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

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



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  Page 348  

348                       ALBERUNPS INDIA.

Oniuni-           The  Hindus   call   the   conjunction   amdvdsyd,   the

calculation, opposition puruimd, and the two quarters ATVH (?).
Some of them use the lunar year with lunar mouths
and days, whilst others use the lunar year but solar
months, beginning with o degree of each zodiacal sign.
The sun's entering a sign is called sankrdnti. This
luni-solar calculation is, however, only an approxima¬
tive one. If they constantly used it, they would soon
feel induced to adopt the solar year itself and solar
months. In using this mixed system they had only
this advantage, that they could dispense with inter¬
Beginning Thoso who usc lunar months begin the month with
month. conjunction or new moon, and this method is the canoni¬
cal one, whilst the others begin it with the opposition or
full moon. I have heard people say that Varahamihira
does the latter, but I have not yet been able to ascer¬
tain this from his books. The latter method is for¬
bidden. Still it seems as if it were rather old, because
the Veda says : " Men say the moon has become com¬
plete, and by her becoming complete also the month
has become complete. Thus they speak because they
do not know me nor the interpretation of me, for the
Creator of the world commenced creating with the white
half, not with the black half." But possibly these words
are only a saying of men (not really a sentence taken
from the Veda).
The month The numeration of the days of the month begins with
two'haives. the ucw moon and the first lunar day is called BRBA,
and again enumeration begins with full moon (i.e. they
count twice fifteen days, beginning with new moon and
full moon). Each two days which are equidistant from
new moon or full moon have the same name (or num¬
ber). In them, light and darkness on the body of the
moon are in corresponding phases of increasing and
waning, and the hours of the rising of the moon in one
day correspond to the hours of her setting in the other.
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