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

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



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(     so    )


on the state of the souls, and their migrations
through the world in the metempsychosis.

ment, and
result of

Page 25.

As the ivord of confession, " There is no god but God,
Muhammad is his prophet," is the shibboleth of Islam,
the Trinity that of Christianity, and the institute of
the Sabbath that of Judaism, so metempsychosis is
the shibboleth of the Hindu religion. Therefore he
who does not believe in it does not belong to them,
and is not reckoned as one of them. For they hold the
following belief:—

The soul, as long as it has not risen to the highest
absolute intelligence, does not comprehend the totality
of objects at once, or, as it were, in no time. Therefore
it must explore all particular beings and examine all the
possibilities of existence ; and as their number is, though
not unlimited, still an enormous one, the soul wants an
enormous space of time in order to finish the contem¬
plation of such a multiplicity of objects. The soul
acquires knowledge only by the contemplation of the
individuals and the species, and of their peculiar actions
and conditions. It gains experience from each object,
and gathers thereby new knowledge.

However, these actions differ in the same measure as
the three primary forces differ. Besides, the world is
not left without some direction, being led, as it were, by
a bridle and directed towards a definite scope. There¬
fore the imperishable souls wander about in perishable
bodies conformably to the difference of their actions, as
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