Let certain infatuated admirers of ancient philosophy blush, if they are capable of such an indication of modesty, to find that the rude and tin-lettered inhabitants of an island in the South-Sea, are not a whit behind their venerated sages in the manufacture of gods and godlings.
But my gallery is in no danger of being copied at present. Three years since, I met an artist in the stony bed of a brook, between a line of 300 graven, lichened godlings and a flaming bank of azaleas, swearing horribly. He had been trying to paint one of my pictures nothing more than a big water-worn rock tufted with flowers and a snow-capped hill for background.
Therefore pray don't think your time lost; for, willing, nilling, you'll be forced to stay, unless you are resolved to encounter Juno, Neptune, Doris, Aeolus, and his fluster-busters, and, in short, all the pack of ill-natured left-handed godlings and vejoves. Do but resolve to be cheery, and fall-to briskly.
It is the old State religion which Augustine attacks, ridiculing the innumerable Roman godlings whose names he perhaps found in Varro. It is true that Plato, Euripides, and Xenophanes had attacked the official mythology with hardly less asperity; but they did not escape censure, and the Christian alienation from the Olympians was far more fundamental.
The end shall be as it was in the beginning, O slothful son of Shiv! The flame shall die upon the altars and the prayer upon the tongue till ye become little Gods again Gods of the jungle -names that the hunters of rats and noosers of dogs whisper in the thicket and among the caves -rag-Gods, pot Godlings of the tree, and the village-mark, as ye were at the beginning.
Numerous hills also are worshipped, or rather the spirits which are said to inhabit them. One of the best known hill godlings is the deity who is thought to inhabit the little wood close to the summit of the Shillong Peak. This deity is said to have been discovered by a man named "U Shillong" who gave his name to the Shillong Peak, and indirectly to our beautiful hill station.
"The end shall be as it was in the beginning, O slothful son of Shiv! The flame shall die upon the altars and the prayer upon the tongue till ye become little Gods again Gods of the jungle names that the hunters of rats and noosers of dogs whisper in the thicket and among the caves rag-Gods, pot Godlings of the tree, and the village-mark, as ye were at the beginning.
And Siva and Durga themselves were built up in past ages out of aboriginal beliefs, though the cement holding their figures together is Indian thought and philosophy, which are able to see in grotesque rustic godlings an expression of cosmic forces. Though this is the principal method by which Hinduism has been propagated, direct missionary effort has not been wanting.
That she, who had boldly defied all gods and godlings, all claims of caste and family, should have reaped so rich a harvest ! For her high priestess of the inner life that was the miracle of miracles: scarcely less so to-day than in that crowning hour when she had placed, her first man-child in the arms of her husband still, at heart, lord of her being.
There are numerous other instances of hills and rivers being regarded as the abode of godlings, but those quoted above are sufficient for purposes of illustration. Religious Rites and Sacrifices, Divination. The Khasis, as has been explained already, worship numerous gods and goddesses.