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

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



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  Page 194  

194                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

deep to the surface, and make it easy to him to catch
them, as if he had bound them by his spell.    Others
describe it with such characteristics  as   might indi¬
cate a stork.    The   Vdyu Purdna attributes to  it   a
pale colour.    On the whole, Garuda comes nearer to a
stork than to a Sifrid, as the stork is by nature, like
Garuda, a destroyer of snakes.
The effect of      Most of their charms are intended for those who have
the bite of    been bitten by serpents.    Their excessive confidence in
seipen s.      -f^i^ej^ jg ghowu by this, which I heard a man say, that he
had seen a dead man who had died from the bite of a
serpent, but after the charm had been applied he had
been restored to life, and remained alive, moving about
like all others.

Another man I heard as he told the following story :
" He had seen a man who had died from the bite of a
serpent, A charm was applied, and in consequence he
rose, spoke, made his will, showed where he had de¬
posited his treasures, and gave all necessary information
about them. But when he inhaled the smell of a dish,
he fell down dead, life being completely extinct."

It is a Hindu custom that when a man has been
bitten by a venomous serpent, and they have no charmer
at hand, they bind the bitten man on a bundle of reeds,
and place on him a leaf on which is written a blessing
for that person who will accidentally light upon him,
and save him by a charm from destruction,

I, for my part, do not know what I am to say about
these things, since I do not believe in them. Once a
man who had very little belief in reality, and much less
in the tricks of jugglers, told me that he had been
poisoned, and that people had sent him some Hindus
possessing the knowledge of charms. They sang their
charms before him, and this had a quieting effect upon
him, and soon he felt that he became better and better,
whilst they were drawing lines in the air with their
hands and with twigs.
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