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

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



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CHAPTER  VII.                             73

to the highest angels, to the forces of cupidity and
wrath ; and, lastly, that he must turn away from the
actions of the world. He cannot, however, give up these
actions unless he does away with their causes, which
are his lust and ambition. Thereby the second of the
three pirimary forces is cut away. However, the abstain¬
ing/rowi ccctio7i takes place in two different ways :—

1,   By laziness, procrastination, and ignorance accord¬
ing to the third force. This mode is not desirable, for
it will lead to a blamable end.

2.   By judicious selection and by preferring that which
is better to that which is good, which way leads to a
laudable end.

The abstaining from actions is rendered perfect in this
way, that a man quits anything that might occupy him
and shuts himself up against it. Thereby he will be
enabled to restrain his senses from extraneous objects
to such a degree that he does not any more know that
there exists anything besides himself, and be enabled
to stop all motions, and even the breathing. It is
evident that a greedy man strains to effect his object,
the man who strains becomes tired, and the tired man
pants; so the panting is the result of greediness. If
this greediness is removed, the breathing becomes like
the breathing of a being living at the bottom of the sea,
that does not want breath; and then the heart quietly
rests on one thing, viz. the search for liberation and
for arriving at the absolute unity.

In the book Gitd we read: " How is a man to ob- Further


tain liberation who disperses his heart and does not from GUd.
concentrate it alone upon God, who does not exclu¬
sively direct his action towards him ? But if a man
turns away his cogitation from all other things and
concentrates it upon the One, the light of his heart will
be steady like the light of a lamp filled with clean oil,
standing in a corner where no wind makes it flicker,
and he will be occupied in such  a degree as not to
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