As I am forced in this story to rest upon the testimony of Mrs. Morgan and her family for everything concerning the exceptional powers of the Todas and the Kurumbas, I feel that, in the eyes of the unbelieving crowd, this support is fragile. Perhaps we shall be told: «Theosophists, spiritualists, psychists, you are all the same, you believe in facts that science will not admit and that it will even reject with the contempt they deserve. Your phenomena are only hallucinations experienced by you all and things that no reasonable being will take seriously.»
We have for a long time been ready to submit to all these objections. Since the scientific world, and after it the crowds following the paths it has traced, have denied the value of the work of certain great scientists, certainly we do not pretend to convince the public. When the testimony of Professors Hare, Wallis, Crookes and numerous other lights of science has been denied, and when we know how those, pronouncing the day before, with a servile passion, the names of these great inventors, utter them today with a smile of disdainful pity as if they were speaking of men having all at once lost their reason — our suit can be considered as lost.
Where is the man, deeply interested in the psychological problems of the day, who does not remember the long, deep and conscientious studies of the chemist Crookes? He proved by irrefutable experiments made with scientific apparatus, that absolutely unexplainable phenomena are often produced in the presence of people called mediums. And he demonstrated by that very thing, the existence of forces and of faculties in man, still unstudied, of which no one in the Royal Society had dreamed. As a reward for this discovery, which moved believing and especially unbelieving Europe and America, this Royal Society, blind and deaf to everything psychic and spiritual, and following the example of the French University in regard to Charcot — nearly expelled from its circle the honest Mr. Crookes.*
*The fact that Crookes belongs to the Theosophical Society will do still more harm to his reputation. Woe, however, to the Royal Society. Its members are beginning, one after the other, to follow the example of the great chemist and to join psychic or theosophical groups. Lord Carnarvon, Balkaren, the Professors Wallis, Sidjouik, Banet, Oliver Lodge, Balfour, Stuart, and others all are either «psychists» or Theosophists, often both. If the Royal Society of England continues her expulsions in the same fashion, she soon will have left for a member only her janitor.
We ask the reader to remember that this account has in no way the propaganda of spiritualism for its goal. We are content with proclaiming facts. We are attempting to open the eyes of the mass by showing it the reality of abnormal, strange, still unexplained, but not at all supernatural phenomena. The Theosophists believe in the truth of the mediumistic fact — the true experiment, not the trickery which, unfortunately, takes place in seventy per cent of the cases; but they repudiate the theory of the «spirits.» I who write these lines, do not believe in the materialization of the souls of the dead, and I do not admit spiritualistic explanations, still less their philosophy. All the phenomena spoken of in this last quarter of a century are as real and irrefutable as, perhaps, the existence of the mediums. But these phenomena possess as much of what can be called «spirituality» as do these honest cabinet-makers and blacksmiths considered in the South of France and of Germany as apostles in village mysteries, and chosen by the church representatives for their muscular arms and their substantial stature.
This belief in the reality of facts and distrust in regard to all charlatanism is shared by all men called spiritualists and by the members of the Theosophical Society; the Brahmans of India on one side and on the other a few hundreds of scientists very competent in judging spiritualism. The chemist Crookes belongs to the latter category, «n’en de’plaise aux spirites,» who spread all through their publications the false rumor that he is a convinced spiritualist.
The spiritualists are greatly mistaken. Formerly when we had not yet made the personal acquaintance of Mr. Crookes, these reports about him perplexed us. But in April, 1884, at his home in London, in the presence of many witnesses, and later when we were alone, we spoke to him plainly about all these rumors. Mr. Crookes answered directly and without hesitation that he believed as firmly as ever in the mediumistic phenomena described by him in his «radiant matter»; he had shown and explained the latter to us — but he had not had any faith for a long time in spirits’ manifestation although he had formerly leaned towards such an explanation.
«Then, who was Katie King?» we asked.
«I do not know. Very probably the double of Miss Cook [the medium],» answered the scientist and added that he had the serious hope of seeing biology and physiology soon convinced of the existence in man of this semi-material double.
