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the King of Madura, called Sen Kudduva Chera or Imaya Varman,1 when the story of Kannaki was related to this monarch and his queen the latter remarked that the chaste widow was worthy of being worshipped as a goddess. The king agreed with her, caused a statue of Kannaki to be carved from a stone brought from the Himalayas, and inaugurated the new cult.

Mr. Kanakasabhai gleans from the poem the following particulars which indicate the origin of the belief in the power of this goddess over rain and epidemics: From that memorable day on which Kovilan was beheaded there was no rain in the Pandiyan kingdom, and famine, fever, and small-pox smote the people sorely. Verri-Vel-Cheliya, who held his court at Korkei, believing that these misfortunes were brought on by the curse of Kannaki, sacrificed one thousand goldsmiths at her altar, and performed festivals in her honour. Copious showers of rain then fell, and famine and pestilence disappeared from the kingdom. Kosar, King of Kongu, Gajabāhu, King of Lanka [Ceylon], and Perunkilli, the Chōla, erected temples and performed festivals in her honour, and their kingdoms were blest with never-failing rain and abundant crops.' The king consecrated the image of the Goddess' with grand ceremony in the presence of the kings of Kongu and Malava, and of Gajabāhu, King of Lanka.' 3

The last part of the account is not quite in agreement with the Sinhalese Rājāvaliya, which states that as a result of his successful expedition Gaja-Bāhu brought away-evidently an act of spoliation-the jewelled bracelets or anklets of the Goddess, and the insignia of the Four Guardian Gods, as well as the Sinhalese who had been carried off as prisoners by a successful Tamil invader in his father's life-time, and double that number of Tamil prisoners of war. The Sinhalese account would thus lead one to suppose that Kannaki had become a goddess before Gaja-Bahu's war with Madura in the second century A.D.

In the Sinhalese legend, Kannaki was re-born as a demoness

1 V. Kanakasabhai. The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago, p. 6. 2 V. Kanakasabhai, op. cit. p. 93.

3 Op. cit. p. 161.

because of the destruction she had caused-some say she became a goddess-and came to Ceylon, bringing with her the two sons of the Madura king, who had also become Yakās, and accompanied by some other demons. By means of her magical powers she succeeded in forcing an entry into the country in spite of the opposition of the Four Guardian Gods, who, according to one story, endeavoured to keep her and her undesirable companions out of the island. She created a fence or mountain of fire all round the coast which the Four Gods could not face, but which she crossed successfully. In commemoration of her victory in passing through the fire on this occasion she instituted a fire-sacrifice or fire-walking ceremony, which was to be performed annually, together with at least three other festivals, in her honour. It is still maintained throughout a great part of the Sinhalese districts of Ceylon.

Several stories are told of her, and according to one of them she is now ranked as one of the Four Guardian Deities of Ceylon, the north of the island being supposed to be in her special charge.

She is believed to have handed over the control of the thirtytwo epidemic diseases to one of the Madura prince-Yakās, to cause and to cure them, while to the other prince she gave charge of all illnesses of cattle and the lower animals. As the supreme controller of the epidemics these religious games were inaugurated according to her orders, by way of pleasing and propitiating her. In some parts of the country they are played annually for the benefit of the district, and in order to ensure general prosperity and freedom from epidemics; in others apparently the An Keliya is customary only at the time when a district is threatened with an infectious disease, especially small-pox.

There can be no doubt that in another aspect Pattini is looked upon as an incarnation of the Goddess Durgā, the wife of Siva, and as such she is considered to have the Goddess Kālī, another form of Durgā, as her attendant. In Ceylon there are said to be seven different manifestations or incarnations of Pattini. According to an old manuscript of the

Kurunāēgala district, in the first she was produced from or connected with Handun, or Sandal-wood; in the second with a Manel, or Blue-lotus flower; in the third with ‘Gem-sand'; in the fourth with water; in the fifth she was the Fire-Pattini,' who burnt Madura; in the sixth she is connected in some way with the leaf of a Bō-tree; and in the seventh she was found inside a Mango fruit at Pāṇḍi-nuwara or Madura, and was married there to a man of the Chetți caste. Other lists vary slightly.

In the Sinhalese legend, the An Keliya game commemorates an incident which is supposed to have occurred during the life of Palanga, the husband of the Goddess. While they were both endeavouring to break a flower off the top of a Sapu tree (Michelia champaca) by means of two hooked sticks, the hooks became interlocked; and although Pattini and Pālanga exerted all their strength they were unable to unloose them. They summoned large numbers of people to help them, the men joining Palanga and the women assisting Pattinī, and eventually the men's hook was broken, amidst the jeers of the females.

