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when the cooking is finished it is he who makes the offering of the food. At other times, in the case of other Gods and demons, this is done by a third priest, called the Tēwawa Kapurāla, all having strictly defined duties.
On a yahana, an oblong stand or altar, with a flat top, prepared previously in the dewāla, the Abarana, or insignia, of all the deities to whom the dewāla is dedicated, are separately placed on a white cloth by the Anumaetirāla, after sprinkling in front of it saffron-water, that is, water in which a piece of saffron or turmeric had been placed. Incense laid on burning charcoal deposited in a censer is also waved in front of it. This always follows the lustration with the saffronwater, and is invariably a part of all such purifications.
He now once more assumes the dress of the God, and other ornaments of devil-dancers, but not the tall hat, which is reserved for the dance on the rock, of which it thus indicates the special character. Its place is taken by a white cloth which covers his head and shoulders. The Mulutaen Kapurāla now brings into the dewāla the food which he has cooked, and the Anumaetirala offers it to the deities.
As a good illustration of this service, I shall take the case of a dēwāla at which the insignia of five other deities are kept. These are Pattinī Dēvi, whose symbol is her hollow jingling bangle or anklet, called salamba; Dēvatā Baṇḍāra or Daeḍimunda, already mentioned in connection with the Vaeddas, whose symbol is a yakaḍa-awudē, iron weapon,' a thin rod of iron, thicker at the butt end than the other, which is bent over to one side; Kumāra Baṇḍāra, an Indian evil spirit or demon, the son of a king of Madura, whose symbol is a straight sword, kaḍuwa; Dahanaka Baṇḍāra, whose symbol is a bill-hook, and Yāpawu Baṇḍāra, whose symbol is also a bill-hook, these two last being deified chiefs. There is also the sword of Kurumbuḍa Dēvatā.
The Anumaetirāla lays on the altar, on a white cloth extended in front of the Abarana of the seven deities, seven sets of pieces of fresh green Plantain leaf, to act as dishes, each consisting of two pieces, laid one over the other. These, like everything else used, are purified by sprinkling them
with saffron-water and fumigating them with the incense. He then takes four strips of Areka-palm flowers, and lays them on each plantain dish, so as to form a hollow square on each; and in the centre of each square he places a little of the newly-cooked rice and the other food, after first purifying it, and reverently offering it with both hands towards the Abarana. Great care is necessary to apportion the rice equally among the seven deities, so that none may be offended at receiving less than his neighbours; this is a detail regarding which they are unduly sensitive. A little sandal-wood, handun, is now rubbed on each leaf, and one or two little earthenware oil-lamps are lit in front of the offering. In some places a narrow-mouthed, round-bodied flower pot, called kalasa, filled with Areka-palm flowers, is placed there, with an earthenware lamp resting across its mouth, on the flowers.
A yata yahana, or 'Lower Altar,' is now formed by a mat laid on the floor in front of the God's altar. On this six sets of Plantain-leaf dishes are first prepared for the reception of the meats, after the same purification as before; and on them is divided the rest of the cooked food, after being first purified, and offered in the hands towards the Ābarana. No light is placed on this altar. This food is said to be presented to six minor deities, called Dēvatāwas, whose names are unknown. They are considered to be a form of demon; and judging by the practice elsewhere part of the food is doubtless an offering to all absent minor deities or demons collectively, who always expect to receive a small share when others are fed.
Invocation is now addressed by the Anumaetirāla to the Gods of the upper altar, calling on them to come and partake of the feast prepared for them. After a short interval the foods are removed, and sliced Areka-nut laid on Betel leaves is deposited in its place, purified as usual, on the seven leaves of the upper altar, but none is presented on the lower one for the inferior personages.
Both before and after offering the food, tom-toms and other instruments are sounded as loudly as possible, so as
to arouse the attention of the Gods, who are also held to feel satisfaction when this music is executed zealously and in an artistic manner. The instruments used for the purpose at the dewāla in question are as follows:-one drum, dawula; one common tom-tom, bera-gedi (not the long tom-tom used for demons, which is called yak-bera); one double kettledrum, temmattan (used at wihāras); one horn trumpet, horanāēwa; one reed-pipe, nalawa; and one perforated conchshell, hak-geḍi. When all these instruments are emitting their loudest sounds it will be understood that the result is a fine medley of noise.
