Thursday, November 24, 2005

Sarasvati metaphors of wealth: makarajhasa

Sarasvati metaphors of wealth

The curves tying up the central fish on s'rivatsa glyph or making up the makara composition are cephalopod spirals to denote that the glyphs are maritime/riverine treaures. See picture of a fossil of cephalopod. (Picture appended).

kaud.i enga = conch shell (Santali); enga mer.ed = soft iron (Mu.) The central fish tied to the cephalophoid pair is thus a representation of ayo 'fish'; rebus: ayas 'metal' which is specified by the ligaturing cephalophoid, as soft iron. Surely, this becomes yas'as, jasa 'prosperity'; rebus: jhasa 'fish, the big fish'. On the Barhut stupa, the makara is emphatically ligatured to a cephalophoid by the curved glyph.

See Srivatsa and makara glyph compositions at

Abstract. In ancient times, the artisans from Thailand to Mediterranean had adopted a remarkable idiom composed of metaphors of wealth. Analyses of orthographic details of s’ilpa ranging from Begram ivories to the devices used on Sanchi stupa torana provide a clue to the continuum of Sarasvati hieroglyphs in hindu civilization as the work of vis’vakarma artisans, metalsmiths par excellence. The language of the hieroglyphs is mleccha (meluhha).

A lexeme in Gypsy refers to kaulo mengro as 'blacksmith'. This is relatable to the metaphor of makara as 'wealth' from metals who also worked with charcoal. kol is a smelter (Santali) me~r.he~t iron; ispat m. = steel; dul m. = cast iron; kolhe m. iron manufactured by the Kolhes (Santali) kaulo-mengro of Gypsy is literally an ‘iron smith’. An intriguing Akkadian substrate refers to nangar as a carpenter. bad.hi, badhor.ia in Santali are workers in both wood and iron. bar.hi, bar.hi_-mistri_, bar.u_i_, bar.u_i_-mistri_ (Sad.H. barha_i_) = a professional carpenter.

Kaulo-mengro, s. A blacksmith; Kaulo ratti. Black blood, Gypsy blood (Gypsy). Kerri mangro ‘workman’ (Gypsy) Kahlo / Kahli / Kahle – Black (male / female / Plural) (From Punjabi - ‘Kahla’ / ‘Kahli’ / ‘Kahle’) Spanish Romma call themselves ‘Kahla’ cf. kolla 'burning charcoal' (Pkt.); koilo 'dead coal' (S.); coal (WPah.). Gypsy Dictionary, by George Borrow

nangar is a word associated with ploughshare, cultivation, agriculture. cf. engar 'farmer' (Akkadian) na_n:kar <> m. `shark', Si. muvara, mora, Md. miyaru. -- NIA. forms with -- g -- (e.g. H. G. magar m. `crocodile') or -- ng<-> (S. mangar -- macho m. `whale', manguro m. `a kind of sea fish' } Bal. mangar `crocodile') are loans from Pk. or Sk. or directly from non -- Aryan sources from which these came, e.g. Sant. mangar `crocodile'.

Photo of a nautiloid.

The coiled end of the nautiloid is mirrored on a makara glyph composition.

Makara Bharhut, c. 100 BC Indian Museum, Calcutta Something of the origin of the makara, or at least its early composition in India, can be seen here. The water beast, confined beneath a ledge with kneeling rams that represent the realm of land, is pictured here with the snout of a crocodile, the head and forequarters of an elephant, the body of a snake, and the fins and tail of a fish.

The shell component of this motif may be read as: ha_ngi snail (K.); sa~_khi possessing or made of shells (B.); ho~gi pearl oyster shell, shell of any aquatic mollusc (K.); ha_ngi snail (K.)(CDIAL 12380). gongha = snail’s shell (Santali). Cf. conch (English). Cypraea moneta or a cowrie used as a coin. Rebus: kangar ‘portable furnace’ (K.) A possible depiction of a kaula mangra ‘blacksmith’ working with s’ankha ‘shell’ and and indicaton of jhasa ‘fish’; rebus: jasa ‘prosperity, fame’.

Evolution of endless-knot or ‘8’ motif

In an exquisite article on teuthid in Norse mythology, Adam Eli Clem tells us that teuthids (apart from nautiloids) are found in the Bay of Bengal and points to a representation of jormungander on a bronze relief. This is shown as item 6 in the illustration.
This creates a motif ‘8’ (number eight in Indian/Arabic numerals).

This ‘8’ motif (or entwining on itself) is remarkable by its presents in Sarasvati hieroglyphs, in particular, on copper plates and inscised on metal objects, pointing to a close association of the motif to a smithy. Compilers of epigraphs have referred to this as an endless-knot motif.

This could indeed be a representation of a teuthid.

Endless-knot motif appears on the following objects:

1. Rojdi ax-head or knife of copper;
2. Sumerian cylinder seal (circa 2500 BCE); and
3. Early Dynastic seal from Lagash.

Rojdi. Ax-head or knife of copper, 17.4 cm. long (After Possehl and Raval 1989: 162, fig. 77

Cylinder seal impression. Sumer (ca. 2500 BCE). After Amiet 1980a: pl. 108, no. 1435

Early Dynastic seal. Lagash. After Amiet 1980a: pl. 83, no. 1099

m1457Act m1457Bct 2904 Pict-124: Endless knot motif.

m1356 m443At m443Bt

m443Bt mer.ed, me~r.ed iron; enga mer.ed soft iron; sand.i mer.ed hard iron; ispa_t mer.ed steel; dul mer.ed cast iron; i mer.ed rusty iron, also the iron of which weights are cast; bicamer.ed iron extracted from stone ore; balimer.ed iron extracted from sand ore; mer.ed-bica = iron stone ore, in contrast to bali-bica, iron sand ore (Mu.lex.) me~e.he~t = iron (Santali)

mer.hao = v.a.m. entwine itself; wind round, wrap round roll up; mar.hna_ cover, encase (H) (Santali.lex.Bodding) [Note: the endless-knot motif may be a rebus representation of this semant. ‘entwine itself’]. med.ha_ = curl, snarl, twist or tangle in cord or thread (M.); meli, melika = a turn, a twist, a loop, entanglement; meliyu, melivad.u, meligonu = to get twisted or entwined (Te.lex.) merhao = twist (Mun.d.ari)

mer.go = with horns twisted back; mer.ha, m., mir.hi f.= twisted, crumpled, as a horn (Santali.lex.)

me~t = the eye

me~t me~t nepel = v. see face to face

Alternatives :

Glyph: d.on.t.ho, dhon.t.ho, dhon.t.o a knot (Santali)

d.hon.d.-phod.o [M. dhon.d.a_, a stone] a stone-cutter, a stone-mason; d.hon:d.-jhod..o [M. dhon.d.a_ a stone + jhod.avum] a stone-cutter; a stone-mason; d.hon.d.o a stone; a blockhead; a stupid person (G.)

keccu the knot which is formed by twisting; to join the end of two threads by twisting them with the fingers (Ka.); kerci a knot (Tu.)(DEDR 1965). kars.ati draws, pulls (RV.)

kacc iron, iron blade (Go.)(DEDR 1096). kars.i furrowing (Skt.); ka_rs.i ploughing (VS.); kars.u_ furrow, trench (S'Br.); ks.i_ plough iron (Pr.); kas.i mattock, hoe (Pas'.); kas.i spade, pickaxe (Shum.); khas.i_ small hoe (Dm.)(CDIAL 2909). kr.s.ika, kus'ika, kus'i, kus'ira a ploughshare (Skt.Ka.)(Ka.lex.) kes.a plough (Pas'.)(CDIAL 3444). kis' plough (Kho.)(CDIAL 3455). ks.e plough iron (Pr.)(CDIAL 2809). Mattock, hoe: kas.i mattock, hoe (Pas'.); Spade, pickaxe: kas.i spade, pickaxe (Shum.); kars.i furrowing (Skt.); kars.u~ furrow, trench (S'Br.)(CDIAL 2909).

Part 1. Metaphors of wealth from Sanchi to Begram: Dwarfs as smiths, Kubera as yaksha guarding navanidhi (nine treasures)

1.1 Sanchit stupa torana inscription
1.2 Mleccha metaphors and history of bharatiya technology
1.3 Evidence of rock-cut reservoir and rock-cut tank
1.4 Columns of Heliodorus, Vais’ali and Lumbini
1.5 History of Vidisha

Part 2. Metallurgy and trade routes

2.1 Erythraen Sea and Meluhha
2.2 Dilmun, Makkan, Meluhha

Part 3. S’rivatsa

3.1 Explaining the ‘tied’ fish on s’rivatsa metaphor of Sanchi stupa torana
3.2 Jhasa in the bharatiya grand narrative of creation and of manu, the first human
3.3 S’rivatsa as an auspicious symbol
3.4 Evolution of the s’rivatsa metaphor
3.5 Auspicious symbols on footprints of the Buddha

Part 4. Bharatiya metallurgical tradition

4.1 Yakshini, divinities of the hearth
4.2 Furnaces
4.3 Circular platforms at Harappa and metal-working
4.4 Bone fish glyph, smelted iron

Part 5. Makara, mangar macho, nidhi, vaahana of Kubera

5.1 Mleccha, the Sarasvati artisan’s language
5.2 Stone Lizard (not a gharial)
5.3 Anthropomorph (copper) with ‘fish’ sign
5.4 Makara means ‘alligator shaped’
5.5 Cinnabar, sindhur, makaradhvaja
5.6 Kubera’s navanidhi

Part 1. Metaphors of wealth from Sanchi to Begram: Dwarfs as smiths, Kubera as yaksha guarding navanidhi (nine treasures)

The glyphs as metaphors are so pervasive and extensive that evidence is available from Begram village 4 miles northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan to Japan, on Begram ivories, on early coins and on Sanchi/Barhut stupa torana. The artisans of the mint, smithy had produced the metaphors denoting the wealth of the times, exemplified by Kubera’s navanidhi or as.t.amangala (eight auspicious glyphs) which even adorn the necklace of yakshini. These are abiding metaphors. The challenge is to identify the early lexemes which could help us refer to these glyphs as the early speakers of Mleccha (Meluhha) did, that is, the ancestors of and also those who created these metaphors.

This is possible because each component of the glyptic composition is identificable as a specific object such a fish, a pair of fish tails, a knot.

Language of vis’vakarma: mleccha

What was the language of the vis’vakarma artisans who created the Begram ivories? Was it the same as of the artisans who created the art expressions on Sanchi and Barhut stupa, who created the rock-cut tank of Sanchi and who inscribed on the Delhi iron pillar?
Tanana mleccha.

So notes a Jaina text, Avasyaka Churani which notes that ivory trade was managed by tanana mleccha, who also traveled from Uttaravaha to Dakshinapatha. (Jain, Life in Ancient India as Described in the Jain Canon and Commentaries (6th century BC - 17th century AD,1984, p. 150). Guttila Jataka (ca.4th cent.) makes reference to itinerant ivory workers/traders journeying from Varanasi to Ujjain. (Jatakas, Cowell, 1973, Book II, p. 172 ff.)
The word, tanana in tanana mleccha may be related to: (i) tah’nai, ‘engraver’ mleccha; or (ii) tana, ‘of (mleccha) lineage’.
1. See Kuwi. tah’nai ‘to engrave’ in DEDR and Bsh. then, thon, ‘small axe’ in CDIAL: DEDR 3146 Go. (Tr.) tarcana, (Mu.) tarc- to scrape; (Ma.) tarsk- id., plane; (D.) task-, (Mu.) tarsk-/tarisk- to level, scrape (Voc. 1670). Konda (BB) tarh- (i.e. taR-) to scrape. Pe. Treh- (trest-) id., plane, cut with adze. Mand. That- (-t-) to shave. Kui tahpa (that-) to smooth off, level down, chip, scrape; n. act of smoothing off. Kuwi (Su.) tah- (tast-) to scrape, plane; (S.) tah’nai to engrave.CDIAL 5427 Pa. tanka -- m. `stone mason's chisel'; Pk. tamka -- m. `stone -- chisel, sword'; Wot. tho `axe'; Bshk. thon `battleaxe', then `small axe' (l *tanki); Tor. (Biddulph) "tunger" m. `axe' (t? AO viii 310), Phal. thongi f.; K. tonguru m. `a kind of hoe'; N. (Tarai) tagi `adze'; H. taki f. `chisel'; G. tak f. `pen nib'; M. tak m. `pen nib', taki f. `chisel'. 2. A. tangi `stone chisel'; B. tang, °gi `spade, axe'; Or. tangi `battle -- axe'; Bi. taga, °gi `adze'; Bhoj. tani `axe'; H. tagi

2. tana n. offspring , posterity (RV 1.39.7;8.18.18 and 25; AV. 7.73.5; tana_ya_ id. RV.3.25.1 and 27.9; RV 9.62.2).
3. Tana may also be a reference to weavers. 5443. B. tana `to tighten', tan `spasm'; Or. taniba `to pull tight', tani `warp'; H. tanna `to pull tight', M. tanne.
4. 5437 tangana1 m.n. `borax' lex., tankana -- 5434 tankasala -- , tankakas° f. `mint' lex. N. taksal, °ar, B. taksal, tak°, tek°, Bhoj. taksar, H. taksal, °ar f., G. taksal f., M. taksal, tak°, tak°, tak°.; G. taksali m. `mint -- master', M. taksalya; Brj. taksali, °sari m. `mint -- master'. [This could perhaps explain the name’ila as taksali nagara or ‘city of mints’.]
1.1 Sanchit stupa torana inscription
The inscription on the stone torana at Sanchi reads: “vidisehi danta-karehi rupa-kammam-katam” (Buhler, Epigraphica India, II, 1892, p. 92).
Translation of the Sanchi stupa inscription: the carvings have been done by the Vidisa ivory carvers (danta kara).

