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

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



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Page 273.

An exti'aot
on holy
ponds from
the vdyu
and Matsya

Pilgrimages are not obligatory to the Hindus, but
facultative and meritorious. A man sets off to wander
to some holy region, to some much venerated idol or to
some of the holy rivers. He worships in them, worships
the idol, makes presents to it, recites many hymns and
prayers, fasts, and gives alms to the Brahmans, the
priests, and others. He shaves the hair of his head
and beard, and returns home.

The holy much venerated ponds are in the cold
mountains round Meru. The following information
regarding them is found in both the Vdyu and the
Mcttsyct Purdnas:—

" At the foot of Meru there is Arhata (?), a very great
pond, described as shining like the moon. In it origi¬
nates the river Zanba (? Jambu), which is very pure,
flowing over the purest gold.

" Near the mountain Sveta there is the pond Uttara-
manasa, and around it twelve other ponds, each of them
like a lake. Thence come the two rivers Sancli (?) and
Maddhyanda (?), which flow to Kiihpurusha.

"Near the mountain Nila there is the pond pyvcl
(pitanda ?) adorned with lotuses.

'"' Near the mountain Nishadha there is the pond Vish-
liupada, whence comes the river Sarasvati, i.e. Sarsuti.
Besides, the river Gandharvi comes from there.

"In the mountain Kailasa there is the pond Manda,
as large as a sea, whence comes the river Mandakini.
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