Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet
by William Henry Knight
Part 5 out of 5
have endeavoured to subpoena a credible witness to speak for herself;
and the right of private judgment being thus reserved to the reader,
Gulabie will no doubt be charitably dealt with, and will find her
proper position somewhere within the limits of a "hideous witch"
and a "celestial being."
 -- This place is mentioned in the "Tuzuk Jehangeery," or "Precepts
of Jehangeer," in a way which shows that the Conqueror of the World
had not included himself among his victories.
The name appears on a Persian inscription as Wurnagh, but is called
by the natives Vernagh, and is mentioned by Jehangeer in his journal
as Tirnagh: --
"The source of the river Bhet (Jhelum)[*] lies in a fountain in Cashmeer,
named Tirnagh, which, in the language, of Hindostan, signifies a
snake -- probably some large snake had been seen there. During the
lifetime of my father (Akbar) I went twice to this fountain, which
is about twenty kos from the city of Cashmere. Its form is octagonal,
and the sides of it are about twenty yards in length.
"I accompanied my father to this spot during the season of flowers. In
some places the beds of saffron-flowers extend to a kos. Their
appearance is best at a distance, and when they are plucked they
emit a strong smell. My attendants were all seized with a headache,
and though I was myself at the time intoxicated with liquor, I felt
also my head affected. I inquired of the brutal Cashmeerians who were
employed in plucking them, what was their condition, and they replied
that they never had a headache in their lifetime."
[*] -- The Jhelum is called in Cashmere, Behat -- a contraction of the
Sanscrit VEDASTA, which the Greeks slightly altered to Hydaspes.
 -- The title of Noor-ul-deen is also mentioned by Jehangeer in
his Journal from Lahore to Cabul, and its origin is thus accounted
for in his own words:
"Now that I had become a king, it occurred to me that I ought to change
my name, which was liable to be confounded with that of the Caesars,
"The Secret Inspirer of thoughts suggested to me that, as the business
of kings is the conquest of the world, I ought to assume the name of
Jehangeer, or Conqueror of the World; and that as my accession to the
throne had taken place, about sunrise, I ought therefore to take the
title of Noor-ul-deen, or the Light of Religion. I had heard during
the time of my youth from several learned Hindoos, that after the
expiration of the reign of Akbar, the throne would be filled by a
kin, named Noor-ul-deen. This circumstance made an impression on me,
and I therefore assumed the name and title of Jehangeer Badshah."
 -- These ruins appear to be in the greatest dilapidation of any
in the valley. The date of their erection is believed to be A.D. 852.
 -- See Appendix A.
 -- VIDE Appendix A.
 -- These monuments would appear to be of the kind designated
Chod-tens and Dung-tens, which have been thus described: -- "In the
monuments which are dedicated to the celestial Buddha, the invisible
being who pervades all space, no deposit was made; but the Divine
Spirit, who was light, was supposed to occupy the interim. Such are
the numerous Chod-tens in Tibet dedicated to the celestial Buddha,
in contradistinction to the Dung-tens, which are built in honour of
the mortal Buddhas, and which ought to contain some portion of their
relies, real or supposed. The first means an offering to the Deity,
the latter a bone or relic receptacle. In the Sanscrit these are
termed Chaitya and Dagoba." -- Cunningham.
 -- This appears to have been one of the Dagobas or bone-holders,
which are erected either over the corse of a Lama or the ashes of some
person of consequence. "The tribute of respect is paid in Tibet to
the manes of the dead in various ways. It is the custom to preserve
entire the mortal remains of the sovereign Lamas only. As soon as
life has left the body of a Lama, it is placed upright, sitting
in an attitude of devotion, his legs being folded before him, with
the instep resting on each thigh, and the sides of the feet turned
upwards. The right hand is rested with its back upon the thigh, with
the thumb bent across the palm. The left arm is bent and held close
to the body, the hand being open and the thumb touching the point of
the shoulder. This is the attitude of abstracted meditation.
"The bodies of inferior Lamas are usually burnt, and their ashes
preserved with the greatest care, and the monuments in which they
are contained are ever after looked upon as sacred, and visited with
religious awe." -- Turner.
 -- jo khula kariga so kui nahin kariga
 -- "Tibet may be considered the head-quarters of Buddhism in
the present age, and immense volumes are still to be found in that
country (faithful translations of the Sanskrit text), which refer to
the manners, customs, opinions, knowledge, ignorance, superstition,
hopes and fears of a great part of Asia, especially of India in former
ages." -- Csoma de Koros, PREFACE TO TIBETAN GRAMMAR.
