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

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



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CHAPTER  VIII.                              93

within matter, though in the most subtle and most
simple kind of it, and since they have attained this by
action, not by knowledge. The book Pataiijali relates
that Nandikesvara offered many sacrifices to Mahadeva,
and was in consequence transferred into paradise in his
human shape; that Indra, the ruler, had intercourse with
the wife of Nahusha the Brahmin, and therefore was
changed into a serpent by way of punishment.

After the Deva comes the class of the Pitaras, the onthePita-
deceased ancestors, and after them the Bh'dta, human rtisiiis.
beings who have attached themselves to the sph-itual
beings (Deva), and stand in the middle between them
and mankind. He who holds this degree, but without
being free from the body, is called either Rishi or
Siddha or Muni, and these differ among themselves
according to their qualities. Siddha is he who has
attained by his action the faculty to do in the world
whatever he likes, but who does not aspire further, and
does not exert himself on the path leading to liberation.
He may ascend to the degree of a Rishi. If a Brahmin
attains this degree, he is called Brahmarshi ; if the
Kshatriya attains it, he is called Bdjarshi. It is not
possible for the lower classes to attain this degree.
Rishis are the sages who, though they are only human
beings, excel the angels on account of their knowledge.
Therefore the angels learn from them, and above them
there is none but Brahman,

After the Brahmarshi and Rajarshi come those classes
of the populace which exist also among us, the castes,
to whom we shall devote a separate chapter.

All   these  latter beings are ranged under matter, vishnuthe
Now,  as  regards  the notion  of that which is above BrlbVan,
matter, we  say that the vXr] is the middle between ami^Rudra.
matter and the spiritual divine ideas that are above
matter, and that the three primary forces exist in the vXt]
dynamically (kv Svi/a/xet),    So the vXr^, with all that is
comprehended in it, is a bridge from above to below.
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