The phrase used is rupa-kammam-katam which clearly is a reference to the artists who created the artifacts (and NOT to the artisan/merchant guilds, vrata, gan.a or nigama who financed the projects or marketed the ivories) (cf. Sharma, 1968, p. 223). Videsehi danta-karehi, the ivory carvers of Vidisha could have been a puga (group of workers), perhaps also a s’ren.i (artisan/merchant guilds) who worked as sangha bhrtah (contract guilds of artists) (cf. Kautilya’s Arthas’astra, Shamasastry, 1923, p. 227). This is a stunning statement that carvers of small-sized ivory objects could also monumental sculptures on stone. The Sanchi stups is indeed jewellery in stone, in the unique vis’vakarma tradition of bharatiya civilization. Such an ivory carver could also work with s’ankha, turbinella pyrum. A sankhavalaya karamattaraka (conch-shell bangle cutter) and dantakara (ivory carver) are mentioned in Mahavastu (Dwivedi, 1979: 21). The art historian par excellence, Pal notes from Mahaunmarga Jataka that sculptors could work both in wood and in stone. (1978: 191, note 2). The same bangle cutter is mentioned in the Rigveda and Atharvaveda as s’ankha kr.s’a_nah (s’ankha bowman), an extraordinary tradition which started ca. 6500 BCE (Mehergarh) and which continues even today as an industry in Bharatam with a Kolkata s’ankha cutter s’ankha to create bangles which are extraordinary civilizational, cultural metaphors. No Bengali marriage is complete without s’ankha bangles and without s’ankha naadam.

Such workers who could work in stone, wood or even metal had a name: badhor.
The artisans -- rock-cutter, script-writer on metal, ivory carver – all of them, needed the same, simple tools: chisel and hammer to achieve these artifacts – on stone, on ivory or bone or on s’ankha or even brahmi inscriptions on an iron pillar -- and also to create sculpted rock-cut caves or rock-cut reservoirs. Chisel is kund ruka, ruka; the hammer is
ruka chisel; kund ruka a round chisel; rok to pierce (Santali.lex.) ruka, rukna a chisel (Mu.); rukhna (Sadani)(Mu.lex.) uruvu-tal to pierce through, penetrate, as an arrow, a needle (Tiruva_ca. 28,2) (Ta.) (Ta.lex.) cf. uruvuka to pierce through, penetrate (Ma.)(DEDR 663). ro_ka a hole, an aperture, a cavity (Ka.); ruks.a a star (Ka.)(Ka.lex.) ro_kam a hole (Skt.lex.) Uralic: rogõm cut out, etc. (Khanty); roe, rue- chop, cut (with an axe, etc.), hew (Mari) [Chong]
Dantakarah and dantopajivinah are mentioned in the Ramayana and interpreted as organized guilds of ivory carvers and ivory traders, respectively. (Dwivedi, 1979, p. 18). If so, the ivory/bone carvers of Begram fame could have been contracted to produce the architectural marvel of Sanchi stupa torana. In Silavanaga Jataka (Jatakas, Cowell, 1973, vol. I: 174-177), there is a reference to an ivory carvers’ street: dantakaravithi, an indication of an organized craft workshop and trading centre created by the artisans/merchants. Artisand and merchants alike could have other colleagues and other traders work in their workshops to fulfil their trade contracts. (Kautilya Arthasastra, Shamasatry, 1923, p. 175; “Artisans shall, in accordance with their agreement as to time, place, and form of work, fulfill their engagements under the excused that no agreement as to time, place and form of work has been entered into shall, except in troubles and calamities, not only forfeit 1/4 of their wages, but also be punished with a fine equal to twice the amount of their wages. ” Shamasastry, 1923, p. 245).
A number of reasonable hypothesis may emerge, as suggested by Sanjyot Mehendale (2005): “The heterogeneity of styles (of ivory/bone carvings) within the same assemblages could, however, indicate that carvers from different places came together in one place -- perhaps Begram itself -- to create the ensembles. The similarity of a few styles presented on the Begram pieces could point to a workshop that may have existed in the general region between Sañci and Mathura; the Sañci inscription confirms the art of ivory carving to be well established in this region. However, this thesis would also propose the possibility that a workshop existed at Begram itself. At first glance, a few points militate against such a hypothesis. There is a lack of any direct archaeological evidence of in situ workshops: no tools were discovered, and there were no signs of remnants of the raw materials. Secondly, there seem to have been no elephants that far north, and the availability of ivory might have been problematic for a regular workshop… Many scholars support the hypothesis that there existed an ivory carving center in Taxila. And the presence of a Bactrian ivory workshop at or near Nisa (Masson & Pugachenkova 1982) and Ai Khanum (Rapin 1992) amply shows that the raw material could be obtained in regions far north. Begram, situated on the trading routes between Bactria and Taxila, suggests the routes along which ivory probably was transported… Begram site might well have been an active commercial trading center. Begram’s proximity to ancient trade routes connecting India with the Silk Route further bolsters this adjusted view of the Begram ivory and bone objects, and the other objects found in two sealed-off rooms, as part of merchants’ stock awaiting trade or further distribution. And as will be demonstrated, an analysis of comparative material and the chronology of the artifacts similarly support this view.”
Vidisha, Sanchi, Udayagiri complex together with Dhar, Mandu, Eran, all in Madhya Pradesh have yielded ancient metallic objects (exemplified by the Delhi iron pillar), which have been investigated by archaeometallurgical teams led by Prof. Balasubramaniam of IIT, Kanpur and Dr. Anand M. Sharan of Memorial University of Newfoundland. After all, the Delhi iron pillar was made in Udayagiri, Sanchi and the pillar is shaped like the Heliodorus pillar. One is made of non-rusting iron, the other of stone. Both are a celebration of a unique, unparalleled technological heritage combined with the dharma-dhamma civilizational, aadhyaatmika continuum. The unique monuments of hindu civilization exemplify merging of artha, wealth and dharma as purushartha (goals of life).

1.2 Mleccha metaphors and history of bharatiya technology

In a cultural continuum of Bharatiya civilization, (i) the artisans who created the Delhi (Udayagiri, Vidisha) iron pillar, (ii) the artisans who created the rock-cut water reservoir in Sanchi, and (iii) the artisans who made the Heliodorus pillar at Vidisha and (iv) the artisans who created the unique mleccha metaphors such as those of s’rivatsa on Sanchi stupa torana as also on Begram ivories, represent the continuation of traditions of (a) metallurgy in Sarasvati civilization, (b) of rock-cut reservoir of Dholavira, (c) As’oka pillars at Lumbini and Vais’ali and (d) s’rivatsa as a glyptic metaphor of wealth, of Kubera’s navanidhi mostly related to s’ankha and minerals, metals, alloys. This tradition could date back to the creators of rock-paintings on Bhimbetka rock-cut caves. This historical perspective is suggested based on artistic, architectural, lexical comparisons and the use of mleccha language metaphors continuing from Sarasvati hieroglyphs attesting to the proto-vedic continuity of bharatiya languages which differentiated into Sanskrit and Prakrits (mleccha). The same lineage of artisans who could inscribe on copper plates with Sarasvati hieroglyphs also inscribed on the Delhi iron pillar.
Delhi iron pillar. 7.3 m., 6.5 tons
cf. R. Balasubramaniam, 2002, Delhi Iron Pillar : New Insights/R. Balasubramaniam. New Delhi, Aryan.
The Brahmi inscription (trans. based on Fleet, 1888): "He on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when in battle in the Vanga countries, he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against him; … he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed. He who, having the name of Chandra, carried a beauty of countenance like (the beauty of) the full moon, having in faith fixed his mind upon (the God) Vishnu, (had) this lofty standard of the divine Vishnu set up on the hill (called) Vishnupada." A second inscription says that King Bilan Dev or Anangapada, the founder of the Tomar dynasty, had arranged for the pillar to be taken to Delhi in 1050.

1.3 Evidence of rock-cut reservoir and rock-cut tank
The rock-cut tank at Sanchi is extraordinary evocation of the rock-cut water reservoir discovered at Dholavira, ca. 3rd millennium BCE.
Dholavira, rock-cut reservoir, 263X39X24 ca.3rd millennium BCE
The rock cut storage structure at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh ca. 1st millennium BCE.
“A rock-cut tank, located near the largest surviving Buddhist Stupa in which relics of the Buddha are believed to be present, could be one of the two oldest surviving tanks, second only to a now ruined tank in Bharahut, Central India. ca. 324–300 BC During the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, the arid Kathiawad region saw the construction of a large reservoir named Sudarsana. Subsequently, Ashoka repaired the lake and water distribution system for agriculture. ca. 268–231 BC Reign of Ashoka the Great. Large-scale water harvesting structures built.” Deep Narayan Pandey et al, 2003, Rainwater harvesting as an adaptation to climate change, Current Science, Vol. 85, No. 1, 10 July 2003. “A six-line three-stanza Brahmi–Sanskrit inscription on the Delhi Iron Pillar, the oldest and largest of all the inscriptions on the pillar, mentions that it was set up as a standard of Vishnu (Vishnuordhvaja) at Vishnupadagiri by Chandra… Chandra has been identified with Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (AD 375–414) based on a detailed analysis of the archer-type gold coin of the imperial Guptas (AD 320–600). The original location of the pillar, Vishnupadagiri, has been identified as modern Udayagiri1–3, in the close vicinity of Vidisha and Sanchi.” Anand M. Sharan and R. Balasubramaniam, 2004, Date of Sanakanika inscription and its astronomical significance for archaeological structures at Udayagiri, Current Science, Vol. 87, No. 11, 10 December 2004.

1.4 Columns of Heliodorus, Vais’ali and Lumbini
Column of Heliodorus 113 BC, Besnagar, Madhya Pradesh This inscribed Garuda column, in Besnagar near Udayagiri, was erected in honor of Vasudeva (an early name for Vishnu) by a person named Heliodorus, who was a Bactro-Greek envoy from Gandhara to the court of Vidisha. The Garuda is missing from the top of the column, which stands about 6.5m (21') high. Decoration on the column includes geese, a reed-and-bead pattern, lotus leaves, vegetation, fruit, and garlands. “The following transliteration and translation of this ancient Brahmi inscription was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London: JRAS, Pub., 1909, pp. 1053-54.

