Amarakoshodghatana of Kshirasvamin (study)

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

This page relates ‘Fauna (9): Other Fauna’ 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 (9): Other Fauna

(a) Musalī (II. 5. 13; p. 127)–

[House Lizard:]

Kṣīrasvāmin points out that the Gauḍa uses the palatal ‘śa’ and pronounces the word as muśalī

muśalīti gauḍaḥ |

He also remarks that the synonym gṛhagodhikā mentioned in Amarakośa has a better reading as gṛhagolikā further stating that it is popular as ghar-goli

gṛhagolikā iti sabhyaḥ pāṭhaḥ yasyā ghargolīti prasiddhiḥ |

(b) Markaṭa (II. 5. 13, p. 127)–


Kṣīrasvāmin explains that a spider is also called markaṭa as it climbs up and down like a monkey–

markaṭa iva rohaṇāvarohaṇānmarkaṭaḥ |

He also adds jālika and jālakāra to denote a spider.

(c) Āli and Druṇa (II. 5. 14, p. 127)–


Kṣīrasvāmin explains the word āli to mean–the presence of misfortune and that the word is used in Jyotiṣa texts as alī[1]

ālamanartho'trastyālī jyautiṣe'lī ||

The word druṇa, he says is spelt by some as droṇa and remarks that this is a poisonous creature–

druṇati druṇaḥ, druṇa hiṃsāyāṃ kaḥ, droṇa ityeke, viṣakīṭo'yam |

(d) Bhramara (II. 5. 30, p. 130)–

[Large black bee:]

Kṣīrasvāmin gives the deśi words of the blackbee as cañcarīka, bhasala, indindira, rolamba:

cañcarīkabhasalendindira—rolambā deśyām ||

But it is interesting to note that these terms are found in Sanskrit Dictionaries[2] of present day.

(e) Puttikā (II. 5. 28, p. 130)–

[Small bee:]

Kṣīrasvāmin mentions that puttikā is a variety of honeybee and quotes the text of Nimi which gives the varieties of honey collected from different bees–

putkutsitaṃ tanoti puttikā madhumakṣikābhedo'yaṃ |
mākṣikaṃ tailavarṇaṃ syād ghṛtavarṇaṃ tu
pauttikam |
bhrāmaraṃ tu bhavecchuklaṃ kṣaudraṃ tu kapilaṃ bhavet ||

Footnotes and references:


satsvarthageṣu maraṇaṃ svayameva tasyāḥ kanyāligohariṣu cālpasutatvamindau | (Bṛhajjātaka24.14).


V.S. Apte and Monier Williams.

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