Zitierweise | cite as: Amarasiṃha <6./8. Jhdt. n. Chr.>: Nāmaliṅgānuśāsana (Amarakośa) / übersetzt von Alois Payer <1944 - >. -- 1. Prathamam kāṇḍam. -- 1. svargavargaḥ. -- Anhang 3: Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya [যোগেন্দ্রনাথ ভট্টাচার্য্য] über "Semi-Vishuvite and Guru-worshipping sects" (1896). -- Fassung vom 2017-05-15. -- URL: http://www.payer.de/amarakosa/amara101Anhang4.htm
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Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath [ভট্টাচার্য্য, যোগেন্দ্রনাথ]: Hindu castes and sects : an exposition of the origin of the Hindu caste system and the bearing of the sects towards each other and toward other religious systems. -- Calcutta : Thacker, Spink, 1896. -- 623 S. -- S. 480 - 494
From what has been already said about the Chaitanite sect, it would appear that its respectable members are of the following classes :—
The position of the lay followers depends upon their secular condition and caste status, and the fact of their professing the Chaitanite faith does not elevate or lower them in public estimation. The Gossains [গোসাঈং], who are Brahmans, are generally looked down upon by the non-Chaitanites on account of their being in the habit of administering the sacrament of the mantra [মন্ত্র] to the low castes, and accepting their hospitality. The aristocratic Brahmans generally avoid eating any cooked food in the house of a Chaitanite Brahman. But alliances by marriage between the two classes take place very frequently, and the Gossains have, generally speaking, a respectable position in Hindu society. They dress and live like householders.
The majority of the Vrikats are men of the clean Sudra [শূদ্র] castes. They are bound to a life of celibacy, and, theoretically at least, they hate female society to such an extent that they cannot allow a woman to cook their food. They are mostly cenobites, living in monasteries which are supported by their disciples, and by the lay members of their sect. Very few of them have to beg for food from door to door. Some of them have a little education, and pass some portion of their time in studying the religious literature of their sect, and in giving recitations which are attended by their coreligionists in the neighbourhood. The majority of them are quite illiterate, and fritter away their time in a weary round of ablutions, body painting and counting of beads. They have a peculiar but not very graceful uniform. Their position in their sect is very high, but in Hindu society generally they are looked down upon, more or less, as charlatans.
Besides the Vrikats, who never marry, and do not admit having any connection with any female, there are some classes of Chaitanites who dress and make their toilet like monks, but have some females regularly and openly associated with them. All these have, generally speaking, a very low position in society. They are divided into the following classes:—
Sanjogis [সংযোগী].— The Sanjogis, as their name implies, are married men. They live, work and dress like householders. They are mostly descended from the unfortunates of the towns.
Spashta Dayakas [স্পষ্টদায়ক].—The Spashta Dayakas are a semimonastic order. They assume the garb of mendicants. But their monks and nuns live together in the same, monastery, and it is hardly necessary to say what their mutual relationship is understood to be. It is only the low castes that get themselves admitted to the order.
The so-called monks of this sect may be recognised at once by the single string of basil bead necklace which they wear. The nuns of the sect shave their heads clean, with only a tuft in the centre. The forehead mark of the Spashta Dayaka is slightly smaller than, that of the other Chaitanites. The Spashta Dayaka monks and nuns openly join together in dancing and singing.
The Sahajias [সহজিয়া].—The Sahajias represent the most developed form of Radha [রাধা] worship. They inculcate that every man is Krishna [কৠষ্ণ], and that every woman is Radha [রাধা]. They also profess that no man or woman need be attached to a single Guru [গুরু]. The result of these doctrines is the utter absence of any bar to promiscuous intercourse, and the full play of the inclinations and impulses of the parties.
Nara Neri [নরনরী].—The Nara Neris are very low class Chaitanites. A Nara [নর] is a male ; and a Neri [নরী] is his female associate. Their peculiarity is that the husband and wife sing and beg together, and not separately. They generally wear a coat of Kantha [কন্থা] or rags patched together. The following is a translation of a Bengali song giving a very comic description of the duties of the female associate :—
If you want Gour, you must be prepared to carry on your shoulder my Kantha [কন্থা] (bed sheet of rags.)
You must carry my Kantha and accompany me in my eleemosynary tours.
You must sleep at night under the shade of some tree, and prepare every now and then my pipe of hemp.
If you want Gour, you must carry on your shoulders my Kantha.