1) Devadevasa Va [sude]vasa Garudadhvajo ayam 2) karito i[a] Heliodorena bhaga- 3) vatena Diyasa putrena Takhasilakena 4) Yonadatena agatena maharajasa 5) Amtalikitasa upa[m]ta samkasam-rano 6) Kasiput[r]asa [Bh]agabhadrasa tratarasa 7) vasena [chatu]dasena rajena vadhamanasa "This Garuda-column of Vasudeva (Visnu), the god of gods, was erected here by Heliodorus, a worshipper of Visnu, the son of Dion, and an inhabitant of Taxila, who came as Greek ambassador from the Great King Antialkidas to King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior, then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship." The transliteration and translation of this ancient Brahmi inscription was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (London: JRAS, Pub., 1909, pp. 1053-54. Raychaudhuri then suggests, "Heliodorus of Taxila actually heard and utilized the teaching of the great Epic, " since we know from Panini that the Epic was "well known to the people of Gandhara [Taxila]" long before the time of the Greek ambassador. This column could be an attestation of Krishna as a historical person. “Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya (4th century B.C) makes the first reference to the deification of Vasudeva. He says that Heracles (who is closest to Krishna-Vasudeva) was held in high regard by the Sourasenoi (Surasenas) who possessed two large cities namely Methora (Mathura) and Cleisobora (Krishnapura, that is Vraja and Vrindavana). Apart from references by Megasthenes to the deification of Krishna-Vasudeva, Buddhist texts mention the existence of shrines dedicated to Vasudeva (Krishna) and Baladeva (Balarama). Heliodorus, the son of Dia (Dion), a resident of Taxila had come to Besnagar as an envoy of the Greek king Antalikata (Antialkidas) to the court of Kasiputra Bhagabhadra during his 14th regnal year. Antialkidas is placed between 175-135 B.C. The Greek king Agathocles (2nd century B. C) was also devoted to the Bhagavata cult. The figures of Krishna and Balarama are shown on his coins found in the excavations at Al-Khanuram in Afghanistan.”
As’oka pillar with lion capitol, Vais’ali. As’oka pillar, Lumbini. Could the artisans who made the Heliodorus pillar be the descendants of the artisans of the As’oka pillars at Vais’ali and at Lumbini?

1.5 History of Vidisha

Situated on the confluence between Betwa (Vetravati) and Bes rivers, Vidisha is 8 kms. from Sanchi. Sanchi was earlier called after the hill of Vidisha as Vidishagiri. The place finds mention in Samaranganasutradhara. This is referred to as Vessanagara, Vaisyanagara, Besanagara in many ancient texts. This name is also said to have been derived from Bhilsa or Bhelsa, a reference to Bhillaswamin of a Suryamandiram. It was a trade centre in the regimes of Sunga, Naga, Satavaha and Gupta dynasties. As’oka was a governor of Vidisha as mentioned in Kalidasa’s Meghadutam. At Vidisha is located the pillar of Herodotus of 5th cent. dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The importance of this city is dated to ca. 3rd century BCE because of the small Bauddha monasteries in the surrounding hills (Udayagiri fifth cent. rock-cut caves with Cave No. 5 showing a Varaha murti 4 m. high) and the Sanchi stupa nearby. Cave-shrines and mandirams abound. Udayagiri is a hill near Vidisha and linked with the Gupta period (ca. 320 to 500 CE) which is linked to the development of Sanskrit learning and nearby water-management systems. Michael Willis. ‘Buddhist Saints in Ancient Vedisa’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 11 (2001): 219-29; Julia Shaw and John Sutcliffe. ‘Ancient Irrigation Works in the Sanchi Area’, South Asian Studies 17 (2001): 55-75. Vidisha Research Group. Sanchi dams project. Shaw, J. (2004) ‘Naga sculptures in Sanchi's archaeological landscape: Buddhism, Vaisnavism and local agricultural cults in central India , first century BCE to fifth century CE', Artibus Asiae LXIV(1), 5-59. Shaw, J. and J.V. Sutcliffe (2003). ‘Water management, patronage networks and religious change: new evidence from the Sanchi dam complex and counterparts in Gujarat and Sri Lanka ', South Asian Studies 19, 73-104.

Bhibhetka caves which are a world heritage site are nearby depict Paleolithic paintings.

Part 2. Metallurgy and trade routes

Schick and Toth note that copper and lead may have been used as early as eight thousand years ago, when: "...independently prehistoric peoples in such places as Thailand, the Balkans, and the Near East learned that certain types of copper-rich rocks could be heated at high temperatures with charcoal to melt out or smelt their metal contents. Temperatures of eight hundred degrees centigrade (similar to that used in firing high-temperature pottery) was necessary ... this could be reached or surpassed with the addition of blow-pipes into an earthen smelting oven to enrich it with oxygen..."Kathy D.Schick & Nicholas Toth, Making Silent Stones Speak, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1993 htp://
Trade routes between Mediterranean and China through Meluhha in the Kushana period indicated on the map span the continent from the Balkans to Thailand. Homeric times refer to tin along with ivory coming from India (V. Ball, 1880, A geologist's contribution to the History of Ancient India, in: Journal of Royal Geological Society of Ireland, Vol. 5, Part 3, 1879-89, Edinburgh, pp. 215-63). Ca. 1015 B.C., King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre sent ships sailing directly from the Arabian port to India, touching 'Ophir', Sophir or Sauvira in the Gulf of Khambat (near Lothal) and brought back gold, silver, ivory and peacocks.
These trade routes of the Kushana period are a continuum of the heritage of trade between Meluhha and Mesopotamian civilization. This heritage is perceived through the continuing metaphors of Kubera’s navanidhi, mostly related to minerals, metals and furnaces. Three of the nine nidhi were: makara (antimony) and kharva (iron).

2.1 Erythraen Sea and Meluhha

Euphrates River was a link in the maritime trade of the eastern Mediterranean with that of the Gulf and Meluhha beyond. The Sumerian 'colonies' on the northern bend of the Euphrates were the conduits to carry the culture of Uruk to Egypt and linked the head of the Gulf to the Egyptian Delta through the Syrian ports (Moorey, 1990). The famous bilingual inscription of Sargon of Akkad (ca. 2234-2279 BC) sets out in geographical order from south-east to north-west the trading posts: Meluhha, Magan, Dilmun, Mari, Yarmuti, and Ebla: that is, from the Indus to the Taurus -- the Indus which was also linked with central Asia through Afghanistan. (Hirsch 1963: 37-8).

Fifth century BC Greek historian, Herodotus referred to the body of water which linked Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the Indian subcontinent as the Erythraen sea. This sea includes the Red sea, the Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and the Persian or Arabian Gulf.

Meluhha-Dilmun-Magan Interaction areas. After Fig. 2 in P.R.S. Moorey, 1994, Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

"The land of Melukkha shall bring carnelian, desirable and precious, sissoo-wood from Magan, excellent mangroves, on big-ships!" said a statement in the Sumerian myth, Enki and Ninkhursag (cf. lines 1-9, trans. B. Alster). "In the late Early Dynastic period (about 2500), Ur-Nanshe, king of the Sumerian city-state Lagash, "had ships of Dilmun transport timber from foreign lands" to his capital (modern Tell al-Hiba), just as a later governor of Lagash, named Gudea, did in the mid-twenty-first century. In the early twenty-fourth century, Lugalbanda and Urukagina, two kings of Lagash, imported copper from Dilmun and paid for it with wool, silver, fat, and various milk and cereal products... That these (round stamp) seals were used in economic transactions is proven by the discovery of two important tablets bearing their impressions. One of these tablets was found at Susa, and dates to the first half of the second millennium. It is a receipt for goods, including ten minas of copper (about eleven pounds or five kilograms). The second tablet, in the Yale Babylonian Collection, is dated to the tenth year of Gungunum of Larsa (modern Tell Senkereh), that is, around 1925, and records a consignment of goods (wool, wheat, and sesame) prior to a trading voyage that almost certainly had Dilmun as its goal. Dilmun seals characteristically depict two men drinking what could be beer through straws, or two or three prancing gazelles...a merchant named Ea-nasir, who is identified as one of the a_lik Tilmun, or "Dilmun traders"... Ea-nasir paid for Dilmun copper with the textiles and silver that he received from the great Nanna-Ningal temple complex at Ur...The Mari texts contain several references to Dilmunite caravans...Melukkha was a source of wood (including a black wood thought to have been ebony), gold, ivory, and carnelian...Melukkha was accessible by sea...Sargon of Akkad...boasts that ships from Dilmun, Magan and Melukkha docked at the quay of his capital Akkad...While points of contact with other regions are attested, they can hardly have accounted for the strength and individuality of civilization in the subcontinent...Unmistakably Harappan cubical weights of banded chert (based on a unit of 13.63 grams) are known from a number of sites located around the perimeter of the Arabian GUlf, including Susa, Qalat al-Bahrain, Shimal (Ras al-Khaimah), and Tell Abraq (Umm al-Qaiwain) inscribed Harappan shard has been found at Ras al Junayz... Harappan pottery has been found at several sites throughout Oman and the United Arab Emirates...A "Melukkhan village" in the territory of the ancient city-state of Lagash, attested in the thirty-fourth year of the reign of Shulgi (2060), may have been a settlement of Harappans, if the identification with the civilization of the Indus Valley is correct...But...there is little evidence of a Sumerian, Akkadian, or Babylonian presence in the Indus Valley... That the language of Melukkha was unintelligble to an Akkadian or Sumerian speaker is clearly shown by the fact that, on his cylinder seal, the Akkadian functionary Shu-ilishu is identified as a "Melukkhan translator"...the word "Melukkha" appears occasionally as a personal name in cuneiform texts of the Old Akkadian and Ur III periods. "(Potts, D., 1995, Distant Shores: Ancient Near Eastern Trade, in: Jack M. Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, Vol. I, pp. 1451-1463).

Mleccha trade was first mentioned by Sargon of Akkad (Mesopotamia 2370 BCE) who stated that boats from Dilmun, Magan and Meluhha came to the quay of Akkad (Hirsch, H., 1963, Die Inschriften der Konige Von Agade, Afo, 20, pp. 37-38; Leemans, W.F., 1960, Foreign Trade in the Old Babylonian Period, p. 164; Oppenheim, A.L., 1954, The seafaring merchants of Ur, JAOS, 74, pp. 6-17). The Mesopotamian imports from Meluhha were: woods, copper (ayas), gold, silver, carnelina, cotton. Gudea sent expeditions in 2200 BCE to Makkan and Meluhha in search of hard wood. Seal impression with the cotton cloth from Umma (Scheil, V., 1925, Un Nouvea Sceau Hindou Pseudo-Sumerian, RA, 22/3, pp. 55-56) and cotton cloth piece stuck to the base of a silver vase from Mohenjodaro. (Wheeler, R.E.M., 1965, Indus Civilization) are indicative evidence. Umma seal impression shows a Meluhha trader in Mesopotamia; there is no comparable evidence of a Mesopotamian trader in Meluhha. Babylonian and Greek names for cotton were: sind, sindon. This is an apparent reference to the cotton produced in the black cotton soils of Sind and Gujarat.

"Oman peninsula/Makkan lies half way between the two main civilization centres of the third millennium Middle East: Mesopotamia and the Indus valley... an increasing influence of Harappan civilization on Eastern Arabia during the last two centuries of the third millennium. This influence seems to strengthen during the early second millennium where proper Harappan objects are found all over the Oman peninsula: a cubic stone weight at Shimal, sherds of Harappan storage jars on several sites including Hili 8 (period III). Maysar and Ra's Al-Junayz bears a Harappan inscription and Tosi (forth.) has emphasized the importance of this discovery for the knowledge of Harappan control over the Oman Sea." [Serge Cleuziou, Dilmun and Makkan during the third and early second millennia BC, 143-155 in: Shaikha Haya Ali Al Khalifa and Michael Rice (eds.) Bahrain through the ages: the archaeology, London, KPI, 1986.]

2.2 Dilmun, Makkan, Meluhha

"Around 2500 BC, Dilmun is first referred to as a supplier of wood, by Urnanshe, King of Lagash. His successors, Lugalanda and Uri'inimgina (before 2350 BC) dispensed various textiles, resins, oil and silver out of the state storehouses to merchants of Lagash. The merchants were to trade the goods in Dilmun for copper and other wares, such as onions, linen, resin and bronze 'marine spoons'... During the succeeding Old Akkadian Period (2334-2193 BC) the Mesopotamians were no longer the only traders to visit Dilmun. The seas were open to all contries and seafaring merchants from the distant lands of Dilmun, Meluhha and Makkan tied up at Akkad's quay, during Sargon's reign (2334-2279 BC). Copper was shipped directly from Makkan; people from Meluhha are mentioned in written sources as interpreters and seamen. During the reign of Gudea of Lagash, copper, diorite and wood were delivered from Makkan and Meluhha delivered rare woods (such as Sissoo wood), gold, tin, lapis lazuli and carnelian to Lagash. Naramsin warred against Makkan; Mesopotamia strove for predominance in the area...

