We occupied three small banglow, which are buried like nests in the greenery of the garden, with roofs literally covered with roses growing on three-pronged bushes, and with windows covered with muslin, instead of ordinary frames and glasses. These bungalows were located in the indigenous quarter. Thus, we were at once transferred to real India: we lived in India, and not like the British, only from afar surrounded by India; we could study her manners, customs, religion, superstitions and rituals, get acquainted with her legends, in a word, live in the same circle with the Hindus, in a circle enchanted and inaccessible to the English, both because of the age-old prejudices of the natives, and by our own arrogance of the Anglo-Saxon race.
Everything in India, in the land of an elephant and a poisonous cobra, a tiger and an unsuccessful English missionary, everything is peculiar, strange; everything rushes into the eyes of something unusual and unexpected, even for someone who has visited Turkey, Egypt, Damascus and Palestine. In these tropical countries, the conditions of nature are so varied, which makes it clear why all forms of being in the animal and plant kingdoms should differ from the same forms to which we are so accustomed in Europe. Take a look: here go the women to the well through the private, but all open garden, where someone’s cows graze. Who did not happen to meet women, see cows and admire the garden? It seems the most ordinary things; but it is worth only to look more closely at them, in order at once to comprehend the whole vast difference between these very objects in Europe and India. Nowhere does a person feel his own insignificance, his weakness, as he has before this majestic nature of the tropics. Straight, like arrows, trunks of coconut palms sometimes reach 200 feet in height; these «princes of the vegetable kingdom,» as Lindley called them, crowned with a crown of long branches are the breadwinners and benefactors of the poor people: palm trees provide him with food, clothing, and shelter. Our tallest trees would seem like dwarfs before a banyan and especially before coconut and other palm trees. Our European cow, having accepted her sister’s Hindu first as a calf, would at once refuse to be related to her, since neither the mouse color of the coat, nor the straight horn of a goat, nor the big horn on its back (like a American bison, but without his mane) would not allow her to fall into a similar error. As for women, although each of them is able to delight any artist with her movements, costume, and grace, nevertheless, none of the beauties of Hindustan would have waited for our Anna or any kind of beauty to hear: «After all, what a shame, forgive, Lord, you see: a woman is completely naked!» The opinion of our Russian woman of 1879 would fully agree on this score with the same opinion of the famous Russian wanderer of the 15th century, “the sinful servant of God Athanasius, the son of Nikitin, from Tver”. Having made a «sinful wandering» in three seas: the Derbent Sea, that is, «Dorya Khvaliskoy», the Sea of India, «Dorya Iondustanskaya», the Black Sea or «Dorya Stembolskaya» (Istanbul), Afanasy Nikitin arrived in Choal << 2 ( or, as he calls it, Chevil) in 1470 and describes India in the following words: "This is the land of the Indians. People walk there naked, with uncovered heads and bare breasts; with hair braided into one braid. Wives give birth to children each they have many men a year, the men and wives are black. Their prince wears one veil on his head and wrapping the other em between legs; boyars wear it on their shoulders (i.e. brahmins wearing a scarf over their shoulders), and princesses wear it on their shoulders and around their lower backs, but are barefoot. Wives walk around with bare hair and bare breasts. Boys and girls walk up to seven years completely naked and not concealing their shame ... "<< 3 >> All this description is absolutely true; only with regard to their suitlessness, Afanasy Nikitin is not quite right: his description can relate only to the lowest and poorest castes. These really walk in one veil; and the veil is so poor that it often represents only a ribbon. But in women it consists of a piece of matter, sometimes up to 15 arshin length; one end serves as short trousers, while the other covers the chest and head on the street, although the faces are always open; hairstyle is reminiscent of the Greek chignon. Legs below the knees, arms to the shoulders and lower back are always bare. Yes, and no honest woman here agrees to wear shoes: the latter constitute the belonging and the distinctive feature of only «dishonest» native women. In South India, on the other hand, shoes are allowed only to the wives and daughters of the Brahmins. When not so long ago the wife of the Madras governor decided, under the influence of the missionaries, to trouble in favor of the law obliging women to cover their breasts, it came almost to the revolution: no woman agreed to this, since only public dancers wear the top dress here. The project, to the great sorrow of the missionaries and noble ladies, failed; the government soon realized all the unreason to reinstate women against themselves (who in other cases are much more dangerous than their husbands and brothers) by an attempt to destroy the custom prescribed by the law of Manu and consecrated three thousand years ago.
