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

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 283  

CHAPTER XXVlt.                          2§3

moving heavenly bodies before himself, and as they
move in one direction, they must necessarily first stand
opposite one of his hands, and then, moving on, come
to stand opposite his other hand. The direction of this
motion appears to the inhabitants of the two poles just
the very contrary, like the image of a thing in the
water or a mirror, where its directions seem to be ex¬
changed. If the image of a man is reflected by the
water or a mirror, he appears as a different man stand¬
ing opposite to the spectator, his right side opposite to p'ge 142
the left of the spectator, and his left side opposite to
the right of the spectator.

Likewise the inhabitants of places of northern lati¬
tude have the revolving heavenly bodies before them¬
selves towards the south, and the inhabitants of places
of southern latitude have them before themselves
towards the north. To them the motion appears
the same as to the inhabitants of Meru and Vadava¬
mukha. But as regards those living on the equator,
the heavenly bodies revolve nearly above their heads,
so they cannot have them before themselves in any
direction. In reality, however, they deviate a little
from the equator, and in consequence the people there
have a uniform motion before themselves on two sides,
the motion of the northern heavenly bodies from right
to left, and that of the southern bodies from left to
right. So they unite in their persons the faculty of
the inhabitants of the two poles (viz. of seeing the
heavenly bodies moving in different directions), and it
depends entirely upon their will, if they want to see
the stars move from the right to the left or vice

It is the line passing through the zenith of a man
standing on the equator which Brahmagupta means
when he says that it is divided into sixty parts (v. p.

The authors of the Puranas represent heaven as a
  Page 283