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

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



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  Page 401  

CHAPTER XLVII.                          401

by having too many inhabitants, its ruler—for it has a
ruler, and his all-embracing care is apparent in every
single particle of it—sends it a messenger for the pur¬
pose of reducing the too great number and of cutting
away all that is evil.

A messenger of this kind is, according to the belief sw of the
of the Hindus, Vasudeva, who was sent the last time in vasudeva.
human shape, being called Vasudeva. It was a time
wh'en the giants were numerous on earth and the earth
was full of their oppression ; it tottered, being hardly
able to bear the whole number of them, and it trembled
from the vehemence of their treading. Then there was
born a child in the city of Mathura to Vasudeva by the
sister of Kaihsa, at that time ruler of the town. They
were a Jatt family, cattle-owners, low Siidra people.
Kaihsa had learned, by a voice which he heard at the
wedding of his sister, that he would perish at the hands
of her child; therefore he appointed people who were
to bring him every child of hers as soon as she gave
birth to it, and he killed all her children, both male and
female. Finally, she gave birth to Balabhadra, and
Yasoda, the wife of the herdsman Nanda, took the
child to herself, and managed to keep it concealed from
the spies of Kaihsa. Thereupon she became pregnant
an eighth time, and gave birth to Vdsudeva in a rainy
night of the eighth day of the black half of the month
Bhadrapada, whilst the moon was ascending in the
station Rohini. As the guards had fallen into deep
sleep and neglected the watch, the father stole the
child and brought it to Kandakula, i.e. the stable of the
cows of Nanda, the husband of Yasoda, near Mathura,
but separated from this place by the river Yamuna.
Vasudeva exchanged the child for a daughter of Nanda,
which happened to be born at the moment when Vasu¬
deva arrived with the boy. He brought this female
child to the guards instead of his son. Karhsa, the
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