Pir Badar in Burma
Dr. Anaerson, “English Intercourse with Siam in the Seventeenth Century," 1890, p. 338, makes the following statement:—
“On the day following [the 28th June, 1687] the ship James, the consort of the Curtana, arrived in Mergui harbour; and Armiger Gosline, her commander, was ordered to ride near the Resolution opposite Mr. White's house, to prevent the crew taking the vessel to the other side of Banda-makhon."
Towards the northern part of the eastern shore of the island there is, however, a locality which the inhabitants of the town of Mergui called Buddha-makhan, and I am disposed to think that Madramacan is a corruption of this word. It is said to have derived its name from the circumstance that a Mahomedan saint called Budhar Udin resided there. The legend about him is that he came from the North by sea, and, being .attracted to the northern part of Pataw by its natural beauty, he built a hut on the banks of a small stream, where it enters the sea, and where lies a huge boulder, on which be meditated for forty days, receiving from God whatever he asked for in his prayers. The Mahomedans, in consequence, called the place Budhar Udin's Makhan.
It is a curious circumstance, however, that the place is reverenced alike by Buddhists and Mahomedans, and by the Chinese of Mergui. The Buddhists, after the custom of their religion, affix gold leaf to the boulder, whereas the Chinese leave small squares of brown paper ornamented with a representation in gold leaf of their deity, who patronizes seafaring men.
Colonel Sir Edward Sladen inform me that the promontory at Akyab, known as the Point, is called by the Arakanese Buddha Makan after a Mahomedan saint, Buddha Aouliah, who chose it as a place of residence, and passed the greater part of his Hermit life there. The place and its surroundings are regarded as sacred by all creeds and classes of natives residing in Arakan. Buddhists, Mahomedans, and Hindus all come, and either worship or solicit intercession with the unseen powers as a means of deliverance from evil, or success in any proposed worldly undertaking.
‘One of the large boulders has been hewn out, so as to represent a natural cave, which is said to have been the residence of Buddha Sahib;’ and Sir Edward mentions that on an immediately adjoining boulder there is a small Mahornedan mosque.
“On still another boulder, more sacred than the rest, a dome has been built, ' because it contains the footprint of Buddha [? Aouliah], as well as an impression or indenture made by him when he knelt in prayer or went through other devotional exercises.' ‘Hindus,' according to Sir Edward Sladen, ' are said to have been the first who discovered the saint's supernatural powers. He is by them supposed to exercise an influence over marine affairs and navigation; and in verification of this I have the authority of that accomplished Babu Pratapa Chander Gosha, that Hindus, especially women of the Lower Bengal, on going on a pilgrimage, by river or sea, generally drop a few coppers into the water as an offering to Buddha Udin, saying, Darya, ka pancin payse Buddhar Buddahar ! ' "
Dr. Anderson then asks: “Is it likely that the Mahomedans have appropriated some legend about Buddha Gautama?” My answer would be: “Most assuredly not."
Butler's "Gazetteer of the Mergui District,"1884, is silent on this and all other antiquarian subjects.
In reply to certain questions asked by the Government, the Commissioner of Arracan stated in 1892 as follows:
"That part of Akyab town, known as the Point or Scandal Point, is in reality a narrow headland or promontory, which projects into the sea beyond the coast-line, and defines on its western side the mouth or entrance of the Kaladan River. It is called by the Arakanese Buddha-maw, maw being the Burmese for a promontory, and Buddha signifying Budder. This is in reality a Burmese corruption of the Urdu original, Buddermaw, or Buddermakam. The promontory itself of Buddermaw forms the apparent termination to a range of hills, which skirt the whole length of the Arakan coast-line, and are traced south of Akyab in the highlands which form the Western Borongo Island. The same range is continued at Ramree and comes to an abrupt termination in the Island of Cheduba.”
At the base of this headland, immediately south of the town of Akyab, there is a defined line of almost perpendicular tilted rock, the base surface of which, is exposed and weather-worn, so as to present the appearance of several huge boulders piled up into a compressed mass and raised some fifty feet above the level of the surrounding country. This is the spot known as Buddermakam, and takes its name from the Mahomedan saint Budder Aulia, who chose it as a place of residence, and passed the greater part of his hermit life there.
