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

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



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ON the different worlds, and on the places
OF retribution in paradise and hell.

The Hindus call the world loka. Its primary division The three
consists of the upper, the low, and the middle. The
upper one is called svarloka, i.e. paradise; the low,
ndgaloka, i.e. the world of the serpents, which is hell;
besides they call it naraloka, and sometimes also pdtdla,
i.e. the lowest world. The middle world, that one in
which we live, is called madhycdoka and manushyaloka,
i.e. the world of men. In the latter, man has to earn, in
the upper to receive his reward; in the low, to receive
punishment. A man who deserves to come to svarloka
or ndgaloka receives there the full recompense of his
deeds during a certain length of time corresponding to
the duration of his deeds, but in either of them there is
only the soul, the soul free from the body.

For those who do not deserve to rise to heaven and to
sink as low as hell there is another world called th-yag-
loka, the irrational world of plants and animals, through
the individuals of which the soul has to wander in
the metempsychosis until it reaches the human being,
rising by degrees from the lowest kinds of the vegetable
world to the highest classes of the sensitive world. The
stay of the soul in this world has one of the following
causes: either the award which is due to the soul is not
sufficient to raise it into heaven or to sink it into hell,
or the soul is in its wanderings on the way back from
hell; for they believe that a soul returning to the human
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