In the original the song is very amusing.
The Bauls [বাউল].—The name of this sect is derived from the Sanskrit word “Batul [ৱাতূল / vātūla],” which means a madman. The Bauls are low class men, and make it a point to appear as dirty as possible. They have a regular uniform, which consists of a cone-shaped skull cap and a long jacket of dirty rags patched together, extending from the shoulders to the lower parts of the legs. Not only their dress, but their musical instruments, their dancing, and their songs are all characterised by a kind of queerness which makes them very amusing. The quaint allegories and the rustic philosophy of their songs are highly appreciated by the low classes. Their exhibitions are upon the whole so enjoyable that, in most of the important towns of Bengal, amateur parties of Bauls have been organised who cause great merriment, on festive occasions, by their mimicry.
The Bauls are spoken of as Vaishnavas ; but, properly speaking, they are a godless sect. They do not worship any idols, and, on that account, their religion may be regarded as a very advanced one. But according to their tenets, sexual indulgence is the most approved form of religious exercise, and it is said that they have been known to drink a solution made from human excretions. The moral condition of these and some of the other sects, such as the
is deplorable indeed, and the more so as there is no sign of any effort in any quarter to rescue them. Aristocratic Brahmanism can only punish them by keeping them excluded from the pale of humanity. The modern religions can afford to give them better treatment. But they seem to be considered as too low or incorrigible by even the proselytising religions, if the Chaitanite Gossains [গোসাঈং], Christian Missionaries or Mahomedan Mullas [ملا] could reclaim these they would be entitled to the everlasting gratitude of mankind.
It has been seen already that the earlier Krishna-worshipping [कृष्ण] sects associated with him his married wives, and that they do not even now offer any adoration to his mistress Radha [राधा]. The neglect of the worship of Lakshmi [लक्ष्मी], and the adoration of Radha as the consort of Krishna, originated probably in the fifteenth century, and it seems that it was either Nimbaditya [निम्बादित्य = निम्बार्काचार्य, 7. Jhdt.] or Chaitanya [চৈতন্য, 1486 - 1533] who introduced it. The Radha Ballabhi [राधावल्लभी] sect, which gives greater importance to the worship of Radha than to that of Krishna himself, was founded, it is said, by one Hari Vans [हरिवंश], who lived at the end of the sixteenth Century. Some say that the Radha Ballabhi is a sub-sect of the Vallavabites. The Radha Vallabhis have their head-quarters in Vrindaban [वृन्दावन]. Radha Vallabhite Gossains [गोसाईं] and shrines are to be found in every part of Upper India.
The Sakhi Bhava [सखीभाव] sect acquired some importance about half a century ago, and at that time included in it a few of the best men of the country. But it seems to be now nearly extinct. Its members were taught to regard themselves as Sakhis [सखी] or the female companions of Radha [राधा], and, in order to approach that character to the utmost extent possible, some of the Sakhi Bhavas went the length of assuming the female dress and wearing female ornaments. They also feigned some physical conditions which are possible only to women.
The word Karta [কর্তা] literally means a “doer.” In the vernacular of Bengal it is used as the designation of the executive head of a joint family. The expression Kartabhaja [কর্তাভজা] may be translated into English as the “ adorers of the headman.” The Kartabhaja sect is the most important of the class that may be called as Guru [গুরু]-worshippers in Bengal. It was founded by a man of the Sadgopa [সদ্গোপ] caste, named Ram Sarana Pal [রামশরণপাল], who was an inhabitant of the village of Ghoshpara [ঘোষ পারা], in the vicinity of the Kanchrapara [কাচঁরাপাড়া] Station of the Eastern Bengal Railway. Like most of the other latter-day prophets, he professed to have derived his powers from an invisible teacher. The Aulia Gossain [আউলচাঁদ, 1686 – 1769], whom he acknowledged as the source of his inspiration, was in all probability a pure myth, invented by him for being better able to impress upon his followers the importance of having a Guru [গুরু]. After Ram Saran’s death, he was succeeded by his widow, generally known by the name of Sachi Mayi [সতী মা]. After her death the gaddi of the Guru was occupied by his son Ram Dulal Pal, and he was succeeded by his son Ishwar Pal [ঈশ্ৱরপাল]. The sect seems to be still flourishing as in the time of the original founder.
