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

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



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92                             ALBERUNPS INDIA.

since they are free from all exertion, and are able to do
things which are impossible to man.    They serve man

Page 45. in whatever he desires, and are near him in cases of need.
However, we can learn from the extract from Sdmkhya
that this view is not correct. For Brahman, Indra, and
Prajapati are not names of species, but of individuals.
Brahman and Prajapati very nearly mean the same,
but they bear different names on account of some
quality or other. Indra is the ruler of the worlds. Be¬
sides, Vasudeva enumerates the Yaksha and Rakshasa
together in one and the same class of demons, whilst
the Puranas represent the Yaksha as guardian-angels
and the servants of guardian-angels.

On the            After all this, we declare that the spiritual beings

which we have mentioned are one category, who have
attained their present stage of existence by action dur¬
ing the time when they were human beings. They have
left their bodies behind them, for bodies are weights
which impair the power and shorten the duration of
life. Their qualities and conditions are different, in the
same measure as one or other of the three primary forces
prevails over them. The first force is peculiar to the
Deva, or angels who live in quietness and bliss. The
predominant faculty of their mind is the comprehending
of an idea without matter, as it is the predominant
faculty of the mind of man to comprehend the idea in

The third force is peculiar to the Pisaca and Bhuta,
whilst the second is peculiar to the classes between them.
The Hindus say that the number of Deva is thirty-
three koti or c7'ore, of which eleven belong to Maha¬
deva. Therefore this number is one of his surnames,
and his name itself (Mahadeva) points in this direction.
The sum of the number of angels just mentioned would
be 330,000,000.

Further, they represent the Deva as eating and drink¬
ing,   cohabiting,  living   and   dying,  since  they   exist
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