āsandī आसन्दी

Definition: This is a generic term for a seat of some sort, occurring frequently in the later Samhitās and Brāhmanas, but not in the Rigveda. In the Atharvaveda the settle brought for the Vrātya is described at length. It had two feet, length­wise and cross-pieces, forward and cross-cords, showing that it was made of wood and also cording. It was also covered with a cushion (Ástarana) and a pillow (Upabarhana), had a seat (Asāda) and a support (Upaśraya). Similar seats are described in the Kausītaki Upanisad and the Jaiminīya Brāhmana. The seat for the king at the royal consecration is described in very similar terms in the Aitareya Brāhmana, where the height of the feet is placed at a span, and the lengthwise and cross-pieces are each to be a cubit, while the interwoven part (vivayana) is to be of Muñja grass, and the seat of Udumbara wood. In another passage of the Atharvaveda Lanman seems to take the seat meant as a ‘ long reclining chair.’ There also a cushion (Upadhāna) and coverlet (Upavāsana) are mentioned. The śatapatha Brāhmana repeatedly describes the Ásandī in terms showing that it was an elaborate seat. In one place8 it is said to be made of Khadira wood, perforated (vi-trnnā), and joined with straps (vardhra-yutā) like that of the Bhāratas. At the Sautrāmanī rite (an Indra sacrifice) the seat is of Udumbara wood, is knee-high, and of unlimited width and depth, and is covered with plaited reed-work. The imperial seat10 is to be shoulder-high, of Udumbara wood, and wound all over with cords of Balvaja grass (.Eleusina indica). Elsewhere11 the seat is a span high, a cubit in width and depth, of Udumbara wood, and covered with reed-grass cords, and daubed with clay.


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