Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)
by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048
This page relates ‘Daily Life (1): Food and Drinks’ 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.
Daily Life (1): Food and Drinks
The daily life of the society as reflected in the description of food and drinks, dress and ornaments, perfumes, household articles and others presented by Kṣīrasvāmin is reviewed under this section.
Cereals and pulses, spices, salts, minerals, dairy products are mentioned in the Vaiśya varga (II.9) of Amarakośa These are some important goods of trade and hence described in Vaiśya varga. Vegetables and fruits are described in the Vanauṣadhi varga (II. 4)
(a) Cereals and Pulses:
Amarakośa mentions āśuḥ–Paddy, śitaśūka–barley, kalāya–peas, makuṣṭa–kidney beans, sarṣapa–mustard seed, godhūma–wheat, caṇaka–chickpea, tila–barren seasamum, kṣava–black mustard, kaṅgu–panic seed, atasī–Linseed, aṇu–hemp, dhānya–corn and śamī–legume under cereals and pulses.
Kṣīrasvāmin (p. 203) mentions 17 varieties of cereals as follows:
yataḥ—vrīhiryavo masuro godhūmo mudgamāṣatilacaṇakāḥ |
āṇvapriyaṅgukodravamayuṣṭakāḥ (śālirāḍhyakaḥ) ||
dvau ca kalāyakulutthau śaṇasaptadaśāni dhānyāni |
Rice and its varieties: (II. 9. 15; p. 203): Āśuḥ–
Amarakośa gives āśuḥ, vrīhiḥ and pāṭala as synoynms.
These are some of the varieties of rice. Āśuḥ is explained by Kṣīrasvāmin as that variety of rice which rapidly ripens or that which is easily cooked.
Substantiating his derivation Kṣīrasvāmin quotes the text of Durga:
āśyate āśnute vā āśuḥ śīghrapāko vā yad durgaḥ—āśvāravyā śāliśīghrayoḥ |
Kṣīrasvāmin explains that vrīhi is that which is chosen and it is the variety of grain called ṣaṣṭika –
vrīṇāti vrīhiḥ ṣaṣṭikādidhānyaviśeṣaḥ vrī bharaṇe |
Kṣīrasvāmin further adds (II. 9. 24; p. 205) that ṣaṣṭika variety of rice ripens in the 60 days–
ṣaṣṭikāḥ ṣaṣṭirātreṇa pacyante |
Śālī (II. 9. 24; p. 205):
Amarakośa mentions that kalama, ṣaṣṭika and others are varieties of rice.
Kṣīrasvāmin adds that rājaśālī is another variety of paddy which grows in water and remarks that such other varieties also exist–
Kulmāṣaḥ (II. 9. 18; p. 204):
Amarakośa mentions yāvaka and Kulmāṣaḥ as synonyms. According to Kṣīrasvāmin it is half-ripe barley.
He also observes that some consider it to be a variety of grain–
kolati kalena masyati pariṇamati vā kulmāṣaḥ ārdhasvinno yavādiḥ dhānyaviśeṣa ityeke |
Kaṅgu (II. 9. 20; p. 204)–
Kṣīrasvāmin gives the variant readings as kvaṅguḥ, kraṅguḥ and Kaṅguḥ–
kutsitaṃ kṛtvāṅgyate kvaṅguḥ kraṅguḥ kaṅguścetyeke |
Cipiṭa (III. 3. 3; p. 269)–
[Fried flattened rice:]
Kṣīrasvāmin explains that cipiṭa is made by frying the soaked paddy or grain–
cipiṭa ārdrasasyābhyoṣaḥ |
Tuṣaḥ (II. 9. 22; p. 204-05)–
The outer cover of rice or corn is called husk. Kṣīrasvāmin explains that since it pleases fire it is called so–
busyāte utsṛjyate busa tṛṇādi kṣodaḥ | tuṣyatyanenāgnistuṣaḥ |
It is commonly used in setting fire or kindle fire in cooking.
