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

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



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CHAPTER  VIII.                              97

as his, and spoke, " Man cannot oppose the gods." The
combination of the stars had shown to Nectanebus that
he would die at the hands of his son. When then
he died at the hands of Alexander from a wound in
the neck, he recognised that he was his (Alexander's)

The tradition of the Greeks is full of similar things.
We shall relate similar subjects when speaking of the
marriages of the Hindus.

Now we return to our subiect.    Regarding that part Quotations

,j                         o               <~-i   ^           i             from

of the nature of Zeus which has no connection with Aratos.
humanity, the Greeks say that he is Jupiter, the son of
Saturn ; for Saturn alone is eternal, not having been
born, according to the philosophers of the Academy, as
Galenus says in the Book of Deduction. This is suffi¬
ciently proved by the book of Aratos on the ^aLvajxeva,
for he begins with the praise of Zeus:

" We, mankind, do not leave hioa, nor can we do without him ;
Of him the roads are full,
And the meeting-places of men.
He is mild towards them ;

He produces for them what they wish, and incites them to work.
Reminding them of the necessities of life.
He indicates to them the times favourable
For digging and ploughing for a good growth,
Who has raised the signs and stars in heaven.
Therefore we humiliate ourselves before him first and last."

And then he praises the spiritual beings (the Muses).
If you compare Greek theology with that of the Hindus,
you will find that Brahman is described in the same
way as Zeus by Aratos.

The author of the commentary on the ^aLvoixeua of
Aratos maintains that he deviated from the custom of
the poets of his time in beginning with the gods; that
it was his intention to speak of the celestial sphere.
Further, he makes reflections on the origin of Asclepius, Page 48.
like  Galenus,  and   says:   " We should like to know

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  Page 97