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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

Such a Jugg is called a Jugg Assummeed


[186] This difficulty has been removed by recent legislation.--ED.

[187] "An ass is sometimes sacrificed by religious mendicants, as an atonement for some fault by which they had forfeited their rank as devotees."--_Account of the Hindoos._

As the code of the ancient laws of Hindostan is not in the hands of every one, I shall here transcribe from the work the account of the Gentoo Institution of the _Aswamedha_ or the _Assummeed Jugg_,[188] that the reader may compare it with the Gipsy sacrifice of horses; for which, owing to its length, I must crave his indulgence. It is under the chapter of evidence, and is as follows:

"An _Assummeed Jugg_ is when a person, having commenced a Jugg, writes various articles upon a scroll of paper on a horse's neck, and dismisses the horse, sending, along with the horse, a stout and valiant person, equipped with the best necessaries and accoutrements, to accompany the horse day and night, whithersoever he shall choose to go; and if any creature, either man, genius or dragon, should seize the horse, that man opposes such attempt, and, having gained the victory, upon a battle, again gives the horse his freedom. If any one in this world, or in heaven, or beneath the earth, would seize this horse, and the horse of himself comes to the house of the celebrator of the _Jugg_, upon killing that horse, he must throw the flesh of him upon the fire

of the _Juk_, and utter the prayers of his Deity; such a _Jugg_ is called a _Jugg Assummeed_, and the merit of it, as a religious work, is infinite." _Page 127._

[188] Jugg, in Hindostanee, is a word which signifies a religious ceremony; hence the well-known temple Juggernaut.

In another part of the same chapter of the Hindoo code of laws, are the following particulars relative to horses, which show the great respect in which these animals were held among the ancient natives of Hindostan. "In an affair concerning a horse: if any person gives false evidence, his guilt is as great as the guilt of murdering one hundred persons." _Page 128._ In the Asiatic Researches, the sacrifice of the horse is frequently noticed; and in Sir William Jones' Institutes of Menu, chapter viii., page 202, it is said: "A false witness, in the case of a horse, kills, or incurs the guilt of killing, one hundred kinsmen." "The _Aswamedha_, or sacrifice of the horse: Considerable difficulties usually attend that ceremony; for the consecrated horse was to be set at liberty for a certain time, and followed at a distance by the owner, or his champion, who was usually one of his near kinsmen; and if any person should attempt to stop it in its rambles, a battle must inevitably ensue; besides, as the performer of an hundred _Aswamedhas_ became equal to the god of the firmaments." (_Asiatic Researches, vol._ iii., _page 216_.) "The inauguration of _Indra_, (the Indian God of the firmaments,) it appears, was performed by sacrificing an hundred horses. It is imagined that this celebration becomes a cause of obtaining great power and universal monarchy; and many of the kings in ancient India performed this sacrifice at their inauguration, similar to that of Indra's." "These monarchs were consecrated by these great sacrifices, with a view to become universal conquerors." (_Asiatic Researches._) It appears, by the Hindoo mythology, that _Indra_ was at one time a mere mortal, but by sacrificing an hundred horses, he became sovereign of the firmament; and that should any Indian monarch succeed in immolating an hundred horses, he would displace _Indra_.

The above are literal and simple facts, which took place in performing the sacrifice; but the following is the explanation of the mystic signification contained in the ceremony.


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