Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Education (5): Linguistic principles’ 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.

Education (5): Linguistic principles

(a) Śabdaḥ (I. 5. 2; p. 42)–

[Word:]

Amarakośa defines that in a scientific text the word śabdaḥ is the denotative of as object / idea.

Kṣīrasvāmin compliments that the sciences denote grammar, logic and others. In ordinary usage the word śabdaḥ meaning sound may denote even the roar of the waves of the ocean

śāstre vyākaraṇatarkaśāstrādau yo vācakaḥ sa śabdaḥ | loke samudraghoṣādirapi |

(b) Vākyam (I. 5. 2; p. 42)–

[Sentence:]

Amarakośa defines a sentence[1] as collection of words inflected with ‘sup’ or ‘tiṅ’; or the relation of nouns to the verb.

Kṣīrasvāmin demonstrates these with examples: “the food being cooked” and “this is natural to the great men” from Bhartṛhari's Nītiśatakam (II. 52) for tiṅanta or subanta group of words forming a sentence–

tiṅanta samūho yathā—pacati bhavati—pāko bhavatītyarthaḥ |
subantacayo yathā—prakṛtisiddhamidaṃ hi mahātmanām |

The sentence with the nouns related to the verb is explained by him with an example, as–

kārakairanvitā saṃbaddhārthā vā kriyā vākyam—devadatta gāmabhyājaya śuklāṃ daṇḍena |

Kṣīrasvāmin adds that the definition is inclusive of the recquisites of a sentence namely expectancy and congruity–

sarvatrākāṅkṣāyogyatāvaśādanvitatvaṃ lakṣaṇam |

Also in the Nānārtha varga, Kṣīrasvāmin while explaining the term ‘pada’ (III. 3. 93; p. 292) quotes Nyāya view that a sentence is a group of words–

padasamūho vākyam |

Since the Mīmāṃsa school gives more importance to sentence Kṣīrasvāmin furnishes the definition according to both Jaimini (II. 1. 46) and Bhaṭṭa, who say that the words which are independent when connected become a syntactical unit; thereby they give rise to a proper meaning of a sentence:

yajjaiminiḥ—
ārthaikatvādekaṃ
vākyaṃ sākāṅkṣaṃ cedvibhāge syāt |
bhaṭṭo'pi—sākāṅkṣāvayavaṃ
bhede parānākāṅkṣaśabdakam |
karmapradhānaṃ guṇavadekārthaṃ vākyamucyate |
ekaṃ śabdātmano'nyadarthātmakasya vākyasya lakṣmetyeke |

Both the Mīmāṃsā schools (Bhāṭṭa and Guru-mata), accept verbal testimony 'śabda pramāṇa' as one of the means of knowledge.

Amarakośa lists synonyms for verbal expressions of good languagesaṃskṛtam, apabhraṃśa–corrupt language, pāruṣyam–harsh speech and words, satyam–truth, vitatham–false, kalyā–auspicious speech, sāntvam–sweet speech grastam–slurred speech, nirastam–fast spoken and other such words. Some of them are well explained by Kṣīrasvāmin with interesting examples.

(c) Samlāpa (I. 5. 16; p. 45)–

[Conversation:]

Amarakośa gives the word samlāpa for conversation and Kṣīrasvāmin adds saṅkathā in the same sense.

(d) Upodghāta (I. 5. 9; p. 44)–

[Preface, an example or counter argument:]

Amarakośa gives udāhāra as its synonym and Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as “that which leads to the proximity and abandons”–

upa samīpaṃ uddhṛtya hanyata upodghātaḥ |
yadāhuḥ cintāṃ prakṛta siddhyarthāmupodghātaṃ pracakṣate |

(e) Saṃhūti (I. 5. 8; p. 44)–

[Clamour, loud uproar:]

Amarakośa gives saṃhūti as the word for clamour/loud uproar.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains it as the noise made by many people at the same time. He also refers to Bhāguri who says that it may mean all calling at the same time in the same way–

bahubhiḥ kṛtāhūtiḥsaṃhūtiḥ | sadṛśāhvaya iti bhāguriḥ |

(f) Śapanam (I. 5. 9; p. 44)–

[An oath:]

Amarakośa gives two words for oath namely śapanam and śapatha.

Kṣīrasvāmin explains śapanam as the act of touching the body along with the announcement; this act seems to be prevalent even today–

vācā śarīra sparśanaṃ |

He also adds another word śāpa from Amaramālā:

śāpo'pītyamaramālā |

The word śāpa is generally used in sense of curse.

