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

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



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242                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Thereupon he made the globe of the sun shining, and
the globes of the stars watery, receiving the light of
the sun from that side of his which he turns towards
them. Fourteen of these stars he placed round the
pole in the shape of a sisu7ndra, which drive the other
stars round the pole. One of them, north of the pole,
on the uppermost chin, is Uttanapada, on the lowest
chin Yajna, on the head Dharma, on the breast Nara¬
yana, on the two hands towards the east the two stars
Asvini the physicians, on the two feet Yaruna, and
Aryaman towards the west, on the penis Samwatsara,
on the back Mitra, on the tail Agni, Mahendra, Marici,
and Kasyapa."

The pole itself is Vishnu, the ruler of the inhabitants
of paradise; he is, further, the time rising, growing,
getting old, and vanishing.

Further, the Vislinu-Dhccrmcc says : " If a man reads
this and knows it accurately, God pardons to him the
sins of that day, and fourteen years will be added to
his life, the length of which has been fixed before¬

How simple those people are! Among us there are
scholars who know between 1020 to 1030 stars. Should
those men breathe and receive life from God only on
account of their knowledge of stars ?

All the stars revolve, whatever may be the position
of the pole with regard to them.

If I had found a Hindu able to point out to me with
his finger the single stars, I should have been able to
identify them with the star-figures known among Greeks
and Arabs, or with stars in the neighbourhood in case
they did not belong to any of these figures.
  Page 242