Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Prevention and Precautions’ 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.

Prevention and Precautions

To live a healthy life certain habits are prescribed to be followed. Some of them are follows:

(a) Good conducts:

In enumerating the good conducts under the daily regimen, Aṣtāṅgahṛdaya of Vāgbhaṭa (II. 32) lists out the activities to be done of which he says one must walk upright, looking straight with his sight over a distance of four cubit arms (III. 3. 24; p.275):

vicaredyugamātradṛk |

115 śūlaṃ rugāyudham |

(b) Vega (III. 3. 20; p. 273-74)–


Explaining the term vega in Nānārtha varga which gives speed and stream as two meanings, Kṣīrasvāmin adds–As a habit one should not suppress the urges of flatus, faeces, urine, sneeze, thirst, hunger etc. Kṣīrasvāmin quotes from Aṣtāṅgahṛdaya of Vāgbhaṭa (IV. 1)–

āpi śabdānmūtrādipravṛttau yathā—vegānna dhārayedvātaviṇmūtrakṣavatṛṭkṣudhām |

(c) Punaḥ (III. 4. 1; p. 337)–


Illustrating the indeclinable Kṣīrasvāmin cites the example thus–One should drink water (but not excessively) frequently–

punaḥ punarvāri pibedabhuri |

(d) Kriyā (II. 3. 156)–

[Medicine or cure:]

Cikitsā is the term to denote cure or treatment of a disease.

Kṣīrasvāmin citing example for the word kriyā used in sense of treatment mentions that the treatment for recurring fever is the repetition of the same medicine or treatment advised for the earlier occurrence–

cikitsā yathā—punarjvaraṃ samutpanne kriyā pūrvajvarānugā |

In the main, Kṣīrasvāmin seems to have mastered the medicinal texts of Caraka and Vāgbhaṭa, for he quotes profusely from these texts whenever necessary. A reading of Kṣīrasvāmin’s description of the various parts or organs of the body and a comparative study of Caraka Saṃhitā, Suśruta Samhita and Aṣtāṅgahṛdaya reveals that Kṣīrasvāmin has followed the text of Vāgbhaṭa in majority.

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