“Ships from Makkan did not sail to the north. It appears that one or more trading centers in Makkan were visited during the voyages where Makkan wares-- chiefly copper-- and luxury items from Meluhha were bartered. Therefore it appears that many wares referred to in the written sources as 'Makkan goods', actually were materials originally brought from Meluhha. Through trans-shipment in Makkan, these goods were then later referred to as coming from Makkan; the same confusion occurs later with materials from Dilmun... Both the goods and the foreign merchants trading in Dilmun's markets influenced forms of trade. The cuneiform characters had been taken over from the Sumerians, but the system of weights used in barter derived from the Indus Valley culture. (Michael Road, Weights on the Dilmun Standard, Iraq, vol. 44, 1982, 137-141). Spreading out from Dilmun, this system of weights became very popular and was used as far away as Ebla in Syria... Dilmun is mentioned for the last time in written records, during the reign of Samsu'liluma in the year 1744 BC, with the entry...'12 measures of purified copper from Alasia and Dilmun'. With this notice, the new supplier of copper is also mentioned; Alasia (Cyprus) would control the Mediterranean and Near Eastern market for copper for the next millennium. Alasia's rise did not occur in isolation; obviously a lengthy series of crises led to the collapse of the existing system in the East. Unlike Dahlak, Dilmun did not cease to exist; Tukulti-Ninurta refers to himself as 'King of the Upper and Lower Seas' and ruler over Dilmun and Meluhha. However, Meluhha and Makkan are no longer referred to in written records in the old sense.

"...More recent arcaheological researches in East Arabia have brought to light many finds which are related to the presence of Indus valley people. In the settlements of Hili 8 and Maysar-1, both of which have been investigated, Indus valley pottery is frequently found. Seals with Indus valley script and typical iconography indicate influences in Makkan down to the level of business organization. Marks identifying pottery in Makkan were taken from those used in the Indus valley, including the use of the signs on pottery used in the Indus valley. The discovery of a sea-port-- which may be ascribed to the Harappans-- at Ra's al-Junayz on Oman's east coast by an Italian expedition would seem to indicate that trade routes should be viewed in a more differentiated fashion than has been done upto now." [Sege Cleuziou, Preliminary report on the second and third excavation campaigns at Hili 8, Archaeology in the United Arab Emirates, vol. 2/3, 1978/79, 30ff.; Gerd Weisgerber, '...und Kupfer in Oman', Der Anschnitt, vol. 32, 1980, 62-110; Gerd Weisgerber, Makkan and Meluhha- 3rd millennium copper production in Oman and evidence of contact with the Indus valley, Paper read in Cambridge 1981 and to appear in South Asia Archaeology 1981; Tosi, M. 1982. A possible Harappan Seaport in Eastern Arabia: Ra's Al Junayz in the Sultanate of Oman, paper read at the 1st International Conference on Pakistan Archaeology, Peshawar]." Gerd Weisgerber, Dilmun--a trading entrepot; evidence from historical and archaeological sources, 135-142 in: Shaikha Haya Ali Al Khalifa and Michael Rice (eds.) Bahrain through the ages: the archaeology, London, KPI, 1986. [Simo Parpola/Asko Parpola/Robert H. Brunswig, The Meluhha village. evidence of acculturation of Harappan traders in the later third millennium Mesopotamia?, Journal of the Economic and Political History of the Orient, vol. 20, 1977, 129-165. 'If the tablets and their sealed envelopes had not been found, in fact, we might never have suspected the existence of a merchant colony.' (T. Ozguc, An Assyrian trading outpost, Scientific American, 1962, 97 ff.);
Ras-al-Junayz. Copper seal. (The port has a green-back turtle reserve). Turtle or tortoise shells were an item of trade from Meluhha, according to Mesopotamian records. “Mats, sarcophagi, coffins and jars, used for funeral practices, were often covered and sealed with bitumen. Reed and wood boats were also caulked with bitumen. Abundant lumps of bituminous mixtures used for that particular purpose have been found in storage rooms of houses at Ra's al-Junayz in Oman. Bitumen was also a widespread adhesive in antiquity and served to repair broken ceramics, fix eyes and horns on statues (e.g. at Tell al-Ubaid around 2500 BC). Beautiful decorations with stones, shells, mother of pearl, on palm trees, cups, ostrich eggs, musical instruments (e.g. the Queen's lyre) and other items, such as rings, jewellery and games, have been excavated from the Royal tombs in Ur.” [Use and trade of bitumen in antiquity and prehistory: molecular archaeology reveals secrets of past civilizations by J. Connan],4,14;journal,86,116;linkingpublicationresults,1:102022,1

The model boat found at Ra’s Al junayz is exactly similar to the boat depicted on a Sarasvati tablet with hieroglyphs. (One side of this tablet depicts an alligator among other glyphs).

Reconstruction of model boat, 85 cm. long. Ra’s Al Junayz (spelt as Jinz in French): “Building materials The excavations of Rj-2 with Ra' S Al-Jinz delivered still new material indices of this navigation, in the forms of fragments of an amalgam, composed of a bitumen base in which were included chopped plants and carbonate of calcium, undoubtedly of the calcined corals, as well as animal greases, probably of fish or shark… Besides this one finds in Ra' S Al-Jinz another form of prefiguration: in the northern whole of houses were found bitumen fragments which carried the traces either of reeds but of wood boards assembled free in and out by cords, the technique of the "bent" boats which made very a long time the originality of the Arab navy of the Indian Ocean.”

Part 3. S’rivatsa

Jain votive tablet from Mathurå. From Czuma 1985, catalogue number 3. (Czuma, Stanislaw J., 1985, Kushan Sculpture: Images from Early India Cleveland Museum of Art. Yaksha, yakshini carry the entire composition. Four fish-tails encircle the jina. Out of the fish-tails emerge three-petalled padma. The tails are bound by a band with a petalled-circle pendant. Four s’rivatsa surround the jina in the centre. Four glyphs adorn the curves of the fish-tails: svastika, tied-fish, a pair of fish, triangle-shaped furnace.
3.1 Explaining the ‘tied’ fish on s’rivatsa metaphor of Sanchi stupa torana
The breath-taking splendour of the torana evokes many memories of bharatiya tradition and civilizational continuum with extraordinarily unique and abiding metaphors. One metaphor is s’rivatsa or macchuddaana jhasa and the second metaphor is makara.
In Khuddaka Nikaya, there is a Macchuddaana Jataka. The Jataka narrates how the bodhisatva threw the remains of food into the river for the fish, dedicating the merit of sharing annam for the river-spirit. (Jataka 288.

3.2 Jhasa in the bharatiya grand narrative of creation and of manu, the first human

Thus in Macchuddaana Jataka of Khuddaka Nikaya, merit is dedicated to the jhasa, the fish as river-spirit. The word jhasa occurs in S’atapatha Brahmana. The narrative in brief is as follows: As Manu was washing his hands with water, a fish came into his hands and offered to save him from a flood which would wash away all the creatures. The fish also asked Manu to care for the fish in a pot and when it grew larger in size, to care for it in a trench and when the fish outgrew the trench, to care for it in the ocean. At this stage, the jhasa would be beyond destruction. The narrative continues to note that the fish grew steadily into a jhasa, which is the largest size of the tiny fish as it grew. The fish predicted that the flood would come in a particular year when Manu will build a ship, go to the fish and when the flood had risen, Manu would enter the ship. Events happened as predicted, the fish swam up to Manu. Manu fastened the rope of the ship to the horn of the fish. Manu sailed with the jhasa to the northern mountain. The fish noted that Manu had been saved and asked Manu to fasten the ship to a tree, also warned that the water should not be allowed to cut Manu off when Manu is on the mountain. The jhasa added that when the water subsided, Manu should keep following down the water’s flow. So it is that the mountain slope is called Manu’s descent. The flood had swept away all creatures excepting Manu who remained.

The word suggested for the rope and for binding (which is an emphatic orthographic detail of the s’rivatsa glyph) is uddana (Skt.) The phrase macchuddana in Pali means ‘a batch of fish’.

This may be the phrase relatable to the tying up of the central fish to the tails of two other fishes, thus creating the s’rivatsa composite of jhasa-vra_tah, or schools of fish.
It is suggested that the central theme of ‘fish’ or jhasa, in s’rivatsa metaphor relates to wealth, prosperity, fame: jasa ‘fame’ (Pkt.); yas’as (Skt.)

The two fish tails tied into this central fish suggests the phrase: macchuddana which means ‘a batch of fish (for sale)’ in Pali (CDIAL 1987). It also means a group of suttas. The word ‘uddana’ is suggested because the central fish is tied together and is also enveloped by two tails of fishes. uddana `act of binding or fastening together' MBh.; Pas. udan `rope for fastening yoke to plough-beam'; maccha fish (Pkt.Pali); matsya ‘fish’ (RV) (CDIAL 1987). This could also have been interpreted as jhasa-vra_tah (schools of fish) which is the meaning read in S’rimadbhagavatam (12.10.5). This will be consistent with the interpretation that vrata, mleccha tradition of Sarasvati civilization continued into the historical periods in Bharatam, exemplified by Sanchi stupa torana and the glyphs recorded on the torana. It is possible that this jhasa-vra_ta might have yielded the synonym s’rivatsa connoting wealth since mahaavrata precedes the performance of the agnis.t.oma pointing to the continuum of vrata-yajna traditions. It is unclear if jhasa and vatsa are relatable phonemically (though bha- or ma- > va- and jha- or ja- > ya- transforms are well attested). cf.— n. ‘breast, chest’ (RV.)vakkha—, vaccha— n. ‘chest’ (Pkt.)(CDIAL 11188); vatsará— m. ‘5th or 6th year in a cycle of 5 or 6 years’ TS; Pa. Pk. vacchara (Pa.Pkt.)(CDIAL 11242)
What was the central fish of the Sanchi stupa torana called? Jhasa ‘fish’; rebus: jhasa ‘fame, splendour, prosperity, wealth’. yas’as is the name of various saman according to Arshabrahman.a which are: udaka, anna, dhana. Thus, yas’as is closely associated with dhana, prosperity, wealth and hence, splendour, fame, beauty. In Pkt. Bhra_jai means ‘shines’; as in Skt. Bhra_jas ‘shine, spark’ (RV). Jasa, therefore, means: beauty, splendour fame, prosperity, wealth. (Skt. Yas’as ‘beauty, splendour, worth’; Pkt. ‘fame, success’; Si. adv./ yehen ‘well, prosperously’)

It is suggested that the word ayas in Sarasvati civilization, might have been interpreted as ‘fish, metal, iron, gold’. And, hence, the suggestion that the fish glyph is a hieroglyph denoting metal.

It is suggested that an early word for fish in bharatiya languages: ayas. The word, jhasa, ‘fish’ used in S’atapatha Brahmana as a large fish, is realtable to ayo ‘fish’ in Austric: So. Ayo `fish'. Go. ayu `fish'. Hako ‘fish’ (Santali) This lexeme ayo ‘fish’ is relatable to jhasa ‘fish’ (Skt.) This ayas – jhasa link is justified; for example, Pk. ujjhasa— m. ‘effort’ is comparable to ya_sayati ‘to weary’; a_yas ‘to work hard’ (Skt.). Thus, ayas > jhasa (which may refer to the fish in the s’rivatsa glyph on top of Sanchi stupa torana) may be a chronological evolution. When ayo, ayas is correlated with jhasa (all denoting fish), the homonymous ayas, jhasa (yasa) might have connoted metal, wealth, prosperity.
ayas metal, iron (RV.); ayo_ (Pali); aya iron (Pali.Pkt.); ya id. (Si.)(CDIAL 590). yahun.u iron filings (Si.)(CDIAL 589). yakad.a iron (Si.); ayaska_n.d.a a quantity of iron, excellent iron (Pa_n..gan..) In Pali, jhasa means ‘fish’. jhaṣa — an alligator; Bhagavatam 3.19.35 jhaṣa-kula-ullańghana — by the jumping of different fish; Bhagavatam 5.24.10 jhaṣa — as an aquatic (such as the fish and tortoise); Bhagavatam 7.9.38 jhaṣa-rāja-kuṇḍala — of the two earrings, made in the shape of sharks; Bhagavatam 8.18.2 jhaṣa-vrātaḥ — schools of fish; Bhagavatam 12.10.5

jasa means: beauty, splendour fame, prosperity, wealth. (Skt. Yas’as ‘beauty, splendour, worth’; Pkt. ‘fame, success’; Si. adv./ yehen ‘well, prosperously’) asec, tasec = wealth (Santali) jos = fame, to succeed, praise (Santali) ja~k, ja~k jomok = splendour (Santali) monjok = beautiful (Santali) [See also: 2422 ūrjas— n. ‘vigour, strength’ RV. Pk. ujja— n. ‘strength, brightness’; Md. uda ‘swell of the sea’; ojas ‘strength, vigour, vitality’ (RV); Pa. ōjā— f. ‘nutritive element in food’; Pk. ōya— n., ōyā— f. ‘strength, fame, glory’, KharI. oja—, NiDoc. oya—, Si. oda ‘strength’.]

