Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

should doubt the accounts transmitted by Origen, Tertullian, and numerous other authors, who affirm that they had seen and read them in Arabia Felix; or should we dispute, the accounts of Clemens Alexandrinus and Georgius Syncellus, who profess to have possessed the books in the Greek language, we must not deny the accounts given by St. Jude, who speaks of the revelation of Enoch as of a book extant and undisputed in his time. Now it would be just as consonant to reason to dispute the chronology of Moses, because the works of Enoch were extant in the time of St. Jude in the Arabic and Greek languages, as it is to dispute the chronology of the Hindus, because the works of Valmic and Vyasu are still extant in the Sanscrit, the most ancient postdiluvian language in Asia. The Hindus, who are enthusiastic admirers of the poetry of Valmic, represent him as living during the time of the Gods, or divine Menus of the antediluvian world, called by the Egyptians divinities: from which Europeans have erroneously supposed, that they consider poetry a divine art, practised for numberless ages in heaven, before it was revealed on earth : whereas the text merely implies that poetry was practised by Valmic, the contemporary of Rama Chandra, in the antediluvian world, and consequently many ages before the Sanscrit language (in which the Mahabharat of Vyasu is now extant) was known on earth. For the Hindus, as well as the Persians, believe the language of the antediluvian world to have been of divine origin ; each representing the Vedas as originally written in a divine language long since extinct. Meya, the first great astronomer, is admitted by all the pundits to have been born about two centuries before Valmic; and they all agree that Meya flourished during the seventh Menwantara which commenced A. M. 420.

Hindu dates are rendered complicated, from each of the six Calpas containing one thousand years, and each thousand years being the sum of the four human ages. Should you enquire of a pundit, when the Antaras of the several Avataras commenced, he would probably place Buddha the son of Jina in the first age, and Buddha the son of Máyá in the second; because the Antara of the former, or Noah, who was born A. M. 1056, answers to the 246240th year of the first age of the second Calpa, or the second thousandth year of the world ; while the Antara of the latter, or Enoch, who was born A. m. 623, commenced in the 963360th year of the second age of the first Calpa. And the pundit might intentionally omit the Calpa. Valmic, the author of the Ramayana, was born during the second age of the first Calpa ; and was the author of the Sanscrit edition of this poem, in the second

age of the third Calpa, or from A. m. 2400 to A. M. 2700. Vyasu, the author of the Mahabharat, was born in the third age of the first Calpa, which ended A. M. 900. But the author of the Sanscrit poem, which bears his name, could not have written more than fourteen centuries before the Christian era; because the history of Moses is engrafted on that of Enoch,

Mr. Bentley proceeds to explain the Menwantaras ; although he very candidly confesses that he considers them inexplicable. And, as he understands them, they most certainly are so. For, supposing the Menwantara to have been increased by Meya 1728000 years, in lieu of two days, he naturally enough concludes that it must have been the Maha, or great Menwantara. Ile therefore tells us, that “we are now in the seventh Menwantara, which was the same when Meya wrote.” Whereas the one commenced A. M. 420; the other A. M. 5067, or after 5143 years of 360 days.

He then proceeds with his information, as follows: "Swayambhuva, or Adam, who was born in the first Menwantara, lived down to the end of the fourteenth, which I have extracted from the Streebhagavat, and from which some rational idea may be formed respecting the duration of the Puranic Menwantara, now generally confounded with the periods of the same name belonging to Meya’s system, in which we are now no further advanced, than the seventh Menwantara; and which was the same when he wrote, long before the time of Vyasu.” I have already observed, that the Antara of a Menu formed a great Menwantara ; and, therefore, the terms are frequently used as synonymous with each other. Swayambhuva, or Adam, was of course created at the commencement of the first Menwantara : and, as all the Menus, save Noah, were born before his death, many of the Puranas and legends record that Swayambhuva ruled during the first Menu or Menwantara, and remained on earth until the fourteenth Menu, or the commencement of the Antara, or Menwantara of Noah, the fourteenth Menu. That he lived until the end of that Menwantara will not be found in any authentic record. European authors seem to suppose that the Antara of one Menu ended when that of the next began : whereas, the age

of a patriarch averaging 857 years, it is termed his Antara ; and placing them in succession, the sum of their years is eleven thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight. Whereas the utmost limits allotted by the Hebrews and Hindus, for their rule, do not exceed two thousand and seven, or from the birth of Swayambhuva to the death of Vaivaswat. The Antara of Adam commenced A. M. 1, and lasted on the average computation 857 years; that of Seth commenced A. M. 131, and continued for a like number of years; and so on, with the whole of the fourteen Menus. Mr. Bentley is very correct, in saying we are now in the seventh Menwantara.” For 857 × 6 = 5142 years of 360 days ; consequently, the seventh Menwantara commenced A. M. 5067, and will last for 857 prophetic years of 360 days, or until the end of the Padma creation. But he makes a very bold assertion, when he adds, “ which was the same when Meya wrote, long before the time of Vyasu.” Meya is admitted, without controversy, by every Hindu, to have flourished during the seventh puranic Menwantara, which commenced A. M. 420, and concluded A. M. 490, or 71 x6, i. e. 426 years, of 360 days, when the sixth Menwantara ended. Whether Meya was the actual name of the postdiluvian author, or whether he assumed that name from the great antediluvian astronomer is immaterial. It is well known that the most ancient Hebrew, Chaldean, and Arabian authors suppose Seth to have been the first organiser of Astronomy, and Enoch* to have brought it to the most perfect form which it assumed in the old world. And here we see Meya during the time of Vasisht'hat organizing

* Vide note, p. 112. † Sons of the first-created,

« PredošláPokračovať »