Besides, In Several Places In The Ancient Books,
Pointed Out To Us By Swami Dayanand, We Found Orders To The Widows
"To Keep The Ashes Of The Husband For Several Months After His
Death And To Perform Over Them Certain Final Rituals."
However, in spite of the scandal created by Professor Wilson's
discovery, and of the fact that the Brahmans were put to shame
before the double authority of the Vedas and of Manu, the custom
of centuries proved so strong that some pious Hindu women still
burn themselves whenever they can.
Not more than two years ago
the four widows of Yung-Bahadur, the chief minister of Nepal,
insisted upon being burned. Nepal is not under the British rule,
and so the Anglo-Indian Government had no right to interfere.
The Caves Of Bagh
At four o'clock in the morning we crossed the Vagrey and Girna,
or rather, comme coloris local, Shiva and Parvati. Probably,
following the bad example of the average mortal husband and wife,
this divine couple were engaged in a quarrel, even at this early
hour of the day. They were frightfully rough, and our ferry,
striking on something at the bottom, nearly upset us into the cold
embrace of the god and his irate better half.
Like all the cave temples of India, the Bagh caverns are dug out
in the middle of a vertical rock - with the intention, as it seems
to me, of testing the limits of human patience. Taking into
consideration that such a height does not prevent either glamour
or tigers reaching the caves, I cannot help thinking that the sole
aim of the ascetic builders was to tempt weak mortals into the
sin of irritation by the inaccessibility of their airy abodes.
Seventy-two steps, cut out in the rock, and covered with thorny
weeds and moss, are the beginning of the ascent to the Bagh caves.
Footmarks worn in the stone through centuries spoke of the
numberless pilgrims who had come here before us.
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