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

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



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  Page 328  

328                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Page 167. night as the second, part of the nychthemeron. There¬
fore they call the former Sdvana, i.e. a day depending
on the rising of the sun. Besides, they call it Manu-
shydhordtra, i.e. a human day, because, in fact, the great
mass of their people do not know any other kind of day
but this. Now, assuming the Sdvana to be known to
the reader, we shall in the following use it as a standard
and gauge, in order thereby to determine all the other
kinds of days.

Day of the After the human clay follows Pitrindm ahordtra, i.e.
the nychthemeron of the forefathers, whose spirits,
according to the belief of the Hindus, dwell in the
sphere of the moon. Its day and night depend upon
light and darkness, not upon the rising and setting in
relation to a certain horizon. When the moon stands
in the highest parts of the sphere with reference to
them, this is a day to them ; and when it stands in the
lowest parts, it is night to them. Evidently their moon
is the time of conjunction or full moon, and their mid¬
night is opposition or new moon. Therefore the nych¬
themeron of the forefathers is a complete lunar month,
the day beginning at the time of half-moon, when the
light on the moon's body begins to increase, and the
night beginning at the time of half-moon, when her
light begins to wane. This follows of necessity from
the just-mentioned determination of the noon and mid¬
night of the nychthemeron of the forefathers. Besides,
it may be brought near to the reader by a comparison,
as the bright half of the light on the moon's body may
be compared to the rising of half of the globe of the
sun over the horizon, and the other half's setting below
the horizon. The day of this nychthemeron extends
from the last quarter of a month to the first quarter of
the succeeding month ; the night from the first to the
second quarter of one identical month. The totality
of these two halves is the nychthemeron of the fore¬
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