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according to Sir William Jones to 5788 years before the year of Christ 1788 ; and consequently could denote no other than Adam. The Sanscrit history of this Menu is wonderfully consonant with that given by the most ancient Hebrew authors, who treat of the first ages of the world. “ In the present day of Brahma the first Menu was surnamed Swayambhava or the son of the Selfexisting*; and it is he, by whom the institutes of religious and civil duties are supposed to have been delivered. In his time the Deity descended at a sacrifice. By his wife Satarupa he had two distinguished sons and three daughters. This pair were created for the multiplication of the human species, after the new creation of the world, which the Brahmans call Vadma Calpiya or the Lotos creation.” This account is given by Sir William Jones in his tract on Hindu Chronology, and is so far critically correct.
The present day of Brahma denotes that Calpa, or day, in which the transactions detailed in the Purana occurred. This Calpa consequently was the first. “ In his time, the deity descended at a sacrifice,” the sacrifice of Abel: “By his wife he had two distinguished sons;" Cain and Seth, Abel being dead," and three daughters." Abal
* St. Luke calls Adam the son of God. Vide Chap. III. V. 38.
Pharagius says, that Eve brought forth twins, a son and a daughter, and she called the son Cain, and the daughter Azrum, called by another author Clinia ; who adds that Eve brought forth two other twins, and that she wished Cain to marry Owain the sister of Abel, and Abel to marry Azrum the sister of Cain; and that on this account, the wrath of Cain was kindled against Abel, Azrum being more beautiful than Owain: that Adam ordered his sons to go up to the holy mount, and offer sacrifices to the Almighty, after which each should espouse his betrothed wife. At this time, says Eutychius, Satan put into the mind of Cain to kill his brother Abel, and marry his sister Azrum. That when the sacrifices were offered God descended in a flame of fire and accepted that of Abel, leaving the sacrifice of Cain untouched. Seth not having been born until after the murder of Abel, there were according to these authors two distinguished sons and three daughters of Adam. These two sons are placed equally by the Hebrews and Hindus at the head of two distinguished lines. By the former, the race of Seth are designated the sons of God, and the race of Cain the sons of man; by the Hindus, they are severally called the children of the Sun and Moon, or the greater and lesser light. These authors tell us that the first murder was in consequence of the superior beauty of Az
rum, the sister of Cain. The Scripture says, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair : the Hindus, that the children of the Sun, married with those of the Moon, in consequence of their beauty. It matters very little whether these accounts are true or fabulous, that they are derived from the same source is all that I attempt to demonstrate. To proceed with the quotation :
or Of the five Menus that succeeded him," says Sir William Jones, “ I have little more than their names; but the Hindu writings are very diffuse on the life and posterity of the seventh Menu surnamed Vaivaswat, or child of the Sun. He is supposed to have had ten sons, of whom the eldest was Teshwacu and to have been accompanied by seven Rishi's or holy persons, whose names were Casyapa, Atri, Vasisht’ha, Viswamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, and Bharatwaya. An account which explains the opening of the fourth Chapter of the Gita. This immutable system of creation (says Crishna) I revealed to Vaivaswator the Sun; Vaivaswat declared it to his son Menu; Menu explained it to Icshwacu. In the reign of this Sun-born monarch, the Hindus believe the whole world to have been drowned, and the whole human race destroyed by a flood, except the pious prince himself, the seven Rishi's and their several wives ; for they suppose his children to have been born after the flood. This general Pralaya, or destruction, is the subject of the first Purana.”
Here, it is evident, the first Menu is blended with the seventh. Vaivaswat was the epithet annexed to every Menu in the race of the Sun, or Seth. The seven Rishi's preserved in the ark, were seven divine precepts, not men; and the opening of the fourth Chapter of the Gita alludes exclusively to the first Menu or Adam, and may be understood as follows. The Deity, through his prophet Enoch, revealed this immutable system of devotion or revealed religion to Adam ; who declared it to Seth, by whom the whole was explained to his son Enos, who having lived until Noah was 84 years of age, was enabled to instruct the postdiluvian world; or in other words, the postdiluvian world knew the sublime doctrine of the Vedas, because they were delivered by Adam, through his son Seth, to Enos, who made them known to Noah, who took these divine precepts with him into the ark. The seven names assigned as the names of the seven Rishi’s, that entered the ark, are again blended with the seven sons supposed to have issued from the first Menu. “ The story of the Pralaya is concisely, but clearly and elegantly told in the eighth book of the Bhagawata," from whence Sir W. Jones furnishes an abridgement. But
being himself deceived in respect to the meaning of the Pralaya, he has in the unabridged, as well as the abridged translation, in several instances given his own, rather than the sentiments of the Hindus. The following is the unabridged translation of the Pralaya, the subject of the first Purana, entitled that of the Matsya or first Avatara. “Desiring the preservation of herds and of Brahmans, of genii, and virtuous men, of the Vedas, of law, and of precious things, the Lord of the Universe assumes many bodily shapes; but though he pervades like the air, a variety of beings, yet he is himself unvaried, since he has no quality subject to change. At the close of the last Calpa (day of Brahma) there was a general deluge occasioned by the sleep of Brahma; whence his creatures in different worlds, were drowned in a vast ocean; Brahma, being inclined to slumber, desiring repose after a lapse of ages *, the strong demon Hayagriva (Satan) came near him, and stole the Vedas which had flowed from his lips. When Heri, the preserver of the universe, discovered this deed of the prince of Dánavas, he took the shape of a minute fish called Sap’harit. An holy king named
* In the Sanscrit « at the close of the 112th Menwantara."
† Properly Sap'heri, or Lord of the Waters, the Spirit that first moved on the waters.