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

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



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396                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

name,   and   wanted  to take  it  into his   own   hands.
Narayana came and handed it over to Satakratu, the
performer   of  a  hundred   sacrifices,   and   made   him
story of           Another time he appeared at the end of the sixth

Ball, the son                                                  *- ^

of Virocana. munvautarct, when he killed the King Bali, the son of
Virocana, who ruled the whole world and had Venus
as his vazir. On having heard from his mother that
the time of his father had been much better than his
time, since it was nearer the kritayitga, when people
enjoyed more profound bliss and did not know any
fatigue, he became ambitious and desirous of vying
with his father. Therefore he commenced doing works
of piety, giving presents, distributing money, and per¬
forming sacrifices, which earn the rule of paradise and
earth for him who finishes a hundred of them. When
he was near this term, or had nearly finished the ninety-
ninth sacrifice, the angels began to feel uneasy aud to
fear for their dignity, knowing that the tribute which
men bring them would cease if they stood no longer in
need of them. Now they united and went to Nara¬
yana, asking him to help them. He granted their wish,
and descended to the earth in the shape of Vamana,
i.e. a man whose hands and feet are too short in com¬
parison with his body, and in consequence his figure is
thought to be hideous.

Narayana came to the King Bali whilst he was offer¬
ing, his Brahmans standing round the fires, and Venus,
his vazir, standing before him. The treasure-houses
had been opened and the precious stones had been
thrown out in heaps, to be given as presents and alms.
Now Vamana commenced to recite the Veda like the
Brahmans from that part which is now called Sdmaveda,
in a melancholy, impressive kind of melody, persuading
the king to grant him liberally what he would wish
and demand. Upon this Venus spoke stealthily to him :
" This is Narayana.    He has come to rob thee of thy
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