Cosmetics, Costumes and Ornaments in Ancient India

by Remadevi. O. | 2009 | 54,177 words

This page relates ‘Materials (g): Vaidurya (Lapis lazuli, cat’s eye)’ of the study on cosmetics, costumes and ornaments of ancient India based on Sanskrit sources. Chapter one deals with cosmetics and methods of enhancing beauty; Chapter two deals with costumes, garments and dresses; Chapter three deals with ornaments for humans and animals. Each chapter deals with their respective materials, types, preparation and trade, as prevalent in ancient Indian society.

1.2. Materials (g): Vaiḍūrya (Lapis lazuli, cat’s eye)

Vaiḍūrya was created from the nose of the demon Bala[1]. Kāca (Glass), Gairika (Mountain glass), Sphaṭika (crystal) and Śiśupāla are the four varieties of Vaiḍūrya. Of these, Sphaṭika has a blue shade and is considered the best among the four. A scratch cannot be made on Kāca. Gairika is glossy. It has various colours. Mention is made of a dark Vaiḍūrya in Pratimānāṭaka[2] of Bhāsa.

Based on its colour, Kauṭilya refers eight varieties[3]. They are as follows.

Name Colour
Utpalavarṇa Resembles red lotus
Śirīṣapuṣpaka Looks like Śirīṣa flower
Udakavarṇa Similar to water
Vāṃśarāga Of bamboo leaf
Śukapatra Like parrot feather
Puṣyarāga Turmeric coloured
Gomūtraka Resembles cow's urine
Gomedaka Like Gorocana

Footnotes and references:




DAOAI, p.143

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