National Institute of Informatics - Digital Silk Road Project
Digital Archive of Toyo Bunko Rare Books

> > > >
Color New!IIIF Color HighRes Gray HighRes PDF   Japanese English
0357 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 357 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

New!Citation Information

doi: 10.20676/00000042
Citation Format: Chicago | APA | Harvard | IEEE

OCR Text


rRIAR ODORIC.   83 .

But annually on the recurrence of the day when that idol was made, the folk of the country come and take it down, and put it on a fine chariot ; and then the king and queen and all the pilgrims, and the whole body of the people,l join

  • together and draw it forth from the church with loud singing of songs and all kinds of music ; and many maidens go before it by two and two chaunting in a marvellous manner. And many pilgrims who have come to this feast cast themselves under the chariot, so that its wheels may go over them, saying that they desire to die for their God. And the car passes over them, and crushes and cuts them in sunder, and so they perish on the spot. And after this fashion they drag the idol to a certain customary place, and then they drag him back to where he was formerly, with singing and playing as before. And thus not a year passes but there perish more than five hundred men in this manner ; and their bodies they burn, declaring that they are holy, having thus devoted themselves to death for their God.2

And another custom they have of this kind. One will come saying : " I desire to sacrifice myself for my God. And then his friends and kinsfolk, and all the players of the country, assemble together to make a feast for him who is determined to die for his God. And they hang round his neck five very sharp knives, and lead him thus to the pre-

story in Masudi regarding the Maharajah of the Isles. His palace was over a tank, which communicated with the sea. Every morning the treasurer threw in a golden ingot. At the king's death the accumulation was taken out and divided among his dependents and the poor. (Paris trans., 1861, i, 175.)

1 PAL. has : The Emperor, and their Pope and other priests, which are called Tuin, etc. It is curious to find this word used here. It was the name, or one of the names, which the Mongols applied to the Buddhist priests. (See Rubruquis, p. 352, and D' Ohsson, ii, 264.)

2 One might think Odoric had got to Juggurnath. But this practice was not peculiar to Orissa. (See Dubois, pp. 413, 414 ; and Gasp. Balbi, f. 84, etc.) A gross instance, involving three victims, has recently been reported within a few miles of' Calcutta. (See Allen's Indian Mail of August 15th, 1864.)