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

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



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CHAPTER III.                               41

and growing. The second is exertion and fatigue, and
hence come firmness and duration. The third is languor
and irresolution, and hence come ruin and perishing.
Therefore the first power is attributed to the angels,
the second to men, the third to the animals. The ideas
before, afterwards, and thereupon may be predicated of
all these things only in the sense of a certain sequence
and on account of the inadequacy of language, but not
so as to indicate any ordinary notions of time.

III.   Matter proceeding from Svvoixls into Tvpa^Ls under Vyakta and
the various shapes and with the three primary forces

is called vyakta, i.e. having shape, whilst the union of
the abstract vX-q and of the shaped matter is called
prakriti. This term, however, is of no use to us ; we
do not want to speak of an abstract matter, the term
matter alone being sufficient for us, since the one does
not exist without the other.

IV.   Next comes nature, which they call ahankdra. Ahankara.
The word is derived from the ideas of overpowering, de¬
veloping, and self-assertion, because matter when assum¬
ing shape causes things to develop into new forms, and

this growing consists in the changing of a foreign ele¬
ment and assimilating it to the growing one. Hence
it is as if Nature were trying to overpower those other
or foreign elements in this process of changing them,
and were subduing that whicli is changed.

V.-IX. As a matter of course, each compound pre- Mahabbuta
supposes simple elements from which it is compounded
and into which it is resolved again. The universal
existences in the world are the five elements, i.e. accord¬
ing to the Hindus : heaven, wind, fire, water, and earth.
They are called mahdhhuta, i.e. having great natures.
They do not think, as other people do, that the fire is
a hot dry body near the bottom of the ether. They
understand by fire the common fire on earth which
comes from an inflammation of smoke. The Vdyu Annotation
Purdna says : " In the beginning were earth, water, wind, "^p^^alfj^
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