Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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On the
notions of
tlie action
and the
agent. •

from the

Page 15.

sophy as the striving to become as much as 'possible simi¬
lar to God.

Further, Vasudeva speaks in the same book :—

"It is desire which causes most men to take refuge
with God for their wants. But if you examine their
case closely, you will find that they are very far from
having an accurate knowledge of him; for God is not
apparent to every one, so that he might perceive him
with his senses. Therefore they do not know him.
Some of them do not pass beyond what their senses
perceive ; some pass beyond this, but stop at the know¬
ledge of the laws of nature, without learning that above
them there is one who did not give birth nor was born,
the essence of whose being has not been comprehended
by the knowledge of any one, while his knowledge
comprehends everything."

The Hindus differ among themselves as to the defini¬
tion of what is action. Some who make God the source
of action consider him as the universal cause ; for as the
existence of the agents derives from him, he is the
cause of their action, and in consequence it is his
own action coming into existence through their inter¬
mediation. Others do not derive action from God, but
from other sources, considering them as the particular
causes which in the last instance—according to external
observation—produce the action in question.

In the book Sdmkhya the devotee speaks : " Has there
been a difference of opinion about action and the agent,
or not ? "

The sage speaks : " Some people say that the soul is
not alive and the matter not living; that God, who is
self-sufficing, is he who unites them and separates them
from each other ; that therefore in reality he himself is
the agent. Action proceeds from him in such a way
that he causes both the soul and the matter to move,
like as that which is living and powerful moves that
which is dead and weak.
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