at the entrance of the village, and the cattle are driven over it until it is trampled to death, while rice stained with the blood of a sacrificed lamb is scattered over the herd. The Goālas, herdsmen in northern India, turn a pig loose amidst a herd of buffalos, which are encouraged to gore it to death.
It has been assumed by some scholars, as has already been stated, that the cults of the Mother goddesses, benevolent or malignant, have all been derived from that of Mother Earth, in these differing, but complementary manifestations. This theory has been disputed by orthodox Brāhman writers, like Pandit Harikishan Kaul. He, by a method characteristic of Hindus discussing their own religion, traces all these goddess cults back to the Vedas, maintaining that there is but one original Mother Goddess, that the later forms are developments of her worship, and denying that these have any connexion with Mother Earth. “The personification of the powers of the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer being once established, the identification of anyone of them with important, uncommon, or uncontrollable phenomena is an easy matter.” But we have already seen that in the Vedas the goddesses hold a subordinate position, and this theory ignores the distinctively local character of the worship. It is not from any original Vedic goddess that the modern worshipper of great personalities, like Tuljā Bhavānī in the Nizam’s Dominion, Ambā Bhavānī of Mount Abu in Rajputana, Hinglāj Mātā in Balochistan, or the mighty Kālī of Calcutta, traces his devotion. The process by which these great personalities acquired their present reputation was clearly because, for some reason, the local cult from which they were derived gained the credit of wonder-working beyond the small
- Bishop H. Whitehead, op. cit. 52, 58, 59.
- [Sir] H. Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, i. 290; Folk-Lore, xxviii. 154 et seqq.
- Census Report, Panjab, 1911, i. 114 et seqq.