Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.
was told in a dream, or by a priest, that it would continue so till he should consent to sacrifice his own daughter, then a girl, and the young lad to whom she was affianced, to the tutelary god of the place.  He accordingly built a little shrine in the centre of the valley, which was to become the bed of the lake, put the two children in, and built up the doorway.  He had no sooner done so than the whole of the valley became filled with water, and the old merchant, the priest, the masons, and spectators, made their escape with much difficulty.  From that time the lake has been inexhaustible; but no living soul of the Banjara caste has ever since been known to drink of its waters.  Certainly all of that caste at present religiously avoid drinking the water of the lake; and the old people of the city say that they have always done so since they can remember, and that they used to hear from their parents that they had always done so.  In nothing does the Founder of the Christian religion appear more amiable than in His injunction, ’Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not’.  In nothing do the Hindoo deities appear more horrible than in the delight they are supposed to take in their sacrifice—­it is everywhere the helpless, the female, and the infant that they seek to devour—­and so it was among the Phoenicians and their Carthaginian colonies.  Human sacrifices were certainly offered in the cities of Sagar during the whole of the Maratha government up to the year 1800, when they were put a stop to by the local governor, Asa Sahib, a very humane man; and I once heard a very learned Brahman priest say that he thought the decline of his family and government arose from this innovation.  ‘There is’, said he, ’no sin in not offering human sacrifices to the gods where none have been offered; but, where the gods have been accustomed to them, they are naturally annoyed when the rite is abolished, and visit the place and people with all kinds of calamities.’  He did not seem to think that there was anything singular in this mode of reasoning, and perhaps three Brahman priests out of four would have reasoned in the same manner.[3]

On descending into the valley of the Nerbudda over the Vindhya range of hills from Bhopal, one may see by the side of the road, upon a spur of the hill, a singular pillar of sandstone rising in two spires, one turning above and rising over the other, to the height of from twenty to thirty feet.  On a spur of a hill half a mile distant is another sandstone pillar not quite so high.  The tradition is that the smaller pillar was the affianced bride of the taller one, who was a youth of a family of great eminence in these parts.  Coming with his uncle to pay his first visit to his bride in the procession they call the ‘barat’, he grew more and more impatient as he approached nearer and nearer, and she shared the feeling.  At last, unable to restrain himself, he jumped upon his uncle’s shoulder,

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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