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

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



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CHAPTER III.                               43

Porphyry says in his book on the opinions of the
most prominent philosophers about the nature of the
sphere : " The heavenly bodies moving about in forms
and shapes and with wonderful melodies, which are
fixed for ever, as Pythagoras and Diogenes have ex¬
plained, point to their Creator, who is without equal
and without shape. People say that Diogenes had
such subtle senses that he, and he alone, could hear the
sound of the motion of the sphere,"

All these expressions are rather hints than clear
speech, but admitting of a correct interpretation on a
scientific basis. Some successor of those philosophers,
one of those who did not grasp the full truth, says:
" Sight is watery, hearing airy, smelling fiery, tasting
earthy, and touching is what the soul bestows upon
everybody by uniting itself with it." I suppose this
philosopher connects the sight with the water because
he had heard of the moist substances of the eye and of
their different classes (lacunot); he refers the smelling
to the fire on account of frankincense and smoke ; the
tasting to the earth because of his nourishment which
the earth yields him. As, then, the four elements are
finished, he is compelled for the fifth sense, the touch¬
ing, to have recourse to the soul.

The result of. all these elements which we have enu¬
merated, i.e. a compound of all of them, is the animal.
The Hindus consider the plants as a species of animal
as Plato also thinks that the plants have a sense,
because they have the faculty of distinguishing between
that which suits them and that which is detrimental to
them. The animal is an animal as distinguished from
a stone by virtue of its possession of the senses,

XV.-XIX. The senses are five, called indriydni, the indriyani,
hearing by the ear, the seeing by the eye, the smelling
by the nose, the tasting by the tongue, and the touching
by the skin.

XX. Next follows the will, which directs the senses Mansa.
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