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

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



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182                           ALBERUNTS INDIA.

source of the iust-mentioned river (Vitasta-Jailam), in
the middle of the month Vaisakha. The latter version
is the more likely, as about this time the waters begin
to increase. The matter-reminds one of the wood in
the river of Jurjan, which appears at the time when the
water swells in its source.

The same Jivasarman relates that in the country of
Svat, opposite the district of Kiri (?), there is a valley
in which fifty-three streams unite. It is called Trctnjdi
(cf. Sindhi trSvanjdha,). In those two days the water
of this valley becomes white, in consequence of Maha-
deva's washing in it, as people believe.
istKart-          The  1st Karttika,   or   new   moon's   day, when the

^^^'^'           sun marches in Libra, is called Dibdli.    Then people

bathe, dress festively, make presents to each other of
betel-leaves and areca-nuts ; they ride to the temples
to give alms and play merrily with each other till noon.
In the night they light a great number of lamps in
every place so that the air is perfectly clear. The
cause of this festival is that Lakshmt, the wife of Vasu¬
deva, once a year on this day liberates Bali, the son of
Virocana, who is a prisoner in the seventh earth, and
allows him to go out into the world. Therefore the
festival is called Bctlirdjyct, i.e. the principality of Bali.
The Hindus maintain that this time was a time of
luck in the Kritayuga, and they are happy because
the feast-day in question resembles that time in the

In the same month, when full moon is perfect, they
give banquets and adorn their women during all the
days of the black half.

3_rd Marga-       The 3rd Margasirsha, called Guvdoia-bdtrij (------■ tri-

tiyd ?), is a feast of the women, sacred to Gauri. They
meet in the houses of the rich among them ; they put
several silver statues of the goddess on a throne, and
perfume it and play with each other the whole day.
On the following morning they give alms.
  Page 182