After offering the Betel, and while the instruments are being played, the Mulutaen Kapurāla may dance, holding a sword and not the Billhook in his hand, and chanting at the same time verses in honour of the various deities; but this is not an indispensable part of the ceremony. In the end, the Anumaetirāla puts back the Abarana in their places in the sanctum, removes his habiliments, and thus brings the affair to a conclusion. He and the Kapurāla, but no one else, may now eat the offerings, the deities being supposed to have taken as much of the essence of the food as they required.
The rock-dancing ceremony takes place not more than once a year in connection with each dēwāla of the God of the Rock; but this offering at the dewāla itself is, in the case of this one temple, made every three months, and is devoted to all the deities of the dewāla collectively, and not alone to the God of the Rock. The ceremony is the same at places where he and his minister are the sole recipients of the offering; in such case a separate altar is constructed for Kurumbuḍa at a lower level than that of his master, but well above the ground.
The whole service is considered to be in honour of Gods, and not to be a demon ceremony. In all ordinary services for demons, meat in some form, or blood, is a necessary part of the food. It is clear that the Galē Deviyā's aspect as a beneficent deity is alone kept in view in these proceedings.
To my mind, the detailed account which I have been able
to present respecting this god leaves no room to doubt that we have here the worship of the original deity of Ceylon, dating from pre-Buddhistic times. The oldest gods of the East were mountain deities. In Babylonia they were born on the mountains, and Enlil, the greatest of the early gods, was especially the God of the Mountain. Such also were the great Indian Gods, Indra, Vishnu, Rudra, and the Maruts. What is the explanation of the curious fact that in most respects the God of the Rock resembles the Rudra of the early Aryans of India? It is unlikely that an aboriginal deity of the hated Dasyus would be elevated by the first Åryan invaders of India to the high rank indicated by his being addressed as 'the best among the Gods,' a term applied to Rudra. In any case, the earliest Aryans of north-western India could have no knowledge of the religious notions of the South-Indian hill tribes. Did the aborigines, then, take over Rudra from the Aryans at a later date? This also seems improbable, as apparently the mountaineers, at all events, kept aloof from the invaders, and were little affected by their civilisation.
If they did not so borrow him, perhaps we may conclude that there was a wide-spread primitive belief in such a deity, extending not only throughout the hills of Central and Southern India, but also through the country from which the Āryans came. As some of the chief Aryan gods were hill-deities this must have been to some extent a mountainous tract. It could only be in such surroundings that a belief in mountaingods could be developed.
Rudra was the parent and Lord of the forty-nine Maruts who were the deities of the storm, and who dwelt on the lofty mountains.' So far as my information extends, he differs from the God of the Rock chiefly in being a Destroyer; the later story of the destruction of the sixty monks cannot be held to be sufficient proof that the original Vaedda God had this character. But Rudra's aspect as such is not strongly emphasised in the Rig-Veda. He was pre-eminently
1 Dr. C. G. Seligmann has, however, met with an invocation in which the Indigollāē Yakā is referred to as drinking human blood.
the beneficent kindly deity of the Aryans, the Health-Giver, the Best of all Physicians.' In this respect, Rudra and the Vaedda deity have identical functions and attributes, as the following extracts from the Rig-Veda, (Griffiths' translation,) show plainly.
Book i, 43.
1. What shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise?
4. To Rudra, Lord of Sacrifice, of hymns, of balmy medicines, we pray for joy and health and strength.
5. He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he,1 the good, the best among the Gods.
6. May he grant health unto our steeds, well-being to our rams and ewes, to man, to woman, and to kine.
Book i, 114.
1. To the strong Rudra bring we these our songs of praise, to him the Lord of Heroes with the braided hair,
That it be well with all our cattle and our men, that in this village all be healthy and well fed.
Book ii, 33.
2. With the most saving medicines which thou givest, Rudra, may I obtain a hundred winters.
Far from us banish enmity and hatred, and to all quarters maladies and troubles.
4. Let us not anger thee with worship, Rudra, ill praise, strong God! or mingled invocation :
Do thou with strengthening balms incite our heroes; I hear thee famed as best of all physicians.
10. Worthy, thou carryest thy bow and arrows; worthy, thy manyhued and honoured necklace ;
Worthy, thou cuttest here each fiend in pieces; a mightier than thou there is not, Rudra.
11. Praise him the chariot-borne, the young, the famous, fierce, slaying like a dread beast of the forest.
O Rudra, praised, be gracious to the singer; let thy hosts spare us and smite down another.
1 In modern paintings the God of the Rock is represented with a skin of a golden yellow colour.
The Maruts, the Storm Gods.