For more than two years before our departure from America, we were in constant correspondence with one scientist, known even in Europe, a Brahmin, whose fame is now rattling all over India. This Brahmin, under whose leadership we came to study the ancient country of the Aryans, the Vedas and its difficult language, pandit Dayanand Saraswati, Swami. 4 He is considered the greatest Sanskrit scholar of modern India. This pundit constitutes an impenetrable riddle for everyone: speaking five years ago in the arena of reformism, he, like the ancient «hymnosophists» (referred to by Greek and Roman writers), lived until that time as a hermit in the «jungle» and then, under the guidance of mystics and anachores , << 5 >> studied the main philosophical systems of Aryavarta and the secret meaning of «Vedas». From the first days of his appearance, he struck everyone, and he was immediately called Luther of India.Traveling from one city to another, today in the south, tomorrow in the north, moving with incredible speed from one end of the country to another, he proceeded all over the peninsula from Cape Kumari to the Himalayas and from Kolkata to Bombay, preaching the unity of the deity and proving with the Vedas in the hands that in these ancient writings there is not a single word that can be reinterpreted in the sense of polytheism. Thundering against idolatry, the great orator rises up against the castes, early marriage and superstition. Punishing all this evil, instilled in India for centuries of false casuistry and the misinterpretation of the Vedas, it directly and fearlessly reproaches the Brahmins in it, accusing them before the masses of the people of humiliating their homeland, once great and independent, now fallen and enslaved. But the UK has not an enemy in it, and perhaps even a defender. He not only does not incite the people to revolt, but, on the contrary, says to him directly: “Chase the British, and tomorrow both you and I and all of us, rebelling against the idolatry of the Brahmins and the evils of Muslim despotism, will be cut like rams. Muslims are stronger than idolaters , but the latter are stronger than us … «And yet the British understand so little their profit, that two years ago, in Pune, where the people split into two parties: reformers and idolaters-conservatives, when the party first delivered its preacher with triumph and glee on layer e, and the other throwing stones and mud instead of to protect Dayananda, she sent him out of the city, forbidding him to continue to be there.
A lot of hot debates kept the pandit with the Brahmins, these insidious enemies of the people, and always came out victorious. In Benares, killers were sent to him; but the crime failed. In one place in Bengal, where he particularly sharply attacked fetishism, some fanatic deftly threw a huge snake on his bare legs with a Cobra-Dicapella, the bite of which causes death in three minutes and from which the medicine still does not know salvation. «May the God of Vasuki himself decide our argument!» << 6 >> the fan of Shiva exclaimed, confident that the serpent who was raised and trained for the sacraments would immediately put an end to the insult of her shrine. “Yes,” Dayanand calmly replied, shaking off a cobra wrapped around her with a strong leg movement, “only your god is too slow; I decide the dispute …” And with a quick, powerful heel movement he crushed the serpent’s head. “Go,” he added, addressing the people, “and tell everyone how easily the false gods perish!”
Thanks to the excellent knowledge of the Sanskrit language, pandit renders great merit to the people, dispelling their ignorance about the monotheism of the Vedas, and science, indicating what the Brahmins are, the only caste in India who had the right to study Sanskrit literature for centuries and interpret Vedas and taking advantage of this right only for their own interest. Long before the appearance of such orientalist scholars as Burnouf, Kolebruk and Max Muller, there were quite a few native reformers who tried to prove the pure monotheism of the Veda teaching. The founders of the new religions were also denying the revelation of these writings, such as Raja Ramohun Roy, followed by the women of Keshub-Chender-Sen, both of Calcutta Bengalis. << 7 >> But neither of them had any positive success: only innumerable other sects of India have added new ones. Ramohun Roy died in England, not having had time to do anything, and his successor, Keshub-Chender-Sen, established the «Brahmo-Samaj church,» in which religion extracted from the depths of his imagination a woman, rushed into the most abstract mysticism and now it turns out » one berry field with spirits who consider him a medium and proclaim Calcutta Swedenborg.
