Omens and Superstitions of Southern India

I am informed by Mr R. F. Stoney that, in the Madura district, iron chains are hung on bābūl (Acacia arabica) trees, and dedicated to the rustic deity Karuppan. At Mēlūr Mr Stoney saw large masses of such chains, which are made by the village blacksmiths. They are very rough, and are furnished at one end with what is said to be a sickle, and also a spear-head. I gather further28 that, in the Mēlūr tāluk, the shrine of Karuppan may usually be known by the hundreds of chains hung outside it, which have been presented to the god in performance of vows. The deity is said to be fond of bedecking himself with chains, and these offerings are usually suspended from a kind of horizontal bar made of two stone uprights supporting a slab of stone placed horizontally upon the top of them. The god is also fond of presents of clubs and swords.

“Sometimes,” a recent writer states, “a big chain hangs suspended from a tree, and the village panchāyats [154](tribunals) are held in the Aiyanar (or Sangali Karuppan) temple. The accused is made to submit to an ordeal in proof of innocence. The ordeal consists in his swearing on the chain, which he is made to touch. He has such a dread of this procedure, that, as soon as he touches the chain, he comes out with the truth, failure to speak the truth being punished by some calamity, which he believes will overtake him within a week. These chains are also suspended to the trees near the temples of village goddesses, and used by village panchāyats to swear the accused in any trial before them.”

It is narrated29 by Moor that he “passed a tree, on which were hanging several hundred bells. This was a superstitious sacrifice by the Bandjanahs,30 who, passing this tree, are in the habit of hanging a bell or bells upon it, which they take from the necks of their sick cattle, expecting to leave behind them the complaint also. Our servants particularly cautioned us against touching these diabolical bells; but, as a few were taken for our own cattle, several accidents that happened were imputed to the anger of the deity to whom these offerings were made, who, they say, inflicts the same disorder on the unhappy bullock who carries a bell from this tree as he relieved the donor from.”

At Diguvemetta in the Kurnool district, I came across a number of bells, both large and small, tied to the branches of a tamarind tree, beneath which were an image of the deity Malalamma, and a stone bull (Nandi). Suspended from a branch of the same tree was a thick rope, to which were attached heads, skulls, mandibles, thigh-bones, and feet of fowls, and the foot of a goat. [155]

Mr Fawcett once saw, at a Savara village in Ganjam, a gaily ornamented hut near a burning-ground. Rude figures of birds and red rags were tied to five bamboos, which were sticking up in the air about eight feet above the hut, one at each corner, and one in the centre. A Savara said that he built the hut for his dead brother, and had buried the bones in it.31 It is noted by the Rev. J. Cain32 that, in some places, the Lambādis fasten rags torn from some old garment to a bush in honour of Kampalamma (kampa, a thicket). On the side of a road from Bastar are several large heaps of stones, which they have piled up in honour of the goddess Guttalamma. Every Lambādi who passes the heaps is bound to place one stone on the heap, and make a salaam to it. It is further recorded by Mr Walhouse33 that, when going from the Coimbatore plains to the Mysore frontier, he saw a thorn-bush rising out of a heap of stones piled round it, and bearing bits of rag tied to its branches by Lambādis. In the Telugu country, rags are offered to a god named Pathalayya (Mr Rags). On the trunk-roads in the Nellore district, rags may be seen hanging from the bābūl (Acacia arabica) trees. These are offerings made to Pathalayya by travellers, who tear off pieces of their clothing with a vague idea that the offering thereof will render their journey free from accidents, such as upsetting of their carts, or meeting with robbers. Outside the temple of the village goddess at Ojini in the Bellary district, Mr Fawcett tells us,34 “are hung numbers of miniature cradles and bangles presented by women who have borne children, or been cured of sickness through [156]the intervention of the goddess. Miniature cows are presented by persons whose cows have been cured of sickness, and doll-like figures for children. One swāmi (god) there is, known by a tree hung with iron chains, hooks—anything iron; another by rags, and so on. The ingenious dhōbi (washerman), whose function is to provide torches on occasions, sometimes practises on the credulity of his countrymen by tying a few rags to a tree, which by and by is covered with rags, for the passers-by are not so stiff-necked as to ask for a sign other than a rag; and under cover of the darkness, the dhōbi makes his torch of the offerings.”