Like most other sect founders, Ram Saran was a man of great originality. To be ready with a pretext for exacting money from his followers, he declared that he was the proprietor of every human body, and that he was entitled to claim rent from every human being for allowing his soul to occupy his body. The idea is very similar to that involved in the Mahratta [मराठा] claim of chouth, and has, though on a much smaller scale, served very similar purposes. To enforce his right, and to give a pecuniary interest to his followers, the Karta [কর্তা] appoints the chief men among the latter as his bailiffs and agents for collecting his revenue. The majority of the dupes of the sect are women who readily pay the small tax that is demanded of them, for the sake of securing long life to their husbands and children. Each agent of the Karta is generally on very intimate terms with a childless and friendless widow in the village or group of villages entrusted to his charge, and through the instrumentality of this woman he is able to hold secret meetings which are attended by all the female votaries within his jurisdiction, and in which he plays the part of Krishna [কৠষ্ণ].
The agents of the Karta are required to pay over their collections to him, at a grand levee held by him at his family residence in the month of March. At this time the Karta performs the most astounding miracles. Leprosy, blindness, deafness and every kind of malady which the medical science deems as incurable, are said to be cured by the Guru of the Kartabhajas in the course of a few moments. When a very large number of persons are interested in propping up a myth, it is no wonder that it should find ready believers. To give to the reader an idea of the process by which miracles are achieved by the Karta, I may relate here what I once heard about the experiences of a blind man at one of the annual levees at Ghoshpara [ঘোষ পারা]. The crowd was great, but somehow he managed to elbow his way through it, and to bring his case to the notice of the Karta. Quite suddenly he was seized by some attendants, and taken to the side of a tank within the premises. He was there laid on the ground, and, while holding him fast to it, some of them commenced to rub the sockets of his eyes with sand, in the most violent manner. While the process was going on, they vociferously enquired every now and then whether his eyesight was restored or not. Finding no other way of escape from the excruciating torture to which he was being subjected, the man, after a while, gave an answer in the affirmative, and then there was a shout of “Sachi Mayi-ki-Jai,” which resounded through the whole village. He was made to bathe in the tank for washing away the sand, and being clad in a new dhooti [ধুতি] he was given something like the honour of a Roman triumph. He was borne aloft on the air, and taken through the crowd with the same vociferous shouts, and the same declarations to the effect that the blind man was restored his eyesight through the mercy of Sachi Mayi [সতী মা]. After this advertisement of the miracle, the subject of it was deported from the village in such manner as to render it impossible for anyone among the crowd of pilgrims to make any independent enquiry about the matter. Perhaps the sequel was that one of the attendants represented himself as the blind man restored to his eyesight.
The Kartabhajas have no distinguishing marks, nor have they any sacred literature which they can call their own. They have no monasteries or mendicants.
The formula for the first initiation of a person to the Kartabhaja sect is :
“ The spiritual teacher alone has real existence.”
When the neophyte has made sufficient progress in spirituality then the teacher whispers in his ears another formula, of which the following is a translation ;—
The great lord Aulia [আউলচাঁদ] is the head of all. I move about according to your pleasure. I do not live apart from you for a moment. I am always with you, O great lord.
The exhibition of fervid love is the only form of religious exercise practised by the Kartabhajas., They do not worship any god or goddess. At their secret nocturnal meetings they sing some songs regarding Aulia Gossain [আউলচাঁদ, 1686 – 1769], Krishna [কৠষ্ন] or Gouranga [গৈরাংগ], and while some of the party become so affected as to fall in a swoon, the rest anxiously repeat the name of Hari [হরি] in their ears in order ostensibly to restore them to their senses, but in reality to render undue familiarity justifiable. What the results of such practices are may be easily imagined.
The Pratap Chandi sect is said to have been founded by the unfortunate Raja Pratap Chand [প্রতাপচন্দ্র] of Burdwan [বর্ধমান]. He was the only son of Maharaja Tej Chand [তেজচন্দ্র] by his first wife. Pratap's mother died when he was very young, and his father took another wife named Rani Kamal Kumari. From his boyhood Pratapa showed great favour to the mendicants that visited Burdwan, and passed a considerable portion of his time in their company. As he was by caste a Punjabi Kshettri [ਕ੍ਸ਼ੇਤ੍ਰੀ], it is quite possible that, among the mendicants that paid him court, there were some spies from Lahore [ਲਾਹੌਰ / لہور]. However that may have been, he became very much disgusted with the kind of life that his father led, and the amount of power that was given in the management of affairs to Paran Babu, the brother of Rani Kamal Kumari. Things had become intolerable enough, and when Tej Chandra, in his old age, married a daughter of Paran Babu, Pratap made one desperate effort to bring his father to his senses. Leaving the palace of Burdwan, he repaired to Kalna [কালনা], and after living there for some time gave out that he was seriously ill.
