Monday, June 29, 2015

Mahabharata kuta sloka

courtesy:Sri.PK.Ramakrishnan & Sri.HN.Bhat

One such sloka which I have heard is this -

Bhishma when hit by an arrow says -

अर्जुनस्य इमे बाणा:
नेमे बाणा: शिखण्डिन: /
छिन्दन्ति मम गात्राणि
माघमासे गवामिव //

These are arrows of Arjuna
not of Shikhandi.
They are piercing my body parts 
just like that of cows in Maagha month.

The last line does not make any sense.
So it takes some time to understand the meaning.

I am given to understand its meaning thus:
माघमा सेगवामिव -
Just like maaghamaa piercing segavaa.

It is a general belief that when a baby crab is born
it bursts open the mother crab to come out from the
womb and the mother crab dies.

But both Apte and Moneir Williams give the meaning
of maaghamma as the mother crab and segava as the
baby crab.

Few more shlokas are the following:

Mahabharata Book 6 Chapter 114

 60 kṛntanti mama gātrāṇi māghamāse gavām iva
     arjunasya ime bāṇā neme bāṇāḥ śikhaṇḍinaḥ

Reading correctly:

माघमां सेगवा इव;

for the portion in question. Now it is simplified, with the lexicon quoted:

माघमा = कर्कटी, ताम्, mother crab; सेगवाः = शिशवः, 
These arrows  pierce my body like the young crabs do the mother crab and they are not of Shikhandin, but of Arjuna. The dictionary meaning is also justified and the other reading poses many problems grammatically.

Even if we take as माघमा it will be in singular and would not fit with the verb निकृन्तन्ति in the plural. For that some modification is needed माघमाः and it can go well with the verb. Then सेगव stands for the mother crab in the accusative. I am sorry that I could not get the correct reading on the net at that time. With this reading, there is no problem with the words.

The Mahabharata Book 12 Chapter 137
85 गृहस्नेहावबद्धानां नराणाम अल्पमेधसाम
     कुस्त्री खादति मांसानि माघमा सेगवाम इव

gṛhasnehāvabaddhānāṃ narāṇām alpamedhasām
kustrī khādati māṃsāni māghamā segavām iva

The female crab is a figure of self-destruction. Thus, Draupadī remarks that Jayadratha attempting to kidnap her is digging his own grave like a female crab conceiving for her own destruction (ādāsyase karkaṭakī 'va garbham 3.252.9; vide the commentaries quoted on 6.114.60 to the effect that young crabs, being born, eat their way out of their mother's body).

The Mahabharata in Sanskrit

Book 4 Chapter 8  26 
यथा कर्कटकी गर्भमाधत्ते मृत्युमात्मनः
     तथाविधमहं मन्ये वासं तव शुचिस्मिते॥

These words are spoken to Draupadi, when she sought the refuge of सुधेष्णा as her सैरन्ध्री expressing her fear that giving resort to her may result like the female conceive womb as her own death;