On the road to the temple at Tirumala (Upper Tirupati) in the North Arcot district, the goddess Gauthala Gangamma has her abode in a margosa or āvaram (Cassia auriculata) tree, surrounded by a white-ant hill. Passers-by tear off a piece of their clothing, and tie it to the branches, and place a small stone at the base of the ant-hill. Occasionally cooked rice is offered, fowls are sacrificed, and their heads and legs tied to the tree. In the Madura district, bits of rag are hung on the trees in which a deity named Sāttān is believed to reside.35 It is noted by Mr W. Francis36 that, “in some places in the South Arcot district, for example, on the feeder road to the Olakkūr station in Tindivānam tāluk and near the eighth mile of the road from Kallakurchi to Vriddhachalam, are trees on which passers-by have hung bits of rag, until they are quite covered with them. The latter of the two cases had its origin only a few years back in the construction by some shepherd boys of a toy temple to Ganēsa formed of a few stones under the tree, to draw attention to which they hung up a rag [157]or two. The tree is now quite covered with bits of cloth, and beneath it is a large pile of stones, which have been added one by one by the superstitious passers-by.”

It is recorded by the Abbé Dubois37 that “at Palni, in Madura, there is a famous temple consecrated to the god Velayuda, whose devotees bring offerings of a peculiar kind, namely large sandals, beautifully ornamented, and similar in shape to those worn by the Hindus on their feet. The god is addicted to hunting, and these shoes are intended for his use when he traverses the jungles and deserts in pursuit of his favourite sport. Such shabby gifts, one might think, would go very little way towards filling the coffers of the priests of Velayuda. Nothing of the sort: Brahmins always know how to reap profit from anything. Accordingly the new sandals are rubbed on the ground and rolled a little in the dust, and are then exposed to the eyes of the pilgrims who visit the temple. It is clear enough that the sandals must have been worn on the divine feet of Velayuda; and they become the property of whosoever pays the highest price for such holy relics.”

Mr Walhouse informs us38 that the champak and other trees round the ancient shrine of the Trimurti at the foot of the Ānaimalai mountains are thickly hung with sandals and shoes, many of huge size, evidently made for the purpose, and suspended by pilgrims as votive offerings. The god of the temple at Tirumala is said to appear annually to four persons in different directions, east, west, south and north, and informs them that he requires a shoe from each of them. They whitewash their houses, worship the god, and spread rice-flour thickly on the [158]floor of a room, which is locked for the night. Next morning the mark of a huge foot is found on the floor, and the shoe has to be made to fit this. When ready, it is taken in procession through the streets of the village, conveyed to Tirumala, and presented to the temple. Though the makers of the shoes have worked in ignorance of each others’ work, the shoes brought from the north and south, and those from the east and west, are believed to match and make a pair. Though the worship of these shoes is chiefly meant for Paraiyans, who are prohibited from ascending the Tirupati hill, as a matter of fact all, without distinction of caste, worship them. The shoes are placed in front of the image of the god near the foot of the hill, and are said to gradually wear away by the end of the year.

“At Belūr in the Mysore Province,” Mr Lewis Rice writes,39 “the god of the temple is under the necessity of making an occasional trip to the Baba Budan hills to visit the goddess. On these occasions he is said to make use of a large pair of slippers kept for the purpose in the temple. When they are worn out, it devolves upon the chucklers (leather-workers) of Channagiri and Bisvapatna, to whom the fact is revealed in a dream, to provide new ones.”

In order to present the slippers, they are allowed to enter the courtyard of the temple.

On the way leading up to the temple at Tirumala, small stones heaped up in the form of a hearth, and knots tied in the leaves of young date-palms may be seen. These are the work of virgins who accompany the parties of pilgrims. The knots are tied to ensure the tying of the marriage tāli string on their necks, and the heaping up of the stones is done with a view to ensuring the [159]birth of children to them. If the girls revisit the hill after marriage and the birth of offspring, they untie the knot on a leaf, and disarrange one of the hearths. Men cause their name to be cut on rocks by the wayside, or on the stones with which the path leading to the temple is paved, in the belief that good luck will result if their name is trodden on by some pious man.

