Author Topic: History of Plant Science , History of Botany , Botanical Researches In India  (Read 6688 times)

Bhishma Kukreti

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Plant Classification in Bhasya by Prashastapada a Philosophy,  Sanskrit Classic

Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –149
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
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Prashastapada was an Indian philosopher that wrote Padartha –Dhama-Sangrah and a Commentary titled as Prashastapada Bhashya.
Potter states (1) that Prashastapada can be attentively dated second half of the 6th century.
Prashastapada classified Plants into following types (2) –
Trina (Ghas) – Grass
Aushadhi (Shak) medicinal plants or herbs
Lata (Creepers)
Avatan (long creepers)
Vriksha (trees)
Vanaspati (Huge trees)

References:
1-Potter Karl H ed. The Encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophy; Vol.2, Indian Metaphysics and Epistemology: the Tradition of Nyaya-Vaisheshika up to Ganngesa.Vol2, Princeton University Press 2015 page 282
2- Dayanand Pant, 1994Vigyan ka Itihas, Shabdkar, Delhi page 60
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Plant Classification in Amarkosha - part - 1

Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –149
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
Amarkosha is the first recorded lexicon of Sanskrit compiled by Amarasimha. The Amarakosha is mostly compiled in 7th century (10 and some sources guessed the lexicon was compiled in 4th century (2).
Amarasimha divided plants into following classes-
Vanaspati (large trees)
Vriksha –Common trees
Lata (creepers)
Aushadhi (herbs)
Trina (Grass)
and 
Trinadrum (palm)
Vriksharuha/Vrikshadani (parasite Creepers)

References
1-Amarakosha compiled by B. L.Rice edited by N Balsubramanya 1970, page X
2- Dayanand Pant, 1994Vigyan ka Itihas, Shabdkar, Delhi page 60
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Bhishma Kukreti

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Forest Classification in Amarkosha

Plant Classification in Amarkosha - part - 2
Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –151
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
Amarkosha is the first recorded lexicon of Sanskrit compiled by Amarsimha. The Amarkosha is mostly compiled in 7th century (10 and some sources guessed the lexicon was compiled in 4th century (2).
 There is forest classification in Amarkosha by Amarsimha as follows –
Vanam ( 2.4,1.1 )
Mahvanam  (Great  forests ,-2.4,1.2)
Grihopvanam (forests for house uses - , 2.4, 1.2)
Vriksha Vatika (garden with trees – 2.4,2.2)
Pumankreed Udyanam Ragya:  sadharan vanam (2.4 3.1)
KritrimVriskhahsamuh:  (Forest /garden for amusement -2.4,2.1)
Sadharan vanha (Useed by all ) ( 2.4,3.1)

References
1-Amarakosha compiled by B. L.Rice edited by N Balsubramanya 1970, page X
2- Dayanand Pant, 1994Vigyan ka Itihas, Shabdkar, Delhi page 60
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Types of soil in Amarkosha
Agriculture Science in Amarkosha Lexicon -
Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature    
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –153 
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
s= Half अ /आधा अ फलो
-
 There are references of Agriculture science in Amarkosha too.  There is agriculture subject in Aushadhivarga, Bhumivarga and Vaisyavarga (2).
In Vaisyavarga, there are two words those are connected to agriculture-
भूमिस्पृश/ Bhumisprisha – that who  touches (cultivates) the  land
क्षेत्रजीव /Kshetrajiva =  The husbandman or living on land (cultivation) .
The classification of Soil in Bhumivarga of Amarkosha –
The soil classification/nomenclature by fertility is as under –
मृतिका /Mritika – Soil
मृतसा/ mritasa - excellent soil
उर्व्वरा/urvara – A  fertile soil  with every crop
Or
सर्वशसाध्या/Sarvashsadhya- A  fertile soil  with every crop
क्षार मृतिका /Kshar Mritika  -Salty soil
उषवानूषर Ushavanur – A spot of such soil
अनुर्वरा/Anurvara -  Barren soil
मरु /Maru- A region devoid of water
अप्रहते खिले/Aprahate Khile- Waste land   
नदी मात्रिका /Nadi Mitrika – Soil watered by river
देव मात्रका ?Dev Matrika – soil watred by rain

 

References
1-Amarakosha compiled by B. L. Rice edited by N Balsubramanya 1970, 
2- Girija Prasanna Majumdar , 1925, Vanasptai, Plants and Plant Life as in Indian Treatise and Traditions , University of Calcutta .
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Bhishma Kukreti