The place and its surroundings are regarded as sacred by all creeds and classes of natives residing in Arakan. Buddhists, Mahomedans, and Hindus all come, and either worship or solicit intercession with the unseen powers, as a means of deliverance from evil or success in any proposed worldly undertaking. One of the large boulders on the ridge has been hewn out, so as to represent a natural cave, which is said to have been the actual residence of Budder Sahib. On another, immediately adjoining is a small Mahomedan mosque. A dome has been built over a third, mote sacred than the rest, because it contains the footprint of Buddha, as well as an impression or indenture made by him1 when he knelt in prayer, or went through other devotional exercises.
It seems at first difficult to account for the fact that three such opposite creeds as Hinduism, Mahomedanisrn, and Buddhism should unite to worship at the same shrine, and believe in the efficacy of offerings to an unseen power, common to all three, under slightly varying designations and conditions.
The explanation I have arrived at is as follows:
Budder Aulia, or, as he is more familiarly styled, Budder Sahib, was a Mahomedan fakir, who possessed great supernatural powers, which led to his being regarded almost in the light of a prophet. It is only natural that Mahomedans should reverence the spot where he lived and died, and offers their prayers under a surer hope of their being heard, than if offered up elsewhere. Buddhists, in deference to the divine character of the saint Budder, mix him up in their minds with the guardian nat, or minor deity, of the place. They, therefore, worship him regularly, and are profuse in their reverence and religious offerings.
Hindus are said to have been the first who discovered Budder's supernatural powers. He is by them supposed to exercise an influence over marine affairs and navigation, so that those who make offerings and invoke his aid perform successful sea voyages, and return in safety with wealth acquired on the journey to their native homes.
The legend states that, on one occasion, two Hindus, by name Manich [? Manik] and Chand, were returning by sea from Bassein to Chittagong, and put into Akyab to take in water. They anchored off the rock known as Buddermakam, and proceeded to a small tank near the sacred rocks. Here they met the fakir, and were asked by him to hollow out the cave, which was to form his future habitation. They pleaded poverty and the losses they had sustained in their trading adventure. The fakir said, ‘never mind, does as I bid you. If you are poor and without merchandize, load the soil from this sacred spot, and before your journey's end you will be rewarded.' The brothers did as they were bid. The cave was constructed, a well dug, and they proceeded on their journey towards Chittagong. The fakir's words came true. On proceeding to unload their goods, they found in their place nothing but gold and the most valuable of gems.
Miracles are performed to this day, it is believed, by virtue of the powers still exercised by the fakir. Sick people are cured by coming and bathing in the water of the sacred well. Others, who cannot come themselves, obtain relief as soon as the votive offering has been made on their account at the shrine, and the saint or fakir, or minor deity, has appeared, or has made intercession, or exercised supernatural agency, as the case may be.
Amongst Burmese and Arakanese, the most common form of offerings made to the nats or minor deities consists of food or strong drinks. Here, at Buddermukam, it has been found that the sacrifice of a goat on the spot is the most efficacious of offerings, and it is the one which is most prominently made by those who have any great favour to ask, or any impending calamity from which they would seek deliverance.
There is, I am told, at Sandoway, a singular group of large boulders, similar in appearance to those at Budder-makam, and similarly named and held in reverence. It is, no doubt, due to Budder Sahib's connection with navigation and sea journeys that his fame has extended along the whole coast-line as far south as the Malayan peninsula, and probably further. This will account for the shrine near Mergui called Maddra-makarn. Maddra is undoubtedly a corruption of Buddra or Budder.
“From the description given of each, I conclude that the two shrines are in all respects identical, both as regards nature of site, general appearance, and universality of worship."
It will have been noticed by the reader that the description given by Sir Edward Sladen and the official note just quoted are identical in many respects. They must have, in fact, an unacknowledged common origin in some older work, which I suspect is Sir Arthur Phayre's, if only it can be unearthed.
