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

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



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114                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

who is the lord of the universe, who has protected thee
against the attacks of the two kings, Bali and Hiran-
yaksha. Therefore let me do as / like, and turn away
from me with my farewell greeting."

Indra said : "If you will absolutely oppose me, I will
kill you and annihilate you."

The king answered: " People say that happiness is
envied, but not so misfortune. He who retires from
the world is envied by the angels, and therefore they
will try to lead him astray, I am one of those who
have retired from the world and entirely devoted them¬
selves to worship, and I shall not give it up as long as
Page 55. I live. I do not know myself to be guilty of a crime
for which I should deserve to be killed by thee. If
thou killest me without any offence on my part, it is
thy concern. What dost thou want from me ? If my
thoughts are entirely devoted to God, and nothing else
is blended with them, thou art not able to do me any
harm. Sufficient for me is the w^orship with which I
am occupied, and now I return to it."

As the king now went on worshipping, the Lord
appeared to him in the shape of a man of the grey
lotus colour, riding on a bird called Garuda, holding in
one of the four hands the sankha, a sea-shell which
people blow when riding on elephants; in the second
hand the cakra, a round, cutting, orbicular weapon,
which cuts everything it hits right through ; in the
third an amulet, and in the ionrth. padma, i.e. the red
lotus. When the king saw him, he shuddered from
reverence, prostrated himself and uttered many praises.
The Lord quieted his terrified mind and promised him
that he should obtain everything he wished for. The
king spoke: "I had obtained an empire which nobody
disputed with me; I was in conditions of life not
troubled by sorrow or sickness. It was as if the
whole world belonged to me. But then I turned away
from it, after I had understood that the good of the
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