(g) Pāruṣyam (I. 5. 14; p. 45)–

[Unfriendly speech:]

Amarakośa gives two words for unfriendly speech–pāruṣyam and ativādaḥ reproach and disparagement–

maivaṃ kṛtāḥ vācyatetyarthaḥ |

Words used in such a language are called niṣṭḥuraṃ and paruṣaṃ (I.5.20; p.46) in Amarakośa and Kṣīrasvāmin adds vikuṣṭa to the list.

(h) Ākṣāraṇā (I. 5. 15; p. 45)–

[An imputation of adultery:]

In the context of explaining the word ākṣāraṇā Kṣīrasvāmin says that it is a censure targeted at the spouse and uses the Deśi word gāli. He gives the view of Durga in the same context that the word ākṣāraṇā is used in the sense of cursing in anger

maithunamuddiśya gālī ityarthaḥ dūṣaṇamityeke | kṣāraṇāpi kṣāraṇākṣāraṇākrośāḥ sābhiśāpābhimaithunā iti durgaḥ |

(i) Ruśatī (I. 5. 19; p. 46)–

[Inaupicious speech:]

Amarakośa defines ruśatī as inaupicious speech.

Kṣīrasvāmin reads the word as ruṣatī and cites from unknown source that such utterances only leads to hell. He further adds that the reading of the word as uṣatī is corrupt or wrong—

ruṣati hiṃsretyarthaḥ na tāṃ vadedruṣatīṃ pāpalokyām āta uṣatītyasabhyaḥ pāṭhaḥ |

(j) Saṅkula (I. 5. 20; p. 46)–

[Contradictory:]

Amarakośa defines saṅkulaṃ and kliṣṭa[2] as two words synonymous of the meaning “contradictory to one another and inconsistent”.

Kṣīrasvāmin gives a beautiful example explaining the two synonymous words to denote contradiction–

“The blind obtaining or finding the gem, the fingerless strings or studs that gem and the neck-less or a man devoid of neck wears it which the tongueless man praises”.

This verse is a beatiful example of contradictions–

ānyonya viruddhaṃ saṃkulaṃ kliṣṭaṃ ca |
yathā—
āndho maṇimupāvidhyattamanaṅgulirāvayat |
tamagrīvaḥ pratyamuñcattamajihvo'bhyapūjayat ||

(k) Abaddham (I. 5. 21; p. 46)–

[Unmeaningful word:]

Amarakośa gives the word abaddhaṃ[3] for a meaningless word and Kṣīrasvāmin gives the example as cited in the Mahābhāṣya[4]

āsaṃbaddhaṃ daśadāḍimādi vākyaṃ samudāyārthaśūnyam |

(l) Āhatam (I. 5. 22; p. 46)–

[Impossibility:]

Amarakośa gives the word āhatam[5] for an impossibility. Kṣīrasvāmin gives an example for impossibility quoting a well-known verse which says:

“Here goes the son of a barren woman adorned with the flower from the sky, bathing in the waters of a mirage and holding the bow made of the rabbit’s horns”:

yathā—eṣa vandhyā suto yāti khapuṣpakṛtaśekharaḥ |
mṛgatṛṣṇāmbhasi snātaḥ śaśaśṛṅgadhanurdharaḥ ||

Amarakośa mentions 17 words to denote sound–nināda, marmara–rustling, śiñjita–tinkling of ornaments, prakvāṇa–sound of lute, kolāhala–confused sound, vāśitam–cry of birds, pratiśrut–echo gītam–song and so on.

(m) Kolāhala (I. 5. 27; p. 47)–

[Tumult:]

Amarakośa mentions kalakala and kolāhala as synonyms. Kṣīrasvāmin's etymological explanation is novel in explaining kolāhala as ‘the frightening of the boars’–

kolān sūkarānāhalayate trāsayati kolāhalaḥ |

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

tiṅ—subanta—cayo vākyaṃ kriyā vā kārakānvitā |

[2]:

saṃkula kliṣṭe paraspara parāhate |

[3]:

ābaddhaṃ syādanarthakam

[4]:

Cf. Vyākaraṇa Mahābhāṣya, Vol. I, p. 125: ānarthakāni—daśadāḍimāni, ṣaḍapūpāḥ, kaṇḍamajājinaṃ... |

[5]:

āhataṃ tu mṛṣārthakaṃ |

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