It is perhaps possible that in this very ancient country may be found the origin of these religious rite which spread far and wide among all the nations of the Orient.
From the annals of India we learn that it was derived from the seven Rishis, or "penitents," whose virtues raised them to the heavens and placed them where they have ever since represented the constellation of the Great Bear, two of which seven stars constantly point to the North Star.
The word "Rishis" means the "Shiners," and it also means a Bear, because his coat of hair shines. These seven are supposed to represent the seven sons of Japeth. From Maurice, Hist. Hind. (Vol. II. p. 45), we learn: "It is related Padmapoorraun that Satyarata, whose miraculous preservation from a general deluge is told at large in the Matsya, had three sons, the eldest of whom was named Jya peti, or Lord of the Earth: the other were Charma and Sharma , which last word are in the vulgar dialects usually pronounced Cham and Sham, as we frequently hear Kishn for Chrisna. The royal patriarch - to whom he gave all the regions to the north of Himalaya, or the snowy mountains, which extend from sea to sea, and from which Caucasus is a part: to Sharma be allotted the countries to the south of these mountains; but he cursed Charma, because when the old monarch was accidentally inebriated with strong liquor made of fermented rice, Charma laughed; and it was in consequence of his father's execration that he became a slave to the slaves of his brothers."
It is supposed that originally the primitive inhabitants practiced a patriarchal religion; i.e., the patriarch or chief of a family or tribe was king, priest, and prophet. He ruled the commune, offered all the sacrifices, and instructed his people in all religious matters. Subsequently, when conquered by the Cuthites under Rama, the son of Cush, referred to in Genesis Chap 10. V. 2, 7,1 the Mysteries of the deluge were introduced. The worship soon became divided into two sects. We are not fully apprised when was first introduced the Bramanic system, - composed of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, constituting the Trimurti, - nor do our limits permit us to elaborate on this point; hence we simply introduce this feature to show that, in the division referred to above, one branch was mild and benevolent, addressed to Vishnu, the second person of the "Trinity," who was represented in the system as the "Preserver," and who appeared on earth in the flesh - and is supposed to have, in the nine successive "Avatars," represented that number of animal forms, and accomplished as many miraculous events for the benefit of mankind. Compare this feature with the subsequent acts of all the heroes, represented in all the myths of the sun. The other system proclaimed the superiority of Siva, who was called the "Destroyer," and the representative of terror and penance barbarity and blood; in Egypt, represented by Typhon.
These Mysteries, whatever may have been their origin, or for what purposes they were then instituted , were certainly a corruption of their original worship of the one Deity. They bore a direct reference to the happiness of Man in Paradise, where he was fist placed; his subsequent deviations and transgressions, and the destruction of the race by the general deluge. They used subterranean caverns and grottos, formed in the solid rocks or in the secret recesses of their structures, erected for the purpose. The most of these Mysteries are unknown to us.
Bryant says that the earliest religious dance was a wild and frantic movement, accompanied with the clashing of swords and shields, and called Bertarmus, symbolic of the confusion which occurred when the Noachim family left the ark. The great cavern of Elephanta, perhaps the most ancient temple in the world made by man, in which these rites were performed, and remaining to the present day, is an evidence of the magnitude of that system. This cavern, cut out of the solid rock, is one hundred and thirty-five feet square and eighteen feet high, and is supported by four massive columns. The walls are covered with statues and emblems. Maurice (Ind. Ant.), says:
"Some of the figures have on their hands a kind of helmet of a pyramidal form; others wear crowns, rich with devices, and splendidly decorated with jewels; while others display only large bushy ringlets of curled or flowing hair. Many of them have four hands, many have six, and in these hands they grasp scepters and shields, the symbols of justice and ensigns of religion, the weapons of war and trophies of peace."
The caverns of Salsette, of which there are three hundred, all have within them carved and emblematic characters. The different ranges of apartments are connected by open galleries, and only by private entrances could the most secret caverns, which contained the ineffable symbols, be approached , and so curiously contrived as to give the highest effect upon the neophytes when in ceremonial of initiation. A cubical cista, used for the periodical sepulture of the aspirant, was located in the most secret recesses of the cavern. The consecrated water of absolution was held in a carved basin in every cavern, and on the surface floated the flowers of the lotus. The Linga or Phallus appeared everywhere most conspicuous, and often in situations too disgusting to be mentioned. Dr. Buchman (Res. in Asia), says, "The tower of Juggernaut is covered with indecent emblems, which are newly painted when it is exhibited in public, and are objects of sensual gaze by both sexes."
