by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048
This page relates ‘Economics (5): Means of Transportation’ 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.
yātyanena yānaṃ sāṃparāyikākhyam |
Amarakośa mentions pravahaṇa and ḍayana as synonyms.
Kṣīrasvāmin explains karṇīratha as a long carriage, palanquin carried on the shoulders of men–
karṇiṣu skandheṣu rathaḥ karṇīsthaḥ dīrgho lakṣyāt puṃskaṃdhohyamāno rathaḥ |
ḍayante vihāyasā yāntīva ānena vimānākhyam |
This reference to the flying vehicle by Kṣīrasvāmin confirms the fact that he was well acquainted with such details like his contemporary Bhoja.
Yapyayānam (II. 8. 54; p. 186)
Amarakośa mentions śibikā as its synonym.
yāpyasyāśaktasya yānaṃ yugākhyāṃ yānamiti gauḍaḥ |
Other vehicles mentioned in Amarakośa are śakaṭa–load carriages, gantrī–litter, dolā–swing like transportation, dvaipa–carriage covered with tiger skin, pāṇḍukambalī–car covered with white woollen cloth and rathyā–a multitude of cars. Mention of bullocks and camels in this varga suggests that they were also used for transportation.
(d) Ātara (I. 9. 11; p. 63)–
[Freight or fare:]
Amarakośa gives ātara and Tarapaṇyam to denote fare or freight.
Kṣīrasvāmin observes that some call ātara as āvāpa–
ātarantyanena ātaraḥ āvāpa ityeke |
(e) Kūpaka (I. 9. 12; p. 63):
Kṣīrasvāmin gives the view of Gauḍa who opines that kūpaka is a tree in the river–gauḍastu jalāntastarūṃkūpakānāha ||
(f) Naukādaṇḍa (I. 9. 13; p. 63)–
The naukādaṇḍa is also called kṣepaṇī. Kṣīrasvāmin notes that kṣepaṇī is the apabrahṃśa of kṣopaṇī and that according to Upādhyāya it is kṣipa.
kṣipyatyanayā kṣepaṇī, kṣopaṇyapabhraṃśaḥ | kṣipetyupādhyāyaḥ || kvacit pānapātraṃ tu poto'bdhibhave triṣu samudriyaṃ sāmudriko manuṣyobdhijātādau nauḥ samudrikā || (jātā samudrikā ca nauḥ)
Some of the other parts mentioned in Amarakośa are karṇadhāra–captain, niyāmakāḥ–crew, aritram–mast, abhriḥ–scraper or shovel and sekapātram–bucket.
From the above study it is evident that air vehicles were developed in the time of Kṣīrasvāmin, which probably were not used during the time of Amarakośa That water transport was also put to good use can be inferred from the terms like ātara and others.