The following objection can also be raised: the very fact that there are scientists believing in a double and in spiritualism does not show the reality of these doubles or of mediumistic phenomena. Moreover, these scientists are in a minority, while those who deny the facts not yet demonstrated by contemporary science constitute an overwhelming majority. I will not discuss this. I shall content myself with making the remark that there is, for the present, only a small percentage of intelligent human beings, not only in the whole of humanity but among the cultivated classes themselves. The majority possesses only an evident superiority over the minority, that of gross, animal force. It disregards the minority and tries to crush it or, at least, to stifle its voice. The fact is observed everywhere. The masses of partisans of public opinion exert a pressure upon those who prefer truth. The Royal Society of England and the University of France persecute the scientists who dare to cross — in the name of disgraced truth — the limits rigorously fixed by them around their narrow materialistic conceptions. The spiritualists are trying to defeat and even to suppress the Theosophists. All of that is in the order of things. We are sure that there are also many intelligent men among those who believe in the personal presence of dead people’s souls in spiritualistic seances, in «spirits» clothing themselves in matter, in their revelations, in the philosophy of Allan Kardeck, and even in the infallibility of professional and public mediums. While we express the respect due to each individual belief, we do not share the convictions of the spiritualists. We take the liberty to remain within our personal convictions. Time alone, and the help of science, when it has modified its tactics, will show who is right and who is wrong.
Definitely convinced that the influential institutions — the Royal Society of England and the other learned academies of Europe — will never come to our help (at least now, during our lives), certain that the majority of scientific men has determined to deny for centuries all of these psychological phenomena, knowing that the mass always judges things superficially, deeming as gross superstition anything it does not understand (while many fear to understand); convinced finally that all will agree in calling truth and fact only any conclusion formulated by themselves without great reason, while it is a fact that almost all the scientific theories determined by men have at all times been abandoned one after the other; certain of not being able, in spite of all our efforts, to change the trend of thought of our century, we decided to act alone and to seek the necessary explanations ourselves.
For two years we accumulated all the information possible and studied the «witchcraft» of the Kurumbas, and for five more years we sought to know the manifestations of this same force in the various tribes of India. A committee was constituted by the Central Council of the Theosophical Society and we took all measures to avoid possible trickeries. Our colleagues, chosen among the worst skeptics, formulated this same conclusion: «All that is said concerning these tribes is founded on real facts. With the exclusion, of course, of the enormous exaggerations of the superstitious mass of the people, all these facts have been demonstrated more than once. How the Todas, the Kurumbas, the Yannadis, and other tribes, have, by virtue of these faculties, power over men, we do not know and do not take it upon ourselves to explain. We only declare what we have seen.»
These are the words of our colleagues, Hindus reared according to contemporary English standards of education, that is to say, materialists,
in the full meaning of the term, and believing neither in personal gods, nor in the spirits of the spiritualists. We state the same conclusion, but we suspect — and this suspicion is equivalent to a certainty — that this force of the Nilgirian sorcerers is our old friend «the psychic force» of Doctors Carpentier and Crookes. We made very careful, impartial, serious experiments upon ourselves and upon others. And we think that before Doctors Charcot, Crookes, and Tsellner, as before our eyes, when it was a question of the «sorcerers,» the same and only force was acting; the diversity of its manifestations depends above all upon the differences of the human organisms, then on the surroundings, on the ambient sphere in which this force is manifested, much also on climatic conditions, and finally on the intellectual tendencies of the people called «mediums.»
Other people have written before me on the Todas and the Kurumbas. But in the descriptions of the Englishmen, it is impossible to find anything, to understand anything outside of the hypotheses already quoted.
Despairing of ever being able to leave this labyrinth and to again see the celestial light, I wanted to question native pandits who have a reputation for circulating «historical accounts and legends.» The pandits referred me to an ascetic Badaga. This anchoret who never washed himself, was very kind and hospitable. For a few bags of rice he told one of the natives, a member of our Society, legends of his race, for three days and three nights without interruption. It is useless to say that the Anglo-Hindus know nothing of the facts I am about to give the reader.
The word Badaga is Kanarese and, like the Tamil word «vadugan» means «northern»: all the Badagas came from the North. When six hundred years ago they arrived in the «Blue Mountains» they found the Todas and the Kurumbas already there. The Badagas are certain that the Todas had already been living on the Nilgiri for centuries.
The dwarfs (Kurumbas) declare in turn that their ancestors placed themselves in the service, or agreed to become the slaves of the Todas’ ancestors still in Lanka (Ceylon), «in order to possess the right to live on their land» with the condition «that their descendants would remain always under the eyes of the Todas.»
