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

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 225  

CHAPTER XX.                                 225

sponsibility of our own, for he has not explained on
what reason it rests. Vasishtha says that the Brah¬
manda comprehends the spheres, and the just-mentioned
numbers are the measure of the Brahmanda, since the
sphere of the zodiac is connected with it. The com-
mentor Balabhadra says : " We do not consider these
numbers as a measure of heaven, for we cannot define
its greatness, but we consider them as the utmost limit
to which the human power of vision can penetrate.
There is no possibility of human perception reaching
above it ; but the other spheres differ from each other
in greatness and smallness, so as to be visible in various
degrees." The followers of Aryabhata say : " It is suffi- Page m.
cient for us to know the space which is reached by the
solar rays. We do not want the space which is not
reached by the solar rays, though it be in itself of an
enormous extent. That which is not reached by the
rays is not reached by the perception of the senses,
and that which is not reached by perception is not

Let us now examine the bearing of the words of these criticisms
authors.    The words of Vasishtha prove that the Brah- different
manda is a globe comprehending the eighth or so called Thequestion
zodiacal sphere, in which the fixed stars are placed, and sphere.'
that the two spheres touch each other.    Now we on our
own part were already obliged to assume an eighth
sphere, but there is no reason why we should suppose
a ninth one.

On this head the opinions of people are divided.
Some hold the existence of a ninth sphere to be a neces¬
sity on account of the rotation from east to west, in so
far as it moves in this direction and compels everything
which it comprehends to move in the same direction.
Others assume the ninth sphere on account of the same
motion, but suppose that it by itself is motionless.

The tendency of the representatives of the former
theory is perfectly clear.   However, Aristotle has proved

VOL, I,                                                                          p
  Page 225