[INDOLOGY] amsala

dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk
Mon Jun 27 09:34:26 UTC 2016

Dear Herman,

Thank you very much. I've just looked at Sayana (in Weber's SBr).

He says "because by eating either [cow or ox] the body becomes strong, therefore I would 
eat the anna of both". 

So Sayana seems to be understanding amsala as "strong", and treating ced as if it meant 
"because" instead of "if".

Odd that he should say "anna", because that usually means grain, or else food in general. 
The SBr text just uses the genitive, leaving mAMsa or the like to be understood. Perhaps 
Sayana was too squeamish to say mAMsa.

With best wishes,


On 25 Jun 2016 at 15:43, Herman Tull wrote:

I worked on this 30 years ago, and I remember asking the exact same question. If memory 
serves correctly (and it may be
unreliablehere), I believe Sayana's commentary 
ishelpful here 
 in getting to Eggeling's definition. 
 (I'm away from my library right now, and I cannot check 
Herman Herman Tull
Princeton, NJ
On Jun 25, 2016 11:19 AM, <dermot at grevatt.force9.co.uk> wrote:
    Can someone help with a bit of brAhmaNa interpretation?
    Monier-Williams and Mayrhofer both say aMsala means "strong", connecting it with 
    "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 
    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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Dermot Killingley
9, Rectory Drive,
Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 1XT
Phone (0191) 285 8053

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