At Tirupati, a number of Balijas are engaged in the red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) wood-carving industry. Figures of deities, mythological figures, miniature temple cars, and domestic utensils, are among the articles turned out by them. Vessels made of red sanders wood carry no pollution, and can be used by women during the menstrual period, and taken back to the house without any purification ceremony. For the same reason, Sanyāsis (ascetics) use such vessels for performing worship. The carved figures are sold to pilgrims and others who visit Tirupati, and are also taken for sale to Conjeeveram, Madura, and other places, at times when important temple festivals are celebrated. Carved wooden figurines, male and female, represented in a state of nudity, are also manufactured at Tirupati, and sold to Hindus. Those who are childless perform on them the ear-boring ceremony, in the belief that, as the result thereof, issue will be born to them. Or, if there are grown-up boys or girls in a family, who remain unmarried, the parents celebrate the marriage ceremony between a pair of figurines, in the hope that the marriage of their children will speedily follow. They dress up the dolls in clothes and jewelry, and go through the ceremonial of a real marriage. Some there are who have spent as much money on a doll’s wedding as on a wedding in real life.

The simplest form of offerings consists of fruits, such [160]as plantains and cocoanuts. Without an offering of fruit no orthodox Hindu would think of entering a temple, or coming into the presence of a Native of position. The procession of servants and retainers, each bringing a gift of a lime fruit, on New Year’s Day is familiar to Anglo-Indians. By the rules of Government, framed with a view to preventing bribery, the prohibition of the receipt of presents from Native Chiefs and others does not extend to the receipt of a few flowers or fruits, and articles of inappreciable value, although even such trifling presents should be discouraged.

As a thanksgiving for recovery from illness, votive offerings frequently take the form of silver or gold representations of the part of the body affected, which are deposited in a vessel kept for the purpose at the temple. They are kept for sale in the vicinity of the temple, and must be offered by the person who has taken the vow, or on whose behalf it has been taken. When a person has been ill all over, a silver human figure, or a thin silver wire of the same length as himself, and representing him, is sometimes offered.

Of silver offerings from temples in the Tamil country, the Madras Museum possesses an extensive collection, in which are included the face, hands, feet, buttocks, tongue, larynx, navel, nose, ears, eyes, breasts, genitalia, etc.; snakes offered to propitiate the anger of serpents, snakes coiled in coitu, sandals, flags, umbrellas, and cocoanuts strung on a pole.

Silver Votive Offerings.

To face p. 160.

When litigation arises in Malabar in connection with the title to a house and compound (grounds) in which it stands, a vow is sometimes made to offer a silver model representing the property, if a favourable decree is obtained. Some time ago, a rich landlord offered at the temple a silver model representing the exact number of trees, house, [161]well, etc., and costing several hundreds of rupees, when a suit was decided in his favour.

In connection with the temple at Guruvayūr in Malabar, Mr Fawcett writes as follows40:—

“I visited the festival on one occasion, and purchase was made of a few offerings such as are made to the temple in satisfaction of vows—a very rude representation of an infant in silver, a hand, a leg, an ulcer, a pair of eyes, and, most curious of all, a silver string which represents a man, the giver. Goldsmiths working in silver and gold are to be seen just outside the gate of the temple, ready to provide at a moment’s notice the object that any person intends to offer, in case he is not already in possession of his votive offering.”

A Nāyar examined by Mr Fawcett was wearing a silver ring as a vow, which was to be given up at the next festival at Kottiūr in North Malabar. Another was wearing a silver bangle. He had a wound in his arm which was long in healing, so he made a vow to the god at Tirupati (Tirumala) that, if his arm was healed, he would give up the bangle at the temple.

A few years ago, a shrine was erected at Cochin for a picture of the Virgin and Child, which attained to great celebrity for its power of working miracles. “Many stories,” Mr Fawcett writes,41 “of the power of the picture are current. A fisherman, who had lost his nets, vowed to give a little net, if they were found. The votive offerings, which are sometimes of copper or brass, take strange forms. There are fishes, prawns, rice, cocoanut trees, cows, etc. A little silver model of a bridge was given by a contractor, who vowed, when he found his foundations were shaky, to give it if his work should [162]pass muster. The power of the picture is such that the votaries are not confined to the Christian community. There are among them many Hindus and Mahomedans.”

