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that case indicate a general freedom from the interference of all such opposing evil influences.

If some notion of this kind was idealised in the upright Cross it may explain the adoption of it as a suitable emblem for the Gods, and as a symbol of life—that is, of continued existence, and not of generation, or the calling of new life into being the cessation of life being due only to evil magic or the influence of evil powers, the action of which would be prevented by it, through its being a powerful auspicious emblem.

The early Indian Aryans were acquainted with the same metaphor as illustrating a successful overcoming of obstacles, whether physical, or mental, or spiritual. In the Rig Veda, Book i, hymn 99, 1 (Translation by Griffiths), the hymn runs : May Agni carry us through all our troubles, through grief as in a boat across a river.' This takes the idea back to the third millennium B.C.

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In Book ix, hymn 73, 1, it is stated,' that Asura has formed, to seize, three lofty heights. The ships of truth have borne the pious man across.'

The author of one of the hymns of the Atharva Veda (Bloomfield's Translation, viii, 2, 9; p. 56) seems to have had the Cross in the square or circle in his mind when he composed the verse" The missile of the Gods shall pass thee by. I pass thee across the mist (of death); from death I have rescued thee. Removing far the flesh-devouring Agni, a barrier do I set around thee that thou mayest live." That is, as the mystical Cross is protected by its enclosing line, so shall the patient's life be preserved by the barrier against evil influences raised by the magical virtues of the incantation. In this case one bar of the Cross might typify the misty road' of death (v. 10), and the other the safe passage across it.

Sir F. Max Müller said of Buddhist teaching that the very definition of virtue was that it helped man to cross over to the other shore.' 1

1 Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. i, p. 248.

If such metaphors as these were to be rendered ideographically in the simplest manner by a mystical diagram, the design would almost necessarily adopt the form of either one or two straight lines crossed by another line which would indicate the track taken by the person.

In Cheiromancy, an Eastern art, we find an actual example of a journey represented by a single line. A single line round the base of the thumb typifies the owner's journey through life, and breaks in it or lines across it indicate obstacles or dangers encountered or overcome on the way.



The theory regarding the action of magic which is adhered to by Sinhalese magicians, although far from agreeing with the opinions of many European authorities of the present day, appears to correctly preserve the primitive ideas on the subject, if we may judge by the notions current in Early Egypt,1 Western Africa, Australia, and China. According to it, injurious magic does not perform, and cannot possibly in any way perform the required acts of itself, but is merely the authorisation, or some say-as in Egypt and China,®— the command, issued to malevolent spirits to intervene in the manner desired by the magician. The position is defined in terms which nearly coincide with the Sinhalese ideas, in one of Asvaghosha's sermons as translated in Beal's Buddhist Literature in China, p. IIO:


Because of lust and anger and ignorance
These wicked charms [spells] are used;
And when these harmful words are woven,
Then the evil spirits catch the words

And with them hurt the world,

And do deeds of mischief everywhere.'

It is evident that, conversely, beneficial magic must act

1 Dr. Budge. Egyptian Magic.

2 Dr. Nassau. Fetishism in West Africa; Baudin. Fetichism and Fetich Worshippers.

3 Dr. Howitt. The Native Tribes of South-east Australia. Spencer

and Gillen. The Native Tribes of Central Australia.

4 Dr. de Groot. The Religious System of China.

5 Dr. Budge. Egyptian Magic, p. 4.

6 Dr. de Groot, op. cit. Vol. v, p. 917.

in a similar manner, through its influence over benevolent spirits, in addition to its own inherent protective action in some cases, owing to its power of repelling evil spirits.1 Thus the Cross, being continually a powerful beneficial and protective symbol, becomes the permanent dwelling of a favourable spirit, exactly like the fetish amulets of Africa. Its Egyptian and Accadian meaning 'to dwell' may possibly have some connection with this belief.

Like the later magical circle, the enclosing line round the Cross would be thought to guard it from the intrusion of unfavourable spirits, who might neutralise its beneficial qualities. Both benevolent and malevolent spirits have a well-marked partiality for Crosses, and cross-roads are universally supposed to be favourite spirit-haunts. In West Africa I learnt from the Jõlas of the Gambia Valley that the treatment for some diseases is only effective when the medicine is prepared and applied in the middle of a road-crossing.

