by A. Yamuna Devi | 2012 | 77,297 words | ISBN-13: 9788193658048
This page relates ‘Politics and Administration (8): Social Evils’ 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.
(i) Upadā (II. 8. 29; p. 181-82)–
The enumeration of words to denote gift is done by Amarakośa in the Brahma varga and Kṣatriya varga clearly demarcates the gifts–the gifts bestowed as benovelance without expectations and the other pertaining to the gifts given to people in special posts to please them and expecting a favour in return. Such presents are mentioned in Amarakośa as prābhṛtam, pradeśanam, upāyanam, upagrāhyam, upahāraḥ and upadā.
While Kṣīrasvāmin observes that according to some Upadā is bribe, also called utkoca or lañcā–
Kṣīrasvāmin adds kauśalikaṃ and ḍhaukanaṃ to the list of words denoting a special gift–
kauśalikaṃ ḍhaukanaṃ ca |
The existence of corruption in the bureaucracy among government officials is also reflected in Kṣīrasvāmin explaining the term upadā as bribe.
(a) Yautakam (II. 8. 29; p. 181-82)–
Amarakośa mentions yautakam, sudāya and haraṇa as special gifts.
Kṣīrasvāmin cites an example from Pañcatantra (I. 54) meaning one who is at liesure has no secrets–
nircyāpārāsane yathā—kṣaṇo nāsti raho nāsti |
(a) Niḥsva (III. 1. 49; p. 246)–
Poverty did exist in society which is reflected by the mention of words to denote the poor.
duḥsthaḥ kīkaṭaśca |
104 nircyāpara sthitau kālaviśeṣotsavayoḥ kṣaṇaḥ |
(b) Lolupa, lolubhau (III. 1. 22; p. 210)–
lālaso lampaṭaśca |
(c) Tṛṣṇak (III. 1. 22; p. 240)–
Kṣīrasvāmin observes that metaphorically the word tṛṣṇak is employed to denote a covetous person. He also specifies that the word tṛṣṇak is ‘ja’ anta–terminating in ‘ja’. He adds tṛṣita, taṛṣita and pipāsita to denote the greedy.
(d) Avinītaḥ (III. 1. 23; p. 240)–
[Misbehaving:] A misbehaving man was termed avinīta. Kṣīrasvāmin adds the word nirmaryāda in the same meaning–
The various terms to denote the consumption of alchohol and related terms reveal that drinking was prevalent in the society such as śāuṇḍāpāna–tavern, madhuvārā–tippling and varieties of wine dicussed under food and beverages.
(e) Śauṇḍotkaṭa (III. 1. 23; p. 240)–
Kṣīrasvāmin expalins the term śauṇḍotkaṭa as a drunkard, always in tavern–
The presence of harlots is known from the synonyms discussed under section on Women.
Footnotes and references:
nircyāpara sthitau kālaviśeṣotsavayoḥ kṣaṇaḥ |