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

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



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  Page 193  

CHAPTER XVII.                            193

of AlmansHra, made him presents of money, and asked
him to help him by a naval force. The lord of Alman¬
sura complied with his desire, and assisted him. So he
made a night-attack upon the king Vallabha, and killed
him and his people, and destroyed his town. People
say that still in our time there are such traces left
in that country as are found in places which were de¬
stroyed by an unexpected night-attack.

The greediness of the ignorant Hindu princes for
gold-making does not know any limit. If any one of
them wanted to carry out a scheme of gold-making,
and people advised him to kill a number of fine little
children, the monster would not refrain from such a
crime; he would throw them into the fire. If this
precious science of Rasayana were banished to the
utmost limits of the world, where it is unattainable to
anybody, it would be the best.

According to the Eranian tradition, Isfandivad is said An Eranian

,                                                  ^                      "    .                   tradition.

to have spoken when dying : " Kaus had been given the Page 95-
power and the miraculous things mentioned in the Book
of the Law. Einally he went to the mountain Kaf as a
decrepit man, bent down by old age, but he returned
thence as a lively youth of well-proportioned figure and
full of force, having made the clouds his carriage, as God
allowed him."

As regards charms and incantations, the Hindus have on the bird
a firm belief in them, and they, as a rule, are much in- ' ■"
clined towards them. The book which treats of those
things is considered as a work of Garuda, a bird on
which Narayana rode. Some people describe this bird
in such a way as to indicate a Sifrid-bird and its doings.
It is an enemy of fish, catching them. As a rule,
animals have by nature an aversion to their opponents,
and try to beware of them ; here, however, there is an
exception to this rule. Eor when this bird flutters
above the water and swims on it, the fish rise from the

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