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

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



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272                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

expressions on this head are subtle, more particularly
as this is one of the great questions which is only
handled by the most eminent of their scholars.

So Brahmagupta says : " Scholars have declared that
the globe of the earth is in the midst of heaven, and
that Mount Meru, the home of the Devas, as well as
Vadavamukha below, is the home of their opponents ;
the Daitya and Danava belong to it. But this beloiv is
according to them only a relative one. Disregarding
this, we say that the earth on all its sides is the
same ; all people on earth stand upright, and all heavy
things fall down to the earth by a law of nature, for
it is the nature of the earth to attract and to keep
things, as it is the nature of water to flow, that of fire
to burn, and that of the wind to set in motion. If a
thing wants to go deeper down than the earth, let it
try. The earth is the only low thing, and seeds always
return to it, in whatever direction you may throw
them away, and never rise upwards from the earth."

Varahamihira says : " Mountains, seas, rivers, trees,
cities, men, and angels, all are around the globe of the
earth. And if Yamakoti and Riim are opposite to each
other, one could not say that the one is loio in its
relation to the other, since the low does uot exist. How
could one say of one place of the earth that it is low,
as it is in every particular identical with any other
place on earth, and one place could as little/a// as any
other. Every one speaks to himself with regard to his
own self, '/am above and the others are below,' whilst
all of them are around the globe like the blossoms
springing on the branches of a Kadamba-tree. They
encircle it on all sides, but each individual blossom has
the same position as the other, neither the one hanging
downward nor the other standing upright. For the
earth attracts that which is upon her, for it is the beloiv
towards all directions, and heaven is the above towards
all directions."

As the reader will  observe, these theories  of the
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