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

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



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CHAPTER XXXIV.                         341

hands will fall off. Thereupon they put the child to
the bosom of each of those who were present, and when
it came to be touched by Vasudeva, the two hands fell
off, as had been prophesied. Now the aunt spoke
to him, "Assuredly you will one day kill my child ;"
whereupon Vasudeva, who was still a child, answered,
"I shall not do that except he deserve it for some
crime committed intentionally, and I shall not call him
to account until his misdeeds exceed ten."

Some time afterwards Yudhishthira was occupied
with preparing a sacrifice to the fire in the presence of
the most famous personages. He consulted Vyasa as
to the rank of the guests present and the honours due
to the president of such an assembly, consisting in the
presentation of water and roses in a cup, and Vyasa
advised him to make Vasudeva the president. In this
assembly also Sisupala, his cousin, was present, and
now he began to rage, maintaining that he had a better
claim to such an honour than Vasudeva. He boasted
much and went even so far as to abuse the parent of
Vasudeva. The latter called the present company to
witness as to his bad behaviour, and let him do as he
liked. However, when the affair lasted too long, and
passed beyond the number of ten (muhilrtas), Vasudeva
took the cup and threw it at him, as people throw with
the cakra, and cut off his head. This is the story of

He who wants to prove the above-mentioned theory criticisms
(like Pulisa, viz. that the muhurtas are thirty equal
parts of the nychthemeron), will not succeed unless
he prove that the abhijit falls together with noon and
with the middle of the eighth muliurta (so that the
day consists of twice seven and a half equal muhurtas,
and likewise the night). As long as he does not prove
this, the muhilrtas differ in length as days and nights,
though just in India only very little, and it is possible
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