Otherwise, the Badagas remark, «these devils would soon have had everybody on the earth dead with the exception of themselves.» The Kurumbas, when they are reproached for their devil-like wickedness, do not contradict this declaration of the Badagas; on the contrary they are proud of their power. Gnashing their teeth, in their powerless rage against the Todas, they are ready, like scorpions, to sting themselves, to kill themselves with their own poison. General Morgan, who has often seen them in their fits of fury, told me that he, a positivist, «feared to be forced to believe in the devil against his will.»
On the other hand the Badagas affirm that the close association of their tribe with the Todas is very antique.
«Our ancestors already served them under the King Rama,» they affirm. «That is why we also serve them.»
«But the Todas do not believe in your fathers’ devas?» I asked one day of a Badaga.
«It is not so; the Todas do believe in their existence,» was the answer given me. «But they do not render them any honor, because they themselves are devas.»
The Badagas say that the year when the god Rama advanced upon Lanka apart from the great army of monkeys, many people from Central and Southern India wanted to obtain the honor of becoming the allies of the great «avatar.» Among these were the Kanarasians, ancestors of the Badagas, from whom the Badagas claim they descend. In fact, the Badagas divide their tribe into eighteen castes, among which are Brahmans of high birth, as for example the Wodeyar a branch of the dynasty reigning today in Mysore. The English have been able to convince themselves of the justice of these claims. In the ancient chronicles of the house of Mysore, documents have been kept to this day, showing: First that the Wodeyar and the Badagas make up one and the same tribe, that they are all native of Karnataka; second, that the natives of this country took part in the great holy war of the King of Ayodhya, Rama, against the rakshasas, giants, and demons of the island of Lanka (Ceylon).
And it is these same Brahmans, proud of their noble and ancient origin, who maintain among the Badagas this sentiment of veneration — not for themselves, as it is done by all the other Brahmans in the rest of India — but in regard to the Todas who reject their gods. To find the true cause of this exceptional respect is a very difficult thing, and this mystery continues to spur the curiosity of the English. It is almost impossible to solve this problem when one knows the laws of the Brahmans. Indeed, this proud caste which refuses to work for the British for any sum of money; these Brahmans who will not, themselves, carry a package from one house to another, seeing a personal humiliation in this act — are precisely the ones among the Badagas who are the most zealous partisans of the Todas. Not only do they work for the Todas without any remuneration, but they will not stop at the meanest kind of work, in their estimation, if it must be done upon the desire of the Todas, or more exactly, on the order of these freely-chosen masters. These Brahmans are ready to serve the Todas as masons, servants, cabinet makers and even pariahs. While these haughty Hindus remain full of pride towards the other people, even the English, while they wear the triple holy insignia of the Brahmans, they alone possess the right to officiate in the ceremonies of sowing and harvesting (although they often yield it with fear to the Kurumbas), they all prostrate before the Todas.
Yet, they also, these Brahman Badagas, possess this marvelous «force» in its magical manifestations.
Thus, every year, during the feasts of the last harvest of the year,» they must give the irrefutable proof that they are direct descendants of initiate Brahmans, twice born. That is why they walk slowly two and fro, barefoot, and without experiencing the least harm, over a wide trail of live coals or of iron at white heat. This fiery track passes along the facade of the Temple — that is from 29 to 35 feet — and the Brahmans stand motionless on it or walk upon it as on a floor. Each Badaga-Wodeyar must, for the very honor of his caste, cross the whole track at least seven times.
The English affirm that these Brahmans know the secret of a vegetal essence making the skin of the hands and feet invulnerable to fire — to rub the extremities with this liquid would be sufficient. But the missionary Metz affirms that in that, also, there can be only thaumaturgy.
«What can it be that induces this proud caste of Brahmans to humiliate themselves so far as to adore a tribe inferior by its level of culture and its intellectual faculties? — this is for me an undecipherable enigma,» writes Captain Harkness. (The Hill Tribes of Nilguerry.) «Certainly the Badaagas are timid by nature; besides, they have become savages after centuries lived in the solitude of the mountains; however, the mystery can be pierced by establishing that they are superstitious people, like all the mountaineers of India. Yet, such a manifestation of the individual is very curious to a psychologist.»
