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

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



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Vulgar and
notions on
the sleep of

cession of motion and rest iu the world during such a
period, is considered as applying only to existence, not
to non-existence, since during it the piece of clay exists
and, besides, also its shape. The life of Brahman is only
a clay for that being who is above him, i.e. Purusha (cf.
chap. XXXV.). When he dies all compounds are dissolved
during his night, and in consequence of the annihilation
of the compounds, that also is suspended which kept
him (Brahman) within the laws of nature. This, then,
is the rest of Purusha, and of all that is under his
control (lit. and of his vehicles).

When common people describe these things, they
make the night of Brahman follow after the night of
Purusha ; and as Purusha is the name for a man, they
attribute to him sleeping and waking. They derive
destruction from his snoring, in consequence of which
all things that hang together break asunder, and
everything standing is drowned in the sweat of his
forehead. And more of the like they produce, things
which the mind declines to accept and the ear refuses
to hear.

Therefore the educated Hindus do not share these
opinions (regarding the waking and sleeping of Brah¬
man), for they know the real nature of sleep. They know
that the body, a compound of antipathetic humores,
requires sleep for the purpose of resting, and for this
purpose that all which nature requires, after being
wasted, should be duly replaced. So, in consequence
of the constant dissolution, the body requires food in
order to replace that which had been lost by emacia¬
tion. Further, it requires cohabitation for the purpose
of perpetuating the species by the body, as without
cohabitation the species would die out. Besides, the
body requires other things, evil ones, but necessary,
while simple substances can dispense with them, as
also He can who is above them, like to whom there is
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