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

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 107  

CHAPTER X.                                   107

law can be exchanged or replaced by another, for they
use the laws simply as they find them. Therefore they
can dispense with prophets, as far as law and worship
are concerned, though in other affairs of the creation
they sometimes want them.

As for the question of the abrogation of laws, it whether
seems that this is not impossible with the Hindus, for abrogated or
they say that many things which are now forbidden
were allowed before the coming of Vasudeva, e.g. the
flesh of cows. Such changes are necessitated by the
change of the nature of man, and by their being too
feeble to bear the whole burden of their duties. To
these changes also belong the changes of the matri¬
monial system and of the theory of descent. For in
former times there were three modes of determining
descent or relationship :

1.   The child born to a man by his legitimate wife is Different
the child of the father, as is the custom with us and systc™s°"''*
with the Hindus.

2.   If a man marries a woman and has a child by her ;
if, further, the marriage-contract stipulates that the
children of the woman will belong to her father, the
child is considered as the child of its grandfather who
made that stipulation, and not as the child of its father
who engendered it.

3.   If a stranger has a child by a married woman, the
child belongs to her husband, since the wife being, as it
were, the soil in which the child has grown, is the pro¬
perty of the husband, always presupposing that the
sowing, i.e. the cohabitation, takes place with his con¬

According to this principle, Pandu was considered as The story of

f?A                      c         i-i''"i-ii                           -II        Panda and

the son ot Santanu ; tor this king had been cursed by vyasa.
an anchorite, and in consequence was unable to cohabit
with his wives, which was the more provoking to him
as he had not yet any children.    Now he asked Vyasa,
the son of Parasara, to procreate for him children from
  Page 107