Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Tue Apr 12 23:35:04 UTC 2005

Aufrecht's Catalogus catalogorum, v. 1, p. 677, s.v., cites the Catalogue of Sanskrit manuscripts in the private libraries of the North-Western Provinces, I, 8, "An extract from some medical work."  

Arka is Calatropis gigantea, a milkweed, prominent in medicine and magic.    But books on Indian medical botany should clarify whether s'vetaarka is one of several varieties.  It's very common in waste places and I always find its appearance rather sinister, with a scraggly growth habit and leaves of a pale grey-green, about the height of a man.

Here's a site that shows and describes it, from a reputable source (Purdue U.): <>.  The picture shows a plant with what appear to be pure white flowers, but the description indicates they can vary in color.  

Siva wears white arka flowers: <>. 

There is also a book on medicine, the Arkaprasa of Ravana, which has three eds. in our catalog <>, and the catalog record for one of them says, "...on description of recipes (arkas) prepared by distillation, according to ayurvedic system in Indic medicine."  So there is another meaning of arka in medicine.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
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The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of Congress.

>>> Martin.Gansten at TEOL.LU.SE 04/12/05 12:27 PM >>>
>Is there anybody out there on the list, who can help me with the exact
>meaning and references to the word s'vetaarkakalpa?

Is there any chance of it being a misreading for s'vetavaraahakalpa?

Martin Gansten

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