Thus, all attempts to renew the pure primitive monotheism of Aryan India have remained, to this day, more or less vain. They crashed like waves on the impregnable rock of Brahmanism and centuries of rooted prejudice. But suddenly Pandit Dayanand is unexpectedly. None of the students closest to him knows who he is or where he comes from.And he himself frankly confesses to the people that even the name by which they know him does not belong to him, but was given to him when he was ordained to yoga. <8 >> They know one thing: such a learned Sanskrit scholar, deep metaphysics, an amazing orator and fearless the punisher of all evil, India has not seen since the times of “Shankaracharya”, the famous founder of Vedanta philosophy, the most metaphysical of all systems of India, the crown of pantheistic teaching. Moreover, Diananda’s appearance is striking: huge growth, pale (rather European than Indian) face darkness, large black sparkling eyes and long black hair with gray hair. << 9 >> His voice is clear, sonorous, capable of conveying the nuances of any inner feeling , shifting from a gentle, almost feminine whisper, admonition, to thundering peals of anger against abuse and the lies of a despicable priesthood. All this taken together irresistibly affects a nervous, dreamy Indian. Everywhere, wherever Swami Dayanand appears, crowds prostrate before him and stretch in the dust of his feet. But he does not preach to them, like, for example, Baba Keshub-Chender-Sen, the new religion, does not teach them new dogmas; he only asks them to turn to the Sanskrit, almost forgotten language and, comparing the teachings of their forefathers, Aryan India, with the teachings of the Indian Brahmins, return to the pure views of the primitive deity rishis: Agni, Vayu, Adity and Angira. << 10> > He does not even teach, like others, that the «Vedas» were-de received by revelation from above; he teaches that «every word in the Vedas belongs to the highest category of divine inspiration possible to man on this earth — inspiration repeated in the history of all mankind, if necessary, and among other nations …»
In these past five years, Swami Dayananda has about two million converts, mostly from the higher castes. The latter, apparently, are ready to put for him everything up to one and life, and soul, and even the very state that for a Hindu is often more precious than the soul itself. But Dayanand, like a true yogi, does not touch money, despises money matters and remains satisfied with a few handfuls of rice a day. It is as if the life of this amazing Hindu is enchanted, so carelessly he plays with the worst human passions, arousing the anger in his enemies, the most furious and so dangerous in India. A marble statue would not have been quieter than Dayananda in moments of the most terrible danger. We once saw him in practice: sending out all his followers and forbidding them to follow him or intercede for him, he stopped alone before an angry mob and calmly looked into the eyes of a monster who was ready to jump and tear him to pieces … Two years ago He began to translate the Vedas from Sanskrit into Hindi with his own completely new commentaries — the most common dialect here. His Vedi-Bhashiya << 11 >> serves as an inexhaustible source of the scholarship of Max Muller himself, in translations of a German Sanskritologist, who is constantly rewritten and consulted with Dayanand. He also owes much to another luminary in terms of Orientalism — Monnier Williams, a professor at Oxford, who, having visited India, personally met Pandit Dianand and his students. << 12 >>
But here a small digression is needed.
About five years ago, a society of educated, energetic, determined people was formed in New York. One witty scientist called these people «members of the Society des Malcontents du spiritisme». The founders of this club were people who believed in the phenomena of spiritualism, as well as the possibility of all other phenomena in nature, but at the same time rejected the theory of «spirits.» These people looked at modern psychology as a science, still at the very initial stage of development, in complete ignorance about the «spiritual man» and, moreover, rejecting in the person of many of its representatives everything that she herself cannot explain at once in her own way. .