In South Canara, silver rats and pigs are offered to protect the crops from destruction by these animals. Silver rice-grains are offered when children do not take their food properly, and silver sheaves of grain if the crop is abundant. At Pyka, brass or clay figures of the tiger, leopard, elephant, wild boar, and bandicoot rat, are presented at the shrine of a female bhūtha42 named Poomanikunhoomani, to protect the crops and cattle from the ravages of these animals. The figures must be solid, as the bhūthas would be very angry if they were hollow. A brass figure of Sarabha, a mythological eight-legged animal, which is supposed to be the vehicle of the god Vīrabhadra, is presented as an offering to some Siva temples in South Canara in cases where a person is attacked with a form of ulcer known as Siva’s ulcer. Sometimes a silver lizard is offered at temples, to counteract the evils which would result from a lizard falling on some unlucky part of the body, such as the kudumi (hair knot) of a female. The lizard, associated with the name of Siva, is regarded as sacred. It is never intentionally killed, and, if accidentally hurt or killed, an image of it in gold or silver is presented by high caste Hindus to a Siva temple.43

Clay and Metal Offerings, South Canara.

To face p. 162.

In Malabar, a Brāhman magician transfers the spirits of those who have died an unnatural death to images made of gold, silver, or wood, which are placed in a temple or special building erected for them. It is said by Mr F. Fawcett, “to be a sacred duty to a deceased Tiyan in [163]Malabar, who was of importance, for example, the head of a family, to have a silver image of him made, and arrange for it being deposited in some temple, where it will receive its share of worship, and offerings of food and water. The temples at Tirunelli in Wynād and Tirunavayi, which are among the oldest in Malabar, were generally the resting-places of these images, but now some of the well-to-do deposit them much further afield, even at Benares and Rāmēsvaram. A silver image is presented to the local Siva temple, where, for a consideration, worship is done every new moon day. On each of these days, mantrams are supposed to be repeated a thousand times. When the image has been the object of these mantrams sixteen thousand times, it is supposed to have become eligible for final deposit at Tirunavayi or elsewhere.”

If a Muhammadan suffers from severe pain in the hand or foot, a vow is sometimes taken to the effect that a silver hand or foot will be taken to the grave of some saint, and put into the treasury which is kept there to meet the expenses of the annual ceremonies of the saint. At Vizagapatam44 there is a celebrated Muhammadan saint, who lies buried by the Durga on the top of the hill overlooking the harbour. He is considered to be all potent over the elements of the Bay of Bengal, and many a silver dhoni (native boat) is presented at his shrine by Hindu ship-owners after a successful voyage. A suit once arose between a Kōmati boat-owner and his Muhammadan captain during settlement of the accounts. The captain stated that, during a storm off the coast of Arakan, he had vowed a purse of rupees to the saint, and had duly presented it on his return. This sum he charged to the owner of the vessel, whose sole contention was that the vow had never been discharged; the propriety [164]of conciliating the saint in a hurricane he allowed. At Timmancherla in the Anantapur district there is a tomb of a holy Muhammadan named Masthan Ali, in whose honour a religious ceremony is held annually in April, which is attended by both Muhammadans and Hindus. The latter make vows at the tomb, which has a special reputation for granting offspring to the childless. The headman of the village, who is a Hindu, brings the first offerings in procession with much ceremony.45

At the annual festival at the temple at Nedamangad in Travancore, which is attended by large numbers of the lower classes, the worshippers are said by the Rev. S. Mateer46 to “bring with them wooden models of cows covered, in imitation of shaggy hair, with ears of rice. Many of these images are brought, each in a separate procession from its own place. The headmen are finely dressed with cloths stained purple at the edge. The image is borne on a bamboo frame, accompanied by a drum,” and carried round the temple. The Gudigars (wood-carvers) at Udipi in South Canara make life-size wooden buffaloes and large human figures as votive offerings for the Iswara Temple at Hiriadkāp, where they are set up in a row. By the Savaras of Vizagapatam, rudely carved and grotesque wooden representations of human beings, monkeys, lizards, parrots, peacocks, guns, pickaxes, daggers, etc., are dedicated to the tribal deity. They would not sell them to the district officer who acquired them on my behalf, but parted with them on the understanding that they would be worshipped by the Sirkar (Government). In like manner, the fishermen of the Ganjam coast objected to specimens of the gods which are placed in little shrines on the sea-shore being sent [165]to me, till they were told that it was because the Government had heard of their devotion to their gods that they wanted to have some of them in Madras. The gods, which are made in clay and wood, include Bengali Bābu riding on a black horse, who is believed to bless the fishermen, secure large hauls of fish for them, and protect them against danger when out fishing. It has been observed that this affinity between the Ganjam fishermen and the Bengali Bābu, resulting in the apotheosis of the latter, is certainly a striking example of the catholicity of hero-worship, and it would be interesting to know how long, and for what reasons the conception of protection has appealed to the followers of the piscatory industry. It was Sir George Campbell, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, who compelled his Bengali officials, much against their inclination, to cultivate the art of equitation.

