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By M. A. Alwar

Sometimes transliterated as: Amsah, AMZaH, Amshah

Aṃśaḥ literally means dividing or one division.

Origin of the Word Aṃśaḥ

Aṃśaḥ is the word derived from the verb-root ‘aṃśa vibhājane’. This word ends in the syllable ‘a’. It belongs to the tenth group called curādi.

Synonyms of the Word Aṃśaḥ

Synonyms of aṃśaḥ given in Amarakośa are:

  1. 'Bhāgaḥ’
  2. ‘Vaṇṭakaḥ’

Jaṭādhara adds other synonyms which are:

  1. ‘Vibhāgaḥ’
  2. Bhaktiḥ’

Pronounciation of the Word Aṃśaḥ

While pronouncing the word Aṃśaḥ the dental S is used because the Kavikalpadruma says aṃśāsakta vibhājane. While vidyāvinoda etc. says that the word ‘aṃsa’ means shoulder only.

General Meanings of the word Aṃśaḥ

On general terms the word aṃśa has several meanings. They are:

  1. A part of a thing
  2. A part of inherited property
  3. One fourth of a thing or number
  4. The result of division (in mathematics)
  5. A special form of the Sun

Aṃśaḥ as per Mahābhārata

The Mahābhārata says aṃśaḥ to be “The 1/360 part of a circle."

Aṃśaḥ as per Geometry

According to geometry ‘aṃśa’ is degree.

Aṃśaḥ as per Epics

A king who belonged to Yadu’s dynasty was also called ‘aṃśa’ which is known from a statement in the epics.[1]


  1. “धाता मित्रोऽर्य्यमा शक्रो वरुणस्त्वंश एव च ।भगो विवस्वान् पूषा च सविता दशमस्तथा॥एकादशस्तथा त्वष्टा द्वादशो विष्णुरेव च ।जघन्यजम्तु सर्व्वेषामादित्यानां गुणाधिकः”।। ततः कुरुवत्सः ततश्च अनुरथः ततः पुरुहोत्रो जज्ञे ततश्च अंश इति ।
  • Shabdakalpadrumah by Raja Radhakantdev, Varadaprasada Vasu, Haricarana Vasu