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

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 326  




Aleranshahri records a tradition, as representing the
belief of the Buddhists, which much resembles the silly
tales just mentioned. On the sides of Mount Meru
there are four worlds, which are alternately civilised or
desert. A world becomes desert when it is overpowered
by the fire, in consequence of the rising of seven suns,
one after the other, over it, when the water of the
fountains dries up, and the burning fire becomes so
strong as to penetrate into the world. A world becomes
civilised when the fire leaves it and migrates to another
world ; after it has left, a strong wind rises in the world,
drives the clouds, and makes them rain, so that the
world becomes like an ocean. Out of its foam shells
are produced, with which the souls are connected, and
out of these human beings originate when the water
has sunk into the ground. Some Buddhists think that
a man comes by accident from the perishing world to
the growing world. Since he feels unhappy on account
of his being alone, out of his thought there arises a
spouse, and from this couple generation commences.
  Page 326