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

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



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  Page 102  

I02                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

mother as the children of fornication; therefore they
are degraded outcasts.
Different          The Hiudus givo to  cvcry single man of the four

occupations                        ,                    .     .                                                                       ,

of the castes castcs  charactcristic names, according to their occu-

and guilds.             .                                              c   Tf            tt           i        t->   at                   •      •

pations and modes ot lite. B.g. the Brahmana is m
general called by this name as long as he does his work
staying at home. When he is busy with the service
of one fire, he is called ishtin; if he serves three fires, he
is called agnihotrin; if he besides offers an offering to
the fire, he is called dikshita. And as it is with the
Brahmana, so is it also with the other castes. Of the
classes beneath the castes, the Hadi are the best spoken
of, because they keep themselves free from everything
unclean. Next follow the Doma, who play on the lute
and sing. The still lower classes practise as a trade
killing and the inflicting of judicial punishments. The
worst of all are the Badhatau, who not only devour the
flesh of dead animals, but even of dogs and other
Customs of       Each of the four castes, when eating together, must

the Brah-        „                                       f         , i               i                                                   j    i     ■

mins.          form  a group  tor themselves,  one  group  not   being

allowed to comprise two men of different castes. If,
further, in the group of the Brahmana there are two
men who live at enmity with each other, and the seat
of the one is by the side of the other, they make a
barrier between the two seats by placing a board
between them, or by spreading a piece of dress, or in
some other way ; and if there is only a line drawn
between them, they are considered as separated. Since
it is forbidden to eat the remains of a meal, every single
man must have his own food for himself ; for if any one
of the party who are eating should take of the food from
one and the same plate, that which remains in the plate
becomes, after the first eater has taken part, to him who

Page 50.      wants to take as the second, the remains of the meal,
and such is forbidden.

Such is the condition of the four castes.    Arjuna
  Page 102