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they have received in births long previous exercises its power, and prevents them from going to a place of pain. The destruction produced by the agency of wind is called Wayo-sangwartta. (Súryódgamana-sútra-sanné.)

Previous to the destruction by water, cruelty, or violence, prevails in the world; previous to that by fire, licentiousness; and previous to that by wind, ignorance. When licentiousness has prevailed, men are cut off by disease; when enmity, by turning their weapons against each other; and when ignorance, by famine.

In every instance, so complete is the destruction, that no remains whatever of the sakwalas are to be found, not even anything answering to the ashes of wood that has been consumed by fire; the air above the earth, and that below, mingle together, as there is nothing to separate the one from the other.


* At the end of the day of Brahma, a dissolution of the universe occurs, when all the three worlds, earth, and the regions of space, are consumed with fire. The dwellers of Maharloka (the region inhabited by the saints who survive the world) distressed by the heat, repair then to Janaloka (the region of holy men after their decease).-Wilson's Vishnu Purána.

According to the system of the Brahmans, the ten lower worlds are partially destroyed at the close of every kalpa, equal to a day of Brahma, and renovated at the end of each succeeding night; so that there are 36,000 revolutions of the world during one cycle of its existence. But at the dissolution of Brahma there is a maha pralaya, or complete destruction of the whole universe; all things being utterly annihilated and reduced to entire nothingness; or, if we adopt another idea, all things being merged in the deity, until Brahm shall awake and a new world be manifested. "That immutable power, Brahma, by waking and reposing alternately, re-vivifies and destroys in eternal succession, the whole assemblage of locomotive and immoveable creatures."--Manu. Inst. i. 57. "The Brahma-mimánsa (or Védánta) endeavours to reconcile the existence of moral evil under the government of an all-wise, all-powerful, and benevolent providence, with the absence of freewill, by assuming the past eternity of the universe, and the infinite renewal of worlds, into which every individual being has brought the predispositions contracted by him in earlier states, and so retrospectively without beginning or limit."--Colebrooke, Miscellaneous Essays, i. 377.

It is said to have been taught by Hermes, that the Governor of the world, "always resisting vice, and restoring things from their degeneracy, will either wash away the malignity of the world by water, or consume it by fire, and restore it to its ancient form again." The Egyptians supposed the world would be destroyed, partly by inundation, and partly by conflagration. Cudworth's Intellectual system. This idea was entertained by Pythagoras, and may have been received either during his residence in Egypt, or in his travels in Asia. It was the opinion of Anaximander, that worlds are continually in the course of formation, and that they are as constantly re-dissolved into the infinity, To ȧrepov, whence they are derived. Empedocles and Heraclitus, and afterwards the Stoics, supposed that the world is generated, and then corrupted; and that this is done again and again in revolutions infinite. This phrase of Heraclitus had great celebrity," All is, and is not; for though in truth it does come into being, yet it forthwith ceases to be." -Lewes, Biograph. Hist. Phil. i. 111. Plutarch says, that the shaking of the

the medium of destruction be fire, water, or wind, it is equally complete. But it is not to be supposed that these effects are produced by any innate power of their own. As the world is at

four bars within the circular apsis of the sistrum represented the agitation of the four elements within the compass of the world, by which all things are continually destroyed and reproduced. The Gnostics of the Alexandrian school taught that as the Godhead can never have been unemployed, an endless series of worlds must have preceded the present, and an endless series of words will follow it.--Giesler, Text-Book of Eccles. Hist. Similar opinions were entertained by the Druids and Mexicans.--Faber's Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. i. cap. ii: "Concerning the Pagan Doctrine of a Succession of similar Worlds." But by the Peripatetics and others a different doctrine was taught. They were of opinion that the world had never been created and could never be destroyed; as they could trace in the universe no seminal principles, they believed it to be "fatherless and eternal, destitute of origin, and beyond the influence of fate." "Violent corruptions and mutations take place in the parts of the earth; at one time, indeed, the sea overflowing into another part of the earth; but at another, the earth itself becoming dilated and divulsed, through wind or water latently entering into


But an entire corruption of an arrangement of the whole earth never did happen, nor ever will."-Taylor's Ocellus Lucanus.

It was the doctrine of Budha, that there are not only alternate destructions and renovations of the world, but that each successive world is homogeneous in its constitutent parts, having the four continents of the same size, with the same cities, under different names; but though the general features are the same, and in many instances the same individual actors are introduced, this resemblance does not extend to an identity of events, as was taught by some of the Greeks. It was affirmed by many of the Stoics that from the beginning to the end of the world, all things are dispensed by a regular law, so that not only as to the successive conflagrations and inundations, but also as to all other occurrences, there is a repetition of the same events; that which now takes place has taken place in previous ages, times innumerable, and will again take place times infinite. About the time of the commencement of Christianity this idea appears to have been very generally prevalent, and to have produced the most pernicious consequences. It was thought to be unnecessary to address the Divinity in prayer, inasmuch as "everything revolves with unchanging laws in one eternal circle."

