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But blighted, like the early grain;
By no green hedge of myrtle bound;
The clusters withering on the ground!
When life-like Flora, from repose
In flow'ry smile of beauty glows;
To paint the rolling cheek of Even,
With a bright path-way into heaven!
O tree of fading hope, so dear!
Still verdure on some branch we find;
Then Patience, with her diamond shield,
Once more may wandering fancy bring
From that loved tree, whose pillar'd gloom
O shadowy Banyan! happy we,
To learn the lesson taught by thee;
From the green stem of youth to rear
Slept in the summer eve of life!
*The camang; a species of mimosa.-See Humboldt's Personal Narrative.
See the celebrated description in Paradise Lost; the peculiar manner in which the banyan strikes its branches into the ground, is known to every reader.
REPLY TO A CRITICISM OF COL. VANS KENNEDY UPON A PASSAGE IN PROFESSOR WILSON'S TRANSLATION OF THE VISHNU PURAN.
TO THE EDITOR.
SIR: Col. Vans Kennedy has lately favoured you with a series of letters upon the subject of my views of the modern date and sectarian spirit of the works termed by the Hindus Puranas. I entertain great respect for the Colonel's talents and industry, but none whatever for his love of disputation or his pertinacity of opinion, and attach little weight to deductions that are founded upon imperfect investigation and prejudices much more inveterate than any which he accuses me of cherishing. I have, therefore, no intention of entering upon any refutation of his notions, or vindication of my own. Having put forth conclusions drawn from a deliberate and careful scrutiny of the premises which warrant them, I am contented to leave them to their fate if they are sound, they need not be defended; if they are erroneous, they do not deserve to be defended. I have implicit faith in the ultimate prevalence of truth, and as I am satisfied that my conclusions are, in the present instance, true, they have nothing to apprehend from Colonel Vans Kennedy.
Neither is it necessary now to expend time upon any discussion as to what the Puranas are. The confutation of Colonel Vans Kennedy's doctrines of their high antiquity and pure theological character is to be found in the works themselves. Translations of two of them have been published, that of the Vishnu Purana by myself, and that of the Sri Bhagavata by M. Burnouf, and an appeal to these, which is now accessible to all who may be interested in the inquiry, will show how utterly untenable is Colonel Vans Kennedy's theory. If he objects to the particular examples here named, let him choose his own. He will pardon me for suggesting that he would be more usefully and creditably employed in translating and publishing some other Purana or Puranas than in depreciating the better directed labours of other Sanscrit scholars. The result of such translations will, I have no doubt, confirm the conclusions which I have not found it possible to avoid, and with respect to which the opinions of M. Burnouf coincide with mine. The Puranas, in their present form, are not of high antiquity, although they are made up in part of ancient materials; and in the legends which they relate, and the practices which they enjoin, they depart as widely from what appears to be the more primitive form of Brahmanism as they do from the subjects which authorities of unquestionable weight, as well as their own texts, declare should form the essential constituents of a Purana.
Whilst, however, I think it a work of supererogation to refute errors which the Puranas themselves are at hand to correct, I must beg leave to set Colonel Vans Kennedy right on a matter not of opinion, but of fact. Asiat Journ. N.S.VOL.35.No. 137.
Conscious, no doubt, that his arguments will not bear the test of comparison with the original works, he has attempted, at the close of his last letter, to insinuate a suspicion that the translation is not to be trusted, and charges me with having misunderstood and mistranslated a passage that is of some importance as a criterion of the date of the Purana. He does not say that I have done so purposely, in order to fabricate a false foundation for my opinions, but the tendency of his animadversions leads to such an inference. To this inference I cannot stoop to reply; but I shall have no difficulty in showing that the charge of misapprehension applies not to me, but to Colonel Vans Kennedy.
Now I will not venture to affirm that, in a work of some extent and occasionally of some difficulty, I have never mistaken my original; that I have always been sufficiently careful in expressing its purport; that I may not have sometimes, in the course of a translation not professing to be literal, diverged more than was prudent from the letter of my text. The latter may have been the case in the passage in question, and Col. Vans Kennedy is literally correct in stating that the very words, "Jains and Bauddhas,” are not in the Sanscrit where they are found in the English; at the same time, had he fully comprehended the sense of the preceding passages, had he been aware that all which had gone before related to Jains and Bauddhas, he must have admitted that their specification, which was recommended by the consideration of perspicuity and by the construction of the English version, was warranted by the context, and was, therefore, unobjectionable.
I will not think so meanly of Col. Vans Kennedy's criticism as to suppose it possible that it would cavil at words, or that it would attach any importance to the insertion of the terms "Jains and Bauddhas" in the place where they occur, if it could be substantiated that, in all the preceding parts of the chapter, the text has had them in contemplation. This he denies, and I maintain: we shall see which is right.
The eighteenth chapter of the third book of the Vishnu Puran describes, in the first part, the apostacy of certain persons from the Brahmanical faith, from the Vedas and Smritis, in consequence of the doctrines of a false teacher, who is Vishnu in disguise. The heresies into which they fell were two. Col. Vans Kennedy's interpretation is "one;" and here is the source of his misapprehension: that he labours under an erroneous view of the sense of the passage a brief examination of it will irrefutably demon
In the first place, then, speaking of those who first became followers of the false prophet, the text says expressly, "They were called Arhatas, from the phrase which the deceiver made use of in addressing them, Arhatha,'' Ye are worthy' of this great doctrine." So far there can be no question that the Arbatas are named by the Vishnu Puran as one set of schismatics.
It is very true that we have not the name of the other apostate sect enunciated, but it is indicated in a manner not to be mistaken. says the teacher, "budhyasva:"-"It is known," reply the disciples, "budhyaté." If these inflexions of the verb budh, 'to know,' do not clearly
intimate the followers of a faith who, from the same root, are named Bauddhas, I should like to know to what other class of Indian religionists it can apply.
