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

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



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188                           ALBERUNTS INDIA.

Those days are lucky when the planets migrate from
one sign into the other, especially the sun. These times
Samkranti. are Called sctrhhrdnti. The most propitious of them are
the days of the equinoxes and solstices, and of these the
most propitious is the day of the vernal equinox. It is
called bikhll or shibil (vishuvaf as the two sounds sh and
kh may be exchanged for each other, and may also, by
a metctthesis, change their place.

As, however, a planet's entering a new sign does not
require more than a moment of time, and, during it,
people must offer to the fire the offering sdntct (?) with
oil and corn, the Hindus have given a greater extent to
these times, making them begin with the moment when
the eastern edge of the body of the sun touches the
first part of the sign ; reckoning as their middle the
moment when the sun's centre reaches the first part of
the sign, which is in astronomy considered as the time
of the migration (of the planet from one sign to the
other), and reckoning as the end that moment when the
western edge of the sun's body touches the first part
of the sign. This process lasts, in the case of the sun,
nearly two hours.

For the purpose of finding the times in the week

when the sun migrates from one sign to another, they

have several methods, one of which was dictated to me

by Samaya (?).    It is this :—

Method for       Subtract from the Sakakala 847, multiply the re-

the moment maiudcr by 180, and divide the product by 143.    The

kroMti.         quotient you get represents days, minutes, and seconds.

This number is the basis.

If you want to know at what time in the year in
question the sun enters any one of the twelve signs,
you look out the sign in the following table. Take the
number which you find side by side with the sign in
question, and add it to the basis, days to days, minutes
to minutes, seconds to seconds. If the wholes amount
to 7 or more, disregard them, and with the remainder
  Page 188