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

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



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  Page 271  

CHAPTER XXVI.                           271

attraction of everything heavy towards its centre, i.e.
the middle of the world.

Much to the same effect are the expressions of Vdyu- Quotations

7-)/i           -jij                -A          aa-              ••tt-     fi'oui the

Burana, viz. that noon m Amaravati is sunrise m Vai- v&yuaud

• -t    •    1 j_  •      n    1 1  A            1                      •      TT^i I A                    Matsya Pu-

vasvata, midnight m Sukna, and sunset m Vibha.            rCmas.

Similar, also, are the expressions of Mcttsya-Purdna,
for this book explains that east of Meru lies the city
Amaravatipura, the residence of Indra, the ruler, and
his wife; south of Meru, the city Saihyamanlpura,
the residence of Yama, the son of the Sun, where he
punishes and requites mankind ; west of Meru, the city
Sukhapura, the residence of Varuna, i.e. the water ; and
north of Meru, the city Vibhavaripura, belonging to the
Moon. Sun and planets revolve round Meru. When
the sun has his noon position in Amaravatipura, it is
the beginning of the day in Samyamanipura, midnight
in Sukha, and the beginning of the night in Vibhavari¬
pura. And when the sun has his noon position in
Samyamanipura, he rises over Sukhapura, sets over
Amaravatipura, and has his midnight position with
relation to Vibhavaripura.                                                    Page 136.

If the author of the Matsya-Purdna says that the Anoteofthe

1                    1   nr          n                         '     •!!   1-1                 ■        author 01.

sun revolves round Mern, he means a miil-like rotation the passage

.                                           .                                       from the

round those who inhabit Meru, who, m consequence ot uatsya-Pu-


this nature of the rotation, do not know east nor west.
The sun does not rise for the inhabitants of Meru in
one particular place, but in various places. By the
word east the author means the zenith of one city, and
by west the zenith of another. Possibly those four cities
of the Matsya-Purdna are identical with those men¬
tioned by the astronomers. But the author has not
mentioned how far they are distant from Meru. What
we have besides related as notions of the Hindus is
perfectly correct and borne out by scientific methods ;
however, they are wont never to speak of the pole unless

.        .       ,                 ,                                               .                   Brahma-

they mention in the same breath also the mountain Meru. g"pta and
In the definition of what is low the Hindus agree hira on the

.,.,..                                                                            law oi

With US, V12J, that it is the centre of the world, but their gravitation.
  Page 271