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

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



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CHAPTER XLVI.                            397

rule." But the king was so excited that he did not
mind the words of Venus, and asked Vamana what
was his desire. Thereupon Vamana said, "As much
as four paces of thy realm, that I may live there."
The king answered, " Choose what you wish, and how
you wish it;" and according to Hindu custom, he
ordered water to be brought to pour it over his hands
as a sign of the confirmation of the order he had given.
Now Venus, because of her love to the king, brought
in the jug, but had corked the spout, so that no water
should flow out of it, whilst she closed the hole in the
cork with the kusa grass of her ring-finger. But Venus page 199.
had only one eye ; she missed the hole, and now the
water flowed out. In consequence, Vamana made a
pace towards east, another towards west, and a third
towards above as far as Svarloka. As for the fourth
pace, there was no more space in the world; he made,
by the fourth pace, the king a slave, putting his foot
between his shoulders as a sign of making him a slave.
He made him sink down into the earth as far as Patala,
the lowest of the low. He took the worlds away from
him, and handed the rule over to Purariidara.

The following occurs in the Vislmu-Burdna :■—           Quotation

" The King Maitreya asked Parasara about the yugas. vi^nu-
So the latter answered: ' They exist for the purpose ■^^™^*-
that Vishnu should occupy himself with something in
them. In the Kritayuga he comes in the shape of
Kapila alone, for the purpose of spreading wisdom ;
in Tretayuga, in the shape of Rama alone, for the pur¬
pose of spreading fortitude, to conquer the bad, and to
preserve the three worlds by force and the prevalence
of virtuous action ; in Dvapara, in the shape of Vyasa,
to divide the Veda into four parts, and to derive
many branches from it. In the end of Dvapara he
appears in the shape of Vasudeva to destroy the giants ;
in the Kaliyuga, in the shape of Kali, the son of
J-sh-v (?) the Brahman, to kill all, and to make the
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