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

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



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  Page 72  

72                         ALBERUNPS INDIA.

heart reflects over that which is present and remembers
also the past. The nature takes hold of the present,
claims it for itself in the past, and prepares to wrestle
with it in future. The reason understands the nature
of a thing, no regard being had of time or date, since
past and future are the same for it. Its nearest helpers
are refection and nature; the most distant are the five
senses. When the senses bring before reflection some
particular object of knowledge, refiection cleans it from
the errors of the functions of the senses, and hands it
over to reason. Thereupon reason makes universal
what was before particular, and communicates it to the
soul.    Thus the soul comes to know it."

Further, the Hindus think that a man becomes know¬
ing in one of three ways:—

1.   By being inspired, not in a certain course of time,
but at once, at birth, and in the cradle, as, e.g. the sage
Kapila, for he was born knowing and wise.

2.   By being inspired after a certain time, like the
children of Brahman, for they were inspired when they
came of age.

3.   By learning, and after a certain course of time,
like all men who learn when their mind ripens.

Page 36            Liberation through knowledge can only be obtained

wrath^*Jnd   ^J abstaining from evil.    Plie branches of evil are many,

ire thTchief ^'^^ ^^ ^^7 classify them as cupidity, wrath, and ignor-

Mokshr *° ctnce.    If the roots are cut the branches will wither.

And here we have first to consider the rule of the two

forces of cupidity and wrath, which are the greatest and

most pernicious enemies of man, deluding him by the

pleasure of eating and the delight of revenge, whilst in

reality they are much more likely to lead him into

pains and crimes.    They make a man similar to the

wild beasts and the cattle, nay, even to the demons and


Next we have to consider that man must prefer the
reasoning force of mind, by which he becomes similar
  Page 72