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

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



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I30                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

rules of Sariidhi. It does not consist of the same com¬
positions as the Rig and Yajur Vedas, but of a third
kind called hhara. It is recited according to a melody
with a nasal tone. This Veda is less in favour with
the Hindus than the others. It likewise treats of the
sacrifices to the fire, and contains injunctions regarding
the dead aud what is to be done with them.

List of the        As to the Puranas, we first mention that the word

■ ^'     means ^rs^, eternal.    There are eighteen Puranas, most

of them called by the names of animals, human or

Page 63. angelic beings, because they contain stories about them,
'or because the contents of the book refer in some way
to them, or because the book consists of answers which
the creature whose name forms the title of the book
has given to certain questions.

The Puranas are of human origin, composed by the
so-called Rishis. In the following I give a list of their
names, as I have heard them, and committed them to
writing from dictation :—

1.   Adi-purdna, i.e. the first.

2.   Matsya-purdria, i.e. the fish.

3.   Kilrma-purdna, i.e. the tortoise.

4.   Vardha-purdna, i.e. the boar.

5.  Narasiinha-purdna, i.e. a human being with a lion's head.

6.   Vdmana-purdna, i.e. the dwarf.

7.   Vdyu-purdna, i.e. the wind.

8.   Nanda-purdna, i.e. a servant of Mahadeva.

9.   Skanda-purdna, i.e. a son of Mahadeva.

10.   Aditya-purdna, i.e. the sun.

11.   Soma-purdna, i.e. the moon.

12.   Sdmba-purdna, i.e. the son of Vishnu.

13.   Brahmdnda-purdna, i.e. heaven.

14.   Mdrlcandeya-purdna, i.e. a great Eishi.

15.   Tdrkshya-purdna, i.e. the bird Garuda.

16.   Vishriu-purdna, i.e. Narayaiia.

17.   BraJima-purdna, i.e. the nature charged with the preserva¬

tion of the world.

18.   Bhavishya-piurdria, i.e. future things.

Of all this literature I have only seen portions of the
Matsya, Aditya, aud Vayu Puranas.
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