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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/365

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The Binding of a God. 329

man, or by a deceitful man, or by a hypocrite. It is to be done by a Brahman who has mastered the Vedas, and is always engaged in the duties of a householder. But whoever out of partiality appoints a heretic as religious superior at the setting up of gods and like ceremonies, passing over Brahmans well-read in the Veda and moral, in that quarter there will soon be a dishonourable ruin of the family, or the place will be occupied by evil spirits, or it will soon cease to be a place of worship, becoming a source of grief to the founder. But that image which has been erected by Brah- mans will bring prosperity to the family, and will be an object of worship for many a year."

We may go on to the ritual now practised in Bombay as described by Mr. J. M. Campbell.^ The first stage is that a booth is erected and the sacred fire installed. The chief worshipper takes water in his hand and says : " I consecrate this image of Rama (or whatever deity it may be intended to represent) in order that the deity may come and reside in it." The water he throws on the ground. Then the image is bathed, while butter and sesamum, both holy things, are scattered on the sacred fire. The officiant next touches the chest and head of the image and says, " I welcome thee, Visvarupa," or the representative of the general divine pantheon. After making various offerings before the image, he takes a small golden stick, the magic wand which is so efficacious throughout the whole range of folk- lore, and dips it in honey, a mystic substance, being pro- duced by bees, which are vehicles of the souls of the departed, and applies it to the eyes of the image, and, lastly, dipping the wand in lampblack, he marks the eyes of the image with it, thus adopting one of the most common oriental prophylactics for resisting fascination, which does not spare even the gods themselves. The same object, that of repelling demonic influence, is effected by holding

' Njtes on the Spirit Basis of Belief a^id Ciistoni, p. 363, sqq.