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The Amarakosha is a thesaurus of Sanskrit written by the ancient Indian scholar Amarasimha. The word "Amarkosha" (Sanskrit: अमरकोश, IAST: Amarakośa) derives from the Sanskrit words amara ("immortal") and kosha ("treasure, casket, pail, collection, dictionary"). It is also known as Namalinganushasana (Sanskrit: नामलिङ्गानुशासनम्, IAST: Nāmaliṅgānuśāsanam) from nama-linga-anu-shasana "instruction concerning nouns and gender".

It is the oldest extent kosha. The author himself mention 18 prior works, but they have all been lost. There have been more than 40 commentaries on the Amarakosha.


Main article: Amara Sinha

Amarasimha is said to have been one of the Navaratnas ("nine gems") at the court of Chandragupta II, a Gupta king who reigned around AD 400. Some sources indicate that he belonged to the period of Vikramaditya of 7th century.[1]

Mirashi examines the question of the date of composition of Amarakosha. He finds the first reliable mention in Amoghavritti of Shakatayana composed during the reign of Amoghavarsha(814-867CE)[2]

Textual organisation[edit]

The Amarakosha consists of verses that can be easily memorized. It is divided into three khāṇḍas or chapters. The first, svargādi-khāṇḍa ("heaven and others") has words pertaining to gods and heavens. The second, bhūvargādi-khāṇḍa ("earth and others") deals with words about earth, towns, animals and humans. The third, sāmānyādi-khāṇḍa ("common") has words related to grammar and other miscellaneous words.

Svargadhikanda, the first Kandam of Amarakosham begins with the verse 'Svaravyam swarganakathridivatrishalaya..' describing various names of Heaven viz. Sva, Avya, swarga, Naka, Tridiva, Tridasalaya etc. The second verse 'Amara, nirjara, deva,’ describes various words that are equivalent to word God. The fifth and sixth verses give various names of Gautama Buddha. The following verses give the different names of Brahma, Vishnu, Vasudeva, Balarama, etc. All these names are treated with great reverence which makes it difficult to ascertain Amara Sinha's theological bent.

The second Kandam, Bhuvargadhikanda, of Amarakosham is divided into ten Vargas or parts. The ten Vargas are Bhuvarga (Earth), Puravarga (Towns or Cities), Shailavarga (Mountains), Vanoshadivarga (Forests and medicines), Simhadivarga (Lions and other animals), Manushyavarga (Mankind), Bramhavarga (Brahmin), Kshatriyavarga (Kshatriyas), Vysyavarga (Vysyas) and Sudravarga (Sudras).

The Third Kandam, Samanyadhikanda contains Adjectives, Verbs, words related to prayer and business etc. The first verse Kshemankaroristatathi Shivathathi Shivamkara gives the Nanarthas of the word Shubakara or propitious as Kshemankara, Aristathathi, Shivathathi and Shivamkara.


"Amarakoshodghaatana" by Kshiirasvaamin, (11th cent CE, the earliest commentary)
"Tiikaasarvasvam" by Vandhyaghatiiya Sarvaananda, (12th cent CE)
"Raamaasramii"(Vyaakhyaasudha) by Bhaanuji Diikshita,
"Padachandrikaa" by Raayamukuta
"Kaashikavivaranapanjikha" by Jinendra Bhudhi
"Paarameshwari" by Parameswaran Moosad in Malaylam


"Gunaratha" of Ujjain translated it to Chinese in 7th century .