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

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



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  Page 249  

CHAPTER XXIII.                           249

Meru, he says that on the east are the mountain
Malava and the ocean, and between them the kingdoms
called Bhadrasva. On the north are Nila, Sita, Srihga-
dri, and the ocean, and between them the kingdoms
Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, and Kuru. On the west are the
mountain Gandhamadana and the ocean, and between
them the kingdom Ketumala. On the south are
Mravarta (?), Nishadha, Hemakuta, Himagiri, and the
ocean, and between them the kingdoms Bharatavarsha,
Kiriipurusha, and Harivarsha.

This is all I could find of Hindu traditions regarding Buddhistic

.                      views.

Meru ; and as I have never found a Buddhistic book,
and never knew a Buddhist from whom I might have
learned their theories on this subject, all I relate of
them I can only relate on the authority of Aleranshahri,
though, according to my mind, his report has no claim
to scientific exactness, nor is it the report of a man who
has a scientific knowledge of the subject. According
to him, the Buddhists believe that Meru lies between
four worlds in the four cardinal directions ; that it is
square at the bottom and round at the top ; that it has
the length of 80,000 yojana, one half of which rises into
heaven, whilst the other half goes down into the earth.
That side which is next to our world consists of blue
sapphires, which is the reason why heaven appears to
us blue ; the other sides are of rubies, yellow and white
gems.    Thus Meru is the centre of the earth.

The mountain Kcif as it is called by our  common
people, is with the Hindus the Lokaloka.    They main- P-ige 125-
tain  that  the   sun  revolves   from   Lokaloka   towards
Meru, and that he illuminates only its inner northern

Similar views are held by the Zoroastrians of Sog- a tradition

•^  .                  ,    ^                                   ^     of the Zoro-

diana, viz.  that the  mountain Ardiya  surrounds the astriansor

...                                    .            Sogdiana.

world ; that outside of it is khom, similar to the pupil of
the eye, in which there is something of everything, and
that behind it there is a vacuum.    In the centre of the
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