It is incontestable. However, the primitive reason for this veneration is still more «curious,» although the English — still less the skeptics — are unable to know it. First of all, the Todas are not inferior to the Badagas in intelligence nor in birth; on the contrary, in that respect also they are infinitely superior to them. Moreover, the true origin of the adoration of the Todas by the Badagas must be sought not in the present, but in a very remote antiquity, in that age of the history of the Brahmans which our modern scientists not only refuse to study seriously, but in which they refuse to believe. Although this work is difficult, it is not impossible. The disseminated fragments of Badaga legends are documents, the accounts of their Brahmans — in decline since the invasion, but who still possess glimmers of the knowledge of the mysteries enjoyed by their ancestors — Brahmans of the epoch of the Rishis and of the thaumaturgical adepts of «white magic» — this remaining «history» permits us to build a logical work, entirely solid. The only thing to do is to begin to work methodically, to gain the confidence of the Badagas and not to be English or «bar-sahib» whom the Badagas fear still more than the Kurumbas. Because, with the help of gifts, they can appease the Mulu-Kurumbas whose evil enchantments and eye will cease to act; while they consider the English as their deadly enemies.
Therefore the Badagas, like the other Brahmans of India, consider it their sacred duty to leave the English in complete ignorance of the facts concerning their history, past and present, substituting fiction for reality.
The Nilgirian Badagas alone have kept the memory of this past, a memory lacking in fullness it is true. The Todas are silent on this subject and they have never uttered a word about it. Perhaps, outside of a few elder «priests,» they are all ignorant of this «antiquity.» The Badagas
affirm that, before he dies, each Teralli must transmit the tradition he knows to one of the young candidates to his functions.
As for the Kurumbas, although they remember the century of their enslavement, they know nothing about the Todas. The Irulas and the Cotas are more animals than half-savage men. From this fact it results that among the five Nilgirian tribes, the Badagas are the only ones recalling their past and furnishing proofs of it. We can conclude, therefore, that the knowledge they have of the Todas’ past is not built on fiction. All their affirmations concerning their own history, their descent from the North, their descendance from Kanaresian colonists who came about a thousand years ago from Karnataka, a country known today under the name of Mysore of the south, and which in the remotest antiquity (historical) was a part of Kankanna kingdom — were found exact. Why would they not also have kept fragments of the history of the Todas’ remote past?
The origin of the strange relations between these three races, entirely different one from the other, remains absolutely indeterminable to this day. The English give the assurance that these relations were established following a long co-residence in these lonely mountains. Isolated from the rest of humanity, the Todas, the Badagas and the Kurumbas would gradually have created for themselves a universe of their very own made up of superstitious ideas. But the tribes themselves claim something entirely different. And what they tell, as having taken place in the remotest antiquity and not without direct rapport with the legends and the ancient hagiographies of the Hindus, remains very significant.
The traditions of these three tribes whose destinies were linked throughout the ages are the more interesting that in listening to them and in penetrating them, it seems to us that we are reading a detached page of the «mythic» poem of India, the Ramayana.
When I think of the Ramayana, I confess that I have never understood the motive constraining the historians to place on such different levels this work and the poems of Homer. For, according to me, their character is almost identical. We will be told certainly that everything supernatural is rejected alike from the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Ramayana. But our scientists who accept, almost without hesitation, as historical personages, all such characters as Achilles, Hector, Ulysses, Helen and Paris — why do they relegate to the rank of empty «myths» the figures of Rama, of Lakshmana, of Sita, of Ravana, of Hanuman, and even of the king of Ayodhya? Either all these people are simply heroes, or it is a duty to restore them to the «rank» due them. Schliemann has found in the Troiade obvious proofs of the existence of Troy and of its leading characters. The antique Lanka (Ceylon) and other places mentioned in the Ramayana could be found in the same way if the trouble were taken to look for them. And above all, the relations and the legends of the Brahmans and the Pandits should not be rejected with such contempt.
Whoever has read the Ramayana, even once, has been able to convince himself, by rejecting the allegories and the symbols inevitable in an epic poem of a religious character, that it was possible to find in it an evident, irrefutable, historical background.