His object in doing so was to test his father’s affection for him, and also to extricate him from the surroundings by which Rani Kamal Kumari and her brother, Paran, kept him enmeshed. Maharaja Tej Chand actually started from Burdwan with a view to see his son at Kalna. But the intrigues of the Rani and her brother led him to discontinue his journey, and to trace his steps back to his palace. To please his son, the old Raja sent two lacs of rupees to him for his death-bed expenses, but that served only to provoke him all the more. It was given out in Kalna one evening that be was dead. A part of the foreshore of the river Bhagirathi [ভাগীরথী] at Kalna was enclosed by screens, and while a funeral pyre was made to burn within it, the Raja effected his escape in a boat which had been brought for him. It is believed that be went directly to Lahore [ਲਾਹੌਰ / لہور], and that he left Lahore only when be beard of the death of his father. In the meantime Paran bad managed to get one of his sons adopted by Maharaja Tej Chand, and when Pratapa arrived at Burdwan, Paran bad so managed matters that the real heir-at-law found it impossible to get admission to his palace. Pratapa then tried to take possession of Kalna. But the Collector of Burdwan befriended Paran and his son, and while the Raja and his men were sleeping in a steamer, they were taken by surprise by the troops sent against them. Several members of the Raja’s retinue were killed by the musketry fire which was opened against them. The Rajah effected his escape by throwing himself overboard, and swimming across the river. He was arrested afterwards and hauled up before a criminal court on a charge of rioting. The best men among the witnesses deposed in favour of his identity, and the only men that swore against him were either the relatives of Paran, or persons well known as being capable of perjury. However, the evidence in his favor was disbelieved, and be was sentenced to suffer incarceration for six months. After his release, be was still the idol of the people, and, at this time, he organised the sect which bears his name. Like that of the Kartabhajas [কর্তাভজা], it favoured esoteric worship, and it very seldom came prominently to public notice. Nevertheless it flourished all the same at one time. Its ramifications extended to the remotest villages in the province. It seems to be dying out now.
The Satnami [सतनामी] sect of Oude [अवध] was founded by one Jagjivandas [जगजीवनदास], a Ksatriya [क्षत्रिय] who lived about a century ago, and was an inhabitant of the village of Sardaba on the bank of the Saruju [सरयू]. He died at Kotwa [कोत्वा], a place lying midway between Ajodhya [अयोध्या] and Lucknow [लखनऊ]. He wrote several tracts inculcating, like the other sect founders, absolute indifference to the world and implicit obedience to the spiritual guide. Among his followers there are both householders and mendicants. The former recognise the distinctions based on caste ; but, like the mendicants of the other Indian sects, the Satnami monks, though recruited from different castes, stand on the same footing. The Satnami mendicants do not beg from door to door, but are supported by the lay members of their sect. They have several convents, the chief one being at Kotwa [कोत्वा] where Jagjiwan’s tomb is still in existence. The heads of the Satnami convents are addressed as Saheb [साहिब]. The inferior mendicants use the surname of Das [दास] or slave. A Satnami mendicant may be known at once by his red coat, his skull cap of red colour, his perforated mantle, and the perpendicular mark painted with ashes or Shama Bindi [बिंदी] clay, and extending from the tip of the nose to the uppermost part of the forehead.
The lay members of the sect are initiated in the Ram [राम] worshipping cult, and are taught to repeat a long formula giving pre-eminence to the great hero god of Oude [अवध]. The mendicants are also initiated in the same mantra, and to that extent their creed is unexceptionable. But like the Bauls [বাউল] of Bengal they are said to practise the horrible rite (called the Gayatri Kriya [गायत्रीक्रिया], which is nothing more or less than the drinking of a solution of the secretions and excreta of the human body.
The Satnamis do not worship any idol. They are strict vegetarians and teetotalers.
