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In the index to the Thibetan Sutras it is said that these were first, for the most part, committed to writing in the Sindhu language; and even modern Sindee is one of the purest dialects of the ancient language of Buddhistic India. The Greek writers describe a state of society essentially Buddhistic in the countries of the Indus. Fa Hian, who travelled in the fifth century after Christ, found his own Chinese faith prevailing in the Sindian states, though both in Bokhara and Persia it had been supplanted by Zoroastrianism. Two centuries later, Hiuan Thsang bore very similar testimony; and recent excavations have disclosed many ancient Buddhistic remains. But, on the other hand, turning to the Mohammedan historians, it appears that while the natives of Sind, at the time of the Mohammedan conquest, are simply called Kafirs, or infidels, their king was the son of a Brahmin named Chach. The enthronement of Chach is placed A.D. 622, which could not have been far from the time when Hiuan Thsang visited Sind; and so we are led to conclude that Buddhism and Brahminism were not violently antagonistic to each other when the latter began to predominate.
The one fact which fills up the gap of a thousand years between the conquest of Alexander and that of Mohammed Kasim, is, that during that period Sind was under the rule of Buddhistic ideas. This conveys important meaning, and explains many things otherwise unintelligible. It renders credible the extraordinary prosperity of ancient Sind, and the striking valour and virtue displayed by its inhabitants when called on to resist invaders. Buddhism, with its popular idea of a supreme ruler, its transcendental hero-worship, its doctrine of rigid immutable retribution, its beautiful moral teaching, and its elaborate political arrangements, produced rich fruits of personal virtue and social success in all the countries where it prevailed. Even the early Brahminism, from which it may have sprung, and before which it fell, was vastly superior to that which now prevails in India. Both historical testimony and monumental evidence prove that, in spiritual character and
temporal success, ancient India far surpassed anything to be found under the rule of the later Brahmins and the Mohammedans.
Bearing this in mind, we may see in Sind of the present day not a primitive desert country, but one known to have become desert in retrograde action. We know not how and by whom these lands, contiguous to the Indus and its tributaries, stretching up eight hundred miles from the sea, were intersected by canals, won into grain-fields, and spotted with villages and towns. The toiling millions, of whom every unit was itself a whole, and enacted a life-drama,-are now thrown into one indistinct mass, which scarcely excites an idea in our minds, or claims any place in history. Nothing remains to tell how the tribes of the five rivers, of the Suleiman and Hala mountains, of Affghanistan, of Seistan, of the Delta, Kutch, and Guzerat, were rolled into that great Sindu kingdom, which extended from Surat to Candahar, and from the two trees of Cashmere to Mekran and the sea. All the Punjaub wars, Meeanee routs, Ghuznee massacres, revenue settlements, law organisations, mixtures of race, and other important events which produced the great ancient kingdom of Sind, are now finally at rest, freed from the troubling of all wicked historians. Emerging into a dim historical light, we have great cities, as Alore, and Brahminabad; wise mild-ruling Hindu Raees, sleeping on the bed of contentment in the house of justice; fair and faithless Hindu Ranees, into whose hearts the bird of unlawful desire has entered; handsome but prudent young Brahmins, finding by female favour the way to the throne; soldiers to guard the kingdom; merchants to supply it; artificers to adorn it; and, foundation of all, hard-worked ryots providing food and building many forts.
