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

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



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  Page 145  

CHAPTER LXVI.                            145

the road is never blocked up, because there are so many
terraces, and the ascending person can always turn
aside to another terrace than that on which the descend¬
ing people go. By this arrangement all troublesome
thronging is avoided.

In Multan there is  a pond in which the Hindus on single

'-                 _                                                        holy ponds.

worship by bathing themselves, if they are not pre¬

The Samhitd of Varahamihira relates that in Tane¬
shar there is a pond which the Hindus visit from afar
to bathe in its water. Regarding the cause of this
custom they relate the following:—The waters of all
the other holy ponds visit this particular pond at the
time of an eclipse. Therefore, if a man washes in it,
it is as if he had washed in every single one of all of
them. Then Varahamihira continues : " People say, if
it were not the head (apsis) which causes the eclipse
of sun and moon, the other ponds would not visit this

The ponds become particularly famous for holiness
either because some important event has happened at
them, or because there is some passage in the holy
text   or  tradition   which refers  to  them.    We   have
already quoted words spoken by Saunaka.    Venus had
related them to him on the authority of Brahman, to
whom they had originally been addressed.    In this text
King Bali also is mentioned, and what he would do till
the time when Narayana would plunge him down to
the lowest earth.    In the same text occurs the follow¬
ing passage:—" I do that to him only for this purpose onthein-
that the equality between men, which  he desires to creS;ed^°
realise, shall be done away with, that men shall be theOTi^nof
different in their conditions of life, and that on this A^tradiwra
difference the order of the world is to be based ; further, n°^^*^'
that people shall  turn  away  from   his  worship   and Page 275.
worship me and believe in me.    The mutual assistance
of  civilised  people  presupposes  a  certain  difference

.VOL. II.                                                                        K
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