Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Physical Deformities’ 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.

Physical Deformities

[Full title: Human Body Health and Diseases (3): Physical Deformities  (II.6.46-49; p.143-44)]

The society comprised of all kinds of men and women of all times and place. Just as there were handsome people with good features, there were also people with some special features or deficiencies in the human–structure.

Such physical deformities are also listed in Amarakośa such as–aṅgavikala–deformed, kharva–dwarf, kharaṇāḥ-sharp nosed, vigraḥ- noseless, khuraṇāḥ–having nose like a hoof, prajñubandy-legged, ūrdhvajñu–long shanked, sajñu–knock-kneed, eḍaḥ–deaf, kubja–hump-backed, kukara–having crooked arm, pṛṣniḥ–small, short or thin statured, śroṇaḥ–lame or cripple, muṇḍaḥ–bald, baliraḥ–squint eyed and jaḍulaḥmole. Some of the special remarks of Kṣīrasvāmin are observed below:

(a) Prajñu[1] (II. 6. 47; p. 144)–


Amarakośa gives pragatajānu as another term to denote a bowlegged. Kṣīrasvāmin explains that persons with knees bent like a bow on account of Vāta doṣa are termed prajñu

pragate virale vātādidoṣāttathordhve saṃhate ca jānunī āsya prasabhyāṃ jānunorjñuḥ (. 5/4/129) ūrdhvādvidivibhāṣā |

(b) Vāmanaḥ (II. 6. 46; p. 144):

Kharva and hrasva are other terms mentioned by Amarakośa to denote a dwarf. Kṣīrasvāmin adds to the vocabulary of dwarfs nikharva and khaṭṭaraḥ from Nāmamālā[2]nikharvaḥ khaṭṭaraḥ kharva iti nāmamālā |

(c) Kuṇiḥ (II. 6. 48; p. 144)–

One with crooked arm: Kukara is the other term mentioned in Amarakośa Kṣīrasvāmin supplements from Nirukta[3] another equivalent kupāṇi

kuṇa śabde kupāṇiḥ kuṇiriti nairuktāḥ |

(d) Kalamvakaḥ (II. 6. 48; p. 144)–

In addition to the above Kṣīrasvāmin observes that a person with drooping ears was called Kalamvakaḥ and a person lacking a limb as khalatiḥ:

kalaṃvakastvavākkarṇaḥ khalatistvindraluptakaḥ |

(e) Kekaraḥ (II. 6. 49)–


Amarakośa gives kuṇi as synonym.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains that the sight of a squint eyed person is disoriented with unsteady pupil. He also observes that Upādhyāya, probably an earlier lexicographer read the word as Kācara

ke mūrdhani karotyakṣiṇī calattārakatvātkekaraḥ | enamupādhyāyaḥ kācara ityaravyat ||

Footnotes and references:


Amarakośa records these facts and Kṣīrasvāmin analysis some of these deficiencies in his commentary on the prajñu (bowlegged).


This Nāmamālā is not available and is different from Dhanañjaya’s Nāmamālā.


Source is not identifiable.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: