22 Sanskrit words for Sky !

Point Reyes Sunset1

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1394; Dated 6th November 2014.

Amarakosha is one of the celebrated dictionaries in the world. It is a thesaurus that gives several words with the same meaning. Several scholars date this Sanskrit work to fifth century CE. It has been commented upon by excellent scholars. Ksheeraswamin, Rayamukuta, Linga Bhatta, Bhanuji Dikshit and several others commented on the work from ninth century onwards. This is also called Nama linga anusasana. In the Sanskrit language, so far over 100 versified vocabularies and commentaries have been discovered. Sanskrit pundits always quote Amarakosha , Vaijayanti and Sasvat kosha.

Amarakosha gives 22 words for the sky and the atmosphere. One of them is a word which says about sky route for transport! 1500 years before the invention of aeroplane Amarasimha called sky is used for transport!!

alberta-sky-1

When Brahmins do Tarpana for the departed souls over ninety times a year, they pray to the departed souls to come by the sky route (Deva Yanai: or Puurvyai Pathibi: in Sanskrit). Tamils also believed that Gods and angels (Deva) reside in the sky. Famous Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar refers to the deity in the sky (heaven) in his Tirukkural (couplet 50). All the pictures, calendars, sculptures show God as descending from the heaven (Eg. Gajendra Moksha sculptures, paintings etc.from Guptas period). In short, God has to use the air route! That is what humans believed. Famous Tamil poem Kutrala Kurvanji of Trikuda Rasappa Kavi says that Siddhas use sky for their travel (Gagana Siddhar).

Following are the words for the Sky given in Amarakosha:
1.Dyau = which can’t be filled, which will never be full. Dyaus is father and Prthvi (earth) is mother. Dyau became Zeus in Greek. That gave the word Jupiter.
2.Diva =place of divinities
3.Abram = touching the sky; filled with water clouds
4.Vyoma = that which surrounds us
5.Pushkaram = that which gives water.
6.Ambaram = sky or covers earth like clothe.
7.Naba: – surrounded by the clouds
8.Antariksha = atmosphere
9Gagana = fit for transport
10.Ananta = endless
11.Suravartman = devas reside there
12.Kam = that which supports
13.Vihayasi = air; atmosphere; aerial
14.Vihayas= suspended in air; aerial
15.Tarapatha:= path of stars
16.Naka = heaven
17.Meghadva = cloud bearing
18.Akasa = Open space
19.Viyad = intermediate area between heaven and earth; part asunder
20.Vishnupadam = vishnu’s place, vishnu’s foot
21.Mahabhila = great hole
22.Dyu: = See Dyaus
sky1_mini

When Amarasimha lists the words in his Amarakosa he gives the gender of the words as well. In the olden days whoever goes to Gurukula will be asked to memorise the 2000+ lines at young age. By the time s/he becomes a youth he would have learnt 10,000 synonyms!

Deogarh2

vyomavargaḥ (Namalinganusasana)
Sky or atmosphere (26)
(1.2.167) dyodivau dve striyāmabhraṃ vyoma puṣkaramambaram
(1.2.168) nabho ‘ntarikṣaṃ gaganamanantaṃ suravartma kham
(1.2.169) viyad viṣṇupadaṃ vā tu puṃsyākāśavihāyasī
(1.2.170) vihāsayo ‘pi nāko ‘pi dyurapi syāt tadavyam
(1.2.171) tārāpatho ‘ntarikṣaṃ ca meghādhvā ca mahābilam
(1.2.172) vihāyāḥ śakune puṃsi gagane puṃnapuṃsakam

sky at sunrise

There are more words for the sky in other books. It shows the richness of the language.

contact swami_48@yahoo.com

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: