Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/69

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ail AttUiTiin Festival of the Hindiis. 59

only by a series of magical or semi-magical observances — animistic, or, if you will, pre-animistic, in their primitive form unconnected with the worship of these later gods in whose cultus they have now been included by the perverse ingenuity of the priestly body. Their primary object is the dispersal of those malevolent spirit influences which are most dangerous at periods of crisis in agriculture, the main occupation of the Hindus. This purgation of evil spirits and the quest of good luck naturally promote the fertility of man, beast, and crops. Much of the interpre- tation thus suggested is still obscure. I cannot claim to have winnowed the wheat from the chaff, but I am quite certain that it is only by a process of analysis conducted in this way that we can reach the bedrock of Hindu beliefs.

W. Crooke.