Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra

by Helen M. Johnson | 1931 | 742,503 words

This is the English translation of the Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Charita (literally “The lives of the sixty-three illustrious People”), a Sanskrit epic poem written by Hemachandra in the twelfth century. The work relates the history and legends of important figures in the Jain faith. These 63 persons include: the twenty four tirthankaras , the t...

Seventeen kinds of grain

The ‘17 kinds of grain’ are enumerated by Hem. in a quotation in his com. to Abhidhānacintāmaṇi (Bhav.) 4. 233. Dhānya is used in its widest sense, including not only Leguminosæ with the Gramineæ, but also hemp, sesamum, etc. The 17 enumerated are:

1. vrīhi, rice that ripens during the rains, Oryza sativa.

2. yava, barley, Hordeum vulgare.

3. masūra, lentil, Lens esculenta.

4. godhūma, wheat, Triticum vulgare.

5. mudga, kidney-bean, Phaseolus radiatus, popularly called ‘green gram’ in India. It is mūṅg in Hindī and mag in Gujarātī.

6. māṣa, another variety of kidney-bean, Phaseolus mungo, ‘black gram,’ uṛad (H) and aḍad (Gujarātī).

7. tila, sesame, Sesamum.

8. caṇaka, chick-pea, Cicer arietinum.

9. aṇava, great millet, Sorghum vulgare. Prakrit: aṇua, Deśī. 1. 52, which is juvāra (Ardha-Māgadhī Koṣa: aṇuā) or juār, Sorghum vulgare. The Sk. original of juār is yavanāla. Deśī. calls it ‘sālibheda.’

10. priyaṅgu, Italian millet, Setaria Italica (Panicum Italicum).

A Sk. synonym is kaṅgu, which also occurs in the vernacular.

11. kodrava, kodo millet, Paspalum scrobiculatum.

12. mayuṣṭhaka. In Abhidhānacintāmaṇi (Bhav.) 4. 240 mayuṣṭhaka occurs, so certainly mayucchaka in Bhav. ed. is an incorrect reading. MW cites ‘mayuṣṭaka L.’ which probably comes from this passage only (the B.R. ed. using that spelling). Hem. gives mayuṣṭhaka as a synonym of makuṣṭhaka, the Phaseolus aconitifolius, moṭh (H), maṭh (Gujarātī). MW quotes also mayaṣṭaka, mukuṣṭhaka, etc.

13. śāli, rice grown under water and reaped during winter, Oryza sativa.

14. āḍhakī, pigeon-pea, Cajanus Indicus, arahar (H).

15. kalāya, pea, Pisum, maṭar (H). Hem. in com. to Abhidhānacintāmaṇi (Bhav.) 4. 236 gives tripuṭa as synonym, as does Pravacanasāroddhāra, com. to 996. I found no other citation of tripuṭa, hut tripuṭī is identified with Pathyrus sativus.

16. kulattha, horse-gram, Dolichos biflorus, kalathī (Gujarātī), kulathī (H).

17. śaṇa, hemp, Cannabis sativa. Vem. bhaṅg from Sk. bhaṅga, a synonym of śaṇa.

For these identifications I have consulted mainly Watt and Dutt, besides the lexicons. All the dhānyas in this list seem to be identified with fair certainty.

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