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of either sect pay him daily adoration, as the creature attribute, in their private prayers.
Siva is worshipped as supreme and eternal justice, who at the end of the world, will distribute rewards and punishments : Vishna as the mediator and preserver, who left his paradise in heaven, and became incarnate, to deprecate the wrath of the Eternal. In this incarnation, he is believed to have animated the body of Parata Rama, the great Buddha, the son of Máyá, or divine delusion.
They reckon ten principal Avataras ; of which that which has been mentioned, is the only incarnation of the Deity that is past : the remaining eight being considered as partaking of a portion only of the Deity. The tenth is expected at the close of the Cali age, as an incarnation of the same divine redeeming Spirit, who will return in great glory to judge mankind, previously to the final distribution of rewards and punishments by the Supreme.
The chronology of the Hindus has been variously represented; some rejecting their numbers altogether as visionary; and others considering them merely as astronomical observations. If either of these hypotheses is admitted, and each of them has been given as an axiom, no data can ever be obtained, from which to place the Avataras; all of which except the tenth, which is still to come, are antecedent to the deluge, Buddha of the ninth Avatara being the prince saved in the ark. Europeans, on the contrary, from the Matsya or fish Avatar being the first, suppose all the succeeding to be postdiluvian, mistaking the first Avatar when the deluge was foretold by Buddha, the son of Máyá their incarnate God for the ninth, when the prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Vaivaswat ; and so bigotted are some to this postdiluvian system, that they do not hesitate to pronounce the Brahmans strangely inconsistent for not giving up the whole chronology of their country, and changing the epoch, when the Cali or present age commenced, in conformity to the erroneous calculations of Romish missionaries and Chinese Bouzes*.
To understand the Hindu chronology, it is absolutely necessary to be perfectly acquainted with the different divisions of time, as recorded in the institutes of Menu. It will then clearly appear, that those numbers which have of late years been injudiciously pronounced astronomical cycles, or periods, are nothing more than the different powers of numbers multiplied into each other. The Brahmans profess, and the unenlightened Hindus believe that the world was created to last 4320000 years, as follows.
* Maurice, vol. II. 562. 9th edit.
2d age 3d age 4th age
1st age or* Critajugen......1728000
Calijugen ....... 432000 Making an aggregate of 4320000 years. These numbers indicate nothing more than the subdivisions of time, or matires, equal to the two hundred and fortieth part of an Indian minute, compared to the twinkling of an eye, which the following table will more fully explain t.
TABLE I. Matire 2 Matires = 1 Chiperon. 10 Chiperons = 1 Chinon. 12 Chinons = 1 Venidique, or one Indian minute. 60 Venidiques = 1 Naigue.
7 Naigues = 1 Saman. 8 Samans = 1 Day. 15 Days = 1 Parouvan. 2 Parouvans = 1 Month. 12 Months = 1 Year. 100 Years = the life of man.
These years being formed of 12 months consisting of 30 days each, are multiplied by 360 so
• This age, when represented as the age of Virtue, is termed Crita; when as the first age, Satya.
+ Ten Matires are equal to one English second, an English minute containing 600 matires.
as to comprehend = 36000 days. This was the great Eapos, or 100 years of the Chaldeans. 36000 x 6 = 216000, is a multiplication which they
profess to be in honour of the six subdivisions of a day, from Matires to Samans ; and this number 216000 may be considered as the
basis of their calculations. 216000 they multiply by 2, to commemorate the
period when the virtues and vices of mankind
. 216000 they multiply by 4, to commemorate the
age. 216000 they multiply by 6, to commemorate the
Vedas and Sasters.
age. 216000 they multiply by 8 to commemorate the
corners of the world *.
* < In his hands are all the corners of the earth.” Ps. xcv. 4.- According to the Hindu mythology, the eight Patriarchs of the antediluvian world became benign spirits and guardians of mankind, one of them presiding over each of the eight corners
216000 x 8 = 1728000 the Critijug, or first
age. The four ages added together form a period of time called Sadrijug or Sadrijugan, amounting to 4320000 years, or a
age. Two Sadrijugans make one day and night of Brahma, who is supposed to have created the world by the express order of the Eternal, during the first Sadrijugan or day, and to have retired to rest during the second, or night; during which period the world will gradually decay; when Brahma, awaking, renews creation, and so on until the end of time.
8640000 years are equal to 2 Sadrijugans; and form one day of Brahma of 24 hours; 30 such
days, or 60 Sadrijugans make one of his months ; · 12 such months one of his years; and 100 such years, his life; as follows:
864000 = 1 day and night.
= 1 year.
of the world. These are termed Elephants to distinguish them from the race of Atris; the same with the Dämons of Plato who lived in the time of Cronus, who reigned during the Golden Age; and whom Hesiod describes as Dæmons or benign spirits, who after death resided within the verge of the earth as guardians of mankind.