The process of cleaning the grains involves pounding, winnowing, sieving, storing in sacks in granaries. These are also mentioned in the Amarakośa A sieve is called titau (II. 9. 26; p. 205) ending in a vowel. Rarely in Sanskrit language one can find a word ending in independent vowel.
Kṣīrasvāmin derives it as follows–
Amarakośa lists a variety of spices such as vellaja–black-pepper, jīraka–Cumin, suṣavī–Black cumin, ārdraka–ginger, Chattrā–corriander, śuṇṭhī–dry ginger, saharavedhi–A safoetida, Kāravī–Hingupatri, Kāñcanī–turmeric. Kṣīrasvāmin adds valuable remarks wherever necessary deriving all the synonyms.
Some of them are highlighted here.
Vellaja (II. 9. 35-6; p. 207) –
Vellaja, marīca, kolaka, kṛṣṇabhūṣaṇa, dharmapattana are words listed by Amarakośa Kṣīrasvāmin remarks that since they grow on banks of Vella they are vellaja or he also adds that some opines it to be the Vella tree –
velle vellātaṭe jāyate vellajaṃ vellākhyaḥ śākhītyeke |
He also quotes from Dhanvantari in which are additional terms such as—śyāma, yananeṣṭa and sitavṛnta–
marīcaṃ valitaṃ śyāmaṃ vellakaṃ kṛṣṇamūṣaṇam |
yavaneṣṭaṃ sitavṛntaṃ kolakaṃ dhārmapattanam |
Jīraka (II. 6. 36; p. 207)–
Kṣīrasvāmin explains medically that it is a digestive and hence called jīraka–jīryate'nenānnaṃ jīrakaḥ | He further adds that the wise or learned use the word as jaraṇa–jarayatīti jaraṇa iti sabhyāḥ | Ajājī is another synonym of cumin which Kṣīrasvāmin remarks as indicative of its appetising quality and stimulating digestive fire; he adds that it is in feminine gender–ājaṃ svabhāvikaṃ mandāgnitvamajati -ājājī | strī |
Suṣavī (II. 9. 37; p. 208)–
Amarakośa lists suṣavī, kāravī, pṛthvī and kālopakuñcikā. Kṣīrasvāmin says that suṣavī signifies its nature to instigate the Doṣas–
suṣṭhu suvati prerayati doṣān suṣati |
Upakuñcikā is also black cumin. Kṣīrasvāmin says this variety of cumin reduces the doṣas –
upakuñcayatyalpīkaroti doṣānupakuñcikā |
upakuñcikopakuñcī ca kālikā copakālikā |
suṣavī kuñcikā kuñcī pṛthvīkā kṛṣṇajīrake |
Suśruta (I. 46. 229) mentions that both varieties of cumin increase pitta and digestive power but pacify kapha and vāta–
pittāgni vardhanam... jīraka dvayam |
He further states that upakuñcikā also is of similar nature.
Ārdrakam, Śṛṅgaveram (II. 9. 37; p. 208)–
Amarakośa mentions these two as synonyms of Ginger. Kṣīrasvāmin explaining the term śṛṅgaveram etymologically remarks that ginger is considered as an effective medicine–
śṛṅgopalakṣitaṃ veram dehasya ṣaḍaṅgaveram |
mahauṣadhaṃ śṛṅgaveraṃ kaṭubhadraṃ tathārdrakam ||
All these are synonyms given for ginger in Āyurvedic texts. It is commonly used in Āyurveda for digestive disorders.
Chatrā or Vitunnakam (II. 9. 37; p. 208)–
Kṣīrasvāmin explains that vitunnakam is so called as it strikes the mandāgni and it covers or veils the doṣas–
vitudati mandāgnitvaṃ vitunnakam |
chattrātapatrā chādayati doṣānvā chatrā ||
Suśruta (I. 46. 231) also opines that the dried coriander alleviates the doṣas.