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Types of Trees in Amarkosha

Plant Science vocabulary in Amarkosha – 2
Plant Classification in Amarkosha - part – 3
Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –153 
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
s= Half अ /आधा अ फलो
-
 India had developed a concise vocabulary for Botany at the time of Amarkosha compilation.  The following vocabulary is important for the plant science /botany students to know about Botany vocabulary in Amarkosha compilation period-
Types of trees in Amarkosha –
वृक्षो महीरूह शाखी विटपी पादपस्तरु ( अमरकोश 2.4.5.2)
वृक्षो - Vriskha – Trees 
महीरूह  - Mahiruh – Huge trees
शाखी – with Branches 
विटपी- As Fig tree or Shade provider trees
पादप –plant (small size )
तरु – Tree (mostly tree having  fruits 
वानस्पत्य: फलै: पुष्पात्तैरपुष्पाद्वनस्पति ( Amarkosha, 2.4.6.1 ) 
 Trees (Vanaspati) with flowers and fruits
Trees (Vanaspati) with fruits but without flowers
वंध्योsफलोsवकेशी च फलवान्फलिन: फली (AK 2.4.7.1 )
Fruitless Tress – Infertile, without fruits, No fertility or holiday from fruits, Avkeshin = Most probably infertile 
Trees with fruits –Fruitful, trees yielding fruits and pods
Types of trees with blooming flowers in Amarkosha (प्रफुलित वृक्ष )  –
प्रफुल्लोत्फुल्लसंफुल्लव्याकोशविकचस्फुटा:  (2.4.8.1)
प्रफुल्ल /Prafull  – Shinning or covered with blossoms
उत्फुल्ल Utfull -  Efflorescent
सम्फुल्ल- fully developed flower
व्याकोश - ??
विकच – Irrational
स्फुट –Miscellaneous/ assorted
Types of Flowered trees as per Amarkosha -
फुल्लश्चै ते विकसते सयुरवंध्यादयस्त्रिषु (2.4. 8.2)
फुल्ल – with flower
विकसत – well developed
Trees without leaves described in Amarkosha –
Trees with Short branches having roots
स्थाणुर्वा ना ध्रुव: शंकुर्ह्र्स्वशाखाशिफ़  क्षुप: (2.4.8.2) 
 Means – Small plant, or branchless tree
Plants without Shoulders/branches in Amarkosha
अप्रकांडे स्तम्बगुल्मौ  व्रततिर्लता (2.4.9,1)
अप्रकांडे= not spread
स्तम्बगुल्मौ      Stump and   creepers
व्रततिर्लता = Spreading  creeper
लता प्रतानिनी वीरुद्गुल्मिन्युलप इत्यपि (4.9.2)
नगाद्यारोह उच्छ्राय उत्सेधश्चोच्छ्रयश्च (स:)) ( 2.4.10.1)
Height of trees
उच्छ्राय , Ucchrya – Upliftment
उत्सेध = Elevation /Prominence

अस्त्री प्रकांड: स्कन्ध: स्यान्मूलाछ्शाखावधिस्तरो   ( 2.4.10.2)

Parts of tree –
मूल - Moola – Root
स्कन्ध –  सक्न्धा (literal meaning shoulder ) Big stem
शाखा –Shakha – branches
समे शाखालते स्कन्धशाखाशाले शिफाजटे  (2.4. 11. 1)
शाखा /Branch-  शाखा branch, लता  creeper
स्कन्ध शाखा=  Main Branch
शिफा = whip,
जटा =  Coiled hair
Like this , there are description of plants in Amarkosha
 
References
1-Amarakosha compiled by B. L. Rice edited by N Balsubramanya 1970, 
2- Portal of Sanskrit. Today, sanskrit.today/amarkosha – vanaushadivarga/ posted  on  August 2019 ,  accessed on 25 November 20120
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A Few Medicinal Plants mentioned in Amarkosha 

