|In fact, one of
the books in honor of Dharma gives an obscure of establishing
the Brahmahood of Dharma. The representation of Dharma in many places is a tortoise. Now a
tortoise is a miniature representation of a stupa with five niches for five Dhyani
Buddhas. At Salda in Bankura an image of Buddha in meditative posture is still actually
worshipped as Dharma. The Worshippers of Dharma are unconscious of the fact that they are
the survivors of a mighty race of men, and that they have inherited their religion from a
glorious past." ^*
To this it may be added that
at the present day the image of Dharma is generally found in the houses of low-caste
people, and that a popular saying is Dharma nichagami, i.e., Dharma favors the low. At the
same time Dharma is offered cooked food even by a Brahman."*
It will thus be seen that while Sakti worship and
Vaishnavism, two apparently contradictory religious cults predominate in this district,
the Bagdis and Bauris have preserved some of their indigenous gods and have been able to
hinduise some of them.
^* Bengal Census Report, 1910.
* Bengal District Gazetteers, Burdwan, pp. 57-58.