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

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



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  Page 81  

CHAPTER  VII.                               81

According to the Hindus, liberation is union with onthe
God; for they describe God as a being who can dis- jfoksha
pense with hoping for a recompense or with fearing
opposition, unattainable to thought, because he is sub¬
lime beyond all unlikeness which is abhorrent and all
likeness which is sympathetic, knowing himself not by
a knowledge which comes to him like an accident, re¬
garding something which had not in every phase before
been known to him. And this same description the
Hindus apply to the liberated one, for he is equal to God
in all these things except in the matter of beginning,
since he has not existed from all eternity, and except
this, that before liberation he existed in the woidd of
entanglement, knowing the objects of knowledge only
by a phantasmagoric kind of knowing which he had
acquired by absolute exertion, whilst the object of his
knowing is still covered, as it were, by a veil. On the Page 40.
contrary, in the world of liberation all veils are lifted,
all covers taken off, and obstacles removed. There the
being is absolutely knowing, not desirous of learning
anything unknown, separated from the soiled percep¬
tions of the senses, united with the everlasting ideas.
Therefore in the end of the book of Patanjali, after the Quotations^
pupil has asked about the nature of liberation, the jau.
master says: "If you wish, say. Liberation is the
cessation of the functions of the three forces, and their
returning to that home whence they had come. Or if
you wish, say, It is the return of the soul as a knowing
being into its own nature."

The two men, pupil and master, disagree regarding
him who has arrived at the stage of liberation. The
anchorite asks in the book of Sariikhya, " Why does From
not death take place when action ceases ? " The sage ™' ^ ■
replies, " Because the cause of the separation is a
certain condition of the soul whilst the spirit is still
in the body. Soul and body are separated by a natural
condition which severs their union.    Frequently when

VOL. I.                                                                          F
  Page 81