The increase and decrease of the moon were the periods by which initiations were governed. The Mysteries were divided into four degrees. The Hitopadesa says, "Let even the wretched man practice virtue whenever he enjoys on of the three or four religious degrees: let him be even-minded with all created things, and that disposition will be the source of virtue." Candidates were admitted to the lesser Mysteries at the early age of eight years. This consisted in the investiture of the Zennar, a sacred cord of three threads, supposed to refer to the modes of purification; viz: earth, fire, and air: water with them was air in a condensed form.
Sacrifices to the sun, to the planets, and to household gods, were made, accompanied with ablutions of water, purification's with dung and urine of the cow. This last was because the dung was the medium by which the soil was made fertile, and reminded them of the doctrine of "corruption and reproduction" taught in the worship of Siva, that it was necessary for man to die, his body to suffer corruption before it could be clothed with immortality by a resurrection. It is possible that their observation of nature taught them that seed must die or suffer fermentation in the ground before the plant could be produced. Christ said the same to his disciples: "Verily, verily, I say unto you except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
After the completion of the ceremonies, a lecture was given - much too difficult for the juvenile comprehension - which principally related to the Unity and Trinity of the Godhead, the manner of using the consecrated fire, and the rites of morning, noon, and evening. A linen garment without seam was put on him, a cord put over the right ear as a means of purification, and he has then placed in charge of a Brahman to be instructed for advancement. After enduring many hardships, trials, and rigid penances, restricted from all indulgences, he passed his time mostly in prayer and ablutions until the age of twenty. He was to preserve the purity of his body, which was termed the city with nine gates, in which his soul was a prisoner; he must eat properly; was instructed in all the minute ceremonies which were adapted to every act of his future life, and by which he was to be distinguished from the uninitiated. He was to study the sacred books, that he might have a competent knowledge of the institution, ceremonies, and traditions of religion, which would qualify him for the next degree. Having attained the suitable age, if upon due examination, he was found to be qualified by proper progress in all the essentials of the first degree, he permitted to enter upon the probationary ceremonies of the second. His austerities were increased. He supported himself by begging charity. Prayer, ablutions, and sacrifices occupied his days, and the study of the heavens his nights; and, for the necessary rest and repose from his arduous and almost exhausting duties, the first tree afforded him shelter; and, after a short sleep, he arose to contemplate the constellations in the skies, which were thought to resemble various monsters. Sir William Jones in his works tells us: "In the hot season he sat exposed to five fires, four blazing around him, with sun above; in the rain he stood uncovered, without even a mantle, when the clouds poured the heaviest showers; in the cold season he wore wet clothing, and went on increasing by degrees the austerity of his devotion." Having finished this probation, he was initiated into the privileges of the Mysteries.
The cross was marked on every part of his body, and he passed the probation of the Pastos or Coffin, - which was called the door of Patala or hell, - the Tartarus of the Grecian Mysteries .
Having finished all of his purification's, at the dead hour of night he was conducted to the mysteries cavern of gloom, duly prepared for his reception, which shone with light almost equal to that of the sun, proceeding from an immense number of lamps. In rich and costly robes, the three hierophants occupied the east, west, and south, representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. When the sun rises in the east, he is called Brahma; when in the meridian, he is Vishnu; and at his setting, he is Siva. The Mystagogues were seated around. The aspirant was conducted in the center of this august assembly. An anthem was sung to the God of Nature, as the Creator, Preserver, or Destroyer, and and an apostrophe was addressed to the sun, viz.: -
"O mighty being greater than Brahma, we bow down before thee as the prime Creator! Eternal God of gods! The world's mansion! Thou art the incorruptible Being, distinct from all things transient! Thou art before all gods, the ancient Pooroosh, and the supreme supporter of the universe! Thou art the supreme mansion! And by thee, O infinite form, the universe was spread abroad!"
