Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Philosophy (7): Buddhist philosophical concepts’ 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.

Philosophy (7): Buddhist philosophical concepts

(a) Cittābhoga and manaskāra (I. 4. 2; p. 38):

Cittābhoga and manaskāra are two words to denote conciousness of pleasure or pain.

Kṣīrasvāmin takes the opportunity to highlight the view of the Buddhists in explaining ābhoga which according to them is control of mind by continuous flow or succession–

pūrvoktasya cittasya saṃtānadvāreṇa sthairyamābhoga iti bauddhāḥ |

(b) Guṇas (I. 1. 1; p. 2)–


The benedictory verse of Amarakośa mentions anaghā guṇāḥ.

Commenting on this verse Kṣīrasvāmin explains that the verse is addressed to Buddha and the term guṇa refers to the 37 guṇas (practices and principles)–

ānaghā niṣpāpā guṇāḥ kṣāntyādayo bodhipakṣāḥ pakṣyāḥ saptatriṃśat |

The Buddhist philosophers refer to the 37 items as ` bodhi pakṣyā dharmāḥ', comprising of 37 practices and principles. They are held to be conducive to the attainment of enlightenment. Several passages of Buddhist sanskrit literature refer to the 37 items but with out a collective appellation, ` bodhi pakṣyā dharmāḥ'. Example–Divyāvadāna (ed. E.Bhānuji Dīkṣita Cowell & R. A. Neil (Cambridge1886) 208. 7ff Pra. Pā. Aṣṭasāhasrika Prajñāpārimita (edt. b y R. Mitra. Calcutta. 1888. Bibiliotheca Indica. 56-7, 133, 162, 1473 p. 1636 Ln. 10). But the list includes more than 37 dharmas. The numeral 37 is however found in Prajñāpārimita. P. 1410. 19; 274. 22).

The 37 dharmas[1] are usually given in the following order:

Four Smṛtyupastānas — 4.
Four Samyak–Prahāṇas — 4.
Four Ṛddhi pādās — 4.
Five Indriyas — 5.
Five Balas — 5.
Seven Bodhyaṅgas — 7.
The noble eight fold way — 8
Total — 37

I. The four Smṛtyupastānas are–

1. KāyaSmṛtyupastāna,
2. VedanāSmṛtyupastāna,
3. Citta - Smṛtyupastāna,
4. Dharma Smṛtyupastāna

II. Four Samyak–Prahāṇas (Soundarananda kavya, XVII. 24):

1. Samyak,
2. Pradhān,
3. Ottama,
4. Vāhanastha..

III. Four Ṛddhi pādās:

1. Chanda,
2. Citta,
3. Vīrya,
4. Mīmāṃsa.

V. Five Indriyas and the Five Balas have same names:

1. Śraddhā,
2. Vīrya,
3. Smṛti,
4. Samādhi,
5. Prajñā.

VI. The Seven Bodhyaṅgas:

1. Smṛti,
2. Dharmapravicaya,
3. Vīrya,
4. Prīti,
5. Praśraddhi,
6. Samādhi,
7. Upekṣā.

VII. Eight fold Way:

1. Samyag dṛṣṭi,
2. Samyaksaṅkalpa,
3. Samyag vāk,
4. Samyak karmānta,
5. Samyag–ājiva,
6. Samyag–vyāyāma,
7. Samyak–Smṛti,
8. Samyak–samādhi.

Footnotes and references:


Divyāvadāna–208. 77: yaduta catvāri smṛtyupasthanāni catvāri samyakprahāṇāni catvāraḥ ṛddhipādāḥ pañcendriyāṇi pañcabalāni saptabodhyaṅgāni āryāṣṭāṅgo mārgaḥ |

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