In the “List of objects of Antiquarian and Archaeological interest in British Burma," 1892, p. 3 f, we find—" No.8.District: Akyab. Locality: Southern side of the Island of Akyab and near the eastern shore of the Bay. Name of object: Buddha-makam Cave. Any local history of tradition regarding it: A cave and mosque constructed in memory of one Buddha Auliya, whom the Mussulmans regard as an eminent saint. The tradition regarding it is that, some 120 years ago, two brothers, Manik and Chand, traders from Chittagong, while on their homeward voyage in a vessel laden with turmeric, touched at Akyab for water and anchored off the rocks, now known as the Buddha-makain rock. During the night Manik had a vision, in which he was requested by the saint to construct him an abode near the locality, being told that in order to enable him to do so all the turmeric in his vessel would be-transformed into gold. Next morning the brothers, observing the miraculous transformation of their cargo, dug a well and constructed the present cave. Custody and present use: Worship by Buddhists, Hindus, and Mussulmans. Present state of preservation: It is in good condition and is kept in repair by a respectable Mussulman."
In the entries regarding Sandoway and Mergui in this very perfunctory compilation there is no reference to any cave as place sacred to Badar Aulia.
In Forchhammer's "Report on the Antiquities of Arakan," 1892, p. 60 f, we find the following information, together with a phorograph, No. 88, plate xlii.
"There are a few modern temples in Akyab which are interesting inasmuch as their architectural style is a mixture of the Burmese turreted pagoda and the Mahomedan four-cornered minaret structure surmounted by a hemispherical cupola. The worship, too, is mixed. Both temples are visited by Mahomedans and Buddhists, and the Buddermokan has also its votaries.”
The Buddermokan is said to have been founded in A.D 1756 by the Mussulmans in memory of one Budder Auliah, whom they regard as an eminent saint. Colonel Nelson Davies, in 1876, Deputy Commissioner of Akvab, gives the following account in a record preserved in the office of the Commissioner of Arakan, and kindly lent to me :”On the southern side of the island of Akyab, near the eastern end of the Bay, there is a group of masonry buildings, one of which, in its style of construction resembles an Indian mosque ; the other is a cave constructed of stone on the bare rock, which superstructure once served as a hermit's ceil. The spot where these buildings are situated is called Buddermokan, Budder being the name of a saint of Islam, and mokan, a. place of abode. It is said that 140 years ago [i.e. 1736 A.D, be it noted], or thereabouts, two brothers named Manick and Chan [?Chand], traders from Chittagong, while returning from Cape Negrais in a vessel loaded with turmeric, called at Akyab for water, and the vessel anchored off the Buddermokan rocks. On the following night, after Chan and Manick had procured water near these rocks, Manick had a dream that the saint Budder Auliah desired him to construct a cave or a place of abode at the locality near where they procured the water. Manick replied that he had no means wherewith he could comply with the request. Budder then said that all his (Manick's) turmeric would turn into gold, and that he should therefore endeavour to erect the building from the proceeds thereof. When morning came Manick, observing that all the turmeric had been transformed into gold, consulted his brother Chan on the subject of the dream, and they conjointly constructed a cave and also dug a well at the locality now known as Buddermokan.
“There are orders in Persian [? i.e in the Persian or Urdu character] in the Deputy Commissioner's Court of Akyab, dated 1834, from William Dampier, Esquire, Commissioner of Chittagong, and also from T. Dickenson, Esquire, Commissioner of Arakan, to the effect that one Hussain Ally (then the thugyi 2 of Bhudamaw Circle) was to have charge of the Buddermokan in token of his good services rendered to the British force in 1825, and to enjoy any sums that he might collect on account or alms and offerings.”
In 1849 Mr. R. C. Raikes, the officiating Magistrate of Akyab, ordered that Hussain Ally was to have charge of the Buddermokan buildings, and granted permission to one Ma Min Oung, a female fakir, to erect a building. Accordingly in 1849 the present masonry buildings were constructed by her. She also redug the tank.
“The expenditure for the whole work came to about Rs. 2000. After Hussain Ally's death his son Abdoolah had charge, and after his death his sister Mi Moorazamal, the present wife of Abdool Marein, pleader, took charge. Abdool Marein is now in charge on behalf of his wife."
Burmese corruptions of Musulman names are always difficult, and those just given are, as stated, impossible. All I can suggest for Marein is that it is a mistake for Karen (=Karim) and that the pleader's name was Abdu'l-Karirm," the servant of the Generous”; or possibly, by metathesis, for Rahim, which would make his name Abdu'r Rahim,"the servant of the Compassionate." Ar-Rahim is the second and Al-Karim is the forty-second of the ninety-nine “Names" of God. See Hughes’ “Dictionary of Islam," p. 141, Herklot's “Qanoon-e-Islam," p. 24 ff., and my own “Proper Names of Panjabis,” p. 43 ff. There is no “Most Comely Name of God" at all like Marein.Moorazamal may be merely a misprint of Murazamat, a possible designation for a woman.
Dr. Forchhammer next goes on to describe the "Budder-mokan " thus :" The interior is very simple—a square or quadrangular room. There are really two caves, one on the top of the rocks. This has an entrance in the north and south sides;the arch is vaulted and so is the inner chamber. The exterior of the cave is 9 ft.3 in. wide, 11ft. 6 in. long, and 8 ft. 6 in. high; the inner chamber measures 7 ft. by 5 ft. 8 in., height 6 ft. 5 in.; the material is partly stone, partly brick plastered over; the whole is absolutely devoid of decorative designs.The other cave is similarly constructed, only the floor is the bare rock, slightly slanting towards the south entrance ; it is smaller than the preceding cave.The principal mosque stands on a platform; a flight of brick and stone stairs leads up to it.The east front of the temple measures 28ft. 6 in.;the south side 26 ft. 6 in.; the chamber is 16 ft. 9 in. long, and 13 ft. wide. The ceiling is a cupola ; on the west side is a niche, let 1 ft. into the wall, with a pointed arch and a pilaster each side.[This must be the mihrab that is obligatory in, every mosque.] Over it hangs a copy in Persian [? character not language] of the grant mentioned above. A small prayer-hall [if meant for Muhammadans this is (?) an idgah], also quadrangular, with a low cupola, is pressed in between the rocks close by. All the buildings are in good order. The curiously-shaped rocks capped by these buildings form a very picturesque group. The principal mosque has become the prototype for many Buddhist temples. This pagoda is the most perfect type of the blending of the Indian mosque and the Burmese turreted spire."
I cannot quite follow Dr. Forchhammer in mixing up the terms “temple," “mosque," and” pagoda" in one and the same building. But I am quite of one mind with him as to the extreme architectural value of the old mosque at Akyab, and have long pitched on its dome and central spire as the connecting link between ancient chaitya architecture and the modern Burmese spired pagoda. From this point of view this building is certainly one of the most important old structures in Burma, and one of the most worth preserving.
I have now allowed such witnesses as I can procure from the Burmese side to tell their story, each in his own way, and the evidence amounts to this:There is a supernatural being worshipped along the Burmese coast by seafarers from Akyab to Mergui at certain spots specially dedicated to him. These spots, so far as yet known, are at Akyab, Sandoway, and Mergui. To the Buddhists he is a nat; to the Hindus deva or inferior god; to the Muhammadans a saint; to the Chinese a spirit. His worship is precisely that which is common all over the East to spirits or supernatural beings, believed in by the folk irrespective of their particular of professed belief, and it points, in just the same way as do all other instances, to the survival of an old local animistic worship in "pre-religious " days. As in all other similar cases, one of the contending professed religions has chiefly annexed this particular being to itself, and he is pre-eminently a Muhammadan saint, legendarily that saint best known to the bulk of the Muhammadan seafaring population, namely, Pir Badar of their own chief town Chittagong.
In that remarkably accurate work Beale’s "Oriental Biographical Dictionary," 1881, there is an entry, Pir " Badar," at p. 216, which explains the matter under discussion. Pir Badar or Badar is the great saint of the Chittagoniuns, Badru'ddin Aulia and Badr Sahib, under the various corruptions above given, being merely variants of his title of the ordinary sort.
Beale says of this saint:" Pir Badar, a celebrated Musalman saint, whose tomb is at Chitagun in Bengal, and is evidently of great antiquity. There is a stone scraped into furrows, on which, it is said, Pir Badar used to sit. There is also another bearing an inscription, which from exposure to the weather and having on it numerous coats of whitewash, is illegible. There is a mosque near the tomb with a slab of granite, bearing an illegible in the scription, apparently from the Kuran. At a short distance is the masjid of Muhammad Yasin, with an inscription conveying the year of the Hijri 1136 (1724 A.D.)."
Unfortunately there is not a word about Pir Badar in the '' Statistical Account of Bengal," vol. vi. Chittagong, etc. Clearly, in quotin, the foregoing extracts, we have not yet dug up all the information procurable from books, records, and reports about Pir Badar himself in his own native town, nor about " Buddermokan." What is wanted as to Pir Badar is a specific account about him, his date doings, miracles, worship, and so on; and what is wanted about " Buddermokan " is the source from which Sladen's and the official account came, and details about his cult at Akyab, Sandoway, and Mergui, and at other places along the coast, should it happen to exist at any other spots than those already cited.
Perhaps readers of these notes, interested in such things,and possessing information on the point, will kindly add to that herein collected.
A Burmese saint.
I enclose herewith an interesting paper by Major R. C. Temple, which appeared in the Rangoon Gazette of October, 1893, on a supposed Mahomedan saint called Badar or Budder, reverenced by Mahomedans, Hindus, and Buddhists, in Arakan and Tenasserim, who is supposed, more especially, to exercise an influence over maritime affairs.
Major Temple comes to the conclusion that he was a Mahomedan Fakir, and that Maddra, the name usual in Tenasserim, is a corruption o-i Baddra or Budder.
Curiously, however, the legend at Akyab says he was discovered by Hindus.
Major Temple points out that there are spots from Arakan 3 to Mergui in Tenasserim where he is reverenced as a nat or dera, and that "his worship is precisely that which is common all over the East to supernatural beings."
I would suggest that instead of Maddra being a corruption of Baddra it is the reverse, and that Maddra is the short for Samudra (or Samudda) Devata. The Chittagonian Hindus, being the chief navigators of that part, on their conversion to Mahomedauism, naturally made him a Pir (Peer),or saint.
I cannot understand the contradictory assertion that “Buddhamaw is a corruption of (Urdu) Budder-makam," though "Buddha" may be a corruption of "Buddar."
R. F. St. Andrew St. Johs.
March 29th , 1894.
To the Secretary of the Royal Astatic Society,
This paper was published at Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan, Oriental Translation funds of Correspondence. January 1894.
"Bud, Bad-a-r, and Madra" (see Parts July and October, 1894, of the Journal).
dear sir,—I intended the following paper as an, explanation of the important subject of the Bud, Budr, and Mddra, regarding which correspondence was invited in the July number of our Journal. I send the paper now as one likely, to prove of some general interest, for the subject is large, ancient, and widely ramified, and its real basis is not touched upon in the replies given in the current October issue, though Mr. Beames hints at this when he says: "These tutelary spirits ... of non-Aryan aborigines have survived . . . Hinduism and . . . Islam . . . The numerous Pirs or Saints whom Hindu and Musulman alike reverence are in all probability only the animistic spirits transformed" (italics mine). No doubt: therefore we may rest assured that the Bad, Badr, or Budr of the dangerous reef covering the Akyab harbour, and the Madr of the Mergui coast, is the real " old animistic" spirit or god whom we have to trace to his home in many lands; .and that he never was "a resident of Chitagong in 1440 called Bad-ruddin!" as suggested by Dr. Wise in the extract Mr. Beveridge gives, p. 841. Most holy men claimed or were called after divinities, as a Jerem-iah, Jer-iah, or Jerial, after Juhve; or a Nicholus after Nik, Nik-or, Nykr, Niklaus, etc. ; and Badra and Madra are vastly ancient divine terms which we find interspersed throughout all India, mythologically, geographically, and socially, in family and tribal names.—Yours truly,
J. G. E. Forlong.
Dear Sir,—Information is invited by Major Temple and Mr. St. John regarding a quasi " Burmese Saint," know as " Badar, Budder, and Madra," whose shrines or sacred rocks are found on the Arakan coast and in the Mergui Archipelago, and who is thought to be connected with the divine sage Gotama Buddha—now universally revered, if not worshipped, throughout these Burmese provinces: see Journal of July last.
Knowing the particular rocks and localities, of which indeed I possess sketches, I have no hesitation in saying that the rock-bound god of Akyab and elsewhere, is our old friend the Biul-kal or Bad-a-kal, the Bod or "Bad-stone," common in the villages of Southern and Central India, and not rare in Upper and Himalayan India. I have seen, and studied his characteristics in the fastnesses of Lower Kailasa and near to Kedar-Nath—a shrine and form of Bhairava the Turanian Siva.
He has nothing whatever to do with "The Buddha" or pious ascetic, though the old god did, no doubt, greatly facilitate the progress and popularity of the new saint amid ail Turanian populations, where these were devoid of any etymological knowledge, except that which appealed to their uneducated ears and fancies.
I have visited and carefully investigated the histories and surroundings of several of the Bo-das, Bad-a-s, or Bud-d-rs, as natives thus reverently drawl out the names of these Burmese deities or daimons, besides the one on the dangerous rocks at the entrance of the Akyab harbour, where he represents the guardian as well as a destructive spirit. Further down this Arakau coast, I had serious experience of another Bod-d-r or Bud on the islet of Cheduba, and was nearly wrecked on a third—the dread spirit at the mouth of the Sandoway river—owing to my Muslim Kalasis (Chitagongis) falling on their knees to pray, instead of standing by the rudder and halyards in a stiff breeze and seven-knot current, as we swept round his rocky headland.
On the Tenasserim coast I have seen Bud-d-s from the mouths of the Tavoy river to that of Krau; and near our civil station of Mergui, is one often called Mudra, a favourite Tamil name for their old Dravidian Siva. I have also seen inland - mountain Bud-as, as that on the lofty, bold, rocky crest of Kaiktyo overlooking the broad delta of the Sitang and Biling rivers, which will be found illustrated and described in "Rivers of Life," ii. 314.
The various rites and sacrifices of these Bad-a-rn used to require human victims, as noticed by Arabian travellers of the ninth century (Renaudot, p. 88), and not as now only goats, cocks, rice, fruits, and flowers. These are still offered to the deity by most rude Indian peoples and by the coast tribes and peasantry of Arakan. Burma, Tenasserim, Siam, Java, Bali, and the Cochin-Chinese peninsula. We see the god in the Javan Bro-Bod-o-r, that is “Ancient Bodr," of about 600 A.C. There he existed long before Buddhist monks here reared their beautiful shrine over this, his conical rock. Still around its base and the adjoining hills, well named Probo-lingo, stand many of his symbolic Men-hirs, as the histories of Crawfurd and Sir S. Raffles show.
Usually he was and is a " Wrathful and Terrible One," like to Bhairava, but with also the characteristics of Fors Fortuna = " Jove of our Fates," the Pur or Fiery God of high Prce-neste or Pur-hesti, the guardian Agni of the Volscian capital of Tyr-rhenian Antium, before the Latium Aryan knew him as Iova Virilis, a. god of Sortes, Purim, or Lots.
There also he was enshrined by Turanians, then the rulers of the Western seas, on the highest peak of the Alban range, as the La-rs or La (Mongolia for "spirit") of the vasty deep; as he to whom their mariners must look, on approaching this low-lying dangerous coast. His also is the Peak of Ceylon, as well as of the ruined temple spire on the low-lying islet at the treacherous entrance of the Siam river, where still stands his emblem iii the neglected enclosure of an ancient Sivaite shrine.
He is found throughout China, especially in the upper reaches of the Yang-tse-kiang, at one of the sources of which on the high mountain of 0 or Om, is-one of his most ancient prehistoric shrines and " tooth " symbols. He is seen in all the Obs or 0-bo-s of Mongolia, and even on the rock-bound Hangs of Scandinavia, from which have been gathered the coarse "Buds" seen in the Bergen Museum and learnedly described by the late Director, Prof. Holmboe, in his Traces de Budhisme en Noricege. This writer, too, has made the usual mistake of confounding the old Nature-god and "spirit of the elements" with the pious ascetic of Bod-a-Gaya :- see details and illustration in " Rivers of Life," ii. 409 et seq.
