were cast down from on high into the pit of darkness. Hereupon
succeeded the transmigration of souls; every animal and every plant
was animated by one of the fallen angels, and the remarkable
amiability of the Hindoos towards animals is owing to this belief.
They look upon them as their fellow-creatures, and will not put any
of them to death.
"The Hindoo reverences the great purpose of nature, the production
of organized bodies, in the most disinterested and pious manner.
Everything tending to this end is to him venerable and holy, and it
is in this respect alone that he worships the Lingam.
"It may be affirmed, that the superstitions of this creed have only
gradually become an almost senseless delusion through corruption and
"In order to judge of the present state of their religion, it will
be sufficient to describe the figures of a few of their chief
"Brahma, as the creator of the world, is represented with four human
heads and eight hands; in one hand he holds the scriptures, in the
others, various idols. He is not worshipped in any temple, having
lost this prerogative on account of his ambitious desire to find out
the Supreme Being. However, after repenting of his folly, it was
permitted that the Brahmins might celebrate some festivals in his
honour, called Poutsche.