3.3 S’rivatsa as an auspicious symbol

Candraprabhu, eighth tirthankara of Jaina. Associated symbol: moon. The 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th tirthankara and their associated symbols are: Suparsv’a – svastika, Suvidhinathji – Crocodile, Shitalnathji – Srivatsa, Shregansnath – Rhinoceros.
Vidisha (Bhelsa) is a city which encapsulates a remarkable dharma-dhamma continuum in Bharatiya Itihaasa, through Vaishnava, Bauddha, Jaina traditions and could help unfold the meanings of many metaphors which could be traced to Sarasvati civilization of 4th millennium BCE. Many merchants of Vidisha had supported the monuments at Sanchi. Jivantaswamin is associated with the place as also ‘parvar’ Jaina community of merchants of Vidisha. Figure. 24 jinas, Ginjee, Tamilnadu

The metaphors relate to such glyphs as s’rivatsa and makara which are rendered in exquisite detail on many media by ancient artisans.

Masked as Enki, the half-fish and half-priest; from a relief of Assurnasirpal II (883--859 BC) from Calah. Gypsum. Height ca. 2.5 m. After Jeremias 1929: 353, fig. 183; cf. Asko Parpola, 1984, Deciphering the Indus Script, Cambridge Univ. Press, Fig. 10.19, p. 190).'Mesopotamian water-god Enki -- distinguished by the fish emblem -- is the principal 'god of creation (d nu-dim-mud = s'a nab -ni-ti)...The Sumerian word apkallu (or abgal) meaning ‘wise man, expert’, and used as the title of a priest, exorcist or diviner, is an epithet of Enki. It refers to mythological sages, too, especially the seven antediluvian sages: the cuneiform texts speak of ‘an oral tradition of the [seven] ancient sages from before the flood’, and ‘the seven sages of the apsu, the sacred pura_du-fish, who like their lord, Ea, have been endowed with sublime wisdom.’ The servants of Enki are represented in the art as half-fish, half-man' (ibid., p. 190). Since this relief is dated to between 883 to 859 BCE, it is likely that the fish myth was transferred from Bha_rata [S’Br. 1.8.1 which refers to Manu as the survivor of a flood, saved by a great fish (matsya, jhas.a)].

3.4 Evolution of the s’rivatsa metaphor

This stylized glyph is often referred to as nandyaavarta, s’rivatsa, triratna. The glyph is an evolution from a number of glyptic components ligatured together to convey a message. The center-piece is the full fish (stylized like a vajra) tied, entwined, with a knotting thread tying up an S and inverse S on either side of the fish tail; out of the ends of the two S glyphs emerge two lotus stems. What surrounds (a_varta) this composition are two upraised tails of a pair of fish emanating from the centre-piece fish. The entire composition is placed on top of a dharma cakra in the middle of which is shown a mahaapadma (great lotus). The evolution of the glyptic composition can be traced from the evidence of a number of sculptural or orthographic variants. Fish glyph is central to the composition. This is a glyph which is depicted on many Sarasvati hieroglyphs with a number of variants and ligatures. Sometimes, the fish glyph is duplicated and paired.

The ligature of eyes to this part of s’rivatsa is a phonetic determinant of the word for ‘fish’. The word for eye in Santali is: me~t. The homonym, rebus, is med. ‘iron’. The two tails of fish are thus read rebus as: bed.a hako (ayo), that is, either end of a metal (ayas) hearth used for smelting iron (med.).

Plate 389 triratna with eyes placed on top of a circular disk flanked by two s’ankha. Reference: Hackin, 1954, fig.195, no catalog N°.

The two outer prongs are tails of fishes.

Jain votive plaque. Ayagapata.Mathura UP, Kankali Tila. Kushana (2nd c. CE). 65 x 57.5 cm. National Museum, New Delhi
Matsya yugala, triratna, srivatsa, makara, dharma cakra, s’ankha, purnaghat.a are remarkable metaphors.of stupa (sanchi and barhut) and also Bergram ivory/bone carvings. Some of these glyphs also appear on the as.t.amangala (eight auspicious representations or metaphors) haara worn by yakshi [other glyphs added include svastika, dhvaja or pennant, darpana (mirror)]

Triratna ‘three gems’ is referred to as sampo or sambo ‘three jewels’ in Japanese.

Triratana (also tiratna or ratna-traya in Pali) Buddhist glyph depicted on a footprint of the Buddha which shows both triratna and the dharma cakra. 1st century CE, Gandhara.

Plate 391 Reference: Hackin 1954, p.244, fig.196 The srivatsa is an auspicious symbol which appears as a mark or dot of chest hair of Visnu, as well as one of the Jain Tirthankaras. It apparently originated in the Indus Valley culture and is thought to symbolize the “source of the natural world” (Liebert 1986:280).
The srivatsa emblem can take a number of shapes. In the Begram plaque described in the previous section, where the symbol is presented atop a triratna, the upper part of the symbol takes the form of a inverted triratna with the middle prong pointed but the outer prongs curled inward (Plate 391). The lower part of the emblem consists of a horizontal band with curled-in endings. In a more vegetal style, the srivatsa appears as a honeysuckle motif rising out of a semi-circle or cakra, with the same basic outline: an upright center and four curled-in branches on the side. This latter type occurs in many Begram plaques, either in multiple form (Plate 409) or individually.
Female figure, holding up a triratna(?) From Hadda, Afghanistan stucco H: ca. 9" Kabul Museum, Kabul
Footprint of the Buddha, Miho museum. Depicts triratna and dharma cakra. Footprint of Buddha (Gandhara / Swat Area, Pakistan)
2nd - 3rd centuries A.D., H-75.5 D-17 W-48.5 cm .

Detail of the footprint of the Buddha. Archaeological museum. Pakistan. Depict s’rivatsa or triratna on the toe and four alternating svastika glyphs on the four fingers of the foot. On this sculpture, footprints of both feet of the Buddha are shown and the triratna or s’rivatsa glyph adorns not only the heel but every finger and toe.

The oldest extant bussokuseki 仏足石. Literally "Buddha's foot(print) stone." in Japan is dated 753 AD and preserved at Yakushiji Temple 薬師寺 in Nara, said to be a reproduction in stone of a tracing originating from China and which in turn reproduced a model that had been brought from India. Next to it stands a slab inscribed with a 21-verse poem of the Buddha's footprint stone (BUSSOKUSEKI-NO-UTA 仏足石の歌)…

3.5 Auspicious symbols on footprints of the Buddha

Source: Miho Museum, Japan.

As the historical Buddha began to be seen as a superhuman one, the idea developed that he had certain physical attributes different from those of ordinary humans. Eventually thirty-two major signs (lakshanas) and eighty minor characteristics (vyanjanas) were described as distinguishing the physical form of the Buddha, though different texts (sutras) vary in the nature of these signs. Such signs, for example, include his soles being flat and marked with auspicious symbols.During the earliest period of Buddhist art, when the Buddha was not represented anthropomorphically, the Buddha's footprint was one of the symbols which were used in narrative reliefs depicting the Buddha's life scenes to indicate his personal presence. In the Gandharan region, where the Buddha image in human form was first created, there are indications that the Buddha's footprint was worshipped in the same manner as an iconic figure. A Buddha's footprint at the Archaeological Museum, Swat, in Pakistan, is thought to be the one mentioned in the travel records of the Chinese monks Faxien and Xuanzang, who made their pilgrimages in the fifth and the seventh centuries respectively, and worshipped a Buddha's footprint at the northern Swat.The present example is a Buddha's footprint carved on a rectangular slab, the border of which is decorated with a band of meandering vines or cords with four-petaled flowers between them. A triratna or three-jewel symbol is on the pad of the big toe, and the other four toe-tips are marked by a swastika. The triratna mark is a felicitous symbol in which a three-pronged, w-shaped element surmounts a circular flower motif; it symbolizes the three jewels of Buddhism -- the Buddha, the Buddhist Law (dharma), and the community of practitioners (sangha). The swastika (svastika in Sanskrit) means "the auspicious". The hooks of the swastikas here do not all face in the same direction, and this variation in the motif is a fascinating aspect of this work. In the center of the sole is a wheel edged with a band of four-petaled flowers. The wheel (dharma-chakra) is a symbol of the Buddha's teachings, or the Buddhist Law, as a perfect circle lacks nothing. Furthermore, the Buddha's teachings penetrate the hearts of the faithful as the wheel turns, and the act of the Buddha preaching a sermon is called "the turning of the wheel." This wheel motif corresponds to the thousand-spoked wheel said to be one of the thirty-two auspicious physical signs of the Buddha and to appear on the soles of his feet and the palms of his hands. There is also a three-jewel symbol on the heel.When placed flat, the Buddha's footprint is positioned with the toes direct towards the worshippers, as if the Buddha is facing them, and when it is displayed on walls, their toes point downward. The stone of this example is a greenish schist, which includes a great quantity of mica flakes, which sparkle in the light. This kind of stone was frequently used in the region extending from the northern part of Gandhara to Swat.

The presence of the Buddha is indicated with his footprints as well as the bodhi tree, an umbrella, a throne, and the dharmachakra or wheel of the Law in the reliefs depicting the Budda's life scenes on the railing from Bharhut (the begining of the first century B.C.) and on the gateways of the Great Stupa at Sanchi (the begining of the first century A.D.); See Koezuka 1979, fig. 68, 72 (Bharhut), 26 (Sanchi).

Footprints at Gokurakuji TempleMade in Heisei Year One (December 1989)
Photo courtesy

Triratna (sometimes also referred to nandipaada, ‘bull’s hoof’) is a device on Kuninda coins (1st century BCE northern Punjab), surmounts depictions of stupas; the device occurs on Gondophares (Indo-Parthian) coins and coins of some Kushana kings such as Vima Kadphises.
Coin. Kujula Kadphises (circa 30 - 80 AD)
AE Pentachalkon Senior ISCH B11 type; Mitchiner ACW 2887 - 2888v. 22 mm.
9.67 gm. Die position=10h Magnetic.
Obverse: Humped bull walking right; Nandipada symbol above. Kharosthi Pu before bull.
Coin. Vima Kadphises (circa 100 - 127/8 AD)AE Tetradrachm Gobl Kushan 760
29 x 27 mm. (3 mm. thick)16.90 gm.
Die position=12h Reverse: Shiva standing facing, holding trident; and the bull, right (Cribb series IIIa/C3); Nandipada symbol in left field.
The sheath of a warrior’s broadsword (closeup) is decorated with a nandipada. Bharhut, c. 100 BC Indian Museum, Calcutta
YakshaSatavahana, Pitalkhora, Maharashtra at National Museum, Delhi. c. 1st cent. BCE. Wears a five-stranded yajnopavitam, bracelets on wrists and shoulders, a necklace and two headbands of rudraksha beads and carries a basket of (perhaps, artisan tools) on his head. A yaksha is a dwarf. [Deshpande,, MN, 1959, The rock cut cave of Pitalkhora in Deccan, Ancient India, No. 15, New Delhi, pp. 66-93]. Madhuri Sharma and DP Sharma, 1998, Newly discovered anthropomorphic figures from Nurpur, UP, in: Vibha Tripathi, ed., Archaeometallurgy in India, Delhi, Sharada Publishing House, pp. 286-291].
Detail of bead necklace worn by the yaksha shows a central bead flanked by two s’rivatsa glyphs hanging upside down (circle topped by two fish tails perhaps similar to the detail shown of a pair of s’rivatsa crowning the top panel of Sanchi stupa gate torana).
Tamtas also called tamotas (equivalent of Thathera-s of the plains) belonged to the general ja_ti of Dom (Nevill 1904: 105). In the Punjab, chhatera is an engraver as distinct from a thathera who makes ornamental vessels (Kipling 1886: 6); the brass founder was called the bhartya. [Chakrabarti and Lahiri, 1996, p. 156]. In Tamil, they were and in Telugu, kam.sala (Holder 1894-95: 81).