The supernatural element in a narrative does not exclude historical matter. It is so in the Ramayana. The presence in this poem of the giants and of the demons, of talking monkeys and of wisely speaking feathered animals, does not give us the right to deny the existence, in the remotest antiquity, either of its greatest heroes, or even of the «monkeys» of the innumerable army. How is it possible to know, with absolute certainty, exactly who the authors of the Ramayana had in view under the allegorical appellations of «monkeys»* and of «giants»? In chapter VI of the Book of Genesis it speaks of the sons of God, who, having fallen in love with the daughters of the Earth, married them. From this union the race of the «giants» was born on Earth. The pride of Nimrod, the Tower of Babel, the «confusion of tongues,» are identical to the pride and the actions of Ravana, to the «confusion of the tribes» to the time of the wars in the Mahabharata, to the revolt of the Daityas (giants) against Brahma. But the main problem resides in the real existence of the «giants.»
*In many pages of the Purana the accounts refer to these same kings, with the same names of kingdoms (identical terms to those employed in the Ramayana). But in these relations the word «monkey» is replaced by that of man.
The events related in a few verses in Genesis — detailed in the book of Enoch — concerning the giants, extend over the whole epic poem of the Ramayana. Without other names and with deep details, we see in it all the fallen angels mentioned in the visions of Enoch. The nagas, the apsaras, the gandharvas, and the rakshasas teach the mortals all that was taught to the daughters of man by the fallen angels of Enoch. Samyaza, the chief of the sons of heaven, calling his two hundred warriors to the oath of alliance on Ardiss (the summit of the Hermon mountain), teaching afterwards to human kind the secrets of the sin of witchcraft, has his double in the king of the nagas or of the serpent-gods. Azaziel showing men how to forge weapons, and Amazarak, sorcerer healer by the mysterious forces of the different herbs and roots, acted in the same way as the apsaras and the asuras acted on the river Rishaba, and the gandrivas «Khakh and Khakhu» on the crest of the Gandhamadana. Where are the traditions of a race in which we do not find the gods, teachers of men, giving them the tales of the knowledge of good and evil, the demons, the giants?
The duty of every conscientious historian is to penetrate to the very roots of the profoundly philosophical narrative which the Ramayana of Valmiki is. Not being stopped by the form which may repel western realism, the historian must dig deeper and deeper.
In the book of Enoch it is said of giants whose size is 300 cubits: «They ate all that was edible on the earth, then they began to eat even the men. The Ramayana speaks of the «Rakshasas» who are the same giants we learn about in the history of the Greek and Scandinavian people, and that we find again in the legends of North and South America. The Titans, «sons of Bur,» are the giants of the Popol-Vuh of the Ikstliksokhitl, the primitive races of humanity.
The problem is to answer the following question: is it possible for such giants to have really lived on our earth? We think that it is; and our opinion is shared by many scientists. The anthropologists have not yet been able to decipher the first letter of the alphabet giving the key of the mystery of the origin of man on earth. On one side, we find enormous skeletons, gigantic cuirasses, and helmets made for real giants’ heads. On the other hand, we see mankind diminish in size and degenerate from epoch to epoch.
The Todas say — and they ordinarily speak little and reluctantly, indicating the cairns of the «Hill of the Sepulchres»: «We do not know what these tombs are; we found them already here. But each one of them would easily have contained half a dozen people of our size. Our fathers were twice as big as we are.» These words allow us to think that the legend they tell us is not fiction: the Todas could not have invented it, because they know neither the Brahmans nor their religion, and are ignorant of the Vedas and other sacred books of India. And, although they kept it from the Europeans, they told it to the Badagas, that is to say, to the fathers of the present Badagas, just as the anchoret Badaga transmitted it to me.
It seems to have been taken from the Ramayana. Moreover, the Todas are not the only ones having retained the memory of it. This tradition is the common heritage of the Todas, the Badagas and the Kurumbas.
To clarify the narration, I give herewith, with the traditional relation of the «elder» Nilgirian, extracts of the Ramayana and the true names somewhat corrupted by the Todas, though they remain recognizable. A truth is clearly perceived in this tradition: it concerns Ravana, king of Lanka, monarch of the Rakshasas, a people of hero athletes, unrighteous and sinners; his brother, Ravana Vibheeshana, and his four ministers of whom the king speaks in the following terms in the Ramayana, when presenting himself to Rama «Dasharatha, son of the King of Ayodhya and avatar of the God Vishnu»!
