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

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



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CHAPTER XXVII.                          281

Their saying that the wind does not rest, simply
means that the moving power works perpetually, and
does not imply rest and motion such as are proper to
bodies. Further, their saying that it does not slacken
means that it is free from all kinds of accidents ; for
slackening and weakening only occur in such bodies or Page 141.
beings which are composed of elements of conflicting

The expression that the two poles kee23 the sphere of on the two
the fixed stars (p. 278) means that they keep or pre- the sphere.
serve it in its normal state of motion, not that they
keep or preserve it from falling down. There is a story
of an ancient Greek who thought that once upon a time
the Milky Way had been a road of the sun, and that
afterwards he had left it. Such a thing would mean
that the motions ceased to be normal, and to something
like this the expression of the poles keeping the sphere of
the fixed stars may be referred.

The phrase of Balabhadra about the ending of the onthe
motion (that it ends with a kalpa, &c., p. 279) means nature of
that everything which exists and may be determined
arithmetically has no doubt an end, for two reasons :
first, because it has a beginning, for every number
consists of one and its reduplications, whilst the one
itself exists before all of them ; and, secondly, because
part of it exists in the present moment of time, for if
days and nights increase in number through the con¬
tinuation of existence, they must necessarily have a
beginning whence they started. If a man maintains
that time does not exist in the sphere (as one of its
immanent qualities), and thinks that day and night
have only a relative existence, exist only in relation to
the earth and its inhabitants, that if, e.g., the earth were
taken away out of the midst of the world, also night
and day would cease to exist as well as the possibility
of measuring elements composed of days, he would
thereby impose upon  Balabhadra the  necessity of a
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