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

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



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  Page 177  

CHAPTER XVI.                                 177

from people dictating these names without observing
any fixed order, or from the fact that they hate to
avow their ignorance by a frank / do not know,—a
word which is difficult to them in any connection

The Pulisasiddhdnta gives the following list of the
orders oi' the numbers :—

4.   Sahasrarh.

5.  Ayutarh.

6.  Niyutam.

7.  Prayutanri.

8.   Koti.

9.  Arhudarh.
10. Kharva.

The following orders, from the nth till the i8th, are
the same as those of the above-mentioned list.

The Hindus use the numeral signs in arithmetic in Numeral
the same way as we do. I have composed a treatise
showing how far, possibly, the Hindus are ahead of us
in this subject. We have already explained that the
Hindus compose their books in Slokas. If, now, they
wish, in their astronomical handbooks, to express some
numbers of the various orders, they express them by
words used to denote certain numbers either in one
order alone or at the same time in two orders (e.g. a
word meaning either 20 or both 20 and 200). For
each number they have appropriated quite a great
quantity of words. Hence, if one word does not suit
the metre, you may easily exchange it for a synonym
which suits. Brahmagupta says: " If you want to
write one, express it by everything which is unicjue, as
the ectrtli, the moon; two by everything which is double,
as, e.g. black and white ; three by everything which is
threefold; the nought by heaven, the twelve by the
names of the sun."

I have united in the following table all the ex¬
pressions for the numbers which I used to hear from
them; for the knowledge of these things is most
essential for deciphering their astronomical handbooks.

VOL, I,                                                                         M
  Page 177