Part 4. Bharatiya metallurgical tradition

4.1 Yakshini, divinities of the hearth

A reference to itinerant metal-smiths who make arrows of metal, in the Rigveda (9.112.2) will have to be re-evaluated in the context of this evidence.

jarati_bhih os.adhi_bhih parn.ebhih s'akuna_na_m
ka_rma_ro as'mabhih dyubhih hiran.yavantam icchati_ (RV. 9.112.2)
This is a description of a smithy, perhaps an allusion to the making of copper reducing the ores. The metalsmiths sold the products (a copper implement or copper-tipped arrow or golden ornament) to moneyed-people.

a_la_kta_ ayomukham is.u (RV. 6.75.15): reference to poison and metal-tipped arrow.
r.s.t.i: a_sr.ukmaira_ yudha_ nara r.s.va_ r.s.t.i_h assr.aks.ata (RV. 5.52.6): javelin thunder spear
brahman.aspatireta_ sam. karma_ra iva_dhamat
deva_na_m. pu_rvye yuge asatah sadaja_yata (RV. 10.72.2): reference to metalsmith who blows in a furnace and makes metal objects.
kr.ti: has.tes.u kha_dis'ca kr.tis'ca (a guard and a sword)(RV. 1.168.3)
ks.ura: yada_ te va_to anuva_ti s'oirvapteva s'mas'ru vapasi prabhu_ma (RV. 10.142.4): With the wind at its back, fire wipes out the trees and forests and 'shaves' the land just as the barber shaves (with a razor).
khanitra: khanama_nah khanitraih (RV. 1.179.6): by the digging spade
kha_di: kha_dayo (RV. 7.56.13): shoulder decoration, sword?
paras'u: s'is'ite paras'um. sva_yasam. (RV. 10.53.): sharpened metallic axe.
pra_ca_ gavyantah pr.thupars'avo yayuh da_s.a_ ca vr.tra_ hatama_rya_ni ca (RV. 7.83.1): with big axes came to the east came the cow-plunderers -- the da_sas as well as some a_ryas.
va_s'i_: va_s'i_ a_yasi_ (RV. 8.29.3): bronze tool-chisel, axe or adze. The neolithic one was as'manmayi_ va_s'i_ (RV. 10.101.10) made of stone.
svadhiti: ks.n.otren.eva svadhitim sam. s'is'i_tam (RV. 2.39.7): sharpen the swords/axes on the whetstone. means a sword?

Yakshini are bronze age divinities of the hearth. They are workers with fire, the crucible and the forge who could produce jewellery of immense beauty, as also thunderbolt vajra for Indra, metallic tools of immense utility and weapons. The running theme is the recurrent destruction and renewal of the cosmos, visarga and sarga, destruction and creation described by the metaphor of the cauldron of the smith or yaksha.
A cylinder seal of Gudea of Lagash (2143-2124 B.C.) read: "copper, tin, blocks of lapis lazuli-- bright carnelian from the land of Meluhha." (Muhly, J.D., 1976, Copper and Tin, Hamden, Archon Books, pp. 306-7).

There could be an abiding association between metallurgy and kingship as evidenced by the word kavi which in Old Iranian means ‘poet, smith’ and a cognate word kayanides become the warriors and rulers of ancient Iran. Kavyava_hana in Rigveda is fire, the carrier of oblations offered in fire together with the metaphor of fire as the priest (agnim i_l.e purohitam), the carrier.

Many metaphors are unique to smiths of antiquity across civilizations, leading us to surmise that they were the same people of a maritime and riverine civilization of Indian Ocean rim with facility of movement on boats across long distances in search of minerals. Deformity of body seems to a characteristic of ancient smiths. Latin Volcanus was " bearded, sometimes with a slight facial deformity which doubtless recalled his infirmity,"and Volcanus’ anvil, hammer and tongs were imported from Greece. ( G.H. Luquet et al, New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Hamlyn, 1968). Greek Hephaestus, son of Zeus and Hera, was born with twisted legs and a dislocated hip, was thrown into the seas and picked up by two nymphs and would later fashion objects of gold and bronze, apart from building palaces for divinities on Mount Olympus. Hephaestus was helped in his various underground forges by Cyclopes who had one eye. Kensai (meaning ‘sword saints’) in Japanese folklore were farmer warriors.

Smiths were manufacturers of tools, and also weapons and hence responsible for supporting the soldiers carrying weapons to defend their communities. Tools made by smiths created a veritable revolution in civilizational history.

Who first engaged in alchemy, created the metals’ age, sought the veins of iron, learnt about the characteristics of minerals through experience, tempered the blades in oil 50 or 60 times and used many alloys of copper to make tools? Little people. Little people did work in the mines and smithies. Historical traditions across cultures associate dwarfs and elves with mining and smithy. Kubera and yaksha are the little people, the dwarfs who were involved in smithy, working with minerals, metals, alloys and furnaces, as demonstrated by the decipherment of Kubera’s navanidhi. An early center of iron manufacture seems to have been Ganga river basin, Illyria and Thrace. The little people are found as inspired, experimenting, itinerant explorers, naanaa des’eeya as many bharatiya epigraphs proclaim, they are like the gypsies. Maybe, they were the proto-gypsies.

Monbiot asks: ‘Why are the same myths associated with the blacksmiths all over the world?” ["Smith and the Devil" by George Monbiot, an essay published in Country Living Magazine]

Skanda Purana, describes a yaksa:“This mighty lion which was born from the anger of the Goddess will be your vehicle and he will be on your banner, O Goddess. Go to the Vindhya mountains and there do the work of the gods, killing Sumbha and Nisumbha, Taraka’s generals. This Yaksha, known as Pañcala, is given to you as your servant, endowed with hundreds of feats of magic illusion and attended by one hundred thousand Yaksas.” (Hindu Myths 1975:259).

KTM Hegde and Ericson, J.E., 1985, Ancient Indian Copper Smelting Furnaces, in: Furnaces and Smelting Technology in Antiquity, ed. P.T. Craddock, Occasional Paper No. 48, British Museum, London, pp. 59-67: The survey covered six ancient copper ore mining and smelting sites in the Aravalli (Arbuda) hills extending over a thousand kms.: Khetri and Kho Dariba in NE, Kankaria and Piplawas in the Central part and Ambaji in SW.. A large majority of mine-pits measure 7-8 metres in dia. and 3-4 metres deep showing evidence of fire-treating of the host rocks on the mine walls to widen rock joints. The evidene indicated probable mining in the chalcolithic period. Timber supports recovered from a gallery at a depth of 120 metres at Rajpura-Dariba mines in Udaipur District were radio-carbon dated to 3120+_ 160 years before the present (1987). This correlates with the zinc-containing copper artefacts of Atran~jikhera. Finely crushed ore was concentrated by gravity separation at the smelting sites which were invariably close to the banks of hill streams. This helped separate gangue from the ore. Smelting charge was by crushed quartz equal to the weight of the ore, crushed charcoal twice the weight of the ore. Furnace walls showed evidence of residues of small, hand-made, fistfuls of spherical lumps. The smelter furnace was a small, crucible-shaped, clay-walled, slag-tapping deice worked on forced draught from bellows; 'this simple furnace appears to have been continuously used in India over the millennia without little innovation.' It would appear that the facilities in the metropolis of the civilization on the banks of Sarasvati and Sindhu were only purification and fabrication facilities with limited or no smelting operations. Bun-shaped copper ingots from Ganeshwar taken through the riverine routes were perhaps carried by itinerant metal-smiths of the copper-hoard culture and fabricated in cities like Mohenjodaro and Harappa to meet the specifications of the consumers of this doab or the Tigris-Euphrates doab.

"Detail of the iron pillar at Delhi. Its rust-free surface is evidence of the superior quality of traditional technology. Iron beams used in the temples of Konark and Puni in coastal Orissa are further examples of the rust free nature of traditional Indian iron."

"The amazing metal mirror of Aranmula. Its highly polished and reflective surface acts as a high quality and distortion free mirror that equals any of today's glass mirrors."

Kautilya's magnum opus, the Arthashastra, is regarded by many a scholar as the last word in sense and cunning. Here, we briefly focus on the former aspect! Written in the fourth century BC, the work discusses metals and minerals, the purification of their ores, the extraction and working of metals, as well as their alloys. On one hand, the book suggests the purification of ores by chemical treatment with iron or alkalis (i.e. plant ashes). On the other, it recommends the use of charcoal and chaff (waste products of food preparation) in limekiln and for smelting iron. Clearly, recycling mattered! In addition, there are pointers to the location of mineral deposits.

Varahamihira in the sixth century AD indicates the hardening of steel in his Khargalakshanam:: '' The red hot steel should be plunged into a solution of plantain ashes in whey, which is kept standing for twelve hours and then it should be sharpened on the lathe.''
Vrinda discussed the process of killing iron (i.e. obtaining iron oxides). He insists that iron first be ignited in fire and then immersed in the juices of Emblic myrobalan and Trewia nundiflora. Next, it should be exposed to sunlight, and then again macerated in certain other plant juices. Last, it should be placed in a mortar and rubbed.

The twelfth century Tantric text Rasarnava holds forth on the colour of flames, the processes of killing metals, and the test of a pure metal. The last - ''A pure metal is one which when melted in a crucible does not give off sparks nor bubbles, nor spurts, nor emits any sound, nor shows any lines on the surface but is tranquil like a gem.''
Another text Rasaratnasamuchchaya speaks of iron as one of the pure metals, and the three categories thereof:

(i) Mundam (wrought iron) is of three types - one is the mridu, that is glossy, will melt easily but is difficult to break; the second, kunthum, that does not melt easily; and the kadaram that will easily break under the hammer;
(ii) Tikshnam (cast iron steel) - of six types, ranging from the line-free and rough and breakable type to the sharp-edged type that is difficult to break.
(iii) Kantam is of five types - bhramaka (that can make iron move about), chumnbaka (that which 'kisses' iron), karshaka (that which attracts iron), dravaka (which melts iron easily), romakanta (which expels hair-like filaments upon breaking).

Other metals
Zinc mining and smelting were known in the fourteenth century, and soldering was a common practice. By the eighteenth century, steel manufacture was a regular industry, particularly in Mysore. Seringapatnam was famous for its steel wires for musical instruments, while iron utensils and furniture were hallmarks of the smiths of Birbhum in the state of Bengal and Munger in the state of Bihar.
Pot furnace, Lothal.

Antimonial Bronze

The introduction of antimony in addition to the tin and copper produces a harder bronze, better able to hold a cutting edge and less likely to be bent in use.
Antimony sulphide (Sb2S3) in the form of powder was used in the Orient as a cosmetic to darken and beautify their eyebrows. An alloy of lead, tin, antimony, and a little copper was the metal of choice for casting movable type for printing from the time of Gutenberg until modern printing techniques superseded "hot metal" a few years ago. The alloys of antimony include britannia metal, type metal, Babbitt metal, and sometimes pewter; these alloys expand on cooling, thereby retaining fine details of a mold. Alloys and compounds of antimony are used in bearings, storage batteries, safety matches, and as a red pigment in paint.

Lupus metallorum = The grey wolf or stibnite, used to purify gold, as the sulphur in the antimony sulphide bonds to the metals alloyed with the gold, and these form a slag which can be removed. The gold remains dissolved in the metallic antimony which can be boiled off to leave the purified gold. "kohl, antimony paste" [ultimately perhaps < zinke =" sharp" ia =" crooked," ae =" smelted" ed =" country-smelted" muruk =" the" ae =" a" kudlam =" a" ae ="" bari_ =" blacksmith," kami =" the" bari_ =" blacksmith," ili =" the" lam =" a" ed =" country-smelted" muruk =" the" samni =" face" homa =" bison" samanom =" gold" hom =" gold" soma =" electrum" kuduru =" lizard" okka =" a" ekke =" garden" okke =" lizard" kuduru =" a" ibha =" elephant" ib =" iron" tagara =" antelope" agromi =" tin" i =" a" i =" the" i =" ingot" khagga =" rhinoceros" bica =" iron" cmd="Retrieve&db=" list_uids="3895885&dopt=" ma_kara =" relating"> ma_ngar crocodile (Balu_ci_.Iranian); makara sea-monster (Pali); magara, mayara shark (Pkt.); makara crocodile (VS.); miyaru shark (Md.); magar crocodile (H.G.). [The NIA forms with -g- or -ng- are considered loans from Pkt. or Skt. or directly from non-Aryan sources from which these came.](CDIAL 9692). cf. maccha fish (Pkt.Pali)(CDIAL 9758). Alligator: makaram crocodile; shark (Ci_vaka. 170); one of the nine treasures of Kube_ra; a great number (Na_mati_pa. 801); a royal insignia; decorative designs about the dais built for seating the bride and bridegroom at the time of marriage; love; makarikai the figure of shark, as in ornaments (Kampara_. Nintan-ai. 1); makara-k-kot.iyo_n- Ka_ma, as having the emblem of fish on his banner; makara-san:kira_nti, entrance of the sun into capricorn (I.M.P.Sm. 13; I.M.P.Cg. 1193); makara_yan-am winter soltice (Ta.lex.) makara-mi_n shark; makara-mukam a gesture with one hand in which the thumb and the forefinger are held upright while the other fingers are held together and apart from them; makara_layam sea, as the abode of fish; makari sea; makarai a sea-fish (Ta.lex.) Image: alligator; vehicle of varun.a: na_kra a kind of aquatic animal (VS.) negar.., negar..e, negar..u, nakra alligator; negar..de_ra Varun.a (Ka.lex.); negal.u id.; negaru a sea-animal, the vehicle of Varun.a (Tu.); negad.u a polypus or marine animal supposed to entangle swimmers (Te.); nakra crocodile, alligator (Mn.)(DEDR 3732). na_ga a shark (Ka.)(Ka.lex.) cf. nakula a mungoose (Vedic.Pali.lex.) cf. makara crocodile (VS.); man:gar id. (Sant.)(CDIAL 9692). naka big-nosed (K.)(CDIAL 7037). na_kk(h)u_ long-nosed (Ku.); n.akka nose (Pkt.); nakh id. (Gy.); nok (D..); naka big-nosed (K.); nakk nose (L.P.WPah.); na_ id. (N.A.); id. (B.Mth.); (Bhoj.H.G.M.); na_ka (Or.); na_kh (Ku.); nakut.u (Si.); nakra nose (Skt.)(CDIAL 6909)., nose (Can..Aka.; Ya_r...Aka.)(Ta.lex.) nakel wooden or iron pin fixed in a camel's nose (P.H.); bullock's nose-rope (N.)(CDIAL 6910). { cf. vehr.a_ octopus said to be found in the Indus (Jat.ki_ lex.)} < id="doi:10.1086/324130"> iron sequence may have to be discarded given the 2nd millennium finds of iron smelters in Ganga basin (Malhar, Lohardiwa and Raja-nal-ki-tila cf. Rakesh Tewari ).
men~ca = fish roe (Or.) matsya fish (RV); maccha, macchi_ fish (Pali); me_c (Nin:g); mechli_ (Pah.); ma_chali_ (Omarw.); maci (Kt.)(CDIAL 9758). man~chari_ fisherman (L.)(CDIAL 9762).

