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

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



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136                       ALBERUNPS INDIA.

the Shah, in accordance with the duty of a pupil towards
his master, promised him to make him attain his wish.
So he gave orders to send 200,000 dirham and presents
of a similar value to Kashmir, to be distributed among
those who studied the book of his master. The con¬
sequence was that they all rushed upon the book, and
would not copy any other grammar but this one, show¬
ing themselves in the baseness of their avarice. The
book became the fashion and highly prized.
Tale reiat- Of the Origin of grammar they give the following
orfgin of^ accouut:—One of their kings, called Samalvahana, i.e.
grammar. ^^ ^^^ classical language, Satavahana, was one day in a
pond playing with his wives, when he said to one of
them " Mdudakam dehi," i.e. do not sprinkle the ivater on
me. The woman, however, understood it as if he had said
modakam dehi, i.e. bring sxceetmeats. So she went away
and brought him sweetmeats. And when the king
disapproved of her doing so, she gave him an angry
reply, and used coarse language towards him. Now he
was deeply offended, and, in consequence, as is their
custom, he abstained from all food, and concealed him¬
self in some corner until he was called upon by a sage,
who consoled him, promising him that he would teach
people grammar and the inflexions of the language.
Thereupon the sage went off to Mahadeva, praying,
praising, and fasting devoutly. Mahadeva appeared to
him, and communicated to him some few rules, the like
of which Abul'aswad Addu'ali has given for the Arabic
language. The god also promised to assist him in the
further development of this science. Then the sage
returned to the king and taught it to him. This was
the beginning of the science of grammar.
The pre-           Grammar   is   followed   by   another   science,   called

the'^Hindus chanclcts, i.c. the metrical form of poetry, corresponding
com^osi-°^ to our mctrics^—a science indispensable to them, since
tions.         ^Q their books are in verse.    By composing their books

Page66.       ^^ mctrcs they intend to facilitate their being learned
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