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

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



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CHAPTER  VII.                               87

known among them, standing upside down, the roots
being above, the branches below. If it has ample
nourishment, it becomes quite enormous ; the branches
spread far, cling to the soil, and creep into it. Roots
and branches above and below resemble each other to
such a degree that it is difficult to say which is which.

" Brahman is the upper roots of this tree, its trunk is
the Veda, its branches are the different doctrines and
schools, its leaves are the different modes of inter¬
pretation ; its nourishment comes from the three forces ;
the tree becomes strong and compact through the senses.
The intelligent being has no other keen desire but that rage 43.
of felling this tree, i.e. abstaining from the world and
its vanities. When he has succeeded in felling it, he
wishes to settle in the place where it has grown, a
place in which there is no returning in a further stage
of metempsychosis. When he obtains this, he leaves
behind himself all the pains of heat and cold, and
coming from the light of sun and moon and common
fires, he attains to the divine lights."

The doctrine of Patanjali is akin to that of the sufi parai-
Silfi regarding being occupied in meditation on the
Truth (i.e. God), for they say, "As long as you point
to something, you are not a monist; but when the
Tridh seizes upon the object of your pointing and
annihilates it, then there is no longer an indicating
person nor an object indicated."

There are some passages in their system which show
that they believe in the pantheistic union; e.g. one of
them, being asked what is the Truth (God), gave the
following answer : " How should I not know the being
which is / in essence and Not-I in space ? If I return
once more into existence, thereby I am separated from
him ; and if I am neglected (i.e. not born anew and
sent into the world), thereby I become light and be¬
come accustomed to the union" (sic).

Abu-Bekr Ash-shibli says:   " Cast off all, and you
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