«I am the younger brother of Ravana of the ten heads. I was offended by him because I gave him good counsel: that of returning thee Sita, thy wife, of the lotus eyes. With my four comrades, men whose strength is without measure and who are named: Anala, Khara, Sampati and Prakhasha, I left Lanka, my estates, my friends and have come to thee, whose magnanimity repels no creature. I wish to owe only to thee all that may befall me. I offer myself as an ally to thee, O hero of great wisdom, and I will lead thy armies to the conquest of Lanka and the death of the unrighteous rakshasas.»
Let us now compare this quotation with the Todфs’ tradition:
«It was at the time when the king of the orient, without monkey-men (no doubt the armies of Sugriva and of Рanuman} was about to kill Ravana, the powerful but unrighteous demon, king of Lanka. The population of Lanka was composed entirely of demons (Rakshasas), giants and powerful thaumaturges. The Todds were then at their twenty-third generation* on the island of Lanka. The king Ravana was at heart a Kurumba (that is to say, a wicked sorcerer): he had made wicked demons out of the major part of his rakshasas subjects. Ravana had two brothers: Kombha, giant of the giants, who, after having slept hundreds of years, was killed by the king of the Orient, and Vibya
the kind-hearted, loved by all the rakshasas.»
*That is to say, «199 or 200 generations» ago, which represents at least 7,000 years. Aristotle and other Greek sages, speaking of the war of Troy, affirmed that it had taken place 5,000 years before their time. Two thousand years have gone by since, that is to say, 7,000 altogether. History, naturally, rejects this chronology. But what does this denial prove? Is not Universal History before Christ and its chronology made up solely of hypotheses and likelihoods, of suppositions set up as axioms?
See also the «Mission of the Jews» by St. Yves d’ Alveydre. — Translator.
Is it not evident that the «Kumbha» and «Vibya» of the Todas’ tradition are but the Kumbhakarna and Vibheeshana of the Ramayana? Kumbhakarna cursed by Brahma and put to sleep by this malediction until the fall of Lanka, when Rama killed him, after long and intense duelling, with a magical arrow from Brahma, «invincible dart which affrights the gods,» and which Indra himself considered as the scepter of death.*
*The relation of the fight is found in the «Mission of the Jews.» — Translator.
The Todas say that Rama is a good rakshasa who was obliged to condemn Ravana after his crime against the king of the Orient (Rama),* whose wife he stole. Vibya crossed the sea with his four faithful servants and helped Rama to recover his queen. This is why the king of the Orient named Vibya king of Lanka.
*He is thus called by the Brahman Badagas. They say that «the king of the Orient» is Rama.
It is word for word the history of Vibhishana, the ally of Rama, and of his four ministers, the rakshasas.
The Todas reveal afterwards that these ministers were four anchoret Terallis and benevolent demons. They did not consent to fight against demon-brothers, even cruel ones. Therefore, after the end of the war, during which they did not cease to pray the gods for the victory of Vibya, they asked to be relieved of their duties. Accompanied by seven other anchorets and one hundred lay rakshasas with their wives and children, they left Lanka forever. Wishing to reward them, the king of the Orient (Rama) created, upon a barren land, the «Blue Mountains» and made a present of them to the rakshasas and their descendants for eternal enjoyment. Then the seven anchorets, wishing to spend their lives in feeding the toddawars and in rendering harmless the enchantments of the bad demons, changed themselves into buffaloes. The four ministers of Vibya kept their human forms and are living invisible to all except the initiated Terralis in the forests of the Nilgiri and in the secret sanctuaries of the «tirieri.» Having occupied the Nilgiri, the thaumaturge-buffaloes, the demon-anchorets and the chiefs of the lay toddawars elaborated laws, determined the number of Todas and of future sacred and profane buffaloes. Then, they sent one of their brothers to Lanka with an invitation to some other good demons to come to Nilgiri with their families. There, on the throne of Ravana who had been killed, he found the king Vibya, the master of them all.
Such is the legend of the Todas. That the «King of the Orient» is Rama, although the Todas do not name him — there can be no doubt about it. Rama, it is known, possesses hundreds of names. In the Ramayana he is indifferently called «King of the Four Seas,» «King of the Orient,» «King of the West, the South, and the North,» «Son of Ragon,» «Dassaratide,» «Tiger of the Kings,» etc. For the inhabitants of Lanka or Ceylon, he evidently would be «King of the North.» But if the Todas, as we think, came from the West, the appellation «King of the Orient or of India» becomes comprehensible.
