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to make an attempt to present the ideas expressed in a fashion more calculated to secure attention and, perhaps, at the same time give a truer idea of the whole circumstances under description. How far this attempt has been a success I must leave to the judgment of the reader.
It should be mentioned that when Manu is quoted, it is from the English translation by Sir William Jones—Haughton edition, 1825.
As the contents of the chapters are given so fully it was felt that an alphabetical Index was not necessary. MASULIPATAM,
J. E. P. October 25th, 1895.
THE HINDU AT HOME.
THE HINDU HOME,
(Gruham.) Let him not cease to perform day by day, according to the preceding rules the five great sacraments; and having taken a lawful consort, let him dwell in his house during the second period of his life.- Manu y. 169.
In giving some account of matters connected with the daily home life of the Hindu, it may be well to introduce the subject by a description of the bome itself, and things referring thereto. At the outset it must be borne in mind that in this, as in everything else, the Hindu is guided by rules and regulations prescribed by his religion. There is nothing that has to do with the whole life of a Hindu, and every possible detail thereof, from his cradle to his grave, and even after that, which is not regulated by rules prescribed by his religion. Doubtless many of these directions were originally the outcome of circumstances bearing upon the welfare of the individual or community, but such directions have gradually become absorbed by the all-embracing religious administration, and at length appear as sections of a divine code that must be observed, on pain of severe physical and spiritual penalties.
I do not intend to say anything here of the homes of the modern Europeanized Hindu; for, in the first place, such are comparatively very few in number, and are chiefly confined to the large towns and cities; and on the other hand, they do not represent the ordinary habits and customs of the people. The orthodox Hindu looks with dislike upon the many departures from custom that are beginning to manifest themselves, particularly in the Presidency cities, and other seats of light and learning; and the hybrid civilization we see presenting itself is certainly not so interesting a study as that of the habits and customs which, though hoary with antiquity, are still so binding upon the masses and are so universally observed, all around us, at the present day.
The subject of Hindu homes is, of course, a very wide one, and may include many varieties, from the miserable hut of the lowest outcaste up to the lordly dwelling of the Māharājah. The extreme poverty of the very lowest classes, the complete absence of all ideas of comfort, and the simple requirements of a tropical climate, together serve to perpetuate the primitive character, and the miserable squalor of the ordinary labourer's hut. A few jungle sticks and the leaves of any of the varieties of the palm, cr a few bundles of grass or reeds, suffice to make a covering into which the poor man and his family can creep on cold nights, or during the heavy rains; but such a place can scarcely be called a home. This class of people live mostly out of doors, both night and day; and the hut is simply a shelter from inclement weather, and a place for the safe custody of the few simple pots, and cooking utensils that form the family belongings. Of course there are infinite gradations from this primitive dwelling to the palaces of the great chiefs and kings, but, as far as I have been able to judge, after a long and varied experience, there is one thing in common about them all; from an Englishman's point of view, there seems to be an absence of that comfort, that indescribable something which is the charm of an English home, and which us to use the word as
a synonym for the eternal happiness beyond. This may be only one's insular prejudice and the association of ideas; for, after all, comfort and happiness are but comparative terms; still this is how it has always struck me, from my own point of view. Without, however, attempting a description of either end of this long catalogue, we will take an ordinary house of the fairly well-todo Hindu, and by giving a more or less detailed representation of that, lead the reader to form a judgment as to the whole.
Before describing the house itself, it will be best to mention some of the regulations connected with the building of it-regulations as to its site, and materials to be used in its construction, and the time for commencing the work. All these things are minutely laid down in Hindu books of greater or less antiquity. There is one book called Nirnayasindhu (the ocean of ritual), which is a kind of encyclopædia of all Hindu customs; and a smaller work called Kālāmrutam (the nectar of time), which contains the sixteen rites or regulations concerning the sixteen chief events in a man's life, from his birth to his death. From these two books a smaller one has been compiled called Vastu Shâstram (the science of domestic architecture), which treats of all matters connected with buildings, especially private dwellings, and though many of the directions are not now generally complied with, most of those that are here described are still followed out, by the ordinary orthodox Hindu. There are regular professional persons called Vastu Shastris (doctors of building), generally of the goldsmith caste, whose business it is, for a consideration, of course, to give all the correct measurements and directions, in due accordance with ritual, to those about to erect new dwellings. I heard some time ago of a celebrated member of this profession, and sent for him, as I wished to see his books, and to generally make his acquaintance. At first the old gentleman declined to come, as he feared Europeans; he thought he might be beaten, or other. wise ill-treated! After some time, however, upon being assured that he would meet with nothing but kind treatment, he consented to come. I was pleased to see my new friend, but I did not get much out of him, as he had not brought his books. They were at his village, some ten miles away ; but be promised to get them, and to tell me about his profession. He was a most respectable looking old man, and being of the goldsmith caste, he wore the thread of the dvijn or twice born. He did not, however, keep bis appointment to come by a certain day, the reason being that he was hastily summoned to a village some