• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 The East Indian population...
 The East Indian immigrants our...
 The ancestral home of the...
 The Hindo-Guyanians and their desire...
 Character of the religion of our...
 The brahman teachers
 Gurus or spiritual teachers and...
 The sacred books of the Hindus
 Notions of the Hindus concerning...
 Idolatry and superstitions of the...
 Superstitious observances of the...
 The South Indian reformers
 Birth and marriage ceremonies among...
 Birth and funeral rites, prospects...
 The religious teachings contra...
 The jubilee of emancipation or...














Group Title: Among the Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana ...
Title: Among the Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075426/00001
 Material Information
Title: Among the Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana
Physical Description: 307 p. : ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bronkhurst, H. V. P
Publisher: T. Woolmer
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1888
 Subjects
Subject: Social life and customs -- Guyana   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075426
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001508975
oclc - 24019032
notis - AHC1884

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Dedication
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
    Table of Contents
        Page xii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    The East Indian population classified
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    The East Indian immigrants our fellow-colonists and agricultural labourers
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
    The ancestral home of the Hindo-Guyanians
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
    The Hindo-Guyanians and their desire for information
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Character of the religion of our East Indian population
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    The brahman teachers
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    Gurus or spiritual teachers and their duties
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The sacred books of the Hindus
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Notions of the Hindus concerning god
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Idolatry and superstitions of the immigrants
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
    Superstitious observances of the immigrants
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
    The South Indian reformers
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Birth and marriage ceremonies among the immigrants; remarks on Indian females
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Birth and funeral rites, prospects after death, wakes, etc.
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
    The religious teachings contrasted
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
    The jubilee of emancipation or freedom, with some remarks on the moral, social, and religious state of the Creole or coloured people of the colony
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
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Full Text




AMONG THE HINDUS AND CREOLES

OF


BRITISH GUYANA:


CONTAINING A FULL ACCOUNT OF THE RELIGIOUS, MORAL,
AND SOCIAL CONDITION OF THE EAST INDIAN
IMMIGRANTS, WHO FORM THE GREA T
BULK OF THE POPULATION,
AN ACCOUNT OF THE BLACK AND COLOURED POPULATION
CALLED CREOLES;" THE RELATIVE POSITION OF
THESE TWO RACES OF PEOPLE TO EACH OTHER;
AND
SUMMARIZED PARTICULARS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES OF
THE JUBILEE CELEBRATION OF THE FIFTIETH YEAR
OF FREEDOM OR EMANCIPATION, ON WEDNESDAY,
AUGUST I, I888, IN THE THREE COUNTIES OF
DEMERARA, ESSEQUEBO, AND BERBICE,
WRITTEN IN THE INTEREST OF THE
PEOPLE.


BY REV. H. V. P. BRONKHURST,
WESLEYAN MISSIONARY;
AUTHOR OF "A POCKET COMPENDIUM OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY;" "THE ORIGIN OF
THE GUYANIAN INDIANS ASCERTAINED; THE COLONY OF BRITISH GUYANA;
"THE ANCESTRY OF OUR EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS;" "THE THREE
PRECIOUS MASONIC JEWELS;" ETC. ETC. ETC.



All men are equal in their birth,
Heirs of the earth and skies;
All men are equal when that earth
Fades from their dying eyes."-Anon.
"Perseverance is a virtue
That wins each god-like act, and plucks success
E'en from the spear-proof crest of rugged danger."-Haaard.



LONDON:
T. WOOLMER, 2, CASTLE STREET, CITY ROAD, E.C.;
AND 66, PATERNOSTER ROw, E.C.
1888.
Price Seven Shillings.

















This Little Work,


as a

"7UBILEE SOUVENIR,"

is respectfully dedicated to all the Members of the
Christian Churches in England who take a very deep
interest in the Colonial Mission Work among the
Heathen and others, and by whose united efforts, Fifty
Years ago, Eight Hundred Thousand poor Negroes
were made free at the cost of Twenty Millions sterling;
to all the Members of the Christian Churches in British
Guyana and West Indian Islands who are the recipients
of that Freedom so secured to them in the Year 1838,
and which joyful event they recently celebrated; and to
all the Hindo-Guyanians, and other Hindu Christians
who on account of their long residence in the Colony of
British Guyana have made it their permanent home,
and whose language, therefore, is the English.















PREFACE.

-0-"

IN the extensive Colony of British Guyana, well known to
the British public, we have upwards of 1oo,ooo Coolie Immi-
grants labouring on the different sugar estates. When we look
at them we are led to inquire, Whence came they ? What is
their social connection with the Christian community of the
Colony ? Of what use are they to us? For what object has
God permitted these strangers to leave their home so readily,
and come all that distance across the mighty ocean to British
Guyana? And how should we as a Church and people com-
municate to them those blessings of religious instructions we
enjoy, and which they stand in need of? These questions
may be easily asked, but not easily answered. They are come,
as we all know, from a country which is wholly and solely
given to the worship of idols of wood and stone. They have
been hitherto kept in total ignorance and darkness by their
superiors-the proud and arrogant Pharisaic Brahmans-on
the great subject of salvation, purchased for their immortal,
precious souls by One who is mighty to save, even Jesus Christ,
the Eternal Son of God. They have not been taught in their
country-which is pre-eminently called The land of temples
and of strange gods "-to worship the only living and true
God. They are come from a country which, in the world's
history, is one of the dark places of the earth, full of the
habitations of cruelty. They are all the workmanship of one
only Almighty Being,-they are bone of our bone, and flesh of
our flesh, and they equally share our physical, intellectual, and
spiritual nature; and each one of them possesses an immortal
soul, which was at first created in the image and likeness of
V







Preface.


God, but now that image erased, and yet a soul, which God
our Heavenly Parent loves, for which Christ Jesus died, and
unto which everlasting happiness or eternal misery shall be
meted on the day of retribution. As nearly all in the Colony
look to the Indian coolies for their temporal prosperity and
welfare, even so they in return look up to the Christian
Churches and Missionary Societies in the Colony and Great
Britain for their spiritual and eternal prosperity and welfare,
and shall we deny this to them ? God forbid. British Guyana
and the East Indian Empire, which have been denied to other
European nations once our rivals in the field, have now been
given to England, the land of Howard, Clive, Carey, Heber,
and John Wesley, that she might achieve a glorious destiny by
the spread of the English language and English Christianity
and influence, and then give them back as Christian countries
to the TRIUNE GOD.
The following pages contained in this little book were
originally published in the Demerara Daily Chronicle, Colonist,
and the Royal Gazette, and now they are presented to the
home readers, who have either directly or indirectly an interest
in all that pertains to the Colony and its heterogeneous
population, especially the East Indian Immigrants. References
to the demoralizing influences of the Creole population will
frequently be met with in this book; but I beg to assure the
readers that these references only point to a particular class
of them on the sugar estates, and in the villages close to
such estates. For the Creoles, as a whole, I entertain a high
regard, and among them I have some very true and valued
friends. Having lived in the Colony twenty-seven years, I
consider myself almost a Creole.
THE AUTHOR.















POSTSCRIPT TO THE PREFACE.



SINCE the first instalment of the manuscript, entitled "The
Religion and Religious Systems of the East Indian Immigrant
Population of British Guyana," with the Preface, was posted in
July last, I have, for various reasons, altered the original title
of this book to the form in which it now appears before the
public. The present title, "AMONG THE HINDUS AND
CREOLES," seems more applicable than the former. We have in
the Colony (excluding the Chinese, Portuguese, English, Scotch,
and some others, who are comparatively few) two principal
nationalities-the descendants of the great African race, and
the Hindus who have come from the vast Empire of India.
The Continent of Africa, or the Dark Continent,-made
darker still by the fierce and fanatical Muhammedan Arabs,
and the worst class of Europeans, who have been its school-
masters for a considerable time,-has, for various important
reasons, been claiming the attention of the British public, and
there is hardly any respectable, intelligent West Indian of
African descent who does not feel interested in every move-
ment made by the British nation to enlighten and civilise that
Dark Continent. Africa was the continent which appeared
feasible for the introduction of the slave trade, "that execrable
sum of all villainies," than which nothing could more tend to
the disintegration of society. At the present day, however,
" this curse of slavery has been removed from all Christendom,
and the only nations now practising it are Muhammedan and
Pagan ones;" and this too will soon come to an end through
the interference and influence of the British Government.
In that Dark Continent "the population is numerous, and one
Vii






viii Postscript to the Preface.

of the most mixed and scattered on the face of the earth.
There is represented almost every shade of skin-colour, from
the jet black and copper-coloured natives to the pale or ruddy-
coloured European face. There are represented quite as many
languages and dialects as were represented on the day of
Pentecost; but already Zulus and Tembas, and Kaffirs and
Basutos, and Hottentots and Bushmen and Namaquas, and
men of almost every language and dialect used in that part of
the country, have heard in their own tongue of the wonderful
works of God, and all because the Wesleyan and other Chris-
tian missionaries in Africa have never recognized more than
one humanity-only one." Africa yet has a brilliant future
before it. Grand and complete indeed will be the civilisation
of the now Dark Continent when it does come. And this I
believe can, and will be, only accomplished by the Christian
missionaries and other Christian laymen under the fostering care
of the British Government. Africa demands and deserves the
sympathy and generous help of the Christian world. And
those in British Guyana and in British West Indian Islands
who have sprung from the great African race, and whose name
is Legion, will have to give their sympathy and generous help
in a tangible manner to hasten the accomplishment of this
brilliant future.
India, the vast Empire whence thousands of labourers have
been introduced to supply the labour markets in the West
Indies, in Natal, in Mauritius, etc., has too, unfortunately, a
mere name to the majority of English men and women, and to
the people as a whole in the Guyanas and West Indian
Islands. The Hindu coolies have been looked upon by the
wise men of the West as half-starved and semi-civilised savages,
and the country in like manner whence they come as savagedom.
I have, therefore, endeavoured in this book to place before
my readers such information as they cannot obtain without
much labour and research on their part. I humbly hope the
descriptions given here of the people, their religious systems,
and their country, will be the means of removing all unjust,
uncharitable, and prejudicial notions concerning them. The
India of to-day is not the India of 3000 and 4000 years ago.






Postscript to the Preface. ix

People forget that India was once a prosperous, a happy, and
a civilised country. All the travellers, Greeks, Romans, and
Chinese, who visited the country bore testimony to the fact
that the Hindus had attained a high state of civilisation.
Even now there exist in India masterpieces of art which had
been a wonder to Europe. But she fell; and great indeed has
been her fall, as I have pointed out in the body of this book.
The Rev. T. Frederick Nicholson, Wesleyan Missionary of
Madras, in his speech delivered in City Road Chapel, on
Monday, 7th May 1888, observed:-
"In reading the history of India, one is struck with the
number and variety of the troubles through which it has
passed. Grecians, Persians, Tartars, and Muhammedans, from
time to time overran the country, carrying death and desola-
tion in their path. Coming to later times, we find the
Portuguese, the Danes, the Dutch, and the French at one
time or another holding possession of the land; and now we
find the inhabitants of a little island in the West ruling the
teeming millions of India! I have often wondered why
England has been allowed to steal a march with reference to
India upon the other nations of the world. I cannot but feel
that God has reserved to us to plant there the universal
banner of Christ, and that to us is reserved what we believe
will be a crowning of the Church's work,-viz. of the establish-
ment in that land of a kingdom more mighty in its form, more
strong in its foundation, and more infinite in its simplicity,
than that of the Great Mogul Empire or England herself; for
God entrusts us with the solemn task and glorious duty of
establishing that kingdom which shall have no end, and the
way of which is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy
Ghost. In that work our mission has a place. Hinduism in
that land is to the learned an abstruse philosophic system,
while to the vast masses of the people it is a gigantic scheme
of idolatry; and it is with this phase of the system that your
missionaries have principally to deal. There can be no doubt
that a once purer and truer religion prevailed than that which
now obtains amongst the people. The whole religion of the
Hindu community is in the hands of Brahmans, and they have
popularized, vulgarized, and devilized the entire system. It is
they who have introduced change after change in the simple
faith of their fathers. They attach themselves to material
objects, and those floodgates of superstition were opened, and






Postscript to the Preface.


the result is that to-day India is deluged by an idolatry ber
which she is groaning, and bleeding, and perishing, and, t
God, crying to be delivered. We find these people rea(
receive the gospeL It is well known amongst the people
the Brahmans resort to trickery in keeping up the po
delusion. As a class, they are the most plausible flatterers
most wily hypocrites, the most crafty sophists, and the
accomplished liars in the whole world. Their own rel
teaches them that lying is right. I quote from their b
'A man stating a fact falsely from a pious motive, even th
he knows the truth is not excluded by such a statemei
Divine speech.'"

And the Rev. G. W. Sawday, speaking at the Wes
Mission House, on Tuesday, 24th April 1888, observed:

"I imagine it is not necessary for us to impress upon
minds the degraded condition in which the women of
are at the present time found; but I should like ye
remember that this degraded condition of women is really
result of recent legislation-legislation dating back onl
or three thousand years. In olden days the women of
were free. They had a voice in the choice of their husb
and having chosen them, they followed and loved the
the end; and, what was better still, the husbands loved
cherished their wives. The question before us now is
Are those brighter, better days to return to India, or i
present sad condition of things to go on to the end o
chapter? I hope that we shall all face this question fair
night; because if we look on with supine indifference, th
no doubt the cries and groans of the Hindu women
widows will have to ring in our ears for hundreds of years
if in answer to the question, 'Is this state of things to
tinue?' we say, 'No, a thousand times no;' then I sa3
sad state of things shall pass away, and the women of
shall be free, as the women of England are."

The Brahmans, the inventors and introducers of
abominable idolatrous system, quite foreign to the Ta
ideas, as I have shown in this book, have been, and still
a curse to the Hindu nation. They are the opposers of
good movement in the direction of promulgation of






Postscript to the Preface.


to wit, the spread of Christianity and Christian education, the
Brahmo Samaj movement, etc., etc. The people of India
themselves have always enjoyed the reputation of being a
learned people, even before the Western civilisation, and the
rich stores of Sanskrit and Tamil and vernacular literature
which have come down to the present age confirm this descrip-
tion. The country has a literature of its own, held in high
esteem; and education-English education-has progressed
by rapid strides, especially during the fifty years of Queen
Victoria's reign. Under the fostering care of the British
Government she is rising again, and ere long, when Christianity
has won the hearts of the 253 millions of people for JESUS,
THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, she will enjoy and
realize her former glory in a fuller and richer sense.
And British Guyana, which has for some considerable period
been occupied by the descendants of the great African race,
has had hitherto very little or no claim upon the British
public. Some even do not know in what part of the globe
British Guyana is to be found. They only know that sugar is
made in the Colony, and that the Colony yields good sugar.
This is all the knowledge they have of that magnificent
province of sugar and rum. The magnificent Colony, where
plenty of gold is now found, is partly allied to Africa and
partly to India, and is, in the order of Divine Providence,
destined to become, like England her mother, the home of
an amalgamated nationality. When the two principal nations
now occupying the Colony get to know each other better, they
will know how to love each other, and be one people.

H. V. P. BRONKHURST.


8 LOMBARD STREET, GEORGETOWN,
DEMERARA, September 1888.














CONTENTS.


----

CHAP.
INTRODUCTION
I. THE EAST INDIAN POPULATION CLASSIFIED
II. THE EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS OUR FELLOW-COLONIST
AND AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS
III. THE ANCESTRAL HOME OF THE HINDO-GUYANIANS,
IV. THE HINDO-GUYANIANS AND THEIR DESIRE FOR INFOR
MATION
V. CHARACTER OF THE RELIGION OF OUR EAST INDIAl
POPULATION
VI. THE BRAHMAN TEACHERS
VII. GURUS OR SPIRITUAL TEACHERS AND THEIR DUTIES
VIII. THE SACRED BOOKS OF THE HINDUS
IX. NOTIONS OF THE HINDUS CONCERNING GOD .
X. IDOLATRY AND SUPERSTITIONS OF THE IMMIGRANTS
XI. SUPERSTITIOUS OBSERVANCES OF THE IMMIGRANTS
XII. THE SOUTH INDIAN REFORMERS .
XIII. BIRTH AND MARRIAGE CEREMONIES AMONG THE IMMI.
GRANTS; REMARKS ON INDIAN FEMALES
XIV. BIRTH AND FUNERAL RITES, PROSPECTS AFTER DEATH,
WAKES, ETC.
XV. THE RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS CONTRASTED
XVI. THE JUBILEE OF EMANCIPATION OR FREEDOM, WITH
SOME REMARKS ON THE MORAL, SOCIAL, AND RELI-
GIOUS STATE OF THE CREOLE OR COLOURED PEOPLE
OF THE COLONY .














AMONG THE HINDUS AND CREOLES OF

BRITISH GUYANA.

-0-

INTRODUCTION.

I. BRITISH GUYANA, the now most important Colony of Great
Britain in the northern portion of South America, was once
an asylum for the redundant population of Barbadoes and
other islands in the Caribbean Sea. Geographically speaking,
the Colony is divided into four parts, lying behind each
other in belts parallel to the sea-coast. Nearest the sea is
the sugar-cane belt, already cultivated to some extent. Then
comes the timber-growing belt, penetrated by many beautiful
rivers, down which the lumber is floated. The two remaining
belts are inhabited only by Indians of the Carib stock, with
a slight blending of negro blood here and there from the
Bonis, or runaway slaves of the old Dutch. The forest belt,
where the Indians live, is uncleared; and all the three belts
of land are, as a rule, low, flat, and swampy. But beyond
them lies the grass country, the savannahs; our share of
this large meadow is about 14,000 square miles in extent,
and out of the meadow rise the mountains. The only roads
are near the sea, the rivers are the watery ways of the rest
of the Colony." In the year 1721 the English nation took
possession of the whole Dutch West India Colonies, but
at the peace of 1783 they were restored to Holland, when
they were almost immediately afterwards taken possession of
by the French, who built forts on both sides of the river
Demerara, at its mouth. In 1796 the Colonies of Demerara,






2 Among the Hindus and

Essequebo, and Berbice, being again in the possession of the
Dutch, were surrendered to the British, under whose pro-
tection their agriculture and commerce increased rapidly; and
before they were restored at the peace of Amiens, in 1802,
to the Batavian Republic, the exports had risen to nearly
20,000 hogsheads, equal to 35,840,000 lbs., of sugar and about
1o,ooo,ooo lbs. of coffee. On the breaking out of war in 1803,
they were again surrendered to the British, in whose possession
they have ever since remained.
2. In 1613 the colonists or settlers reported the Colony to
be in a flourishing condition, and in 1621 the Government
undertook to supply the colonists with negro slaves from
Africa. LAS CASAS, a philanthropic Dominican friar, was
probably the means of introducing slavery into the West
Indies. His benevolent purpose or idea was misconstrued by
the bloodthirsty slave-owners; and slavery, instead of raising
or bettering the condition of the millions of unfortunate
wretches imported from Africa, only degraded them to the
level of the beasts of the earth, and made their life bitter and
hard. The example of God-hating, Christ-rejecting, Sabbath-
breaking, over-reaching, profane owners of sugar estates and
slaves, was only calculated to spread over the Colony a moral
blight, produce a baneful influence over the young of the land,
and prove one of the many hindrances to oppose the declara-
tion of the gospel to the slave population, and the spread of
Christian truth among them. The owners or masters, who
looked upon themselves as the lords of the soil, were far more
degraded and depraved than the slaves in their employ.
Religion in their day was a thing unheard of, though the
colonists were nominally blessed with the presence of religious
teachers, or "Predikants," or "Priesters." The slaves were
never permitted to see the face of a Christian minister, much
less to hear him. The religious and moral condition of the
first settlers or colonists and their descendants for some
number of years-Dutchmen and Englishmen-after 1803, is
graphically described by St. Paul in Romans i. 21-32. Even
now there are men in the Colony who deeply regret that slavery
was ever abolished from it, and who still persist in supposing






Creoles of British Guyana. 3

that the inhuman slave trade from Africa receives a stamp of
legality and sanction from the Bible. These are the men who
are ready to cry down the sayings and doings of the members
of the anti-slavery and other Christian or religious and
missionary societies. The African negro has seen his worst
days over, and now, thank God, he has a bright future
before him through Christ and His holy religion.
3. In the year 1836, eight gentlemen, forming a committee,
offered a prize for the best "ELEMENTARY BOOK, containing
short Lectures, with or without relative Questions or Answers,"
"intended for the use of the negro population in this Colony,
with the view of promoting their religious and moral improve-
ment." The names of the gentlemen who formed that com-
mittee were:-" Geo. Bagot, B. J. Hopkinson, Alex. Glen,
N. J. F. Bach, A. E. Luthers, N. M. Manget, M. J. Rete-
meyer, W. Bruce Ferguson, Secretary." The prize was won
by the Rev. ALEXANDER MANZIE, Wesleyan missionary,
Mahaica, who had but newly arrived in the colony. This
"ELEMENTARY BOOK," or Prize Essay, dedicated "To His
Excellency Major-General Sir JAMES CARMICHAEL SMYTH,
Baronet, etc., etc., Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and
over the Colony of British Guyana," was printed at the expense
of the committee and circulated in the Colony. It is now a
rare book. From this, therefore, I take the liberty of placing
before my reader one or two extracts having reference to the
Creoles as an intelligent race of people:-
"If any one," observes the essayist, "said that they are
naturally a dull, stupid race, incapable of being instructed, he
must have been a fool or a knave; a fool, if he had not dis-
cernment to see that the contrary is the fact-a knave, if, seeing
it, he could raise such a report to their prejudice. It is true
I have not applied the compasses and the square to their
heads, and consulted writers on phrenology in order to ascer-
tain, by this means, their intellectual capability; but, judging
from the experience I have had as an instructor among them,
and from the testimony of others who were fully qualified to
form a correct estimate of their mental capacities, I have no
hesitation in saying, that in point of natural understanding
they are not behind the children in Great Britain."







