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

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



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28o                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

right side, looking into the water, sees it on his left.
The cause of this uniform motion which never increases
nor decreases is a wind, but it is not the common wind
which we feel and hear; for this is lulled, and roused,
and varies, whilst that wind never slackens."

In another place Brahmagupta says: " The wind
makes all the fixed stars and the planets revolve
towards the west in one and the same revolution ; but
the planets move also in a slow pace towards the east,
like a dust-atom moving on a potter's-wheel in a direc¬
tion opposite to that in which the wheel is revolving.
That motion of this atom which is visible is identical
with the motion which drives the wheel round, whilst
its individual motion is not perceived. In this view
Lata, Aryabhata, and Vasishtha agree, but some people
think that the earth moves while the sun is resting.
That motion which mankind conceives as a motion from
east to west, the angels (Deva) conceive as a motion
from left to right, the Daityas as one from right to left,"

of the
Tlie wind
as the

motor of the

This is all I have read in Indian books on the

Their speaking of the wind as the motor (supti^a)
has, I think, only the purpose of bringing the subject
near to the understanding of people and to facilitate its
study ; for people see with their own eyes that the
wind, when blowing against instruments with wings
and toys of this kind, puts them into motion. But as
soon as they come to speak of the first mover (God),
they at once give up any comparison with the natural
vfind, which in all its phases is determined by certain
causes. For though it puts things into motion, the
moving is not its essence; and besides, it cannot move
without being in contact with something, because the
wind is a body, and is acted upon by external influences
or means, its motion being commensurate with their
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