Kamsya, Kāṃsya, Kāṃsyā: 18 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Kamsya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Kāṃsya (कांस्य, “bell-metal”) is the name for a variation of ‘metal’ (dhātu/loha) from the sub-group named Miśraloha, according to the Rasaprakāśasudhākara: a 13th century Sanskrit book on Indian alchemy, or, Rasaśāstra. It is also known by its synonym Sauraṣṭra. Bell-metal has no variations.

Source: Indian Journal of History of Science: Rasaprakāśa-sudhākara, chapter 4-5

Kāṃsya (‘bell-metal’) reduced to an ash pacifies vātadoṣa, destroys pramehas. It isalso said here that all types of foods except amla, ghṛta and śāka if put in kāṃsyapātra turns pathya (acceptable to the body).

Source: PMC: Therapeutic potentials of metals in ancient India

Kamsya is another important Misra Loha, an alloy of Copper and Tin known since the period of Samhita Kala. Charaka used this metal to prepare Vasti netra. It is known as Bell Metal or Bronze. According to the descriptions given in Ayurveda Prakasha, there are two varieties of Kamsya viz. Pushpa and Tailika, only the former being acceptable for therapeutic applications. Samples giving a sharp sound (Teekshna Shabdam), soft (Mridu), smooth to touch (Snigdha), slightly grayish (Eshat Shyamalam), clear from impurities (Shubhram/Nirmalam) and turning red on heating (Dahe Raktam) possess the characteristic features of the material preferred for therapeutic purposes. Formulations of ‘Kamsya’ are beneficial in diseases like Krimi, Kusta etc.

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Kāṃsya (कांस्य) refers to a “bell metal pot”, which is mentioned as an item of wealth in order to demonstrate the wicked nature of gambling (durodara), according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.1.17.—Accordingly, “[...] O mistress! where is that gambling rogue of a son, Guṇanidhi? Or let it be. Why should I ask for him? [...] Where is that bell metal pot (kāṃsya) made in the South (dākṣiṇātya)? Where is that copper pot made in Bengal? Where is that ivory casket intended for curios and trinkets? [...]”.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Kāṃsya (कांस्य).—Fit to be a milking vessel and for a gift with a cow.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 16. 26 & 32; 57. 20; 205. 2.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: academia.edu: The Yoga of the Mālinīvijayottaratantra

Kāṃsya (कांस्य) or Kāṃsyatāla or Kaṃsa refers to the “sounds of cymbals” and represents one of the ten kinds of sounds (śabda) according to Jayaratha (author of the 13th century commentary Tantrālokaviveka on Abhinavagupta’s Tantrāloka). Jayaratha cites the Brahmayāmala passage giving this order of the ten sounds (e.g., Kāṃsya).

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)

1) Kāṃsya (कांस्य) refers to “bronze”, representing materials used for the making of images (Hindu icons), as defined in the texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The materials listed in the Āgamas for the making of images are wood, stone, precious gems, metals, terracotta, laterite, earth, and a combination of two or three or more of the materials specified above. Bronze (kāṃsya) and Brass (ārakūṭa or paittala) are used for portable icons.

2) Kāṃsyā (कांस्या) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Kāṃsya forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Ākāśacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the ākāśacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Kāṃsyā] and Vīras are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife. Alternatively, the Ḍākinīs have their own marks and motions according to the taste instead of a small drum and a skull staff.

Source: Shodhganga: Vaisnava Agamas And Visnu Images

Kāṃsya (कांस्य) refers to “icons made of bell-metal”, as defined in treatises such as the Pāñcarātra, Pādmasaṃhitā and Vaikhānasa-āgamas, extensively dealing with the technical features of temple art, iconography and architecture in Vaishnavism.—The Āgamas prescribe the metals and the results. The icon made of different metals brings different results. The icon made of bell-metal (kāṃsya) causes enmity (vidveṣa). [...] According to Atri the icon made of iron, tin, brass, lead and bell metal results in ābhicārika.

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Kāṃsya (कांस्य) or Kāṃsyapātra refers to a “utensil made of bell-metal” (used for food) according to the 17th century Bhojanakutūhala (dravyaguṇāguṇa-kathana), and is commonly found in literature dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā.—Different metallic vessels are described in the text. The vessels/utensils that are made of bell-metal (kāṃsya) have the following dietetic effects: buddhiprada (sharpen intellect), rucya (improves appetite) and raktapittaprasādana (clears the blood and bile).

Ayurveda book cover
context information

Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: academia.edu: The Structure and Meanings of the Heruka Maṇḍala

Kāṃsyā (कांस्या) is the name of a Ḍākinī who, together with the Vīra (hero) named Kāṃsya forms one of the 36 pairs situated in the Ākāśacakra, according to the 10th century Ḍākārṇava chapter 15. Accordingly, the ākāśacakra refers to one of the three divisions of the dharma-puṭa (‘dharma layer’), situated in the Herukamaṇḍala. The 36 pairs of Ḍākinīs [viz., Kāṃsyā] and Vīras are dark blue in color; they each have one face and four arms; they hold a skull bowl, a skull staff, a small drum, and a knife. Alternatively, the Ḍākinīs have their own marks and motions according to the taste instead of a small drum and a skull staff.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

kāṃsya (कांस्य).—& kāṃsyakāra S See kāṃsēṃ & kāṃsāra.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Kāṃsya (कांस्य).—a. [kaṃsāya pānapātrāya hitaṃ kaṃsīyaṃ tasya vikāraḥ yañ chalopaḥ cf. P.IV.3.168] Made of white copper or bellmetal; न पादौ धावयेत्कांस्ये (na pādau dhāvayetkāṃsye) Ms.4.65.

-syam 1 Bell-metal or white copper; Ms.5.114; Y.1.19.

2) A gong of bell-metal; Mb.4.

3) A kind of measure.

-syaḥ -syam A drinking vessel (of brass), a goblet; Śi. 15.81.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāṃsya (कांस्य).—mn.

(-syaḥ-syaṃ) A goblet, a drinking vessel. n.

(-syaṃ) 1. White copper or brass, queen’s metal, any amalgam zinc and copper. 2. A musical instrument, a sort of gong or plate of bell-metal struck with a stick or rod. 3. A measure: see kaṃsa, &c. E. kasi to injure, ṇyat aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāṃsya (कांस्य).—i. e. kaṃsa + ya, I. adj. Made of brass, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 4, 65. Ii. n. 1. Brass, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 5, 114. 2. A drinking vessel, Mahābhārata 2, 1751.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Kāṃsya (कांस्य).—[adjective] brazen; [neuter] brass.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Kāṃsya (कांस्य):—[from kāṃsīya] mf(ā)n. ([from] kaṃsa) consisting of white-copper or bell-metal or brass, [Kātyāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Mahābhārata xiii, 94, 91; Rāmāyaṇa; Manu-smṛti iv, 65]

2) [v.s. ...] n. white-copper or bell-metal or brass, queen’s metal, any amalgam of zinc and copper, [Manu-smṛti v, 114]

3) [v.s. ...] [xi, 167; xii, 62; Yājñavalkya i, 190; Suśruta]

4) [v.s. ...] a drinking vessel of brass, goblet, [Śāṅkhāyana-śrauta-sūtra; Mahābhārata; Rāmāyaṇa]

5) [v.s. ...] n. (ifc. f(ā). ), [Hemādri’s Caturvarga-cintāmaṇi] (cf. [Atharva-veda xviii, 3, 17])

6) [v.s. ...] n. a kind of musical instrument (a sort of gong or plate of bell-metal struck with a stick or rod), [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

7) [v.s. ...] a particular measure of capacity, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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