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

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



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  Page 159  

CHAPTER XIV.                             159

stands in close relation to the religion of the Hindus.
They have a book called by the name of its author,
i.e. Caraka, which they consider as the best of their
whole literature on medicine. According to their belief,
Caraka was a Rishi in the last Dvapara-yuga, when
his name was Agnivesa, but afterwards he was called
Caraka, i.e. the intelligent one, after the first elements
of medicine had been laid down by certain Rishis, the
children of SUtra. These latter had received them from
Indra, Indra from Asvin, one of the two physicians of
the Devas, and Asvin had received them from Praja¬
pati, i.e. Brahman, the first father. This book has been
translated into Arabic for the princes of the house of
the Barmecides.

The Hindus cultivate numerous other branches of OnPanca-
science and literature, and have a nearly boundless
literature. I, however, could not comprehend it with
my knowledge, I wish I could translate the book
Pancatantra, known among us as the book of Kalila
and Dimna, It is far spread in various languages, in
Persian, Hindi, and Arabic—in translations of people
who are not free from the suspicion of having altered
the text. For instance, 'Abdallah Ibn Almukaffa has
added in his Arabic version the chapter about Barzoya,
with the intention of raising doubts in the minds of
people of feeble religious belief, and to gain and prepare
them for the propagation of the doctrines of the Mani-
ch£eans. And if he is open to suspicion in so far as he
has added something to the text which he had simply
to translate, he is hardly free from suspicion in his
capacity as translator.
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