Signs of Couches and Seats ||79||

1Since this science dealing with the signs of couches and seats is useful for all persons at all times, especially for kings, I shall now expound it.
2Trees recommended for the construction of beds and seats are Asana, Spandana, Sandal-tree Haridra, Deodar, Tinduka, Sal, Kasmari, Arjuna, Padmaka, Saka and Simsapa.
3-4Inauspicious are those trees that are thrown down by thunder-bolts, water; wind and elephants; those in which bees and birds have taken up their abode j those growing in sacred spots, burial grounds or roads; those that are withered at the top, and those that are entwined with creepers, so also are thorny trees; those growing at the confluence of great rivers, or near temples and those that have fallen down in a westerly or southerly direction.
5From the use of couches and seats constructed from forbidden trees ensue the ruin of the family, diseases, danger, loss, quarrels and all sorts of disasters.
6Or, if the timber had been cut formerly, then it should be examined (if there be any signs of the forbidden variety) at the commencement of the work. Should a boy mount the timber, it will give sons and cattle.
7It should be known as a good token, if at the beginning of the work, one happens to see white flowers, a rutting elephant, curds, coloured rice, full pot, gems and other auspicious articles.
8A practical digit is the distance covered by eight husked barely grains touching one another. A great couch of kings, measuring one hundred digits is made for (ensuring) victory.
9The couches of the prince royal, minister, commander in-chief of the army and royal preceptor measure in order 90 digits, 84, 78, and 72 digits.
10The width of a couch prescribed by Viswakarman is 1 eighth less than half the length (i.e., 7 sixthin of the total length). The height of the legs including the swelling part (middle) and top is equal to a third of the length of the couch.
11-14A cot constructed wholly of Sriparni will bestow wealth; one of Asana, destroys diseases; one of the pith of ebony, gives money; one of Simsapa bestows all-round prosperity; one of Sandalwood destroys enemies and bestows religious merit, renown and long life; one of Padmaka gives long life, prosperity, leaning and money; one of Sal tree or Saka gives happiness. A king, reposing on a’cot made entirely of sandalwood and covered with gold and decked with wonderful gems, will be honoured even by the Gods.
15-18A couch made of Tinduki or Simsupa with some other timber will not yield good results; so too is one of Deodar or Asana with Sripama. Sal and Saka on the one hand and Haridraka and Kadamba on the other, are good, whether used jointly or separately. A cot wholly made of Spandana or Amba tree is not auspicious, since it destroys life; one of Asana coupled with other timber produces’ immediately various troubles. It is beneficial to have the legs of Spandana tree for couches made of Amba, Spandana and Chandana. Couches and seats made of any fruit-tree will have favourable effect.
19Elephant’s tusk is highly commended for use in the construction of couches, etc. in combination with any of the above trees; so that decorations may be made with good ivory.
20Cut off a length (from the bottom) equal to twice the circumference of the tusk at the bottom and use the remainder for purposes of embellishment- A little more of it will have to be cut off in the case of elephants haunting marshy places, and a little less in the case of those haunting mountainous tracts.
21-25When cutting the tusk, if figures resembling Bilwa trees, Vardhamana, umbrela, banner and chowries appear, sound health, victory, increase of wealth and happiness are to be expected. A figure similar to a weapon gives victory; one like a spiral turning to the right, recovery of lost lands; one like a clod, complete possession of a country conquered before; one like a woman, loss of wealth; one like a vase, birth of a son; one like a pot, acquisition of a treasure; one like a rod, obstacle to a journey; those like chameleons, monkeys and serpents, famine, disease, and oppression by a foe; those like eagles, owls, crows and hawks, pestilence; one like a noose or a truncated body, bodes the king’s death. If blood comes out from the cut, there will be calamity to the people; if the cut be dark, grey, rough and bad smelling, disaster is near.
26A cut that is white, even, fine-smelling, and glossy leads to prosperity; just as auspicious and inauspicious cuts produce good and bad results, even so do the trees used for couches.
27In fitting up the frame of the couch, the tips of the beams should be laid in a direction from left to right; so say the ancient seers. If they be laid contrariwise, or all turned to one direction, there would be danger from devils.
28If one of the legs is put topsy-turvy, the owner will have one of his feet crippled; If two, he cannot digest his food; and if three or four, he will have misery, death and captivity.
29-31If there is a hollow or a discoloured knot in the upper part of the leg, the owner will have cerebral disease. If there is such a knot in its pot, he will have stomach trouble; if in the shank-like part below the pot, danger to his shanks; if in the support beneath that, loss of wealth; if in the hoof, trouble to the hoofed animals, inauspicious also is a knot occurring at a third of the length of the side-beams and cross-beams.
32The different kinds of blemishes (holes) in the wood may be summed up in the following list: — Nishkuta (cavity), Kolaksha (boar’s eye), Sukaranayana (hog’s eye), Vatsanabha (calf’s navel), Kalaka (dadk spot) and Dhundhuka (cut dark spot).
33-35The blemish called Nishkuta (cavity) is like a pot, hollow in the middle and narrow at the mouth; the second, Kolaksha is blue and like a grain of black gram; the third, Sukaranayana, is uneven, discoloured and extending over one joint and a half; the fourth—Vatsanabha—is a spot running from left to right, broken and extending over one joint; the fifth, Kalaka, is a black spot; and the sixth (…) is also dark, but cut. A faulty spot having the same colour as the wood itself is not deemed so harmful.
36-37The blemish going by the name of Nishkuta causes loss of wealth; Kolaksha, ruin of the family; Sukara, danger from weapons; Vatsanabha, danger from disease. The last two blemishes and a spot bored by insects are not auspicious. In general, timber full of knots is never good.
38-39A couch or seat made from one kind of timber is blessed; more blessed is the one made from two kinds of timber; one of three kinds lead to the prosperity of one’s children; one of four kinds, to wealth and foremost, renown. One made from five kinds of timber causes the death of the person who sleeps on it; and one of six, seven or eight kinds, the ruin of the family.