Puja to King George! Abisheka to Queen Victoria!! Scenes from British India (Post No.4283)

King George and Queen Mary

Written by London Swaminathan


Date: 8 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 16-05


Post No. 4283

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.

Puja to King George! Abisheka to Queen Victoria!! Scenes from British India (Post No.4283)

The Gods of India by Rev. E Osborn Martin published in 1914, gives some interesting information about the Hindu ‘slaves’ in the British India. This is what made many freedom fighters’ blood boil. Poets like Bharati and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee tried to educate the Hindu people through their writings. Ignorant Hindus justified everything in the name of Fate and Karma. Even some scholars openly supported the British. In Tamil Nadu, Justice party and Dravida Kazakam wanted the British Rule to continue in India. All the text books had one poem praising the King and the Queen.

Here is what Osborne Martin says in his book,

“There is no limit to this kind of deification in India. Volumes might be written describing instances that have occurred, or are constantly occurring, in all parts of the country. Let a man show any heroism, any extraordinary sanctity, any act of great self-sacrifice or any so-called miracle, a niche is sure to allotted him amongst the 330, 000, 000 gods of the Hindu pantheon. Still it is important to note that the granting of divinity is usually associated with four classes of people -kings, warriors, Brahmins, saints and sages—these enjoying a kind of a priory claim.


In Manu’s law book a king is said to be created by drawing eternal particles from the essence of the eight guardian deities of the world. Again, he says “A king even though a mere child, must not be treated with contempt, as if he were a mortal; he is a great divinity in human shape.”


Instances of such worship came under writer’s notice. At Ayodhya, a new marble statue has been recently erected in memory of Queen Victoria, and within a few weeks of the erection of the statue a constant stream of pilgrims was offering worship, poring sacred water and scattering flowers on the pedestal of the good Queen’s statue.

At the recent Durbar at Delhi, when King George and Queen Mary amid scenes of unparalleled magnificence had received the homage of all India and taken their departure over the arena and, prostrating themselves before the empty thrones, offered ‘Puja’ or worship- as a mark of their extreme veneration. After which they carried away to their homes handfuls of dust from the place where their Majesties had stood. The same occurred after the gorgeous pageant in Calcutta.


There is a striking parallel in Wisdom of Solomon (xiv.v.20, “And so the multitude, allured by the grace of the work, took him now for a god, which a little before was but honoured as a man.”



The Transition from the worship of kings to that of military heroes and warriors is easy. An example will be given in this chapter of a Muhammadan warrior, GHAAZI MIYAAN, who with the wonderful catholicity of Hinduism, is probably more reverenced today by the Hindus than by the Muhammadans.

The extraordinary catholicity of Hinduism was never better illustrated than in the case of Ghazi Miyan, or  Sayyid Salaar Masaud to give him his real name. Muhammadan though he was, nephew of the ruthless Muslim conqueror, the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, whose career is written in blood on the pages of Indian History.


Ghazi Miyan was born in A D  1015 ad led one of the early invasions into Oudh and was slain in battle with the Hindus at Bahraich in AD 1034. Close to the battlefield where he met his death is a tank with the image of the Sun God on a stone slab on its banks. Masaud, whenever he passed it, was wont to say that he wished to have this spot for a dwelling place and would, if it so pleased god, through the spiritual sun, destroy the worship of the material. He was therefore buried by his followers in this chosen resting place, and tradition avers that his head rests on the image of the sun he had given his life to destroy.


Some believe that the worship of Masaud merely succeeded some primitive local worship such as that of the sun, and it is significant that the great ceremony in  honour of the martyr is called byah, or marriage of the saint, which may also be a continuation of the ancient marriage of earth and the Sun celebrated to promote fertility of crops. Every year a Mela/festival is held in Bahraich for which pilgrims from far off places come by walk. After the marriage was held, water brought by the pilgrims in pots are poured and this water, people believed, had miraculous properties.


Statue of Queen Victoria

Nikkal Sen

A still more remarkable case occurred in the Panjaab where a nobody of Fakirs became Nikkal Sen worshippers. General Nicholson, the mutiny hero, who met his death at the assault of Delhi, was a horseman of unexampled bravery.. He frequently made night journeys of wonderful speed and confronted his enemies by suddenly appearing before them.  His followers, the hardy Northern Tribesmen, from adoration rose to worship of their hero. Nicholson was much annoyed, and tried to stop the progress of deification by administering corporal punishment, but it made them persist in their “puja” with even greater determination, as the chastisement was regarded as an additional proof of this divinity. On hearing of Nicholson’s death, the head of the committed suicide.


Coming the Brahmins, Manu affirms that a Brahmin is a mighty god, a supreme divinity, whether he be learned, or even employed in inferior occupations (Manu 9-317, 319)

From the birth alone a Brahmin is regarded as a divinity even by the gods (Manu 11-84) Especially are religious teachers, Gurus, objects of worship among Hindus.


My comments

Ghazi Miyan story is a hotchpotch of several earlier ancient customs. Even in my home town Madurai in Tamil Nadu, Lord Vishnu visits a Muslim woman’s ‘house’ every year during Chitra Festival. Islam came very recently when compared with the history of Hinduism. Various things get mixed up and people slowly concoct a story.


Regarding the Saints and Miracles, Europe is full of such Catholic saints and  places of worship such as Lourdes in France and Lady Fatima in Portugal. They make big Money by selling lot of mementoes and sacred objects, holy water etc. Joan of Arc, who was burnt alive at the stake, was made into a saint later. There over 800 saints in the catholic religion. In countries like Ireland all the old beliefs are attributed to later Christian saints. In Communist countries Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Marx, Engles were also elevated to venerable status. Big statues, eternal flames, thousands of stamps celebrate their memory. So hero worship is there in every country. You may call them saints, political thinkers or leaders. Buddha who fought against all the rituals, has the highest number of statues all over the world!!! Is it not strange? Not many people follow his teachings but the statues decorate many tables and temples!





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