māṣa माष

Definition: Is the name of a kind of bean (Phaseolus radiatus) in the Atharvaveda and later. It is still one of the most valuable of similar plants in India. The seeds were pounded (piṣṭa) according to the Atharvaveda.These beans ripened in the winter (hemanta). In the ritual the human head for the sacrifice is bought for twenty-one Māṣas: it does not appear that the word here means a weight of metal as it is often does later. A taboo on beans is found in the Yajurveda Saṃhitās.


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