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

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



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  Page 216  



Names of
the moon.
Page io6.

The names
of the

that according to them there are twelve suns, each of
which rises in a particular month. The book Vishnu-
dharma says: "Vishnu, i.e. Narayana, who is without
beginning in time and without end, divided himself
for the angels into twelve parts, which became sons
to Kasyapa. These are the suns rising in the single
months." Those, however, who do not believe that the
multiplicity of names is the source of this theory of
twelve suns, point out that the other planets also have
many names, but each only one body, and that, besides,
the names of the sun are not only twelve, but many
more. The names are derived from words with generic
meanings, e.g. Aditya, i.e. the beginning, because the
sun is the beginning of the whole. Savitri means
every being which has a progeny, and since all progeny
in the world originates with the sun, he is called
Savitri. Further, the sun is called Ravi, because he
dries wet substances. The juice in the plants is called
rasa, and he who takes it out of them is called ravi.

The moon too, the companion of the sun, has many
names, e.g. Soma, because she is lucky, and everything
lucky is called somagraha, whilst all that is unlucky is
called pdpagraha. Further, Nisesa, i.e. lord of the night,
Nakshatrandtha, i.e. lord of the lunar stations, Dvijesvara,
i.e. lord of the Brahmins, Sitamsu, i.e. having a cold ray,
because the moon's globe is ivatery, which is a blessing
to the earth. When the solar ray meets the moon, the
ray becomes as cool as the moon herself, then, being
reflected, it illuminates the darkness, makes the night
cool and extinguishes any hurtful kind of combustion
wrought by the sun. Similarly the moon is also called
Candra, which means the left eye of Ndrdyana, as the sun
is his right eye.

The following table exhibits the names of the months
Disturbances and differences in lists of these names pro¬
ceed from the causes which we shall mention (v. p. 228)
when speaking of the enumeration of the different earths.
  Page 216