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

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



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94                            ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Any life which circulates in the i'jXi-j under the exclu¬
sive influence of the First Cause is called Brahman,
Prajapati, and by many other names which occur in
their religious law and tradition. It is identical with
nature in so far as it is active, for all bringing into
existence, the creation of the world also, is attributed
by them to Brahman.

Any life which circulates in the iiX-)-] under the influ¬
ence of the second force is called Ndrdyana in the
tradition of the Hindus, which means nature in so far
as it has reached the end of its action, and is now striv¬
ing to preserve that which has been produced. P'hus
Narayana strives so to arrange the world that it should

Any life which circulates in the vXtj under the influ¬
ence of the tliird force is called Mahddeva and Samkara,
but his best-known name is Rudrct. His work is
destruction and annihilation, like nature in the last
stages of activity, when its power slackens.

P'hese three beings bear different names, as they cir¬
culate through the various degrees to above and below,
and accordingly their actions are different.

But prior to all these beings there is one source
whence everything is derived, and in this unity they
comprehend all three things, no more separating one
from the other. This unity they call Vishnu, a name
which more properly designates the middle force ; but
sometimes they do not even make a distinction between
this middle force and the first cause (i.e. they make
Narayana the causa causarum).

Here there is an analogy between Hindus and Chris¬
tians, as the latter distinguish between the Three Per-
sons and give them separate names. Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost, but unite them into one substance.

This is what clearly results from a careful exami¬
nation of the Hindu doctrines. Of their traditional
accounts, which are full of silly notions, we shall speak
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