Plant Science in Amarkosha - part – 3
Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –154 
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
s= Half अ /आधा अ फलो
-
  There are following medicinal plants mentioned in Amarkosha –
Ficus religosa  ( Amarkosha 2. 5.1 )
Limonia acidissima (Amarkosha 2. 5. 2)
Ficus racemosa (Amarkosha 2. 5. 3)
Bauhinia variegate (Amarkosha 2. 5.4 )
Alstonia scholaris (Amarkosha 2. 5. 5)
Cassia fistula (Amarkosha 2. 5.6 )
Citrus lemon (Amarkosha 2. 5. 7)
Cretaeva nurvala (Amarkosha 2. 5.8 )
Rottlera tinctoria (Amarkosha 2. 5. 9)
Erythrina indica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 10)
Ougenia dalbergioides (Amarkosha 2. 5.11 )
Spondias pinnata (Amarkosha 2. 5. 12)
Madhuka indica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 13)
Salvadora persica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 14)
Juglans regia (Amarkosha 2. 5. 15)
Alangium salvifolium (Amarkosha 2. 5. 16)
Butea monosperma (Amarkosha 2. 5. 17)
Salix caprea (Amarkosha 2. 5. 18)
Salix tetrasperma (Amarkosha 2. 5. 19)
Moringa oleifera (Amarkosha 2. 5. 20)
Sapindus trifoliatus (Amarkosha 2. 5.21 )
Aegel marmelos (Amarkosha 2. 5. 22)
Ficus virens (Amarkosha 2. 5. 23)
Ficus benghalensis (Amarkosha 2. 5. 24)
Symplocos racemosa (Amarkosha 2. 5. 25)
Mangifera indica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 26)
Commiphora mukul (Amarkosha 2. 5. 27)
Cordia myxa (Amarkosha 2. 5.28 )
Buchanania lanzan (Amarkosha 2. 5. 29)
Gmelina arborea (Amarkosha 2. 5. 30)
Zyzyphus jubjuba (Amarkosha 2. 5.30a )
Flacourtia indica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 31)
Citrus aurantium (Amarkosha 2. 5. 32)
Diospyros embryoteris (Amarkosha 2. 5.33 )
Strychnos nux-vomica (Amarkosha 2. 5. 34)
Screbera swietenoides (Amarkosha 2. 5.35 )
Wendiandia exserta (Amarkosha 2. 5. 36)
Tamrix (Amarkosha 2. 5. 37)
Myrica nagi (Amarkosha 2. 5. 38)
Symplocos racemosa (Amarkosha 2. 5. 39)
Morus alba (Amarkosha 2. 5. 40)
Anthocephalus  cadamba (Amarkosha 2. 5. 41)

References
1-Amarakosha compiled by B. L. Rice edited by N Balsubramanya 1970, 
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Bhishma Kukreti

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Acharya Madhavakara of Madhava Nidana

Plant Science in Amarkosha - part – 4
Plant Science / Botany in Classic Sanskrit Literature/      
BOTANY History of Indian Subcontinent –155 
Information Collection and Compilation: Bhishma Kukreti
s= Half अ /आधा अ
-
 The creator of Rogvinishchaya, Madhavakara was born in 7th Century AD.  Madhavakara was the son of Indulkara and he belonged to Vanga - Desha.
The work Rogvinishchaya by Madhavakara became popular as ‘Madhavanidana ‘.
Madhavanidana’ is mainly the compilation of previous Ayurvedic Works such as Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Astangasangraha and Ashtanghridaya and Sudhasagar by Ravi Gupta. a
 Period of Madhavanidana is in 7th Century. Vagbhata of 6th Century cited the names of Charaka and Sushruta but not Rogvinishchaya.  That means Madhavakara did not live before or in 6th century. (1). Vindra and   Chakrapani and) followed the description of degasses as described in Madhavanidana.  (1 and 2)
Vindra Madhava the composer of ‘Siddha Yoga Sangraha ‘lived around 8th -9th century AD. Vindra Madhava followed the style of Madhavanidana in his works. That clearly proved that Madhavakara did not live in 8th and 9yh century.
Harnul Rashid an n Arabic Scholar of 8th Century translated ‘Madhavanidana’. That means there must be difference of 150 0r 100 years between Madhavakara and Harnul Rashid.
Now, it is clear that Madhavakara lived around 7th Century AD.  (2)
 There are following specialties of Madhavanidana (1)-
Chapter -     Subjects  –
1--------------- 5 tools for examining diseases
2 -19,22-37, and 49-54-------- Kaya Chikitsa
20-21----Toxicology Bhutvidya
38-55- Shalya Chikitsa or Surgery
56-60---Shalala or  Diseases of Eye Nose and Ear  (ENT)
69- Toxicology
In Madhavanidana, there  79 diseases   were described .

References
1-Momin Ali, 1992, Introduction to Madhavanidana, Bulletin Indian Institute of History of Medicines VOl... XXII pp 145-158
2-Dr Mansa, 2016, Acharya Madhavakara: his work Madhavanidana’ legacy amazing facts ,  easyayurveda .com  / 2016/ 11/01/Madhavakara-madhava-nidana/  accessed on 7 th December 2020
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