It is not, however, from inferences, even thus palpable, that I am justified in limiting the designation of Bauddhas to the sect here described. Col. Vans Kennedy is told in my Preface, that I have invariably consulted an able commentary on the text of the Vishnu Puran, and to this commentary he either has or has not referred: if he has not, he has come to his task of criticism very ill-prepared; if he has, he should in candour have admitted, that what he is pleased to term my misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the text, was shared by learned Hindus, who most assuredly could not be suspected of any disposition to derogate from the sanctity and antiquity of such sacred books as the Puranas. If the word 'Bauddha' is inaccurately specified, the error is as much the commentator's as mine. Col. Vans Kennedy may possibly set a higher value upon his own erudition than that of any native pundit: he must not expect others to agree with him in an estimate, and at any rate he is bound in fairness to admit the existence of such an authority, supposing him to be aware of it, when he condemns an interpretation which it fully justifies. Ratnagarbha, the commentator on the Vishnu Purana, explicitly states that, "in the repeated use of the words budhyasva and budhyate, it is the intention of the text to explain the meaning of the denomination Bauddha (Evam budhyaletyatra punaruktérBauddha-pada niruktirarthá.)" I have been fully authorized, therefore, in inserting the term Bauddhas.
Having thus vindicated unanswerably the propriety of employing the word Bauddha, we come to that of Jaina. It has been shown that the Arhatas are named, and by these, I affirm, Jains are intended. Col. Vans Kennedy asserts that the term is applied in this very place to Bauddhas; and adds, "it is singular that Professor Wilson should assume, in direct opposition to the authority of the Purana which he has himself translated, that the term Arhata, when it occurs in the Puranas, should be considered to apply to Jina, and not to Bauddha." I am not aware that I have said any such thing-but that is of no matter. In the passage in dispute, I do understand Arhatas to mean Jainas, and I am not so singular in this understanding as Col. Vans Kennedy fancies. I again appeal to the commentator in support of my translation. The Colonel, not perceiving that two different sects are described, asserts, as just seen, that Arhats, in this place, means Buddhists. Had he taken pains to be better informed, he would have found that there was sufficient authority for distinguishing them in this passage, and he would not have made an assertion so utterly at variance with the general purport of the whole of the description. Arhata does not mean Buddhist; for the commentator expressly observes of the object of the text, when describing the operations of the false teacher, "having expounded the doctrine of the Arhatas, he proceeded to explain the doctrine of the Bauddhas (Arhata matam uktwá Bauddha matam áha.)" Ratnagarbha, therefore, unequivocally asserts that two sects (not one) are here described, and that
Arhats are a different class of sectarians from Buddhists or Bauddhas. Col. Vans Kennedy is, therefore, wholly mistaken in understanding the passage to relate to one sect of schismatics only, and is wholly wrong in confounding Arhats and Buddhists.
That Arhats are not in this place Buddhists, is undeniable upon authority which few will fail to prefer to Colonel Vans Kennedy's, and it only remains to determine what they are. To any one at all acquainted with the practices and tenets of the Jains, as they have been explained by Mr. Colebrooke, they are sufficiently well indicated by allusions in the text of the Vishnu Purana, in the passage in question, to leave no doubt that they are intended. If Jains are not meant, what are the schismatics here described by their doctrines and designated by the term Arhats? They are not Bauddhas-that is settled; and when no perversity of ingenuity can identify Arhatas with Bauddhas, there is no alternative left but to identify them with Jainas. That the term does very commonly denote Jains, is familiar to all who ever heard of either. Perhaps Colonel Vans Kennedy will admit this—perhaps he will also admit that the celebrated Jain teacher and lexicographer Hemachandra is some authority for the accurate designation of the sect of which he was so distinguished an ornament, and that he gives the word Arhat as a synonyme of Jina, Tirthankara, and the like. This is a mere waste of words-when Arhata does not mean a Bauddha, it means a Jain. It cannot mean a Bauddha in the passages of the Vishnu Purana which are now under discussion, because the Bauddhas are also specified and distinguished by both text and commentary; it, therefore, does mean Jain, and, consequently, I am fully authorized in inserting the words Jains and Bauddhas in the translation. The misapprehension is not mine-it is my critic's; with which restitution of what appertains to him and not to me, I take my leave of him, and of all further controversy with him. I am, Sir, &c.
H. H. WILSON.
TEXTS AND VERSIONS OF THE SCRIPTURES.
Messrs. Bagsters have undertaken two works, which will prove of great value to students of the Holy Scriptures; namely, the English Hexapla, consisting of the Greek Text of the New Testament, with the six English versions known as Wiclif's, Tyndale's, Cranmer's, the Genevan, the Rhemish, and the Authorized, the whole presented at one view; the Greek text being that of Dr. Scholz, with his various readings; the English versions in the orthography of their respective periods. The other work is Biblia Polyglotta Ecclesiæ, edited by Dr. Iliff, exhibiting at one view the proper Lessons for Sundays from the Old Testament, together with the whole Book of Psalms, in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English. The specimens we have seen of these works are admirably printed. These spirited publishers have also proposed the publishing a complete Polyglot Bible, embracing all such languages of the Holy Scriptures (whether entire or fragmentary), with such critical addenda, and such grammatical and other apparatus, as may be approved and considered necessary for a Polyglot Bible of the most perfect description; including all that is valuable in the Complutensian Polyglot, in 6 volumes folio, 1514-7; the Antwerp Polyglot, in 8 volumes folio, 1569-72; the Paris Polyglot, in 10 volumes folio, 1645; and the London Polyglot of Brian Walton, in 6 volumes folio, 1653-7.