 -- These stones would appear to be peculiar to Thibet, although
the sentence inscribed upon them has been occasionally discovered
elsewhere. Mention of it is thus made in the Journal of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal: -- "On the main road from the Valley of Nipal to
Tibet stands a diminutive stone, 'Chaitya.' Upon this is inscribed
a variety of texts from the Buddha Scriptures, and amongst others
the celebrated Mantra, or charmed sentence of Tibet. The system of
letters called Lantza in Tibet, and there considered foreign and
Indian, though nowhere extant in the Plains of India, is the common
vehicle of Sanscrit language among the Buddhists of Nipal Proper,
by whom it is denominated Ranja, in Devanagri ra.mjaa
"Ranja, therefore, and not, according to a barbarian metamorphosis,
Lantza, it should be called by us, and by way of further and clearer
distinction, the Nipalese variety of Devanagri. Obviously deducible
as this form is from the Indian standard, it is interesting to observe
it in practical collocation with the ordinary Thibetan form, and when
it is considered that Lantza or Ranja is the common extant vehicle
of those original Sanscrit works of which the Thibetan books are
translations, the interest of an inscription traced on one slab in
both characters cannot but be allowed to be considerable. The habit
of promulgation of the doctrines of their faith by inscriptions
patent on the face of religious edifices, stones, &c., is peculiar
to the Buddhists of Thibet. The Mantra is also quite unknown to the
Buddhists of Ceylon and the Eastern peninsula, and forms the peculiar
feature of Thibetan Buddhism."
 -- This was the only explanation of the mounds of inscribed stones
which I was able to obtain from a native source; and some foundation
for the story may be traced in the legend -- which will be found in
Appendix B -- upon which M. Klaproth has founded the only explanation
of the mystic inscription, which I have been as yet able to discover.
By the Lamas themselves I never heard these mounds alluded to
otherwise than by the words "Mani panee." Cunningham, however,
who had ample opportunity of ascertaining their meaning and origin,
terms them "Manis" (in another form of spelling, "Munees"), and thus
describes them: -- "The Mani -- a word naturalized from the Sanscrit
-- is a stone dyke, from four to five feet high, and from six to
twelve in breadth; length from ten or twenty feet to half a mile The
surface of the Mani is always covered with inscribed slabs; these
are votive offerings from all classes of people for the attainment
of some particular object. Does a childless man wish for a son, or a
merchant about to travel hope for a safe return; each goes to a Lama
and purchases a slate, which he deposits carefully on the village
'Mani,' and returns to his home in full confidence that his prayers
will be heard."
 -- This was in all probability intended to represent the form
of the lotus. VIDE Appendix B.
 -- Of this custom Turner remarks, alluding to Thibet Proper: --
"Here we find a practice at once different from the modes of Europe,
and opposite to those of Asia. That of one female associating her fate
and fortune with all the brothers of a family, without any restriction
of age or numbers. The choice of a wife is the privilege of the elder
brother; and singular as it may seem, a Thibetan wife is as jealous
of her connubial rites as ever the despot of an Indian Zenana is of
the favours of his imprisoned fair."
 -- "As the inscription of course begins at opposite ends on each
side, the Thibetans are careful in passing that they do not trace
the words backwards." -- Turner.
 -- This is Mount "Everest," which has been called, the King
of the South. The King of the North, "Nunga Purbut," is 26,629 feet
above the level of the sea.
 -- VIDE illustration, Hemis Monastery.
 -- The only information I here again received was "Um mani
panee!" The wheel consisted of a roll of the thinnest paper, six
inches in diameter, and five and a half in width, closely printed
throughout with the eternally recurring words, which all appeared so
ready to pronounce and none seemed able to explain. The roll was sixty
yards long, and was composed of a succession of strips, one foot nine
inches in length, and all joined together. The whole was inclosed in
a coarse canvas cover, open at both ends, and marked with what was no
doubt the official seal of the particular society for the diffusion of
ignorance at Lassa, from which it had originally emanated. Each of the
strips contained the mystic sentence, one hundred and seventy times,
so that I was thus at once put into possession of all the valuable
intelligence to be derived from "Um mani panee," repeated between
seventeen and eighteen thousand times. VIDE Appendix B.
 -- The origin of this divinity is probably derived from the
legend of Khoutoukhtou, which will be found in Appendix B.