The aspirant is then called upon to declare that he will be obedient to his superiors, that he will keep his body pure, keep a tongue of good report, passively obey and receive the doctrines and traditions, and maintain the strictest secrecy as to the abstruse Mysteries. having assented to this declaration, he was sprinkled with water, an incantation was pronounced over him or whispered in his right ear, he was then divested of his shoes and was made to circumambulate the cavern three times, and was made to exclaim, "I copy the example of the sun, and follow his benevolent course ." He was again placed in the center, and enjoined to practice the religious austerities, to prepare his soul for ultimate absorption. He was informed that the merit of such works deserved a splendor which makes man superior to the gods, and renders them subservient to his wishes. He was then given in charge to a spiritual guide, and required to maintain a profound silence during the succeeding ceremonies, and should he violate this injunction the presiding Brahmin could instantly strike him dead. The bewailings for the Sita then began. The aspirant was conducted through seven ranges of gloomy caverns, amidst the dismal lamentations cries, and shrieks, to represent the bewailings of Mahadeva, who it is said, circumambulated the world seven times, carrying the remains of his murdered consort upon his shoulders. To shoe the coincidences between this rite of India and Egypt, we give another account, which states that when Mahadeva received the curse of some devotees, whom he had disturbed at their devotions, he was deprived of his lingam, which in the end proved fatal to his life. His consort wandered over the earth and filled the world with her bewailings. Mahadeva was at length restored under the form of Iswara, and united once more to his beloved Sita.
Amidst all the confusion a sudden explosion was heard, which was followed by a dead silence. Flashes of brilliant light were succeeded by darkness. Phantoms and shadows of various forms, surrounded by rays of light, flitted across the gloom. Some with many hands, arms, and legs; other without them; sometimes a shapeless trunk, then a human body with head of a bird, or beast, or a fish; all manner of incongruous forms and bodies were seem, and all calculated to excite terror in the mind of the postulant.
Among these he saw a terrible figure who had
"A gorgeous appearance, with unnumbered heads, each having a crown set with resplendent jewels, one of which excelled the others; his eyes gleamed like flaming torches but his neck, his tongues, and his body were black; the skirts of his garments were yellow, and sparkling jewels hung in all of his ears; his arms were extended, and adorned with bracelets, and his hands bore the holy shell, the radiated weapon, the war mace, and the sacred lotus. This image represented Mahadeva himself, in his character of the Destroyer.
"It is said in explanation, that these appearances were designed as a type of the original generation of the gods; for it was figured, that as Sita was carried by Mahadeva, her body burst open, and the gods contained in her womb were womb were scattered over the whole earth, and the places where they fell were called sacred.
"In the legend of Osiris, when his body had been cut in pieces, and afterward each part buried where found by Isis, that particular locality was deemed sacred. The introduction of the lingam, in each of these legends, no doubt refers to some of the original myth.
"Succeeding to this the candidate was made to represent the god Vishnu, and imitate his several Avatars; and, following Dr. Oliver's conjecture, he was first plunged into the waves to represent the fish-god, who descended to the bottom of the ocean to recover the stolen Vedas. This was called the Maste Avatar, and gives an account of the general deluge. The Vedas were stolen by the demon Hayagriva, who swallowed them, and retired to a secret place at the bottom of the sea; these books being lost, mankind fell into vice and wickedness, the world was destroyed by a flood of waters, excepts a pious monarch with his family of seven persons, who were preserved in a vessel built under the direction of Vishnu.
"When the waters had attained their greatest elevation this god plunged into the ocean, attacked and slew the giant, who was the cause of this great calamity, and recovered three of the books from the monster's abdomen, the fourth having been digested. Then emerging from the waves, half man, half fish, he presented the Vedas to Brahma; and the earth, resuming its former state, was re-peopled by the eight persons who had miraculously preserved." (Maur., Ind Ant., Vol. II., p. 353.)
"Another Avatar was also a figurative account of the deluge. Satyarata, a king of India, was instructed by a fish, that in seven days the world would be inundated; but that a ship would be sent in which himself and seven holy companions would be preserved. These persons entered the vessel, and the waters prevailed so extensively as to destroy all created matter. The Soors(ruse) then held a consultation of the smmit of Mount Mera(Roma) to discover the Amreeta, or water of immortality, allusive to the reanimation of nature; and learned that if it could be produced only by the violent revolution of the Mountain Mandar, which the Dewtahs found themselves unable to move. In despair, they solicited the aid of Brahma and Vishnu, who instructed them how to proceed; the Serpent Vasooke wound the folds of his enormous body round the mountain like a cable, and Vishnu becoming incarnate in the form of a tortoise, took the mountain on his back. Thus loosened from its foundation, Indra began to whirl the mountain about with incessant motion with assistance of the Assoors, who were employed at the serpent's head, and the Soors who were at the tail. Soon the violence of the motion produced a stream of smoke, fire, and wind, which ascending in thick clouds, replete with lightning, it began to rain furiously, while the roaring of the Ocean was tremendous. The various productions of the waters were torn to pieces; the fruits of the earth were annihilated, and a raging fire spread destruction all around. At length a stream of the concocted juice of the dissolved matter ran down the mountain mixed with molten gold, from whence the Soors obtained the water of immortality, or in other words, the restoration of nature from the power of the triumphant waters." (Maur., Ind. Ant., Vol. II., p. 343)
"Then the Soors and Assoors commenced a dreadful battle for the possession of this glorious water, which at length was decided, in favor of the Soors, and their opponents fled;some rushing headlong into the ocean, and others hiding themselves in the bowels of the earth. The Mountain Mander was then carefully replaced in its former station and the waters restored to their primitive caverns and recesses.
