May 30, 2012 09:31 AM
by Mark Jaqua
This is from the June, 1882 "Theosophist," vol. 2, no. 9, from the article "Tharna, or Mesmerism in India," by Babu Poorno Chandra Mookherjee, who says he witnessed the occurence when a youth.
"....I beg to record a curious instance of a duel by _Mantra._ In my boyhood, I saw at Balli, near Calcutta, a snake-charmer and a common Bunniah shop-keeper, standing against each other in opposition, the former blowing his flute all the while. Taking some dust and reciting _Mantra_ inaudibly, the latter infused into it his will-force and threw it (now called _Ban,_ literally arrow) on the person of his foe. Immediately the blowing of this flute ceased, and the snake-charmer whirled around as though giddy. After a few minutes, however, he regained his self-possession, resumed the blowing of his flute, and, in his turn, infused his influence into some mustard-seed which he threw over his antagonist. The Bunniah lost his balance, and, for some moments, was wandering about the arena, as if possessed by some devil. But, shortly after, he mustered his will-force, which he propelled, with greater impulse, into some spices of a kind I do not now remember. He flung the new _Ban_ on the now jubilant snake-charmer, who was immediately smitten to the ground, rolling over in the dust hither and thither, until froth and blood appeared in his mouth. Ultimately he recovered, and the battle grew hot with increasing bitterness. The Bunniah was at last victorious, and the hitherto vaunting snake-charmer was humiliated before us all. Balli was once a famous seat of the Tantrik religion, and of astronomy and astrology."
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