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

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



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The pole,  in the language  of the Hindus, is called The origin
dhruva, and the axis saldka.    The Hindus, with the poie, and
exception of their astronomers, speak always only of somadatta.
one pole, the reason of which is their belief in the dome
of heaven, as we have heretofore explained.    According
to Vdyu-Burdnct, heaven revolves round the pole like a
potter's wheel, and the pole revolves round itself, with¬
out changing its own place.    This revolution is finished
in 30 muliurta, i.e. in one nychthemeron.

Regarding the south pole, I have heard from them
only one story or tradition, viz. the following. They
had once a king called Somadatta, who by his noble
deeds had deserved paradise; but he did not like the
idea of his body being torn away from his soul when
he should depart into the other world. Now he called
on the Rishi Vasishtha, and told to him that he loved
his body, and did not wish to be separated from it; but
the Rishi informed him that it was impossible to take
along with oneself the material body from this world
into paradise. Thereupon he laid his desire before the
children of Vasishtha; however, these spat in his face,
scoffed at him, and changed him into a canddlct with
ear-rings in both ears, and clad in a kurtak (i.e. a short
shirt worn by the women round the shoulders, reaching
down to the middle of the body). When he came in
this condition to the Rishi, Yisvamitra, the latter found
him to be a disgusting spectacle, and asked him what
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