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.
(a) Precious stones (II. 9. 91-111; pp. 221-25):
sūryakāntastvagnimaṇirvaiḍūryaṃ bālabāyajam |
(b) Lauham (II. 9. 99; p. 222)–
Amarakośa 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:
(i) Jātarūpam (II. 9. 95; p. 221)–
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:
Amarakośa also adds śṛṅgīkanaka denoting gold for ornament.
(ii) Durvarṇa (II. 9. 96; p. 222)–
Kṣīrasvāmin adds tāram and:
kaladhautamāpiśabdāttāraṃ kaladhautaṃ ca |
(iii) Rīti (II. 9. 97; p. 222)–
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)–
raktadhātukam rakttadhātukaṃ ca |
(v) Loha (II. 9. 98; p. 222)–
(vi) Srotoñjanam (II. 9. 100; p. 222)–
Amarakośa lists Sauvīram, kapotāñjanam and yāmuna.
ājyate'nenākṣi āñjanaṃ yamunāsrotaso jātam |
Kṣīrasvāmin quotes Dhanvantari Nighaṇṭu which gives synonyms of the same as–
Minerals traded are listed in Amarakośa with their synonyms such as–tutthāñjanam–blue vitriol, rasāñjanam–a kind of collyrium, gandhāśma–sulphur, cākṣuṣyā–blue 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)–
Amarakośa mentions śikhigrīva, vitunnaka, mayūraka and karparī as other synonyms. Kṣīrasvāmin explains that it is termed tutthāñjanam since it used to alleviate the eye disease–tudati 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)–
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)–
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–
Other objects traded were cotton–picus, safflower–kamalottaram, meṣakambalam–woollen blanket, śaśorṇam–rabbit's hair, madhu-honey, madhūcchiṣṭam–wax, tvakkṣīrī–manna 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)–
trīṇi kaṭūnyūṣaṇāni ca śuṇṭhī-pippalī-marīcāni samāhṛtāni (trikaṭu trūṣṇam) |
(v) Triphalā (II. 9. 111; p. 225)–
trayāṇāṃ phalānāṃ harītakyāmalakavibhītakānāṃ samāhārastriphalā |
Footnotes and references:
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”.