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

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



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  Page 240  

240                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

was the reason of his appearing so, whereupon Soma¬
datta informed him, and told him the whole story.
Now Visvamitra became very angry on his account; he
Page I20. ordered the Brahmans into his presence in order to per¬
form a great sacrifice, among those also the children of
Vasishtha, and he spoke to them : '•' I wish to make a
new world, and a new paradise for this pious king, that
there he may obtain the fulfilment of his wish." There¬
upon he began to make the pole and the Great Bear in
the south, but then Indra, the ruler, and the spiritual
beings began to fear him. They went to him, humbled
themselves before him, and asked him to desist from
the work he had commenced on this condition, that
they would carry Somadatta with his body, just as it
was, into paradise. This they did, and in consequence
the Rishi desisted from making a second world, but
that which he had already made up to that moment

It is well known that the north pole with us is called
the Great Bear, the south pole Canopus. But some of
our people (Muslims) who do not rise above the unedu¬
cated mass, maintain that in the south of heaven too
there is a Great Bear of the same shape as the northern,
which revolves round the southern pole.

Such   a  thing would   not  be impossible nor even
strange, if  the  report about it came from  a  trust¬
worthy man,   who had made long sea-voyages.    Cer¬
tainly in southern regions stars are seen which we do
Siipaiaon    uot kuow iu our latitudes.    So Sripala says that the
sftia '^Aiiai- P©ople of Multau SCO in summer time a red star a little
fe^v-el-"s"ar"^ bclow the meridian of Canopus, which they call Sllla,
Brahma-   ■ ^ g ^^g bcain of critcifixion, and that the Hindus consider

gupta on iiie                                       t/               »/              ^

sisumara. it as uulucky. Therefore, when the moon stands in
the station Piirvabhadrapada, the Hindus do not travel
towards the south, because this star stands in the

Aljaihani relates, in his Book of Routes, that on the
  Page 240