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person supposed to make the impression is evident, from the manner in which it is spelt by the Siamese, Shra Baat1: for among the Battas, in the Indian archipelago, one of the gods in their second triad is called Seri Pada 2, which seems to be a connecting link between Pater and Buddha; and if that personage was indeed Phut, as I have endeavoured to show, it is very remarkable that his name is to this day preserved in our English word foot. This Seri Pada was said to be a great navigator, an invariable attribute of the Noachida; and if we would learn the origin and meaning of the superstition, we must consult the Kamschatdales, who have a tradition of a universal deluge, and to this day point out the spot on the summit of a lofty mountain, where Kutka, who is also their supreme deity, is said to have stepped out of a boat, and peopled the world with human beings. This is the true solution of a mystery which has never been satisfactorily explained. It may easily be imagined that the spot on which, after a twelvemonths' imprisonment in the ark, its captives first regained their liberty, and the patriarch impressed the mark of his foot upon the yet slimy soil, that spot must have long continued to raise emotions in the breasts of those who remembered the event, which can
In a paper read before the Royal Asiatic Society by Captain Low.
2 Sir Stamford Raffle Memoirs, p. 435.
3 Second Voyage round the World by Sir O. von Kotzebue,
be scarcely understood by persons who have not floated like them upon a shoreless ocean, amidst the wrecks of a ruined world. Near that spot would the altar be raised which Noah builded unto the Lord, and which was afterwards placed among the constellations; and often would his sons bring their children to that spot to imprint upon their minds an awful recollection of the tremendous catastrophe, to warn them of the consequences of sin, and to offer with them a sacrifice of thanksgiving for their deliverance from the horrors of that period. The footmarks retained by the hardened clay would be thus associated with ideas of solemnity and religion, and attachment to a place accustomed to be regarded with reverence would soon produce imitations of them in situations where some resemblance was observed to the diluvian mount. In process of time the stones on which the imitations were carved, being considered sacred, would be conveyed to other places less difficult of access', but chiefly to the banks of rivers, partly because they also were sacred memorials, and partly because the religio loci would have been imperfect
1 "At Allahabad," say the missionaries Tyerman and Bennett, we were introduced into a subterranean temple dedicated to an idol, which we cannot name." It will be seen in the progress of this work, that they had no real occasion to be so much shocked by the idol, since, in spite of the Brahmins and their coarse metaphysics, it was only an emblem of the diluvian mount. "In a large chamber, 120 feet by 60, multitudes of images were discoverable in recesses of the walls and on the floor; but at length the sibyl brought us to a place where there was nothing to be seen, but the forms of two human feet cut upon a flat stone.' - Journal of Voyages in South Sea, ii. 327.
without a supply of water; for so singularly is the original association of ideas preserved, even to the present day, that "the Shra Baat, worshipped by the Siamese, is generally covered with water, which the devotee sprinkles over his body to wash away the stain of sin. On each of the toes, moreover, is a double figure of the lotus', the emblem of the ark; hence in situations where there was no water naturally, tanks and reservoirs were made to furnish it thus Beernagurgh, an ancient city, and therefore probably of a date anterior to the refinements of the Brahmins, has in it "300 idolatrous temples, each of which has a reservoir of water"; " and on the same mountain of Ceylon, where the print of the sacred foot was to be seen, there is an extensive miry cavity, called Bhoput tank. Here again the word Put, the foot of Bho, or Fo, or Buddha, approaches very nearly in form and sound to the biblical Phut. This reservoir was also called the tank of Rabana; but Rabana is not in strictness a proper name; for it means a tyrant. It is therefore a term of reproach, intended to degrade, and perhaps conceal, the real object of some proscribed worship; and who that object was it will not be difficult to discover from his history. The hero of the Ramayana is said in that poem to have constructed a bridge across the strait between
1 Captain Low's paper, R. A. Society.
2 Ayeen Akbery, ii. 65.
- As. Res. v. 39.
3 It is written Sreepud as well as Sreepad. 4 Rabana, or Ravana, hence perhaps the Raven; the b and v being
pronounced indifferently in various part of India.
As. Res. vol. v.
the southern point of the Indian continent and Ceylon; and having defeated Rabana in a trial of strength, like Ulysses among the suitors of Penelope, by bending the bow Danush, to have effected the rescue of the captive Sita. Now the fabled contests of pagan gods are often the real contests of rival sects: the votaries of Brahma record with triumph their victory over the more ancient deity of Ceylon, the god of the insular conical hill, of the rock basin, and the Sreepadum; for previous to this conflict he was all-powerful, and Brahma was no better than his herald. To despoil him of his insular honours Rama is represented to have connected the island with the mainland; for Ceylon ', like other islands, was considered holy; and when the Mahommedans established themselves there, they fell in with that ancient superstition by determining that it was the paradise of Genesis, and that the divine foot was Adam's: wherefore the mountain is still called Adam's Peak; and an inscription that no one can decipher is supposed to be his epitaph. But "it seems to me," says the author of Roggewein's voyages 2, "that it regards Noah or some of his family, who established their dominion in this island, and who for that reason, by a figure natural enough in any oriental language, might be styled the father of mankind.” natives, according to Marco Polo, refer it to the
1 It is called by the natives Lamca, or the Holy Island. — Harris's Voyages, ii. 677.
2 Harris's Voyages, i. 289.
first introduction of idolatry into that country, which brings us back again to Hind or Buddha. The name they gave him was Sogomon Barchan. ' Whatever may be the meaning of the first of these words, the latter is evidently his title as Khan, Commander, or Priest, of the baris or ship. Sita3, the prize of victory, was plainly the sacred character of the diluvian or Boudhist worship transferred to the religion of Brahma by the success of his champions; for, being an incarnation of Lakshmi, she was produced by the agitation of the ocean round the mountain Mandara, and the lotus, the emblem of the ark, was her habitation, and she is said to have been adored by the whole universe.3 One of her names is Sri; another is Padma, which is sometimes pronounced in the vulgar dialects Padam or Patam. Thus by securing Lita, Rama subjected to his power the Sree Padum itself.
1 Harris's Voyages, i. 622.
2 From Sidh, Saint, in Hindoostanee.