4 Among the Hindus and

But hear the statement of one who had thoroughly investi-
gated the character of the negro race:-
"Will it be believed," says the late Rev. R. Watson, "that
this race can, as to intellect and genius, exhibit a brighter
ancestry than our own-that they are the off-shoots, wild and
untrained, it is true, but still the off-shoots, of a stem which
was once proudly luxuriant in the fruits of learning and taste;
whilst that from which the Goths, their calumniators, have
sprung, remained hard and knotted and barren ? For is
Africa without her heraldry of science and of fame? The
only probable account which can be given of the negro tribes
is, that as Africa was peopled, through Egypt, by three of the
descendants of Ham, they are the offspring of Cush, Misraim,
and Put. They found Egypt a morass, and converted it into
the most fertile country of the world; they reared its pyramids,
invented its hieroglyphics, gave letters to Greece and Rome,
and through them to us. The everlasting architecture of
Africa still exists-the wonder of the world, though in ruins.
Her mighty kingdoms have yet their record in history. She
has poured forth her heroes on the field, given bishops to the
Church, and martyrs to the fires. And for negro physiognomy,
as though that could shut out the light of intellect, go to your
national museum, contemplate the features of the colossal head
of Memnon, and the statues of the divinities on which the
ancient Africans impressed their own forms, and there see, in
close resemblance to the negro feature, the mould of those
countenances which once beheld as the creations of their own
immortal genius the noblest and most stupendous monuments
of human skill, taste, and grandeur. In imperishable porphyry
and granite is the unfounded and pitiful slander publicly, and
before all the world, refuted. There we see the negro under
cultivation; if he now presents a different aspect, cultivation
is wanting. That solves the whole case; for even now, when
education has been expended upon the pure and undoubted
negro, it has never been bestowed in vain. Modern times
have witnessed, in the persons of African negroes, generals,
physicians, philosophers, linguists, poets, mathematicians,
and merchants, all eminent in their attainments, energetic
in enterprise, and honourable in character; and even
the mission schools in the West Indies exhibit a quick-
ness of intellect and a thirst for learning to which the
schools of this country (England) do not always afford a
parallel."







Creoles of British Guyana. 5

Such facts as the above ought surely to silence those indi-
viduals who seem fond of expatiating on the ignorance and
immorality of our labouring population.
The Rev. W. B. Boyce, ex-senior Secretary of the Wesleyan
Missionary Society, who had laboured as missionary in Western
Africa for some years, but who has at present connected him-
self with the Australian Wesleyan Methodist Conference, in a
letter dated "London, i6th January 1875," referring to the
negroes of the West Indies, observes:-
"In my opinion, no races-not even the European-have
better brains than the negro when cultivated; and if we
cannot get a ministry of this class, then our work in the West
Indies is a failure."
The following opinion of a West Indian Governor on the
merits of the negro race will be read with interest throughout
the West Indies:-
"VILIFICATION OF THE NEGRO.
"To the Editor.
"Sir,-In the St. James's Budget of the 12th of January last,
among your notes, is a reference to a letter in the Daily News
respecting the late fire in Kingston. I have not seen that
letter, as I do not take the Daily News; but, quoting from it,
you state that on the occasion of the fire, 'the only sign of
activity the negroes gave was pelting the Governor and his
staff.'
Allow me to say that the statement is one of those described
by the philosophers of Laputa as 'things that are not.' I
rode through the crowds at that fire in all directions, accom-
panied only by my private secretary; and I met with nothing
but courtesy and consideration, with the exception of some
silly political impertinence from one man who was drunk, and
who was not a negro.
"I very much doubt that I should have run so little chance
of harm of any kind in a crowd at a London fire. And with
regard to the alleged unwillingness of the people to work, the
correspondent of the Daily News was probably unaware of the
police regulation, that the constabulary are to protect and assist
the fire brigade by restraining the misdirected efforts of un-
authorized and unorganized persons and bodies, which only
create confusion and interruption. I saw hundreds of the







6 Among the Hindus and

black population working with quiet and persevering diligence
to save the goods and chattels of themselves and others.
"The late Mr. Carlyle had great respect for what he called
'the eternal veracities.' He would have been indignant as
well as astonished to find, as I have found after having had
thirty years' official experience in different parts of the world,
that on no subject anywhere are they more flagrantly violated
than in much that relates to our black brethren.'
"I sometimes wonder what the negrophobists promise them-
selves to obtain by persistent vilification of the negro. They
cannot dream that the people of Great Britain will now
consent to the re-establishment of slavery. Like the Bourbons,
they have apparently learned nothing and forgotten nothing
since the emancipation; and take no note that the world has
now moved past pro-slavery and anti-slavery controversies, and
simply requires truth and justice without respect to colour.
"I beg that you will publish this letter.-I am, sir, your
obedient servant,
A. MUSGRAVE, Governor of Jamaica.
"KING'S HOUSE, JAMAICA, Feb. 8, I883."

4. The Colony of British Guyana is now in the hands of the
descendants of those who were first introduced as slaves from
Africa, and it is entirely in their power, and within their reach,
to raise themselves to high positions in life, like many now
living whose names have become household words. But,
writes some one, signing himself "REFORMER," in the Royal
Gazette of July 14, 1883,-
"All men are possessed of a spirit of ambition, and as
things differ in equality, even so do the ambitious propensities
of man. On lifting the veil of futurity, and taking a prospective
view of the obstacles which impede the progress of the black
and coloured population, I see among them one standing very
prominent, bidding defiance; and on interrogating its com-
ponents, echo responded quite stentoriously: PREJUDICE! We
often hear the assertion, 'Such a man is not ambitious,' or
' Dame Fate has placed her evil hand upon him,' or He is not
persevering,' etc., even by our well-to-do citizens. But what
suppresses man's ambition (Creoles especially), and throws
him in the rear, is the prejudicial actions of those with whom
he comes in contact, and whom he has to approach to obtain
employment. The services of many young men which would







Creoles of British Guyana. 7

be of some value, and reflect credit on their race, are left to be
thrown away in the idle paths of life simply on account of
colour, which seems to be the chief qualification in the Colony
of those seeking employment in respectable callings, while
intelligence and respectability bear no price or sympathy
unless accompanied with a 'fat purse' or connection. We see
black and coloured young men often refused situations they
are in every capacity capable of filling, without any degradation
whatever to the office, and a man who happens to be of
brighter hue, and who, intellectually, is no more capable of
filling the gap than a donkey to draw one of the tram-cars of
the Tramway Company, placed in it with the understanding
that he 'will get out.' How long will this continue? No
wonder we hear the false accusations, Creoles are a lazy lot,'
emanating from employers and citizens. Sir, after going from
door to door, and being refused employment for which they
are well suited, when there is a vacancy, they actually become
down-spirited, and begin to think, as the better-positioned man,
from the leading officials, in whose power it is to give employ-
ment, to the most paltry employer in Water Street, that the
black and coloured young men, if not mechanics, are only
suited for menial offices, or ought to be in the field. And why?
Simply, I suppose, to make room for some of the raw material
of Europe, who come here and hold prominent situations
quite unsuited to their intellectual capabilities. Again,
Creoles are expected when employed to live on a mere
pittance, and hence the regulation of their pay. Ought not
such a state of things to give rise to idleness ? The laziness
of the Creoles is brought on by there not being the ghost of
a chance left them. Even in the police department we see
the Inspector-General's office manned by two white youngsters,
of whose qualification I say nothing, especially one, and the
remainder police constables -blacks forming the majority.
And if either of those constables had applied to the 'Guv'ner'
of that department for a situation as clerk, he would have
considered it impertinence; but yet as police constables they
are made to serve as clerks, and not attend their duty. If
they are qualified to be clerks, by all means let them be
employed on the staff as clerks, and not police constables,
or give chance to some whom it would be an indignity to
enter the service as police constables. It is time more sphere
should be given to poor Creoles; they are daily growing more
intelligent, and all can never be suited for carpenters, shoe-






8 Among the Hindus and

makers, blacksmiths, etc., alone. Let some of us be clerks
too; we will form our own class of associates: it is not your
company we want, but your employment."
5. The Dutch Reformed Church, which is no longer in
existence, was the oldest and most important clerical establish-
ment in the Colony. Before the year 1770, Divine service
used to be performed in what was then termed the "Church
Buildings;" but, on the 24th June of the same year, the last
sermon was preached there by the Rev. Mr. Lingins, who
took for his text Isaiah ii. 3. On the first of July 1770 the
newly-built church was solemnly consecrated, and the preacher
chose for his text Ezra vi. 14-17. From 1766 to 1793, parties
about to contract marriage were always undertrowed (betrothed)
by the clergy of the Dutch Reformed Church, except in cases
of sickness; an announcement to that effect was made in the
church for three successive Sundays, in conformity with the
code of marriage regulations of 1656. From 1793 to 1796
there were no regular clergymen in the Colony, and certain
fees, to the amount of 200 guilders, were exacted for the
ceremony of undertrowing. When the clergy were again
established, they petitioned in 1819 against this ceremony
being transferred to the civil or lay power, and protested
against the regulations then in force on this subject. The very
first "Predikant," or "Priester," in connection with the Dutch
Reformed Church, who arrived in Berbice was the Rev. Jan
Christian Frauendorf, in 1735. In addition to this office, a
clerk and schoolmaster was also imported, whose salary was
300 guilders per annum. The minister's salary was fixed at
900 guilders yearly, with an additional sum of 300 guilders to
keep his own table without having to board with the Governor.
He had also a free house to reside in near Fort Nasau, which
was at the distance of a cannon shot from New Amsterdam,
the present capital of Berbice. In 1746 there were about
twenty scattered houses in this town, with a Lutheran church
(once in use by the London missionaries and Wesleyan
missionaries) and minister's house. On the other side of
the river Berbice a Dutch Reformed church was built
at the mouth of the river Waironi, as well as a redoubt or






Creoles of British Guyana. 9

fort, and another small Lutheran church higher up. In 1769
we read of a Church Council or Vestry (Kirken-raad), com-
posed of the Predikant, three elders, and two deacons, as
being in existence in Berbice. The Lutheran church had one
Predikant, five elders, and one or two deacons. In 1757 a
communication, signed by Thibault and Duvelaw, was, at the
earnest demand of the inhabitants, sent by the Directors of the
Chamber of Zealand to the Director-General of the two rivers
and his Council of Government, acquainting them with the
Chamber's intention to send out a Predikant or clergyman
to the settlers in the river Demerara. The Dutch Reformed
Church and Lutheran Church were recognized by the Dutch
Government, and the ministrations of the clergy were solely
confined to the settlers or colonists. No missions were estab-
lished or started by them to benefit the aborigines or the
African slave population.
6. The English inhabitants of the Colony, up to the year
18o1, do not appear to have had a regular place of worship; a
service according to the Liturgy of the Established Church
was read by the colonial chaplain at the Court House, which
was scantily attended by a few white inhabitants, who were not
the best educated or well-behaved. By degrees educated
clergymen arrived from England, and several churches or
places of worship were erected in various parts of the Colony,
both at public and private expense. Strictly speaking, the
Rev. John Wray was the first minister who preached regularly
in the English language in British Guyana, and the Rev. John
Davis the second minister who also preached in English; both
were sent out by the London Missionary Society in i808 and
1809. Mr. Davis established a mission in the city, built a
chapel, and called it "Providence Chapel," which is now used
by the Rev. J. Ketly, M.A., being the pastor. Previous to
1842, Bishop Coleridge, of Barbadoes and Leeward and
Windward Islands, exercised jurisdiction over the Colony, but
in his day British Guyana was not a separate diocese. Previous
to the erection of the cathedral of St. George, the "principal
church" in the city stood on what is now the avenue of the
old cathedral. It was built in 1842 at a cost of C18,ooo,






IO Among the Hindus and

and consecrated the same year by the good bishop Dr. Austin,
who is now the oldest bishop living; and the "principal
church" was built in 18Io by private subscriptions. The first
clergyman who officiated in it was the Rev. Mr. Strachan, a
Christ Church man, who was also chaplain to the garrison at
Eve Leary. We have now in the Colony various sections of
the Christian Church,-the Anglican, the Presbyterian, the
Moravian, the London Missionary or Congregational, the
Brethren, the Wesleyan Methodist, and the Romish. All are
engaged in doing good. The Anglican, Presbyterian, and
Wesleyan have also missions among the Asiatic immigrants
in the Colony. The aborigines are not forgotten by the
Christian Church. The late Rev. W. H. Brett, the well-
known missionary to the Indians, was a very successful and
energetic man; a memoir of this "Apostle is published by the
Rev. F. P. L. Josa, in England. I cannot close this introduc-
tory chapter without making some reference to the Demerara
Martyr, Smith." The following account, from the pen of the
Rev. John Foreman, London missionary, published in the
Argosy of August 18, 1883, will be read with great interest:-
Sixty years to-day have now rolled by, and our minds are
vividly carried back to that far distant time of the insurrection
of the slaves in this colony. It was on the evening of the
i8th August 1823, that the flames, which were then smoulder-
ing in all slaveholding countries, burst out for a short while
on the east coast of Demerara. The planting body and the
Government at once ascribed this to missionary influence.
But we need not go far to prove this utterly unfounded.
Time and history have proved the contrary. In the history
of slave-holding countries we find frequent rebellions-notably
in the countries where the gospel has not yet reached. The
circumstances in connection with the martyr are heart-rending,
painful, and harrowing. That Mr. Smith was cruelly and
severely dealt with, is quite evident. But that he was alto-
gether free from suspicion we cannot speak too decidedly.
John Smith was born at Rothwell, a village in Northampton-
shire, on the 27th of June 1790. The father died when the
boy was of tender age, and the mother, being left in straitened
circumstances, was unable to send her orphan to school. He
attended a Sunday school, where he was taught to read a little.



f.







Creoles of British Guyana. I

At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a London trades-
man, whose confidence and favour he soon won. Finding that
the lad's education was neglected, this gentleman began to teach
him, and young Smith made a pretty fair improvement. He
seemed to have had a sweet temper and a most genial dis-
position, which gained the goodwill and respect of all with
whom he was connected. Mr. Smith tells us that during this
part of his life the charms of the metropolis soon effaced all
the good impressions made by the Sunday school; and he
followed these charms for a time. His mind gradually under-
went a change, and he at last became decided from a sermon
preached by the Rev. John Leifchild. He was now converted,
and became a most diligent and efficient Sunday school
teacher for several years. During this time he read largely,
especially missionary and theological works. On the expira-
tion of his apprenticeship, he addressed a letter to the London
Missionary Society, expressing a desire to become a missionary.
He was delayed for two years, and was afterwards put under the
care of the Rev. Mr. Newton, a man distinguished for his piety
and learning. Mr. Smith made rapid progress in his studies,
and was soon ordained and selected as a suitable person to be
sent to British Guyana. He arrived in the Colony on the 27th
of February 1817. He tells us that his first interview with
Governor Murray was anything but pleasant. His Excellency
frowned upon him, and said, 'If you ever teach a negro to
read, I will banish you.' On his second interview the
Governor promised to protect him, and allowed him to
preach.
A chapel was built years ago by Mr. Port, proprietor of Pln.
Le Resouvenir. This kind and blessed planter, who had the
seeds of religion early implanted by a pious mother, instructed
his slaves himself, and afterwards wrote to the Directors of the
London Missionary Society for a minister. The Rev. Mr.
Wray was sent. He instructed the slaves at Le Resouvenir
and the neighboring estates for over five years. He was a
man of great moral courage, buoyed up by high moral
principles. He taught the slaves to read, and even to write,
in spite of every opposition. In the year 1813, Mr. Wray
settled in Berbice; and, after an interval of four years, Mr.
Smith took over Le Resouvenir. He at once began his
onerous duties, restored order, and laboured most diligently
and faithfully for six years.
In those days the preaching of the gospel was very much







12 Among the Hindus and

opposed by the planters. The sight of a missionary was
hateful. Many of the planters would have banished or
hanged him. They said that these missionaries were inter-
fering with their interests, and that they were bound to
protect their interests by opposing the gospel. We should
hardly blame a man for protecting his interests; on the
contrary, we should rather blame him if he did not. But that
the planter was protecting his interests on a wicked, atrocious,
and diabolical principle, is patent to the eye of every reasonable
man. It was, perhaps, pardonable in the planting body to act
as they did. Nor would we censure them. But the effrontery
and pertinacity with which some in that body defended slavery
was simply an outrage on reason and humanity.
The cause of the insurrection may be best given in the
words of Lord Brougham: In this remarkable circumstance,
the insurrection in Demerara stands distinguished from every
other movement of this description in the history of colonial
society. The slaves, influenced by false hopes of freedom,
agitated by rumours, and irritated by suspense and ignorance
in which they were kept, exasperated by ancient as well as
more recent wrongs,-for a sale of fifty-six of them had just
been announced, and they were about to be violently separated
and dispersed,-were satisfied in combining not to work, and
making their managers repair to town, and ascertain the
precise nature of the boon reported to have arrived from
England.'
"The insurrection broke out on Monday evening; and
martial law was at once proclaimed. About two hundred
slaves were shot on refusing to lay down their arms. One or
two of the whites were killed, and a few slightly injured. Law
and order were soon restored. Some of the slaves betook
themselves to the bush, and they were shot down by scores,
gibbeted and hanged by dozens; and besides these, many
were daily sentenced to death, and others were sentenced to
receive as many as a thousand lashes, and not a few suc-
cumbed under the lash. Such were the rigour and the
vengeance of the authorities.
"Mr. Smith and his wife were arrested on Thursday the 21st
August. They were forcibly hurried into town, without even
the chance of locking their house or taking a change of
apparel. They were confined in a small room in the Colony
House. The primary cause of the arrest was that Mr. Smith
claimed legal exemption for not enrolling in the militia. The






Creoles of British Guyana. 13

authorities had already made up in their minds how to act with
this poor defenceless missionary. This good and pious man
was truly sentenced to be hanged, tried, and then charged.
The charges against the missionary were four-the summary
of which is, that he had purposely misinformed the slaves
about their freedom in order to stir up rebellion. Of that
wicked and fiendish court-martial by which he was ostensibly
tried-of its members, all burning with rage, hatred, and deep
vengeance against this innocent and solitary man-of their
not granting him a legal adviser till late in the trial- of the
false evidence made out against him-of his manly and simple
defence, we will pass over. He was found guilty-recom-
mended to mercy-and sentenced 'to be hung by the neck
till dead.' During this protracted trial of nearly two months,
the poor man was visibly dying; and after his sentence he was
removed to the jail, to be there hastened to a yet more untimely
end by the effluvia arising from the stagnant waters under the
floor. And thus ended the precious life of the Demerara
Martyr. Of the kind and affectionate care of his wife during
those trying times-of the warm friendship of the bold and
fearless Rev. Mr.Austin, Mr. Arrindell, afterwards Chief-Justice,
and the intrepid Mrs. Elliot, space fails us to mention.
"Nor did this deep vengeance and bitter hatred end at his
death. They went further-even to his grave. He was
ordered to be buried at about three o'clock in the morning,
and even his wife was not allowed to follow his remains to the
grave. A few days after his burial, his grave was railed round
and bricked over. But so intense was the hatred of the
authorities against this missionary, that they ordered the
works to be taken away and the grave made level with the
ground, so as to leave the spot unmarked to this day."

7. The London Missionary students at home, on hearing of
the martyrdom of this great, good, and truly noble man, were
afraid to offer themselves as missionaries to labour in the Colony.
For some two years Mr. J. Davis's place was not filled. The
late Rev. Joseph Ketly (father of J. Ketly, the present pastor
of New Providence Chapel), who was preparing for missionary
work in China, volunteered to come to the Colony and labour
for God. In 1828 he began his ministry in the Colony, in
the days of slavery. He fought bravely and well in those
days, and after forty years' hard but successful toil he passed







Among the Hindus and


away like a shock of corn fully ripe, and entered into his rest
Though John Wray was the first Protestant missionary who
landed in British Guyana, and preached regularly in English
to the people, yet the fact must be told that three years before
his arrival in the Colony the Rev. John Hawkshaw was sent
out by the Wesleyan Conference; but on his landing was
ordered at once by the then Governor to leave the Colony:
he, however, conducted religious services among the Methodist
members in the city of Georgetown, then called Stabrook,
during his short stay, and then left by the mail boat. Since
better days of peace and quietness had dawned upon Guyana,
missionaries from both the London Missionary and Wesleyan
Societies were regularly sent to labour among the masses; and
they laboured hard, well, and successfully too, and after a time
they returned home to enjoy their well-earned rest. The
predecessors of our modern missionaries had to experience
persecution, much opposition, insult, and a host of other evils
in connection with their holy calling and work in which they
were engaged among the enslaved or but newly-emancipated
negroes, and knew and realized to the fullest extent what self-
denial and self-sacrifice meant when they left their home and
friends behind. Men now coming out to British Guyana or
to any of the West Indian islands as missionaries have no
such sacrifices to make in leaving their home and friends.
They have no persecution to endure, no insult to meet: all
these dark days are past and gone. When they now come to
Demerara or to the West Indies they find they have comfortable
residences provided for them, and every want supplied, and
every care taken of them by the people who are members of
the churches of which they become pastors. They every-
where find and meet with men and women of intelligence,
respectability, and means; many of whom, in social position
and circumstances, are much higher than the general run of
men who come out as ministers to labour among the people.
There are men and women with enlarged views and well
informed minds connected with the various Protestant
churches in the Colony, who laugh at these gentlemen when,
unblushingly, on missionary platforms and in pulpits, they talk






Creoles of British Guyana. 15

about the great sacrifices they make in leaving England to
come to preach the gospel to the natives, who are intelligent
and respectable, who, if not their superiors in position, are in
no way inferior to them. Clerks, overseers, etc., who come
to the Colony in search of situations as planters, merchants,
etc., do not volunteer such statements as some of the mission-
aries are disposed to do. Men going out to the wild and un-
civilised regions of Africa may well and justly speak of the
sacrifices they make, but not the men who come out to the
West Indies. The modem statements about sacrifices-self-
sacrifices-on the part of the hasty speakers might have been
tolerated and believed fifty years ago, but no man with any
grain of common-sense in him in the Colony will believe a
statement or assertion of this kind in these more enlightened
and brighter days. The people in the West Indies, as a rule,
are glad to see ministers from England come to labour among
them, and also to receive them as messengers of truth, and
welcome them, but they will not allow or tolerate exaggerated
statements without challenging them.















