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

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



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MO                        ALBERUNTS INDIA.

What the Brahmans present to the fire to eat is oil and
different cereals—wheat, barley, and rice—which they
throw into the fire. Further, they recite the prescribed
texts of the Veda in case they offer on their own behalf.
However, if they offer in the name of somebody else,
they do not recite anything.
story of the      The Vishnu-Dharma mentions the following tradi-

flre beoom-       •                r\        '                        •             i                                             c     t          i

ing leprous tiou:—Oucc upou a time there was a man of the class
Bharma. ' of the Daityas, powerful and brave, the ruler of a wide
realm called Hiranyaksha. He had a daughter of the
name of Dktsh (?), who was always bent upon worship
and trying herself by fasting and abstinence. Thereby
she had earned as reward a place in heaven. She was
married to Mahadeva. When he, then, was alone with
her and did with her according to the custom of the
Devas, i.e. cohabiting very long and transferring the
semen very slowly, the fire became aware of it and be¬
came jealous, fearing lest the two might procreate a fire
similar to themselves. Therefore it determined to defile
and to ruin them.

When Mahadeva saw the fire, his forehead became
covered with sweat from the violence of his wrath, so
that some of it dropped down to the earth. The earth
drank it, and became in consequence pregnant with
Mars, i.e. Skctndct, the commander of the army of the

Rudra, the destroyer, seized a drop of the semen of
Mahadeva and threw it away. It was scattered in the
interior of the earth, and represents all atom-like sub¬
stances (?).

The fire, however, became leprous, and felt so much
ashamed and confounded that it plunged down into
pdtdla, i.e. the lowest earth. As, now, the Devas missed
the fire, they went out to search for it.

First, the frogs pointed it out to them. The fire, on
seeing the Devas, left its place and concealed itself in
the tree asvattha, laying a curse on the frogs, that they
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