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SCRIPTURE-WHEEL.

(the priest Fu). His sons, Fu Sho and Fu Ken (Fu of the right and

earthen path which the priests and people passed on their daily round outside the circle of great stones. Likewise we may see the followers of Buddha nowadays, whether in Thibet, Nepaul, Burmah, Japan, or Ceylon, heaping up merit by performing the sunwise turn around innumerable dagobas or relic-shrines, or other holy places, including the crater on the summit of Fuji-yama, the holy mountain of Japan. (See page 740.)

But by far the most singular instances on record are those in which these turns are mentioned in sacred writ—not as idle superstitions adopted by the Jews from their heathen neighbors (we are again and again told how they worshiped the sun and moon and all the host of heaven), but as having been performed by divine command. Ac

cording to all laws of analogy, we may (FAC-SIMILE OF AN OLD JAPANESE infer that the course taken by Joshua in WOOD-CUT.)

the procession around the walls of Jericho This wheel was invented about the year a. D. 500 by Fu Daishi

was widdershins (that is, keeping his leftleft), stand on either side of him. It contained Buddhist manuscripts.

hand toward the city)—the direction folwas usual to carry the bier thrice around the lowed when invoking a curse. To this day cross or chapel, a custom which must have the Jews of many lands make the lucky turn been continued without a break from the deisil at various ceremonies—as when they old pagan days. For in the life of St. march seven times around their newly cofColumba it is recorded that, when he took fined dead, or when, at the marriage cerepossession of the Holy Isle of the Druids, mony, the bride first makes three tums every funeral procession that came to lay sunwise around the bridegroom, who then its dead in Iona halted at a mound called does likewise around her. Eala, whereon the corpse was laid while the And yet there can be little doubt that mourners marched thrice solemnly around this sunwise turn, like the use of a wheel as the spot.

a symbol of faith, or of a rotating cylinder This is precisely the same ceremony as an act of worship, sprang from the same described at ancient funerals of Gauls, original wide-spread reverence for the sun, Greeks, and Romans, when the mourners the great wheel of light, or, as it is called in first marched in sad procession around the the Edda, the fair and shining wheel, of funeral pile, then, mounting their steeds, again made the same sad circuit three times, amid wails of sorrow. To the influence of

426 old custom is doubtless due the sunwise course insensibly but invariably adopted in ecclesiastical processions even in Christian lands, notably in Russia and Abyssinia, where the officiating priests, bearing the cross and incense, thus march three times around the altar with slow and solemn step at the end of each part of the service, and where, at the conclusion of the marriage service, the young couple must follow the priest thrice sunwise around the altar. The devout Mohammedan completes his meritorious pilgrimage to Mecca by making the circuit of the Caaba seven times sunwise, and it is well known that our own pagan ancestors deemed it a necessary act of worship thus to walk around their holy places.

At COPY OF DRAWING BY A JAPANESE ARTIST, REPRESENTING THE Stonehenge, we can still distinguish the

OF FU DAISHI (FU THE PRIEST).

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SCRIPTURE-WHEEL OR REVOLVING LIBRARY

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PRAYER-WHEELS IN THE TEMPLE AT RARUNG, INDIA, BORDER OF CHINESE TARTARY.

whose ceaseless revolution these were con- it was set on fire and made to roll down, sidered suitable emblems. On the old flaming all the way, and if it reached the Clog almanacs, Yule-tide was marked by Moselle before the flames were extinct, it a rude wheel, and traces still exist in betokened a good harvest and filled the Britain and various parts of Europe of people with gladness. In my own immesports peculiar to the old sun-festivals, and diate neighborhood in Scotland we trace plainly suggestive of the wheeling of time. the same origin, when, at the Spring festival Thus, in the early part of this century (still commonly called Beltane, from Beil(and probably it is so to the present day), teine, which means Baal's fire, a poetic it was the custom of the villagers of Konz, name familiar to every Highlander), the lads on the Moselle, and of Trier, to mark Mid- and lassies still assemble to dance sunwise summer's Eve by carrying a large wheel around great bonfires. In certain diswrapped in straw to the top of a hill, where tricts they bake large circular cakes, which

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must be very smooth and flat at the edge, I bring luck, and are carried home as a safelike the tire of a wheel, so as to guard against all manner of evil. smoothly. These they carry to the top of It is curious to turn from these rude praca grassy hill, whence they are rolled down. tices of the Western World, and to trace One well-known gathering-point is the Ban- suggestions of kindred, if not identical, orinock Brae at Grantown, where, from time gin in the far East. Thus, in the Himimmemorial, the young folk of Strathspey alayas, the hill-men, of whatever creed, have assembled on May morning to roll whether Hindu or Lama, all alike have their bannocks and their hard-boiled eggs. deisul processions around their temples, lead Another town in my immediate neighbor- their focks sunwise around their villages, hood affords a very curious instance of the and dance sunwise around their idols. Not old custom of carrying fire in sunwise pro- only must the prayer-mills be turned in the cession around any given object. At the same course, but, in the case of those vast good town of Burghead, on the Moray terraces built of hewn stone, on which the Firth, the fisher-folk and seamen never fail same holy words are engraved again and to celebrate Yule-night (reckoned accord- again in huge letters, a path is always made ing to old style) by the burning of the on each side, so that travelers may go to “clavie.” They are alike ignorant of the the left as they ascend the valley, and to

SYMBOLIC WHEEL AND CELESTIAL CLOUD WOVEN IN GOLD ON

SILKEN HANGINGS OF BUDDHIST TEMPLES.

