Imágenes de páginas

In the index to the Thibetan Sutras temporal success, ancient India far it is said that these were first, for the surpassed anything to be found under most part, committed to writing in the rule of the later Brahmins and the Sindhu language ; and even the Mohammedans. modern Sindee is one of the purest Bearing this in mind, we may see dialects of the ancient language of in Sind of the present day not a Buddhistic India. The Greek writers primitive desert country, but one describe a state of society essentially known to have become desert in retroBuddhistic in the countries of the grade action. We know not how Indus. Fa Hian, who travelled in and by whom these lands, contiguthe fifth century after Christ, found ous to the Indus and its tributaries, his own Chinese faith prevailing in stretching up eight hundred miles the Sindian states, though both in from the sea, were intersected by Bokhara and Persia it had been sup- canals, won into grain-fields, and planted by Zoroastrianism. Two spotted with villages and towns. centuries later, Hiuan Thsang bore The toiling millions,-- of whom every very similar testimony; and recent unit was itself a whole, and enacted excavations have disclosed many an- a life-drama,-are now thrown into cient Buddhistic remains. But, on one indistinct mass, which scarcely the other hand, turning to the Mo- excites an idea in our minds, or claims hammedan historians, it appears that any place in history. Nothing rewhile the natives of Sind, at the time mains to tell how the tribes of the of the Mohammedan conquest, are five rivers, of the Suleiman and simply called Kafirs, or infidels, their Hala mountains, of Affghanistan, of king was the son of a Brahmin named Seistan, of the Delta, Kutch, and Chach. The enthronement of Chach Guzerat, were rolled into that great is placed A.D. 622, which could not Sindu kingdom, which extended from have been far from the time when Surat to Candahar, and from the Hinan Thsang visited Sind; and so two trees of Cashmere to Mekran we are led to conclude that Buddhism and the sea. All the Punjaub wars, and Brahminism were not violently Meeanee routs, Ghuznee massacres, antagonistic to each other when the revenue settlements, law organisalatter began to predominate.

tions, mixtures of race, and other The one fact which fills up the gap important events which produced the of a thousand years between the great ancient kingdom of Sind, are conquest of Alexander and that of now finally at rest, freed from the Mohammed Kasim, is, that during troubling of all wicked historians. that period Sind was under the rule Emerging into a dim historical light, of Buddhistic ideas. This conveys we have great cities, as Alore, and important meaning, and explains Brahminabad; wise mild-ruling Hinmany things otherwise unintelligible. du Raees, sleeping on the bed of It renders credible the extraordinary contentment in the house of justice; prosperity of ancient Sind, and the fair and faithless Hindu Ranees, striking valour and virtue displayed into whose hearts the bird of unlawby its inhabitants when called on to ful desire has entered; handsome resist invaders. Buddhism, with its but prudent young Brahmins, finding popular idea of a supreme ruler, its by female favour the way to the transcendental hero-worship, its doc- throne; soldiers to guard the kingtrine of rigid immutable retribution, dom; merchants to supply it; artiits beautiful moral teaching, and its ficers to adorn it; and, foundation of elaborate political arrangements, pro- all, hard-worked ryots providing food duced rich fruits of personal virtue and building many forts. and social success in all the countries A line of Hindu Raees or kings where it prevailed. Even the early flourished in Sind during the sixth Brahminism, from which it may have century after Christ. Rais Sahasee, sprung, and before which it fell, was the last of these, is said to have vastly superior to that which now made many laws, and must have prevails in India. Both historical been a wonderful monarch if he was testimony and monumental evidence able to enforce this one, which was prove that, in spiritual character and attributed to him, “To whom pay is due, he receives it at once; there ment; and the principal Chobdars must be no delay.” It is recorded were deceived by it, or judged it of him, however, that he spent his best to give it credit. The Ranee days and nights as much as possible appears to have been the better man in the bedchamber of happiness, and of the two : she herself arranged the left business affairs to be conducted affair, and put her plans into execuby his Wazeer, Ram. This minister, tion. To Chach she said, after a fashbeing sick one day, sent a clear. ion which proved very enlarged views speaking prepossessing young Brah- of morality, "The time has now come min, called Chach, the son of when we can be one; we must arrange Seelaj, to read some important let- to get rid of those who may not apters to the king. The Ranee, or prove of this.” The way in which this queen, wished to keep her face veiled spirited woman got rid of those who in presence of the stranger, but the disapproved of her conduct was inunsuspecting monarch himself re- stantly collecting fifty chains, sendmarked that no such concealment ing for the relations of the king one was required. Young Chach read by one, binding them as they entered, the letters so gracefully, or was so and then handing them over to be captivating in appearance, that the slain. Thus Chach was married to Ranee was deeply moved by him, the Ranee, and ascended the throne. and soon found opportunity of com- Whatever his fascinations may have municating her love. He, however, been, courage was not one of these. stood on the ground of denial, as the Shortly after assuming power, he Persians phrase it : on this account was attacked by an ambitious chief happiness left her heart, and in her at the head of a large army, and inmisery she rolled about like a half- stead of acting boldly, he applied killed bird. Chach had learned from to his wife for encouragement and the stars that great prospects were advice. “Men,” she replied, are in store for him, but his prudence, best acquainted with the counsels of or perhaps his cowardice and cun- war; if you are afraid, give me your ning, advised him to refuse the clothes, and you shall take mine, queen's advances, and patiently watch then I will go and fight the enemy.' the chances of the game. Nor did the No wonder Chach was ashamed on sequel confound his wisdom. After hearing this, and held down his head. the queen had been assured by Chach He went to battle, and, being chalthat he would not commit perfidy, lenged by his opponent, agreed to it happened, curiously enough, that single combat ; but even then his her husband, Rais Sahasee, became Brahminical nature displayed itself. seriously ill. The lady, who was He urged his inexperience with ready to die from love, found thus horses as a reason why the contest relief and hope. She immediately should be decided on foot; but havsent for Chach, reminded him that ing whispered an attendant to bring the dying monarch had no son, and up his own steed, he quickly mountoffered her hand and the throne to ed, and thus having his foe at a disthat crafty young priest. This, pro- advantage, struck him with one blow bably, was what the Brahmin had to the earth. It is noteworthy that calculated upon.