Kāñcanī (II. 6. 41; p. 208)–
Amarakośa lists pītā, haridrā and varavarṇinī as other synonyms of turmeric.
Kṣīrasvāmin provides the derivation of kāñcanī as siginifying to stimulate the digestive fire and as denoting its origin in the city of Kāñcī:
kañjayati dīpayatyagniṃ badhnāti doṣānvā kāñcikaṃ kāñcyāṃ puri bhavaṃ vā |
He also adds from Dhanvantari Nighaṇṭu (6. 294)–
kāñcikaṃ kāñjikaṃ vīraṃ kulmāṣābhiṣutaṃ tathā |
āvantisomaṃ dhānyāmlamāranālaṃ mahārasam |
(c) Natural salts:
Lavaṇa (II. 6. 41-2; p. 208-09)–
Lavaṇa is explained by Kṣīrasvāmin as that which alleviates laziness–
Amarakośa mentions that the salts obtained from sea are called akṣīva and vaśira (II. 9. 41). Amarakośa lists saindhava, śītaśiva, maṇimantha and sindhuja as synonyms. The explanations of Kṣīrasvāmin for these words throw light on their origin and the medicinal properties of the salts.
Saindhava according to Kṣīrasvāmin is the salt obtained from the region where the river Sindhu flows–
sindhunadyupalakṣite deśe bhavaṃ saindhavam |
Śītaśiva denotes its medicinal property of alleviating cold and increasing the heat–
Maṇibandha is the salt obtained form the mountain called Maṇibandha.
Kṣīrasvāmin also observes that some denote it as maṇimantha or māṇimantha–
maṇibandhagirau bhavaṃ maṇibandham |
maṇimanthaṃ māṇimanthaṃ vā''huḥ |
Kṣīrasvāmin Cites the Rājanighaṇṭu (II.11) for authority justifying his interpretations:
saindhavaṃ sādhu sindhūtthaṃ nādeyī sindhujaṃ śivam |
śuddhaṃ śītaśivaṃ cānyanmāṇibandhaṃ śilātakam ||
Raumaka (II. 9. 42; p. 209):
Kṣīrasvāmin explains that the salt is said to be produced in ‘rumā’ lake–
rumāyāmākare bhavaṃ raumakam |
Kṣīrasvāmin quotes the text Mālā which gives raumaka, vastaka and vasu as synonyms–
vastagandhi vastakaṃ nāma lavaṇaṃ, romake vastakaṃ vasviti mālā |
raumakam śākambharīdeṣotthaṃ rumāsaraḥ saṃbhavam ityanye |
Suvarcala (II. 9. 43; p. 209):
Amarakośa mentions suvarcala, akṣa and rucaka as synonymous. According to Kṣīrasvāmin, suvarcala is a variety of salt produced in the Suvarcala lake and its property kindles digestion.
Kṣīrasvāmin also adds hṛdyagandham as synonym to this variety of salt:
suvarcalākare bhavaṃ sauvarcalaṃ suvarcasyedamagnidīpanaṃ lāti va varca dīptau āc | hṛdyagandhaṃ ca |
Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya (VI. 146) mentions this variety of salt as possessing of good smell.
Tilaka (II. 6. 43; p. 209):
Amarakośa mentions that tilaka is a black variety of suvarcala salt.
Kṛṣṇalavaṇa has properties similar to sauvarcala salt, but is devoid of odour.
Kṣīrasvāmin is of opinion that the odourless kṛṣṇalavaṇa is called tilaka and that the former suvarcala to be sweet in taste–
tatra tasminmecake kṛṣṇe lavaṇe pūrvaṃ tu madhuraṃ lavaṇam |
He quotes Aṣṭāṅgahṛdaya (VI. 148) in support of this–
āgandhaṃ kṛṣṇalavaṇaṃ tilakamityeke yadvaidyāḥ kṛṣṇe sauvarcalaguṇā lavaṇe gandhavarjite ||
(d) Artificial salts:
Pākya (II. 9. 42; p. 209):
Amarakośa mentions that the artificial salts are called pākya and viḍa.
