[INDOLOGY] amsala

dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk
Sat Jun 25 17:18:52 UTC 2016

Can someone help with a bit of brAhmaNa interpretation?

Monier-Williams and Mayrhofer both say aMsala means "strong", connecting it with aMsa 
"shoulder". Mayrhofer adds that it's used mainly with reference to cattle and meat.

In xatapatha brAhmaNa Eggeling translates it "tender".

The context is a prohibition on eating beef -- apparently not for everyone at all times, but for 
someone undertaking dIkSA. After an arthavAda justifying the prohibition, YAjnavalkya is 
quoted as saying "axnAmy evAham aMsalaM ced bhavati."

Eggeling: "I, for one, eat it, provided that it is tender."

Is there any evidence for a meaning "tender", or is Eggeling taking a liberty to give 
YAjnavalkya a good punch line?

I realise that ancient Indian diet can be a sensitive issue, but the question here seems to be 
about YAjnavalkya's culinary preference.

I'd be grateful for any clarification.


Dermot Killingley
9, Rectory Drive,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1XT
Phone (0191) 285 8053

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