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

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



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52                         ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Quotations   somo clcar testimonies as to this subject and cognate

book Gitu.    theories of other nations.

Vasudeva speaks to Arjuna instigating him to the
battle, whilst they stand between the two lines : " If you
believe in predestination, you must know that neither
they nor we are mortal, and do not go away without a
return, for the souls are immortal and unchangeable.
They migrate through the bodies, while man changes
from childhood into youth, into manhood and infirm
age, the end of which is the death of the body. There¬
after the soul proceeds on its return."

Further he says: " How can a man think of death
and being killed who knows that the soul is eternal,
not having been born and not perishing; that the soul

Page 26. is something stable and constant; that no sword can
cut it, no fire burn it, no water extinguish it, and no
wind wither it ? The soul migrates from its body, after it
has become old, into another, a different one, as the body,
when its dress has become old, is clad in another. What
then is your sorrow about a soul which does not perish ?
If it were perishable, it would be more becoming that
you should not sorrow about a thing which may be dis¬
pensed with, which does not exist, and does not return
into existence. But if you look more to your body
than to your soul, and are in anxiety about its perish¬
ing, you must know that all that which is born dies,
and that all that which dies returns into another exist¬
ence. However, both life and death are not your con¬
cern. They are in the hands of God, from whom all
things come and to whom they return."

In the further course of conversation Arjuna speaks
to Vasudeva : "How did you dare thus to fight Brahman,
Brahman who was before the world was and before
man was, whilst you are living among us as a being,
whose birth and age are known ? "

Thereupon Vasudeva answered: " Eternity (pre-exist-
ence) is common to both of us and to him.    How often
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