By Swami Harshananda
Amarakoṣa literally means ‘immortal lexicon’ or ‘Lexicon of Amarasimha’.
Lexicography is one of the important branches of technical literature in Sanskrit. The Nighantu, a vocabulary of Vedic words, is the oldest lexicon so far known. The Nirukta of Yāska (800 B. C.) is a commentary on it.
- The first called Svargakānda deals with heavenly matters.
- The second called Bhumikānda deals with earthly things.
- The third called Sāmānyakānda is concerned with general matters.
The whole work is written in the anuṣṭubh metre. A major part of the work deals with synonyms and only a small section called Nānārthavarga is devoted to homonyms.
Being the most popular of such lexicons, the Amarakosa has sixty commentaries. Out of them the Amarakosod-ghātana by Kṣīrasvāmin (11th cent A. D.) seems to be the earliest. Tikāsarvasva of Sarvānanda (12th cent. A. D.) are more scholarly works.
- Nāma-liñgānuśāsanam literatlly means ‘a work which deals with vocables and their genders’
- Trikānda literally means three ‘kāṇḍas’ or books
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore