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“knowledge of God; for it is found in the Veds that “ Rüekyu, Bachuknuvee, and others, who, like them, “ did not belong to any class, obtained divine know

ledge. It is also mentioned in the sacred tradition, “ that Sumvurtu and others, living naked and totally

independent of the world, who practised no pre“ scribed duties, assumed the rank of the highesť 66 devotees.” Besides the texts of the Ved, such as “ Tuyorhu Müetreyee Bruhmubadinee,” &c. and Atma va Ure,” &c. show that Müetreyee and others, who, being women, had not the option of studying the Ved, were, notwithstanding, qualified to acquire divine knowledge; and in the Smriti as well as in the Commentary of the celebrated Shunkur Acharyu, Soolubha and other women are styled knowers of the Supreme Being. Also Bidoor, Dhurmubyadhu, and others of the fourth class, attained the knowledge of God without having an opportunity of studying the Veds. All this we find in the sacred traditions: hence those who have a thorough knowledge of the Veds and Smriti, can pay no deference to the opinion maintained by the learned Shastree, that those only who have studied the Veds are qualified to acquire the knowledge of God. Moreover, to remove all doubt as to Soodrus and others being capable of attaining Divine knowledge without the assistance of the Veds, the celebrated Commentator, in illustrating the text “ Sruvunadhyun,” &c., asserts, that “ the authority of the Smriti, stating that “to all “ the four classes preaching should be offered,' &c. “ shews that to the sacred traditions, and to the Poo

rans, and also to the Agums, all the four classes have equally access." Thus establishing that the sacred

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traditions, Poorans, and Agum without distinction, can impart divine knowledge to mankind at large. From the decided opinion of Vyas, and from the precedents given by the Veds and sacred traditions, and also from the conclusive verdict of the most revered Commentator, those who entertain respect for those authorities, will not admit the studies of the Veds and other duties required of each class to be the only means of acquiring knowledge of God. Hence the sacred tradition, stating that a person, by studying the Geeta alone, had acquired final beatitude, stands unshaken; and also the positive declaration of the great Muhadevu with regard to the authentic and well-accepted Agum Shastrus, as being the means of imparting divine knowledge to those who study them, will not be treated as inconşequential. If the spiritual parts of the Veds can enable men to acquire salvation by teaching them the true and eternal existence of God, and the false and perishable being of the universe, and inducing them to hear and constantly reflect on those doctrines, it is consistent with reason to admit, that the Smriti, and Agum, and other works, inculcating the same doctrines, afford means of attaining final beatitude. What should we say more?

TRANSLATION

OF A

CONFERENCE

BETWEEN

AN ADVOCATE FOR, AND AN OPPONENT OF,

THE PRACTICE OF

BURNING WIDOWS ALIVE;

FROM THE

ORIGINAL BUNGLA.

ADVERTISEMENT.

The little tract, of which the following is a literal translation, originally written in Bungla, has been for several weeks past in extensive circulation in those parts of the country where the practice of Widows burning themselves on the pile of their Husbands is most prevalent. An idea that the arguments it contains might tend to alter the notions that some European Gentlemen entertain on this subject, has induced the Writer to lay it before the British Public also in its present dress.

Nov. 30, 1818.

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