CHAPTER I.


THE EAST INDIAN POPULATION CLASSIFIED.

i. THE report for 1886 of the Hon. A. H. Alexander,
Immigration Agent-General, published in the Daily Chronicle
of June 25, 1887, shows that in British Guyana we have a
total Immigrant population of 100,281, indentured, uninden-
tured, and children of men and women who have come to
the Colony from our Indian Empire. They, in addition to
the Chinese and Portuguese coolies, form our constant and
inseparable fellow- subjects or companions, although widely
scattered on the different sugar estates in the Colony : where
we dwell, they dwell; where we die and are buried, there they
die and are buried; and, more than all, our God is their God,
and our Saviour is their Saviour. We cannot do without them.
They may be classified as follows :-
(a) MUHAMMEDANS speaking the Hindustani, which includes
two languages-Urdu and Hindi, the languages of Muham-
medans and Hindus respectively-which overlap one another
a little, but are almost as distinct as English and French.
Urdu is written with the Persian or Arabic character from
right to left, and its words are derived from Persian and Arabic
with a little admixture of Hindi; while Hindi is written with
Sanskrit character, from left to right, and is largely derived
from Sanskrit. Though Al-Kuran is universally received
among the Muhammedans (otherwise called Mussulmans), the
Sonnah, or tradition, divides them into two--orthodox and
heterodox-sects, amongst whom constant misunderstandings
and heartburnings exist, and hence they are termed the
"irreconcilable" sects: the Sonnites and the Adallyah, or
followers of justice, better known by the name of Shiyahs
(separatists). The Sonnites form the larger number among
16






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 17

the admirers and followers of Muhammed, "the Prophet of
the illiterate of the wilds of Arabia. Divided as the Muham-
medans are in the Colony, they have erected one or two
handsome musjids, or mosques, in which they carry on .their
religious services. They have their Imam, who reads the
prayers; the Khuteeb, who preaches the sermon or delivers an
oration; and the Muezzim, who calls to prayer the "faithful"
followers of the Prophet. The religion is called Islam, from an
Arabic root signifying peace;" but the Muhammedan writers
prefer to render the term Islam "resignation," professing that
submission to God's will is the beginning and end of all true
religion.
(b) HINDUS or PAGANS, speaking the following principal
languages, Bengali, Hindi-Kaithi, Tamil, Uriya, Gujrathi,
Punjabi, and others, and divided into two principal sects, the
Vaishnavas (followers of Vishnu or Krishna) and Shaivas
(followers of Shiva), each strenuously contending for the
supremacy of the chief object of their worship, and the con-
sequent inferiority of the other.
(c) HINDo-GUYANIANS, children born in the Colony, but
whose parents came from India. There is a large number of
them in the city of Georgetown and throughout the Colony,
and their number is annually increasing. These look upon
British Guyana as their birthplace and home, and have no
desire whatever to go to India with their parents. They form
a very interesting class of people in our midst, demanding the
attention of the several Protestant missionaries. They do not
care for the religion and languages of their parents, though
trained in them. In hundreds of instances they feel ashamed
of their parents on account of their heathenish abominations
and superstitions. They are very tractable, and only require
kind attentions shown, and encouragements held out, by our
English-speaking missionaries. They do not like the term
"Coolie," or "Sammie" (Swamie), applied to them, as they
do not claim India for their native or birth place. They all
speak English well, and are great readers of our daily and
weekly journals, and can be reached by the missionary, and
through them reach the parents also.






18 Among the Hindus and

2. This large number (100,281) of our East Indian popula-
tion-divided and separated from each other or class by a
variety of languages and by caste feelings-are our fellow-
subjects, all yielding allegiance to our beloved Sovereign of
Great Britain and British India. The variety of languages
spoken by our East Indian population makes the work of a
Christian missionary very difficult. In India, for instance, the
missionary has to learn only one language of the district or
people where or among whom he has to labour. For Lucknow
and Benares, the missionary has to learn Hindustani; for
Calcutta, Bengali; for Madras or South India district, Tamil,
etc.; whereas the case is different in British Guyana. The
proprietors or managers of sugar estates purposely choose men
speaking three or four separate and distinct languages not
understood by each other, in order to prevent combination in
cases of disturbances among them, and thus endanger the lives
of the overseers-a wise arrangement, no doubt, but one which
adds to the missionary's difficulties. The missionary must be
a wonderfully clever man to be able to understand all the
languages and dialects of the different Hindu tribes, to be able
to preach or speak to them in their several caste languages.
Unfortunately we do not possess this gift of tongues, it having
ceased long ago with the apostles. Very rarely a missionary
may now be found who could speak intelligently more than
one or two languages. Nothing is so easy as to obtain a
smattering of two or three languages, and to gratify the vanity
of the mind with the name of being a great linguist. But I
have no sympathy with such childish pretensions. In attempt-
ing to gain too much, the missionary student gains comparatively
little. Far better that the missionary should give his whole
time to one language of the people among whom he labours,
and so master it, that he might use it as his own, apply it to
all practical purposes, and that he may be rendered a blessing
to the people who understand it, than to have a superficial
knowledge of many, and not be able to use any of them with
efficiency or profit to the edification of the people among whom
he labours. In this Colony, however, there is a great desire
on the part of the Immigrants to get if possible an acquaintance






Creoles of British Guyana. 19

with the English language, being the language of the country
and people where and among whom they have come to dwell.
They feel daily that a knowledge of the English language,
however imperfect it might be, is necessary for them. The
great majority of the Immigrants have an idea (whether
correct or not it is not for me to say) that, because of their
ignorance of the language of the country, undue advantage is
taken of them by various persons. Hence their great desire to
learn the language. Whenever an open-air service is held in
English, a large number of them may be found standing with
the rest of the crowd to listen to the speaker, and to catch
English words, so that they might become useful to them.
3. Professor Grimm ascribes to the English language "a
veritable power of expression, such as perhaps never stood at
the command of any other language of men. It may, with all
right, be called a world language, and, like the English people,
. appears to be destined hereafter to prevail, with a sway more
extensive even than at present, over all portions of the globe."
It is also well fitted to become the medium of translation for
the literature of the old as of the new world, of the East and of
Sthe West. It easily naturalizes the thoughts of men of every
climate and of every age, and extends its sympathy as deep as
humanity itself." It has been well observed that already we see
it "(the English language) "in a fair way to become the universal
language. It is spoken all over the globe, not only by English-
men, but by natives of other countries; and a very remarkable
decree has lately ordered its adoption in Japan as the language
of business throughout the country." The Rev. James Cooling,
Wesleyan missionary from the Madras Presidency, speaking at
"the Missionary Breakfast Meeting," held in the lower hall,
Exeter Hall, on Saturday morning, April 30, 1887, on the
influence and prevalence of the English language in India
among the masses of the people, observed:-
Some weeks ago, when celebrating her Majesty's Jubilee in
India, we did not forget that the reign of Queen Victoria
exactly synchronizes with one of the most marvellous move-
ments the world has ever seen. It is exactly fifty years since
Lord Macaulay, then in India, penned a Minute, the outcome






20 Among the Hindus and

of which has been one of the most marvellous movements that
has ever come over any people. The controversy was, Should
the highest form of education which the Government ought to
give to the natives of that country be one in the Oriental
classical languages of Persian and Sanskrit, or should it be in
English? Macaulay's Minute settled it in favour of English.
Though that Minute is the spring up to which this mighty
movement in favour of English education can be traced, yet
beyond the establishment by Government of a High School in
each of the Presidency towns, and the starting of a very few
Mission schools,-of which, however, our Royapettah Institu-
tion in Madras was one,-little was done until 1854, when Sir
Charles Wood (afterwards the late Lord Halifax) sent out his
celebrated despatch, which has been often described as "The
Magna Charta of Indian Education." That despatch laid down
the principle that, as the work of education was too great to
be accomplished by Government alone, or bodies such as
committees of native gentlemen, missionary or philanthropic
societies should be encouraged, by grants of money in aid of
their schools, to co-operate with Government in this work.
That despatch also directed that universities, after the model
of the London University, should be established in the Presi-
dency towns of Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. This was
carried out in 1857,-thirty years ago,-and since then the
development has been extremely rapid. There are now in the
Madras Presidency alone hundreds of thousands of youths
learning English. Not only is the whole of the university
course given through English, but in every High and Middle
School English literature is a subject of study, and the English
language is the medium through which instruction in other
subjects is given. In a large number of primary schools the
English language is a part of the curriculum. There is scarcely
a young man making any pretensions whatever of being
educated, who would not be ashamed if he could not converse
with you in English. It must, however, not be supposed that
this English education is given free of cost. Our school and
college fees, and our university fees, are prescribed by Govern-
ment, and, compared with the resources of the people, are
much higher in amount than those in England. You would
be surprised at the sacrifices many of the boys and their
relatives make in order to get an English education. They
will deny themselves food and clothing, sell or pawn their
family jewels, and go into debt for years to come. I have






Creoles of British Guyana. 21

known many instances of Brahman boys getting their food from
the houses of seven native gentlemen a week, going to one
house each day, and begging the money for their fees and
books. Of course it must be remembered that it is a work of
merit for a Hindu to give alms to a Brahman; and that a
Brahman is so accustomed to receive, that he has no more
scruples about begging than you or I have about buying.
Here we are face to face with a movement which appears to
me unparalleled in the history of the world. The tide has set
in. It is advancing rapidly, and, whether we like it or not, it
will continue to advance, for young India will learn English."
A similar feeling exists in this Colony on the part of a large
majority of our East Indian Immigrants, and, apart from the
work done by the missionaries who are especially engaged
among them, knowing their languages, the English-speaking
minister should take advantage of the desire on the part of
the heathen Immigrants, and preach to them in English in the
open air, so as to give them an opportunity to gain an acquaint-
ance with the language, and gradually win them for Christ.















CHAPTER II.


THE EAST INDIAN IMMIGRANTS OUR FELLOW-COLONISTS AND
AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS.

I. IN an article entitled "The Coolie," reprinted in the
Argosy of March 12, 1887, the Rev. J. G. Pearson speaks of
the East Indian Immigrants as the "alien peasantry" of the
Colony. But such is not the case. From one part of the
British dominion they have been transferred to another, that
they might become useful to that country or Colony, and thus
benefit its peoples and proprietors of sugar estates by their
systematic and constant labour. In the face of much opposi-
tion and obloquy, the Government and planters of the Colony
made great and creditable efforts, and at last succeeded in
obtaining labourers from India to supply the deficiency of
labour arising principally from the indolence of our rural
labouring Creole population. There is no denying the fact
that there exists an uncalled-for, bitter feeling between the
native Creole and the Indian Immigrant towards each other.
The native looks upon the heathen Indian as an intruder or
interloper, whilst the Indian looks down upon the native black
as a being inferior to him in a social aspect. Very often in the
Colony disturbances of a serious nature take place between the
Asiatics and the descendants of the old slaves, which end in a
free fight; and I suppose this feeling of hatred and dislike for
each other will last so long as Immigration from India con-
tinues. In a religious point this feeling is very glaring, as the
following instance, from the Argosy, will show:-
"CHRISTIAN SISTERS.
"First Sister. Have you heard of the accident ? six persons
in the bateau, and all drowned.






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 23

"Second Sister. 0 dear, how sad! and so quick! but per-
haps they have found a home in heaven at last with the
Master.
"First Sister. Yes, perhaps so; six of them, and all coolies.
"Second Sister. Coolies! Only coolies! Tchups I
thought you were speaking of people !"

If we take up the missionary subscription lists published in
the Colony, and look over the names of regular subscribers or
contributors, we shall find the apathy and unwillingness mani-
fested by our rural labouring Creole Christians when appealed
to for their help and sympathy in the mission work done
among the East Indian population. "We can't give, and we
won't give anything for such a purpose. We have our own to
look after. We never brought these people, and we don't want
them. If the Missions among such people are to be supported
and carried on, let the Government and the planters do that,
for it is for their special benefit that these coolies are brought
here from India." This is the exhibition and extent of their
Christian love and charity for their heathen neighbours.
Though the Indians may be looked upon, and even described,
by those who should know better, as the "alien peasantry" of
the Colony, yet there is no denying the fact that they, and
they especially, are the agricultural people on whose steady
labour we have to depend.
2. When I say that our East Indian Immigrants are our
agricultural people, I do not mean that all who migrate to
Demerara and other West Indian islands were so in their
country before they left it. A large number who have come to
Demerara have never been agricultural labourers at all. It is
only after the overseers and drivers on the different estates have
properly drilled them into that art, that they could be called
agricultural labourers. The indentured Indian coolie must
work, and does work, on a sugar estate; but it must not be
supposed that he does so readily and cheerfully. When he
works it is from necessity, not choice-to satisfy a demand, not
to gratify an inclination. In place of the motto, "Labour is
itself pleasant," he would substitute this, "Work when you
must, be idle when you can: eat, drink, and be merry." This






24 Among the Hindus and

is the motto or creed, also, of the black Creole labourer. He is
not a slave or an indentured labourer, like the Indian coolie,
to be compelled to work. Time is his own, and he can spend it
as he pleases. When he makes up his mind to work, he, as a rule,
sticks out for a high rate of wages, which the planters can't give.

"The nature of the Creole labourer was strikingly exhibited
one day lately, when a young planter, son of an absent pro-
prietor, was asked by the spokesman of a gang to give them a
higher rate for the work they were on. How de, nyung massa ?'
was the first salutation. 'I hope you is well, and you fadder,
uncle, dem, dey is all well? Tank God. Look, my nyung
massa.' And then followed an appeal as to an increase of
rate per rood, which the nyung massa would not entertain.
The tone of the petitioners then underwent a change. 'Wut-
less pickney; that mannish fellow. Ain't no use here; fadder
should make he 'tan home in Hengland.' The' wutless pickney'
heard all. Estates adjacent to large villages, the major part of
the population of which is generally unemployed, can usually
command a supply of labour, such as it is,-intermittent and
for the most part unreliable,-if they can afford to pay the
extravagantly high prices too frequently demanded. But such
exceptions are few. The majority of the estates are still mainly
dependent upon their Immigrant labourers, indentured and
unindentured, for the tillage of their land and the ingathering
of their crops. And there is every probability that that state
of dependence will continue for an indefinite period yet to
come. For, although it is now more than half-a-century since
slavery was abolished, and it might have been supposed that
any association even in idea between predial labour and
the 'peculiar institution'-always unreal and now ridiculous
-would have long since died away and been forgotten, there
is undoubtedly a growing disinclination on the part of the
Creole population, especially the rising generation, to engage in
field work, or to settle down steadily to any kind of mechanical
occupation. Even the 'trades,' as ordinary handicrafts are
termed, are unpopular; and the repugnance of parents to
apprentice their sons for a sufficient term to enable them
thoroughly to master any particular branch, is having the
natural effect of deteriorating the quality of our native
mechanics and artisans, and placing them at a disadvantage
in competition with Barbadians and Immigrants from the other
West Indian islands. Many are disposed to attribute this to






Creoles of British Guyana.


the superficial and in some respects frivolous character of the
education heretofore imparted in our primary schools. And
there is probably a soupfon of truth in the idea; for it is certain
that a Creole youth with a smattering of scholastic lore, the
thinnest veneer of so-called learning,' but destitute of a prac-
tical acquaintance with arithmetic, mensuration, and trigono-
metry requisite for a competent mechanic, regards even skilled
manual labour with contempt, considers it beneath him, and
aims at something more genteel.' He wants to be a clerk, a
teacher, a minister (save the mark!), a shopkeeper, an 'agent'
or hedge lawyer, a pedlar, or a professor,' of no matter what-
anything but an honest workman, the noblest occupation in
the calendar, if he but rightly understood it. Of course the
evil will cure itself. Already all the 'genteel' branches of
labour are overcrowded, especially those of clerks and assistants
in stores, and the pay is wretched. How the hundreds of
young fellows employed in the minor stores in Water Street
and other parts of the town contrive to subsist on the miserable
pittances they receive, is one of those mysteries which only
an occasional expos in the Police Court serves to elucidate.
When industrial and technical schools-in which the true dignity
of labour will be practically inculcated, where the youth of the
Colony will learn to take pride in their work, and to love labour
for the pleasure it affords-are established, a better order of
things may be expected to arise. But that will be a work of
time; and while the grass grows the horse starves. Our planters
urgently require labour, and in the absence of the native article
are fain to look abroad. For many years past India has been
their main reliance; but the supply thence has never been
equal to the demand, and is now more inadequate than ever.
The estates now in operation, supported as most of them are
by unlimited capital, would readily absorb at least ten thousand
Immigrants per annum; but not half that number are procur-
able from British India."1
However, the coolies are now our growers of sugar, and as
a whole they do make very useful labourers. The only pity is,
when their term of service on a sugar estate and residence in
the Colony is completed, they look to return to India, perhaps
never to come back, but to go to some other part of the world,
with acquired experience in planting business and pleasing
recollections of their sojourn in British Guyana. Every year
1 Argosy, August 1883.






26 Among the Hindus and

a flourish of trumpets takes place as to the large amounts in
money and the value of their ornaments which the coolies
returning to India carry out of the Colony; but the pride of
the planters and Government ought to be in the number they
induce to remain in the country. No step should be left
untried to secure the confidence of the Immigrant. Even if
the Immigrant did not take to the sugar estates, yet he would
be a great gain to the Colony, not only as a farmer of cattle, of
rice, and of other articles of food, but also in imparting to the
negro villagers many of the elements of an ancient civilisation.
He would teach him industry and frugality, and love and care
for his offspring, and kindness to his ox and his ass, virtues in
which the best friend of the negro must admit he is sadly
deficient. So far as work is concerned, the Creole black is far
superior in strength of body to the coolie. One good black
labourer will do as much work in one day as half-a-dozen
coolies put together, and do it satisfactorily. It is the ques-
tion of wages that keeps the Creole labourer from the cane
field. At times I have sincerely wished that Immigration from
India could altogether be stopped, so as to enable the native
Creole to enter the labour field without any opposition. I am
no advocate of a perpetuation of the present Immigration
system. I think the time has come when the planters especially,
and others interested in Immigration matters and the welfare
of the Colony as a whole, ought to take immediate steps to stop
further importation of coolies from India. The reindenture
system, as in former years, should be favourably considered by
the Government and planting body, and every inducement
held out to free and non-indentured Indian labourers or coolies,
and their children born in the Colony, to remain altogether in
British Guyana, which indeed is the home of the thousands
of children of Asiatic parents. Immigration, it is true, has to
a very large extent been the salvation of the Colony, and now,
it having done its work, it is high time that it should come
to a permanent end, so that the free Indian coolies and their
children the Hindo Guyanians, and the native black Creole
coolies or labourers, may vie with each other in the labour
market, and prove a blessing to the Colony.






