Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 2)

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



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 66  



words of Markandeya: " Abhijit, the Falling Eagle;
Ard,rd, the Sirius Yemenicus; Bohini, or Aldabaran;
Punarvasu, i.e. the Two Heads of the Twins; Pushya,
Bevctti, Agastya or Canopus, the Great Bear, the master
of Vdyu, the master of Ahirbudhnyct, and the master
of Vctsishtha, each of these stars has a circumfer¬
ence of five yojanas. All the other stars have each
only a circumference of four yojctnas. I do not know
those stars, the distance of which is not measurable.
They have a circumference between four yojctnas and
two kitroh, i.e. two miles. Those which have less cir¬
cumference than two kuroh are not seen by men, but
only by the devas.'"

The Hindus have the following theory regarding the
magnitude of the stars, which is not traced back to any
known authority : "The diameters of the sun and moon
are each 6"/ yojctncts; that of the apsis is lOO ; that of
Venus lo, of Jupiter 9, of Saturn 8, of Mars 7, of Mer¬
cury 7."
[Views of          This is all we have been able to learn of the confused

astronoiners notious of the Hiudus regarding these subjects. We
subjectr"^'^ shall now pass on to the views of the Hindu astro¬
nomers with whom we agree regarding the order of the
planets and other topics, viz. that the sun is the middle
of the planets, Saturn and the moon their two ends,
and that the fixed stars are above the planets. Some
of these things have already been mentioned in the
preceding chapters.

Varahamihira says in the book Sctmhitd : " The moon
is always below the sun, who throws his rays upon her,
and lits up the one half of her body, whilst the other
half remains dark and shadowy like a pot which you
place in the sunshine. The one half which faces the
sun is lit up, whilst the other half which does not face
it remains dark. The moon is watery in her essence,
therefore the rays which fall on her are reflected, as
they are reflected from the water and the mirror towards

from the
Samhitd of
hira, chap.
iv. 1-3.
  Page 66