Kṣīrasvāmin opines that though these two salts are different in terms of their properties yet these are given as synonyms since both are artificial and adds that the pākya salt is also called kallāra–
kṛtakasya lavaṇasya dve nāmanī pākyabiḍalavaṇayorbhede'pi kṛtakatvādaikyam |
Kṣīrasvāmin also quotes the Abhidhāna dravyāvali (III. 24)–
tryarthe-pākyam biḍalavaṇaṃ yavakṣāraḥ sauvarcalam ca |
The preparation of viḍa salt is mentioned in Ḍalhaṇa commentary (Suśruta. Sūtrasthāna, 46. 313) as follows–
“The artificial salt is prepared by combining prasāvaṇī paste, cooked rice and salt together and burning them on fire”.
(e) Sugar varietes:
Amarakośa mentions matsyāṇḍī, phāṇita as synonyms of khaṇḍavikāra, and śarkarā to denote sitā, refined sugar.
Matsyāṇḍī (II. 9. 43; p. 209)–
Kṣīrasvāmin quotes Dhanvantari who opines that śarkara is mīnāṇḍī and the refined sugar is matsyāṇḍikā (Dha.Ni. II. 10):
yaddhavantariḥ-śarkaroktā tu mīnāṇḍi śvetā matsyāṇḍikā sitā |
He also quotes Vāgbhata who gives their properties as matsyāṇḍikā (refined sugar), khaṇḍa (sugar candy) and sitā (white crystalline sugar); they in their succeeding order, are better than one another:
matsyāṇḍikākhaṇḍasītāḥ krameṇa guṇavattamāḥ ||
They are aphrodisiac, good for the emaciated and the wounded cure bleeding diseases and aggravate vāta (Vāgbhata. 49; p. 64.):
vṛṣyāḥkṣīṇakṣatahitā raktapittānilāpahāḥ |
(f) Dairy products (II. 9. 44,51-54; p. 211-12):
Amarakośa ennumerates the following dairy products, the products of milk termed pasya: kūrcikā–insipid milk, rasāla–curd with sugar and spices, dugdham–milk, drapsam–diluted curds, ghṛtam–ghee, navanītam -fresh butter, hayyaṅgavīnam–butter extracted from the previous days milk, daṇḍāhataṃchurned curd, takram–butter milk, mastu–whey of curds, pīyūṣa–milk of cow which has lately calved.
Āmikṣā is already discussed in the section on religion. Some interesting derivations of Kṣīrasvāmin are as follows: Mārjitā (II. 9. 44; p. 209): Kṣīrasvāmin explains that curds with sugar and pepper is said to be mārjitā.
He quotes a culinary text which gives the preparation of mārjitā or rasāla as:
“½ Āḍhaka of thick set curds, 16 palas of white candied sugar, 1 pala of sarpiḥ (ghee). 1 pala of honey (madhu) 2 karṣaś of marīca (pepper), ½ pala of dry ginger (śuṇṭhī), all together tied in a thin cloth and pounded (ground) by the soft hands of a woman, and kept in a vessel aromated with a pinch of karpūra, is a drink called rasāla prepared by Bhīma and tasted by Kṛṣṇa:
mārjyate mārjita dadhisitāmaricādikṛtaṃ lehyaṃ yatsūdaśāstraṃ—
ārdhāḍhakaṃ sucira[dṛḍha]paryuṣitasya dadhnaḥ khaṇḍasya ṣoḍaśapalāni śaśiprabhasya |
sarpiṣpalaṃ madhupalaṃ marica dvikarṣaṃ śuṇṭhyāḥ palārdhamapi cārvapalaṃ caturṇām ||
ślakṣṇe paṭe lalanayā mṛdupāṇighṛṣṭā karpūradhūlisurabhīkṛta bhāṇḍasaṃstha |
eṣā vṛkodarakṛtā surasā rasālā yāsvāditā bhagavatā madhusūdanena ||
Drapsam (II.9.51; p.211)–
Drapsa is diluted curd as defined by Amarakośa Kṣīrasvāmin quotes the Mālā text which also gives the same explanation.
