Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/811

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735


BRALION


in the application of water and Bilva leaves to the preme, incomprehensible Reality, devotion to which stone sj-mbol The interior walls of these, and of was the highest religion. This quasi-cuU, which also Vislmu temples as well, are covered with shocking made pretensions to the exercise of magical powers representations of sexual passion. And yet, strange soon met the ridicule and obloquy it deserved It to say, these forms of religion, while gi\-ing a sanction is practically obsolete at the present day to the indulgence of the lowest passions, at the Texts.— Mum, Original Sanskrit Texts. 5 vols. (London, same time inspire other devotees to the practice of ^?68-7p); Muller, Vedic Hymns in Sacred Books of the East, the severest asceticism. They wander about in ^)!'f>SAZr.Ty'J<::t"K:ilLl?;^ lonely silence, naked and filthy, their hair matted patha Brahmana, op. dt.. XII, XXVI, XLI; Mcller, The from long neglect, their bodies reduced to mere skin Upanislmls. op. cit., XV: Oldenberg and Muller.' The and bone.s by dint of incredible fasts. They will I'^Tof'S^TryZ o^:k^^lhl^fit^.l%^^^^^^^^ stand motionless for hours under the blazing sun, op. cit., XXV; Thibaut. TV Vedanto-Sufras, op. cit. XXXIVJ with their emaciated arms uplifted towards heaven ^XXVIII; Telang, The Bhagavad-gita. op. cit., VIII; Bur- Some go about with face ever turned upwards. 75r.^E°Rr.TREi'?if4TrR.^„!'-?^'i/^t;J^ori^l'^^^^^^ home are known to have kept their fists tightly don, 1882); Monieh-Williams, Brahmanism and Hinduism, clenched until their growing nails protruded throueh <•/ Religious Thought and Life in India (London, 1891); Idem, the hicks nf their h^nHs Hinduism (London, 1897); Idem. Indian Wisdom (London,

VTT W their hands. „ ,. , . , „■ j 1876); Hopki.ns, The Religions of India (Boston, 1895); Du^

Vll. KEFORM Movements. — Enlightened Hindus ^ois, Hindu Manners, Customs and Cer-emonies (O-KiovA.lHW?); of modern times have made attempts to institute a ?P^1' '^'^ Philosophy of the Vpanishads and Ancient Indian reform in Hinduism hv reipctino- .,11 irlnlnfrnno pnrl Metaphysics (London, 1882); Deussen, Das System des Ve- leiorin m ninauism oy rejecting all laolatrous and danta (Leipzig, 1883); Idem, Die Philosophic der Upanishada immoral rites, and by setting up a purely monotheis- (Leipzig, 1899); K.egi, The Rig-Veda (Boston, 1886); Olden- tic form of worship. Of these the earliest and the ???°'„^'* Religion des Veda (Berlin, 1894); Colebrooke, most noted was the sn-callpd RnhniT STmni CPrino-ro- Miscellaneous Essays, (2 vols., London, 1873); Weber, The most noted was tlle so cancel Uranma bamaj ("-ongre- Hutory of Indian Literature (London, 1892); Dahlmann Das gallon of Brahma), founded in Calcutta in 1828, by Mahabharata (Berlin, 189S); Schcebel, La Ramayana in the learned Rammohun Roy. He tried to combine finales du musee Guimet (Paris, 1888), XIII; de la Saus- a Unitarian form of Christianity with the Brahmin ^*'" ^'"- "' '^'^vwnsgesch. (Freiburg, 1905). II conception of the supreme personal God. After his l^harles V . Aiken.

