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

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



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126                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

lations, and they therefore avoid the use of the pen,
since it is liable to cause some error, and may occasion
an addition or a defect in the written text. In conse¬
quence it has happened that they have several times

Page 6i. forgotten the Veda and lost it. For they maintain that
the following passage occurs in the conversations be¬
tween God and Brahman relating to the beginning of
all things, according to the report of Saunaka who had
received it from the planet Venus: "You will forget
the Veda at the time when the earth will be submerged;
it will then go down to the depths of the earth, and
none but the fish will be able to bring it out again.
P'herefore I shall send the fish, and it will deliver the
Veda into your hands. And I shall send the boar to
raise the earth with its tusks and to bring it out of the

Further, the Hindus maintain that the Veda, together
with all the rites of their religion and country, had been
obliterated in the last Dvapara-yuga, a period of time
of which we shall speak in the proper place, until it
was renewed by Vyasa, the son of Parasara.

The Vishnu Purdna s&jB : "At the beginning of each
Manvantara period there will be created anew a lord
of a period whose children will rule over the whole
earth, and a prince who will be the head of the world,
and angels to whom men will bring fire-offerings, and
the Great Bear, who will renew the Veda v/hich is lost
at the end of each period."

Vasukra          This is the reason why, not long before our time,

commits i he  ^r        i                     j.*            r tt"     i       a            r?                  ti     i       •       i

vedato Vasukra, a native ot Kashmir, a lamous Brahmin, has
wn mg. ^£ j^^.^ ^^^ account undertaken the task of explaining
the Veda and committing it to writing. He has taken
on himself a task from which everybody else would
have recoiled, but he carried it out because he was
afraid that the Veda might be forgotten and entirely
vanish out of the memories of men, since he observed
that the characters of men grew worse and worse, and
  Page 126