Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Fauna (5): Domesticated animals (d): Cow’ 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.

Fauna (5): Domesticated animals (d): Cow

Gau–(II. 9. 58; p. 213)–


Recita as Vivṛti says is the pace of the horses in pride; Pārijāta opines it to be a straight gait.

dhuryāṇāṃ vegena saha kiṃcidgarvitasahitaṃ gamanaṃ recitamityucyate | recanaṃ recitam |
āvakradrutā gatistu recitam |
valgatīti valgitam |
padbhirvalganaṃ valgitaṃ |

Pluta according to Pārijāta is the spring or leap similar to the birds and deer.

plavata iti plutam |
pakṣimṛgasāmyena laṅghanaṃ plutam |

(i) Rohiṇī (II. 9. 67; p. 215)–

[An excellent cow:]

Kṣīrasvāmin gives śabalā as an equivalent to denote an excellent cow. He adds anaḍvāhī, gauḥ, anaḍuhī and praśastā, these are the feminine forms of the words already mentioned in Amarakośa, II. 9. 60 to denote an ox.

(ii) Praṣṭḥauhī[1] (II. 9. 70; p. 215)–

[A pregnant heifer:]

According to Amarakośa the word praṣṭḥauhī denotes a pregnant heifer.

In this connection Kṣīrasvāmin observes that the term praṣṭḥauhī is used by all to denote a pregnant cow; but that Bhāguri records that a pregnant heifer is denoted by the term asiknī and Mālākāra states that the same is denoted by the word paliknī

praṣṭhauhī garbhiṇīti sarve |
āsiktī bālagarbhiṇīti bhāguriḥ |
bālagarbhiṇīti mālā ||

(iii) Pareṣṭukā[2] (II. 9. 70d; p. 215-16)–

[A cow bearing many calves:]

Commenting on the word Kṣīrasvāmin adds that a cow which has delivered only once is called gṛṣṭiḥ—

sakṛtprasūtā gṛṣṭiḥ |

(iv) Śvā (II. 10. 22, p. 230)–


Kṣīrasvāmin adds maṇḍalī to denote a dog and records that in Deśī the word for a dog is rathyāmṛga

maṇḍalī ca | rathyāmṛgo deśyām |

Probably alluding to the behaviour of the dogs of roaming in the streets.

Footnotes and references:


praṣṭhauhī bālagarbhiṇī |


bahuprasūtiḥ pareṣṭukā |

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