"The candidate was directed to descend into a lower cavern on hands and feet through a passage barely large enough to admit him. Here he met an antagonist, and a mimic battle followed, and the aspirant was victorious. Elated with his conquest, the gigantic monster attacked him and he was again the conqueror. He was taught to take three steps at right angles, which referred to the fifth manifestation [which are used in the 3rd degree French rite]. As a diminutive Brahmin, Vishnu demanded of the impious tyrant Bai as much ground for sacrifice as would suffice to place three feet upon. The tyrant granted this. Vishnu, resuming his own form, with one foot covered the earth , with the other he filled at space between earth and heaven, and with a third, which sprang from his belly, he crushed the monster's head, and hurled him down to the infernal regions.
pen"In the remaining Avatars he passed through a series of furious conflicts, not without wounds and bruises. In the sixth Avatar, in the human form, Vishnu encountered and overcame hosts of giants and tyrants. The seventh Avatar is a complete and voluminous romance; under the name of Rama, he is represented as a valiant and successful warrior. With a vast army of monkeys and satyrs in battle array, he accomplished many wonderful adventures. In the eighth Avatar he slew a host of giants, armed only with an enormous serpent, and in the ninth he transformed himself into a tree to gratify a criminal passion for a king's daughter. The Hindoos still expect the tenth Avatar withe same impatience which the Jews manifest for their Messiah. Sir William Jones says, that in his Avatar "he is expected to appear mounted (like the crowned conquerors in the Apocalypse), on a white horse, with a cimeter, blazing like a comet, to cut down all the incorrigible and impenitent offenders who shall then be on earth." (Asiatic Rev., Vol. I., p. 236)
It was necessary that the candidate should undergo all these dangers and trials to make him equal to the gods.
Having passed through the seven mystic caverns, a cheerful sound of bells was heard, which was told would expel the evil demons who might inclined to disturb the sacred ceremonies in which they were engaged.
Prior to his his introduction into the presence of the holy altar, he was informed that "whatever is performed without faith, whatever it might be, is not for this world or that which is above." He was admonished not to commit five crimes, under heavy penalties in this life, and to be punished with eternal vengeance in the next. These particulars formed a part of the oath under which he was solemnly bound, and he sealed it by sacred ablution.
The seven caves bore an allusion to the metempsychosis as well as to the seven places of reward and punishment which different nations have admitted into their creeds.
The crisis of ceremony of initiation had now arrived, and reached the summit of interest; the Mystical conch was sounded, the folding doors were thrown open, and the candidate was ushered into Callas or Paradise (this was the actual name of one of the grottoes in the subterranean temple of Elora, and Faber supposed it to have been the illuminated sacellum into which the aspirants were introduced). This spacious apartment was lighted by a thousand brilliant lamps. It was ornamented with statues and emblems scented with the rich fragrance of odorous flowers, aromatics, and drugs, decorated profusely with valuable gems and jewels. The figure of the inhabitants of unknown worlds were carved in the ceiling; and the splendid sacellum thronged with priests, arrayed in gorgeous vestments and crowned with mitres and tiaras of burnished gold. He was taught to expect the descent of the deity in the bright pyramids of fire that blazed upon the altar, to which he would direct his eyes.
"The sudden sound of the shell or trumpet, the expansion of the folding doors, the brilliant display, the instantaneous prostration of the priests, and the profound silence which ensued, were designed to fill the mind of the aspirant with admiration, and inspire him with holy fervor of adoration; and, in the enthusiasm which followed, he could almost persuade himself that he saw the great Brahma seated on the lotus, with his four heads, and having in his hands the emblems of eternity omnipotence, the circle and fire ."
