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PUBLISHED) BY J. MASOV,14, ('ITY ROAD,
66, PATERVOSTER ROWE
HINDOO TEMPLE AT GORUCKHNATH.
(With an Engraving.) By the kindness of a friend, lately returned from India, (say the Editors of the Missionary Register,) we have been enabled to give, m a drawing made on the spot, an engraving of a celebrated Hindoo temple at Goruckhnath, about two miles from Goruckhpore. This temple is situated in the midst of a beautiful and extensive forest of mango-trees; and is a place of much celebrity among the Hindoos, who resort to it, not only from the surrounding districts, but even from the remote provinces of India. The tree on the left is the celebrated banian tree, with its fibres shooting toward the ground.
A chief priest, called a Mohunt, and a number of devotees, are connected with this temple ; and are maintained by a large revenue derived from lands and other
The devotees wander over the country, dressed in garments of a salmon-colour, for the double purpose of extending the tenets peculiar to this sect of Hindoos, and of collecting the contributions of the people in support of the temple and its worship.
The peculiar feature of this superstition is, that there is no visible representation of the supposed deity: his influence, it is imagined, presides ; while his seat, which has no idol figure on it, is an object of idolatrous reve.
Once a week, on a fixed day, the chief priest holds a kind of religious levee in the verandah of the temple. On
these occasions several handsome carpets are spread near the central door, on which is placed a large cylindrical pillow. Upon this the Mohunt reclines, clothed in a variegated silk dress. A large concourse of disciples attend; each of whom, in regular order, ascends the steps of the verandah, and advances toward the entrance: havo ing deposited his offering on the shrine, he retires, rings a bell hung up for the purpose immediately above the door, makes his obeisance to the chief priest, and then mingles with the crowd assembled in the quadrangle, in front. Rajahs, and other persons of rank or influence, usually occupy a post of honour near the Mohunt, after they ha a done homage at the shrine; while ordinary worshippers retire, satisfied with a slight inclination of the hand, or a condescending recognition from the priest.
From Goruckhpore, the Rev. Michael Wilkinson, of the Church Missionary Society, visits Goruckhnath, at those seasons when the greatest number of Heathen resort to it, distributing the Seriptures and religious tracts in considerable numbers, and sometimes holding conversation with the people. Of one of these visits he thus writes :
“ On entering the place, I made toward the temple, where a number of people were sitting. On approaching near, I observed a person of consequence, on the righthand of the door, reclining on a temporary sofa formed by a mattress spread on the open terrace, and covered over with a loosely-spread rich silk-worked counterpane: he was attired in silk of various colours, sewed together in the manner of patch-work: his head was ornamented by a turban gracefully wound round, and a jet-black beard and mustachios graced his face. On his left, a handsomelooking young man was sitting, dressed in a flowing robe of puce-coloured silk; by whom I was desired not to enter the temple without taking off my shoes. Declining to pay this honour, I withdrew a little backward ; when the person first mentioned (who proved to be the owner of the place, and a descendant of the family by whom it was originally built) looked toward me, and, remaining in his reclining posture, asked, in a very contemptuous manner, whence I came. That I should be so regarded you will think no wonder, when I tell you, that at the same mo.