Again Bhāguri is quoted by Kṣīrasvāmin as providing śara as synonym to drapsa:
ghanādanyad āghanamityarthaḥ |
drapsaṃ dadhyaghanaṃ tathā etacca drapsaṃ śaramiti bhāguripāṭhe... |
Amarakośa gives ājyam, sarpiḥ and haviḥ as synonyms. Kṣīrasvāmin's derivations also do not differentiate these terms. But it is to be noted here, that Sāyaṇa (Ṛgveda. IX. 67. 32) mentions that sarpiḥ is the liquid ghee, while ghṛtam is the thick or hard ghee–kṣīraṃ yajñasādhanabhūtaṃ payaḥ sarpiḥ tādṛśaṃ ghṛtaṃ |
Amarakośa mentions kālaśeya, ariṣṭa as its synonyms.
Kṣīrasvāmin explains kālaśeya as the churned curd in the pot–
kalaśyāṃ gargaryāṃ bhavaṃ kālaśeyam
While ariṣṭa he opines is termed so as it alleviates all diseases–
na riṣyati hinasti āriṣṭaṃ sarvarogacitvāt |
Amarakośa mentions the varieties of butter milk which is better explained by Kṣīrasvāmin thus: takra is butter milk with four parts of water in it–
tañcati drutaṃ gacchati takram caturbhāgamambu |
It is to be noted here that Amarakośa takes takra as churned curd with water.
Equal quantities of curd and water–
udakena śvayati udaśvidardhāmbu |
Only churned curd without adding water–
dadhno mathanamātrasādhyaṃ mathitaṃ nirjalam |
Kṣīrasvāmin also quotes Dhanvantari in this context which also agrees with Amarakośa:
dviguṇāmbu śvetarasamardhodakamudaśvitam |
takraṃ tribhāgabhinnāmbu kevalaṃ mathitaṃ smṛtamiti dhanvantariḥ |
(g) Wines (II. 10. 41; p. 234)
Amarakośa lists the synonyms of surā and its varieties.
Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that the varieties of wines were as gaudī, paiṣṭī, mādhvi, phalotta and surā.
gauḍī paiṣṭi ca mādhvī ca phalotthā ca surā smṛtā surāyā bhedānāha |
While Amarakośa only lists the varieties Kṣīrasvāmin provides information regarding their ingredients: Madhvāsava (II. 10. 41cd; p. 234):
According to Kṣīrasvāmin this variety of wine was prepared using mākṣīka honey–
mākṣikamiśra āsūyate madhvāsavaḥ |
Mādhvaka (II. 10. 41; p. 239):
Kṣīrasvāmin explains that this variety of wine was made of honey–madhuno vikāro madhunā kṛto vā mādhvakaḥ |
Mādvīka (II. 10. 41; p. 239):
Kṣīrasvāmin reads it as mārdvīka and opines that this variety of wine was prepared from grapes and notes that according to Upādhyāya the word was mārdvīka–
mṛdvīkāyā vikāro mārdvīkaṃ mārdhvīkamityupādhyāyaḥ |
Maireya (II. 10. 42; p. 234):
According to Kṣīrasvāmin this is a special variety of wine prepared from jaggery originating in the country of the Mirās–
mirāyāṃ deśe bhavo gauḍyāḥ surāyā viśeṣo maireyaḥ |
Sīdhu (II. 10. 42; p. 234):
Kṣīrasvāmin reads the word as śīdhu. He also remarks that a few opine that the wine mixed with honey was maireya but it is not so and quotes the view of the author of Mālā.
