Brihat Samhita

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

This page describes umbrellas (chatra-lakshana) which is the seventy-third 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 73 - On Umbrellas (chatra-lakṣaṇa)

1-2. The king’s umbrella (chatra) shall be made of the feathers of the swan, the gallineous fowl; the peacock and the crane, covered with a new white silk and hung with lines of pearls all round; the handle shall be set with crystal; the shaft shall be 6 cubits long, made of gold, and shall contain seven or nine joints.

3. The length of the radius of the umbrella shall be half the length of the shaft; the several joints shall be firm and the umbrella shall be raised at the centre; such an umbrella will bring success and prosperity to the king.

4. The umbrellas (chatra) of the first prince, the queen, the commander-in-chief and the magistrate, shall have shafts 62 cubits long, and shall be 2½ cubits broad.

5-6. The umbrellas to be used by the king’s favourites shall be made of the feathers of the peacock with its top adorned with the prāsādapaṭṭa and shall be hung with lines of pearls all round. The other umbrellas shall consist of four sides, and the shaft of the umbrella (chatra) of the Brāhmaṇas shall be round.

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