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

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



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CHAPTER XXVII.                           287

According to him, on this line the day must be longer
than in any other place, whether it be the summer
solstice or another.    All this is unintelligible.

Similar notions are also found in the Vdyu-Purdna, Quotation
viz. " that the day in the south is twelve muJmrta, in vdyu-
the north eighteen, and that the sun between south and
north has a declination of 17,221 yojana in 183 days, i.e.
94{'xg:i) yojana ior each day."

One muhurta is equal to four-fifths of an hour ( = 48
minutes). The sentence of the Vdyu-Purdria applies
to a latitude where the longest day is I4f hours.             page 144.

As regards the numbers of the yojanas mentioned
by the Vdyu-Purdnct, the author means evidently the
portio of the double declination of the sphere. Accord¬
ing to him, the declinatiim is twenty-four degrees;
therefore the yojanas of the whole sphere would be
129,157!-. And the days in which the sun traverses
the double declination are half the solar year, no regard
being had to the fractions of days, which are nearly
five-eighths of a day.

Further, the Vdyu-Purdna says " that the sun in the
north marches slowly during the day and rapidly dur¬
ing the night, and in the south vice versd. Therefore
the day is long in the north, even as much as eighteen
muhurta." This is merely the language of a person
who has not the slightest knowledge of the eastern
motion of the sun, and is not able to measure a day's
arc by observation.

The Vishnu-Dharma says: "The orbit of the Great Quotation
Bear lies under the pole ; under it the orbit of Saturn ; vishnu-
then that of Jupiter; next Mars, the Sun, Venus,
Mercury, and the Moon. They rotate towards the
east like a mill, in a uniform kind of motion which is
peculiar to each star, some of them moving rapidly,
others slowly. Death and life, repeat themselves on
them from eternity thousands of times."

If you examine this statement according to scientific
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