Saturday, November 29, 2008



"...a little heathen who says its prayers to Brahma..." (pg. 67)

Brahma is the Hindu god known as The Creator. Brahma is one of the three manifestations of Brahman (essentially the soul of the universe, the essence of life, everything) and regarded as the greatest of all sages and the first god within the Hindu pantheon. Eventually, through time, Brahma faded slightly from the picture and became overshadowed by Vishnu and Shiva, the two more active gods of Brahman. Brocklehurst's comparison of Jane to Brahma is used to show intense harshness, as worship of another god aside from the Christian God was severely condemned. It is difficult to know how much Brocklehurst knew of Brahma, but it interesting to point out one story of Brahma and how it might apply differently to Jane. In one Hindu legend, Brahma fell in love with his daughter, matter. Incest is a serious crime in India, thus Brahma was condemned by Shiva and punished by having one of his five heads cut off. The idea of Jane, an orphan with no father, worhshipping at the foot of a creator god who was said to fall in love with his daughter, draws an interesting parallel between a tightly-laced British novel and Eastern religious myth.

Sources: Don't Know Much About Mythology by Kenneth C. Davis
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism by Linda Johnsen

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