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when the grand lama seems to die, either of old age or infirmity, his soul, in fact, only quits a crazy habitation, to look for another, younger or better; and is discovered again in the body of some child, by certain tokens, known only to the lamás, or priests, in which order he always appears.
Almost all the nations of the east, except the mahometans, believe the metempsychosis as the most important article of their faith; especially the inhabitants of Thibet and Ava, the Peguans, Siamese, the greatest part of the Chinese and Japanese, and the Monguls and Kalmucks,who changed the religion of schamanism for the worship of the grand lama. According to the doctrine of this metempsychosis, the soul is always in action, and never at rest; for no sooner does she leave her old habitation than she enters a new one. The dailai lama, being a divine person, can find no better lodging than the body of his successor; or the Foe, residing in the dailai lama, which passes to his successor: and this being a god, to whom all things are known, the dailai lama is therefore acquainted with every thing which happened during his residence in his former body.
This religion is said to have been of three thousand years standing ; and neither time, nor the influence of men, has had the power of shaking the authority of the grand lama. This theocracy extends as fully to temporal as to spiritual concerns."
Though in the grand sovereignty of the lamás the temporal power has been occasionally separated from the spiritual by slight revolutions, they have always been united again after a time ; so that in Thibet the whole constitution rests on the imperial pontificate in a manner elsewhere unknown: for, as the Thibetians suppose that the grand lama is animated by the god Shaka, or Foe, who at the decease of one lama transmigrates into the next, and consecrates him an image of the divinity, the descending chain of lamás is continued down from him in fixed degrees of sanctity: so that a more firmly established sacerdotal government, in doctrine, customs, and institutions, than actually reigns over this country, cannot be conceived. The supreme manager of temporal affairs is no more than the viceroy of the sovereign priest, who, conformable to the dictates of his religion, dwells in divine tranquillity in a building that is both temple and palace. If some of his votaries in modern times have dispensed with the adoration of his person, still certain real modifications of the Shaka religion is the only faith they profess, the only religion they follow. The state of sanctity which that religion inculcates consists in monastic continence, absence of thought, and the perfect repose of nonentity.” It has been observed that the religion of Thibet is the counterpart of the Roman Catholic, since the inhabitants of that country use holy water and a singing service: they also offer alms, prayers, and sacrifices for the dead. They have a vast number of convents. filled with monks and friars, amounting to thirtythousand; who, besides the three vows of poverty, obedience, and charity, make several others. They have their confessors, who are chosen by their superiors; and have licenses fram their lamás, without which they cannot hear confessions, or impose penances. They make use of beads. They wear, the mitre and cap like the bishops; and their dailai lama is nearly the saune among them as the sove
* Annual Register for 1780, p. 62.
reign pontiff is among the Romanists.t. . . The East-India Company made a treaty with the lama in 1774. The following account of the inauguration of the infant lama at Thibet, is extracted from the first volume of the Asiatic Researches. It is inserted as a specimen of the splendour and parade of this mode of paganism. “The emperor of China appears on this occasion to have assumed a very conspicuous part, in giving testimony of his respect for the great religious father of his faith. Early in the year 1784 he dismissed ambassadors from the court of Pekin to Teeshoo. Loomboo, to represent their sovereign, in supporting the dignity of the high priest, and to do honour to the occasion of the assumption of his office. Dailai lama, and the viceroy of Lahassa, accompanied by all the court; one of the Chinese generals stationed at Lahassa, with a part of the troops under his command ; two of the four magistrates of the city; the heads of every monastery throughout Thibet; and the emperor's ambassadors, appeared at Teeshoo Loomboo, to celebrate this epocha in their theological in
* Herder's Philosophy, p. 301. : Payne's Epitoule of History, vol. ii. p. 33.