Creoles of British Guyana. 27

3. There has been a change for good in a social, moral, and
religious sense in the condition of the people of India for some
considerable period, and more especially during the past half-
a-century of our beloved Sovereign's reign. The 240 millions
constituting the population of India-of all creeds, sects, and
castes-had been watching and waiting with patience for better
times, and now they are realizing this. The European-British
-influence, science and learning, inventions and customs,
introduced there have so opened the eyes of the people as to
make them wiser than they were before in regard to their con-
dition; and the spread of Christianity among them by the
different Protestant missionaries in close connection with the
above, is fast breaking down the caste feeling prevailing among
the different tribes of Hindus, and delivering them from bale-
ful superstitions. The entrance of God's Word giveth light
unto them; it giveth understanding unto those who are simple.
Their moral and religious elevation is secured to them by these
means. Nothing is more antagonistic to Christianity than
caste, the masterpiece of Satan, which, with its endless ramifi
cations, isolates men from their fellow-men, elevating some into
fancied superiority, and depressing others unduly into a state
of hopeless degradation. From this tyranny of caste and
priestly power of the Brahmans, the people are being gradually
delivered by the promulgation of the truth as it is in Jesus.
Darkness recedes before light. Fortunately, caste to the same
extent or degree is not observed here as it is in India, and the
people have already mixed without any distinction, and are
eating and drinking together, and are also intermarrying, the
high caste Hindu with the lowest. In some rare instances
Hindus of good caste have even married black and coloured
females, and are living happily together.
4. The Empire of India, divided into SHAMA DES and JYAPETI
DES, was originally the home of the Draudya or Taranya race,
who, by the succeeding Sanskrit-speaking Aryans or Brahmans,
were afterwards driven more towards the south of India from
Aryavratta or Bharata-Varsha. The two principal families of
any importance or significance mentioned in all Hindu standard
works were the Surya and Chandra, or the Draudya and Arya






Among the Hindus and


races. [This subject having to some length been already
discussed in my Colony of British Guyana, and Ancestry of
East Indian Immigrants, I shall not trouble the reader with
a repetition of it.] The terms "Dra-aryan," "Turaryan,"
"Turanian," or "Tararyan," and "Aryan," used by scholars,
are mere conventional terms so far as applied to the descend-
ants of Shem and Japheth, who occupied the whole of India
from pre-historic times. At the present day the term "Aryan"
includes the Brahmanical or Japhetic races of India, and the
term "Tar" or "Dra-aryan" (Draudyan) includes all Scythio-
Shemitic races of the country, who have ever been opposed to
Brahmanical usurpation and tyranny of caste. Mr. Vaughan in
his valuable work, The Trident, the Crescent, and the Cross, re-
marks that "the term Aryan, though it comes to bear the sense of
'noble,' seems to be derived from a root indicating to plough.
Agricultural pursuits, along with pastoral, appear to have been
the leading feature in the life of the early Aryans ; "-and indeed
all the first or primitive settlers in India were both agricultural
and pastoral in their pursuits, without any exception. The
very name Arya in this sense is still retained among the
Draudyans of Southern India in a poem by Kamban, entitled
Erezhubadu, the seventy stanzas in praise of the plough. In
process of time, however, the Sanskrit-speaking Immigrants
who found theii way into India abandoned their agricultural
and pastoral pursuits as being quite unsuitable to their purpose
and calling, and transferred the same to the "inferior races,"
as these proud conquerors were pleased to style the "aboriginal
primitive tribes and the Draudya or Scythic people who had
occupied the country as their immediate predecessors. These
latter-Sanskrit Immigrants-assumed the position and status
of priests, of nobles, of warriors among the original settlers.
It is after this change had been made, in the very early period
of Indian history and its government, by which caste (a thing
unknown among the original occupiers of the country) and
Brahmanism or Hinduism with its polytheistic doctrines were
introduced and enforced upon the quiet, peaceful Draudya
inhabitants, thus Hinduising them, that the term Aryan-as
meaning noble-became exclusively applied to them, and the






Creoles of British Guyana. 29

terms An-Aryan, Tar [or Dur]aryan, Draudyan, to all the rest
who had shown any opposition to them in their endeavours to
subjugate them. The people thus came to be divided into
distinct castes. Professor Monier Williams is of opinion that
"the hill-tribes and others (such as were symbolized by the
monkey armies of Hanuman)-the Gonds of Central India,
the Bhils of the hills to the west of the Gonds, the Khonds or
Kus of the eastern districts of Gondvana and the ranges south
of Orissa, the Santhals and Kols of the hills to the west of
Bengal, the Khanas and Garos of the eastern border-are the
present representatives of numerous wild Tartar tribes who
swarmed into India at various epochs, some of them probably
coming from Chinese Tartary and Thibet, and taking the
course of the Brahmaputra into Bengal. These speak an
infinite number of dialects, and are almost mutually unintel-
ligible." But what is most striking and remarkable about
these tribes is, like the Jews, in whatever country they may be
found, or whatever people they may dwell among, they still
dwell alone and keep themselves apart and distinct from others.
Conflicting statements and testimonies have been made and
given regarding particular portions of these aboriginal tribes or
occupants of India; but, writes a missionary who had laboured
for many years among them, "One lamentable vice-drunken-
ness-is, however, we fear, almost universal among them. This
may probably be attributable to their Scythian origin; mention
of Scythian drunkenness is constantly made in classical authors."
In the women, however, drunkenness would be deemed dis-
graceful. The same reproach attaches to the Santhals. The
hill tribes in Northern and Southern India, who are of a darker
hue, and of a less civilised and less sophisticated type, corre-
spond to the Celts in England,-the Tararyans or Draudyans
(the Tamilians) to the Saxons, the Brahmans to the Normans.
Very similar processes have gone on in both countries. On
several of the sugar estates in the Colony I have met with
people of this description, called "Paharees"--hill tribes of
India.
5. The great and most fertile Tamilian or Draudya race of
Scythio-Shemitic origin (like the tribes just described), whose







30 Among the Hindus and

language is the parent of Telugu, Kanarese, Malayalan, and
some others spoken in Southern India, were the immediate
precursors of the Sanskrit-speaking Brahmans or Aryans. Both
had their origin in the same districts of Central Asia, whence
they immigrated by the same mountain passes into the Punjab
and Northern India. They are both distinct alike in character
and language, and originally were distinct also in religion,
though long ages have smoothed out many of the differences.
For the most part the Draudyans were driven southwards,
attaining a considerable independent civilisation, speaking
distinct languages, different in structure from Sanskrit, and
possessing an extensive and important literature of their own.
A considerable number of these Tamilians also passed over the
straits into the island of Ceylon, or Lanka, and settled there, and
with them they carried their literature and civilisation. These
migrators in course of years became the agricultural and mer-
cantile people of the island, and gained sufficient wealth-and
influence to be looked upon as, or become, respectable; and
hence in the present day these Vaisyas, as they are called in
the island, are ranked among the aristocracy, the noblest class
of the people, next to those who hold rank as hereditary
princes, free from any Brahmanical intrusion or tyranny. It
is only a few centuries since the Brahmans established their
priestly tyranny among them in Southern India. When
agricultural and pastoral pursuits had been abandoned by the
Sanskrit Aryans, and changed the original meaning of the term
Aryan-a ploughman-into that of a nobleman, priest, warrior,
the Draudyan retained it in his vocabulary as equivalent to an
agriculturist or ploughman, and gloried in that term and in the
occupation indicated by that term. The Tamil nation may be
considered as chiefly agricultural,-in primitive times, perhaps,
wholly so,-for though various manufactures existed in the pro-
vinces to which the dominion of the ancient Tamil-Pandyan,
Soren, and Seran princes extended, the several caste or
tradesmen by which these were conducted were, by the ancient
institutions of the country, in absolute subjection to the culti-
vating tribes,-the Kaniyachchi Karar, or lords of the soil, who,
however, derived their superiority not from fictitious incidents,







Creoles of British Guyana. 31

but from Uzhavadei, the rights of the plough. The late Father
Beschi of the Romish Church, who went by the name of Virama
muni, in a work which he published, entitled Timbavani, gives
the following description of Southern India:-

"Here pour the waters from the clouds of heaven,
Diffusing wealth and virtue through the land,
Whose wide dominion, like the ambient sky,
Spreads its protecting influence o'er the earth.
To fragrant fields, where creeps the pregnant conch,
From flowery lakes the full stream flows ; the while
The peafowl dances neathh the verdant shade
Of sweetly-scented groves. The ripened rice
O'ertops the cane; and flowery-fingered girls,
With liberal hand to all the poor, who swarm
Like bees around, distribute many a sheaf;
And while their hair, by odorous wreaths adorned,
Floats loosely in the breeze, join in the dance
At a marriage feast, their nimble feet
Accordant to their sounding hands. And here
The luscious juice flows from the cane compressed;
Unnumbered flowerets scent the ambient air;
Unnumbered trees their racy fruits afford-
The various produce of the plenteous fields,
And boundless wealth that satiates the mind,
Thus yieldeth Indal,2 that delightful land !"

This translated extract will convey to the reader the real
agricultural tendencies and pursuits of the thousands of Hindus
in Southern India.
The veneration in which the Tamil people formerly held the
plough was unbounded. The numerous remains of ancient
art existing in all parts of the country consist, almost exclu-
sively, in buildings intended for religious and charitable pur-
poses, and those reservoirs, channels, and embankments which,
by restraining and distributing the waters of the periodical
rains, render the soil fit for the labours of the husbandman.
Many of these are stupendous works, and must have been
erected when a great portion of the wealth of the country was
systematically applied to the agricultural improvement of it;
when, in fact, the cultivators of the soil were, as tradition
1 Paddy. 2 India.






32 Among the Hindus and

states them to have been, the nobles of the land, and their
occupation alike the source of wealth and honour. Kamban
(to whom I have already made reference), the translator of the
Ramayana, which he undertook under the patronage of the
wealthy farmer Vennei-Nellur-Sadeiyan, whom he has celebrated
in it, has left a poem, entitled Erezhubadu, the seventy stanzas
in praise of the plough, from which I give one or two extracts
for the information of the reader:-

.The laws of Manu, cherished by the lords the four
Vedas; the felicity of victorious princes, who protect the world
by their arms; these are matured by the plough handle of the
cultivators of the earth, whose word will never change, even
though fate should change."
"When, in the productive fields of the Velhlhallar, who
ever escape the furious rage of famine, the bundles (mudi) of
green plants are arranged in perfect beauty; perfect, also, are
the crowns (mudi) of the princes of the earth; and the rod
(kol) which supports the sceptre (shen-kol) swayed by the
battle-king, attended by intoxicated elephants, furious as the
swelling waves of the ocean, is the small rod (sirukol) by which
the plough is driven."
"The yoke attached to the chariot of the glorified sun of
beauteous beams dispelleth darkness from the world surrounded
by the sea and supported by mountains; is it not, also, the
plough-yoke of the husbandman which preserveth the in-
habitants of the broad and fragrant earth from falling into
poverty?"

Tiru-Valhlhuvar, in his Kuralk (a work of great literary merit
and authority, in which all candidates in Southern India for the
civil and missionary service have to pass an examination),
devotes a whole chapter in praise of the plough or agriculture.
In the third verse of the io4th chapter the author says:
"Those truly live by the plough: all others do not live, as
they are in servitude and depend upon those they serve." In
this sense all our East Indian Immigrants are now emphatically
our agricultural labourers, on whose steady labour all in the
Colony depend for their living. And all these Immigrants-
keeping the double meaning attached to the word Arya, or (as
sometimes written with an h) Harya, a ploughman, a worshipper,






Creoles of British Guyana.


a devotee-who are thus employed in the Colony may truth-
fully realize what is conveyed in the following Hindi couplet,-
"Haryd, har se h&tkar jeon Kisin Ki rit;
DAm ghanera, rin ghanA tabhfn Kh&t s6 prit."
The two first words in italics signify "Ploughman and
Plough," as well as "Worshipper and God;" which give the
poet the opportunity of conveying the moral, that no vicis-
situdes of fortune should affect a man's love for labour or
devotion.
6. The poor Indian coolies, free and indentured, in the
Colony have by some been charged with dishonesty and
unreliableness. It is not for me to say that they are so or not.
In my frequent and constant intercourse with them I have
ever treated them as men and women in whose words I had
implicit confidence, and whom I looked upon as honest men
and women. In this respect I have never been disappointed.
Some in the Colony say that the coolie drivers, or sirdars, or
mestries, are men given to receiving bribes from the labourers,
promising to give them constant or standing work, and be
their friends whilst they keep paying them weekly a certain
sum out of their weekly wages. I do not deny this statement.
But what about the red, white, and black overseers and task-
gang drivers in the employ of other departments in the Colony?
These unworthy officials, who understand the art of "fencing "
and "skinning," are as corrupt as the sirdars on a sugar estate.
Though they are in receipt of decent salaries, they take undue
and unjust advantage of the poor free coolies working under
their, superintendence, and extract large sums of money out
of their weekly earnings quite unknown to the other higher
officials over them. The poor coolies are not the only class
who cheat and rob their countrymen; but gentlemen of higher
standing and respectability do the same in a systematic manner.
The overseers and drivers are, as a rule, close friends, and they
know how to play the game without detection.














CHAPTER III.


THE ANCESTRAL HOME OF THE HINDO-GUYANIANS.

1. WELL may the Hindo-Guyanians be proud of the Colony
in which they have been born and bred. It is indeed a
"magnificent province"- the "paradise of the labouring
man," the most prominent of all the West Indian Colonies,
the El Dorado, or The Gilded, of Sir Walter Raleigh, and a
SECOND HINDUSTAN or (in some instances a temporary, and in
others a permanent) HOME of our East Indian Immigrant
population. It is emphatically the home of those born here,
though by closest ties allied to India, the first home and birth-
place of their parents. The children born and brought up in
the Colony need not be ashamed of their ancestral home.
There are thousands here who have only some glimmering
ideas of Hindustan. Not only is this the case with Hindo-
Guyanians, but with others, also, who lay no claim whatsoever
to an Asiatic origin. For their information, therefore, I here
give a short account of India, which will be interesting. Being
my own native home, I have always taken the liveliest interest
in everything connected with, and affecting, India and its
peoples.
2. The early history of India (one of the earliest inhabited
portions of our earth), like that of all other countries, is
involved in the deepest obscurity. The huge volumes of the
Vedas, Shastras, Puranas, and Ramayanas the standard
writings of the Hindus as a nation -are so filled with
exaggerated, impossible, improbable, monstrous, and unreliable
romances and fictions, written by (unprincipled and) cunning
or designing men, with a view to raise themselves in importance
at the expense of truth and justice, by depreciating those
inimical to them, that not much reliance can be placed in what
34






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 35

these writings contain or say. The SELFHOOD of the Arya
invaders as a thing of great importance is evident in these
writings. From the great and confused mass of conflicting
and contradictory, and hence unreliable, materials thrown
together in the Puranas and other works, we gather that in
very early times, between B.c. 3000 and 4000, or even earlier
perhaps than this period, India was divided into dds rdjya--
ten kingdoms,-speaking different languages, the Draudya or
Tamil and Sanskrit being the original sources or parents of all
East Indian languages,-five of which kingdoms occupied the
Southern, called SHAMA-DES, and five the Northern district,
called JYAPETI-DES. That two principal families, distinguished
in their day (prehistoric times) for valour or power and
splendour, occupied the whole territory: the fre-Aryan or
Taranyan or Suryan, the Solar race (the Draudyans); the
Grandaic-Tamil speaking Aryans and the Aryans proper or
Sanskritists, the Chandra (Iranian) or Moon race.' These
Scythio-Shemitic or Surya races (the precursors of the Aryans
proper) -termed "aboriginal primitive tribes [Tchandala,
Chhandalas, only once mentioned in the Institutes of Manu],
who migrated from Central Asia and the steppes of Tartary
and Thibet by successive incursions "-have by the succeed-
ing Arya, or Brahman, or Iranian, or Chandra race (their
persecutors and oppressors) been called Dasyas, Yatudhanas,
Tchandalas, etc., and described as monstrous in form, godless,
inhuman, haters of Brahmans, disturbers of sacred rites, eaters
of human and horse flesh. Prejudice is a prominent obstacle
to the prevalence of truth. The strength of prejudice is
amazing. Though assailed by common-sense, reason, and
argument, it often remains as deeply rooted and vigorous as
ever; nay, it is frequently nourished by the very efforts which
are made for its destruction. Prejudice will often induce a
man or woman to say and believe everything contrary to truth.

See Ancestry of our East Indian Immigrants (8vo edit., pp. 16-18),
for division of India between Jyapeti and Shama, according to Padma'
Purana. Shem's descendants, whose God.was blessed," first occupied
and dwelt in India, and then they were followedby Japheth's descendants,
" dwelling in the tents of Shem."






Among the Hindus and


Just as we say or speak of individuals whom we dislike, So
and so is ugly as sin," or "ugly as the devil himself," etc., so
the ancient writers of the Puranas and Ramayana (portions of
which I have read in my youthful days) have described some
of the tribes of the Hindus, whom they disliked on account of
their having opposed them, etc., in the following terms, which
are exaggerations of national ugliness :-Kkamukhas, crow-
faced; Oshtha-karnakas, having lips extending to their ears;
Ekapadakas, one -footed; Ashta-karnakas, the eight -eared;
Karna-pravaranas, those who.wrap themselves up in their
ears, etc., etc. These and other kindred terms are found in
the Ramayana and other works. And all these are ranked
with the other barbarians-Kiratas, called Yavanas, or Greeks,
the Sakai and Sacce of classical writers, the Indo-Scythians of
Ptolemy. One cannot read the ancient Hindu books without
profound pity that the human mind should become so deceitful
as to invent, or so degraded as to accept, such monstrous
falsehoods and absurdities. The chronology, geography,
ethnology, and theology of India are a farrago of deception
and superstition. When the predominance of the Chandra or
Aryan invaders of India, in prehistoric times or remote period,
became finally more marked and influential over the first
settlers, who were afterwards driven to Southern parts or
districts of India, they non-Aryanized, or, An-Aryanized them,
and thus became divided into two separate families, distinct
from each other, though they all alike started from the same
part of the tableland of Central Asia in successive migrations.
The very principles upon which the Brahman or Arya invaders
established their power, and the laws and usages with which
they endeavoured to support that power, were the means to
sap the foundation of the Indian Empire and people. With
regard to the history of the country, the Hindus have
really nothing but monstrous fables and myths, from which
occasionally a grain of truth may be culled. According to the
chronology of India, millions of years have been occupied by
the inhabitants in developing their successes and failures, and
the wonderful performances and achievements of their gods
many and their lords many. I may add here that according to






Creoles of British Guyana. 37

certain Hindu authorities, between B.C. 4000 and 3000, the
much-persecuted Draudyans or Tararyans re-migrated towards
the west in crowds, entering the countries of Sindh and Arya-
viatta (Iran) in the direction of the Euphrates and Tigris,
towards Babylon and Chaldea, the chief of these expeditions
being under Artaxa-Phasicol. It was thus, therefore, that the
primitive wanderers, with their flocks and herds-altogether a
pastoral people-emerged from the Holy Land of Palistan, the
country of the chief of the Tribes. All this may be read in the
Avadana-Sastra, and, however exaggerated, is nevertheless
authentic history. From these have originated the Greeks,
Phoenicians, Philistines, Hykshos, Cymri, Romans, Danes,
Normans, and other races or nations of antiquity. The
Draudyan or Tararyan (Ural-Altaic) people had been seen in
very early times by the Assyrians as occupying cities, as
skilled in architecture, astrology, writing, and the arts of peace
and war. The very culture terms in use among the ancient
Assyrians were mostly of Tararyan origin, growths of the
earlier Tararyan soil. The first rise or origin of civilisation
was altogether Draudya or Tararyan; or, rather, what the
Tararyan had begun in the line of civilisation was more fully
developed and carried out by their immediate successors the
Aryans. Now, in the nineteenth century, when the fair-faced
British or Anglo-Saxon and. other European nations and the
tawny Hindu-from North and South India-meet on the
plains of Hindustan, or on the plains of British Guyana, who
could believe that their ancestors had once herded their flocks
together, watched the rising and setting of the sun, "and the
immeasurable heavens break open to their highest, and all the
stars shine ? Forgetting their kinship, and ignorant of each
other's relationship, they meet as independent and alien tribes
or races.
3. Though a veil of obscurity hangs over ancient India, so
as to prevent the student of history from writing a real and
accurate history of the country, it is pretty certain that the
country was pretty well known to the ancients. The Arabs
were the first to introduce the produce of India into the West.
We read of a caravan of camels in the days of Jacob,






38 Among the Hindus and

conducted by Ishmaelites from Gilead, laden with the spices of
India, in regular traffic with Egypt. Cinnamon does not grow
in any country but on the western coast of India, and in the
island of Ceylon-the Taprobana of the Greeks, the Serandwip
or Lanka of the ancient Hindus. This sweet spice was used
by the Israelites, in their wilderness journey of forty years,
during the time of Moses, in their religious offerings. Pearls
and hyacinth stones (the ruby) are chiefly found in Ceylon,
and on the shores of the Persian Gulf. These were articles
of traffic in Solomon's time. For a period of 1ooo years,
500 before and 500 after Christ, Ceylon continued to be the
great emporium of the Hindus, who carried on the trade from
Aduli on the coast of Africa, Yeman, Malabar, and the ultra-
Gangetic Peninsula, even to China. Agatharcides, who
flourished B.c. 200, mentions the existence of a town at the
mouth of the Red Sea, whence, he says, the Arabs sent out
colonies into India, who formed their factories, and to which
their large ships with merchandise came from India. Might
not this town referred to by Agatharcides be the very one
built by King Solomon, whence he sent his navy to Ophir, etc.
(i Kings ix. 26-28). In the time of Pliny the Arabs were in
such numbers on the Malabar coast and in Ceylon, that, as he
states, the Hindus of those places had embraced the religion
of the Arabians, and the ports of Ceylon were entirely in their
power. We have sufficient internal as well as external historic
and corroborative evidence and testimony to lead us to the
conclusion that the various names or terms, such as TARSHISH
(z Kings x. 21-23), OPHIR (I Kings ix. 28), UPHAS (Jer.
x. 9), PARVAIM (2 Chron. iii. 6), mentioned in the Old Testa-
ment books, may be identified with Serandwip, Dakshina, or
the Malayan Peninsula (including also Malacca), Tanjore, or
Cholamandalam, and Madura, Tinnevelly, and Travancore
(forming the Southern Kingdom of India). According to the
Puranic writing (if any dependence can be placed on, or any
value be attached to, the statements therein made) Southern
Hindustan was anciently, or in some remote prehistoric time,
divided into five kingdoms. The names of three of these king-
doms exist in the literary works of great merit in use among






Creoles of Britisk Guyana. 39

the Draudyan races of Southern India SERAN, SORAN,
PANDYAN. At one time these three, according to certain
Ceylon inscriptions, were used as a designation or description
of the whole of South India. Apart from what I have said in
my Ancestry of our East Indian Immigrants, with reference
to Ophir and Tarshish, I may here add that UPHAS and
PARVAIM are but Hebraized forms of the kingdoms of Soran
and Pandyan,-APHAYAS being the old classic Tamil name for
Cholamandalam, or Soramandalam, the Paralia Soretanum of
Ptolemy, afterwards called TANJORE; and PURAVAM, the
ancient Tamil name (the modern being Maleinadu) for PAN-
DYA KINGDOM, or MADURA, and probably including TRAVAN-
CORE, which once formed the Seran Kingdom, including
Serandwip or Ceylon, both and all of which kingdoms were
known to King Solomon, and to the ancients centuries before
Solomon was born. The terms Puravam, Puravanadu, Male-
inadu, signify "the hill country," or "hilly regions" of the
Pandya dynasty (Regio Pandionis). There was also another
kingdom in Southern India pretty well known to the ancients,
called ANDHRA; and Pliny speaks of the Rex Andrarum as a
powerful Draudya Indian prince. These, and others in the
North and South-western parts, were all once famous kingdoms
of ancient India when Africa was involved in almost total
obscurity, from which Europe herself was slowly emerging.
" Dr. Vincent's translation of Ezekiel's eloquent and wonder-
ful denunciations (chapter xxvii.) against Tyrus, presents to the
reader the 'tusks (benches) of ivory,' the gold and precious
stones' of India, the rich cloths for decorating horsemen or
chariots, which were received from the Gulf of Persia; while
the Assyrians, [who settled in the region of the great Meso-
potamian valley, were the descendants of the Tararyan Tchan-
dalas referred to in paragraph 2 of this chapter, and were in
time for many reasons named the Romans of Asia,' in the
same way and manner as the bulk of the Tamilian Hindus
have been named 'the Greeks, or Scotch, or Britons of the
East,' and who, having become great and powerful in their
country-Assyria,-and having maintained their empire for
seven centuries or more, penetrated with their armies on the






