Saturday, November 15, 2014

101. Megh : Sindh; Dahir; Kasim and Buddhism

कासिम के समय के देबाल मंदिर को कई लेखकों ने पारसी धर्म से जोड़ा है और कईयों ने इसे बुद्ध मंदिर कहा है। अधिकांश साक्ष्य बुद्ध मंदिर को पुष्ट करते है, क्योंकि उस समय बौध धर्म सिंध की जनता का आम धर्म था। ब्राह्मण धर्म भी उस समय विद्यमान था। मेघों की सर्वाधिक बस्तियां उस समय सिंध में ही थी। अलेक्ज़ेन्दर के इतिहासकारों और मेगास्थनीज के वर्णन से यह बात साफ है। कन्निङ्घम महोदय की पुरातत्व सम्बंधित खोज इस सम्बन्ध में विशेष रूप से विचारणीय है। अतः यह स्वतः स्पष्ट है कि उस समय की मेघ जनता बुद्ध अनुयायी ही थी।

निम्नलिखित विश्लेष्ण विशेष रूप से ध्यान देने योग्य-
APPENDIX .—P.
.
Buddhists in Sind.

Beladori calls the temple of the sun at Multan by the name of budd, and he informs us, that not only temples, but idols, were called by the same name. As the Buddhist religion was evidently the prevalent one in Sind, when the Musulmans first came in contact with Indian superstitions, it follows that to Buddha must be attributed the origin of this name, and not to the Persian but, ‘ an idol,’ which is itself most probably derived from the same source.
With regard to the budd of Débal, M. Reinaud has observed, that the word not only is made applicable to a Buddhist temple, but seems also to indicate a Buddhist stupa,“ or tower, which was frequently the companion of the temple; and he traces the word budd in the feou thou, or rather foth, which we find mentioned in the Chinese relations, as serving at the same time to designate a Buddha, and the edifice which contains his image. ‘ Feou-thou,’ says Klaproth, " is the name which they give to pyramids, or obelisks, containing the relics of Shakya, or other holy personages. Chapels, likewise, are so called, in which these images are placed.“
" Although Chach, who usurped the throne about the beginning of the Hijri era, was a Brahman, there is no reason to suppose that he attempted to interfere with the then popular religion of Buddhism. Brahmanism is, indeed, so accommodating to any thing that partakes of idol-worship, that Chach and Dahir might have made their offerings in a Buddhist temple, without any greater sacrifice of consistency, than a Roman was guilty of in worshipping [sis and Osiris,—-or than we witness every day in a Hindu presenting his butter and flowers at the shrine of Sheikh Saddu Ghazi Mian, Shah Madar, or any other of the apotheo sized Muhammedan impostors of Hindustan. There is even no incompatibility in supposing that Chach, though a Brahman by birth, still continued a Buddhist in his persuasion ; for the divisions of caste were at that time secular, not religious,--the four classes existing, in former times, equally amongst the Buddhists and amongst the Hindus of continental India, as they do at this day amongst the Buddhists of Ceylon, and amongst the Jains of the Peninsula, where even Brahman priests may be found ofliciating in their temples."
"There are several indications of the Buddhist religion prevailing at that period in the valley of the Indus, not only from the specific announcement of the Chinese travellers, and the declaration of Ibn Khurdadba of that effect, but from certain incidental allusions of the Arabic writers, made without any particular reference to the opposite factions of Brahmans and Buddhists—between which the distinctions, especially of worhip, oblations, mythology, and cosmography, were generally too nice to attract the observations, or ex cite the enquiries of such ignorant and supercilious foreign ers. Thus, when priests are mentioned, they are usually called Samani; the state-elephant is white—a very significant fact ;—-the thousand Brahmans, as they are styled, who wished to be allowed to retain the practices of their ancient faith, were ordered by Muhammed Kasim, with the permission of the Khalif, to carry in their hands a small vessel as mendicants, and beg their bread from door to door every morning—a prominent ceremony observed by the Buddhist priesthood ; —and, finally, the sculpturing, or otherwise perpetuating, the personal representations of their conquerors ;‘-—-all these indicate a Buddhist rather than Brahmanical habit. To this may he added the negative evidence afforded by the absence of any mention of priestcraft, or other pontifical assumption, of widow burning, of sacerdotal threads, oliburnt-sacrifices, of cow worship, ofahlutions, of penances. or of other Observances and ceremonies, peculiar to the tenets of the Brahmanical faith."
"The manifest confusion which prevailed amongst the Arabs regarding the respective objects of Brahman and Buddhist worship, prepares us, therefore, to find, as re; marked at the commencement of this Note, that the temple of the sun at Multan is, by Beladori, styled a budd. Even in the time of Mas'udi, the kings of Kanauj, which )he asserts to have then been under Multan, are all styled Budh, or Budah,—doubtless from the worship which the Arabs had heard to prevail in that capital ; and in this he is followed by Edrisi, who wrote as late as the middle of the twelfth century: so that the use of budd is very indefinite; and whether applied to man, temple, or statue, it by no means determines the application to anything positively and necessarily connected with Buddhism, any more than the absence of that word denotes the contrary, when incidental notices and negative testimonies—such as those mentioned in the preceding paragraph—can be adduced to support the probability of its prevalence." Pages 91 to 94

Reference:

"APPENDIX TO THE ARABS IN SIND"
Volume-3; Part 1, of the "HISTORIANS OF INDIA".

BY SIR HENRY ELLIOT,


CAPETOWN, SAUL SOLOMON & co. Publication-1853. Pages -91 to 94

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