Sherring, Matthew A.
The sacred city of the Hindus: an account of Benares in ancient and modern times — London, 1868

Page: 130
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
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dus believe that he will look with favour on the prayer
for rain. As the heat is now daily increasing in in-
tensity, and the rains, both for the cooling of the
atmosphere and for the fertilizing of the soil, are be-
ginning to be desired, the god was lately treated to a
delightful bath, which he is imagined to have received
with prodigious satisfaction. Not only the cistern, but
also the entire temple, up to the threshold, was filled
with water. This event, which was noised abroad
among the natives, has considerably heightened, in
their estimation, the probability of rain.1 Dalbhyeswar
is also known as the Poor Man's Friend; for, should
a man in straitened circumstances visit this shrine, and
duly perform the prescribed ceremonies, his poverty,
they say, will disappear, and his wants be relieved.
One would have thought that the squalid and indi-
gent people inhabiting the sacred city and resorting
thither would have flocked eagerly to this temple,
had they had the smallest particle of faith in the
god there. Associated with Dalbhyeswar are Chatur-
bhuj or Yishnu, S'itala (the goddess of Small-pox), and
other deities.

Close by is Someswar Mandil or the Temple of the
Moon, from Soma, the moon. Here, it is imagined,
diseases of every character may be healed; and, while
the god is regarded in the light of an all-powerful
physician, his temple is spoken of as a hospital. It
need hardly be remarked, that, since these are the senti-
ments of the people, their practice strangely belies

1 This was written as the summer was advancing, hefore the rains
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