From the very first days of the foundation of this Society (Theosophical), many of the most learned people of America joined it. These members differed in their concepts and views no less than members of any geographic or archaeological society who had quarreled for so many years, for example, because of the origins of the Nile or the Egyptian hieroglyphs. But as in relation to the mouths and hieroglyphs, everyone unanimously agreed that since the waters of the Nile and the pyramids exist, then somewhere and both these sources and the key to the hieroglyphs exist; so with respect to the phenomena of spiritualism and magnetism. Phenomena waited only for their Champollion, and the Rozet Stone should be sought not in America or Europe, but in countries where they still believe in magic, where «miracles» are performed by local priesthood (where society did not believe) and where the cold materialism of science has not yet penetrated, in a word — in the East. «Lamo Buddhists,» argued the Council of the Society, «do not believe in God or in the personal identity of the human soul, but they are famous for their phenomena, and» mesmerism «is known and practiced in China called yin and yang for many thousands of years. Indians are afraid and hate spirits so respected by spirits, but their simple, ignorant fakirs produce «miracles», puzzling the most scholarly researchers and despairing the most famous magicians in Europe. Many of the members of the Theosophical Society have been to India They were repeatedly present at the «witchcraft» of her brahmins.The founders of this club, looking at modern ignorance about the spiritual side of man, argued that sometime Cuvier’s comparative anatomy should be allowed in metaphysics and move from the field of physical to the field of psychological science and on the same deductive and inductive principles as In the first case; otherwise, psychiatry will not take a single step forward and even fill other sciences of natural science. We already see how physiology little by little captures the rights not belonging to it to hunt in possessions of purely metaphysical, abstract knowledge, while pretending all the time that it is as if they don’t want to know anything about the latter, and pushing them into the Procrustean bed of natural science, which is not amenable to its suffering She tries to sum up psychology as a result of exact sciences.
Soon the Theosophical Society began to consider its members not to be hundreds, but thousands. All the «malcontents» of spiritualism in America (and there are 12 million spiritualists there) have joined the aforementioned Society. Meanwhile kolleteralnye << * 4 >> established its branches in London, Corfu, Australia, Spain, Cuba, California, etc. << 13 >> Experiments were made, and more and more they came to the conclusion that it was not the same «perfume» that produced phenomena.
Finally, a branch of the Theosophical Society was founded both in India and in Ceylon. << 14 >> More Buddhists and brahmanists than Europeans began to turn out to be members of the Society. An alliance was formed, and the name «Brotherhood of Humanity» was added to the name of the society. Having entered into active correspondence with the leaders of the religious and reformist parties Ariya-Samaj (that is, the Society of Aryans), founded by swami Dayanand, all merged with the Theosophical Society. Then the main board of the New York Society decided to send a delegation to India to study on the spot, under the guidance of Sanskrit scholars, the ancient language of the Vedas, manuscripts and the miracles of yogism. To this end, elected president of the New York Society, two secretaries and two advisers. And on December 17, 1878, the «mission» sailed from New York to London and then to Bombay, where it arrived in February 1879.
It is clear that under such favorable circumstances, the members of the mentioned mission are able to study the country and conduct research more carefully than anyone else who does not belong to the Society. They are looked upon as «brothers», and the most influential natives of India help them. They have members between the pandits of Benares and Calcutta, between the high priests of the Buddhist vihars of Ceylon (the Sumangala scholar, by the way, the head of the pagoda at Adam’s Peak, which Minaev mentions in his journey), among the lamas of Tibet, in Burma, Travancore, and Members of the mission are admitted to shrines where the foot of a European has not yet been; therefore, they can safely hope that, despite the reluctance of representatives of the exact sciences and their ill will towards them, believers, they will be able to provide more than one service to the world and science.
Immediately upon arrival in Bombay, we intended to go personally to get acquainted with Dayanand and therefore immediately sent a telegram to him. In response, he told us that he needed to go to Hurdwar, where several hundred thousand pilgrims flowed this year. At the same time, he asked us not to come to Hardwar, since cholera would certainly appear there, and he appointed us a month later as a meeting place at the foot of the Himalayas, in Punjab. Thus, we had enough time to explore all the sights of Bombay and its surroundings.
Having decided to hastily examine the first one, we agreed to go later, without losing time, to the Dean, to a large temple festival in Karli, << 15 >> an ancient cave temple of Buddhists, according to some, — Brahmins, as others have shown. Then, after visiting Tanna, on the island of Salsette, and the Temple of Cannari, we were going to go to the choir, so renowned for Afanasy Nikitin.