stitutions. The twenty-eighth day of the seventh moon, corresponding nearly (as their year commences with the vernal equinox) to the middle of October, 1784, was chosen as the most auspicious for the ceremony of inauguration; a few days previous to which the lama was conducted from Terpaling, the monastery in which he had passed his infancy, with every mark of pomp and homage that could be paid by an enthusiastic people. So great a concourse as assembled, either from curiosity or devotion, was never seen before ; for not a person of any condition in Thibet was absent who could join the suite. The procession was hence constrained to move so slowly as to proceed but twenty miles in three days. The most splendid parade was reserved for the lama's entry on the third day. The road was previously prepared, by being whitened with a wash, and having piles of stones heaped up, with small intervals between on either side. The retinue passed between a double row of priests, who formed a street extending all the way from Summaar to the gates of the palace. Some of the priests held lighted rods of a perfumed composition, which burn like decayed wood, and emit an aromatic smoke. The
rest were furnished with the different musical instruments they use at their devotions; such as the gong, cymbal, hautboy, trumpets, drums, and sea shells, which were all sounded in union with the hymn they chanted. The crowd of spectators was kept without the street, and none admitted on the high road but such as properly belonged to or had a prescribed place in the procession, which was arranged in the following order: The van was, led by three military commandants, or governors of districts, at the head of six or seven thousand horsemen, armed with quivers, bows, and matchlocks. In their rear followed the ambassador with
hissuite, carrying his diploma,
(as is the custom of China) made up in the form of a by a senior priest, called a lama, who bore a box, containing books of their form of prayer, and some favourite idols. Next, nine sumptuary horses were led, loaded with the lama's apparel; after which came the priests immediately attached to the lama's person, for the performance of daily offices in the temple, amounting to about seven hundred ; following them two men, each carrying on his shoulder a large cylindrical gold insignium, embossed with emblematical figures. The duhunniers and soopoons, who were employed in communicating addresses and distributing alms, immediately preceded the lama's bier, which was covered with a gaudy canopy, and borne by eight of the sixteen Chinese appointed for the service. On one side of the bier attended the regent, on the other the lama's father. It was followed by the heads of the different monasteries: and as the procession advanced, the priests who formed the street fell in the rear, and brought up the suite, which moved with an extremely slow pace ; and about noon was received within the confines of the monastery, amidst an amazing display of colours, the acclamations of the crowd, solemn music, and the chanting of their priests.
large tube, and fastened on his back. Next the Chinese
general advanced, with the troops under his command, mounted and accoutred after their way with fire-arms and sabres. Then came a very numerous group, bearing the various standards and insignia of state. Next to them moved a full band of wind and other sonorous instruments; after which were led two horses, richly caparisoned, each carrying two large circular stoves filled with burning aromatic woods. These were followed
“The third morning after Teeshoo Lama's arrival he was carried to the great temple, and about noon seated on the throne of his progenitors; at which time the emperor's ambassador delivered his diploma, and placed the presents with which he had been charged at the lama's feet.
“ The three next ensuing days Dailai Lama met Teeshoo Lama in the temple, where they were assisted by all the priests in the invocation and public worship of their gods. The rites then performed completed the business of inauguration. During this interval, all who were at the capital were entertained at the public expense, and alms were distributed without reserve. In conformity likewise to previous notice circulated every where, for the same space of time universal rejoicings prevailed throughout Thibet; banners were unfurled on all their fortresses, the peasantry filled up the day with music and festivity, and the night was celebrated with general illuminations. A long period was afterwards employed in making presents and public entertainments to the newly inducted lama, who at the time of his accession to the musnud, or pontificate of Teeshoo Loomboo, was not three years of age. All were admitted, according
to pre-eminence of rank, to pay their tributes of obeisance and respect. As soon as the acknowledgments of all those were received who were admissible to the privilege, Teeshoo Lama made, in the same order, suitable returns to each, and the consummation lasted
forty days. At the expiration of this period the dailai lama withdrew with all his suite to Lahassa, and the emperor's ambassador received his dismission to return to China. Thus terminated this famous festival.”
THE Mohammedans, or Mahometans, derive their name and doctrine from Mohammed, or Mahomet, who was born in Arabia in the sixth century. He was endowed with a subtle genius, and possessed an enterprise and ambition peculiar to himself. He aimed at the introduction of a new religion, and began his eventful project by accusing both jews and christians with corrupting the revelations which had been made to them from heaven;
and maintained that both Moses and Jesus Christ had prophetically foretold the coining of a prophet from God, which was accomplished in himself, the last of the prophets. Thus initiated, he proceeded to deliver detached sentences, as he pretended to receive them from the Almighty by the hand of the angel Gabriel. t. These pretensions to a divine mission drew on him a requisition from the inhabitants of Mecca,
* Encyclopædia, vol. ix. pp. 512, 513.
t According to the best Mahometan authors who have written the history of this legislatsr, his pretended mission was revealed to him in a dream in the fortieth year of his age. From that noment, say they, Mahomet, under the influence of a holy terror, devoted himself to a solitary life He retired to a grotto in the mountain of Hira, which overlooks Mecca. He there passed his days and nights in fasting, prayer, and meditation. In the midst of one of these profound extasies, the angei Gabriel appeared to him with the first chapter of the koran, and commanded him to read. Mahomet replied he was unable, upon which the angel repeatedly embraced him, and commanded him to read in the name of his Creator. A few days afterwards, praying upon the same mountain of Hira, Mahonet saw again the angel of the Lord appear to him, seated in the midst of the clouds, on a glittering throne, with the second chapter of the koran; and was addressed by him in the following words: “Oh thou who art covered with a celestial mantle, arise and preach 1” Thus the angel Gabriel, say the same writers, communicated by command of the Eternal to his prophet, in the twenty-three last years of his life, the whole book of the koran, leaf by leaf, chapter by chapter. See D'Ohosson's IHistory of the Ottoman Eupire,