Among the Hindus and


east to India, the land of their ancestors, on the north to the
Caspian Sea, on the west to the Nile and Isles of the _Egean
Sea, and carried on an extensive commercial business with
their kinsmen in India,] brought fine manufacture, blue cloth
and broidered work, or fabrics of various colours, in chests of
cedar, bound with cords, containing rich apparel. Dr. Vincent
inquires with evident propriety, May not these be the fabrics
of India, first brought to Assyria by the Gulf of Persia, or by
caravans from Karmania and the Indus, and then conveyed
by the Assyrians in other caravans to Tyre and Sidon ?'" The
Phoenicians were at first a warlike people, as sacred history
represents them; and 12oo years before Christ they settled as
colonists, and traded as mariners in the East as well as in the
West. The Phoenicians, who were thorough business men, and
genuine Philistines, and Englishmen of the ancient world, who
followed commerce with the single-hearted devotion of the
Shemitic, were closely allied to the ancient Tamilians on account
of their Draudyan or Tararyan origin or ancestry. Dedan, and
the other island Arad, in the Persian Gulf, served as entrep6ts
of ships, as emporiums for commerce; and the men of Dedan
went afar off," probably to Ceylon (Serandwip or Taprobana)
and Peninsular India, if not also to the Indian Archipelago;
they doubtless traded to Ceylon or other parts in Southern
India for "the sweet cane," which was presented in the Jewish
offerings. The Indian peninsula to the west of the Bay of
Bengal, and the contiguous island Ceylon, were the principal
places of this navigation, even in the days of King Solomon.
4. SESOSTRIS, SEMIRAMIS, DARIUS, and ALEXANDER THE
GREAT, however, were the earliest of the foreign conquerors
to bring the empire of India before the modern world. Each
in his turn did everything to devastate and ruin the land of
splendour and its inhabitants. But why ? The answer of our
beloved sovereign Victoria to an African prince, who sent her
costly presents, and asked her in return to tell him the secret
of England's greatness and England's glory, was, not the
number of her fleet, not the number of her armies, not the
account of her boundless merchandise, not the details of her
inexhaustible wealth. She did not, like Hezekiah, in an evil






Creoles of British Guyana. 41

hour, show the ambassador her diamonds, and her jewels,
and her ornaments; but, handing him a beautifully bound copy
of the BIBLE, she said: Tell the prince that this is the secret
of England's greatness." In Prov. xiv. 34 of this Book it is
stated by Divine inspiration, "RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A
NATION: but sin is a reproach to any people." Had the ancient
as well as the modern Hindus practised and observed this
"righteousness which exalteth a nation," their country would
have remained in all its original glory and splendour, and no
foreign powers would have entered to devastate and ruin it.
Sin-the abominable sin of idolatry, and the intolerable caste
distinction maintained in India-has been the curse of the
country, and the only cause of its downfall. This double sin
has for centuries been the reproach, the withering curse of the
country as a whole, and it has blighted and blasted the in-
terests and reputation of the people; and the people being in
consequence disunited or separated from each other (forgetting
that "unity is strength") into almost innumerable fragments
of society, in affection, love, purpose, and action, it gave an
opening to strangers and foreigners to find their way into their
midst, deprive them of their rights, and rule over them. Caste
does not resemble a guild, or club, or league, or such-like
institution, wherein individuals, though banded together for
certain special objects (many of them being essentially phil-
anthropic), are yet always ready to admit other suitable indi
viduals into their society, and who yet continue to constitute
an integral part of the general community. On the contrary,
caste is altogether exclusive. It separates man from man,
family from family. It is like a house divided against itself.
It is the principal, yea, the only impenetrable barrier to free-
dom of social intercourse between Europeans and Indians.
The high-caste Hindu and the Brahman alike refuse to sit at
meals with Europeans, whose very shadow passing over their
food or cooking utensils will defile them, so as to be thrown
away. Though, with all her faults and blemishes, I love India,
being my native country, I have often been disposed to look
upon it as a God-forsaken land on account of the sin just
referred to. The Hindo-Guyanians may well bless God that






Among the Hindus and


they are not living and growing up in India, so as to share all
the ignominies of the religion professed by their ancestors, and
witness all the abominations of Hinduism and Hindu casteism
practised there; and I sincerely hope that those who are born
in the Colony will never show any disposition to accompany
their parents to that once famed, and now doubly and trebly
cursed, idolatrous, and caste land, where on the house and
heart of each pagan Ichabod is written.
5. When MAHMUD of Ghuzni, one of the most important
principalities of Afghanistan, found his way into the province
of Gujrat in the tenth century A.D., he succeeded, after a long
and desperate contest, in capturing this venerated town. Som-
naud was a renowned abode of a shrine of extraordinary sanc-
tity. Attached to this far-famed temple were 2ooo Brahman
priests or Gurus, 500 devadasies (dancing girls), 300 musicians,
and other attendants in great numbers. When Mahmud saw
the gigantic and far-famed idol,-the "GREAT DIANA" of the
then Hindus,-with wrathful zeal he struck off its nose, giving
orders for its entire and instant demolition. As the attendant
Brahmans saw the threatened downfall of this object of their
profoundest veneration, they fell on their knees, and proffered
an immense sum for its preservation; but the Muhammedan
conqueror, true to his creed (not like some of our British so-
called Christian governors, the representatives of Christian
sovereigns in England or Great Britain, who countenanced
idolatry in all its disgusting forms, and even went so far as
to offer sacrifices and peace-offerings, thus bringing a lasting
disgrace to Christianity), indignantly replied, "lam a breaker,
not a buyer of idols." The work of demolition proceeded; and,
on reaching the interior of the image, there was disclosed
a treasure in pearls, rubies, and diamonds almost beyond con-
ception, and far surpassing the immense sum tendered for its
redemption. With the treasures of Somnaud, Mahmud carried
the chandana gates of that town wherewith to grace his moun-
tain home. The Muhammedan or Mussulman persecution of
the heathen Hindus in Northern Hindustan was so severe
and destructive, that the very temple worship was neglected,
and the people cared very little for temples or idols. It was






Creoles of British Guyana. 43

this persecuting spirit on the part of the Mussulman conquerors
which deterred the Hindus from building magnificent temples
afterwards. We are further told by the historian of Hindustan,
that in the year of our Lord 1498, when Vasco de Gama, a
Portuguese navigator, landed for the first time on the shores
of India, some of his sailors, seeing a pagoda, and concluding,
from the beads worn by the Brahmans, and the chandana
wood incense burning, that it was a Christian (Romish) sanc-
tuary or temple, at once entered, and, noticing a variety of
pictures upon the wall, prostrated themselves before them, as
before the Madonna and saints. But one of the worshippers,
as by chance he looked up and observed the strange and
uncouth aspect of these imaginary apostles and saints, some
of whom brandished four and five arms, and had enormous
teeth projecting out of their mouths, judged it advisable to
guard himself by the explanation, "If these be devils, it is God
whom I worship Various other Muhammedan princes and
shahs from time to time entered India from various parts, who,
with wholesale butcheries, introduced their own religious
creed, and Muhammedanized the vanquished foes. When
NADIR SHAH entered India, he slaughtered the inhabitants
of Delhi without regard to age or sex, captured Ayodhya
(Oudh), seized upon the imperial treasures, and conveyed
thence /3,000,000 ($14,400,000) in specie, .i,ooo,ooo
($4,800,000) dollars in plate, 1i5,000,000 ($72,000,000) in
jewels, the renowned Peacock Throne, valued at $4,800,000
( x,ooo,ooo), and other valuables to the amount of
C12,000,000 ($57,000,000), besides elephants, horses, and
camp equipages of the deposed maharajah. The Moghuls,
Afghans, Persians, Mahrattas, and Muhammedans have each
done their part in impoverishing and devastating the truly
once rich empire of India. "Nothing" (observes a historian)
"in modern times has equalled the ferocity and desperation of
these Moslem conquerors. Urged on by a mad enthusiasm,
intoxicated with the hope of rich booty, and inspired with
the promise of beatitude if they died fighting with the infidels,
they sprang like tigers on their prey. A fertile country was
left desolate; flourishing cities, heaps of ruin; palaces were






Among the Hindus and


burned, temples pillaged, and rivers sacred to their fathers
flowed with human blood." On account of the wickedness
of the people of that country, these terrible calamities and
judgments befel them. The dark volume of terrible events
has, however, come to a close. ALL India is now, in truth,
what it has long been in name, BRITISH INDIA.
6. India is a vast empire, inhabited by the descendants of
the various tribes of the one human race, who all proceeded
from the same part of the tableland of Central Asia. The
natives as a whole are called Indians," or "HINDUS," which
is a term of large import: and in a special sense the word
HINDUS, like MUHAMMEDANS, has reference to their religious
creeds. Though the nation as a whole are one and the same
race, composed of different tribes, yet from the different
localities occupied and the languages spoken by them, quite
distinct from each other, they are (like the English, Scotch,
Welsh, Irish, French, Dutch, etc.) known by the names of
Tamilians, Bengalese, Nepalese, Telingas, Kanarese, Uryas,
Gonds, etc., etc. The representatives of these different
localities, creeds, laws, and languages are now to be found in
the Colony, and all their children born here are HINDO-
GUYANIANS, allied to both countries, of which they need not
be ashamed. British Guyana is their foster, and India their
ancestral, home.
7. I cannot close this chapter without making some remarks
about the great future of India and its teeming millions. By
the pugnacious and self-opinioned Englishmen, who have
gone out to India from England every year to get fat berths
or best positions in the public service there with enormous
salaries, and after a few years return to England with large
pensions, to live in idleness and luxury at the expense of the
poor Indian ryot, who has been plundered and robbed long
enough,-the native population of India have been considered
an inferior race, and treated as such, and represented as a
people unable to help and govern themselves without the aid
or assistance of these Englishmen. This is certainly big and
foolish talk, at the bottom of which we clearly trace ignorance
and class prejudice on their part. "The Hindus or Indians will






Creoles of British Guyana.


never be properly loyal to our rule if we do not oblige them,
by showing them practically that they are our inferiors." This
kind of argument, I hesitate not to say, has always been used
since the world began to excuse perpetual injustice toward
conquered populations. The time is fast hastening-as soon
as the word "ICHABOD," now written upon the HOUSE antd
HEART ofeach PAGAN, is removed by the spread of Christian
truths, and the nation as a whole turn unto the Lord, for-
saking all their caste and idolatrous abominations -when
Indians will wake up to the fact of their equality with any
other enlightened nation in the world, and show that the
hitherto supposed and assumed "ancient rights" enjoyed by
Englishmen, to be judged by their own people in all cases,
both civil and criminal, in which Englishmen themselves were
partly or wholly concerned, were baseless, illegal, and illiberal
assumptions. The populations of India must indeed be un-
like any other populations that ever existed, if they really
prefer to be kept in a position of entire subjection and
inferiority.

"The Romans, when they were masters in Britain, con-
sidered it their best policy, in order to keep the people of that
country in subjection, to teach and keep them to peaceable
professions only. The result of this was that, when at the
beginning of the decadence of thipopwer of Rome she was
compelled to withdraw her legions in order to defend herself
at home, the Britons were incapable of resisting the encroach-
ments of their warlike neighbours, and so were obliged to call
in the assistance of the Saxons; who, taking possession for
themselves, were ultimately driven out by the Norman con-
querors. All this happened over ten centuries ago, since
which time many causes have conspired to make England not
only the home and centre of civilisation, but one of the
strongest and most independent nations of the earth. But
what would a proud, selfish, and narrow-minded Roman (for we
may reasonably suppose that there were some such, even
amongst this great nation of antiquity) have said, if told that
the descendants of those same Britons, whom they despised
and sold for slaves in the markets of Rome, would in their
turn arrive at the highest pitch of greatness and excellence,
while the constantly revolving wheel of fortune would cast him







46 The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana.

and his entirely into the shade. He would doubtless have
exclaimed, with indignation increasing at every word, What!
These barbarians! Why, the thing is simply and utterly
preposterous! !' But so it is,-the ups and downs of life
are proverbial,-and as it is with individuals, so it is with
nations: Chacun t son tour. Where now is the greatness and
the grandeur of the Roman and other empires? Gone back
into that insignificance from which they sprang. This brings
to my mind those beautiful lines of Byron :-
'The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece,
Where burning Sappho lov'd and sung;
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung;
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all except their sun is set.'
"There is a beautiful analogy running throughout all the
framework of nature; and, reasoning from this analogy, I
repeat that there is probably a great future in store for India
and her sons,-a future which God (with whom a thousand
years are as but a day) will by His own instruments, in His
own time, and according to the prophecy of His own Word,
bring about."

The swaggering talk about the prerogative or inferiority of
race might have done very well for a Spaniard in America in
the days of the Conquistadores, or a Southern planter before
the American Civil War; but it does not belong to the lan-
guage of sober, steady Englishmen, who rule in, and legislate
for, India. The educated natives of India know too well how
hollow and deceitful are the professions of Englishmen with
regard to race equality in the distribution of offices. India is
a country in which facts are recognized, not theories and
logical deductions. The same remarks are applicable to the
Colony of British Guyana, and the West Indies generally. [See
Introductory Chapter.]













CHAPTER IV.


THE HINDO-GUYANIANS AND THEIR DESIRE FOR INFORMATION.

i. I HAVE stated that a very large number of our East Indian
population is composed of those whom we may call HINDO-
GUYANIANS, having a claim to both countries; being in origin
or descent Asiatics or Hindus, and in birth, training, and
language, Guyanians or "Creoles," whose native tongue is
the English, which they speak freely and well, and in many
instances much better than the natives of the Colony of
Afric descent. These are found on every estate throughout
the Colony. In the city of Georgetown alone we have a
considerable number of them who are daily attracting the
attentions of thoughtful Christian and philanthropic persons.
They are tractable, and only require gentle attentions paid to
them. There is enough work for any number of earnest
Christian men and women to do among them for their spiritual
benefit. The hundreds of East Indian children who have
been brought up in our Orphan Asylum" since its founda-
tion know nothing of their parental languages, they all being
taught to read, write, and converse in English,-the language
of the Colony. A few of those brought up in the Asylum
have done well after they left it, and many others are
living in different parts of the Colony, working steadily, thus
bringing credit to this colonial institution, which is entirely
supported by the Government. All the children received into
this institution are made professionally to become members of
the Anglican Church by baptism, so that when a Christian
minister of any Nonconformist body visits the children of the
Asylum, he needs be careful not to open his mouth to speak
to them on religious or spiritual things. It is only when these
youngsters (after they leave the institution) have grown up
into manhood and womanhood, that they can be met with
47






Among the Hindus and


in different parts of the city and Colony, and then an oppor-
tunity is afforded to converse with them freely on spiritual
things without "let or hindrance."
2. The infants who leave India with their parents for the
Colony, the children born on sea during the voyage (who, I
suppose, have a claim upon Stepney in England), and those
born in the Colony, and ALL of them brought up here, whose
language becomes the English, are mercifully preserved from
beholding all the abominable scenes and practices of Hindu-
ism as practised in India. Whether the children born in the
Colony are of Muhammedan or Hindu parents, or whether
they are the children of parents who have been separated from
each other by caste and languages in their own land, or from
whatever parts of India (as Allahabad, Lucknow, Bombay,
Nepal, Lahore, Delhi, Cashmere, Madras, Pondicherry, Tin-
nevelly, etc.) their parents have come,-whether they be called
in India, Gajurs, Dunjas, Bheels, Koles, Gonds, Khands, Kotas,
Kurmees, Warras, etc.,-all children in the Colony born of such
parents become Hindo-Guyanians. Just as the British people
have, or are made up of, a very mixed ancestry of different
varieties of the one human race; so the Hindo-Guyanians,
though they may descend from people of different languages
and castes, are one in the Colony, where caste is ignored, and
where all the national prejudices and differences are laughed
at and ridiculed by people amongst whom they have come to
dwell, and by the very children themselves of East Indian
parents. The word CREOLE, though applied to the children of
Asiatic parents, is too wide a term, as in it are included the
children of other nationalities, as English, Scotch, Irish,
Dutch, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Arabs, Africans, etc.;
whereas the term HINDO-GUYANIANS points to one nationality
in particular. And as I am writing on a particular class of
people, who are becoming rather important in an agricultural
point of view, I use the term Hindo-Guyanians as specially
referring to them. Under this term I include, also, a number
of children found on almost every sugar estate, called Mam-
zerim or Shatukim,-the parents' reproach and dishonour.
These are the offspring of base and unprincipled (so called)






Creoles of British Guyana.


Christian European fathers and heathen Indian mothers.
Strictly speaking, these children should be called Anglo-
Indian-Guyanese. Apart from these accidental faults and
blemishes on their part, they, with the rest of those who have
come from India, are becoming very prominent in the Colony.
The Creole labouring population and their children, in the
different country districts are (I am sorry to write it, as a matter
about which there can be little or no doubt) retrograding both
physically and morally, and also as an industrial race. They
spend much of their time in idleness and debauchery, and
when they can get an opportunity, which is often the case,
they not only cheat and rob their own countrymen, but too
often succeed in cheating and robbing the "wide-awake"
Portuguese shopkeeper. A black man who had run into debt
with the Portuguese shop, was one day dunned rather sharply
for payment by the shopkeeper:-

"'I isn't able to pay you cash this moment,' said the
debtor, 'but I will gi'e you a note upon t'ree mont's.'
'Note !' said Senhor; wha me go do wi' note? I aint going
to take no note.' To this the debtor remarked, 'You muss
took it to de bank and get money for it, same like Water
Street merchant; that's all you have to do.' Said the shop-
keeper, 'I aint have nothing to do with bank,-note aint no
use to me.' 'Well,' said the debtor, 'you hab refuse pay-
ments of your account, in kine of de realm, and I aint obliged
to pay you no more. I offers you a note same like any other
gentlemans, and because you is a Portugue, make you aint
take it. I stop my transactions wid you.' And the Portu-
guese is still lying out of his money."
-"As an inducement to lend him fifty dollars, a person in
Water Street promised on his oath to give the lender a first
mortgage on a lot of landed property, which-here the borrower
shed a tear-he never hoped to have to mortgage, for it had long
been in the family. The kind-hearted lender gave the sum, and
asked the man to be sure and bring the title-deeds, for he was
prepared to lend him a reasonable sum on his property. Next
day the man brought a Town Council receipt for a piece of
land in Le Repentir, size io x 12, or just sufficient to hold
the tomb in which his grandmother lies buried."1
Argosy, 883.
D






50 Among the Hindus and

3. As a rule the Hindo-Guyanian children thrive well in
the Colony. They have bright eyes and intelligent looks, and
are sharp-witted, not at all disposed to be rude and disobedient.
They are always willing to do what they are told, and many of
them have itching ears and inquiring minds to hear everything
that would give them information and make them wise and
useful. So far as their configuration is concerned, their facial
beauty is marred by the nose-rings. and ear-rings worn by the
males. Having had their ears and noses bored by their
parents in their infancy, they are obliged to keep pace with
the customs and usages of the people of India. Some even
allow their hair to grow long. When they become Christians
they see the necessity of dispensing with these things and
adopting the European style of dress. The children in our
public schools make good use of the opportunity afforded to
them; they are not idle scholars. They have an aptitude for
learning which is astonishing. This assiduity and zeal in the
acquisition of knowledge, with their naturally gifted minds,
draw or captivate one's affections closer to them. I have often
been brought in contact with some of the brightest and most
intelligent of Hindu boys in the Colony. As they are great
readers of our local newspapers, they get to know everything
which transpires in the Colony and elsewhere, and form their
own opinions upon the different topics of the day discussed in
their columns. They see how people live. They watch them
narrowly. Though they do not try to ape as some people do,
they strive to imitate them in their dress and manners, desire
to do what is right, and try to be respectable in their own
way, as far as means will allow them to do. It is not an
uncommon thing in the city (especially in Bourda district,
where we have a large number of free Indians living), at the
close of the day's work, to hear these youngsters narrate the
events of the day to their fathers and mothers, and sometimes
read the newspapers to them. They see how their parents live
and act; they feel ashamed of their heathenish ways, and yet
they lack moral courage and strength to break away from their
parents' influence. Very frequently I have been visited by
these Hindo-Guyanians, from town and country, for the






Creoles of British Guyana.


purpose of conversing with me on religious subjects, and also
to hear from me things concerning their ancestral home-
India. They have always shown a disposition to do what is
right, though often prevented, by those near and dear at home,
and by the evil influences of bad example on the part of our
Creole people, from carrying out their intentions and desires.
Whatever their shortcomings may be, they are far from being
disobedient to their parents, and rude or impolite to their
superiors. They are taught by their parents from their infancy
to be respectful to all. In this respect, if in nothing else, they
are superior to the general run of other Creole children we
often meet with in the city and country places.
4. It would be superfluous to descant on the evil influences
of bad example set by our Creole population. Those whose
position in life is not of the very best, look to those who are
above them for the example by which they are to be guided; and
when there is cause for being scandalized, the consequences
may be better imagined than explained. These remarks have
special reference to certain classes of the community who try
to emulate their superiors, and, in doing so, even go the length
of spending all they earn. If a fancy ball is given in the
Assembly Rooms, several fancy balls are given in lower
places. The latest fashions are followed in local circles, and
on Sunday we see the generality of the people turning out
also in costly dresses. So also in manners and customs do
the lower classes take their lessons from those who are expected
to know better than themselves; and if a bad example is set, it
can only have a bad effect on a class of people who are led
not- so much by precept as by example. Hence those who
essay to teach have always had to be most circumspect in
their demeanour as well as exacting in their treatment of those
over whom they exercise a moral influence. The respectable
or upper classes in the Colony, to whom nearly all look up
to for example, are often no better than those whom they
look upon as inferiors. Their secret life, their conversations,
etc., etc., are not what one would desire to behold and imitate.
Gambling, drinking, Sabbath-breaking, etc., are the essential
principles of their life in a Colony like British Guyana; and






