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

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



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from the
Vjlyii, and

The com¬
mentator of
on the same

Sveta, inhabited by the Daitya aud Danava. The
mountain Sringavant, inhabited by the Pitaras, the
fathers and grandfathers of the Deva. Not far to the
north of this mountain there are mountain-passes full
of jewels and of trees which remain during a whole
kalpa. And in the centre of these mountains is
Ilavrita, the highest of all. The whole is called
Burushaparvaia. The region between the Himavant
and the Sringavant is called Kailasa, the play-ground of
the Rakshasa and Apsaras."

The Vishnu-Burdna says : " The great mountains of
the middle earth are Sri-parvata, Malaya-parvata, Mal-
yavant, Vindhya, Trikuta, Tripurantika, and Kailasa.
Their inhabitants drink the water of the rivers, and live
in eternal bliss."

The Vdyu-Purdna contains similar statements about
the four sides and the height of Meru as the hitherto
quoted Puranas. Besides, it says that on each side of it
there is a quadrangular mountain, in the east the Mal-
yavant, in the north Anila, in the west the Gandhama-
dana, and in the south the Nishadha.

The Aditya-Purdna gives the same statement about
the size of each of its four sides which we have quoted
from the Matsya-Pur ana, but I have not found in it a
statement about the height of Meru. According to this
Purana, its east side is of gold, the west of silver, the
south of rubies, the north of different jewels.

The extravagant notions of the dimensions of Meru
would be impossible if they had not the same extrava¬
gant notions regarding the earth, and if there is no
limit fixed to guesswork, guesswork may without any
hindrance develop into lying. For instance, the com¬
mentator of the book of Pataiijali not only makes Meru
quadrangular, but even oblong. The length of one side
he fixes at 15 koti, i.e. 150,000,000 yojana, whilst he
fixes the length of the other three sides only at the
third of this, i.e. 5 koti.    Regarding the four sides of
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