vanity for the enlightenment of the understanding. Be assured that all things are like the void of heaven, contained in a void, as when you look into yourself and see your own shadow. After long ruminating, noble Thakur has elicited the cream of the matter. In accordance with his teaching, I publish these thoughts.Listen,ye men of sense, to my array of arguments; first understand, then reply. The beginning of all things is in hollowness, hollow is also the end and hollow the middle; so says the preacher. The highest, the lowest, and the mean are all hollow; so the wise man has expounded. From nothing all things are born; in nothing all things perish; even the illimitable expanse of sky is all hollowness. What alone has no beginning, nor will ever have an end, and is still of one character, that is vacuum."
Specimens of the Suni Sar.
जित देखो तित सुन्नहि दीसै सुन्नहि है सब ईश अनीसै ।।
सुन्नहि माया सुन्नहि ब्रह्म सुन्नहि में सब झूठो भर्म ।। १ ।।
सुन्नहि पिण्ड शून्य ब्रह्मंडा सुन्नहि सात दीप नव खंडा ।।
सुन्नहि धरती शून्य अकाशा सुन्नहि चंद सूर परकाशा ।। २ ।।
सुन्नहि ब्रह्मा विष्णु महेशा सुन्नहि कूर्म शून्य ही शेषा ।।
सुन्नहि गुरू शुन्य ही चेला शून्य ही दूजा शून्य अकेला ।। ३ ।।
शून्यहि देवल शून्य हि देवा सुन्नहि करै शून्य की सेवा ।।
सुन्नहि करै शून्य को जाप समझि करै गुरु के परताप ।। ४ ।।
" All that is seen is nothing and is not really seen; lord or no lord it is all one. Maya is nothing; Brahm is nothing; all is false and delusive. The world is all emptiness; the egg of Brahma, the seven dwipas, the nine khands, the earth, the heaven, the moon, the glorious sun, all, all are emptiness; so are Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahadeva; so are Kurma and Seshnag. The teacher is nothing, the disciple nothing; the ego and the non ego are alike nothing. The temple and the god are nought; nought is the worship of nought and nought the prayer addressed to nought; so know they who are enlightened by the influence of the Guru."
सकल जगत सोंभयौ उदासी शून्य ज्ञान रत सदा बिलासी ।।
आनंद मगन सहज दिन राता सदा रहौ अवगति मद भाता ।। १ ।।
सांचौं बाद करौ नहिं संका समझो नहीं राव अरु रंका ।।
चाहौं नहीं मानता पूजा हितकर संग न राखो दूजा ।। २ ।।
जो कछु सहज मिलै सुख मानों ग्रह उद्यान एक सम जानों ।।
मेरी तेरी मिट गई भूल ना कछु दुख ना कछु फूल ।। ३ ।।
जब ऐसे सत गुरु कों पावै कोटि जन्म के भर्म नसावै ।।
ऐसे गुरु परगट है भू पै श्रीठाकुर दयाराम अनूपै ।। ४ ।।
"The whole word was disconsolate, but is now gladdened for ever by the doctrine of Nihilism: it is plunged in joy and ecstatic delight, drunk with the wine of perfect knowledge. I enunciate the truth and doubt not; I know neither prince nor beggar; I court neither honour nor reverence; I take a friend by the hand and seek none other; what comes easily I accept and am contented; a palace and a thicket to me are all the same; the error of mine and thine is obliterated; nothing is loss, nothing is gain. To get such a teacher of the truth puts an end to the errors of a million of births. Such a teacher as may been revealed-the incomparable Thakur Daya Ram."
- ↑ By Some extraordinary misconception Dr. Hunter in his Imperial Gazetteer speaks of this garden aqueduct as if it were an elaborate system of works for supplying the whole town with drinking-water
- ↑ "radha , queen of the dance, constant at the dance, queen of the dancer; dearer than krishna's life krishna's delight, krishna's counter part; krishna, brinda, brindaban born, sporting at brindaban; moon like spouse of the moon like god, with face bright as a hundred moons, created as the left half of krishna.s body, incarnations of heavenly bliss"
- ↑ The description of the temple of Gobind Deva in Thornton’s Gazetteer contains the following sentence, which had often puzzled me. He says:-“From the vaulted roof depend numerous idols rudely carved in wood.” He has evidently misunderstood Mons. Jacquemont’s meaning, who refers not to any idols, but to the curious quasi-pendentives, like fircones, that ornament the dome
- ↑ Thus, as it may be interesting to note, the Brahma Samaj of the present day is no isolated movement, but only the most modern of a long series of similar reactions against current superstitions
- ↑ 1) The Tuzuk mentions another famous Gosain of somewhat later date, 1619 A.D, by name Jadu-Rup, who came from Ujjaiyin to Mathura, and who had been visited both by Akbar and Jahangir
- ↑ Hastamal would be literally ‘a plum in the paim of the hand’, that is to say, a little things completely in one’s grasp. A similar phrase occurs in the Ramayana of Tulsi Das, Book I. 36. Kartal-gat dmalak saman.
- ↑ That is to say, it is nothing strange that Radha and Krishna should take such mutual delight in one another, since they are in fact one and are as inseparable as a wave and the water of which the wave is composed.
- ↑ The first line is a question put to Krishna by one of Radha’s maids, asking him if her mistress had promised him an interview. The second line is a remark which she turns and makes to one of her own companions.
- ↑ Abhut,not created,self-produced,divine.
- ↑ One MS. for svasan nikasat reads tras nikasi na saka</li>
- ↑ <em>Bonthnahas the same meaning as the more common term jugali karna, ‘to runimate’,like a cow
- ↑ . For a similar expression of the same sentiment compare the following lines of Sar Das : Mere papan so,Hari ,hari hau-Main garua, tum men bal thora, nahakk hi pichimari hau. ‘O Hari, you are vanquished by my sinfulness; I am so heavy and you so slights, that you get badly thrown.</span>
- ↑ Reves may possibly stant for ravish
- ↑ Khes is for khwesh, ‘a kinsman’.
- ↑ In spite of the emphatic assertion, the quotation would appear to be incorrect, for the 11th Sipara contains no such prophecy.
- ↑ This is the Hindu computation; the Muhammadans reckon only seven hells.
- ↑ This is intended to explain the curious calculation given above, ‘ten, eleven, and twelve multiplied by thirty
- ↑ Akar here would seems to stand for Ahankar
- ↑ Dajjal, here the spirit of evil generally, is properly the name of anti-Christ.
- ↑ For Khelaya I propose to read to read Khulaya; but even so the meaning elicited is not very satisfactory.
- ↑ The allusions are to the chapter of the Kuran called the Surat-ul-kadr, which is as follows: “Verily we have caused the Kuran to descend on the night of power. And who shall tech thee what the night of power is? The night of power exceedeth a thousand months; therein descend the angles and the spirit by permission of their Lord in every matter; and all is peace till the breaking of the morn.
- ↑ 12. The text kun is the parallel of the Mosaic phrase, “and God said ‘let there be light,’ and there was light.
- ↑ 13.Ha ul-Yakin, perfect faith’ is faith without seeing, which alone is meritorious; for all who see must perforce believe.