Among the Hindus and


they dare not be reproved, because those who ought to do so
are themselves guilty of the same, and often find themselves
in the company of such. What evils and vices they tolerate
and encourage in some of the upper classes, they condemn
when practised by the lower orders.
5. There are people in the Colony who believe that it is an
easy matter to convert a heathen or Muhammedan Indian to
Christianity, though that heathen or Muhammedan may by
birth be a Hindo-Guyanian. This is a great mistake. It must
be remembered that amongst the Immigrants there are a great
many persons who are highly educated, and who have a civilis-
ation and religion of their own to point back to, long antecedent
to the days when our ancestors were savages covered with the
skins of beasts. The missionaries have to combat with these
men; and to convince them against the idols they worship,
men of no mean ability are required,-men thoroughly reliable,
of great erudition and strict moral principles, to set a good
example before them, and be able to meet the various argu-
ments of the Hindus and Muhammedans. It is an easy matter
to cut down the sapling with a single stroke, but it is much
tougher work to hew the mighty oak. And Hinduism is not
a theory formulated to-day: it is a growth of centuries. The
heathen Indian thinks that he would be drawing down upon his
head and his family the curse of heaven if he abandoned his
ancestral faith for that of a foreign people. For him, brought
up as he is in a grovelling religion, the pure and sublime
doctrines of Christianity have no attraction; and he simply
looks upon the missionary of the Cross as an agent sent by the
English Government to effect his religious subjugation. The
Hindo-Guyanians, in like manner, it must be remembered, as
soon as they are born, breathe an atmosphere impregnated with
Hindu doctrines. They are reared upon it, and the tissue of
their mind is just what one might expect from such nutriment.
As soon as you press the claims of Christ upon them, they
oppose you with arguments which are not to be despised. Too
frequently the cleverness and perspicuity of their reasoning,
the aptness of their illustration, would put to shame many an
intelligent West Indian or an English boy. The Muhammedan






Creoles of British Guyana. 53

Indian, on the other hand, will hardly condescend to hear him.
In his proud estimation, the Christian teacher can have nothing
to offer to him worthy of his consideration and acceptance.
He pretends that the revelation in the gospel has been abro-
gated by the later revelation contained in Al-Kuran, and is
always repeating the well-known formula of his belief, There
is one God, and Muhammed is the Apostle of God." Though
the children are taught from their infancy to believe and
practise what their ancestors believed and practised, and to
look upon Christianity as a thing unworthy of their notice, and
as a religion unsuitable to them, yet there are large numbers of
Hindo-Guyanians who are firm but secret believers in the truth
of Christianity, which, as a system, is Dharmma-chakkra-pra-
vartlana-sutra-the royal chariot-wheel of a universal empire of
truth and righteousness in Christ. Only they have no desire
to offend their parents by boldly renouncing their ancestral
creed or religion. Not just now, by and by, when our parents
are dead and gone, we shall become Christians," is the language
a missionary often hears from our Hindo-Guyanians. Address-
ing a mixed congregation one Sabbath forenoon in Lacytown
some time ago, I had occasion to speak of the incarnation of
Jesus Christ. The following afternoon, being Monday, six
Hindo-Guyanians, who were present at that open-air service
listening to my discourse, found their way to my then residence
to ask me some questions about Vishnu's incarnation and the
character of the Indian Gurus, etc. I at once complied with
their request, and gave them the following information which
they wanted:-The Shastras make mention of Vishnu's das-
avatar-ten incarnations. In his first incarnation he was born
as a fish; in his second, as a tortoise; in his third, as a swine;
in his fourth, as a monster, half man and half lion. In his fifth
incarnation, assuming the form of a dwarf Brahman, named
Vamana, he cheated Mahabali, and tricked him out of his
dominions. In his sixth, born as Parasurama, he decapitated
many kings. In his seventh, appearing as Rama, he was
robbed of his wife Sita, and succeeded in killing her ravisher
only with the assistance of a monkey host. In his eighth, he
See Chapter IX., part (iii.) Vishnu.






Among the Hindus and


became Krishna, and was notorious as a thief. In his ninth,
born as Bouddha, he taught the atheistical creed, which denies
the existence of God and the human soul. In his tenth incar-
nation, which is still future, he will, it is predicted, flourish as
a horse.' Is it possible for any sane man to trust in such a
character or person who committed such atrocities as these,
and wandered about as a thief and a debauchee? The bare
acknowledgment of such a person as either God or Guru is in
itself a heinous sin. This is horrible," said one of my visitors;
"and is it possible that our ancestors believed all this rubbish,
and held up Vishnu as an object of worship and adoration ? "
Another young man of the party asked me, "Did not Shiva,
sitting as a Guru in the shade of the stone-banyan, teach Divine
truth? Why may we not accept him as a heavenly teacher ? "
I replied in the following manner:-The Shivaite gospel, called
the Skandha Purana, gives the following particulars about this
god worshipped by your ancestors:-

"Shiva, the three-eyed one, having transformed Vishnu from
his natural figure into a beautiful damsel, and having divested
himself of his clothes, went, trident and mendicant's vessel in
hand, accompanied by the metamorphosed Vishnu, into Taru-
gavana, celebrated among men as the sacred abode of the
Rishis. Having entered the holy precincts, Shiva, addressing
Vishnu, spoke as follows: Go thou, approach all the places
where these congregated Rishis, thoughtless of me, have made
their abode. Exercise all thy fascinations, and awaken within
them libidinous desires. After thus compelling them to violate
their vows of continency, return quickly to my side." [The
rest of the story about Shiva's ravishing the wives of the Rishis
is too obscene to be mentioned here.]

Can a character or person, I asked, as Shiva, who, not
satisfied with inciting another to base and lascivious actions,
Multitudes there are among the Immigrants at this hour who are
thoroughly convinced that Christianity has truth upon its side, but then
they are deterred from acting up to their convictions only because they
cannot make up their minds to bear the sacrifices which such a profession
must involve. I have heard some of the converts say that this tenth
avatar of Vishnu typifies the downfall of Hinduism and the exaltation of
Christianity. May God hasten that period!







Creoles of British Guyana. 55

himself, losing all sense of decency, roamed about naked, sing-
ing lewd songs, and ravishing other men's wives, be a god
worthy of adoration, or Divine Guru to give instructions and
precepts? Never. And as to the duping Gurus or heathen
priests, both in India and in the Colony, whom thousands
follow, I may say that they are all false teachers. I will
narrate a story which was told me when I was young, bearing
on this subject:-A bear with her cubs having fallen into a
broad and deep river, was borne rapidly down the stream. A
dishonest and selfish shepherd, spying the floating bear, mistook
it for a sheep, and, eager to catch the valuable prize, leaped
into the swelling stream. The bear no sooner saw the swim-
ming shepherd, than, supposing him to be a raft, and hoping
by its means to gain the shore, made directly for him. There-
upon the shepherd seizing the bear, and the bear laying hold
of the shepherd, both of them, locked in a close embrace, went
to the bottom never to rise again. Now, said I, the false Indian
Gurus, like that shepherd, seek only their own gain. Thousands,
as foolish as the bear, suppose those false Gurus to be a saving
raft. Such lying teachers and all who are ignorant and besotted
enough to trust in them, locked in a fatal embrace, must inevit-
ably fall into hell, and share together a common and eternal
ruin. I am frequently obliged to use parables, stories, and
other incidents, so as to convey truth to their minds. On
another occasion I used a parable which is substantially as
follows:-A fatal disease is devastating a kingdom; every
remedy applied by the people proves ineffectual. The king,
therefore, devises a specific, and commissions several physicians
to administer it to the dying people. But a learned man,
unconcerned about the people, urges upon one of the physi-
cians to give him information about the king and his mysteri-
ous existence. The physician complies with the request, and
spends his time in explaining inexplicable mysteries; mean-
while his patients die. The king, hearing of this, sends for the
physician, and addresses him thus: "Sir, what is your com-
mission ?" Answer: "To administer specific to the sick."
" Did you do it?" Please your Majesty, no; for a learned
Moulvi required information about your Majesty's existence






56 Among the Hindus and

and life, and in giving that I had no time to administer the
medicine." "What then became of the people?" Answer:
"They died." Hearing this, the king looked upon the man
with indignation, and said, "What! You saw the people dying
around you; you had the remedy, and knew that there was no
other by which the people could be cured, and yet you spent
your time in conversing about mysteries far beyond your com-
prehension? The people, indeed, died in their sins, but you
are guilty of their death, and their blood rests upon your head;
away, therefore, with you!" Now say, my friends, did this
fellow not deserve death? "He did," was the exclamation
of some. But I continued, What is the meaning of this
parable?" "You need not explain this," said a young man;
its meaning is plain. Instead of disputing about the Trinity,
you wish to preach the gospel, for we are the dying, and the
gospel is the remedy." You are right," I said, and, opening
my New Testament, and pointing to it, I said to my opponent,
"Here is my commission, it is to preach the gospel. The
people are dying, and I must administer the specific."
"Elld vizhakkum vizhakk-alla, Sanrdrkku, Poyyd vzzhakke vizkakku "
(Kuralh, 299), i.e.,-
It is not every lamp gives light;
To wise men only truth is bright."
Judging from the intense desire evinced by the East Indian
population as a whole for a knowledge of the English language
to be able to converse in it, I hesitate not to say that, were it
possible for immigration from India to come to an end or
cease, that within the next twenty or twenty-five years all the
East Indian languages now spoken will become things of the
past, and the ENGLISH will be the only living spoken language
of the Immigrants in the Colony.
6. One great drawback or impediment to the progress of
Christianity among the coolies, is the want of UNITY among
Christian ministers of the different Protestant Churches, and
the existence of the unfortunate tendency of humanity to
sectarianism. When the poor heathen and Muhammedan
Indians around us are told, or rather hear from certain
teachers, that there are only two true Churches-the Romish






Creoles of British Guyana. 57

and the Episcopal Church of England-in the world, and all
others, by whatever name they may be called, are false,-and
the teachers or preachers connected with them are not true
teachers, and therefore have no right to preach or teach,
because they have not had episcopal hands laid upon their
heads, and all persons belonging to such denominations have
no hope of salvation,-can we expect the heathen to abandon
their idolatrous worship and become Christians ? Sectarianism
is a great stumbling-block to the poor heathen who know
nothing of Christianity. I am glad, however, to notice that
among several young Hindo-Guyanians specially interesting
cases have cheered my heart, as indicating the positive good
which follows earnest efforts.















CHAPTER V.


CHARACTER OF THE RELIGION OF OUR EAST INDIAN
POPULATION.
i. THE Hindus are emphatically a religious people. Their
whole life is bound up with religion. But what sort of a
religion is it they profess and practise? Perhaps my reader
may say, What does it matter what religion the Hindu or any
other person professes, so long as his life is right ? and, to con-
firm this statement, quote the poet's adage,-
"For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;-
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right."
But this is as false in logic as it is dangerous in principle.
No man's life can be right whose faith is wrong. A man's life
can only be right when his faith is right It is quite evident
that Hinduism-the religion professed by a large majority of
our East Indian Immigrants-is not true, and cannot be true,
and therefore their lfe cannot be right. It is a religion which
cannot be improved. It is corrupt to the very core. Its
essential principles are founded in error.
2. Speaking of Romanism, Cardinal Manning has said,
"The Catholic Church is either THE MASTERPIECE OF SATAN
or the kingdom of the Son of God;" and Cardinal Newman
also says, "A sacerdotal order is historically the essence of
the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is DOCTRIN-
ALLY THE ESSENCE OF ANTICHRIST." Commenting on these
weighty words of these two Romish lights, Mr. Grattan
Guinness remarks:-

I accept it. Conscience constrains me. History compels
me. The awful past rises before me. I see the great apos-
tasy ; I see the desolation of Christendom; I see the smoking
68






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 59

ruins; I see the reign of monsters; I see their long succes-
sion; I hear their insufferable blasphemies; I see their
abominable lives; I see them worshipped by blinded genera-
tions, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering lying indul-
gencies, creating a paganized Christianity. I see their liveried
slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors. I see
the infamous confessional, the ruined women, the murdered
innocents. I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans. I
hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses,
the thunders of the interdicts. I see the racks, the dungeons,
the stakes. I see it all: and in the name of the ruin it has
wrought in the Church and in the world; in the name of the
Truth it has denied, the Temple it has defiled, the God it has
blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the
millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the
millions it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble
Reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of ages,
I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and
soul and essence of Antichrist."
In like manner, of Hinduism it may truly be said that "it
is a personification of evil, a superstition so cruel, so atrocious,
and so diabolical, which has reigned over the millions of
Hindustan. Satan seems to have used all his ingenuity, his
malice, and his gigantic power, to create a system which would
represent all his own attributes upon the earth, render its
votaries as much like his angels as possible, and make
Hindustan an image of the infernal regions. No one can
imagine the mountains of difficulty which (not only in India,
but in the very Colony) oppose the progress of the truth.
This system--venerable for its antiquity, imposing in its
ritual and its ceremonies, boasting of its sages, philosophers,
its heroes and its martyrs; enshrined in Vedas, Shastras, and
Puranas; renowned for the splendour of its temples, the
grandeur of its festivals, and the exploits of its deities; binding
its hundreds of millions together by the chains of caste, as
with fetters of iron; and sending forth upon the whole world,
from its bulwarks and its strongholds, a scowl of defiance."
Such is the nature of Hinduism, with which Christian mission-
aries have to contend.
3. There is no denying the fact that polytheism, and the






Among the Hindus and


intrigues, criminal amours, quarrels, and stratagems of the gods
worshipped by the millions, have produced the most fatal
effects on the minds and hearts of the Hindus as a nation. In
the light of these facts, "can we at all expect a people to be
better than the gods they worship and the religion they pro-
fess?" Can a Hindu's life be right when his faith is wrong?
And yet there have been writers professedlyy Christian writers)
who, having viewed the virtues and the national features of the
Hindu character, all in connection with the different religious
duties and observances, have described them as the innocent
Hindus." A careful reading and study of the several Hindu
religious works-the standard authorities of the nation-would
lead the student or reader to the necessary conclusion, that
polytheism as it now exists in India was not the original or
indigenous form of worship observed by the earliest or first
settlers in that land, which was one of the earliest inhabited
portions of our earth. Monotheism was the religion of the
various tribes of the Scythic or Tararya (Draudya) race who
first found themselves in Upper India, or Arya-vratta. These
were all of Shemitic family or descent. When these were
afterwards driven from their original home in Arya-vratta more
towards the south, they still adhered to monotheism, as is
evident from their various existing writings, written many
centuries before the Christian era. TIRU VALHLHUVAR, for
instance, says, "In all worlds the eternal God is Chief." And
SIVA-VAKKYAR, "There is but ONE in all the world, none else.
That ONE is GOD, the LORD of all that is; He never had
beginning, never hath an end." When the Sanskrit-speaking
Aryans found their way into Upper India, they brought with
them the religion which is now known by the name of HIN-
DUISM. The Aryan races have always been prone towards
polytheism and idolatry, whilst the Shemitic race has always
tended toward monotheism, which is as pure as, and more
philosophical than, the monotheism taught and professed by
their neighbours the Muhammedans, and which, correctly or
incorrectly, came to be known as the "Brahmanical philo-
sophy" in later years. The now existing religion was forced
upon the first occupants of the land and their descendants.






Creoles of British Guyana. 61

Just as the different Moghul, Afghan, and other Muhammedan
invaders, with sword in one hand and Al-Kuran in the other,
forced Muhammedanism upon the several vanquished inimical
tribes of Hindustan, so Aryanism (Hinduism, emphatically the
idolatry and polytheism of the Aryas) was forced nolens volens
upon the original settlers and their descendants (the various
Scythian hordes who at a remote period first occupied Bharata-
Varsha, or Arya-vratta), and on account of opposition on their
part, were driven more towards the south of India, which is still
called by the intelligent and educated classes of Southern
Hindus, SHAMA-DESAM or RAJYA, the land or kingdom of
Shem, thus laying a claim to their Shemitic origin. Hinduism
and Muhammedanism are now the two principal religions of
India, and may be styled "the national religions" of the
people; and the same are professed by our fellow-colonists, the
East Indian Immigrants, though their children born unto them
in the Colony care not much for either.
4. The teachers of this abominable system of religion are the
avaricious BRAHMANS, from whose pernicious and baneful
influence, however, the large number of East Indian popula-
tion in the Colony are free. It is rather fortunate for them
that they are so. The Brahmans are the BISHOPS of the
Hindu (heathen) population, and PRIMATES of all or the whole
of India; and they, as a rule, generally travel in great state
and pomp by night, claiming veneration or adoration from the
people everywhere they go. A Brahman Swamalu (Swamiyar
or Guru) or Hindu Bishop is well and liberally supported by
his credulous disciples or adherents. A hundred pagodas
daily, or $176-50 (36, 5s. 5d.), or nearly $67,200 (Z14,000)
per annum, is about the income of some of these worthies.
One of the late Rajahs of Tanjore (my native town) used to
give his Guru or Bishop, when he honoured His Majesty with
a visit, 250 pagodas, or $441-25 (91I, 18s. 61d.) per diem.
The inferior priests and Bishops of the Hindu nation in like
manner get pretty well paid or supported by the people who
require their services. Like hungry dogs, they are always on
the look-out for festival seasons to reap their reward. The
following Hindi couplet, the purport of which is pretty well






Among the Hindus and


understood by our Immigrants, is applicable to the so-called
"Coolie Parsons" in the Colony:-
"Ayd Kandgatphi2U Kds,
Bdhman baite ch~lhepds,"
i.e. The time for performing the ceremony in honour of
deceased ancestors has arrived, the Kas (cas) is in flower, and
the Brahmans surround the fireplace. Our Indian Immi-
grants, though thousands of miles away from their native home,
still continue to practise their religious rites and ceremonies,
and there are several of these inferior priests and Bishops
among them who exert a wonderful power over them.
5. However abominable and disgusting the religion of our
East Indian Immigrants may be in its teaching, tendencies,
and practices,-and those who bear Christian names, profession-
ally belonging to the different sections of the Christian Church,
however much they may look down upon their heathen neigh-
bours,-there is no denying the fact that these so-called Chris-
tians, by their life and conversation and indolent habits, bring
the holy religion taught by Christ and His apostles into public
disrepute. In India, as well as in the Colony, the heathen
and Muhammedan Indians have looked upon these professors
of the Christian religion with disdain and contempt, and have
expressed in their bad English: "Christian religion, devil
religion; Christian much drunk,1 Christian much do wrong,
much beat and much abuse others." Adopting the language
of an old writer, I may say, "Truly it is a sight" (in the pro-
fessedly Christian Colony) "to behold a drunken Christian, and
a sober Indian ; a temperate Indian, and a Christian given up to
his appetite; an Indian that is just and square in his dealings,
and a Christian that is over-reaching and exorbitant; a laborious
Indian, and an idle Christian, as if he were born only to fold
his hands. Oh, what a sad thing it is for Christians to come
short of Indians, even in moralities; come short of those who

I In every one of the three principal systems of religion-Bouddhism,
Hinduism, and Muhammedanism-drink is entirely discouraged. The
Europeans found India sober, and they have made it drunken. A very
humiliating fact to be mentioned.






Creoles of British Guyana. 63

themselves believe to come short of heaven." In former days
the Tazzia procession used to be a season of rejoicing among
the Immigrants on every sugar estate in the Colony, and a time
when hostility was shown to each other, and often ending in
bloodshed. Now we are on the march towards Christianity.
Whilst through the instrumentality of Christian missionaries the
coolies in different parts of the Colony are ceasing to worship
a wooden temple, the black Creole Christian lads are taking
out the Tazzias in procession instead of the coolies. The
best and surest way to convert Hindus and Muhammedans to
Christianity is to show them a Christian life. This is the
best way to preach the Christian religion-to be a Christian.
Instead of opening the New Testament all the time before
the Hindu, open your own heart, your feeling, your own lives,
and let the Hindu and Muhammedan read Christianity in
them, and that is the best way to preach Christianity.














CHAPTER VI.


THE BRAHMAN TEACHERS.

