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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 was once first released in 1811 and reprinted during this 3rd variation in 1817. It was once 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, developing the Serampore undertaking Press in 1800 and Serampore collage in 1818. Ward dedicated 20 years to compiling his research of Hindu literature, background, mythology and faith, which used to be finally released in 4 volumes. It supplied richly particular details, and was once considered as authoritative for the following fifty years. it truly is accordingly nonetheless a huge resource for researchers in components together with Indian historical past, British colonialism, Orientalism and spiritual stories. 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

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Upon the same principle the Hindoo, when he sees the force with which the flood-tide comes into the Ganges, or any other similar phenomena of nature, recognizes it as God, or the energy of God. The blessing which he supposes a yogee obtains, as the fruit of his religious austerities, he confines to power—power to heal or to kill others, to ride in the air on the back of a tiger, to foretel future events, &c. Benevolent dispositions and actions procure for a man praise, but not reverence. Howard would have obtained the encomiums of this people, and would have been complimented on the exaltation he was likely to have in the next birth, but nobody would have worshipped him ; this honour is always reserved for men of pretended supernatural powers.

The dead, in going to Yumu's judgment-hall, cross Voitiirunee, the Indian styx u ; the waters of which, like those of Phlegethon, the fourth river of hell which the dead were obliged to cross, are said to be boiling hot. Yumu has several assistants, like Minos, who keep a register of human actions. There is something in the story inserted in vol. i. page 83, which seems to coincide with Pluto's being obliged to steal his wife Proserpine, because he could obtain no other goddess, his visage being so horrible and his habitation so gloomy.

Doorga. The image of this goddess and that of Minerva, in one or two instances, exhibit a pretty strong resemblance : both are described as fond of arms; and it is remarkable, that Doorga derives her name from the giant Doorgu, whom she slew, as Pallas (Minerva) obtained hers from the giant Pallas, whom she destroyed. She resembles Minerva also as a goddess difficult of access, which is one signification of the name Doorga. Sir W. Jones says, ' As the mountain-born goddess, or Parvutee, she has many properties of the Olympian Juno: her majestic deportment, high spirit, and general attributes arethe same; and we find her both on Mount Koilasii, and at the banquets of the deities, uniformly the companion of her husband.

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