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Hindus allot, as the Antara, or life of an antediluvian Menu; or 857 × 14, i. e. 11998; which is within two years of the time. For they record that the “ fourteen Menus, of whom Swayambhuva is the chief, would support the world each in his own Antara,” or that the period for which the Padma creation, was formed (the day and night of Brahma) would be completed, when that number of years were passed, one half of which is absorbed in the sleep of the Deity *: so that it is certain according to all their predictions, that the Calpa Avatara is expected at the end of 5999 years of 360 days; when a millennium, or age of virtue, will commence. Sir William Jones alluded to the Maha Menwantara, when he informed us,

" that according to the Hindus, in the year of the Christian era 1788, we were in the first day, or Calpa, of the first month of the fifty-first year of Brahma’s age, and in the twenty-eighth divine age of the seventh Menwantara : of which divine age, the three first human ages were passed, and four thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight of the fourth." The fifty years were imaginary, and only introduced to augment nominal time: the Maha system is very seldom introduced in the Hindu cypher, being very inapplicable to dates. I will, nevertheless, endeavour to explain it. The Maha day of Brahma is equal to the hundred years of his life, a divine age, or 12000 years. For it is recorded that Brahma was employed six thousand years in forming the world, and all that therein is; which is called his great day for business, equal to the Antara of seven Menus, or seven times eight hundred and fifty-seven years. He then rests for an equal period of time; during which, nature gradually decays, and Brahma, awaking, forms a new Crita, or age of virtue. So that of the 100 years, which form his life, 50 had elapsed, when man, the last of all created beings, was produced. It is the portion of the second fifty years, or great night of Brahma, which had elapsed in the year of Christ 1788, that we are now to explain. We are, according to this system, in the first day of the first month, of the first year of the night of Brahma, which answers to the fifty-first year of his life, or day of twenty-four hours ; of which, when Sir William Jones wrote, six Menwantaras and twenty-seven divine ages, three human ages, and four thousand eight hundred and eighty-eight years of the fourth human age (Cali age) of the seventh Menwantara had expired, being supposititious years 1958152888.

* Sıx tboesand years, the dar de Barbera tas gotporada Semang the worid, and all :bat bereans; cum , be seevad 55 tb.csani years, all Ja 320).

Now it remains to shew the process, by which these numbers are made to answer to the year of Christ 1788; or, which is the same, to the year

of the world 5788. For the pundit, who gave this account, evidently reckoned on the commencement of the Christian era being A. M. 4000. But, according to their usual system, which places the birth of Christ at a. M. 4002, the Cali year 4890 answers to the Christian year 1788. The pundit, therefore, places us in the second Parouvan, or first Maha month of the first year of the night of Brahma.

The common Menwantara, which consists of seventy-one divine ages, is divided by common years. The Maha Menwantara, which contains eight hundred and fifty-seven divine ages, is to the common one, nearly as twelve to one. For 857 + 71 = 126

= 12757. And the common Menwantara of Brahma contains 360 days : which is just five days more than the Savan Menwantara of 71 ages, or 355 days. The Maha divine age, of course, bears an equal proportion to its Menwan ra, namely, that of twelve to one. We must now reduce these to real time. The common Menwantara being five days of twenty-four hours * the great one is, of course, sixty days; making the

* Vide page 21, and following.

year of Brahma twenty-four months of thirty days each. To render this less complicated, the sixty days are termed Maha months* ; and the thirty days Maha Parouvans. Which may be applied as follows: the six Menwantaras that are passed are found by multiplying the Maha Menwantara by six. For 857 x 6 =

5142 The twenty-seven divine ages by multiplying)

648 that number by four years. For 27 x 24 =

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which answers to the Cali year 4890, and to the Christian era 1788t. But the pundit who gave the account, placing his auditor in the 4888th year, qualifies this by saying, we were in the first month, or second Parouvan of a divine age ; which gave the true epoch, or Cali year 4890. And, were it not for these Parouvans and months, we should not be able to ascertain time within twentyyears. The ancient


of the Hindus was always divided in this manner 1. This Menwantara is likewise noticed by Mr. Wilford, as follows: “ We learn from Manetho, that the Egyptian chronology enumerates fourteen dynasties. In

four years.

* The Maha month corresponds with the Ewrtos or Chaldean month of Berosus. + Vide Appendix (A).

| Vide Appendix (E). VOL. I.


the same manner, the Hindu chronology presents us with a series of fourteen dynasties, equally repugnant to nature and reason; six of those are elapsed; we are now in the seventh, which began with the flood; and seven more we are taught to expect. These fourteen dynasties are hardly ever noticed by the Hindus in their legendary tales, or historic poems. The rulers of these dynasties are called Menus, and from them their dynasty, Antara, or period, is called a Menwantara.” This account in itself was neither repugnant to nature nor to reason ; but it is rendered most strange and unnatural by the author asserting that the seventh Menwantara began with the flood; whereas, in his genealogical tables, he gives Noah great-greatgrandchildren in the antediluvian world *, in order that the fourteen Menwantaras, or Antaras of Menus might be completed before the flood; and that Enoch, the son of Jared, whom he supposes to be Enos the son of Seth, might be translated to heaven during the fourteenth Menwantara, or Antara of Ducsha ti which, according to him, ended in the year b. c. 3044, the period at which he here supposes the seventh Menwantara to commence. He thus seems to forget that the fourteen dynasties of Manetho were antecedent, both to

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