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

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



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I20                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

towards the four directions, Kaumari with six faces,
Vaishnavi with four hands, Varahi with a hog's head
on a human body, Indrani with many eyes and a club
in her hand, Bhagavati (Durga) sitting as people
generally sit, Camunda ugly, with protruding teeth
and a slim waist. Further join with them the sons of
Mahadeva, Kshetrapala with bristling hair, a sour face,
and an ugly figure, but Vinayaka with an elephant's
head on a human body, with four hands, as we have
heretofore described."

The worshippers of these idols kill sheep and buffaloes
with axes (kutdra), that they may nourish themselves
with their blood. All idols are constructed according to
certain measures determined by idol-Ji.7igers for every
single limb, but sometimes they differ regarding the
measure of a limb. If the artist keeps the right
measure and does not make anything too large nor too
small, he is free from sin, and is sure that the being
which he represented will not visit him with any
mishap. "If he makes the idol one cubit high and
together with the throne two cubits, he will obtain
health and wealth. If he makes it higher still, he will
be praised.

" But he must know that making the idol too large,
especially that of the Sun, will hurt the ruler, and
making it too small will hurt the artist. If he gives it
a thin belly, this helps and furthers the famine in the
country ; if he gives it a lean belly, this ruins property.

" If the hand of the artist slips so as to produce some¬
thing like a wound, he will have a wound in his own
body which will kill him.

"If it is not completely even on both sides, so that
the one shoulder is higher than the other, his wife will

" If he turns the eye upward, he will be blind for
lifetime; if he turns it downward, he will have many
troubles and sorrows."
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