Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Economics (3): Goods of trade’ 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.

Economics (3): Goods of trade

The goods traded are cereals and pulses, dairy products, spices and condiments[1]. Metals and essential minerals traded are presented under this section.

(a) Precious stones (II. 9. 91-111; pp. 221-25):

Amarakośa lists synonyms of gold both wrought and unwrought termed hiraṇyaṃ as base metal–kuṣyam, emeraldgarutmat, rubyśoṇaratnam, pearlmauktika and coral–pravāla.

Kṣīrasvāmin adds two more names of crystals namely sūrykānta or agnimaṇi and vaiḍūrya or bālabāyajam:

sūryakāntastvagnimaṇirvaiḍūryaṃ bālabāyajam |

(b) Lauham (II. 9. 99; p. 222)–

[Metallic:]

Amarakośa[2] defines any lustrous metal to be metallic.

Kṣīrasvāmin also opines the same and adds that gold and others also are metals. He quotes an unknown text which mentions 8 kinds of metals:

tejaso vikārastaijasaṃ hemādyapi lohaṃ yadāhuḥ—
suvarṇaṃ rajataṃ tāmraṃ rītiḥ kāṃsyaṃ tathā trapu |
sīsaṃ ca vīmaraṃ caiva hyaṣṭau lohāni cakṣate ||

(i) Jātarūpam (II. 9. 95; p. 221)–

[Gold:]

Amarakośa lists 19 synonyms for gold. From the derivations of Kṣīrasvāmin one can infer that these names indicate either the quality, processing or its origin like svarṇa–as it has an attractive or lustorous śobhano varṇo'sya colour; kanaka as it is mined; karburam—it is a metal of pride when owned–karvati lokamadhye dṛpyati karvuraṃ

Jātarūpam as natural gold obtained from Bhoṭṭa country–

jātarūpamakṛtarūpaṃ bhoṭṭadeśajam | etc.

Kṣīrasvāmin adds Kalyāṇam, arjunam, kaladhautam, gaurikam, candram and vasu to the list of words denoting gold:

kalyāṇaṃ ārjunaṃ kaladhautaṃ gaurikaṃ candraṃ vasu ca |

Amarakośa also adds śṛṅgīkanaka denoting gold for ornament.

(ii) Durvarṇa (II. 9. 96; p. 222)–

[Silver:]

Amarakośa mentions rajata, rūpya, kharjūra and śveta.

Kṣīrasvāmin adds tāram and:

kaladhautamāpiśabdāttāraṃ kaladhautaṃ ca |

(iii) Rīti (II. 9. 97; p. 222)–

[Brass:]

Amarakośa mentions Ārakūṭa to denote the same. Kṣīrasvāmin adds pittala, āra and kapiloha.

He explains that since the metal is naturally oxidised by the air–

iyarti—ārastasya kūṭaṃ pittalākhyam | āro'pi kapilohaṃ ca |

(iv) Tāmarakam (II. 9. 97; p. 222)–

[Copper:]

śulba, mlecchamukha, dvyaṣṭa, variṣṭa, udumbara are words listed by Amarakośa

Kṣīrasvāmin adds:

raktadhātukam rakttadhātukaṃ ca |

(v) Loha (II. 9. 98; p. 222)–

[Iron:]

śastraka, tīkṣṇa, piṇḍa, kālāyasa, ayasī and aśmasāra are other terms.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains that iron is called aśmasāra as it is a product or rocks as mentioned in the Smṛtis. He also adds pāraśavam and ghana

āśmanaḥ sāro'śmasāraḥ yatsmṛtiḥ -āśmabhyo lohamutthitam | pāraśavaṃ ghanaṃ ca |

Amarakośa also lists synonyms of iron rust–maṇḍūra, wrought iron–kuśī, glasskṣāra, quick silvercapala, buffallo's horngavala (Br. Sam. XXXII. 17)

(vi) Srotoñjanam (II. 9. 100; p. 222)–

[Antimony:]

Amarakośa lists Sauvīram, kapotāñjanam and yāmuna.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains yāmuna as the antimony produced in the waters of Yamunā river and applied to the eyes–