The circle or ring is the symbol of the Ark; and as the great Father was hidden within its enclosure during the flood of waters, many fables sprang out of this connection; one of which was the "Ring of Gyges," which was reputed to render the wearer invisible. "Gyges," said Plato, "found a brazen horse in a cavern. Within the horse was hid the body of a man of gigantic stature, having a brazen ring on his finger. This ring Gyges took and found it rendered him invisible." The cavern, the ring, and the giant pretty evidently whence this fable originated. The mare was a form of Ceres or Hippa, the Mystic nurse of the ark exposed Bacchus or Noah. The man, therefore, was the ark; the dead giant was the gigantic Buddha, or the great father, during the period of his death-like slumber while enclosed within the ark; and he cavern was one of the sacred grottos, within which the Mysteries were perpetually celebrated; and from which both he and his initiated votaries were feigned to be born again. (Fab., Pag. Idol.).
We can not see clearly the above explanation, but give it as we find it in Faber's "Pagan Idolatry." No explanation is given of the ring. The mystery connected with its power of concealment is not explained; yet the ring appears in the legends and myths of various countries, and is constantly used in the Ancient And Accepted Scottish Rite, and no doubt was derived from the "Ring of Gyges," when first adopted in the rite. In reference to the fire, we find in "Asia. Res." Vol. II, 385, that "Suddenly a golden temple appeared, containing a chain of wrought gold. On the summit of the temple Brahma alighted, and held a canopy over the head of Sacya; while Indra, with a fan in his hand, Naga, prince of serpents, and the four tutelary deities of the four corners of the universe, attended to do him reverence and service."
The aspirant, who had become fatigued by all of these tedious ceremonies, was then given a potation of fermented liquor, from a human skull. Being a regenerated being, a new name was bestowed upon him, which indicated his the purity, and was presented to the Chief Brahman, and was received by him as a brother and companion. He was then invested with a white robe and tiara, placed in an elevated seat, instructed in the various tokens and signs, and also in the explanation of the Mysteries. A cross, the sectarial mark called Tiluka, was placed on his forehead, and explained to be the symbol of the four cardinal points of the world. The tau cross or inverted level was inscribed on his breast, the badge of innocence and the symbol of eternal life, to indicate his newly acquired dignity, which advanced him to the superior priesthood. The sacred sash or belt was presented and placed upon him. This cord could be woven only by a Brahmin, and by him with the utmost solemnity and many mystic rites. Three threads, each measuring ninety-six hands, and first twisted together, then they are folded in three and twisted again, making nine, or three times three threads; this is folded again into three, but not twisted, and each end is secured by a knot. This is the Zennar, which is placed on the left shoulder, passes to the right side, and hangs down as low as the fingers can reach (Ind. Ant., Vol. IV. p. 740) In addition, he has the consecrated chaplet, the Kowsteke-Men or Kowstooble, and the talismanic tablet for the left arm. An amulet was given to him, which was the "Salagram" or magical black-stone, which insured the protection of Vishnu, various forms he had presented emblematically. The serpent-stone, as an antidote against the bite of serpents, which is an amulet similar to the anguinum of the Druids, was also given to him. He was instructed in art of composing amulets for his own safety, and incantations to injure, torture, or destroy his enemies, and finally, when all other things had been completed, he was solemnly and in a mysterious manner entrusted with the sublime NAME, known only to those initiated into the higher Mysteries. The NAME pronounced OM, and was expressed by the letters A.U,M. Niebuhr, cited by Southey, Thalaba, says: “The Mahommedans, in common with Jews and idolaters, attach to the knowledge of the Sacred Name the most wonderful powers. They pretend that God is the Lock of Islam Allah, or science of the name of God, and Mohammed the King; that consequently none but Mohammedans can attain to it; that it discovers what passes in distant countries; that it familiarizes the possessors with the geni, who are at the command of the initiated, and who instruct them; that it places the winds of the seasons at their disposal; that it heals the bite of the serpent s, the lame, the maimed, and the blind.” In the oracles ascribed to Zoroaster is a passage which pronounces the sacred Names used in the Mysteries to be ineffable, and not to be changed, because revealed by himself. Wilkins, in his notes on Bhagvad-Gita, says: “This mystic emblem of the deity, “OM,’ is forbidden to be pronounced but in silence.” The first letter stands for the Creator, the second for the Preserver, and the third for the Destroyer. Maurice, “Indian Antiquities,” says, “The perfections of God are thus described in the last book of the Ramayan, translated by Sir William Jones, ‘Vishnu is the being of beings; one substance in three forms; without mode , without quality, without passion; immense, incomprehensible, infinite, indivisible, immutable, incorporeal, irresistible. His operations no mind can conceive and his will moves all the inhabitants of the universe as puppets are moved by strings.’” Mr. Faber says that this cipher graphically exhibits the divine triad, Batrama, Subhadra, and Jagannath. In an old Purana, as we learn from the Abbe du Bois, the following passage is found, which shows the veneration displayed by the ancient Indians for this tremendous word: “All the rights ordained in the Vedas, the sacrifices to the fire, and all other solemn purifications shall pass away, but that which shall never pass away is the word OM, for it is the symbol of the Lord of all things.”After the communication of this word, the aspirant, now a priest, was instructed that he must meditate upon it, “with following associations, which are the mysterious names of the seven worlds, or manifestations of the power of OM, the solar fire. OM! Earth, sky, heaven, middle region, place of births, mansion of the blessed, abode of TRUTH.”
