Brihat Samhita

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

This page describes chowries (camara-lakshana) which is the seventy-second 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 72 - On Chowries (cāmara-lakṣaṇa)

Note: The bushy tail of the Bos grunniens is used as a fan and as one of the insignia of royalty.

1. Expressly for the use made of their tail the Cāmarī deer (Bos grunniens) appears to have been created in the caves of the Himālayas, the hair growing at the end of their tail is either white or black or yellow.

2. If the hair be glossy, much in quantity, soft, pure, white, and with a small bone at the root, the Cāmara is one of a superior kind; but if the hair be knotty, split, broken or small in quantity, the Cāmara will not conduce to prosperity.

3. The length of the handle shall be either a cubit and a half or a cubit or four digits less than a cubit. It shall be made of wood and covered with gold or silver set with gems and precious stones. Such a Cāmara will conduce to the prosperity of the king.

4. The beam or the shaft or the handle, as the case may be, of the lute, the umbrella, the elephant driver’s hook, the cane, the bow, the canopy, shall be yellow, red, of the colour of the honey, and black in the case of the Brāhmaṇas, Kṣatriyas, Vaiśyas and Śūdras respectively.

5. If the handle contain two, four, six, eight, ten or twelve joints, the effects will respectively be the death of a person’s mother, loss of lands, of wealth and of family, disease or death.