The Paltu Dasi [पलटू दासी] sect is essentially of the same character as the Satnamis [सतनामी]. The Paltu Dasis have their chief monastery in Ajodhya [अयोध्या]. The mendicants of the sect wear yellow garments and cap. Some of them allow their hirsute appendages to grow without limit, while others shave their heads and moustaches clean. They accost each other saying “ Satyaram [सत्यराम].” They are found chiefly in Ajodhya [अयोध्या], Lucknow [लखनऊ] and Nepal. They are said to perform the Gayatri Kriya [गायत्रीक्रिया] like the Satnamis. The sect was founded by one Paltu Das [पलटूदास] about the same time as that of the Satnamis.
The Appa Pantha [आपापन्थ] sect was founded by one Munna Das [मुन्ना दास], who was a goldsmith by caste, and who was an inhabitant of a place called Marwa to the west of Ajodhya. [अयोध्या] The Appa Panthis are practically semen worshippers. They dress like the Paltu Dasis [पलटू दासी].
The Bija Margis [બીજમાર્ગી] and Margis [માર્ગી] are found chiefly in Kathiwar [કાઠીયાવાડ]. The monks of the sect have each a nun associated with him, whom he would place at the disposal of any male member of the Hindu community, on payment of a reasonable fee, and on condition of observing certain rites. The monks practically serve as panders of their wives. This is the peculiar and the most extraordinary feature of the Bija Margi cult. There are many religions which sanction murder, rapine, drinking, debauchery and adultery. But the sect under notice is perhaps the only one in the world which expressly sanctifies pandering of the worst kind. The Bij Margis have, it is said, many other horrible practices.
This sect was founded about half a century ago by a man of the sweeper caste named Bala Hari [বালহরি]. He was in his youth employed as a watchman in the service of a local family of zemindars, and being very cruelly treated for alleged neglect of duty he severed his connection with them. After wandering about for some years, he set himself up as a religious teacher, and attracted round him more than twenty thousand disciples. The most important feature of his cult was the hatred that he taught his followers to entertain towards Brahmans. He was quite illiterate, but he had a power of inventing puns by which he could astonish his audience whenever he talked or debated. His widow inherited not only his position, but all his powers. I met her in the year 1872. Her first question to me was about my caste. I knew well about the hatred of the sect towards Brahmans, and instead of mentioning that I was a Brahman, I used a pun to say that I was a human being. She was very much pleased, and after offering me a seat she went on propounding the tenets of her sect. The greater part of her utterances was meaningless jargon, but she talked very fluently and with the dignity of a person accustomed to command. Though a Hari [হরি] by caste, she did not hesitate to offer me her hospitality. I declined it as politely as I could, but considering the courtesy that she showed to me, I could not but feel some regret that the barrier of caste rendered it quite impossible for me to comply with her request.
The followers of Bala Hari have no peculiar sect marks or uniform. Some members of the sect are in the habit of begging for food from door to door. They are known not only by the absence of sect marks on their person, but also by their refraining from mentioning the name of any god or goddess at the time of asking for alms.
The following account of the Kali Kumari [কালীকুমারী] sect of East Bengal is taken from Babu Guru Prasad Sen’s Introduction to the Study of Hinduism :—
In the district of Dacca [ঢাকা] one Kali Kumar Tagore [কালীকুমার ঠাকুর] became the centre of a religion, the like of which sways the masses every now and then. Kali Kumar knew only the ordinary Bengali, which fitted him to be the gomashta of a rich widow, of the Kayastha [কাযস্থ] caste of his village. Beyond the Gayatri [গাযত্রী], he did not know anything of the Vedas [ৱেদ], and, as for the Puranas [পুরাণ], he knew as much as a Bengali Brahman, or a Bhadralog [ভদ্রলোক] would know from recitations thereof by others, and not by reading them in the original for himself. Nor was there any peculiar sanctity in his life, as the mode of business which he followed shows. Yet it came to be known that he had cured some cases of incurable diseases. His fame spread, and, within a short time, his home became something like a splendid fair, where a vast mass of people congregated every day from all parts of the district, some to get themselves treated for diseases, and others to have a look at a real live god. The prescribed mode of treatment which is said to , have been very successful was nothing else than bathing three times a day, believing in the divinity of Kali Kumar Tagore, taking in a little ball of earth from Kali Kumar’s house, and giving a Hari-loot. A warrant of arrest was issued by the Sub-divisional Officer, in connection with something which Kali Kumar did with regard to his business as a gomashta, and before it could be executed, he died, , and the religion of which he became the temporary centre died with him. At one time his followers could be counted by lacs.
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