maccu, maca-ppon-, maccam = piece of gold kept as a sample (Ta.); macca, maccu = little piece of gold or silver taken by the goldsmith from what was given to him and returned to the owner to be kept as a sample or test (Ka.); macca id. (Tu.); maccu = the touch of precious metals, specimen, standard, quality (Te.)(DEDR 4629). men~ca_ = lump (Or.) men.d.a_ = lump, clot (Or.) mede = a crude mass (Ka.) meduka = greasiness or dirt in the hair, clottedness (Te.) [Rebus: me_n.d.ha = ram (Skt.)(CDIAL 10310). Note the glyph of ‘fish’ ligatured on a copper anthropomorph which is orthographically a depiction of the curved horns of a ram.]

matsya = a mole on the body (M.); masa_ wart, mole (H.); maja, maje a natural speck, spot, mole (Tu.)(DEDR 4632)

Vyaala-yaksha depicted frontally grasping the tails of two makaras. The makaras are depicted in profile swallowing the vyåla-yak?a's legs. Fish tails protrude from each side of the vyaala-yaksha's head.Reference: Hackin 1939, p.63, fig.73, 74. Plate no. 285, 286, Begram Ivories Catalogue Number: 30.I.002 Technique: Flat Relief/Openwork Material: Bone? Size: 11.9 x 0.9 cm
A vyaala-yaksha is depicted holding the tails of two makaras, different in style from the other vyaala-yakshas plaques. The tails of the makaras do not resemble fishtails but are of a leaf-like design. The figure does not appear to be wearing fishtails at the side of its head and its dhoti is made up of petal-shaped pieces.Technique: Openwork Material: Bone Size: 8.1 x 10.5 cm Motif: Yaksas Reference: Hackin 1939, p.102
Makara is ligatured as an aquatic elephant. In Norse lands, a horse-headed sea-water animal or water-serpent is called Nykkur (also, Nennir); also called kelpie comparable to a naga. In old Greek, Makara means "blessed." Since many East European people accepted Christianity from the Greeks, many of these peoples have Makara in the root of their last names: Makarios (Greeks), the given name Makar gave rise to a number of last names Makarov (Russians), Makarenko (Ukrainians).
The eagle motif alternates with the depiction of the vyala-yaksi. Plate 293 Begram ivories.

Animals and Makara; what is shown in the middle flanked by two lions could be s’rivatsa
Lions, elephants and other powerful or wild beasts were often shown in stupa reliefs protecting the stupa from evil spirits.
This scene shows lions and a makara. Makaras were alligator-like creature with a fish's tail. Sometimes Makaras also had an elephant's trunk.
Makaras were mythological crocodile-like creatures. They are sometimes represented with the head of an elephant and the tail of a fish. Makaras appear frequently in the reliefs from Amaravati to protect the Stupa from evil spirits.
Makara gargoyle, Bhaktapur, Nepal

Architectural Piece with Makara, c.1100. Vietnam: ancient Champa kingdom Sandstone
35-1/2 x 41-3/8 in. (90.2 x 105.1 cm) Norton Simon Art Foundation M.1977.20.1.S

[lower left] Shown in profile, a mythical aquatic creature (makara) is about to swallow a male figure who holds a sword. Extracting pearls from the makara's mouth?

[upper right] This "Celestial Female" may represent the river goddess Ganga.

“The jaws of this mythical aquatic animal are wide open. It has an elephant's trunk, ram's horns, snake's teeth and slit eyes. Between the impressive jaws sits a small lion. Strings of pearls pour from the lotus. The lotus symbolises many things in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Because the flower appears to emerge from its own root it symbolises divine birth and purity. The lotus is the attribute of Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara). The Hindu god Vishnu is also shown with a lotus flower. Goddesses depicted as the acquiescent partner of a god are often shown holding a lotus. Deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas generally stand or sit on a lotus throne: a pedestal in the form of a lotus flower. above the trunk. The being is a makara, a mythical animal, which features in both hindu and buddha traditions, originated in Northern India and spread to the South and later to the mainland of South-East Asia and Indonesia. The religion has no founder but developed over a period of centuries out of India's various pantheistic cults. Nor is it based on a single text. There are countless writings, tales, myths and legends. One key feature of Hinduism is the notion that all living beings form part of an eternal cycle of reincarnations from which humanity can only break free with immense effort. The existence of the world is also seen as part of this cycle. Creation came about, it exists and it will once more be destroyed. In the course of time a new world era will dawn again. This process continues throughout eternity. Three gods are central in Hinduism: Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. They form a divine trinity. Of these, it is Vishnu who preserves creation and Shiva who is the destroyer. The Hindu divinities are worshipped both in temples and in the home. and BuddhistBuddhismBuddhism is the religion of the followers of Buddha, who lived in the plains of Northern India, around the river Ganges in the 6th century BC. The essence of Buddhism is to achieve Enlightenment. This is the state of release from the suffering of existence, of escape from the spiral of reincarnation. A Buddhist can achieve this by fulfilling life's various functions correctly, for example by making the right decisions and by meditating in the proper manner. Buddhism spread from Northern India across large parts of Asia, to Southern India, Southeast Asia, the Indonesian archipelago, China, Korea and Japan. In the course of time numerous cults and movements emerged within Buddhism that often differed considerably. In Northern India Buddhism was replaced in the 12th century by Islam, while in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia it continued to prosper. Islam also replaced Buddhism on the Indonesian islands, but in China, Korea and Japan the latter still remains the dominant religion. art. Makaras usually flanked the entrance to a temple or adorned an alcove or either end of a flight of stairs. The decoration of a temple entrance would consist of two makaras and a kala head, a monster's head which served to deter people with bad intentions. This makara once adorned the entrance to a ninth century temple on central Java.” Volcanic stone, 97 x 91 x 45 cm, AK-MAK-247 Rijksmuseum

Makara on a key, an insignia of guarding. Makara has the trunk of an elephant, the body of a fish, the feet of a lion, the ears of a hog, the teeth of a monkey and the tail of a swan. This enormous key is for the entrance to the Gadaladeniya Temple near Kandy, Srilanka and is looked after by the monks from a nearby monastery.

Jambhala, Kubera,Bihar, 9th cent. Basalt stone. 40 cm. screen/P4000/4687-3.JPG
Karnataka Yaksha couple 9th-10th century. Schist; H69.9 cm Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.
Maharashtra, Ajanta Cave 2 Jambhala or Kubera with his consort late 5th century
Pawon mandiram, 2 km. east of Borobodur, Central Java,Indonesia. Mandiram for Kuvera. Many dwarves are depicted pouring riches over the entrance.
Kuber in shantinath mandiram,10th cent. Kambadahalli, Mandya, Karnataka
Kuvera yaksha. Barhut.
Murti of Kuvera, Cave 33, Ellora, 9th cent.
Kuvera and Hariti; from Sahri-Bahlol
Makara as the vaahana of dikpa_la, Kubera, Prasat Phanom Rung, Khmer. A clear ligature creating a fabulous animal with the body and feet of elephant, trunk of elephant to the snout of an alligator.
At Prasat Phanom Rung, Khmer, Kuvera as guardian of the north, is shown seated on a makara.
Kuvera/Jhambala 9th cent. Bronze, Java. Eight pots connote eight nidhi on the pedestal. Kuvera is seated on the ninth nidhi, padmini or Makara nidhi. “A small bronze figure from Central Java of the god of wealth. He is shown as a plump child with a fat belly: a symbol of prosperity. The god is wearing a lot of jewellery: bracelets and anklets, a broad necklace, a diadem and a cord around his neck. Adorning the plinth are eight money pots. Although the pots are sealed with cloth tied with cords, we can see jewels bulging through. The god's lotus throneLotusThe lotus symbolises many things in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Because the flower appears to emerge from its own root it symbolises divine birth and purity. The lotus is the attribute of Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokiteshvara). The Hindu god Vishnu is also shown with a lotus flower. Goddesses depicted as the acquiescent partner of a god are often shown holding a lotus. Deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas generally stand or sit on a lotus throne: a pedestal in the form of a lotus flower. rests on a stalk sprouting from a large money pot. Chains of jewels are pouring from this pot and two others under his feet which have been knocked over. This god features in two religions: in Hinduism his name is Kuvera and in Buddhism he is known as Jambhala. Which of the two is depicted here is unclear.”

Bombay museum. Provenance unknown. A yaksha and a yakshini offering prayers to a seated anthropomorph Nandi with a pot-belly. Nandi is a member of S’iva’s gan.a (army) in bharatiya tradition just as Gan.apati (with the head of an elephant) is also part of the gan.a. Sadashiv Gorashkar who delivered the Platinum Jubilee lecture (1996) on Yaksha who cites this image, seems to interpret the murti as a representation of Kubera yaksha. The face of a bull is ligatured to a seated person with a ponch belly carrying a club on one hand and possibly plumbs on the other hand. This could be a representation of Kubera as a veda purusha. S’iksha is the nose of the vedapurusa, Vyakarana his mouth, Kalpa his hand, Nirukta his ear, Chandas his foot and Jyotisa his eye. Veda purusha is shadangapurusha, with six limbs
Plumbs found in the eastern corridor of Prasat Phanom Rung, Khmer.

Plumbs are mostly regarded as construction tools…

Yaksha is a pan-bharatiya metaphor.

Pot-bellied dwarfs (gan.a) are shown carrying the architrave of western gate of Sanchi stupa.
An anthropomorphic murti of Nandi together with Ganes’a appears in Nanjangud mandiram, a representation of the marriage of S’iva and Parvati. Representation of Ganes’a and Nandi in comparable s’ilpa is indicative of both Ganes’a and Nandi being part of S’iva gan.a and hence, nandis’vara may be taken as a representation of Kubera, a yaksha.
A bauddha text refers to Vishnu as a yaksha (loc. cit. in the lecture by Sadashiv Gorashkar).
In the Durga mandiram at Aihole, there is a murthi of S’iva shown with a Nandi and also a dwarf representing gan.a, on the side, relating the vaahana to Kubera as the dwarf.

A comparable sculpture is at Pattadakkal showing in Vrupaksha mandiram, Harihara, carrying a s’ankha on his left hand, with a gan.a carrying a tris’ula on the right.

