Amarakosa, Amarasinha’s Sanskrit thesaurus well-known to every Sanskrit student, is the oldest work of the kind now extant. According to tradition Amarasimha was one of the nine distinguished men (nava ratna) of the court of King Vikramaditya (4th Century CE).
The Amarakosha consists of verses that can be easily memorized. It is divided into three khandas or chapters. The first, svargadi-khanda (“heaven and others”) has words pertaining to gods and heavens. The second, bhuvargadi-khanda (“earth and others”) deals with words about earth, towns, animals and humans. The third, samanyadi-khanda (“common”) has words related to grammar and other miscellaneous words.
It is of great interest to note that, though the production of a Buddhist, it has been universally accepted as an authority by the Brahmans and the Jainas alike. The fact that it has been commented upon by Buddhists like Subhutichandra, by Jainas like Asadharapandita and Nachiraja,and by Brahmans like Kshirasvamin, Mallinatha and Appayyadikshita testifies to its usefulness to every class of Sanskrit students. It is a well-known fact that translations of the Amarakosha into Chinese and Thibetan have been recently discovered.