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

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



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  Page 171  

CHAPTER LXXIIL                          171

the habit of committing suicide by climbing up the tree
and throwing themselves into the Ganges.

Johannes Grammaticus  relates that certain people Greek
in ancient Greek heathendom, "whom I call the wor¬
shippers of the devil "—so he says—used to beat their
limbs with swords, and to throw themselves into the
fire, without feeling any pain therefrom.

As we have related this as a view of the Hindus not
to commit suicide, so also Socrates speaks : " Likewise
it does not become a man to kill himself before the
gods give him a cause in the shape of some compulsion
or dire necessity, like that in which we now are."

Further he says : " We human beings are, as it were,
in a prison. It does not behove us to flee nor to free
ourselves from it, because the gods take notice of us,
since we, the human beings, are servants to them."
  Page 171