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KU T'H-O PUNISHU D
ACCORDING TO THE GLOSS OF THE CELEBRATED
In pursuance of my attempt to render a translation of the complete Vedant, or the principal parts of the Veds, into the current languages of this country, I had some time ago the satisfaction of publishing a translation of the Kut'h-opunishud of the Ujoor-ved into Bengalee; and of distributing copies of it as widely as my circumstances would allow, for the purpose of diffusing Hindoo Scriptural knowledge among the adherents of that religion. The present publication is intended to assist the European community in forming their opinion respecting Hindoo Theology, rather from the matter found in their doctrinal scriptures, than from the Poorans, moral tales, or any other modern works, or from the superstitious rites and habits daily encouraged and fostered by their self-interested leaders.
This work not only treats polytheism with contempt and disdain, but inculcates invariably the unity of God as the intellectual principle, the sole origin of individual intellect, entirely distinct from matter and its affections; and teaches also the mode of directing the mind to him.
A great body of my countrymen, possessed of good understandings, and not much fettered with prejudices, being perfectly satisfied with the truth of the doctrines contained in this and in other works, already laid by me before them, and of the gross errors of the peurile system of idol worship which they were led to follow, have altered their religious conduct in a manner becoming the dignity of human beings; while the advocates of idolatry and their misguided followers, over whose opinions prejudice and obstinacy prevail more than good sense and judgment, prefer custom and fashion to the authorities of their scriptures, and therefore continue, under the form of religious devotion, to practise a system which destroys, to the utmost degree, the natural texture of society, and prescribes crimes of the most heinous nature which even the most savage
nations would blush to commit, unless compelled by the most urgent necessity.* I am, however, not without a sanguine hope that, through Divine Providence and human exertions, they will sooner or later avail themselves of that true system of religion which leads its observers to a knowledge and love of God, and to a friendly inclination towards their fellow-creatures, impressing their hearts at the same time with humility and charity, accompanied by independence of mind and pure sincerity. Contrary to the code of idolatry, this system defines sins as evil thoughts proceeding from the heart, quite unconnected with observances as to diet and other matters of form. At any rate, it seems to me that I cannot better employ my time than in an endeavour to illustrate and maintain truth, and to render service to my fellow-labourers, confiding in the mercy of that Being to whom the motives of our actions and secrets of our hearts are well known.
Vide thé látter end of the Introduction to the Moonduk Opunishud.
Desirous of future fruition, Bajushrubusu performed the sacrifice Vishwujit, at which he distributed all his property. He had a son named Nuchiketa. Old and infirm cows being brought by the father as fees to be given to attending priests, the youth was seized with compassion, reflecting within himself, “ He who gives “ to attending priests such cows as are no longer able
to drink water or to eat grass, and are incapable of
giving further milk or of producing young, is carried “ to that mansion where there is no felicity whatever.”
He then said to his father, “ To whom, O father, “ wilt thou consign me over in lieu of these cows ?” and repeated the same question a second and a third time.
Enraged with his presumption, the father replied to him, “ I shall give thee to Yumu” (the god of death). The youth then said to himself, “ In the discharge of my 6 duties as a son, I hold a foremost place among many “sons or pupils of the first class, and I am not inferior “ to any of the sons or pupils of the second class : “ whether my father had à previous engagement with “ Yumu, which he will now perform by surrendering
me to him, or made use of such an expression through
anger, I know not.” The youth finding his father afflicted with sorrow, said, “ Remember the meritorious