A line of Hindu Raees or kings flourished in Sind during the sixth century after Christ. Rais Sahasee, the last of these, is said to have made many laws, and must have been a wonderful monarch if he was able to enforce this one, which was attributed to him, "To whom pay
is due, he receives it at once; there must be no delay." It is recorded of him, however, that he spent his days and nights as much as possible in the bedchamber of happiness, and left business affairs to be conducted by his Wazeer, Ram. This minister, being sick one day, sent a clear speaking prepossessing young Brahmin, called Chach, the son of Seelaj, to read some important letters to the king. The Ranee, or queen, wished to keep her face veiled in presence of the stranger, but the unsuspecting monarch himself remarked that no such concealment was required. Young Chach read the letters so gracefully, or was so captivating in appearance, that the Ranee was deeply moved by him, and soon found opportunity of communicating her love. He, however, stood on the ground of denial, as the Persians phrase it on this account happiness left her heart, and in her misery she rolled about like a halfkilled bird. Chach had learned from the stars that great prospects were in store for him, but his prudence, or perhaps his cowardice and cunning, advised him to refuse the queen's advances, and patiently watch the chances of the game. Nor did the sequel confound his wisdom. After the queen had been assured by Chach that he would not commit perfidy, it happened, curiously enough, that her husband, Rais Sahasee, became seriously ill. The lady, who was ready to die from love, found thus relief and hope. She immediately sent for Chach, reminded him that the dying monarch had no son, and offered her hand and the throne to that crafty young priest. This, probably, was what the Brahmin had calculated upon. The two agreed to conceal the king's death for a time, in order to circumvent any of his relatives who might be disposed to claim the succession. A proclamation was made to the effect that the Rais had partially rallied, though not strong enough to appear in public; and that in order to prevent further delay in the administration of state affairs, he had appointed Chach to perform the duties of the royal office. A signet-ring was produced in confirmation of this state
ment; and the principal Chobdars were deceived by it, or judged it best to give it credit. The Ranee appears to have been the better man of the two: she herself arranged the affair, and put her plans into execution. To Chach she said, after a fashion which proved very enlarged views of morality, "The time has now come when we can be one; we must arrange to get rid of those who may not approve of this." The way in which this spirited woman got rid of those who disapproved of her conduct was instantly collecting fifty chains, sending for the relations of the king one by one, binding them as they entered, and then handing them over to be slain. Thus Chach was married to the Ranee, and ascended the throne. Whatever his fascinations may have been, courage was not one of these. Shortly after assuming power, he was attacked by an ambitious chief at the head of a large army, and instead of acting boldly, he applied to his wife for encouragement and advice. "Men," she replied, "are best acquainted with the counsels of war; if you are afraid, give me your clothes, and you shall take mine, then I will go and fight the enemy." No wonder Chach was ashamed on hearing this, and held down his head. He went to battle, and, being challenged by his opponent, agreed to single combat; but even then his Brahminical nature displayed itself. He urged his inexperience with horses as a reason why the contest should be decided on foot; but having whispered an attendant to bring up his own steed, he quickly mounted, and thus having his foe at a disadvantage, struck him with one blow to the earth. It is noteworthy that such a treacherous coward should have gained the affections of a highbred, spirited, and determined woman, but not at all strange; for it is often the unlike which has most charms, and the ways of the gentler sex are proverbially mysterious. This story may serve as an indication that, early in the seventh century, Sind required a little renovation, from the influx either of foreign invaders or of foreign ideas; for every country is in a state of corrupt civilisation, where women overlook the absence
of the primary virtue, courage, and allow their imagination to glorify men who are great only in pretension, and good only because they assert it, and find dupes to believe the falsehood.
But Sind was destined to meet soon with stern realities, and so to be awakened from its dream of priest ly virtue. The events we have just related occurred in the evening of one, and the morning of another, great world-system. Buddhism, always aspiring towards perfect rest and unconscious being, had got sunk in impracticabilities and sloth; the Indo-Scythian ideas were all but exhausted; the tiger, the snake, and the wild jungle, were ready to reclaim the celled hills, once musical with the hum of innumerable droning troglodytic monks, which were plentifully scattered from the steppes of Tartary to
"Smiling Salsette's cave-wrought coast." In the West, the Roman Empire, which had absorbed the civilisation of Greece, was falling into ruin. Essentially heathen in its spiritual phase, its decline and fall could not be arrested by the new element of Christianity. Rome was only Grecian thought realised-passed from the originating into the effecting stage. It contributed no new element, discouraged all originality of thought, and, under its later emperors, consumed both capital and interest; so at this time it was about to die, unhonoured and unsung. Zoroastrianism, also, was approaching its end in Persia; although, like Greece under Alexander, it made a last expiring and glorious effort in the conquests of the later Sassanides, who compelled Justinian to purchase an ignoble peace, extended the dominion of Persia to the shores of the Levant, won Egypt and Tripoli, and threatened Constantinople. These first six or seven centuries of the Christian era form a central period in the history of the world-a period of decay and death, of conception and birth.
