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JUMNA DRESSED AS THE GOD KRISHNA. and evil spirits, by which the world was infected. His reputed parents were Kshuttris, or of the second degree in Hindoo caste; but he soon developed his celestial origin and attributes by the performance of astonishing miracles. It does not however appear from the Mahabharat, or other works, that he claimed or received divine honours during his lifetime; and his death, by an arrow from the bow of a Bhil, as he sat under a tree, shows him not to have been exempt, in the belief of his votaries, from the conditions of mortality. It suited, however, the purpose of the Brahmins to deify him as a new incarnation of Vishnu, whose worship had declined; and in the Puranic theology, upon which modern Hindooism is founded, Krishna, under various appellations, occupies a very large space. It was this theology which, with wonderful sublety, was perfected during the period of the Buddhist ascendancy, and which began to exert its power over the popular Hindoo mind shortly before the Christian era. The name of Krishna is not found in the early Vedic works, nor in those which succeeded the Vedas, although the Hindoo Trinity forms portion of the latter. It would seem as if the Brahmins, finding the abstruse nature of the Vedas, and of the metaphysical and ascetic doctrines of Sankya, Patanjali, and other philosophers, unappreciable by the people at large, discovered a more popular form of belief; one which would reinstate them in their old power, and attract the excitable minds of the masses wearied by the asceticism of the Buddhists, and the abstract metaphysical philosophy of the sages. In this they succeeded perfectly. The worship of Krishna, full of picturesque legends and miracles--licentious and lascivious--yet abounding with fine moralities and definitions of faith--humanity, as it were, exemplified by passion, by crime, and by sensual indulgence intermingled with the highest aims of spiritual desire--was preached by zealous missionaries all over India. Temples to his honour were raised, and frequented in preference to those of Seva. New sects arose dedicated to him, and the mortal descent of the deified hero became, as it were, a bond of union between him and the people, which has never been broken. His worship has almost exclusive possession of the female mind, whose sympathies are with him from his birth to his death. Hence the popular carnival of the Holi, the Junum-ashtmi, or eighth day after his birth; the Gokul Ashtmi; Rasa; and many other festivals which are celebrated in all parts of India with a spirit and zest which does not attach itself to any other. There are many great temples to Krishna. Muttra his birthplace, Juggunath in Orissa, Dwarka in Guzerat, the seat of his kingdom and the locality of his death, Trippetti in Southern India, and others, are all places of pilgrimage for devout Hindoos; while devotees in his name wander in great numbers through the country in all directions. They may be known by the broad arrow or trident mark on the forehead, seen in the Photograph, the two sides of which are white, and the centre spot or line red; and which, in the Bairagis and Jogis, form remarkable features of their daily adornment.
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