As all the worlds below the tenth brahma-lóka are occasionally destroyed, the totality of the destruction being expressed in the strongest terms, it is not right to say, as has sometimes been assumed, that the eternity of matter is one of the dogmas of Budha. Relative to the superior worlds that are beyond the reach of all the revolutions that affect the earth, I have seen no positive statement, their existence may be eternal; but the general principles of Budhism by no means agree with the doctrine of Empedocles, and others of the same school, that "all existences are but a mingling, and then a separation of the mingled."

The opinion that the destruction of the world is at one time accomplished by the agency of fire, and at another time by that of water, agrees, to some extent, with sacred writ. Heraclitus taught that as fire is the first principle of all things, all things shall at last be redissolved into this element; Epicurus supposed that as fire is the most active of the elements, it will in the end overcome the others, and destroy them; and it was the doctrine of Zeno that the world will perish by fire, a principle everywhere diffused, which will in time resolve all things into itself, and will afterwards, as it is the seed of all things, diffuse itself again through the vacuity it has caused, thus producing a new world.

first produced by the power of the united merit, punya-bala, of all the various orders of being in existence, so its destruction is caused by the power of their demerit, pápa-bala.

The notions entertained by Gótama that there are innumerable worlds, that the earth has nothing beneath it but the circumambient air; that the interior of the earth is incandescent; and that the world will be destroyed by the agency of fire; may so far be correct; and a small portion of his other cosmical speculations may agree with ancient philosophy or modern science; but they are mixed up with so many other statements which have no foundation whatever in truth, that they seem like the meteors of the morass, a dim light where there are dangers numberless, or like insulated rocks that are no protection to the mariner, as they are covered by every wave that rushes near them in the storm. The whole of his cosmogony, and of his astronomical revelations, is erroneous; and there are statements in nearly every deliverance attributed to him upon these subjects which prove that his mind was beclouded by like ignorances with other men; consequently, he cannot be, as he is designated by his disciples, "a sure guide to the city of peace."




As all the systems of worlds are homogeneous, so are the orders of being by whom they are inhabited; the various distinctions that are now presented being only of temporary duration. With the exception of those beings who have entered into one of the four paths leading to nirwana, there may be an interchange of condition between the highest and lowest. He who is now the most degraded of the demons, may one day rule the highest of the heavens; he who is at present seated upon the most honourable of the celestial thrones may one day writhe amidst the agonies of a place of torment; and the worm that we crush under our feet may, in the course of ages, become a supreme Budha. When any of the four paths are entered, there is the certainty that in a definite period, more or less remote, nirwána will be obtained; and they who have entered into the paths are regarded as the noblest of all the intelligences in the universe. Hence our earth, in the time of a supreme Budha, or when the sacred dharmma is rightly understood and faithfully observed, is the most favoured of all worlds; the priests, or those who observe the precepts, assume a higher rank than any other order of being whatever; and there is an immeasurable distance between even the most exalted of the déwas or brahmas and "the teacher of the three worlds," who is supreme.

Exclusive of the supreme Budhas, the various orders of intelligence include-1. Pasé-Budhas. 2. Rahats. 3. Déwas. 4. Brahmas. 5. Gandhárwas. 6. Garundas. 7. Nágas. 8. Yakás. 9. Khumbandas. 10. Asúrs. 11. Rakshas.

13. The inhabitants of the

12. Prétas, and other monsters. Narakas: in addition to the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the fish of the waters, and beings engendered from filth and excrement. The three superior classes are déwas, brahmas, and men. Among men appear sidhas, who can perform wonders by the aid of herbs and other medicinal substances and preparations; widyadharas, who can exercise the same powers by the aid of mantras, or charms; and rishis, who can exercise the same powers through the practice of certain rites and austerities. These orders are divided into five gati, or conditions:-1. Déwa, divine. 2. Manusya, human. 3. Préta, monstrous. 4. Tirisan, brute. 5. Niraya, infernal.

I. The Pasé-Budhas are sages of wondrous power, who never appear at the same time as a supreme Budha; yet in the kalpa in which there is no supreme Budha there is no Pasé-Budha (1). They attain to their high state of privilege by their own unaided powers. Their knowledge is limited; but they never fall into any error that would involve the transgression of the precepts. In the five gradations of being enumerated by Nágaséna, the Pasé-Budhas are placed between the rahat and the supreme Budha. Their relative dignity may be learnt from the announcement, that when alms were given to them it produces greater merit by a hundred times than when given to the rabats; and that when given to the supreme Budhas it produces greater merit by sixteen times sixteen than when given to them. The supreme Budhas reveal the paths leading to nirwana to all beings; but the Pasé-Budhas can only obtain nirwána for themselves. They cannot release any other being from the miseries of successive existence. They cannot preach the perfect bana, even as the dumb man, though he may have seen a remarkable dream, cannot explain it to others; or as

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