Buddhists in Sind.

Biláduri calls the temple of the sun at Multán by the name of budd, and he informs us, that not only temples, but idols, were called by the same name. As the Buddhist religion was evidently the prevalent one in Sind when the Musalmáns first came in contact with Indian superstitions, it follows that to Buddha must be at­tributed the origin of this name, and not to the Persian but, “an idol,” which is itself most probably derived from the same source.

With regard to the budd of Debal,* M. Reinaud has observed that the word not only is made applicable to a Buddhist temple, but seems also to indicate a Buddhist stupa,* or tower, which was fre­quently the companion of the temple; and he traces the word budd in the feouthau, or rather foth, which we find mentioned in the Chinese relations, as serving at the same time to designate a Buddha, and the edifice which contains his image. “Feou-thou” says Klap-roth, “is the name which they give to pyramids, or obelisks, con­taining the relics of Sákya, or other holy personages. Chapels, like­wise, are so called, in which these images are placed.*

Although Chach, who usurped the throne about the beginning of the Hijrí era, was a Bráhman, there is no reason to suppose that he attempted to interfere with the then popular religion of Buddhism. Bráhmanism is, indeed, so accommodating to anything that partakes of idol-worship, that Chach and Dáhir might have made their offerings in a Buddhist temple, without any greater sacrifice of consistency than a Roman was guilty of in worshipping Isis and Osiris, or than we witness every day in a Hindú presenting his butter and flowers at the shrine of Shaikh Saddú, Ghází Míán, Sháh Madár, or any other of the apotheosized Muhammadan impostors of Hindústán. There is even no incompatibility in supposing that Chach, though a Bráhman by birth, still continued a Buddhist in his persuasion;* for the divisions of caste were at that time secular, not religious,— the four classes existing, in former times, equally amongst the Buddhists and amongst the Hindús of continental India, as they do at this day amongst the Buddhists of Ceylon, and amongst the Jains of the Peninsula, where even Bráhman priests may be found officiat­ing in their temples.

There are several indications of the Buddhist religion prevailing at that period in the valley of the Indus, not only from the specific announcement of the Chinese travellers, and the declaration of Ibn Khurdádba to that effect, but from certain incidental allusions of the Arabic writers, made without any particular reference to the oppo­site factions of Bráhmans and Buddhists—between which the dis­tinctions, especially of worship, oblations, mythology, and cosmo­graphy, were generally too nice to attract the observations, or excite the enquiries of such ignorant and supercilious foreigners. Thus, when priests are mentioned, they are usually called Samaní;* the state elephant is white, a very significant fact (supra, p. 170); the thousand Bráhmans, as they are styled, who wished to be allowed to retain the practices of their ancient faith, were ordered by Muhammad Kásim, with the permission of the Khalif, to carry in their hands a small vessel as mendicants, and beg their bread from door to door every morning—a prominent ceremony observed by the Buddhist priesthood (p. 186); and, finally, the sculpturing, or otherwise perpetuating, the personal representations of their conquerors (p. 124); all these indicate Buddhist rather than Bráhmanical habits. To this may be added the negative evidence afforded by the absence of any mention of priestcraft, or other pontifical assumption, of widow-burning, of sacerdotal threads, of burnt-sacrifices, of cow-worship, of ablutions, of penances, or of other observances and ceremonies peculiar to the tenets of the Bráhmanical faith.

The manifest confusion which prevailed amongst the Arabs re­garding the respective objects of Bráhman and Buddhist worship, prepares us, therefore, to find, as remarked at the commencement of this Note, that the temple of the Sun at Multán is, by Biládurí, styled a budd (p. 123). Even in the time of Mas'údí, the kings of Kanauj, which he asserts to have then been under Multán, are all styled Búdh, Búdah or Bauüra, doubtless from the worship which the Arabs had heard to prevail in that capital (p. 22); and in this he is fol­lowed by Idrísí (p. 81), who wrote as late as the middle of the twelfth century: so that the use of budd is very indefinite; and whether applied to man, temple, or statue, it by no means deter­mines the application to anything positively and necessarily con­nected with Buddhism, anymore than the absence of that word denotes the contrary, when incidental notices and negative testi­monies, such as those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, can be adduced to support the probability of its prevalence.