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By William Ward

William Ward's account of the Hindu groups between whom he served as a Baptist missionary in Serampore in West Bengal used to be first released in 1811 and reprinted during this 3rd version in 1817. It used to be a really influential paintings that formed British perspectives of the newly outlined entity of 'Hinduism' within the early 19th century. Ward and his fellow missionaries promoted social reforms and schooling, setting up the Serampore challenge Press in 1800 and Serampore university in 1818. Ward dedicated two decades to compiling his examine of Hindu literature, historical past, mythology and faith, which was once ultimately released in 4 volumes. It supplied richly unique info, and was once considered as authoritative for the subsequent fifty years. it really is for that reason nonetheless a major resource for researchers in parts together with Indian historical past, British colonialism, Orientalism and spiritual reviews. quantity 1 describes and categorises Hindu deities and gadgets of worship, celestial, terrestrial, animate and inanimate.

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Additional info for A View of the History, Literature, and Religion of the Hindoos, Volume 1: Including a Minute Description of their Manners and Customs, and Translations from their Principal Works

Sample text

For instance, one man's image is that of the infant Krishnu : he imagines it necessary, that the god should be honoured as a child, and he therefore makes an offering of sweetmeats to him early in the morning; he is very careful too that the image should be laid down to rest, and raised up again, only at the appointed hours; he bathes, anoints it, and adorns it with the utmost fondness. Songs in b 2 xii INTRODUCTORY REMARKS praise of Krishnii are very common amongst this sect; and sometimes an enthusiast falls to the ground while singing, and exhibits all the symptoms of superstitious frenzy.

The Noiyayikus declare, that the universe was created from atoms; while the Meemangs&kus, equally wise, affirm, that the consequences of actions were the only things united to birth. ' Sir W. Jones. P It is called delusion, or appearance, to shew, that it is something assumed for an occasion, and which, when that occasion is served, will be destroyed: hence they say, that matter is from everlasting, but is subject to destruction. It is called inanimate energy, as it supplies the forms of things, though the vivifying principle is God.

These persons reject many of the Hindoo ceremonies; but they repeat the name of Krishnu, worship the common images of this god, and observe the national festivals to his honour. Some individuals are directed in their religious duties by the Hindoo writings : but the great body are enthusiasts, following the impulse of feelings enkindled by their own impure imaginations. Some of them wander from village to village, proclaiming the name and reciting the praises of Krishnu. Those who reverence the philosophical doctrine, and those who thus adhere to devotion, form however but a very small part of the Hindoo population.

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