But let us get back to the legend and let us see what it can tell us about the Mulu-Kurumbas. What connection did the dwarf sorcerers have with the Todas in antiquity and what fate brought them to the «Blue Mountains» under the severe orders of the Todas? — we shall know, thanks to the continuation of the account concerning the sending to Lanka of the «demon-brother.»
When he arrived in his fatherland, he found it invaded, defeated and everything changed since his departure from the island with all his brothers. The new king of Lanka, devoted friend and ally of the King Rama, was trying then, with all his might, to destroy the evil sorcery of the rakshasas in the island, by substituting for it the benevolent science of the anchorets magi. But the gift of Bramavidya «is acquired only through personal qualities, purity of life, love for all that lives, men as well as dumb creatures, and also by rapport with benevolent, invisible magi who, after having left the earth, live in the country under the clouds, where the sun sets.* Vibya knew how to soften the hearts of the old rakshasas and they repented. But a new evil arose in Lanka. The greater part of the warriors of the oriental army, the monkey-warriors, the bear-warriors and the tiger-warriors, in their joy at having conquered the Queen of the Seas and vanquished its demon-inhabitants, became intoxicated to such an extent that it took them many years to regain their equilibrium. In that unsettled, obscured state of mind, they took rakshasas for wives, demons of the female sex. From these ill-assorted unions dwarfs were born, the most stupid and most wicked creatures in the world. They were the ancestors of the present Nilgirian Mulu-Kurumbas. In them were concentrated all the gifts of the dark knowledge of sorcery possessed by their mothers, mixed with the craftiness, the cruelty, the stupidity of their fathers, the monkeys, the tigers and the bears. The king Vibya resolved to kill all these dwarfs and he was ready to execute his plan, when the principal thaumaturge left his buffalo form and asked that the king grant them forgiveness, promising to take them along with him to the «Blue Mountains.» He saved the lives of the dwarfs on the following condition: that they and their descendants would eternally serve the Todas, recognizing in the latter their masters and chiefs having over them the right of life and death.
*The Todas point to the West when they speak of the country where their dead go. Metz calls the Occident «the fantastic paradise of the Todas.» Some tourists have concluded from that, that the Todas, like the Parsis, are sun worshipers.
It is thus that Lanka was delivered of a terrible evil by the thaumaturge who, accompanied by about a hundred rakshasas, belonging to a foreign tribe, came back to the «Blue Mountains.» Allowing Vibya to destroy the most cruel and incorrigible of the dwarf demons, he chose three hundred creatures among the least bad of this new tribe and took them with him to the Nilgiri.
Since that time, the Kurumbas who made their homes in the most impassable jungles of the mountains, multiplied to such an extent as to become the great tribe known today under the name of Mulu-Kurumbas. As long as they, with the Todas and the buffaloes, were the only inhabitants of the «Blue Mountains,» their bad inclinations and their innate gift of sorcery could harm no one except the animals, which they enchanted for the purpose of eating them afterwards. But the Badagas arrived fifteen generations afterwards and hostilities began between them and the dwarfs. The ancestors of the Badagas, that is to say of the antique people of Malabar and of Karnataka, after the war also entered the service of the «good» giants from Lanka. Therefore, when colonies of these men from the North had quarreled with the Brahmans of India, on the «Blue Mountains,» the Todas, as honor and the buffaloes commanded, took them under their protection: the Badagas were the servants of the masters of the Nilgiri, just as their ancestors had served the ancestors of the Todas.
Such is the legend of the aborigines of the «Blue Mountains.» We have collected it piece-meal and with the greatest difficulty. Who then among the readers of the Ramayana would not recognize in this legend the events related in this poem? How could the Badagas — still less the Todas — have invented it? Their Brahmans are only the shadows of the antique Brahmans and have nothing in common with the representatives of this caste in the valleys. Not knowing Sanskrit, they have not read the Ramayana and some among them have not even heard about it.
Perhaps we shall be told that the Mahabharata, like the Ramayana, based upon vague reminiscences of events lived long ago, possesses a fantastic principle prevailing by far over the historical element. Therefore, it is impossible to admit as likely the least fact described in these epopees. Those speaking thus are the very ones who dare to maintain the following: before Pannini, the greatest grammarian in the world, India had no conception of the written word; Pannini himself did not know how to write and had not heard of the sacred writings; and the Ramayana and the Bhagavad-Gita have probably been written after Christ!