The various emblems were then explained to him by the Chief Brahmin, “with arcane of the hidden science enfolded under the holy gloom of their mysterious veil, the names and attributes of all the deities whose symbols were sculptured on walls, and mythological figures.”
The system of symbolic instruction used in the Mysteries was very extensive and highly philosophic, and none but the initiated could comprehend them.
Stukely says the first learning in the world consisted chiefly in symbols. The wisdom of the Chaldeans’, PhOEnicians, Egyptians, Jews, of Zoroaster, Sanconiathon, Pherecydes, Syrus, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, of all the ancients that is to come to our hand, is symbolic. “It was the mode,” says Sacranus on Plato’s symposium, “of the ancient philosophers to represent truth by certain symbols and hidden images.”
In the method of explaining the various symbols, religion and philosophy were veiled in allegoric representations. To the profane unintelligible, and which were calculated to lead them erroneously, these symbols were displayed openly in the temples; and to the profane altogether obscure, but streaming with beams of light to the initiated.
The principles, taught in the lecture to the initiated, were: -
“The first element and cause of all things was water, which existed amidst primordial darkness. Brahma was the creator of this globe, and by his spirit invigorates the seventy –four powers of nature; but the universe is without beginning and end. He is the being who was, and is, and is to come; and his emblem was a perfect sphere, endowed with the attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence, and was designated: ‘The great God, the great Omnipotent and Omniscient ONE: the greatest in the world, the LORD.”
Captain Seely, “Wonders of Elora,” says “there is no idol in front of the great altar in the temple of Ekverah, or at Elora; the umbrella covering rises from a wooden pedestal out of the convexity of the altar. A Brahmin, whom I questioned on the subject of the altar, exclaimed, in nearly the words of our poet, ‘Him first, Him last, Him midst, Him without end.’” In alluding to the Almighty, he nearly spoke as above described, placing his hand on this circular solid mass. He rejected all ideas of assimilating Buddha or Brahma with the eternal God, who, he said, was One alone, from beginning to end; and the circular altar was his emblem.
Colebrooke, “Asiatic Researches,” tells us this Being was identified with LIGHT; for the Brahmins say: “Because the Being who shines with seven rays, assuming the forms of time and fire, matures production, is resplendent, illuminates, and finally destroys the universe, therefore he shines naturally with seven rays is called Light, or effulgent power.” Thus Brahm is Light; and light is the principle of life in every created thing. “Light and darkness are esteemed in the world’s eternal ways. He who walketh in the former pathreturneth not; i.e., he goeth immediately to bliss; while he who walketh in the latter cometh again upon the earth.”
We have devoted much space to Hindooism because, in the country of India, the ideas concerning the creation of all things, the deity, and religious observances, originated; and from these the Mysteries sprang which were disseminated throughout the entire world. The coincidences are so manifest that we must conclude that from these Hindoo Mysteries were propagated all those in China and Persia, and that they spread towards the west of Asia, and were carried into Egypt, and from thence, as the Mysteries of Osiris and Isis were imported into Greece.
A few facts of great prominence may be adduced as sufficient to prove that, in those several countries, the rites were derived from the same original sources.
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