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

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



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CHAPTER  VII.                               69

his own self, will for its benefit neither inhale, breathe,
nor exhale it (svdsa and prasvdsa). When a man
attains to this degree, his spiritual power prevails over
his bodily power, and then he is gifted with the faculty
of doing eight different things by which detachment is
realised; for a man can only dispense with that which
he is able to do, not with that which is outside his
grasp.    These eight things are :—

"I. The faculty in man of making his body so thin
that it becomes invisible to the eyes.

" 2. The faculty of making the body so light that it is
indifferent to him whether he treads on thorns or mud
or sand,

"3. The faculty of making his body so big that it
appears in a terrifying miraculous shape.

" 4. The faculty of realising every wish.

" 5. The faculty of knowing whatever he wishes.

" 6. The faculty of becoming the ruler of whatever
religious community he desires.

" 7. That those over whom he rules are humble and
obedient to him.

" 8. That all distances between a man and any far¬
away place vanish."

The terms of the Sufi as to the knoioing being and sfifi
his attaining the stage of knowledge come to the same ^^^^
effect, for they maintain that he has two souls—an
eternal one, not exposed to change and alteration, by
which he knows that which is hidden, the trans¬
cendental world, and performs wonders; and another,
a human soul, which is liable to being changed and being
born. From these and similar views the doctrines of
the Christians do not much differ.

The Hindus say : " If a man has the faculty to per- The differ-
f orm these things, he can dispense with them, and will of know-
reach  the   goal  by degrees, passing through  several according to



" I. The knowledge of things as to their names and
  Page 69