I am informed by Mr G. V. Ramamurthi Pantulu that the Savaras attend the markets or fairs held in the plains, or at the foot of the ghāts, to purchase salt and other articles. If a Savara is taken ill at the market or on his return thence, he attributes the illness to a spirit of the market called Biradi Sonum. The bulls which carry the goods of the Hindu merchants to the market are supposed to convey the spirit. In propitiating it, the Savara makes an image of a bull in straw, and, taking it out of his village, leaves it on the footpath, after a pig has been sacrificed. Owners of cattle take the animals when sick round the sacred hill at Tirukazhukunram in performance of a vow, in the belief that their health will be thus restored.

“A Brāhmini bull,” Mr A. Srinivasan writes, “is dedicated to the god Venkatēswara of Tirupati, for the benefit of the living in fulfilment of vows. The act of dedication and release is preceded by elaborate rituals [166]of marriage, as among men and women. The bride, which should be a heifer that has not calved, is furnished by the father-in-law of the donor. The heifer is united in holy wedlock to the bullock, after formal chanting of mantrams, by the tying of the tāli and toe-rings to the neck. In this sham marriage, the profuse ornamentation of the couple with saffron (turmeric) and red powder, the pouring of rice on their heads, and a procession through the streets with music, are conspicuous features.”

I am told that, if the devotee cannot afford a live animal, a mimic representative is made in rice.

Painted hollow images are made by special families of Kusavans (potters) known as pūjāri (priest), who, for the privilege of making them, have to pay an annual fee to the headman, who spends it on a festival at the caste temple. When a married couple are anxious to have female offspring, they take a vow to offer figures of the seven virgins (Saptha Kannimar), who are represented all seated in a row. If a male or female recovers from cholera, smallpox, or other severe illness, a figure of the corresponding sex is offered. A childless woman makes a vow to offer up the figure of a baby, if she brings forth offspring. Figures of animals—cattle, horses, sheep, etc.—are offered at the temple when they recover from sickness, or are recovered after they have been stolen. Horses made of clay, painted red and other colours, are set up in the fields to drive away demons, or as a thank-offering for recovery from sickness, or any piece of good luck. The villagers erect these horses in honour of the popular deity Ayanar, the guardian deity of the fields, who is a renowned huntsman, and is believed, when, with his wives Purna and Pushkala, he visits the village at night, to mount the horses, and ride down [167]the demons. Ayanar is said47 to be the special deity of the Kusavan caste. Kusavans are generally the pūjāris at his temples, and they make the earthenware, and brick and mortar horses and images, which are placed before these buildings. The pupils of the eyes of the various images are not painted in till they are taken to the temple, where offerings of fruit, etc., are first made. Even the pupils of a series of images which were specially made for me were not painted at the potter’s house, but in the verandah of the traveller’s bungalow where I was staying. A very interesting account of the nētra mangalya, or ceremony of painting the eyes of images, as performed by craftsmen in Ceylon, has been published by Mr A. K. Coomaraswamy.48 Therein he writes that “by far the most important ceremony connected with the building and decoration of a vihāra (temple), or with its renovation, was the actual netra mangalya or eye ceremonial. The ceremony had to be performed in the case of any image, whether set up in a vihāra or not. Even in the case of flat paintings it was necessary. D. S. Muhandiram, when making for me a book of drawings of gods according to the Rūpavaliya, left the eyes to be subsequently inserted on an auspicious occasion, with some simpler form of the ceremony described.”

On this subject, Knox writes as follows49:—

“Some, being devoutly disposed, will make the image of this god (Buddha) at their own charge. For the making whereof they must bountifully reward the Founder. Before the eyes are made, it is not accounted a god, but a lump of ordinary metal, and thrown about the shop with no more regard than anything else. But, when the eyes are to be made, the artificer is to have a good gratification, [168]besides the first agreed upon reward. The eyes being formed, it is thenceforward a god. And then, being brought with honour from the workman’s shop, it is dedicated by solemnities and sacrifices, and carried with great state into the shrine or little house, which is before built and prepared for it.”