Mālā says that Maireya with fermented sugarcane juice was called śīdu–
yadāhuḥ madhvāsavastu maireyaṃ tanna |
maireyo gaditaḥ śīdhuḥ (ikṣoḥ) (ā) pakvaraso'pi |
Food in general is denoted in Amarakośa (II. 9. 56; p. 212) as b hojana, jemana, leha, āhāra, niyāsa and nyāda. Kṣīrasvāmin adds pratyavasāna and abhyavahāra.
The different ways of cooking (II. 9. 45-7; p. 210) are mentioned as follows: Śūlākṛtam roasted on spit–Other words mentioned in Amarakośa are bhaṭitraṃ and śūlyam. Kṣīrasvāmin adds bhāruṭakam and bhṛṣṭa to the list–bhāruṭaṃ bhṛṣṭaṃ ca |
Amarakośa adds paiṭhara as a synonym and Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as that which is made in a cauldron or boiler is Ukhyam–
ukhāyāṃ svālayāṃ saṃskṛtaṃ uravyaṃ |
Amarakośa mentions the synonyms of praṇītam–dressed, picchilam–sauce mixed with rice, sammṛṣṭam–strained, cikkaṇa–soft or bland, bhāvita–scented and apakvam–half cooked.
Susaṃskṛta is another term given by Amarakośa Kṣīrasvāmin adds that the seasoning with ghee is called sārpiṣkam and that with curd is dādhikam—
saṃskṛtaṃ sarpiṣā dadhnā sarpiṣkaṃ dādhikaṃ kramāt |
Kṣīrasvāmin further adds that which is made of salt water is udalāvaṇika—
udalāvaṇikaṃ tatsyādyatsiddhaṃ lavaṇāmbhasā ||
Sāra (III.3.171.p.311): Illustrating the term in the Nānārtha varga, Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that ghee and meat were considered as strength promoting foods:
The food varieties mentioned in Amarakośa (II. 90. 48-50; p. 210-11) are–pūpa–cake, karambhaflour mixed with curd, b issā–boiled rice, b hissaṭa–scorched rice, maṇḍa–scum, māsarā–scum of boiled rice and yavāgū–rice gruel.
Footnotes and references:
Cf. Ḍalhaṇa on Suśruta Saṃhitā, Sūtrasthāna. 46. 8-9: ṣaṣṭiko vrīhibheda eva, 'ṣaṣṭiko vrīhiṣu śreṣṭha' ityuktatvāt kiṃ tu vrīhiścirapākī, ṣaṣṭikastu śīghrapākī ||
Vyākaraṇa Mahābhāṣya (pp. 19-20)–titauḥ paripavanaṃ bhavati | Cf. Ṛgveda, X. 71. 2
tīkṣṇoṣṇaṃ kaṭukam pāke rucyam pittāgnivardhanam |
kaṭu śleṣmānilaharaṃ gandhāḍhyaṃ jīrakadvayam ||
kāravi karavī tadvadvijñeyā sopakuñcikā ||
Cf., Suśruta. Sūtrasthāna. XLVI. Lavaṇavarga (313-30) for all medicinal properties of lavaṇa.
Cf. Amarakośa (II. 1. 20; p. 73)–rumāsyāl lavaṇākaraḥ | In Ḍalhaṇa commentary Suśruta (Sūtrasthāna. XLVI. 313) it is said to be found in Śākambari region.
Cf. Ḍalhaṇa Suśruta. Sūtrasthāna. 46. 313–sauvarcalaṃ prasiddhaṃ tadeva nirgandhaṃ kāla-lavaṇamityucyate |
This word is wrongly printed in the Poona Ed. as trapsya, but the index of words has it correctly as drapsya. All the other Ed. carry the word drapsa. Kṣīrasvāmin also reads the word as drapsa. Mukuṭa also cites this verse with slight variation (Calcutta, Vol. II, p. 706). But he does not give the source but mentions only Sūdaśāstra like Kṣīrasvāmin does.