The two agreed such a treacherous coward should to conceal the king's death for a have gained the affections of a hightime, in order to circumvent any of bred, spirited, and determined wohis relatives who might be disposed man, but not at all strange ; for it to claim the succession. A procla- is often the unlike which has most mation was made to the effect that charms, and the ways of the gentler the Rais had partially rallied, though sex are proverbially mysterious. This not strong enough to appear in pub- story may serve as an indication that, lic; and that in order to prevent early in the seventh century, Sind further delay in the administration required a little renovation, from the of state affairs, he had appointed influx either of foreign invaders or Chach to perform the duties of the of foreign ideas ; for every country is royal office. A signet-ring was pro- in a state of corrupt civilisation, duced in confirmation of this state- where women overlook the absence


of the primary virtue, courage, and were required for the further de allow their imagination to glorify velopment of human life, and these men who are great only in preten- came, like a simoom blast, from the sion, and good only because they burning deserts of Arabia. The new assert it, and find dupes to believe influence proceeded from a race which the falsehood.

had long been separated, either by But. Sind was destined to meet its own peculiarities or its geographisoon with stern realities, and so to cal position, from the general family be awakened from its dream of priest- of man; but which in its isolation, ly virtue. The events we have just whether in its native deserts or its related occurred in the evening of insecure Syrian possession, had long one, and the morning of another, been gathering strength and storing great world-system. Buddhism, al- up ideas to reinform and subdue the ways aspiring towards perfect 'rest earth. Judaism was too arrogant, and unconscious being, had got sunk local, and intensely national, to inin impracticabilities and sloth ; the fluence the world in the day of its Indo-Scythian ideas were all but ex- success, but when thrown into the hausted; the tiger, the snake, and wine-press of the wrath of God, true the wild jungle, were ready to re- balm was pressed from_it for the claim the celled hills, once musical healing of the nations. For Christiwith the hum of innumerable dron- anity, however, the East was not ing troglodytic monks, which were prepared ; a ruder, lower, and more plentifully scattered from the steppes cruel system of religion was first reof Tartary to

quired to pave the way for it, as the “Smiling Salsette's cave-wrought coast.”