I. I HAVE already said that the whole daily life of a modern
orthodox heathen Hindu is bound up with his religion and
caste. He dares not abandon his ancestral faith for that of a
foreign people, lest the curse of heaven descend upon his head,
nor exchange his caste for that of another. He may, when he
leaves his home for a distant part of the world, to all intents
and purposes became an out-caste, so to speak,-be he a Brah-
man, Kshatriya,Vaisya, or Shudra,-and mix with other peoples.
He does not lose caste (as we sometimes think he does), but
only keeps it in abeyance till time and circumstances call for a
full manifestation or evidence of it. The Brahmanical religious
laws or rituals make some provision for this.
The following extract from an American paper will illustrate
this fact :-
One of the visitors to Philadelphia on the occasion of the
opening of a Woman's Medical Congress there was Mrs.
Anandaibai Joshee, a Hindu woman physician. Mrs. Joshee
is eighteen years of age, the wife of a Brahman, an employs of
the Government at Serampore, India. It was supposed that
she would lose caste and become unclean in crossing the sea,
but in a recent letter she stated to a friend that she had as yet
retained it. Arrangements were made for her so that she
might prepare her own food, for, by eating from dishes that
have been touched by those of a different caste, a Hindu
becomes impure and loses his or her caste. She also kept her
national dress. She is spoken of as a young woman of remark-
ably fine intellect, and as determined to devote her life to the
interests of her fellow-women in India."
All Muhammedans, Europeans, and other foreign nations, no
matter what their position in society, found in India, are looked
64






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 65

upon by the lordly Brahmans as An-Aryans or out-castes,
despicable Mlechchas; and the Muhammedan in his turn looks
upon the Brahmans and Hindus as the filth and the off-
scouring of all things, and calls them Kaffirs on account of
their abominable system of idolatry. And who are these
Muhammedans in the Bengal and other Presidencies of India?
For the most part they are the different tribes of people found
in India with a skin deep of Hinduism in them. The in-
fluence of foreign Muhammedan rulers, who carried everything
before them among these people by the sword, was such that
thousands, chiefly of the lower classes of Hindus, readily
accepted the formula of the impostor Prophet's creed, as being
agreeable to them, and with it the riddance of caste, the in-
stitution of the country, and became elevated in the social
scale among the Muhammedans as a consequence or a neces-
sary accompaniment of their adoption of Islam; and they have
stuck to that faith to the present day. Muhammedanism, like
Christianity, countenances no caste prejudices, whatever else
a professedly Christian Government in India may do in
opposition to the Christian teaching the people get from the
missionaries of the different Protestant Societies. Among the
Muhammedans in India and elsewhere, all ranks and orders so
run into each other and blend imperceptibly together, that it
becomes impossible to separate them into sharply-defined
strata, or to say where the upper ends and the middle or lower
begins. But it is not so among the heathen Hindus; and
Europeans professing the Christian religion uphold the Hindus
in this respect, and thus encourage strong caste feelings on
thdir part, and alienation from each other.
2. The arrogant Pharisees of India (generally called Chou-
bebs, Pandits, Shastris, on account of their being well versed
in the Vedas and Shastras) are an important and influential
class of people, whose example in everything to a very great
extent determines the conduct of the other classes of Hindus.
These are universally known as BRAHMANS. The very term
at once points to the Hindu system of religion, and shows that
the Brahmans as a class are beings of the first order or caste
of the Hindu nation, properly charged with the duty of reading
E






Among the Hindus and


and expounding the Shastras and Vedas, and conducting the
religious ceremonies they enjoin. Though the word is derived
from Vrik, or Brih-to increase, to expand, to become great-
the true English definition of Brahman is KNOWN OF GOD,'
"his inheritance or possession is God;" hence the arrogance
and fancied superiority on his part. He is the first of all
human beings; he has no superior. Hence in Southern India
the following proverb is in daily use, with a double meaning
attached to it: Papfukku muppu illei," that is, The Brahman
has no earthly superior; and in a Roman Catholic usage, the
Papa (a Pope) has no earthly superior. Knowing something
of the character and pretended sanctity of the Brahmans as a
people, and judging from various conversations with intelligent
native Christians of good social positions in India, I have been
led to the conviction that the Sanskrit Aryans or Brahmans,
who immediately followed the various Scythian hordes in
Upper India, were not unacquainted with the history of the
forty years' travels of Israel in the wilderness, and other parti-
culars connected with them as a privileged nation of God's
peculiar choice. They became thoroughly acquainted with all
the facts and incidents concerning Israel mentioned in the
Books of the Old Testament. If they did not, or could not,
get hold of the entire copy of the Old Testament, they must
have had possession of the Pentateuch and some other historic
portions. They read all they wanted to know, and appro-
priated for their own nefarious purposes what was necessary,
giving to each circumstance and incident a meaning peculiar
to their own corrupt and subtle minds, and blending with
monstrous fables many other facts mentioned in the sacred
history, so as to baffle the succeeding generations in any attempt
to discover the deception practised by them. The Israelites
were as a peculiar people to be a race of priests, of nobles,
of warriors; the inheritance of Jehovah; an holy or sanctified
people, separate and distinct from other nations; God was to
dwell among them, and they alone were to be the conservators
and teachers of the knowledge of God to others. These and
many other similar and striking facts respecting Israel were
known to these migrators who succeeded the Tararya races in







Creoles of British Guyana. 67

India. They looked upon themselves as a privileged caste,
the only rightful recipients of the Veda-the Divine knowledge,
the only repositories both of the Divine word and of the
spirit of devotion or prayer, and as persons who were destined
by God to reign over the nations whom they with a high hand
had subjugated. The Brahmans are those most interested in
keeping up the regulations of caste. They are enriched by the
rules of it. A Brahman would not give up his office for a
king's diadem. A king is a servant of the Brahman. The
following story will show how the Brahmans work the oracle.
Once upon a time a king, Saudasa by name, whilst hunting,
met a Brahman on the road, and ordered him to get out of
his way,-a thing contrary to the rules of caste. The priest
civilly declined to do so, whereupon the king struck the Brah-
man with a whip. The priest cursed him to become a canni-
bal. The curse took effect immediately. He devoured several
persons. The curse was, however, at last removed from him
by the one who had uttered it. The case of Saudasa "is
always quoted as an instance of a Kshatriya' hostile to the
Brahmans, and punished for his hostility." In this way or
manner the first Brahman settlers set up their claims of fancied
superiority over the rest, not without opposition and strong
remonstrances against their impositions, as is evident from
the popular songs of Southern India; and all their descendants
since have in like manner claimed veneration, adoration, and
allegiance on the part of the people amongst whom they dwell.
And just as in the days of King Ahab the idolatrous priests
became a numerous and important caste (i Kings xviii. 19),
living under the patronage of royalty, and fed at the royal
table, so the Brahmans, who are the priests of the nation in
India, have formed themselves into a distinct and important
caste, to be venerated and adored by all other castes below
their own. Among some of the earliest works in use among
the Southern Hindus, we learn that when the Brahmans set up
their superiority over the other Hindus, by saying that they
alone were the high caste, that others were of low caste,-that
they were the white caste, that all others were the black caste,-
the Draudyan writers showed that the Brahmans' declaration






Among the Hindus and


was a mere sound,-an expression without meaning or force,
which nobody would believe,-and that the four castes, the
Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Shudras, were all equal to
each other, and that there was no difference to be perceived
between them. When a criminal was brought before the
king, no matter to what caste so called he belonged, he was to
be either put to death, or disgraced, or some other punishment
appointed to him; no difference was to be made on account
of his caste or superiority over the rest. There was no real or
actual difference existing between the members of the four
castes: the difference was only in name. The following
stanza from CABILAR'S Agaval clearly shows the contemptuous
way in which the Draudya or Tamil nation treated the Brah-
manical priestism, and the caste and idolatry in close connec-
tion with it:-

0 Brahmans, list to me !
In all this blessed land [Shamades]
There is but one great caste,
One tribe and brotherhood.
One God doth dwell above, [not two or more]
And He has made us one
In birth and frame and tongue."
"Are the births and castes you fondly own
The event of Nature's growth alone,
Or a scheme designed and finished by you ?"

3. Whatever might have been the state of Indian society
when these Sanskrit-speaking Aryans or Brahmans first found
their way into Arya-vratta, or Upper India, between 4000 and
5000 years ago, and however exaggerated the statements in the
Puranic writings, it was only about the seventh century of the
Christian era that the influence of Sanskrit teaching made
itself felt in the peninsula of India, and the various nations in-
habiting it became Aryanized or Brahmanized. This has so
far prevailed, that, for all ordinary purposes, the dwellers in
southern portions of India are now loosely classed among the
Aryan population, and unquestionably have been susceptible
of the religious influence of the Aryan religion as represented
by the modern teaching of the Brahmans. These Brahman






Creoles of British Guyana. 69

intruders laboured hard to deprive the Tamilians of their
Scriptures and religion, which was monotheistic in its best and
purest sense, without the ruder rites and materialistic beliefs
now seen everywhere, and to introduce the mythology and
idol-worship of which we hear so much in descriptions of Hin-
dustan. They succeeded in substituting their fables and follies
for the ancient faith and practice of the population. When
they found that they could not eradicate, they did their utmost
to adapt, pervert, interpolate, and mutilate the indigenous
writings. Books in present circulation are disfigured by in-
consistencies which betray the torturing treatment they have
undergone at the hands of these Brahmanists. The Muham-
medans, who poured into the country some centuries after, in
like manner, without attempting to alter or modify, only strove
to snatch, tear up, and burn all their literary and scriptural
works of great merit. The Tamilians, however, have kept
alive their own literature and faith, not by organized means
of formal education, but by quiet transcription and constant
repetition, and in immortal proverbs. The Muhammedans
are merchants and bankers, and the Brahmans high in social
position and influence; but they are a minority of the popula-
tion of Southern India.
4. The Brahmans compose the sacred tribe (answering to
that of Levi among the Israelites), which supplies at once the
priests, the judges, the teachers, and the philosophers of the
Hindu nation. In some of the Hindu writings it is definitely
stated that Brahma created the Brahman and the Cow at the
same time, before the other castes were brought into being:
the Brahman to read the Vedas, and the Cow to afford him
milk (ghee, clarified butter) for the burnt-offering. The Brah-
man and the Cow, therefore, hold a prominent place in the
uppermost thoughts of the Hindu. As said above, the Brah-
man claims veneration or adoration from his dupes, and is by
them regarded and worshipped as god. The following is the
doctrine taught in a Sanskrit Sloka, which every Hindu ought
to know:-" The world is subject to the gods; the gods are
subject to the Mantras; the Mantras are subject to the Brah-
mans; and the Brahmans therefore are gods" whom men






70 Among the Hindus and

must worship. Wherever and in whatever condition or state a
Brahman may be found, he is an object of worship. He is
the SWAMIE of the nation. He is, according to St. Paul, one
"who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshipped: so that he, as God, sitteth in the
temple, showing himself that he is God (2 Thess. ii. 4).
His word is law, and cannot be altered or set aside. The
reader will find on pp. 297, 298 of my Colon) of British Guyana,
an incident mentioned of a philosophical Brahman declaring
himself to be the "Almighty" to a Christian missionary in
Bengal. "A Brahman, whether learned or unlearned, is a
mighty divinity, just as fire is a mighty divinity, whether
consecrated or unconsecrated." Brahmans, however, are not
necessarily priests: they are rather the patrons and employers
of priests. A title of Brahman in Southern India is ANDANAR,
in which there is a vein of satire against the Brahmans and
their gods.
5. The lineage batnan bad batnan-generation after genera-
tion-of the Brahmans is unquestioned throughout India,
though it is obvious from many of the credible or reliable
legends, that Brahmans and Kshatriyas were originally one,
and their distinction was one of office and occupation. The
Brahmans of the present day are divided into an endless number
of distinct castes, separated from each other by insurmount-
able barriers, with numerous sub-divisions belonging to each
caste, so that they refuse to intermarry and eat with each other.
Their caste is no longer that which is described in the Shastras.
Yet with all these differences and distinctions amongst them-
selves, they as a class "constitute the great central body,
around which all other classes and orders of beings revolve
like satellites." A man would sooner break or violate any of
the laws of God than violate any of the laws of a Brahman,
so strict in obedience are the people who have been Hinduized
by being initiated into the religious mysteries of Brahmanism,
or Hinduism, as the religion is called. The Bouddhists, who
differ from the Brahmanists, never own any distinctions of
caste. In fact they deny its existence in toto. Their priests,
called Jatis, are admitted from all castes, and are dressed like






Creoles of British Guyana.


the Brahmans. In the Vasala Sutta 27, the Bouddhist teaching
on this subject is:-
Not by birth does one become low caste,
Not by birth does one become a Brahman;
By his actions alone one becomes low caste,
By his actions alone one becomes a Brahman."

The same idea occurs in the Mahabharata, iii 14,075,
17,392. According to a Jatimala (pedigree of caste) of the
Brahmans, we have in Hindustan-(i) KANYAKUBJA, with four
social and political sub-divisions; (2) SARASVAT, with ten sub-
divisions; (3) GAUR, with six; (4) TAILANGA, six; (5) KAR-
NATTA, two; (6) MAHARASHTRA, eight; and (7) GURJARA,
with eighty-four social and political sub-divisions. The first of
these, Kanyakubja, or Kanauj, is again divided into 156 tribes
or castes, of which 1oo are called VARENDRA, and 56 RADHA
or RARH. In addition to these seven, there are two other
classes, said to have been made Brahmans by Vyasa, the
SAKADWIPI and GAYALI. All these Brahmanical divisions and
sub-divisions may be properly classified into two: the Brah-
mans of the Northern division, called GAUDA, and the Brahmans
of the Southern division, called DRAUDYA, of which the Tamil-
speaking Brahmans are the leaders of all the rest belonging to
this class of people in India. The Brahmans, besides being
socially and politically divided into various castes or tribes,
are as a religious body opposed to each other, and form
themselves into two schools or divisions called the Vaishnava sect
and the Shaiva sect. Those belonging to the Shiva bhakti affirm
that the Supreme, the invisible Brahm or Parabaram, appeared
or became embodied in the form of Shiva and Shakti,-the
former male, the latter female,-and made all things as well as
all persons, including both Vishnu and Brahma; and contend
that these and all other beings shall finally be absorbed into
the Divine essence from whence they have proceeded. The
largest number of Brahmans and Hindus belong to this sect.
Those belonging to the Vishnu bhakti (whose literature is
neither so extensive nor respectable as that of the Shaivas)
contend for the supremacy of Vishnu, and his superiority to






72 Among the Hindus and

Shiva: they attribute the production of Brahma, the creator,
and Shiva, held by them to be the destroyer, to Vishnu as the
first great cause, and declare that all things have proceeded
from him, and to him they will return. The Vishnuvas, or
Vaishnavas, worship Vishnu in one or other of his manifesta-
tions, especially as Ramchandra or as Krishna. The Shaiva,
or Shiva bhaktas, are in the south of India called LingadhAris,
and Lingavants, and wear a small representation of the linga
(the pallas, as the type of Shiva, and as worshipped in all parts
of India) in a case round the neck or on one arm. We have
in this Colony a fair representation of both these sects. Nearly
one-third of the Hindus from the Calcutta or Bengal Presi-
dency, principally of the lower orders of Bengal, and a few
from the Madras Presidency also, belong to the Vaishnava sect,
and the rest of the Immigrants belong to the Shiva or Shaiva
sect.
6. As teachers, or Gurus, they exert a pernicious and power-
ful influence over the people, not only in India, but in the
very Colony itself, where we have a few who call themselves
Brahmans, but of very inferior caste. They undermine every
effort put forth by the Christian missionary in a direct, steady,
and sure manner, and prejudice the minds of the people
against him, so that they scarcely show a disposition to hear
what he has to say to them for their own good. The Hindu
idea is that whatever may be the faults and failings of the
Brahman, or of a man who claims to be a Brahman, he
should never be left to starve or be in want. He must be
fed and clothed, and indulged in his demands. Food must
be distributed to him by the very poorest, and this is called
Brahmana bhojana; as he is the representative of the
Deity, to whom adoration is due, very frequently an oath is
made and taken while holding or clasping the feet of a holy
Brahman, and this is called Brahmanadivya; and sometimes
a Brahman may be very poor, and have to be entertained as a
menial in a Brahman family in India, or as a guest in one of
the houses of the Immigrants in the Colony, and he is then
called Brahmanajan.
7. There are some Immigrants in the Colony who have






Creoles of British Guyana. 73

looked upon the few so-called Brahmans amongst them as
persons incapable of committing sin: they being reckoned and
worshipped as gods. On one occasion, not many months ago,
a few of my hearers advanced this strange doctrine in my
presence. I said to them, I am quite surprised to hear that
any of you should believe, or think, that there are men in
this world who have never committed sin. You refer to the
Brahmans as instances of this supposed or presumed state-
ment. This statement of yours is quite against your own
religion, or why do you offer up sacrifices and oblations to
your deities, if you can reach heaven by meritorious works, or
if you consider yourselves sinless and holy beings? But, now,
let me just ask you one question. Is there any here present
who can say that he has never committed sin ?-I mean such
and such sins" (and here I repeated the moral law of the Ten
Commandments). "If there is any among you who can say
that he has never broken any of these Commandments, let him
hold up his hand." I looked around, but there was none who
could do it; so I said, Well, then, you all acknowledge that
you are sinners. Well," I continued, neither can I lift up
my hand; I am a sinner like you. But I know One who came
into this world, and lived in this world, but never committed
sin, even the Lord Jesus; and He was not only sinless, but
came into this world to take away sin, and to save all that
come to Him, be he a Brahman or the poor beggar. I am
here for the very purpose of making Him known to you, that
you might not die in your sins; but live. I want you to know
that God is no respecter of persons. In His sight the lordly
Brahman and the out-caste Tchandala are both alike sinners,
and are of precisely the same account. The soul of the one
is as precious as that of the other; in the salvation of either
indiscriminately the Lord Jesus Christ sees of the travail of
His soul, and is satisfied therewith." This plain truth, no doubt,
opened the eyes of those who had believed in the sanctity and
sinlessness of Brahmans.
8. The Brahmans, as a rule, are a sharp, shrewd people.
"Be a Brahman, then you will know or understand a Brah-
man," is an everyday saying in my native district. The






Among the Hindus and


general opinion in India has been that it is impossible to
deceive a Brahman: "a Brahman will know a Brahman at a
glance." The following incident will, however, show how
Brahmans in Southern India were outwitted by an Italian
Jesuit missionary, Robert de Nobili, in the early part of the
fourteenth century of the Christian era. Assuming the appear-
ance, garb, and name of a Brahman, come from a distant
country, he besmeared his face, imitated the austerities of
Brahmanical penitents, and succeeded in persuading the most
credulous of the people that he was truly of the Divine stock of
their priesthood. To silence those who had looked upon him
as an impostor, he produced an old dirty parchment, in which
he had forged, in the Devanagari, a deed showing that the
Brahmans of Rome were of much older date than those of
India, and the Jesuits of Rome descended in a direct line
from Brahma himself. It is narrated by one of his own order,
Father Jouvenci, that upon the smoky parchment being ques-
tioned by one of the Hindus, Nobili declared, upon oath before
an assembly of the Brahmans of Madura, that he derived,
really and truly, his origin from the God Brahma himself. By
such subterfuge he managed to gain over to his system twelve
eminent Brahmans; and multitudes by their instrumentality
were influenced to adhere to his instructions.
9. In India, if you convert one of the high caste Brahmans,
you convert ten of the lower orders, because, as the Indian
saying is, "If you pour water upon the head, you wet the
whole body." So far as the outward and visible Church is
concerned, the accession of the Brahmans to Christianity might
be a far more important event than that of the other castes of
Hindus; but in the general assembly and Church of the first-
born, which are written in heaven, the names are of equal
value in the muster roll. It is a strong proof how much
carnality enters even into our spiritual things, that this most
unquestionable truth is not more fully recognized. The Aryans
and Non-Aryans, the bond and free, are all equal before God.
When we turn to i Cor. i. 26-31, we hear St. Paul proclaim-
ing, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many
wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble,






Creoles of British Guyana. 75

are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the
world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak
things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
and base things of the world, and things which are despised,
hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring
to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in His
presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is
made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and
redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth,
let him glory in the Lord."














CHAPTER VII.


GURUS OR SPIRITUAL TEACHERS AND THEIR DUTIES.

i. AMONG the Tamilians of Southern India there has existed
for centuries a religious opinion to the effect that God can do
without man, but man cannot do without God, and without a
temple in which to worship Him, and without a priest to offer up
sacrifices in the temple; and hence the following proverbial sen-
tence in use among them : Divan illd manidan illd: Kdvil illd
Devdnum Acdaryanum illei; Pali illd Pidamum illei,"-literally,
There is no man without a god; no temple without its god
and priest; and no sacrifice without its altar on which to offer
it;" also another old saying to the effect, Where there is a
temple, there God appears, and the inhabitants prosper," or,
A man should not live where there is no temple." Another
proverbial saying peculiar to the Tamil nation is, "HE WHO
KNOWS HIMSELF WILL KNOW GOD." The wisdom of the East
speaks in proverbs. This proverb I have here given is as old
as the earliest writings of the Old Testament-as ancient as
the mountains. The most useful and comprehensive precept
in the whole moral system, "KNOW THYSELF,"--by some
ascribed to Thorles, the Milesian, the prince of the philo-
sophers, and contemporary with Josiah, king of Judah, B.C. 641,
-had been pioneered by the South Indian sage, whoever he
or she might have been. It is a religious maxim full of deep
meaning and wisdom, and shows the truth taught in the other
proverbial sentences above quoted in regard to the tendency
in man to seek and inquire after God. This feeling, this
attraction towards God, exists not only in the Hindus through-
out India, but in every man throughout the world. Man
cannot cease from seeking and inquiring after God. At no time
and in no place have men been found without religion, without
76






The Hindus and Creoles of British Guyana. 77

God. Says PLUTARCH, "You may see states without walls,
without laws, without coins, without writing; but a people
without a God, without prayer, without religious exercises and
sacrifices, has no man seen." And ROBESPIERRE once said,
If there were no God, we should have to invent one." And
in like mariner AVVEY (a female moralist and poetess), for
whom the Tamilians entertain the highest respect, has said,
"Alayam tozhuvathu stlavam nanru,"-that is, Man derives the
greatest good (benefit) by worshipping God in the temple.
Hence every Hindu, whether rich or poor, feels a desire to
have a temple in which to worship God. Though the Indian
Immigrants are some seventeen thousand miles away from
their home-their native land,-we see them in the Colony
still cherishing the same desire to have temples of their own
in which to have their favourite idols and worship them. There
are several Alayas, or Swami houses, all over the Colony, in
which their own priests officiate or offer up pujahs. The
Gurus or Hindu teachers, therefore, form an important class
among our Immigrants, and demand a passing notice in
respect to their general character.
2. The temples, or Alayas, usually of stone or brick, whether
distinguished for the elegance of their architecture or not,
erected by the devout followers of "gods many and lords
many," are constructed not as places of meeting like Christian
sanctuaries for the people, but as residences or houses of their
dumb idols of wood and stone. We have abundant references
to this fact in the Old Testament Scriptures (see i Sam. v. 2;
2 Kings x. 21, 27, etc.). By the very Jews themselves the
tabernacle in the wilderness, and then afterwards the temple at
Jerusalem, was regarded as the dwelling-place of Jehovah, and
not a place of accommodation for the people generally. The
dimensions of the tabernacle or temple were not so extensive
or imposing as is commonly supposed by some writers. The
people were not permitted to enter into the interior of either
place to worship Jehovah, but they offered up their prayers
and sacrifices in the front of the building, or in the outer
quadrangle. Prominent hills, elevated places, or artificial
mounds were the sites usually selected by the heathen nations






Among the Hindus and


upon which to erect their temples, so that they could be seen
from a distance; and the Hindus are not a whit behind in this
respect. They have their medeis, or modus-elevated places,
or artificial miniature hills-on which they erect their temples
and Swami houses. The pagoda or temple in the island of
Elephanta, near Bombay, for instance, has been hewn by the
hands of man out of a solid rock, about half way up a high
mountain, so that it can be seen from a long distance by the
pilgrims and other worshippers, and formed into a spacious
area nearly 120 feet square. In order to support the roof of
the temple and the weight of the mountain that lies above it, a
number of massy pillars have been cut out of the same rock
at such regular distances as, on the first entrance, presents an
appearance of great beauty and strength. Much of the inside
is covered with human figures, in high relief, of gigantic size as
well as singular forms, and distinguished by a variety of symbols,
representing, it is probable, the attributes of the deities whom
they worshipped, or the actions of the heroes whom they ad-
mired. The Hindus, like all other heathen nations, have
entertained the idea that high hills and elevated places were
much nearer heaven (Asman or Paralok), and therefore the
most favourable places for religious purposes. The patriarchs
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and afterwards the Hebrews as a
nation, entertained some such ideas when they worshipped
Jehovah upon the tops of the mountains and on high places,"
and the Bible student will remember that the site chosen for
the erection of the magnificent temple of Solomon was a high,
steep eminence, the natural summit of which did not offer a
sufficiently level space, and inaccessible on three sides-the
east, south, and west; and the inequalities of the ground
therefore had to be filled up with walls, vaulted passages, and
cisterns. From whatever side the pilgrim approached the
city, "the mountain of Jehovah," "the house of the God
of Jacob," the first sight and impression of the temple, which
rose far above all other structures, glittering in the sunlight,
must have been solemn and deep. Every devout Jew prayed
toward this sacred building as toward Jehovah's special habita-
tion, His throne upon the earth.






