Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Flora (14): Vegetables’ 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.

Flora (14): Vegetables

Śāka[1] (II.4.136; p.115):

Amara gives the name śāka to all edible leaves, fruits and other parts of the plants–

śakyate'nena bhoktaṃ?[…] śyati dehaṃ vā śākam |
nimbādeḥ puṣpaṃ kovidārādeḥ ādiśabdātphalaṃ vārtakyādeḥ mūlaṃ mūlakaviśādeḥ kandaḥ sūraṇādeḥ āṅkuro vaṃśādeḥ |

The edible parts of a tree or plant as illustrated by Kṣīrasvāmin are śāka is that which yields itself for nourishing the body. In other words edible leaves like that of Nimba, Kovidāra’s flowers, fruit of Brinjal family, ubers like Radish, corns like Yava, vegetables formed from apical growths viz. the edible bamboo, and the entire plant resembling an umbrella, in the case of mushrooms belonging to phylum fungi all fall under this category.

So he mentions the 10 kinds of classifications of śāka viz.–

āha ca
mūlapattrakarīragraphalakāṇḍavirūḍhakāḥ |
tvak puṣpaṃ kavakaṃ ceti śākaṃ daśavidhaṃ smṛtam ||

Explaining the term virūḍha, Kṣīrasvāmin gives the view of Gauḍa according to whom it is the core bundles of the centre of date palm.

Whereas Kṣīrasvāmin interprets it as that which sprouts from the fruits when sown–

virūḍhaka tālāsthimajjeti gauḍaḥ |
vayaṃ tu
kṣetroddhṛtasya phalamūlādeḥ sekānnavodbhinnānaṅkurānvirūḍhānmanyāmahe |

Footnotes and references:


sthalapadmamiti gauḍāḥ | śākāravyaṃ patra puṣpā''di |

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