In the meantime, we will climb the summits of Malabar Hill, to the “Tower of Silence”, the last residence of each of the sons of Zoroaster.
«Tower of Silence», as said, Parsi cemetery. There is a rich and miserable, nabob and coolies, men, women and children — all are placed side by side, and from each of them only a few skeletons remain in a few minutes … A strange, heavy impression is made on a foreigner by these «towers» where there are really centuries deathly silence reigns. Such structures are scattered everywhere where the Parsis live and die, especially in Surat. But in Bombay, of the six such towers, the largest was built 250 years ago, and the next largest in size even very recently. These are round, sometimes quadrangular buildings without roofs, without windows, without doors, from 20 to 40 feet high and with only one bush closed by a hole to the east, consisting of a thick iron door. The first corpse, brought to the new dakhmu (so called these towers), must be the corpse of an innocent child, and certainly a child of “mobeda” (priest). Nobody is allowed to approach these towers, built to the side, on a hill and among a secluded garden, even to the head keeper and watchmen, as close as thirty steps of distance. Some nassesalars << 16 >> (porters of corpses), whose craft is hereditary and which the law strictly forbids to talk to the living, touch or even approach them, enter and exit the «Tower of Silence». As they enter, they bring in a dead body, indifferently rich or poor, wrapped in white and oldest rags; having stripped him naked, they put him in one or the other of the three circles and, without uttering a word, leave in the same silence from the tower, locking it until the next dead man, and the shroud — rags — are immediately burned.
The death of fire worshipers is devoid of all its grandeur, and the corpse excites in them only one disgust. As soon as they notice that the last hour of the sick comes, all the homeworkers are separated from him, both in order not to prevent the soul from getting rid of the body, and then, so that the living will not be defiled by touching the dead. One mobad whispers in his ear to the dying parting instruction from the Zend-Avesta instruction: “Hashem-Vohu” and “Yato-ahuvariya”, and is removed while the departing one is still alive. Then they bring the dog and force it to face the dying person. This ceremony is called sas-did (doggy look), as the dog is the only living thing whose fear is afraid of drux-nasu (evil demon), guarding the dying, in order to take possession of their body … One should be careful, however, that someone’s shadow lay between the dead and the dog; otherwise, all the power of a dog’s eye disappears, and the demon will take advantage of a favorable moment. No matter where the Parsis died, there he remains, until the regimental descendants appear behind him, with his hands sunk into old bags. Putting the dead man in an iron closed coffin (one for all), he is taken to dakhma. If the dakhmu carried into life even came to life (which often happens), he would never come out into the light of God: the subsesalars in this case kill him. He who once defiled by touching dead bodies and visited the “tower” cannot be returned to the world of the living: he would have defiled all of society. 17 The relatives follow the coffin from afar and stop 90 meters from the tower. At the opening, after the last prayer, repeated by the porters in the chorus near the body, and from a mobedom from afar, the ceremony is repeated once more with the dog. In Bombay, on purpose, for this purpose, a trained dog rests on a chain near the doors of the tower. Then the nassesalars bring the body inside and, taking it out of the coffin, put it on the allotted corpse, depending on the floor or age, place.
