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

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



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  Page 164  



As regards the first theory, resting on the assumption
of one suvarna being equal to three of our dirhams,
people in general agree in this—that

I suvarna = J pala.
I pala        =12 dirham.
I pala        = r"5 mand.
I mand      = i8o dirham.

authors on

The Hindu

This leads me to think that i suvarna is equal to 3
of our mithkdl, not to 3 of our dirham.

Varahamihira says in another place of his Saihhita:

" Make a round vase of the diameter and height of
one yard, and then expose it to the rain until it ceases.
All the water that has been collected in it of the weight
of 200 dirham is, if taken fourfold, equal to I ddihaka."

T'his, however, is only an approximate statement,
because, as we have above mentioned in his own words,
I dclhaka is equal to 768 either dirham, as they say, or
mithkdl, as / suppose.

Sripala relates, on the authority of Varahamihira, that
^op)ctla—2^6 dirham = i ddhaka. But he is mistaken,
for here the number 256 does not mean dirhams, but the
number of the suvctrnct contained in one ddhaka. And the
number of p)ala contained in i ddhaka is 64, not 50.

As I have been told, Jivasai-man gives the following
detailed account of these weights :

4 pala        = I kudava.
4 kudava  — i prastha.
4 prastha = I ddhaka.
4 ddhaka  = i droria.
20 droria     = i khdrl.

The reader must know that 16 mdsha are i suvarna,
but in weighing wheat or barley they reckon 4 suvarna
■= I 'pala, and in weighing water and oil they reckon 8
suvarna = i p)ala.

The balances with which the Hindus weigh things
are x^pia-Ttcoves, of which the weights are immovable,
whilst the scales  move on  certain marks and lines.
  Page 164