 -- The most remarkable of these were "Ser" and "Mer," otherwise
called "Nanoo" and "Kanoo;" respectively 23,407 and 23,264 feet above
the level of the sea.
 -- The true version of the story appears to be that Gulab Singh
had quarrelled with the Rajah of Cashmere, his rightful master, and
entered into the service of the Rajah of Kushtwar. After about three
years, hearing that Runjeet Singh was preparing an expedition against
Cashmere, he went to him and offered his services. Being accepted,
he was successful against his old enemy, and took possession of
the country for Runjeet Singh; after which he wrote to the Rajah
of Kushtwar, falsely telling him that the Maharajah was going to
send a force against him also. The Rajah and his people prepared
for resistance, and Gulab Singh then forged a paper containing an
invitation from the chief men in the army of Kushtwar to the Maharajah,
encouraging him to come forward and invade the country.
This paper Gulab then forwarded to the Rajah himself, with a note,
in which he told him that it was folly to talk of resistance when
the chief men of his country were opposed to him. The Rajah, who had
been in possession of Kushtwar for twenty-seven years, was completely
deceived, and repaired, by invitation, with only a few followers to
Gulab's camp. Here he was kept for three months upon an allowance of
10L. a-day, which was afterwards reduced to 10S., and Gulab Singh in
the meantime took possession of Kushtwar without opposition.
 -- The value which a Kashmirian sets upon his Kangri may be
known by the following distich: --
"Oh Kangri! Oh Kangri!
You are the gift of Houris and Fairies;
When I take you under my arm
You drive away fear from my heart."
 -- "Won't the old bearers get something, your honour?"
 -- According to M. Voysey, in his Asiatic Researches, "A single
flower in the screen contains a hundred stones, each cut to the
exact shape necessary, and highly polished; and, although everything
is finished like an ornament for a drawing-room chimney-piece, the
general effect produced is rather solemn and impressive than gaudy.
"In the minute beauties of execution, the flowers are by no means equal
to those on tables and other small works in Pietra dura at Florence. It
is the taste displayed in outline and application of this ornament,
combined with the lightness and simplicity of the building, which gives
it an advantage so prodigious over the gloomy portals of the chapel of
the Medici. The graceful flow, the harmonious colours, combined with
the mild lustre of the marble on which the ornamentation is displayed,
form the peculiar charm of the building, and distinguish it from any
other in the world. The materials are Lapis Lazuli, Jasper, Heliotrope
or blood stone, Chalcedony, and other agates, Cornelian, Jade, &c."
 -- A coin of the value of thirty-two shillings.
 -- Hardy's "Eastern Monachisms."
 -- Csoma de Koros.
 -- VIDE page 202.
 -- Muir's "Life of Mahomet."
 -- M. Dietrici.
 -- Padma pani, fils celeste du Bouddha divin du monde actuel,
est, dans cette qualite, entre en fonction depuis la mort du Bouddha
terrestre Sakya mouni, comme son remplacant, charge d'etre apres
lui le protecteur constant, le gardien et le propagateur de la foi
bouddhique renouvelee par Sakya. C'est pour cette raison qu'il ne
se borne pas a une apparition unique comme les Bouddhas, mais qu'il
se soumet presque sans interruption a une serie de naissances qui
dureront jusqu'a l'avenement de Maitreya, le futur Bouddha.
On croit aussi qu'il est incarne dans la personne du "Dalai Lama,"
et qu'il paraitra en qualite de Bouddha, le millieme de la periode
actuelle du monde.
Le Tibet est sa terra de predilection; il est le pere de ses habitants,
et la formule celebre: Om mani padme hom, est un de ses bienfaits. --
RELATION DES ROYAUMES BOUDDHIQUES, par Chy Fa Hian, traduit par
 -- Le mot Khoubilkhan, en Mongol, designe l'incarnation d'une
 -- Khoutoukhtou, en Mongol, signifie "UN SAINT MAITRE."
 -- Le plus petit "Kalpa" est de seize millions huit cent mille
ans, et le grand "Kalpa" est d'un milliard trois cents quarante-quatre
 -- Je ne l'ai encore trouvee cette phrase dans aucun ouvrage
chinois ou japonais, et notre savant collegue M. Bournouf, m'a dit
aussi qu'il ne l'a jamais rencontree dans les livres palis, birmans
 -- um maani padmi
 -- Amongst these were sheets of gilt leather, stamped with the
black eagle of the Russian armorial; talents of gold and silver, bags
of genuine musk, narrow cloths of woollen the manufacture of Thibet,
and silks of China.
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