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The glorious sun, Maitreya, darts, like an arrow, on his southern course, attended by the constellations of the Zodiac. He causes the difference between* day and night, and is the divine vehicle and path of the sages who have overcome the inflictions of the world. Whilst the sun, who is the discriminator of all hours, shines, in one continent, in midday, in the opposite Dwipas, Maitreya, it will be midnight. Rising and setting are at all seasons, and are always (relatively) opposed in the different cardinal and intermediate points of the horizon. When the sun becomes visible to any people, to them he is said to rise; when he disappears from their view, that is called his setting. There is, in truth, neither rising nor setting of the sun; for he is always: and these terms merely imply his presence and his disappearance. +
* Read, rather, 'distribution of', vyavasthána.
+ दिवसस्य रविर्मध्ये सर्वकालं व्यवस्थितः ।
सर्वदीपेषु मैत्रेय निशार्धस्य च संमुखः ॥
यैर्यत्र दृश्यते भास्वान्स तेषामुदयः स्मृतः।
उदयास्तमनाख्ये हि दर्शनादर्शने रवेः॥ ‘The sun is stationed, for all time, in the middle of the day, and over against midnight in all the dwipas, Maitreya. But, the rising and the setting of the sun being perpetually opposite to each other, -and, in the same way, all the cardinal points, and so the cross-points,-Maitreya, people speak of the rising of the sun where they see it; and, where the sun disappears, there, to them, is his setting. Of the sun, which is always in one and the same place, there is neither setting nor rising ; for what are called rising and setting are only the seeing and the not
When the sun (at midday) passes over either of the cities of the gods (on the Mánasottara mountain-at the cardinal points), his light extends to three cities and two intermediate points:* when situated in an intermediate point, he illuminates two of the cities and three intermediate points t (in either case, one hemisphere). From the period of his rise, the sun moves with increasing rays until noon, when he proceeds towards his setting with rays diminishing (that is, his heat increases or diminishes in proportion as he advances to, or recedes from, the meridian of any place). The east and west quarters are so called from the sun's rising and setting there. As far as the sun shines in front, so far he shines behind and on either hand, illuminating all places except the summit of Meru, the mountain of the immortals: for, when his rays reach the court of Brahmá, which is there situated, they are repelled and driven back by the overpowering radiance which there prevails. Consequently, there is always
| The terms Púrva and Apara mean, properly, 'before' and 'behind:' but before' naturally denotes the east, either because men, according to a text of the Vedas, spontaneously face, as if to welcome, the rising sun, or because they are enjoined by the laws so to do. When they face the rising sun, the west is, of course, behind them. The same circumstance determines the application of the term Dakshina, properly “right,' DEGLÒS, or “dexter,' to the south. Uttara, 'other' or 'last,' necessarily implies the north.
seeing the sun.'
The heliocentricism taught in this passage, but not brought out in the former translation, is remarkable. It is contradicted, however, a little further on. * Vikarna.
the alternation of day and night, according as the divisions of the continent lie in the northern (or southern) quarter, or inasmuch as they are situated north (or south) of Meru.1*
This is rather obscure; but it is made out clearly enough in the commentary and in the parallel passages in the Váyu, Matsya, Linga, Kúrma, and Bhagavata. † The sun travels round the world, keeping Meru always on his right. To the spectator who fronts him, therefore, as he rises, Meru must be always on the north; and, as the sun's rays do not penetrate beyond the centre of the mountain, the regions beyond, or to the north of it, must be in darkness, whilst those on the south of it must be in light: north and south being relative, not absolute, terms, depending upon the position of the spectator with regard to the sun and to Meru. So the commentator: मेहं प्रदक्षिणीकुर्वन्तं सूर्य ये यत्र पश्यन्ति सा च तेषां प्राची तेषां च वामभाग एव मेरुः । अतः सर्वेषां सर्वदा मेरुरत्तरतः एव । दक्षिणभागे च लोकालोकाचलः । तस्मादु
TeI ff HET TETTUR T HET FETA 1 # It was,
• तस्माद्दिश्युत्तरस्यां वै दिवा रात्रिः सदैव हि।
सर्वेषां द्वीपवर्षाणां मेररत्तरतो यतः॥ "To the north of Meru there is, therefore, always night during day in other regions ; for Meru is north of all the dwipas and varshas.'
It may be enough to refer to the Bhagavata-purána, V., XXII., 2, where it is said, according to Burnouf's translation: “Le sage dit: Tout comme les fourmis et autres insectes, placés sur une roue de potier qui tourne, tournent avec elle et suivent en même temps des directions qui leur sont propres, puisqu'on les trouve sur divers points; ainsi le soleil et les autres planètes, placés sur la roue du Temps qui a pour attributs les signes et les Nakchatras, tournent avec elle autour de Dhruva et de Mêru, en les laissant à leur droite, et marchent d'un mouvement qui leur est propre, puisqu'on les voit dans un Nakchatra ou dans un signe différent."
This is from the smaller commentary, which adds, by way of a second explanation : HTTatfabeti nje pergarai yratमुत्तरस्यां दिशि वामभागे मेरोरेकतः सदा दिनमन्यतश्च सदा रात्रिर्दक्षिणभागे तु सदा दिनमेवेत्यर्थादुक्तं भवति ।
The radiance of the solar orb, when the sun has set, is accumulated in fire; and hence fire is visible at a greater distance by night (than by day). During the latter, a fourth of the rays of fire blend with those of the sun; and, from their union, the sun shines with greater intensity by day. Elemental light, and heat derived from the sun or from fire, blending with each other, mutually prevail in various proportions, both by day and night. * When the sun is present either in the southern or the northern hemisphere, day or night retires into the waters, according as they are invaded by darkness or light. † It is from this cause that the
probably, through some misapprehension of this doctrine, that Major Wilford asserted : “By Meru they”—the Pauráńiks—“understand, in general, the north pole; but the context of the Puranas is against this supposition.” Asiatic Researches, Vol. VIII., p. 286. There is no inconsistency, however, in Meru's being absolutely in the centre of the world, and relatively north to the inhabitants of the several portions, to all of whom the east is that quarter where the sun first appears, and the other quarters are thereby regulated.
* All my MSS. read thus :
तेजसी भास्कराये प्रकाशोष्णस्वरूपिणी।
परस्परानुप्रवेशादाप्यायेते दिवानिशम् ॥ "The two lustres,-that of the sun and that of fire,-consisting of light and heat, owing to mutual penetration, become intensified during the day and during the night, respectively.'
+ दक्षिणोत्तरभूम्यधैं समुत्तिष्ठति भास्करे।
अहोरात्रं विशत्यम्भस्तमःप्राकाश्यशीलवत् ॥ : "When the sun is present in the southern hemisphere, or in the northern, day and night enter the water, possessed, respectively, of the nature of light and of that of darkness.'
So the commentators, and rightly, in obedience to a law of Sanskrit grammar. See Páńini, II., II., 34.
waters look dark by day, because night is within them; and they look white by night, because, at the setting of the sun, the light of day takes refuge in their bosom.1*
When the sun has travelled in the centre of Pushkara a thirtieth part of (the circumference of) the globe, his course is equal, in time, to one Muhúrta;? and, whirling round, like the circumference of the wheel of a potter, he distributes day and night upon the earth. In the commencement of his northern course, the sun passes to Capricornus, thence to Aqua
1 Similar notions are contained in the Vayu.t
2 The sun travels at the rate of one-thirtieth of the earth's circumference in a Muhúrta — or 31.50.000 Yojanas; making the
आताम्रा हि भवन्त्यापो दिवा नक्तप्रवेशनात् ।।