Mr. Bell, the Archaeological Commissioner, in giving a translation of part of the poem which describes this event 1 has expressed his opinion that the story may contain a reference to the cult of the reproductive powers typified in the Lingam and Yōni. In its later development this may be one meaning attached to it. But if so this was probably a mere after-thought, invented as an explanation of an ancient and pre-existing religious ceremony, which, as related in the Tamil poem, was believed to have a beneficial effect in counteracting certain wide-spread evil influences.

In the Indian Antiquary, Vol. v, p. 355, a ceremony in the Sangli district is described, in which, after the cattle and implements of industry' have been worshipped, the body of cultivators engage in a tug of war, pulling at a leather rope until it breaks. 'It is then divided into numerous pieces which are eagerly sought after; for happy is the man who is able to throw one of these pieces into his granary, as his store is sure 1 Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1884, P. 393.

not to fail.' Here we see a nearly similar rope-pulling contest to ensure good luck and good crops, apparently unconnected with the cult of any special deity.

Some further light is thrown on the practice by customs of this nature among other Eastern races. The rope-pulling ceremony is found among the Kāsiyas of Asām, and the Chukmas of the Chittagong hills, and in Burma; while in some East Indian islands the medium for the tugging which is to bring a rainy wind is a bamboo.1 According to Dr. Fraser it is distinctly stated by the Chukmas that one party in the pulling contest represents the good spirits and the other the evil spirits.

At a

In the Indian plains, the men of two villages join in a tug of war across the village boundary, as a ceremony by which the winners secure a plentiful season.2 Mr. Crookes states that there are numerous instances in Northern India of mock fights as charms to secure fertility or freedom from disease. festival in Kumaun the fights between the two parties with stones, which were thrown across a stream, were so serious that it was considered necessary to suppress] them, an act to which the increase of cholera and other epidemics was afterwards attributed by some of the people.

In some of these rites, foul and indecent language and gestures form an important part of the ceremony as scarers of demons, the authors of bad luck and misfortune; and usually the worse the words and actions are the more effective they are supposed to be.

The final torch-light procession through the village is also doubtless undertaken in Ceylon with the same object-to frighten away the malignant spirits, this being a well-known method of driving off evil influences, or the demons to whom they are due, from houses and villages.

Even so long ago as the time when the earliest part of the Rig Veda was composed, Agni, the Fire God, is repeatedly mentioned as one of the greatest foes of the demons, at whose presence they take to flight, and who preserves mankind from 1 Dr. Fraser. The Golden Bough, 1890, Vol. ii, p. 114, note. 2 Crookes. Folk-lore of Northern India, Vol. ii, p. 321.

their malevolent assaults. In the translation by Griffiths, the prayer to Agni in the 36th hymn of Book i, runs in fervent supplications that might be fitly chanted by the epidemicstricken villagers of Ceylon as they march through their hamlets :

'Erect, preserve us from sore trouble; with thy flame burn thou each ravening demon dead.

Raise thou us up that we may walk alive: so shalt thou find our worship mid the Gods.

Preserve us, Agni, from the fiend; preserve us from malicious wrong. Save us from him who fain would injure us or slay, Most Youthful, thou with lofty light.

The flames of Agni full of splendour and of might are fearful, not to be approached.

Consume for ever all demons and sorcerers, Consume thou each devouring fiend.'

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AN KELIYA. The Horns Game.'

As its name implies, the An Keliya, or Horn-pulling game, must have been played originally by pulling at ropes attached to deer-horns; but now two hooked pieces of extremely tough wood, especially the Andara (Dichrostachys cinerea), or the heart-wood of the Tamarind tree, are generally employed instead. In some of the more secluded northern villages the horns are still used. For this purpose the lower part of the antler and the brow tine of the Sambar deer (Rusa aristotelis) are taken, the former being shortened to about six inches, and the latter cut down to two inches. These are about the sizes of the wooden horns' now made.

Each horn is fitted into a groove cut across a separate substantial bar of wood called the An-mola, to which it is firmly lashed. The lower hook is upright and the upper one is laid behind it horizontally. The bars, to which they are attached with the greatest care, are utilised for steadying the horns, and preventing them from becoming unhooked during the contest, the lower bar being fixed transversely, and the upper one vertically, and they are held in these positions by several men during the ceremony. In some places the wooden horns are passed through holes bored longitudinally from the under side and through the end of two pieces of coconut log,

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