Putting money into a receptacle (undi) as an offering to a particular deity is a very common custom. In the case of a popular god, such as the one at Tirumala, an earthen pot is sometimes replaced by a copper money-box or iron safe. In South Canara there was a well-to-do family, the members of which kept on depositing coins in the family undi, which were set apart for the Tirumala god during a number of generations. Not only in cases of sickness, but even when a member of the family went to a neighbouring village, and returned safely, a few coins were put into the undi. For some reason, the opening of the undi, and offering of its contents at Tirumala, was postponed, and, when it was finally opened, it was found to contain a miscellaneous collection of coins, current and uncurrent. When a temple is far away, and those who wish to make offerings thereat cannot, owing to the expense of the journey or other reason, go there themselves, the offerings are taken by a substitute. If the god to whom the offering is made is Srinivāsa of Tirumala, a small sum of money must be offered as compensation for not taking it in person. The god is sometimes called Vaddi Kāsulu Varu, in allusion to the money (kāsu) or interest. In some large towns, in the months of July and August, parties of devotees may be seen wandering about the streets, and collecting offerings to the god, which will be presented to him in due course. If a Kelasi (barber) in South Canara is seriously ill, he sometimes undertakes a vow to beg from door to door, [169]and convey the money thus collected to Tirumala. In his house he keeps a small closed box with a slit in the lid, through which he drops a coin at every stroke of misfortune, and the contents are eventually sent to the holy shrine.50 A few years ago, a Native complained to the police that about seven hundred rupees had been stolen from some brass pots, which he kept in a separate room of his house. The money, he stated, was dedicated to the Tirumula temple, and was kept in the pots buried in paddy (unhusked rice). He himself had put in about fifty rupees during the time that the pots had been in his charge, either as an annual contribution, or on occasions of sickness. His mother stated that it had been a custom in the family to put money into the vessel for several generations, and she had never seen the pots opened.

It is whispered that Kallan dacoits invoke the aid of their deity Alagarswāmi, when they are setting out on marauding expeditions, and, if they are successful therein, put part of their ill-gotten gains into the offertory box, which is kept at his shrine.51 In this connection, the Rev. J. Sharrock states that “there is an understanding that, if their own village gods help them in their thefts, they are to have a fair share of the spoil, and, on the principle of honour among thieves, the bargain is always kept. When strange deities are met with on their thieving expeditions, it is usual to make a vow that, if the adventure turns out well, part of the spoil shall next day be left at the shrine of the god, or be handed over to the pujāri of that particular deity. They are afraid that, if this precaution be not taken, the god may make them blind, or cause them to be discovered, or [170]may go so far as to knock them down, and leave them to bleed to death.”

The most popular of the Muhammadan saints who are buried at Porto Novo, where a considerable number of Marakkāyars (Muhammadans) are engaged as sailors,

“is one Mālumiyar, who was apparently in his lifetime a notable sea-captain. His fame as a sailor has been magnified into the miraculous, and it is declared that he owned ten or a dozen ships, and used to appear in command of all of them simultaneously. He has now the reputation of being able to deliver from danger those who go down to the sea in ships, and sailors setting out on a voyage, or returning from one in safety, usually put an offering in the little box kept at his darga, and these sums are expended in keeping that building lighted and whitewashed. Another curious darga in the town is that of Araikāsu Nāchiyar, or the one pie lady. Offerings to her must on no account be worth more than one pie (1/192 of a rupee); tributes in excess of that value are of no effect. If sugar for so small an amount cannot be procured, the devotee spends the money on chunam (lime) for her tomb, and this is consequently covered with a superabundance of whitewash. Stories are told of the way in which the valuable offerings of rich men have altogether failed to obtain her favour, and have had to be replaced by others of the regulation diminutive dimensions.”52

The chief god of the Dōmbs of Vizagapatam is said53 to be represented by a pie piece placed in or over a new earthen pot smeared with rice and turmeric powder. It is said54 that Muhammadans, belonging to the lower classes, consult panchāngam Brāhmans about the chances of success in their enterprises. Some of these Brāhmans [171]send half the fee so obtained to the Muhammadan mosque at Nagūr near Negapatam, and will even offer sugar and flowers at that shrine, though they endeavour to excuse the act by saying that the saint was originally a Brāhman.

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