Egypt Bes. depicted as a deformed dwarf. 3rd century BC.
(source: India and Egypt - edited by Saryu Doshi p. 70 - 71).
According to S’ivapurana, Nandi, Kalabhairava (Mahakala) are part of S’iva gan.a; Nandikeshwara may be an evocation of two dva_rapa_la yaksha called Nandishvara and Mahakala. “These two temple guards, Nandishvara and Mahakala, belong together. They once kept watch over a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva. Nandishvara stood guard on the left of the entrance, and Mahakala on the right…Nandishvara means: lord of Nandi. Nandi, a bull, is the animal on which the god Shiva rides… These reliefs of volcanic stone were made on the Indonesian island of Java in the ninth century. ” Riks Museum, 9th cent. Volcanic Stone. 77 cm.
A yaksha (Kubera) depicted with a naravaahana shown with a deva and holding a pagoda, representing him as the builder, vis’vakarma. Gandharan sculptural tradition.
She is called yakshini chulakoka. That she is shown riding an elephant and embracing a tree trunk are significant hieroglyphs. Kut.i ‘tree’; rebus: kut.hi ‘furnace, smelter’; ibha ‘elephant’; rebus: ib ‘iron’. Chulakoka is a metaphor for an iron smelter, furnace. The two circles highlighting the nave are: eraka ‘nave’; rebus: eraka ‘copper’; san:gad.a ‘pair’; rebus; san:gad.a ‘furnace’. Cu_l.ha means a hearth, a fireplace of smiths. Yaksha, yakshini were smiths, artisans, vis’wakarma who could sculpt, work with metals and produce the monuments of Sanchi, Barhut, and rock-cuts of Ajanta, Ellora. They are the creators of a revolution in civilization with the invention of metal alloys.
Here is a yaksha and yakshini shown at Tiyambakes’war, Nasik, standing atop lotuses, metaphors of wealth. (Padmini = lotus = makara = black antimony which could have yielded kr.s.n.a_yasa mentioned in Atharvaveda).
Kubera, a yaksha and yakshini (apsara) shown on a relief at Borobodur temple, Indonesia.
The metaphor of wealth depicted by the artisans, the vis’vakarma, is the ligatured metaphor called, ‘makara’ as shown on another sculpture at Borobudur.
See gilt bronze Makara finial from Tibet (13th-14th cent.) sold at Christie auctions.
For example, at Candi Plaosan Lor of Mahayana bauddham, kala-makara is shown with a pair of kinnara atop on either side of the entrance. Candi Plaosan is a mandiram complex, a kilometer Northeast of Prambanan village on the outskirts of modern Yogyakarta
Makara at entrance of Kalasan Chandi in Prambanan. Indonesia. 9th C.

Tibet - 16th century (7x6in)tempera on paper depicting a dakini with a makara-elephant trunk head. Used in tantric meditation practice. Item 73 at

5.5 Cinnabar, sindhur, makaradhvaja

There is a Surya mandiram at S’ri Arasavalli (Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, 7th cent.). “The description of Lord Sun is given in great detail in the Vis’wakarma S’ilpa as follows: According to this his chariot should have one wheel and the Lord should have a lotus in each hand and seven horses should draw the chariot. According to the Bhavishya Purana, on the right side the figure of Agni should be depicted and on the left that of Skanda. The Lord's chariot is called Makaradhwaja. His two gatekeepers Danda and Pingala have swords in their hands.”
Ananda Coomaraswamy has a chapter on the Makara in his book, Yaksas (1993 edn.), reviewing metaphors of vehicle of varuna, banner of kamadeva. . He describes it as a great Leviathan (serpent) moving through the waters. Given its representation as Capricorn, it has a reference to the cosmic ocean. Makara, together with gandharva, guard the gate into the sanctum, the elixir of immortality (amr.ta). Found placed together with Capricorn (makara), is Sagittarius (Krsannu) a gandharva archer protect the treasure, north of whom runs the great cleft of the Milky Way. Makara’s kala-mukha is life-devouring. He also notes that makara is vahana of Ganga (p. 143) who is also associated with the Milky Way. Makara becomes the source of lotus vegetation (of life) as it sprouts from its mouth or navel. He notes that the face of makara was not perhaps originally associated with kirtimukha (glory head). The metaphor of makara becomes a prominent feature at Angkor Wat which is samudra manthanam, the creation account. Cf. In Lingaraj mandiram, Orissa, a warrior is shown, in bas relief, collecting pearls from makara mukha. Deepak Bhattacharya notes that makara may also be connected with trade, Orissa had vibrant maritime activity. (An Ancient Hindu Royal Throne by Deepak Bhattacharya, loc. cit. A K Coomarswami; Yaksas Part II, Smithsonian Inst. Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 1931, pp 47-56; R C Majumdar; Suvarnadwipa, Vol – I, 1986.
Products of two plants were traded in ancient times. One is boswellia sacra (yielding frankincense) and another was dracaena cinnabari (from which cinnabar was derived).

Dracaena cinnabari is found in Rolpa District of Nepal in the Himalayas, in what are called Skund mountains. Today, many maoist guerrillas operate in this district.

The fine clay that is to be found on the spot, for ever moist, where the heavenly Ganga falls down (upon the earth ) (on a space) thirty yojanas around, is called because of its fineness, `butter-clay.' Samaneras who had overcome the asavas, brought the clay hither from that place. The king commanded that the clay be spread over the layer of stones and that bricks then be laid over the clay, over these a rough cement and over this cinnabar, and over this a network of iron, and over this sweet-scented marumba that was brought by the samaneras from the Himalaya. Chapter 29, The Beginning of the Great Thupa, The Mahavamsa.
Dracaena cinnabari is an endemic species of Soqotra Island. It is one of the six species belonging to the Dragon's blood trees group, classified as follows: Monocotyledones, Liliales, Dracaenaceae. It is registered in the IUCN Red List of the Threatened Plants 2000 with the following abbreviation: EN B1 + 2c.

Dracaena cinnabari - The famous Dragon's Blood Tree, whose resin was once a key export of the island (used in the manufacture of enamels, varnishes, tinctures, toothpastes, plaster and for dyeing horn to make it look like tortoiseshell), is on the island used mainly medicinally and as a dye or paint. The resin for export is made by boiling chunks of bark and underbark in a little water and then crushing them to a paste which is spread out on a flat rock surface to cool and dry. Before quite cold it is moulded by hand into shapes suitable for packing and onward sale. The resin most appreciated on the island, however, is that which exudes naturally from the tree itself when it comes into flower. It can only be collected by climbing into the tree and picking off the droplets where they have oozed from the base of the flowering shoots. This product is used to treat stomach problems, especially in women (for post-partum pains or for a retained placenta), as well as a variety of other complaints. The clay pottery of the island is often decorated with a vivid red paint made by warming the resin over the fire until it liquifies, and applying the paint with a bit of rag or a stick.

Leut. J.R. Wellstead (1835) made a survey of Soqotra for the Indian Government in 1834. He called this plant Pterocarpus draco. The finest examples of this are found on the higher slopes of the limestone mountains, particularly in the centre and east of the island.
There are four islands in the archipelago: Abd al Kuri, Samhah, Darsa and Soqotra. Soqotra is the largest island with a land area of approximately 3,500km². The other islands are a great deal smaller covering less than 400km².

Soqotra or Soqotra archipelago are islands, north-east of Somalia, 250 kilometres off the Horn of Africa. Cinnabar, the crimson red resin from the tree's leaves and bark, was highly prized in the ancient world. It was used as a pigment in paint, for treating dysentery and burns, fastening loose teeth, enhancing the colour of precious stones and staining glass, marble and the wood for Italian violins.

The term ‘Dragons Blood’ refers to reddish resinous products (usually encountered as granules, powder, lumps (“cakes”), or sticks (“reed”) used in folk medicine as an astringent and for wound healing etc., and in other applications for colouring varnishes, staining marble, for jewelry and enameling work, and for photo-engraving. …Steam distilling of the resin from the tree can be carried out to produce an essential oil, and this has been sold into the aromatherapy & incense trade.

Perhaps the most striking plant on Soqotra is the Dragon's Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari), distinguished by its mushroomshaped silhouette. Dragon's Blood forest is a common sight above 500 m on Soqotra and in global terms represents a unique vegetation type. The tree's nearest relative, in the Canary Islands (D. draco), is now almost wiped out in the wild. Pollen records indicate that 20 million years ago the trees stretched from the Canaries to southern Russia.
Dragon's blood, a crimson resin obtained from the bark and highly prized since ancient times, Was used as a pigment in paint, for treating dysentery and burns, fastening loose teeth, enhancing the colour of precious stones, and staining glass, marble and the wood of Italian violins. Although no longer of commercial value, dragon's blood is still an important resource for the Soqotrans. They use it to cure stomach problems, dye wool, freshen breath, decorate pottery and houses, even as lipstick. Soqotra pages of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

Dragon's blood, or cinnabar, is the resin from Dracaena cinnabari, a tree that grows on Socotra, an island in the Indian Ocean around 300 km south of the coast of Yemen. Socotra was also a source of spices in antiquity--aloes, frankincense and myrrh grow in abundance on this island--but the most bizarre of Socotra's natural resources by far is the Dragon's blood tree. The tree is a member of the lily family. Its thick branches fan out from the trunk, each with a tuft of spiky leaves at the end, to form a cone-shaped canopy. Strangely enough, this tree is a member of the lily family. Its berries are cherry-sized and pointed and when ripe they are covered with a red resin, the Dragon's blood, which is removed by steaming or shaking the berries or extracted by boiling the fruits. The resin is very brittle and is often sold in beads or tears, in sticks, irregular lumps, or in a reddish powder form.

Dragon's blood was considered a very powerful medicine because it was thought to be a mixture of dragon and elephant blood. According to Pliny, the tree sprang up after a fight between an elephant and a dragon. Richard Eden, a sixteenth-century navigator, outlined the myth of how it was created:

[Elephants] have continual warre against Dragons, which desire their blood, because it is very cold: and therfore the Dragon lying awaite as the Elephant passeth by, windeth his taile, being of exceeding length, about the hinder legs of the Elephant ... and when the Elephant waxeth faint, he falleth down on the serpent, being now full of blood, and with the poise of his body breaketh him: so that his owne blood with the blood of the Elephant runneth out of him mingled together, which being colde, is congealed into that substance which the Apothecaries call Sanguis Draconis, that is Dragons blood, otherwise called Cinnabaris.
Dragon's blood is a very good dye; it was used as a colouring for varnishes and for dyeing horn to imitate tortoiseshell. In Soqotra it is used as a pigment for decorating pottery and as a remedy for eye and skin diseases and for stomach and headaches. Spices, Gold and Precious Stones: The South Arabian Spice Trade by Alexandra Porter
Mercury is a metal that has been of great alchemical importance in ancient times. In ancient China there is evidence that mercury was used by the latter half of the first millennium BC mercury while mercury metal is reported from Hellenistic Greece. Mercury is a volatile metal which is easily produced by heating cinnabar followed by downward distillation of the mercury vapour. Some of the earliest literary references to the use of mercury distillation comes from Indian treatises such as the Arthashastra of Kautilya dating from the late first millennium BC onwards. Some evidence for mercury distillation is reported from the ancient Roman world.
In India, vermilion or cinnabar i.e. mercuric sulphide has had great ritual significance, typically having been used to make the red bindi or dot on the forehead usually associated with Hinduism. Ingeniously in ancient Chinese tombs cinnabar was used successfully as a preservative to keep fine silks intact. Mercury was also at the heart many alchemical transmutation experiments in the Middle Ages in Europe as well as in Indian alchemical texts which were precursors to the development of chemistry. Metallurgical heritage of India, S. Srinivasan and S. Ranganathan, Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
cf. Mahdihassan, S: Cinnabar-Gold as the best Alchemical Drug of Longevity, called
Makaradhwaja in India, Am. J. Chinese Med., 13:93-108, 1985.

Makara’s association with the hindu alchemical tradition points emphatically to the glyptic representation of antimony which could be alloyed with other metals (and hence, the ligaturing elements of the makara glyphs which include the fish, alligator’s snout, elephant trunk, and elephant legs).

5.6 Kubera’s navanidhi

The orthographic and s’ilpa traditions which embody the mleccha language of the times, enable an interpretation of Kubera’s navanidhi:

padma (lake in Himalaya with minerals and jewels)
mahapadma (lake double the size of padma in Himalaya with minerals and jewels)
makara (Synonym of Padmini, black antimony)
nila (Antimony)
mukunda (quicksilver)
kunda (arsenic)
kharva (cups or vessels baked in fire or iron)
kachchhapa (tortoise or turtle shell)
sankha (conch shell)

Note: Code of Sarasvati hieroglyphs are explained elsewhere in detail. Kalyanaraman, S., 2004, Sarasvati (7 volume encyclopaedic work), Bangalore, Babasaheb Apte Smarak Samiti.

S. Kalyanaraman
24 November 2005