Not to modern Brahminism was it given to supply the place of Buddhism, and hold the eastern world. Entirely new winds of summer heat
were required for the further development of human life, and these came, like a simoom blast, from the burning deserts of Arabia. The new influence proceeded from a race which had long been separated, either by its own peculiarities or its geographical position, from the general family of man; but which in its isolation, whether in its native deserts or its insecure Syrian possession, had long been gathering strength and storing up ideas to reinform and subdue the earth. Judaism was too arrogant, local, and intensely national, to influence the world in the day of its success, but when thrown into the wine-press of the wrath of God, true balm was pressed from it for the healing of the nations. For Christianity, however, the East was not prepared; a ruder, lower, and more cruel system of religion was first required to pave the way for it, as the prophet clothed in camel's hair was the forerunner of Christ. There are sufficient grounds to believe that Christian churches existed in India in the fifth century; but these soon disappeared, leaving only a sad trace of their existence in the name and incarnation of Krishna, a lascivious god, and very Hindu Christ indeed. The rude denizens of Arabia and all Central Asia were no more likely to be influenced, twelve centuries ago, by the laws of love and individual liberty which form the essentials of our faith, than are at this day the tigers of Bengal. In order to progress eastward, the Semitic race had to mould a wilder and more warlike system out of Christianity.
So about the time when Chach mounted the throne of Sind, when Buddhism was degrading into modern Brahminism, and otherwise approaching dissolution, across the Arabian Sea, in the stony valley and burning streets of Mecca, an epileptic boy was born into day, and nursed in the arms of a shapeless Abyssinian girl. Like Gotama the founder of Buddhism, Mohammed, though of a dark race, was himself of a fair type. After his youthful training among the Bani Saad, he passed, as is now established beyond doubt, over into Syria, by the deserted excavations of Petra, and thus
became acquainted with corrupt Syrian Christianity. In his years of humble labour and silent thought, which were broken by madness and shadowed by gloom, he worked out, for the satisfaction of his own soul, a theory of the universe and vindication of the ways of God to man. We cannot here discuss how far his purer ideal may have been lost in its application to his fellows, and by what he gained of immediate success. Suffice to note that this new Prophet was successful; that, while old religions were dying farther east, the rocks of the Hejaz were echoing the names of Allah and Mohammed. Even during his life he would willingly, as may be seen from his letters to the rulers of Persia and Rome, have extended Islam beyond the limits of Arabia, but was distracted by nearer cares, it not being till the ninth year of the Hejira that submission was made to him by the Koreish, who were the most influential of all the Arabs. Two years after this, all his prayers to the "Lord of the Daybreak "—or the Light of Existence, as commentators interpret the phrase were unavailing against the "Mischief of the Night" which overtook him. But Arabia was inspired with the new power; it went forth conquering and to conquer. Quickly the wilder men of the East, especially all of Semitic origin, accepted the teaching of the last of the prophets. A line of Kaliphs arose, first ruling at Medina, then at Kufa, Damascus, and Baghdad. Host after host of fierce warriors issued forth to subdue the world. From the southern islands of Asia to
"The aerial mountains which pour down Indus and Oxus from their icy caves," from the walls of Vienna to the harmattan winds of Western Africa, the tassels of the Mohammedan flags were to float on the breeze of victory. The mystic cross of the Doctors of Reason was, except in Eastern Asia, about to be supplanted, partly by the obscene lingam of the followers of Mahadeo, but chiefly by the crescent moon and the blood-drinking sword. History was prepared to leave the mythic line of Buddhas, with its hundreds of quadrillions of ten of
quadrillions of unlimited æons, for not less vain Semitic genealogics. And even prosy geography was ready to take the great footprint in Ceylon
an island inhabited by demons, genii, and dragons"-from the indefinite Scythian Buddha, and ascribe it to enormous Semitic Adam, as he stood, in that singularly fanciful morning of the world, with one foot on Rahun and the other in the sea, looking for Eve, who was sleeping in the valley of Mecca, with knees two matchlock-shots asunder.