Ancient Sabean sailors called Lanka's peak the Al-makar ; Buddhists, the lord Samdnto Kuto, which Hindus, however, say signifies "the thorn of Kama" as Samanta,"the destroyer of peace " —a form of Siva, Indra, Sakra, or Bhogi. The indenture on the Kuta is a Sri-Pad or "The Inedible Foot, ray or shaft," says Fergusson ; and the whole great cone is, or was, in the language of the masses, a Bud, Bod, or Marda—that familiar and kindly name which they have ever applied to village Bdd-d-kals or " Bad-stones " as emblems of Mayra or Siva.
These are common throughout Tel-lingana and Southern and Central India, where Mr. Fawcett found them as abundant in 1890 as I did some forty years ago. He describes them, their worship, and some of the cruel rites and sacrifices in Bom. Anthro. Soc. Jour, of September, 1890; but so little is the cult understood, that even the learned Bishop Caldwell often calls it " Devil-worship," confusing it with that of Bhuts. And, truly, Bods or Buds do naturally tend to become these malevolent spirits of earth and air, trees, etc., as did Devas to become devils; the high gods or Naths of Hindus to be the Nats or Fayes of trans-India; and as does the Mongolian, and Russian Bhag or Bog, to become the Bogey of our nurseries. Yet this last is a very real and ancient god, none other than the original of Bhaga-vat or Bhaga-ra, " The Supreme," " the God of Life and of all Spirits," for " ra is the elemental spirit by which all exist, and which exists in all that lives,” according to the Vishnu Puraua.vi,-5.
It would seem as if the geological centre of a land ever became also its theological Olumpos; for the high "centre of the Jewel-India" is the Bad or Mabadeva of Gondwana, as is the " Adam's peak " of Ceylon ; the snowy heights of Om, that of China ; the Ilium, that of Trojans ; and the Ida, that of Cyprians. The deity is the spirit of life and destruction—the spirit of the storm, of the rock-bouud coast, of the dangerous defile, dark forest, weird mountain, and angry flood; and must be " layed" or propitiated at the most dreaded spots, whether the traveller or sailor be Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslam. Not infrequently have we thrown to him a rupee, or subscribed for cock or goat, at the solicitation of our motley following of Burmans, Tamils, Telingas, etc., beseeching his godship to let us pass scatheless through his angry seas and river-torrents.
Many great gods are still called Bhul-Isvars or "Spirit-lords"; and I have found Indra worshipped among Dravids at the Pongal Christmas festival, as Bog or Bhogi, when, he represents the sun rising from his wintry entombment. It was probably at this fete that the Arabian travellers of the ninth century saw " girls being devoted to Bod," as Renaudot wrote in 1733 ; and the rite still continues in the jangals of Central India, wherever our Magis trates are not numerous or vigilant enough.
Strictly speaking, Madra was a son of the Dravidian Siva;but Tamils fondly identify father and son, and call their boys and girls Madra and Madri. The name as very common from Madra -patanam (our "town of Madras") and eastwards to Burma and Java; hence Major Temple's remark, that on the Margui coast he found the Bad-a-r Makams were also called " Madra Makams."
The Madras were a very ancient and important people,long long before Aryan times, from Sakala on the Duabs into Biyas and Chinab, still called Madra-des. They were serpent-worshippers, as Naga-ists and Takas (a cult they never forsook in Dravidia, Ceylon, or trails-India), as the beautiful sculptures of Boro-Bud-or (the Javan, " Ancient Bud") and the Nag-on Vat or " Naga Monastery" of Kam-bod-ia attest. In moving from N.W. India they gave their name to many towns, rivers, and shrines, from probably Mathura to the Vindhyas, Madura and Madra-puan as may be gathered from Mr. J. F. Hewitt's invaluable researches in our Journals, R.A.S. of 1889-90.