Creoles of British Guyana. 79

3. A Hindu temple is not constructed like a Christian
sanctuary, with the necessary accommodation for worshippers
who meet regularly to celebrate the praises of the Deity
in the strains of sacred poetry, and to make the voice
of' prayer and confession heard within its hallowed walls.
It is not intended to accommodate a crowd of worshippers
within its walls. Its worshippers stand outside in an area
opposite the door, which is the only entrance belonging to the
building. The priest, the representative of the people, is the
only person who enters the temple through that door in order
to perform the duties of his office in the presence of the idol,
which stands at the lower end of the door, and so placed that
the worshippers from outside might have a full view of, and
fall down before, it. There is no window to a Hindu temple
to let in light or admit air. The room, including the small
space which is called the residence of the idol (Swami stalam),
before which burns a small oil lamp, and the space sufficiently
spacious for the temple utensils, the offerings, and the officiating
priest to stir or move about, is always dark and awe-inspiring. I
have visited a few of the huts or places of worship called temples,
built in primitive style by the coolies on some of the estates,
and found them dismal enough, though the floors were pretty
clean. These hut-temples are considered so sacred by the
coolies, on account of the visible presence of the deity-the
idol-they worship, that no unclean person can enter any of
them without the preparatory ablutions being performed : no
sandals or boots are allowed to be worn by the officiating priest
or visitor whilst in the presence of the deity within the temple.
(The following scriptures will throw some light upon this:
Exod. iii. 5, xix. 2; Joshua v. 15; Acts vii. 33.) Whatever
impurity or uncleanness may be found inside or outside the
temple is quickly removed by besmearing the floor with a
solution of cow-dung; and indeed no Hindu would go out of
his house in a morning till the doorway has been rubbed with
cow-dung.
4. In ancient times most of the wealth of the Hindu kings
and other noblemen was lavished on erecting gaudy temples
and supporting splendid festivals in honour of the gods






Among the Hindus and


worshipped by them. The modern Hindus, as a nation, are
not so extravagant as their forefathers. Yet temples of all sizes
and descriptions are built, especially in Southern India. When
a suitable site is chosen, and the foundation stone is about to
be laid, a small place is dug in the earth about a cubit square,
into which water is poured, and a brick placed in the hole with
this prayer addressed to the brick: "As long as the earth and
mountains remain, so do thou remain immoveable." Shiva,
Vishnu, Ganesha, Surya, Durga, and other gods and goddesses,
celestial and terrestrial, are invoked, and offerings and sacrifices
presented, so that the lives of persons engaged in building the
temples might be spared from all accidents to complete them,
and that the builders might have a good and profitable time
during the time of their erection. When the temples are com-
pleted they are dedicated with numerous ceremonies to their
favourite deities above mentioned. Brahma, one of the Hindu
Triad (who must not, however, be confounded with Brahm or
Parabaram, whom all allow to be supreme) is the only god
whose worship was abolished and discontinued to the present
day, to whom no temple is erected or dedicated, for reasons
which I shall mention in a future chapter.1
5. In connection with Hindu or heathen temples, I may
mention the "HIGH PLACES" and "GROVES," to which
numerous references are made in the Old Testament Scrip-
tures. Before the temple was erected, the "High Places and
Groves" were frequently resorted to as harmless places for
the worship of Jehovah, and indeed the Groves were God's
first temple (Gen. xxi. 33), and seemed naturally fitted for such
purposes. Under the Judges they appear to have been toler-
ated in some exceptional cases; and Samuel offered sacrifices
in several places where the Ark was not present. Even in
David's time the people of Israel sacrificed to the Lord at
Shiloh, Jerusalem, and Gibeon. The heathen, however, re-
garded the different "Groves" as sacred to different gods,
and the High Places" as inseparably linked to idolatry; and
hence this was one reason why Jehovah required the festivals
and sacrifices of the Israelites to be centred at His temple in
See Chapter IX. 4.






Creoles of British Gzuyana. 81

Jerusalem; that the people of the living and only true God
might be delivered from the temptations of the Groves," and
witness as one man against idolatry. These "High Places"
and Groves" were, however, much frequented in the kingdom
of Israel, and on these hills and elevated places they often
adored idols and committed a thousand abominations which
were hateful to God. These Bamoth (plural of Bamah, Hebrew)
or High Places became in course of time places of Bem (Tamil),
to be dreaded and avoided on account of the fearful idolatrous
rites practised thereon without any let or hindrance.
6. The Guru or Acharyahship, though strictly a Brahmanical
order, is not now wholly confined to the Brahmans. They
have been rivalled in points of devotion by men of other castes,
who set up as Gurus, or spiritual guides or teachers, and
acquire considerable influence with their followers. We learn
from our Bible that in the patriarchal times the head of the
family was both supreme ruler and priest to his own household
and to the clan formed of his descendants. Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, Job, Heber the Kenite, Jonadab the son of Rechab,
may be said to have been the Sheikhs (chiefs and priests) of
their several clans. And before the Law was given the worship
of God was not restricted to places or persons; the head of
each family seems to have officiated as its priest (such, probably,
were the Cok'nim, priests, mentioned in Exod. xix. 22). It is a
remarkable fact that this has been the practice or usage among
the Hindus of Southern India from time immemorial The
Brahman Gurus there are looked upon as "HIGH-PRIESTS" of
the Hindu nation, whose services are in demand only by the
aristocracy, and on "high" or special occasions, for which
they are paid handsomely; but every caste among the Hindus
of Southern India has its own Guru or Acharyah, and every
family or tribe its own household god, Tarparan or Tarfanan
(with which compare the Hebrew word ''eraphim, Judg. xvii. 5),
-an image in human form, graven of wood or stone,-
and its own family Guru or priest. "This privilege is often
hereditary in particular families, who suffer no intrusion from
other Brahmans in their villages or districts; and these rights
are recognized and protected by law." In i Kings xii. 31 we






Among the Hindus and


read that Jeroboam the son of Nebat, being an idolater, made
a house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the
people, which were not of the sons of Levi;" so there are
temples erected in India by the people in opposition to the
orthodox party, and oblations made and sacrifices offered by
priests of the lowest order of the people, who are therefore
naturally regarded with contempt by the Brahmans and by the
other high caste Gurus. All marriage ceremonies and other
religious duties are expected to be performed by these Gurus
belonging to the different castes. I may, however, say here,
that in India all the principal temples resorted to by the
wealthy or the aristocracy have Brahman Gurus attached to
them, who are appointed by the Government or local managers.
7. The Tantra Sara, describing the qualifications of a
priest, says that a Guru must not be subject to his passions,
so as to become an adulterer, a thief, etc.; he must be born
of a good (Hindu) family; possess suavity of manners; be
attentive to religious duties; .honourable in the eyes of others;
always keep his body pure; be ready in religious ceremonies;
faithful in the discharge of the duties of his caste; wise, able
to keep in order as well as to cherish his disciples; learned or
well versed in the Shastras, Vedas, etc. A person who is a
glutton, who has the kusht (leprosy), is blind of one or both
eyes; very small in stature, or who has whitlows; whose teeth
stand out; who is noisy and talkative; subject to his wife, or
whose toes or fingers are unnaturally unequal, or of an improper
number; an asthmatic person, or in other respects diseased,
cannot become a Guru or priest. But too often these quali-
fications and disqualifications of a Guru are ignored or set aside
by the lower orders of the Hindus.
8. Every Hindu who has received the initiating incantation
(the principal thing in this incantation being the name of
some god who becomes his ishtdev -chosen deity) may
become the family or caste Guru or spiritual guide, and
remain in that office all his lifetime, whatever may be his
shortcomings or imperfections, and transmit that office to his
eldest son if alive at his death, if not, to the second son, thus
making it hereditary.. The business connected with this






Creoles of British Guyana.


sacred office is very profitable to the holder of it, who becomes
rich.
9. The Guru is looked upon as the father of the people,
and especially of his disciples, by whom he is called Eiyar,
Eiyan, Appah, Pita, Dharmpita; and the scholars or dis-
ciples are considered his own children, and on his death these
children or disciples are looked upon as orphans. It was in
this sense that Christ called His disciples children, beloved
children (John xiii. 33, xiv. 18): His removal from them by
death would not, however, leave them fatherless (orphans), or
without a Teacher.' According to the teaching of the Hindus,
the pupil must worship his father and mother, as those who
gave him birth, but he must honour his Guru in a superior
degree, as he who rescues him from the path of sin, and
places him in the way of holiness; the Guru is, in fact, the
disciple's father, mother, and god : if even Shiva be offended
with a disciple, his Guru is able to deliver him. If the dis-
ciple meet his Guru at any time, he must prostrate himself
at his feet and receive his blessing. His death is a great
calamity to the disciples. We have several such Gurus in the
Colony, without whose presence and advice nothing can be
done by the people. Wherever or whenever there is a
marriage feast or ceremony, or any other religious rite

'The black Creoles of the Colony have rather a novel idea or meaning
attached to the word orphan," as the following extract from the Argosy
of October 15, 1887, will show:-" In the Police Court lately, two men
appeared as accuser and accused, the offence which had brought them
into Court being one of the rarest on record. What is the matter?' said
the magistrate. 'Your Worship,' said the complainant, 'he called me an
orphan, and I aint going to stand it.' An orphan !' said the magistrate;
why, what harm in calling you that? Many men are orphans; I am an
orphan myself.' The complainant shook his head, as much as to say that
he could not believe this unsworn testimony, so the magistrate pressed
him to explain why he had taken offence at such a simple title. Because,
your Worship, he called me an orphan; and an orphan is a person who
knows his mother, but doesn't know who was his father '" Not until I
had heard this definition of the term "orphan" did I understand the
observation which a negro, known to me many years ago, used frequently
to make. He would say, Yes, I am an orphan, and I may just as well
own it."






84 Among the Hindus and

observed, whether in town or country, the Guru is sure to be
there, and expect his full share of presents (guru-ddn) accord-
ing to the people's ability and willingness to give. Some will
give a piece of cloth, others from one to ten dollars. The
disciple sometimes sends presents to his Guru's house. I
have already referred to the avarice of Brahman Gurus, which is
too well known by the great majority of our Indian coolies,
yet they dare not insult or offend them, and their curse is
dreaded as the worst of all evils. Penances of an endless
character are imposed upon the people for all kinds of sins
committed by them, and all this with a view to emptying
their purse and enriching themselves. The Gurus are a set of
keen-eyed business fellows, and the coolies in the Colony
are literally a (Pir or Gunr-parast) priest-ridden people.
io. Some two or three centuries before the Christian era,
eminent men like Tiru Valhlhuvar, Agastya, Siva-vakkyar, and
others among the Tamilians of Southern India, like the
worthies of Israel, possessing inspirations of God, or, en-
lightened and sanctified by the Angel-Jehovah, used their
tongues and pens in favour of monotheism, their national
belief and worship, and against the ceremonial polytheism
and idolatry introduced in their midst by the intruding
Brahmanists, whom they disliked, and considered to be lying
teachers among them. PAMPATTI SITTAR, in one of his
poems, thus speaks of the Gurus and their teachings:-
"There is only one true creed, well fitted to instruct and
guide into excellent paths those lying teachers who set forth a
false religion. Strive, 0 my soul to reach the feet of the
Divine Guru [the Supreme Being], who teaches what the true
creed is." Similar sentiments are expressed by others, all in
opposition to the teachings promulgated by the Brahman
Gurus, whose idolatry they denounced in very strong terms.
TAYUMANAVAR, another Tamil poet, says: "The word
of the Guru is like a mountain waymark. All other
words are like a game of draughts played upon a checkerless
board." That is according to the poet's own comment: as
to a weary traveller, whose village is still in the invisible
distance, the mountain which towers by its side stands ever-







Creoles of British Guyana.


more an immoveable waymark and guide; so the word of the
satya (true) Guru is to us an infallible leader, and will surely
bring us to the invisible world of heaven. All other words of
the false Gurus are as profitless as would be a game of
draughts upon an uncheckered board. From these testi-
monies here given, it is very patent that in very early times
there existed in Southern India true and false teachers
calling themselves Gurus, and that the desire of the Scythio-
Shemitic Tamilians was to keep clear of these Arya religious
innovators, who introduced in their midst all the abominations
and superstitions of their idolatrous worship.
1i. The term Guru, adopted in all the languages of India,
is derived from the root Gree, to make known. This word in
composition is too frequently contracted or abridged into Gur-
literally, heavy, weighty, whence, metaphorically, a person of
weight and importance, of great respectability and responsi-
bility, as an elder or parent, and especially a spiritual or
religious teacher or guide, one who, under the primitive
system, instructed the youth of the first three classes in the
Vedas, the law of sacrifice and religious mysteries, and
invested the disciple with the funul-the sacrificial thread.
Gurus, or spiritual teachers and priests, called also Acharyah,
Bodhak, Pujari (which last is always used in India to denote
heathen or idolatrous priests, while the other three terms are
generally adopted by Christian missionaries as the best terms
found in the language, and applied to the ministers of the
gospel), are found in all parts of India, and are not confined
to any particular caste, though the Brahmans are the uni-
versally but incorrectly acknowledged fountains or heads of
these numerous priests. Sometimes these priests are styled
SWAMYARS, a very respectful title. In poetic language they
are described as "men of six occupations," their duties being
reading and learning, teaching, sacrificing, ordering things
offered, bestowing alms, and receiving. There are, however,
many among the different castes of Hindus who do not
deserve the name of Gurus or priests, for they are most
ignorant and worthless; and yet they are not idle; they are
always busy making fresh disciples or converts to their creed






Among the Hindus and


or faith. Such Hindu priests or Gurus are in the Colony
generally called Maraj, or Coolie Parsons. The Muhammedan
Immigrants (who are all haters of idolatry) have also their
spiritual teachers and priests, who try hard to make converts
of the Hindus and other natives of the Colony, in which they
have been very successful. They do indeed possess a mis-
sionary spirit which is astonishing. The reader must not,
however, suppose that these Gurus or priests among our
Immigrants, belonging to the different sects, live happily
together without religious squabbles, and without ending the
whole religious quarrels or sectarian differences with a sound
thrashing or beating being given to each other.
The following charge of wounding a Coolie Parson," tried
in the Colony, I extract from the late Colonist, dated August
I, 1883, with Argus's remarks upon the affair :-
"At Providence Police Court, on Monday, a coolie named
Kassonkan was brought up before Mr. Thorne, charged with
assaulting and wounding, with intent to do grievous
bodily harm, Mamahoosen, a 'Coolie Parson,' on the 21st
ult., at Pln. Great Diamond.-Complainant, who resides in
Leguan, said: On the day in question I came from Leguan.
I went to the Diamond estate to see my brother. I was
sitting at the door reading. The accused, who lives at the
same range, came up and ordered me away from the door,
and said he did not want any Hindustani people there.
Defendant abused me, and afterwards took a knife and
wounded me on the back part of my head, and I fell. I was
removed to the estate's hospital, where I remained until the
27th, when I was discharged. Myself and the accused had
no previous quarrel.'-John Welch said: 'The day before the
complainant was cut, I heard the accused challenge him to
fight, and he refused. On the day in question I was called by
a coolie on the estate, and I went where the complainant was,
and saw him bleeding. I saw the accused with a knife in his
hand. On seeing me he flung it on his bed (knife produced),
and gave the complainant several blows with his fist. I
assisted in taking the complainant to the manager.'-David
Tross, dispenser at Great Diamond hospital, said: On the
night in question, between eight and nine o'clock, the com-
plainant was brought to the hospital suffering from an incised
wound on the back of his head; the wound was one inch by







Creoles of British Guyana.


half an inch deep.. Complainant was bleeding very much at
the time. I dressed and strapped the wound, and the com-
plainant was kept in hospital until the 27th, when he was
discharged. The wound is not quite healed.'-Two other
witnesses were examined, and the accused was referred for
trial at the Supreme Criminal Court to be held in November."
If ministers of religion would only take an example by the
two Coolie Parsons who were brought before Mr. Thorne for
fighting with hackia sticks at Bagotville, the world would be
very much calmer and quieter. These two coolies had a
difference,-probably on some point of doctrine. Perhaps the
one held that Ramayan winked with his right eye, while the
other held that he winked with his left. At all events, they
disputed; but they did not write long letters to the news-
papers, or call each other names at the Synod or the Presbytery
or the District meeting. They did not stop speaking with each
other, and refuse to preach in each other's pulpits. They
would have made, in all these respects, notoriously bad
Christians; but, being heathens, they decided to settle their
controversy with hackia sticks, as the best method to beat out
the dirty stour-the odium theologicum-out of each other's
garments. By and by these two men will be good friends. I
mean to get a pair of hackia sticks to present to two English
Churchmen I know. Two good men; but if they don't have
their fight out before they get to heaven, they will give the
Demerara Synod a bad name by fighting there; for the fight
must come sooner or later. And then the friendship."
12. On the necessity and importance of a true Guruhood or
priesthood contrasted with the lying Brahmanical teachers in
his day, the first of Tamil sages, AGASTYA by name, in one of
his poems has the following very remarkable passage, which
gives a description of the true Guru:-
"Approach, O my soul! and worship the SELF-EXISTENT
AND ETERNAL GOD, the ILLUMINATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, WHO,
HAVING IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE CREATED THIS VAST
WORLD, AND PLACED THEREON PERFECT MEN, AFTERWARDS
HIMSELF APPEARED UPON IT ITS INCARNATE GURU [or, as the
expression in this Tamil poem otherwise signifies, Guru in the
human form "], LIVED IN IT AS AN ASCETIC, WITHOUT FAMILY,
RELATIVES, OR POMP, PRACTISED RELIGIOUS AUSTERITIES,
ESTABLISHED THE SCHOOL OF HIS LOVING DISCIPLES (Shishya),
AND FINALLY RETURNED TO THE ETERNAL ABODES OF HEAVEN."






88 Among the Hindus and

In this passage there is evidently a reference to the Lord
Jesus Christ, who left heaven, came down to earth, was
born as a man, and thus became the God-Guru incarnate.
It is true that the old Tamil sages had not heard of Jesus
Christ as we have heard of Him, for many of them lived
in the time of the patriarchs and the prophets of Israel;
and yet I hesitate not in saying that the minds of these
ancient heathen Tamil sages became enlightened and sanctified,
as already stated, by the Angel-Jehovah, the anointed Prophet,
Priest, and King to be revealed to men in the fulness of
time. As the Southern Kingdom of India, under various
names, was pretty well known to the Israelites in the days
of King Solomon, and centuries before he was born, and as
a brisk trade was carried on between Southern India and
Palestine, there is some plausible reason for believing that
the learned sages or philosophers of South India, and through
them the Tamil nation, became acquainted with the main
truths concerning the Messiah,-the Divine Guru's advent into
the world as the Saviour of mankind, mentioned in the
prophetic portions of the Hebrew Scripture. The writings of
many of the Tamil authors who flourished before Christ's
appearance upon earth in our nature, show very clearly that
they were not left without Divine light, and on some most
important subjects their language is so explicit that a person
familiar with the Holy Bible-the Christian Scriptures-will
be able to distinguish the voice of those who hate sin and love
God. We must not for a moment suppose that God never
revealed Himself to men beyond the circle of Bible teaching,
that there were no inspirations of God in the teachings of men
like Socrates and Plato, Zoroaster and Sakyamuni, Seneca and
Muhammed, Conganavar, Cabilar, Siva-vakkyar, and others.
The Bible itself countenances no such idea. It contains the
book of the Idumean Job (the Harischandra-Raya of Southern
India). It represents Cyrus and others, men of heathen
nations, as God's chosen and anointed servants. It is thought
by Oriental scholars that Tiru Valhlhuvar, who wrote his Kuralh
(a work of intrinsic excellence, whose sentences are counted as
binding on the Tamil nation as the Ten Commandments on




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