In India, cross-roads are included with the temples of the Gods as auspicious objects, and the Rig Veda (ii, 5, 6) states that Agni stands 'on sure ground where paths are parted.' Buddha specially pointed out that such places are suitable sites for the erection of dagabas. Of course the relics deposited in them would there receive the protection of favourable spirits. This will explain why it was usual to make four (or at any rate three) entrances to the enclosures in which the early dagabas were erected; by their construction the edifices became situated at cross-roads. To what extent the guardian spirits are thought to defend such structures may be judged by the general belief in Ceylon that any persons who break into one unlawfully will certainly die within a year. Several instances of such deaths have been related to me. Notwithstanding the opinions which several learned authors have expressed on the subject, I am unable to feel satisfied

1 As when their names, or, as in the Kalevala, their origins, are

mentioned. Compare also Rig Veda, i, 156, v. 2, 3.

2 S.B.E., Vol. ii, The Sacred Laws of the Aryas, p. 223.

3 S.B.E., Vol. xi, Buddhist Suttas (Davids), pp. 93 and 125. See also The Jataka, No. 418, Vol. iii, p. 260.

that among the earliest ideas regarding the upright cross, and especially the upright cross in the square, there was any notion that it indicated generation, or the production of the sacred fire, or more than one attribute of even the sun.

As regards the first of these, the reason of the delineation of the Cross or Swastika 2 on female figures is probably because of its inherent protective powers, the need of which is explained by Crawley in The Mystic Rose.'

I am not aware of any instance in which the Cross or Swāstika is used in fire-making excepting the cross-friction or sawing method previously described, which, as I have already stated, does not appear to have been the mode adopted for obtaining the sacred fire of the Euphrates valley and is not used for that of Hinduism. That the Cross had no special primitive connection with this idea is perhaps shown by its being employed in Accadian in expressing the words 'earth, rain, white.' In the Arani which is used for producing the holy fire (Agni) of India, a single piece of wood, the Adharārani, is laid on the ground, and the drill, the Uttararani or Pramantha is held vertically on it, and turned by a string the two ends of which are pulled alternately by another officiator. The point of the drill rests in a hole' a small shallow round cavity' in the lower piece. That such was the early form of the instrument is shown by the hymn 29 of Book iii of the Rig Veda, which says:

Here is the gear for friction, here tinder made ready for the spark. Bring thou the Matron [the lower stick]; we will rub Agni in ancient fashion forth.

In the two fire-sticks Jātavedas [Agni] lieth. . . .

Lay this with care on that which lies extended.

With regard to its being a symbol of the sun, it has not this signification in Accadian, or Assyrian, or Egyptian writing.

1 Schliemann. Troy, p. 35. Cunningham. The Stupa of Bharhut, Plates of statues in relief.

2 Wilson. The Swastika, p. 829.

3 Crookes, The Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India, Vol. ii, p. 194.

Against it may also be cited the shapes of several early forms of Swastika from Troy, such as

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which are opposed to the identification of the Swastika as the wheel of the sun. In Chaldea and Assyria, in most instances the sun is symbolised as a six or eight-rayed star or wheel, which equally stands for stars and several other gods; and the upright cross often forms no portion of the diagram. If it actually represented the sun it could not be omitted from such designs in the cases where the Sun-God is indicated.

The Assyrian design with only four arms appears to be an incomplete picture of the compound type that had eight In the examples rays, four of which have been omitted.

of the eight-rayed symbol which typify the sun, and consist of two crosses, a diagonal and an upright one, the diagonal cross certainly represents the vivifying and brilliant lightgiving rays, while the upright one may indicate another attribute of the Sun-God, that is, his protective quality. If it represented the God himself there could be no need to surround it by a circle, as is usually done when there are only four arms. When this portion of the design was alone pourtrayed the intention probably was to emphasise chiefly the guarding power of this deity, referring to which Lenormant remarked, according to the magical hymns, the diurnal sun, shining in the highest regions of the heavens and dissipating the darkness, was one of the most active protecting gods.' In numerous prayers in the magical texts supplications are addressed to him for his protection. As a matter of fact, the Accadian as well as the Egyptian emblem of the sun was not a cross but, as one would naturally expect, a circle, the sun's disk, which when depicted by means of wedges became a lozenge.


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1 Maspero. The Dawn of Civilization, p. 657. King and Hall. Egypt and Western Asia, p. 256. The light rays are shown unmistakably in these illustrations.

2 Chaldean Magic, p. 178.

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