Will the day never dawn when the Hindu Aryans — this people fallen very low politically, but still very great by its past and its remarkable virtues — and the sacred literature of the Brahmans will have taken the rank they deserve in history? When will iniquity and partiality founded upon race pride give place to entire uprightness so that the orientalists may at last cease to present the ancestors of the Brahmans to their readers as the superstitious ignoramus and the Brahmans themselves as lying and presumptuous people? Can it still be believed that this literature, unique in the world by its grandeur, including all knowledge and the sciences known and unknown, long forgotten (as all of those who have impartially studied its philosophy say), is solely based upon creative imagination and empty metaphysical dreams?
Let the orientalists affirm what they like. We who have studied this literature with the Brahmans, do not stop at the dead letter. We know that the Ramayana is not a fairy tale as is believed in Europe: it possesses a double meaning, religious and purely historical, and the initiate Brahmans alone are able to interpret the complex allegories of this poem. He who reads the holy books of the orient with the key of its secret symbols, recognizes that:
(1) The Cosmogony of all great ancient religions is the same. They are distinguished among themselves by their exterior forms. All these teachings, contradictory in appearance, proceed from the same source — the universal Truth, which has always manifested under the aspect of a Revelation to all primitive races. Later — and in the measure that humanity was developing its intellectual faculties to the detriment of spiritual capacity — the knowledge of the beginning was becoming transformed and was evolving in different directions. All these events took place under the influence of climatic, ethnological and other conditions. Here is a tree whose branches grow under an ever-changing wind; they take the most irregular forms, twisted and ugly — yet they all belong to the same original trunk. This fact is exhibited in the divers religions: they are all born of the same seed: Truth, because Truth is one.
(2) The histories of all the religions are not only based upon geological, anthropological and ethnological facts of remote prehistoric periods; they are also transmitted quite faithfully in their allegorical form. All these purely historical «legends» were lived as events in their time. But to unveil them without the help of the key I spoke of and which can be found only in the «Gupta-Vidya,» or «secret science» of the ancient Aryans, Chaldeans and Egyptians, is an absolute impossibility. In spite of this difficulty, many among us remain convinced that the day will come, more or less distant, when all the legends of the Mahabharata will become, thanks to the progress of science, historical reality in the eyes of all people. The mask of allegory will fall and living men will appear; and the events of the past will explain all the enigmas and remove all the difficulties of modern science.
Our scientists deny the antique method of Plato which goes from the general to the particular — they claim it is anti-scientific, forgetting that it is the only possible method in the only positive and infallible science, mathematics. Now, the inductive method of these scientists is insufficient in biology and in psychology. These men of science will certainly pay no attention to our researches concerning the history of the Brahmans in general and ethnology in particular. So much the worse for them. «In doubt, abstain,» the golden rule of universal wisdom, was not written for them. They abstain only from the knowledge which might contradict their personal preconceptions. To what end can the orientalists and the students of Sanskrit come so long as they reject the interpretations of antique Brahman books given by the Brahmans themselves? To errors as evident and as gross as those committed by the learned ethnologists concerning the Todds, and because the ethnographers forget very opportunely that «universal» history upon which they rest to study this original tribe, is founded almost entirely upon unproven hypotheses, and is moreover made up by these very ethnographers, that is to say, by western scientists. And who is ignorant of the fact that all these historians and ethnologists, not fifty years ago, knew nothing concerning the Brahmans and their immense literature? Has not one of the great European authorities in historical matters affirmed recently that facts such as described in the books of the Brahmans were only «inventions of a superstitious and grossly ignorant people»? (History of Sanskrit Literature by Weber.)
The events related by the orientalists almost never concur with the facts of the Brahmans. «Universal History» has no room for the whole of «history.» Either the East or the West must give in. And how would not the learned Pandits be constrained to study their own history with the help of the many colored glasses of the Anglo-Saxon students of Sanskrit? It is thus that, thanks to the European scientists, the time when the Mahabharata was written is brought almost in the century of the Musselman invasion,* while the Ramayana and the Bhagavad-Gita become the contemporaries of the catholic Golden Legend!
Let the Europeans affirm what they like! Our conviction remains the same; of our three Nilgirian races, two indisputably descend from primitive prehistorical races about which our Universal History never heard, even in a dream.
*At the beginning of the VIIIth century of the Christian era.