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

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



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  Page 320  




The notions
of Hindu
phers on

notion of time, which is a necessary postulate of the
existing world.

Further, there are living beings in the existing world.
Therefore we must assume the existence of the soul.
Among these living beings there are intelligent ones,
capable of carrying the arts to the highest perfection ;
and this compels us to assume the existence of a
Creator, who is wise and intelligent, who establishes
and arranges everything in the best possible manner,
and inspires people with the force of intelligence for
the purpose of liberation.

On the other hand, some sophists consider eternity
and time as one and the same thing, and declare the
motion which serves to measure time alone to be finite.

Another one declares eternity to be the circular
motion. No doubt this motion is indissolubly con¬
nected with that being which moves by it, and which
is of the most sublime nature, since it lasts for ever.
Thereupon he rises in his argumentation from the
moving being to its mover, and from the moving mover
to the first mover who is motionless.

This kind of research is very subtle and obscure.
But for this, the opinions would not differ to such an
extent that some people declare that there is no time
at all, while others declare that time is an independent
substance. According to Alexander of Aphrodisias,
Aristotle gives in his book cjiva-iKy) aKpoaa-fs the follow¬
ing argumentation : " Everything moving is moved by
a mover;" and Galenus says on the same subject that
he could not understand the notion of time, much less
prove it.

The theory of the Hindus on this subject is rather
poor in thought and very little developed. Varahami¬
hira says in the opening of his book Sarhhitd, when
speaking of that which existed from all eternity: "It
has been said in the ancient books that the first
primeval thing was  darkness, which is not identical
  Page 320