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

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



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  Page 189  

CHAPTER XVII.                            189

long period. And why not ? Have we not already
mentioned on the authority of Patanjali (v. p. 88) that
one of the methods leading to liberation is Basdyana ?
What man would hear this, being inclined to take it
for truth, and not dart off into foolish joy and not
honour the master of such a wonderful art by popping
the choicest bit of his meal into his mouth ?

A famous representative of this art was Nagarjuna, a Nagarjuna,
native of the fort Daihak, near Somanath.    He excelled of a took on
in it, and composed a book which contains the sub-    '"^**^*"^-
stance of the whole literature on this subject, and is
very rare.    He lived nearly a hundred years before our

In the time of the King Vikramaditya, of whose era Page 93.
we shall  speak hereafter, there lived in the  city  of
IJiain a man of the name of Vyadi, who had turned Theaiche-

.                                .                    .         .                                      .        -,          mist Vyadi

his whole attention to this science, and had ruined on i" tiie time

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account of it both las life and property, but all his ramaditya.
zeal did not even avail him so much as to help him to
things which, under ordinary circumstances, are easily
obtained. Becoming restricted in his means, he con¬
ceived a disgust to that which had been the object of
all his exertions, and sat down on the bank of a river
sighing, sorrowful, and despairing. He held in his
hand his pliarmacopma, from which he used to take the
prescriptions for his medicines, but now he began to
throw one leaf of it after the other into the water. A
harlot happened to sit on the bank of the same river
farther down, who, on seeing the leaves pass by,
gathered them, and fished up some relating to Basd¬
yana. Vyadi did not notice her till all the leaves of
his book had gone. Then the woman came to him,
asking why he had done so with his book, whereupon
he answered, " Because I have derived no advantage
from it. I have not obtained what I ought to have
obtained ; for its sake I have become bankrupt after
having had great treasures, and now I am miserable
  Page 189