meaning of the word and of the origin of the the right as they descend, thus always keepcustom, but they take half an old tar-bar- ing their right hand next the terrace. rel, fill it with dry wood saturated with tar, The same idea, in one form or another, and fasten it to a strong pole. It must not may be observed in many of the ceremobe struck with a liammer or any tool of nies practiced by the Brahmins all over iron, nor may the fire be kindled with a India, but it is more curious to trace it lucifer match, but burning peat must be among such races as the Coles and Santhals used. The clavie, thus prepared, is shoul--aboriginal tribes who sought refuge from dered by one of the men, who, quite re- the Aryan conquerors in the hills of Central gardless of the streams of boiling tar which India, and have there preserved unchanged trickle down his back, starts to make the the customs of their ancestors. Captain circuit of the old town, being, of course, Sherwill, who was an eye-witness of their relieved at intervals by his friends. For great Spring festival, tells us how a stage is merly the clavie was carried around every erected, whereon sit the high chiefs, and ship in the harbor, but this part of the cere- this is, as it were, the axle of a wheel mony is now rarely observed. At the close whence radiate living spokes—in other of the procession, the clavie is thrown down words, long strings of women, twenty to the hill, and a general scramble ensues for thirty in a line, each holding her neighbor the burning brands, which are supposed to, by the waistband. In this way perhaps four

or five hundred women dance, chanting in throughout India, which every midsummer measured time, while the men whirl wildly are drawn forth and perform a solemn in a great outer circle, thus forming a huge circuit, symbolical of the course of the living wheel which rotates on its own axis, heavenly bodies. The great car rolls on slowly turning from left to right—that is, sixteen wheels, each measuring thirteen sunwise. That this dance is in some wise feet in diameter, and we all know how, a symbol of the great wheel of light, may in days now happily gone by, multitudes certainly be inferred from the fact that, at were wont to throw themselves before the beginning of the Santhal rebellion in the car, that they might secure a quick 1855, the hill-tribes declared that their transition to the world of light. Jagangod had appeared to them as a flame náth, I need hardly say, is only another of fire, in form like the wheel of a bullock- name for Vishnu, the All-preserver, who, cart.

in another incarnation, is worshiped as Many of the early races seem to have Krishna, the Sun-god. The temples of reverenced the revolving wheel of light as Vishnu are almost invariably marked by a the most appropriate emblem of the Sun- mystic wheel, generally crowning the spire, god, for we are told that it was turned as an just as the temples of Siva are marked by act of worship in the temples of the Greeks, the trident. It is supposed that the Vishwho derived the custom from the ancient nuites adopted the wheel and other symEgyptians—a fact which fully accounts for bols and customs, such as the establishment our finding the wheel carved on some of of great monasteries, from their Buddhist the gems of the Egyptian gnostics, and predecessors, Buddha having for many centgenerally in connection with other recog- uries been worshiped as the “ King of the nized symbols of the sun. Sometimes a Wheel,”

"“the Divine Wheel,"

.” the Precious winged griffin is shown rolling the wheel of Wheel of Religion.” Mr. Simpson found a eternity, the griffin having the head of a sculpture in the Bilsah Tope, at least eightcock and a coil of serpents forming his tail, een hundred years old, where Buddha is the sacred horse sometimes appearing on represented simply by a wheel, overthe same gem.

shadowed by the mystic chattah, or golden The Scandinavians represent their god umbrella, which is a common emblem of his of time, “the Seater," as holding a wheel in power. He also found the sacred wheel freone hand and flowers in the other. The quently represented in the Jain and Budimage of the Saxon Sun-god has also a dhist sculptures in the caves of Ellora and wheel of fire. The same idea is said to Ajunta, in most cases projecting in front of attach to the many great wheels of the car Buddha's lotus throne. In one instance, of Jagannath and similar idol-cars common i an astronomical table is carved above the

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BASS-RELIEF.

ADORATION OF THE WHEEL." PANEL FROM THE SMALL TOPE AT SANCHI, BHOPAL

CENTRAL INDIA. FIRST-CENTURY BUDDHISTS.

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wheel. In another, it is supported on either ing it sunwise would follow as a matter of side by a stag, supposed to represent the course. fleetness wherewith the sun runs bis daily Having been greatly interested by all we circuit. The ancient Buddhists (already de- saw and heard on this subject while travelgenerated from the purity of their founder's ing in the Himalayas, on the borders of teaching) not only turned the wheel of the Thibet, and having, as I before said, vainly law, but also, when holding their great an- sought for any trace of this strange practice nual festival in honor of the Sacred Truth, in Ceylon, either in the pre-Christian Budplaced it (whether represented by an image dhist cities or in the temples now in use, I of Buddha or by the sacred books seems naturally approached Japan with some curiuncertain) on a huge wheeled car, and osity as to whether I should find any proof dragged it forth in sunwise circuit—a festi- of its having been adopted there. In no val from which that of Jagannath was un- book of travels had I found any mention of doubtedly copied, but which the Buddhists the subject, and when, on first arriving, I in their turn had probably adopted from made inquiries from several gentlemen, the sun and nature worship of the aborigi- and all agreed in telling me that they be nal inhabitants.

lieved nothing of the sort existed, I felt When, therefore, it came to be accounted little hope of being able to trace any further an act of merit merely to turn over the link in that land. pages whereon holy words were inscribed, Of the old sun-reverence there was abunthe adaptation of the already sacred wheel dant proof, Shintoism being the established to this purpose might very naturally present religion of the empire, and turning chiefly itself, and the necessity of invariably turn- | on the worship of the deceased mikados

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