We were twice present at the “dying” ceremony and once at the “burial”, if it is allowed to use such an inappropriate expression. On this account, the Parsis are much more indulgent than the Hindus, who consider the presence of a European a desecration of their religious rites. They buried some rich woman, and our familiar superintendent of the tower, N. Bayranzhi, invited us to his house. Thus, we were present at all the rites, being about forty steps from the tower, on the veranda of the bungalow of our dear host. He himself, although he had served with the «tower» for many years, never entered or even approached closely.While the dog was staring at the dead man, we, admit, with a secret feeling of disgust, were staring, in turn, at the huge flock of vultures flying over the dakhma. The kites flew into it and flew out again with pieces of bloodied human meat in their beak … These birds, which now nestled themselves over the «Tower of Silence» by hundreds, were brought on purpose from Persia for this purpose, as India’s kites were not quite predatory and too weak to cope with stiff corpses at the speed required by Zoroaster’s law. They say that the process of perfect cleansing of bones from meat takes no more than a few minutes …
At the end of the ceremony, we were taken to another building, where on a small table stood an excellent wooden model of dakhma with its internal structure. So we could easily figure out what was happening in the tower at that moment. Imagine a smoke tube that stands on the ground, and you get the right idea about how to build an empty «tower». In the granite platform, in the very center, a deep, waterless well, covered with an iron grate, is blackened. Around, on the slope constantly rising to the wall, surrounding the well with a triple ring, three wide circles are dug; in each of them, separated from one another by a thin wall at two points of height, are coffin places for bodies. There are 365 places like this. In the first circle or vyboy (2 feet wide) children are put at the well; in the middle (4 feet) — women; in the third (5 feet wide), located near the wall, are men. This triple circle serves as the type of the three cardinal virtues of Zoroaster: «good deeds, kind words and pure thoughts.» The last lap belongs to the children, the first to the men.
Thanks to flocks of hungry kites, less than in an hour of time the bones are always gnawed to the last atom, and after two or three weeks the tropical sun dries the skeletons to such fragility that they turn to dust at the slightest touch, and then they are already dumped into a well. Not the slightest smell, not the slightest pretext for the plague or other epidemic. This method is, perhaps, more true of telozgiganiya, which nevertheless leaves behind in the atmosphere of the goth << 18 >> although a faint, but foul odor. Instead of feeding «mother wet earth» with carrion, the Parsis give Armaiti (earth) << 19 >> only completely purified dust. The veneration of the land, prescribed to them by Zoroaster, is so great with them that they take every precaution in order not to desecrate the “Cows-Nurse”, who give them “a hundredfold gold grain for every grain”. During the monsoon, when it rains for four months with rain and, of course, flushes all the sewage left by the kites near the corpses into the well, the water flowing into it is sucked into the ground already filtered: all the bottom of the well, which walls are lined with granite slabs, is covered with This is the purpose of water purification with sandstone and coal.
Less gloomy and much more curious is the spectacle of Pingrapal, the Bombay «hospital for old animals», which exists, however, in every city where only the Jains live, about which, by the way, can say a few words. By its undisputed antiquity, this sect here is one of the most interesting, it is much more ancient than Buddhism (which appeared around 543-477 BC). The Jains boast that the religion of Buddha is nothing more than a heresy of Jainism, since Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, was a student and follower of one of their main gurus and saints. The customs, ritual, and philosophies of the Jains place them somewhere between the Brahmins and the Buddhists; in public, they are like the first, in the religious tend to be more Buddhist. Like the Brahmins, they adhere to the castes, never eat meat and do not worship the bodies of the saints; but together with the Buddhists, they reject the «Vedas» and the gods of the Hindus, instead of whom they worship their twenty-four Tirthankara or Jainas, attributed to the «blissful». Again, like Buddhists: the clergy of the Jains retains celibacy and lives in solitary viharas (cells) and monasteries, choosing their successors in all classes of society.Considering it sacred and using only Pali language in spiritual literature (as well as on the island of Ceylon), they have one common traditional chronology with Buddhists, they also do not eat sun after sunset and carefully sweep the place before sitting on it, afraid to crush even the smallest bug. Both systems or, rather, philosophical schools, following in this ancient school of the atomist Canada, << * 5 >> defend the theory of eternal atoms or elements and the indestructibility of matter. According to them, the world has never had a beginning and we will never have an end. “All in the world is one illusion, Maya,” say the Vedantists, Buddhists and Jains. But while the followers of Shankaracharya preach Parabrahma (a deity without will, understanding and without action) << 20 >> and Ishwara emanating from it, the Jains together with Buddhists deny the creator of the World and teach only about the existence of Swabhavat, a plastic, eternal and self-created principle in nature. But they firmly believe, like all other sects in India, in the transmigration of souls; their fear of taking the life of an animal or insect, and in doing this, perhaps, patricide brings their love for the whole animal kingdom and their care for him to incredibly affected extremes. Hospitals and shelters for all mutilated and old animals are arranged not only in every town and village, but their priests do not walk except with a muslin «muzzle» (may they forgive me for this disrespectful expression) covering their mouths and nostrils in order to breathe unintentionally do not exterminate any midges. Therefore, they drink water only as filtered. Jains count several million; they are scattered in Gujarat, Bombay, Konkan and other places.