death, in 1833, differences of view as to the nature of Braille, Lodi.s, a French educator and inventor, God, the authority of the Vedas, and the obligation b. 4 January, 1809, at Coupvray, Seine-et-Mame,' of caste-customs caused the society to split up into a France; d. 6 January, 1852. He became blind when number of small congregations. At present there are three years of age, and at the age of thirteen was sent inore than a hundred independent theistic congrega- to the Institution for the Blind at Paris. There he tions in India. Some, like the Arya Samaj, rest on showed a talent for intellectual studies and for music; the sole authority of the Vedas. Others are eclectic, and when his instruction had been completed he was even to the extent of choosing for devotional reading appointed professor in that institution. It was then iri their public services passages from the Avesta, that he invented his system of writing in raised or Koran, and Bible. Few of them are altogether free relief points for the blind. Before him, Valentin from the taint of pantheism, and, being more like Hauy, the founder of the Institution for the Blind, clubs for intellectual and moral improvement than had invented the method of printing in raised letters for ritualistic forms of worship, they make but little which allowed the blind to read by touch; Charles progress in the way of conversion. Barbier had invented a sonographic point system

In short, Brahminism cannot succeed ir reforming as distinguished from Haiiy's line or letter system, itself. Its earlier sacred books are steeped in the and had devised a simple instrument by which the polytheism out of which it grew. And the pantheistic blind could emboss the words or print them in relief. \'iew of the world, to which it was afterwards com- But this system of writing, based on the sounds of mitted, has been like a dead weight dragging it the French language, was too conventional and did hopelessly into the stagnant pool of superstition, not furnish the signs necessary for punctuation and pessimism, and immorality. In virtue of its pan- ciphers. Braille, keeping to Barbier's point system theistic attitude, there is no form of religion, high or and the principle of relief writing, found the means low, that cannot be tolerated and incorporated into of representing, by the various combinations of six its capacious system. The indifference of Brahmin- dots, not the sounds, but the alpliabetical letters ism to the gross abuses of Hinduism is, after all, but a and all the signs of punctuation, and even of music. reflex of the indifference of its supreme god. Sin Tliis invention, being alphabetic instead of sono- loscs most of its hideousness when it can be traced graphic, was a great advance in the education of ultimately to the great impersonal BrahraS,. There the blind, and though it has been modified, at times, is but one form of religion which has any prospect as to the combinations of dots (American, English, of reforming the religious life of India, and that is and English revised systems), the system is still] the Roman Catholic. For the shadowy pantheistic in most countries, the basis of methods for the educa- dcity it can set forth the One, Eternal, Personal tion of the blind. The inventor .set forth the prin- Spirit and Creator; for the crude Tri-murti, the ciples of his system in his work: "Proc^d^ pour sublime Trinity; and for the coarse and degrading ^crire les paroles, la musique, et la plein-chant, k avatars of Vishnu, the Incarnation of the Son of I'usage des aveugles", printed in raised letters in God. It can replace the idolatrous and immoral 1829. Though this system cannot be said to be Hindu rites with its own impo.sing liturgy, and sub- the definitive method of education and writing for stitute the Cross for the abominable linga. the blind, the name of Braille will always remain

Brahminism, being a national religion and a privi- associated with one of the greatest and most bene- lege of Hindu birth, has never made any concerted ficent devices ever invented.

attempt at prO.selytizing in foreign lands. But Gaudet, L'institut des jeunes aveugles de Paris, son histoire

et ses procrdes d ensemnemenl; Bui.sson in Dictionnaire de

pt'dagogie, 8. v. Aveugles; Mell, Wandbuch des Blindenwesens.

G. M. Sauvage.


some years ago steps were taken by a few individuals of England to foist upon English-speaking people a new religious system embodying the pantheistic belief and magical superstition of the Vedanta school of Brahminism. This new system, known as Theo.so-


Braiion, Nicolas de, a French Oratorian and ecclesiastical writer, b. at Chars-en-Vexin, France, c.


phy, was to embrace within its fold members of 1600; d. at Paris, 11 May, 1672. He joined the Paris

every form of religion, reconciling all differences of Oratorj' in 1619, and, in 1025, went to Rome, where

creed in the pantheistic view that all deities, high he remained fifteen years at San Luigi del Frances!,

and low, are but transitory emanations of the su- then an Oratorian establishment, devoting his time