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

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



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  Page 103  

CHAPTER LVIII.                           103

raised was the stone of Somanath, for soma means the Theidoiof
moon and ndtha means master, so that the whole word
means master of the moon. The image was destroyed
by the Prince Mahmiid—may God be merciful to
him!—A.H. 416. He ordered the upper part to be
broken and the remainder to be transported to his resi¬
dence, Ghaznin, with all its coverings and trappings of
gold, jewels, and embroidered garments. Part of it
has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town,
together with the Cctkrasvdmin, an idol of bronze, that
had been brought from Taneshar. Another part of the
idol from Somanath lies before the door of the mosque
of Ghaznin, on which people rub their feet to clean
them from dirt and wet.

The linga is an image of the penis of Mahadeva. I origin of
have heard the following story regarding it:—" A Rishi, ^ "^^^'
on seeing Mahadeva with his wife, became suspicious
of him, and cursed him that he should lose his penis.
At once his penis dropped, and was as if wiped
off. But afterwards the Rishi was in a position to
establish the signs of his innocence and to confirm
them by the necessary proofs. The suspicion which
had troubled his mind was removed, and he spoke to
him : ' Verily, I shall recompense thee by making the
image of the limb which thou hast lost the object of
worship for men, who thereby will find the road to God,
and come near him.' "

Varahamihira says   about  the  construction of  the Thecon-
linga: "After having chosen a faultless stone for it, the Linga
take it as long as the image is intended to be.    Divide Varsiiiaml-
it into three parts.    The lowest part of it is quad- Bruiatsam-

1                •[• •!                             1                        111                had,, chat).

rangular, as it it were a cube or quadrangular column, ivui. 53.'
The middle part is octagonal, its surface being divided
by four pilasters.    The upper third is round, rounded
off so as to resemble the gland of a penis.

V.  54.—In erecting the figure, place the quadran¬
gular third within the earth, and for the octagonal third
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