To explain the chronological order of events, we give the following list of Kaliphs, from the death of Mohammed to shortly after the conquest of Sind :
Even a few years after Mohammed's death, in the kaliphate of Omar, the Arabs had mastered no small portion of the East. Towards Sind threatening progress was made, for Kirman, the easternmost province of Persia, Seistan, and Mekran, were soon taken by Abdoolla, a bold general, who would have pushed his arms across the Indus had his lord allowed. According to the Chach Nameh, a certain Aboo Musa Ashari, who had been one of Mohammed's personal companions, wrote to the Kaliph to the effect that the King of Sind was "powerful and contumacious, following the path of unrighteousness, and having sin in his heart;" but this accusation, which was quite a sufficient pretext for war in the eyes of pious Mohammedans, failed to excite prudent Omar, who seems to have thought that the Sindian apple was not quite ripe. A remarkable proof of the strong outward tendency of the Arabs at this period may be found in the fact that, in
addition to the gigantic aggressions of the Kaliphs, private individuals carried on a system of filibustering and privateering on the shores of the Arabian Sea and its gulfs. Then, as now in North America, the eagerness of the individual outran the prudence of the ruler. One of these attempts, forerunners of serious invasion, was made in Omar's reign, by a Mohammedan General Walker, upon Debal, a part of Sind, but was frustrated by the valour and vigour of Samba the governor, a hero otherwise unknown to fame.
Othman, in the commencement of his reign, had to deal with many rebellions in the newly-conquered provinces; but these being put down, and his power consolidated, he extended the Arab rule up the western side of the Hala mountains, even in to the Kohistan and farther Balkh. Sind, however, was left untouched, because a spy reported of it-" Water in that country is of a dark colour, flowing only drop by drop; the fruits are sour and unwholesome; rocks abound, and the soil is brackish. The thieves are intrepid warriors, and the bulk of the population dishonest and treacherous. If the troops sent there are few in number, they will be exterminated; if they are numerous, they will perish of hunger." This account is not inapplicable to Sind of the present day, but is so different from our reliable knowledge of the state of that country under its Brahmin kings, that we are forced to conclude either that the spy had never entered it, or that he had received a retainer from the wily Sindians.
After the death of Othman, until the succession of the Umayides, there was too much confusion to allow of foreign conquest. Even during the reign of the first Kaliphs of that dynasty, the mountainous region of Central Asia appears to have been held insecurely; so they feared to descend upon Sind, lest retreat might be cut off. On its western frontier it was protected by hill-tribes, then, as now, the bravest and most independent in that portion of Asia. Until these were thoroughly Islamised, Sind was safe; but though able to cope with Mohammedans, they were
easily overcome by Mohammedanism. The historians relate miraculous tales to the effect that the hillmen were suddenly terrified and converted by hearing the Tukbeer, or acknowledg ment of divine greatness, and incidentally mention that it has sounded through centuries, and still continues to sound, from the depths of the rock. It will be sufficient for us to bear in mind that the harsh, aggressive, law-honouring religion of the Koran was remarkably suited to find a response in the hearts of rude mountaineers, whose close contact with nature and fact left room only for the growth of the primary virtues of bravery, fidelity, and religious awe. Mild life-honouring Buddhism and clever clerkish Brahminism had no chance with it in these regions. The sight of the invading army kneeling in prayer, and prostrating itself as one man, had great influence on the simple mountaineers. In later years the spy of one tribe said, on returning to his people after witnessing such a spectacle,-"By the oath of God! I have seen these people so united, that to whatever business they turn their heads, they will assuredly accomplish it;" and the credibility of the story is not much affected by the palpable Mohammedan form of the remark.
It is in the later portion of the reign of Abdool Mulik that we first find Sind seriously threatened. Daher, the son of our prudent friend Chach, was its king, ruling mildly and wisely, according to all accounts. A shadow hung over the royal house, for early in his reign it had been prophesied, and explained on the carpet of inquiry, that his sister was destined to be the wife of a ruler of Sind. In order to escape the evil of the prophesy, he nominally made her his own wife. Though the Sindians may have had an uneasy dread of the changes which were in store, they did not prevent some of their predatory tribes incensing the Kaliph Abdool Mulik, so that "perspiration issued from his body," "by robbing his servants of "female slaves and other things," which were being conveyed to him as a present from Hindostan or Ceylon. In consequence of this insult, the Kaliph desired to