ājyate'nenākṣi āñjanaṃ yamunāsrotaso jātam |

The sauvīra variety of antimony Kṣīrasvāmin says is obtained from the river suvīra:

suvīradeśe bhavaṃ sauvīraṃ |

Kṣīrasvāmin quotes Dhanvantari Nighaṇṭu which gives synonyms of the same as–

dhanvantaristu-āñjanaṃ mecakaṃ kṛṣṇaṃ sauvīraṃ syātsuvīrajaṃ kāpotaṃ yāmunaṃ tacca srotāñjanamudāhṛtam |

(c) Minerals:

Minerals traded are listed in Amarakośa with their synonyms such as–tutthāñjanam–blue vitriol, rasāñjanam–a kind of collyrium, gandhāśma–sulphur, cākṣuṣyāblue stone used as collyrium, rītipuṣpam–calx of brass, piñjaram–yellow orpiment, gaureyam–red chalk, bola–myrrh, ḍiṇḍīra–Cuttle fish bone, sindūra–red lead, nāga–lead, tripu–tin, manaḥśilā–red arsenic, naipālī–nitre or salpetre and yavakṣāra–alkali.

(i) Tutthāñjanam (II. 9. 101, pp. 222-23)–

[Blue vitriol:]

Amarakośa mentions śikhigrīva, vitunnaka, mayūraka and karparī as other synonyms. Kṣīrasvāmin explains that it is termed tutthāñjanam since it used to alleviate the eye diseasetudati ākṣirogaṃ tuttham | Its colour is akin to the colour of the peacock's neck–śikhigrīvaṃ mayūrarogābham | tudati rogān vitunnakam | It is used in curing various diseases-kalpate rogān jetum |

(ii) Ātañcanaṃ (III. 3. 115; p. 297)–

[Calcining:]

Amarakośa mentions ātañcanaṃ as one of the meanings of the word in the homonymous section.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains ātañcanaṃ in the meaning of fluxing metals was such as the melting of gold and mixing it with other metals–

svarṇāderdrutasya dravyāntareṇāvacūrṇanaṃ viparītāvāpanam | (ātañcanam)

(iii) Yavakṣāra (II. 9. 108; p. 224)–

[Alkali:]

Yavāgraja and pākya are other synonyms listed by Amarakośa to denote alkali.

Kṣīrasvāmin gives that the alkali is prepared by burning the yavāṃkura

dagdhvāyavāṅkurāñjanyate yavakṣāraḥ |

Utpala in his commentary on Bṛ. Sam LXXVI. p. 703, quotes the following verse on the method of preparation and uses of the kṣāra

kṣāro viṣaiḍagajacirbhiṭacavyavahnivyoṣaṃ ca saṃstaracitaṃ lavaṇopadhānam |
dagdhvā vicūrṇya
dadhimastuyutaṃ prayojyaṃ gulmodaraśvayatthupāṇḍugadodbhaveṣu |

Other objects traded were cottonpicus, safflower–kamalottaram, meṣakambalam–woollen blanket, śaśorṇam–rabbit's hair, madhu-honey, madhūcchiṣṭam–wax, tvakkṣīrīmanna of bamboos, śigruja–seed of morunga, moraṭa–root of sugarcane, granthika root of long pepper, golomī–root of sweet flag, patrāṅga–red-wood, trikaṭu–three spices and triphalā–three myrobalans.

(iv) Trikaṭu (II. 9. 111; p. 225)–

[Three spices:]

Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that the drug containing the three special ingredients viz., śuṇṭhī (dry ginger), pippalī (long pepper) and marīca (black pepper) is termed trikaṭu[3]

trīṇi kaṭūnyūṣaṇāni ca śuṇṭhī-pippalī-marīcāni samāhṛtāni (trikaṭu trūṣṇam) |

(v) Triphalā (II. 9. 111; p. 225)–

[Three myrobalans:]

Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that the three myrobalans are harītakī, āmalaka and vibhītaka

trayāṇāṃ phalānāṃ harītakyāmalakavibhītakānāṃ samāhārastriphalā |[4]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

These are already dealt with in the same chapter earlier in the section on “Food and Drinks”. Cloth materials and dresses have been discussed under “Dress and Ornaments”.

[2]:

sarvaṃ ca taijasaṃ lauham |

[3]:

Cf. Suśruta Saṃhitā. Sūtrasthāna, 38. 58: pippalīmarīśṛṅgaverāṇi iti trikaṭukam |

[4]:

Cf. Suśruta Saṃhitā. Sūtrasthāna, 38. 56: harītakyāmalakabibhītakānīti triphalā |

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