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

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



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40                         ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Regarding the whole creation (to ov), they think that
it is a unity, as has already been declared, because
Vasudeva speaks in the book called Gitd : " To speak
accurately, we must say that all things are divine; for
Vishnu made himself the earth that the living beings
should rest thereupon ; he made himself water to nourish
them thereby ; he made himself fire and wind in order
to make them grow; and he made himself the heart of
every single being. He presented them with recollec¬
tion and knowledge and the two opposite qualities, as
is mentioned in the Veda."

How much does this resemble the expression of the
author of the book of AjdoUcuius, De Causis Rerum, as
if the one had been taken from the other ! He says :
• "There is in all men a divine power, by which all
things, both material and immaterial, are apprehended."
Thus in Persian the immaterial Lord is called Khudhd,
and in a derivative sense the word is also used to mean
a man, i.e. a human lord.

Purusha.          I. Those Hiudus who prefer clear and accurate defi¬

nitions to vague allusions call the qoxA purusha, which
means maoi, because it is the living element in the
existing world. Life is the only attribute which they
give to it. They describe it as alternately knowing
and not knowing, as not knowing h irpd^a. (actually),
and as knowing h SwdjieL (potentially), gaining know¬
ledge by acquisition.    The not-knowing of purusha is

Page 20. the cause why action comes into existence, and its
knowing is the cause why action ceases.

II. Next follows the general matter, i.e. the abstract

Avyakta. vXr], whicli they call avyakta, i.e. a shapeless thing. It
is dead, but has three powers potentially, not actually,
which are called sattva, rajas, and tamas. I have heard
that Buddhodana (sic), in speaking to his adherents the
Shamanians, calls them huddha, dhccrma, sangha, as it
were intelligence, religion, and ignorance (sic). The first
power is rest and goodness, and hence come existing
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