prophet clothed in camel's hair was

the forerunner of Christ. There are In the West, the Roman Empire, sufficient grounds to believe that which had absorbed the civilisation Christian churches existed in India in of Greece, was falling into ruin. the fifth century; but these soon disEssentially heathen in its spiritual appeared, leaving only a sad trace phase, its decline and fall could not of their existence in the name and be arrested by the new element of incarnation of Krishna, a lascivious Christianity. Rome was only Grecian god, and very Hindu Christ indeed. thought realised-passed from the The rude denizens of Arabia and all originating into the effecting stage. Central Asia were no more likely to It contributed no new element, dis- be influenced, twelve centuries ago, couraged all originality of thought, by the laws of love and individual and, under its later emperors, con- liberty which form the essentials of sumed both capital and interest ; so our faith, than are at this day the at this time it was about to die, un- tigers of Bengal. In order to prohonoured and unsung. Zoroastrian- gress eastward, the Semitic race had ism, also, was approaching its end in to mould a wilder and more warlike Persia ; although, like Greece under system out of Christianity. Alexander, it made a last expiring So about the time when Chach and glorious effort in the conquests mounted the throne of Sind, when of the later Sassanides, who compelled Buddhism was degrading into moJustinian to purchase an ignoble dern Brahminism, and otherwise appeace, extended the dominion of proaching dissolution, across the Persia to the shores of the Levant, Arabian Sea, in the stony valley won Egypt and Tripoli, and threaten- and burning streets of Mecca, an ed Constantinople. These first six epileptic boy was born into day, and or seven centuries of the Christian nursed in the arms of a shapeless era form a central period in the Abyssinian girl. Like Gotama the history of the world—a period of founder of Buddhism, Mohammed, decay and death, of conception and though of a dark race, was himself birth.

of a fair type. After his youthful Not to modern Brahminism was it training among the Bani Saad, he given to supply the place of Buddh- passed, as is now established beyond ism, and hold the eastern world. doubt, over into Syria, by the desertEntirely new winds of summer heated excavations of Petra, and thus



[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

became acquainted with corrupt Sy- quadrillions of unlimited æons, for rian Christianity. In his years of not less vain Semitic genealogies. humble labour and silent thought, And even prosy geography was ready which were broken by madness and to take the great footprint in Ceylon shadowed by gloom, he worked out, an island inhabited by dernons, for the satisfaction of his own soul, genii, and dragons”—from the ina theory of the universe and vindica- definite Scythian Buddha, and ascribe tion of the ways of God to man. We it to enormous Semitic Adam, as cannot here discuss how far his purer he stood, in that singularly fanciful ideal may have been lost in its ap- morning of the world, with one foot plication to his fellows, and by what on Rahun and the other in the sea, he gained of immediate success. looking for Eve, who was sleeping in Suffice to note that this new Pro- the valley of Mecca, with knees two phet was successful ; that, while old matchlock-shots asunder. religions were dying farther east, To explain the chronological order the rocks of the Hejaz were echoing of events, we give the following list the names of Allah and Mohammed. of Kaliphs, from the death of MohamEven during his life he would will- med to shortly after the conquest of ingly, as may be seen from his letters Sind :to the rulers of Persia and Rome,

11-13 632-34 have extended Islam beyond the Aboo-becr,

1323 634-13 limits of Arabia, but was distracted Omar,


23--35 643-55 by nearer cares, it not being till the


35-40 655-60 ninth year of the Hejira that sub


40—41 660–61 mission was made to him by the Koreish, who were the most influen- Line of the Umayides, A.D. 661–750 tial of all the Arabs. Two years after Muaviya,

41-60 661-79 this, all his prayers to the Lord of Yezid,

60-64 679—83 the Daybreak"-or the Light of Ex- Muaviya II.,

683 istence, as commentators interpret Abdool Mulik;

Marwan, :

64-65 683-84

65_-86 684-705 the phrase-were unavailing, against Walid,

86-96 705-15 the “Mischief of the Night” which


96-99 715-17 overtook him. But Arabia was inspired with the new power ; it went Even a few years after Mohamforth conquering and to conquer. med's death, in the kaliphate of Quickly the wilder men of the East, Omar, the Arabs had mastered no especially all of Semitic origin, ac- small portion of the East. Towards cepted the teaching of the last of the Sind threatening progress was made, prophets. A line of Kaliphs arose, for Kirman, the easternmost profirst ruling at Medina, then at Kufa, vince of Persia, Seistan, and Mekran, Damascus, and Baghdad. Host after were soon taken by Abdoolla, a bold host of fierce warriors issued forth to general, who would have pushed his subdue the world. From the southern arms across the Indus had his lord islands of Asia to

allowed. According to the Chach

Nameh, a certain Aboo Musa Ashari, “The aerial mountains which pour down Indus and Oxus from their icy caves,"