Bombay Pingraprap occupies a whole large quarter, divided into courtyards and courtyards, lawns and groves with ponds, large cages for dangerous animals and fences for tighter ones. Institution this could serve as a model for Noah’s ark. In the first yard, instead of animals, we saw several hundred human living skeletons: old men, women and children. They were survivors
These were the surviving inhabitants of the so-called famine-districts (starving counties), who crawled in Bombay to pray for a piece of bread. The paternal government, having routed them from the last shacks for back taxes, levied during the fasting mora as well as in the most fruitful years, << 21 >> completed its Christ-loving care for the pagans, giving them a place at the animal hospital. While several veterinarians who were constantly at this strange almshouse, they tied up the broken paws of jackals, rubbed ointment on the backs of the scabies and seasoned wooden crutches to crippled cranes, there, two steps away, in another yard, starving, old women, women and children died from hunger. For the time being, they were fed at the expense of animal benefactors, and, fortunately, animals were less ordinary at that time. Probably many of these sufferers would gladly have agreed, without losing time, to migrate to any of the beasts that quietly finish out their life in the hospital …
But in Pingrapral roses are not without thorns. If herbivorous «subjects» cannot wish for anything better, then I doubt that carnivores, such as tigers, hyenas, jackals and wolves, are completely satisfied with both the rulings and the diet forcibly prescribed by them. Since the Jains themselves do not eat meat and with horror turn away even from eggs and fish, all animals in their care must fast. When we fed the old, shot down by an English bullet tiger. Sniffing rice soup, he waved his tail and, fiercely screaming his yellow fangs, growled dully and moved away from the unusual food, all the while referring to the fat overseer, who affectionately coaxed him to «eat.» One lattice saved Jain from protesting this veteran of the forests by «action.» Hyena, with a bloody, tied head and ear tore off, unceremoniously and apparently as a sign of her disdain for this spartan sauce for her, first sat in a tub with a stew, and then knocked it over; The wolves and several hundred dogs raised such a stunning howl that attracted the attention of two inseparable friends, Castor and Pollux institution, an old elephant with a front foot on a piece of wood and an emaciated ox with a green umbrella over sore eyes. The elephant, by its noble nature, thinking only of a friend, patronized the oxen’s neck with its trunk, and both, looking up, gurgled with displeasure. But parrots, cranes, pigeons, flamingos, blood oranges, all the feathered kingdom rejoiced, bursting into all tones over breakfast. They gladly gave him the honor and the monkeys, who came running first to the call. We were also shown a saint who fed insects in the corner with his own blood. Completely naked, he lay motionless and with his eyes closed in the sun. His entire body was literally covered with flies, mosquitoes, ants and bedbugs …
— All, they are all our brothers! the director of the hospital repeated tenderly, pointing to hundreds of insects and animals. — How can you, Europeans, kill and even eat them?
“And what,” I ask, “would you do if this snake crawled up to you and tried to bite you?” Because of her bite, because inevitable death. Would you not have killed her if you had time?
— No way! I would try to catch her carefully, and then I would take her out of town to an empty place and let her loose.
— And if she still bit you?
— Then I would say “mantra.” << 22 >> And if the mantra would not help, then I would consider this a definition of destiny, and calmly leave this body to go to another.
This was told to us by a person who is educated in his own way and even very well read. To our objection that nothing is given by nature in vain, and that if a person’s carnivorous teeth structure, then he was determined by the very fate of eating meat, he answered us almost with whole chapters from Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection and the Origin of Species. “It’s all untrue that primitive people were born with their eyes,” he reasoned. «Only later, with the corruption of the human race and when the passion for carnivorous food began to develop in it, did the jaws, submitting to a new need, begin to change until little by little they completely changed their primitive form» …
Think: ou la science va-t-elle se fourrer? ..