Observations on the Mussulmauns of India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 594 pages of information about Observations on the Mussulmauns of India.
and Folklore of Northern India, i. 204).  In
    Bihar it is said that he had a lamp with four wicks, on lighting
    which, four Jinns appeared, and he used them for the purpose of
    debauchery.  Finally, another Jinn slew him.  People become possessed in
    his name, and when summoned in cases of illness or trouble, announce
    that a goat or a cock must be sacrificed to the saint (Census Report,
, 1901, i. 180).

[8] Chiragh, an earthenware cup in which a wick is lighted.

[9] Kahani, a folk-tale.

[10] This tale comes from the Nala-Damayanti Saga.  Nala finds a snake
    in danger of death from a jungle fire, saves it, and is bitten by the
    reptile, in the forehead, which causes him to become weak, deformed,
    and black in colour.  The snake turns out to be the King Snake,
    Karkotaka.  He says to Nala:  ’I gave you this bite for your good, as
    you will soon learn, in order that your deformity may conceal you in
    carrying out your plans’ (C.H.  Tawney, Katha-saral-Sagara, i.
    564 f.:  C.H.  Bompas, Folklore of the Santal Parganas, 149 ff.).

[11] Pipal, Ficus religiosa.

[12] A common Indian folk-tale.  In one of the most common versions the
    jackal tricks the ungrateful tiger, and induces him to go back to his


Superstition of the Natives.—­Fair annually kept by Hindoos.—­Supposed practice of witchcraft by an old woman.—­Assaulted by an infuriated populace.—­Rescued by a Native gentleman.—­He inquires their reasons for persecuting her.—­Is instrumental in appeasing their malignity.—­Endeavours to remove their prejudice.—­Proneness of Asiatics to superstition.—­Opinion of a Mussulmaun on the influence of evil spirits.—­Account of a woman possessed by an evil spirit.—­Dialogue with her during the paroxysms of her affliction.—­Means used for her recovery.—­Further allusions to the false notions of the Natives respecting supernatural agency...Page 387

All the Natives of Hindoostaun appear to me to be, more or less, tinctured with superstitious notions, which, in many instances, are so grafted in their nature as to resist every attempt made to root out by arguments the folly of this great weakness.

I hope to be forgiven for introducing in this Letter a few anecdotes and occurrences, which may illustrate that faulty side of the character of a people who have not derived those advantages which are calculated to displace superstition from the mind of man;—­in a word, they are strangers to that Holy volume which teaches better things.

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Observations on the Mussulmauns of India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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