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

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



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CHAPTER LVIII.                           105

the breath and the cessation of its being blown up by
the wind.

Mani has come to a belief like this, after he had
heard from the Hindus that there is a demon in the
sea whose drawing breath and exhaling breath causes
the flow and the ebb.

The educated Hindus determine the daily phases of
the tides by the rising and setting of the moon, the
monthly phases by the increase and waning of the
moon ; but the physical cause of both phenomena is not
understood by them.

It is flow and ebb to which Somanath owes its name Origin of the
(i.e. master of the moon); for the stone (or linga) of ofsoma-
Somanath was originally erected on the coast, a little
less than three miles west of the mouth of the river
Sarsutl, east of the golden fortress Baroi, which had
appeared as a dwelling-place for Vasudeva, not far from
the place where he and his family were killed, and
where they were burned. Each time when the moon
rises and sets, the water of the ocean rises in the flood
so as to cover the place in question. When, then, the
moon reaches the meridian of noon and midnight, the
water recedes in the ebb, and the place becomes again
visible. Thus the moon was perpetually occupied in
serving the idol and bathing it. Therefore the place
was considered as sacred to the moon. The fortress
which contained the idol and its treasures was not
ancient, but was built only about a hundred years ago.

The Vishnu-Purdna says: "The greatest height of Quotation
the water of the flow is 1500 digits." This statement vishnu-
seems rather exaggerated; for if the waves and the
mean height of the ocean rose to between sixty to
seventy yards, the shores and the bays would be more
overflown than has ever been witnessed. Still this is
not entirely improbable, as it is not in itself impossible
on account of some law of nature.

The fact that the just-mentioned fortress is said to
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