Brihat Samhita

by N. Chidambaram Iyer | 1884 | 135,584 words | ISBN-13: 9788171104215

This page describes the sword (khadga-lakshana) which is the fiftieth Chapter of the English translation of the Brihat-samhita. This work, written by Varahamihira in the 6th century, is classified as jyotisha literature, also known as Indian astronomy. It contains however, also content regarding astrology, palmistry, agriculture, gardening, perfumes, medicines and various other encyclopedic topics.

Chapter 50 - On the Sword (khaḍga-lakṣaṇa)

1. A sword 50 digits long is a good one and one 25 digits long is a bad one: the measurement is to he made by means of the inch scale. Marks at the odd digits would produce evil.

2. Marks along the back of the sword (khaḍga) of the shape of the Bilva tree, a platter, an umbrella, a Śivaliṅga, pendants, a lotus, a banner and a weapon of war. are indicative of prosperity.

3. Marks of the shape of a lizard, a crow, a heron, a hawk, a headless trunk and a scorpion are indicative of evil.

4. A sword that is broken, or short, or blunt, or split at the back, or ill-formed or without sound, is indicative of evil; if otherwise it indicates good luck.

5. If the sword should sound like lyre, the king would die; if it should come out of the sheath of itself, the king would be defeated in battle: if it should move forward of itself, there would be wars in the land; and if it should appear to shine brilliantly, there would be success in battle.

6. The sword (khaḍga) shall not be taken out for no purpose; nor shall it be rubbed against a substance, nor shall its edge be looked at, nor its price stated, nor the place of its manufacture mentioned, nor shall it be compared to anything, nor shall it be touched by a person who is impure.

7. That is a good sword which resembles the tongue of the cow, or the petal of the blue lotus or the leaf of the bamboo or asafoetida, or one whose end is pointed like the end of a spear or round.

8. After making a sword of the prescribed dimensions, it shall be rubbed against a whetstone that it may not be broken. If it should break about the hilt, the master would die, and if about the end, his mother would die.

9. If there be a mark in the handle of the sword, there will also be a mark in the sword itself just as a spot on the face of a woman indicates the presence of a spot on her private part.

10. If a swordsman appear before an astrologer, the latter shall determine the marks of the sword from the particular parts of his body which the swordsman may happen to touch.

11. If the part of the body touched should be the head, there would be a mark in the first inch of the sword; if it be the forehead, there would be a mark in the 2nd inch; if the eyebrows, there would be a mark in the 3rd inch; and if it should be the eye, there would be a mark in the 4th inch.

12. If the part touched should be the nose, the lips, the cheek, the chin, the ears, the neck, the shoulders, the breast, or the armpit, then there would be marks on the sword in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, or 13th inch respectively.

13. If the part touched should be the nipple, the heart, the belly, the abdomen, the navel, its root the lower belly, the hips, or the privity, then there would be marks on the sword in the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19lh, 20th, or21st inch respectively.

14. If the part touched should be the two thighs, their middle parts, the knees, or the shanks, there would be marks on the sword in the 22,nd 23rd, 24th or 25th inch respectively.

16. The marks in the several digits of the sword from the first to the 5th indicate respectively the death of the son, acquisition of wealth, loss of wealth, prosperity and confinement.

17. The marks in the several digits from the 6th to the 13th indicate respectively the birth of a son, dissensions, the getting of an elephant, the death of a son, the acquisition of wealth, the loss of wealth, the getting of a wife and mental pain or grief.

18. The marks in the several digits from the 14th to the 21st indicate respectively gain, loss, gain of a wife, torture, increase, death, joy and loss of wealth.

19. The marks in the several digits from the 22nd to the 30th indicate respectively the acquisition of wealth, ill health, acquisition of wealth again, death, wealth, poverty, wealth again, death again and sovereign power.

20. Maries beyond the first 30 digits do not signify much. Generally marks on the odd digits indicate evil and marks in the even digits indicate good. According to some, marks beyond the first 30 digits do not signify anything at all.

22. If the sword (khaḍga) should smell like the tortoise, serum, blood, or salt, it indicates fear and grief. If the sword should appear bright as Vaidūrya, gold or lightning, it indicates increased success and health.

23. The following methods of tempering swords and cutting instruments are taken from the works of Śukra: He who desires bright prosperity shall temper the weapon in blood; he who desires an excellent son shall temper the weapon in ghee; and he who desires great wealth shall temper it in water.

24. If the weapon be tempered in the blood of the mare, a she camel or a she elephant, there will be acquisition of wealth by wicked deeds; if it be tempered in the fat of the fish, or in the milk of the deer, or of the horse, or of the goat, or in the juice of the palm fruit, the weapon will become so strong that the trunk of the elephant can be cut with it.

25. After smearing oil over the weapon there shall be smeared over it again a preparation or mixture of the black powder of the burnt horn of the ram, the excrement of the turtle dove and of the rat, and the milk or juice of the plant calotropis gigantic, the weapon shall then be tempered in any of the ways described. It will not break at all when rubbed against the whetstone.

26. Salt shall be dissolved in the juice of the plantain and the juice shall be kept so for a day; if the weapon be tempered in it the next day, it will not break when rubbed against the whetstone, and no other metal can injure it in any way.