Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048

This page relates ‘Works of Kshirasvamin’ of the study on the Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (in English) which represents a commentary on the Amarakosha of Amarasimha. These ancient texts belong the Kosha or “lexicography” category of Sanskrit literature which deals with the analysis and meaning of technical words from a variety of subjects, such as cosmology, anatomy, medicine, hygiene. The Amarakosa itself is one of the earliest of such text, dating from the 6th century A.D., while the Amarakoshodghatana is the earliest known commentary on that work.

The information in the introductory verse of Amarakośodghāṭana (v. 8) and Kṣīrataraṅgiṇī (v. 7) reveal in the author's own words that he has authored six commentaries in all–

nyāyye vartmani vartanāya bhavatāṃ ṣaḍvṛttayaḥ kalpitāḥ |

The names of the six works are not expressly mentioned by Kṣīrasvāmin; still, from the information available in New Catalogus Catalogorum (Vol.V, p.152) on Kṣīrasvāmin and from other sources, details about his works could be presented as below:

(a) Printed Works:

(i) Amarakośodghāṭana (Amarakośodghāṭana), commentary on Amarakośa–this work is available in four editions:

(i) by Borooah, Berhampore, 1887-88 (upto I. 5. 5); (ii) T. Ganapati S astri, Trivandrum Sanskrit Series 43 and 51, Trivandrum, 1915-17 (II. 1- 10); (iii) Kṣīrasvāmin G. Oka, Poona, 1913; (iv) H. D. Sarma and N. G. S ardesai, Poona Oriental S eries 43, Poona, 1941.

(ii) Kṣīrataraṅgiṇī (also known as Dhātuvṛtti), commentary on Dhātukośa of Pāṇini. This has been edited by Yudhiṣṭhira Mīmāṃsak and published by Radha Press, New Delhi, 2007.

(iii) Nipātāvyayopasargavṛtti is in the form of aphorisms with the commentary of Tilaka as known from the colophon at the end of the work–bhaṭṭakṣīrasvāmyutprekṣitanipātāvyayopasargīye tilakakṛtā vṛttiḥ saṃpūrṇeti | This work has been edited by Somesvara Sarma and published as Sri Venkatesvara Pracya granthavali Series 28 by Tirupati Devasthanam, Tirupati, 1951.

(b) Works mentioned by the author himself:

(i) Amṛtataraṅgiṇī or Karmayogāmṛtataraṅgiṇī–A reference to this work is made by Kṣīrasvāmin himself in his Kṣīrataraṅgiṇī (I. 1, p. 7) as follows–

pratyayo'karmakād bhāve karmaṇi vā syāt
sakarmakāt |
sakarmakākarmakatvaṃ dravyakarmanibandhanam ||

A variant reading of the same is–

yanmamaivāmṛtataraṅgiṇī |

(ii) Another reference is made by Kṣīrasvāmin in Amarakośodghāṭana (III. 1. 3; p. 236) without naming his work as follows–

hṛdayaṃ tadviviṅkte yadbhāvamanyaccalaṃ palam |
śataikīyāḥ sahṛdayā gaṇyante
kathamanyathā ||

(c) Works of the author referred to by Others:

(i) Nighaṇṭuvṛtti–Probably a commentary on Vedic words. Devarāja yajvan, in his commentary on Nirukta mentions the Nighaṇṭuṭīkā of Kṣīrasvāmin There are 32 citations from the above mentioned work of Kṣīrasvāmin; of these 30 citations match with the readings in Amarakośodghāṭana[1].

(ii) The Nāṭyadarpaṇa[2] has the following reading which mentions a drama called Abhinavarāghava authored by Kṣīrasvāmin–

yathā -kṣīrasvāmiviracite'bhinavarāghave -sthapakaḥ -saharṣaṃ ārye cirasya smṛtam |
āstyeva rāghavamahīnakathāpavitram kāvyaṃ prabandhaghaṭanāprathitaprathimnaḥ |
caraṇābjamanuvratasya kṣīrasya nāṭakamananyasamānasāram ||

Considering this citation, Dr. V. Raghavan[3] declares:

“As the Kashmirian Bhaṭṭendurāja could only be the guru of the name mentioned by Abhinavagupta in his Locana, Kṣīrasvāmin who wrote this play and describes himself as the pupil of Bhaṭṭendurāja must have been a contemporary of Abhinavagupta in the last part of the 10th century and beginning of the 11th; he may or may not be identical with the grammarian of that name, the author of Kṣīrataraṅgiṇī etc”.

(d) Other works of the author given in NCC:

Gaṇavṛtti–Probably a commentary on the Gaṇapāṭha says Yudhiṣṭhira Mīmāṃsak[4]. The work is not available. S.Kṣīrasvāmin Belvalkar[5] makes a note that it had been referred to by Vardhamāna in his Gaṇaratnamahodadhi.

AvyayavṛttiNCC, Vol. I, p. 30, makes a note that this work “seems to be from the Nipāta-avyaya upasarga-vṛtti of Kṣīrasvāmin with Tilaka C.”

KṣīrasvāmikoṣaNCC, Vol. V, p. 152, says that it is “evidently his C. on Amarakośa.

Footnotes and references:


Yudhiṣṭhira Mīmāṃsak, Vyākaraṇaśāstra kā itihās, Vol. II, pp. 92-101.


Baroda edition, p. 155.


Some Old Lost Rāma Plays, pp. 95-6.


Vyākaraṇa śāstra ka Ithihas, Vol. II, p. 100.


Systems of Sanskrit Grammar, p. 43.

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