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By M. A. Alwar

Aṃśaḥ literally means dividing or one division.

Origin of the Word Aṃśaḥ[edit]

Aṃśaḥ is the word derived from the verb-root ‘aṃśa vibhājane’. This word ends in the syllable ‘a’. It belongs to the tenth group called curādi.

Synonyms of the Word Aṃśaḥ[edit]

Synonyms of aṃśaḥ given in Amarakośa are:

  1. 'Bhāgaḥ’
  2. ‘Vaṇṭakaḥ’

Jaṭādhara adds other synonyms which are:

  1. ‘Vibhāgaḥ’
  2. Bhaktiḥ’

Pronounciation of the Word Aṃśaḥ[edit]

While pronouncing the word Aṃśaḥ the dental S is used because the Kavikalpadruma says aṃśāsakta vibhājane. While vidyāvinoda etc. says that the word ‘aṃsa’ means shoulder only.

General Meanings of the word Aṃśaḥ[edit]

On general terms the word aṃśa has several meanings. They are:

  1. A part of a thing
  2. A part of inherited property
  3. One fourth of a thing or number
  4. The result of division (in mathematics)
  5. A special form of the Sun

Aṃśaḥ as per Mahābhārata[edit]

The Mahābhārata says aṃśaḥ to be “The 1/360 part of a circle."

Aṃśaḥ as per Geometry[edit]

According to geometry ‘aṃśa’ is degree.

Aṃśaḥ as per Epics[edit]

A king who belonged to Yadu’s dynasty was also called ‘aṃśa’ which is known from a statement in the epics.[1]


  1. “धाता मित्रोऽर्य्यमा शक्रो वरुणस्त्वंश एव च ।भगो विवस्वान् पूषा च सविता दशमस्तथा॥एकादशस्तथा त्वष्टा द्वादशो विष्णुरेव च ।जघन्यजम्तु सर्व्वेषामादित्यानां गुणाधिकः”।। ततः कुरुवत्सः ततश्च अनुरथः ततः पुरुहोत्रो जज्ञे ततश्च अंश इति ।
  • Shabdakalpadrumah by Raja Radhakantdev, Varadaprasada Vasu, Haricarana Vasu