Alberuni's India : An Account of the Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Geography, Chronology, Astronomy, Customs, Laws and Astrology of India about AD 1030 (Vol I & II in one)

Edward C. Sachau, Munshiram Manoharlal, 2001, 839 p, li, ISBN : 8121505623, $60.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Alberuni's India : An Account of the Religion, Philosophy,  Literature, Geography, Chronology, Astronomy, Customs, Laws and Astrology of India about AD 1030/Edward C. Sachau

Contents: Vol. I: 1. On the Hindus in general, as an introduction to our account of them. 2. On the belief of the Hindus in God. 3. On the Hindu belief as to created things, both "intelligibilia" and "sensibilia". 4. From what cause action originates, and how the soul is connected with matter. 5. On the state of the souls, and their migrations through the world in the metempsychosis. 6. On the different worlds, and on the places of retribution in Paradise and hell. 7. On the nature of liberation from the world, and on the path leading thereto. 8. On the different classes of created beings, and on their names. 9. On the castes, called, "colours" (varna), and on the classes below them. 10. On the source of their religious and civil law, on prophets, and on the question whether single laws can be abrogated or not. 11. About the beginning of idol-worship, and a description of the individual idols. 12. On the Veda, the Puranas, and the other kinds of their national literature. 13. Their grammatical and metrical literature. 14. Hindu literature in the other sciences--astronomy, astrology, etc. 15. Notes on Hindu  metrology, intended to facilitate the understanding of all kinds of measurements which occur in this book. 16. Notes on the writing of the Hindus, on their arithmetic and related subjects, and on certain strange manners and customs of theirs. 17. On Hindu sciences which prey on the ignorance of people. 18. Various notes on their country, their rivers, and their ocean-itineraries of the distances between their several kingdoms, and between the boundaries of their country. 19. On the names of the planets, the signs of the zodiac, the lunar stations, and related subjects. 20. On the Brahmanda. 21. Description of earth and heaven according to the religious views of the Hindus, based upon their traditional literature. 22. Traditions relating to the pole. 23. On mount Meru according to the belief of the authors of the Puranas and of others. 24. Traditions of the Puranas regarding each of the seven Dvipas. 25. On the rivers of India, their sources and courses. 26. On the shape of heaven and earth according to the Hindu astronomers. 27. On the first two motions of the universe (that from east to west according to ancient astronomers, and the procession of the equinoxes) both according to the Hindu astronomers and the authors of the Puranas. 28. On the definition of the ten directions. 29. Definition of the inhabitable earth according to the Hindus. 30. On Lanka, on the cupola of the earth. 31. On that difference of various places which we call the difference of longitude. 32. On the notions of duration and time in general, and on the creation of the world and its destruction. 33. On the various kinds of the day or nychthemeron, and on day and night in particular. 34. On the division of the nychthemeron into minor particles of time. 35. On the different kinds of months and years. 36. On the four measures of time called Mana. 37. On the parts of the month and the year. 38. On the various measures of time composed of days, the life of Brahman included. 39. On measures of time which are larger than the life of Brahman. 40. On the Samdhi, the interval between two periods of time, forming the connecting link between them. 41. Definition of the terms "Kalpa" and "Caturyuga" and an explication of the one by the other. 42. On the division of the Caturyuga into Yugas, and the different opinions regarding the latter. 43. A description of the four Yugas, and of all that is expected to take place at the end of the fourth Yuga. 44. On the Manvantaras. 45. On the constellation of the great bear. 46. On Narayana, his appearance at different times, and his names. 47. On Vasudeva and the wars of the Bharata. 48. An explanation of the measure of an Akshauhini.

Vol. II: 49. A summary description of the eras. 50. How many star-cycles there are both in a "Kalpa" and in a "Caturveda". 51. An explanation of the terms "Adhimasa", "Unaratra and the "Aharganas" as representing different sums of days. 52. On the calculation of "Ahargana" in general, that is, the resolution of years and months into days, and, vice versa, the composition of years and months out of days. 53. On the Ahargana, or the resolution of years into months, according to special rules which are adopted in the calendars for certain dates or moments of time. 54. On the computation of the mean places of the planets. 55. On the order of the planets, their distances and sizes. 56. On the stations of the moon. 57. On the heliacal risings of the stars, and on the ceremonies and rites which the Hindus practise at such a moment.  58. How ebb and flow follow each other in the ocean. 59. On the solar and lunar eclipses. 60. On the parvan. 61. On the dominants of the different measures of time in both religious and astronomical relations, and on connected subjects. 62. On the sixty years-Samvatsara, also called "Shashtyabda". 63. On that which especially concerns the Brahmans, and what they are obliged to do during their whole life. 64. On the rites and customs which the other castes, besides the Brahmans, practise during their lifetime. 65. On the sacrifices. 66. On Pilgrimage and the visiting of sacred places. 67. On alms, and how a man must spend what he earns. 68. On what is allowed and forbidden in eating and drinking. 69. On matrimony, the menstrual courses, embryos, and childbed. 70. On lawsuits. 71. On punishments and expiations. 72. On inheritance, and what claim the deceased person has on its. 73. About what is due to the bodies of the dead and of the living (that is, about burying  and suicide). 74. On fasting, and the various kinds of it. 75. On the determination of the fast-days. 76. On the festivals and festive days. 77. On days which are held in special veneration, on lucky and unlucky times, and on such times as are particularly favourable for acquiring in them bliss in heaven. 78. On the karanas. 79. On the Yogas. 80. On the introductory principles of Hindu astrology, with a short description of their methods of astrological calculations.

"Alberuni, or as his compatriots called him, Abu Raihan was a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazani, the leading monarch of Asian history in between AD 997-1030. Alberuni has left behind a monumental account in Arabic in the form of Tahqiq ma Iil-Hind (AD 1030), more usually known in English as his India or Indica. While the ruthless conqueror Mahmud was harrying India by fire and sword destroying and plundering its cities and temples, the great Arabic scholar engaged himself in studying the culture and civilization of the country. He has included in his account the religion, philosophy, literature, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geography, customs, laws and astrology of the Brahmanical India. He had written his India or Indica with a view to make familiar anyone about India who wants to converse with the Hindus, and to discuss with them questions on religion, science or literature, on the basis of his own civilization. It can be visualized from his account that he was conscious of not allowing a place to the religious enthusiasm, bordering on fanaticism and the racial superiority complex in his survey and due to this character the account made by Alberuni has proved to be the best among the records made by the foreigners.

The editor, Dr. Edward Sachau has done a great service to the scholarly world by translating in English the original account of Indica by Alberuni. He has translated the original Arabic text with commendable amount of accuracy alongwith detailed annotations on the important Arabic words used and the indices at the end. This book is an indispensable source work to the scholars researching on ancient India." (jacket)

Copyright 1996-2013 Vedamsbooks. All rights reserved