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

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



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  Page 223  

CHAPTER XX.                                 223

the ideas of one single nation, we should produce from
the belief of the nations who lived in ancient times in
and round Babel ideas similar to the egg of Brahman,
and even more stupid and unmeaning than that.

The theory of the division of the egg into two halves
proves that its originator was the contrary of a scientific
man, one who did not know that the heaven compre¬
hends the earth, as the shell of the egg of Brahman
comprehends its yolk. He imagined the earth to be
below and the heaven in only one of the six directions
from the earth, i.e. above it. If he had known the
truth, he might have spared himself the theory of the
breaking of the egg. However, he wished by his theory
to describe one half of the egg as spread out for the
earth, and the other half as placed upon it for a cupola. Page no,
trying to outvie Ptolemy in the planispheric represen¬
tation of a globe, but without success.

There have always been similar fancies afloat, v/hich Quotat:
everybody interprets as best suits his religion and
philosophy. So Plato says in his Timmus something
like the Brahmanda : " The Creator cut a straight thread
into halves. With each of them he described a circle,
so that the two circles met in two places, and one of
them he divided into seven parts." In these words he
hints, as is his custom, at the original two motions of
the universe (from east to west in the diurnal rotation,
and from west to east in the precession of the equi¬
noxes), and at the globes of the planets.

Brahmagux^ta says in the first chapter of the Brahma- Quotation
siddhdnta, where he enumerates the heavens, placing ma"upta.'"
the moon in the nearest heaven, the other planets in
the following ones, and Saturn in the seventh : " The
fixed stars are in the eighth heaven, and this has been
created round in order to last for ever, that in it the
pious may be rewarded, the wicked be punished, since
there is nothing behind it." He indicates in this chapter
that the heavens are identical with the spheres, and he

from Plato's
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