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

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



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  Page 91  

CHAPTER  VIII.                              91

popular view of the majority of the Hindus, there are
the following eight classes of spiritual beings :—

1.   The Deva, or angels, to whom the north belongs.
They specially belong to the Hindus. People say that
Zoroaster made enemies of the Shamaniyya or Bud¬
dhists by calling the devils by the name of the class of
angels which they consider the highest, i.e. Deva. And
this usage has been transmitted from Magian times
down to the Persian language of our days.

2.   Daitya 'ddnava, the demons who live in the
south. To them everybody belongs who opposes the
religion of the Hindus and persecutes the cows. Not¬
withstanding the near relationship which exists between
them and the Deva, there is, as Hindus maintain, no
end of quarrelling and fighting among them.

3.   Gandharva, the musicians and singers who make
music before the Deva. Their harlots are called Ap-

4.   Yaksha, the treasurers or guardians of the Deva.

5.  Bdkshasa, demons of ugly and deformed shapes.

6.   Kinnara, having human shaj^es but horses' heads,
being the contrary of the centaurs of the Greek, of
whom the lower half has the shape of a horse, the upper
half that of a man. The latter figure is that of the
Zodiacal sign of Arcitenens.

7.   Ndga, beings in the shape of serpents.

8.    Vidyddhara, demon-sorcerers, who exercise a
certain witchcraft, but not such a one as to produce
permanent results.

If we consider this series of beings, we find the criticisms
angelic power at the upper end and the demoniac at the °^
lower, and between them there is much interblendino'.
The qualities of these beings are different, inasmuch
as they have attained this stage of life in the course of
metempsychosis by action, and actions are different on
account of the three primary forces. T'hey live very
long, since they have entirely stripped off the bodies,
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