who had been one of Mohammed's

personal companions, wrote to the from the walls of Vienna to the Kaliph to the effect that the King of harmattan winds of Western Africa, Sind was “powerful and contumathe tassels of the Mohammedan flågs cious, following the path of unrightwere to float on the breeze of victory. eousness, and having sin in his heart;" The mystic cross of the Doctors of but this accusation, which was quite Reason was, except in Eastern Asia, a sufficient pretext for war in the about to be supplanted, partly by the eyes of pious Mohammedans, failed obscene lingam of the followers of to excite prudent Omar, who seems Mahadeo, but chiefly by the crescent to have thought that the Sindian moon and the blood-drinking sword. apple was not quite ripe. A remarkHistory was prepared to leave the able proof of the strong outward mythic line of Buddhas, with its tendency of the Arabs at this period hundreds of quadrillions of ten of may be found in the fact that, in


addition to the gigantic aggressions easily overcome by Mohammedanism. of the Kaliphs, private individuals The historians relate miraculous tales carried on a system of filibustering to the effect that the hillmen were and privateering on the shores of suddenly terrified and converted by the Arabian Sea and its gulfs. Then, hearing the l'ukbeer, or acknowledgas now in North America, the eager- ment of divine greatness, and inciness of the individual outran the dentally mention that it has sounded prudence of the ruler. One of these through centuries, and still continues attempts, forerunners of serious in- to sound, from the depths of the vasion, was made in Omar's reign, rock. It will be sufficient for us to by a Mohammedan General Walker, bear in mind that the harsh, aggresupon Debal, a part of Sind, but was sive, law-honouring religion of the frustrated by the valour and vigour Koran was remarkably suited to find of Samba the governor, a hero other- a response in the hearts of rude wise unknown to fame.

mountaineers, whose close contact Othman, in the commencement of with nature and fact left room only his reign, had to deal with many re- for the growth of the primary virtues bellions in the newly-conquered pro- of bravery, fidelity, and religious awe. vinces; but these being put down, Mild life-honouring Buddhism and and his power consolidated, he ex- clever clerkish Brahminism had no tended the Arab rule up the western chance with it in these regions. The side of the Hala mountains, even in- sight of the invading army kneeling to the Kohistan and farther Balkh. in prayer, and prostrating itself as Sind, however, was left untouched, one man, had great influence on the because a spy reported of it-“Water simple mountaineers. In later years in that country is of a dark colour, the spy of one tribe said, on returnflowing only drop by drop; the fruits ing to his people after witnessing are sour and unwholesome; rocks such a spectacle,—“By the oath of abound, and the soil is brackish. God! I have seen these people so The thieves are intrepid warriors, united, that to whatever business and the bulk of the population dis- they turn their heads, they will honest and treacherous. If the troops assuredly accomplish it;" and the sent there are few in number, they credibility of the story is not much will be exterminated; if they are affected by the palpable Mohamnumerous, they will perish of hunger.” medan form of the remark. This account is not inapplicable to It is in the later portion of the Sind of the present day, but is so reign of Abdool Mulik that we first different from our reliable knowledge find Sind seriously threatened. Daher, of the state of that country under the son of our prudent friend Chach, its Brahmin kings, that we are forced was its king, ruling mildly and wiseto conclude either that the spy had ly, according to all accounts. A shanever entered it, or that he had re- dow hung over the royal house, for ceived a retainer from the wily Sind- early, in his reign it had been proians.

phesied, and explained on the carpet After the death of Othman, until of inquiry, that his sister was destined the succession of the Umayides, there to be the wife of a ruler of Sind. In was too much confusion to allow of order to escape the evil of the proforeign conquest. Even during the phesy, he nominally made her his reign of the first Kaliphs of that own wife. Though the Sindians may dynasty, the mountainous region of have had an uneasy dread of the Central Asia appears to have been changes which were in store, they held insecurely; so they feared to did not prevent some of their predescend upon Sind, lest retreat might datory tribes incensing the Kaliph be cut off. On its western frontier Abdool Mulik, so that perspiration it was protected by hill-tribes, then, issued from his body," by robbing as now, the bravest and most inde- his servants of “female slaves and pendent in that portion of Asia. Un. other things,” which were being contil these were thoroughly Islamised, veyed to him as a present from HinSind was safe ; but though able to dostan or Ceylon. In consequence cope with Mohammedans, they were of this insult, the Kaliph desired to


« AnteriorContinuar »