chapter  XXVIII
10 Pages

MAGICAL METHODS

IN order to ascertain where stolen goods are concealed, the condition of a patient possessed by the Devil, or where treasure has been buried, it is the custom to rub collyrium (anjan) on the palms of the hands of a child or adult, and to make him stare hard at it. In the Panjab charms are written by a sorcerer on a piece of paper, and over it a large drop of ink is poured. Flowers are put in the hands of a young child who is told to look into the ink and say, 'Summon the Four Guardians!' The child when asked if he or she can sec anything, answers, ' I see four persons '. Then he is told to ask them to clean the place, lay carpets, and summon their King. When he appears; questions are put to him through the child, and appropriate answers are received. No one hears or sees the spirits except the child. 1 Ja'far Sharif remarks that he has heard it generally said that the Hindu Orders of Jogis and Sannyasis practise these arts, and that in this way they have discovered hidden treasure. Some foolish people say that buried treasure shows like sparks of fire at night, arid that sometimes a ball of fire rolls about near the place where it is concealed. In northern India it, or rather the snake which

guards it, is said to speak from the place where it is hidden. 1 From such appearances, and by the aid of the collyrium, its position may be ascertained. The person to whose palm the collyrium has been applied often utters ridiculous nonsense. For instance, he says, ' At such and such a place there is a metal pot full of rupees, pagodas, or gold mohurs '. If he is asked about a patient his answer is, ' The disease is bodily, or produced by sorcery, or the demon of such and such a place wants food '.