Most Bud or Bod rocks and symbols are marked with the euphemistic " Foot," “Eyes," or circles, as infallible charms against evil. Hence the Pra-Bat of Siam and similar "Sacred Feet" on the Buds of Akyab and Ceylon, and the oval or Yoni Charm on Kaiktyo.
Chinese sailors have always recognized the Ceylon Peak as the Fo or Bod of Avulokit-Isvaru and Kwanyon in the form Po-taraka or Po-lo-yu, which last is also an ancient Turanian name of Parvati as "the Mountain Bee goddess Bruhmari." (See Professor Beale's paper in R.A.S. Journal, XV. iii. July, 1883). This divine name, Po-!o-yu, is also given to the sacred temple-crowned cone of Lhasu in Tibet, and to that equally holy and higher Ziou or Buddhists (really Bod-ists ?), the snowy apex, 0 or Om of the Szi-chouen range. (See Mr. Consul Hosie's report, Chinese Bluebook ii.)
The Palla-dium of this shrine of Om (a term which partakes of the quintessence of divinity) is also a "tooth" of Bod, Bud, or " Buddha,"' as his votaries quaintly affirm; for " it is 20lb. weight," and therefore clearly a lingam— like to the Banaras Danda of Bhairava the Tarunian Siva, whose name is Danton or the " tooth-like one." He has many canine or hybodont symbols. There are two in Western and two in Eastern India, including Ceylon,evidently pre-Buddhistic, like the numerous Bod charms or " little teeth " which Linguites have worn upon their persons from prehistoric times.
The Fo-OM. mountain-temples have not yet lost the characteristics of their Nature-worship, though most have been rebuilt under the Ming dynasty—probably at heart more Shinto-ists than Buddhists. Of course the numerous monks call themselves Buddhists, or rattier Fo-ists, which, if we go back to the radical ancient meaning of Fo, would signify a Bod-ist; for a Bo or Fo was "a tree, stick, rod, sprout, long or growing thing," and a Ruler, as the bearer of the Rod.
Thus the Dur-ji or Sacred ficoptre of Tibet the analogue of the Dundpan (Siva's Dandu], is there termed Fo, Bo, Po.La, or Lha, at once a spirit, god, stick, or mace, from which the Dalai Lama claims direct descent, as others do from Adam—a term the Indian Muslam applies to the temple Buds as symbols of Mahadeva. The Indian colonists of Java and Tchampa or Co-Tcheng also called their gods or Buds, Po. “My Lady" of their capital was always addressed as Po-Nagara, and this many centuries before they knew of Buddhism.
In the Tibetan Himalaya Bo-t, Po-f, Bhot or Bud, is radically a Lha or La; hence the country of Bhut-in or Bhut-an means, says Dr. Waddell in his "Tibetan Names," "the end of Bud or Pot," that is Tu-bet or Tit-pot, or " land " par excellence of Buds, Bhuts or spirits ; see Beng. As. Jour-. 1891. But enough, though much more could be said, of Bud, Bud-a-r, or Mudra.
I would not have said so much, but that the old deity seems to confuse Archzeologists from Scandinavia to India and China, and to vitiate many valuable papers and researches. The old god is now seen by those who only visit the town and city temples of great gods like Vishnu, Siva, Indra, and other Bhaguvatas, nor indeed, if we search only in the chief shrines of villages; for he is not now favoured, at least outwardly, by Pundits, Brahmans, or even local Purohits or Pujuris ; but will usually be found by those who know him, lurking in some quiet nook close by. His holy place is the family niche or Deva takht in hut or humble cottage; and there old and young cleanse, decorate and worship him morn and eve. In native states he is more prominent, and may be seen in cornfields, a cool corner of the cottage garden, or bye-path, to house, door, or well, where the pious, and especially women and children, may be seen sweeping and beflowering his modest hypaethral shrines. He may be only " the smooth stone of the stream " to which Isaiah says (Ivii. 6) his people gave meat and drink offerings, or the Bast or Bashath , the Phenician Set, or Bal Barith, or Latin Jupiter Ficderis, of Jereminh xi. 13 and Judges viii. ; but he is still the Bud or Bud dearest, of all gods to the hearts of the peasants of Southern and Central India.
J. G. R. Forlong.