Saturday, August 15, 2015

058 Did Yudhishthira sacrifice women in his Horse Sacrifice? अपने अश्वमेथ यज्ञ में, क्या युधिष्ठिर महिला स्लेव्स को बलिदान किया. తన అశ్వమేథ యాగంలో యుధిష్ఠిరుడు స్త్రీ బానిసలను బలి యిచ్చాడా


Were women slaves sacrificed during the ASvamEtha yAgA (horse sacrifice) conducted by YudhishThira after the Mahabharata's KurukshEtra war. Ans: There are reasons to inquire into this doubt.. A verse in Krishna DvaipAyana Vyasa (popularly called by Panditjis as vyAsa)'s Mahabharata, ASvamEtha Parva, which describes the animals tied down to the sacrificial posts, gives rise to this doubt.

People know that, during Asvametha sacrifice, a Royal horse is sent out across the country, inviting challengers to the Emperor's authority to bind the horse and be vanquished by the accompanying King's forces, or alternatively recognise and submit to the King's authority by worshipping the horse and giving gifts to the King. Few people know that not only the horse is sacrificed after its return to the Capital, apart from hundred of other animals, fishes and birds, tied to gold sacrificial posts called "yUpa sthambhAs". Bulls were also a part of the sacrificial animals in Yudhishthira's asvamEtha. What has now astonished this blog writer is, there is one verse in Mahabharata aSvamEtha parva (Book 14), which indicates that women might have been sacrificed, in addition to animals, birds and fishes.

Vol 14. of Krishna DvaipAyana's (vyAsa) Sanskrit Mahabharata Epic of approx. 1,15,000 KumbhakONam version. Chapter 89. Verse Nos. 32 to 37.
Sanskrit language verses in Roman Script.

tE vya rAjanta rAjarshE bAsObhir upa SObhitAha|
mahEndrAnugatA dEva yathA saptarshibhir divi. 14-89-32.

ishTakAha kAncanIs chAtra cayanArtam kritA vibhO |
su SubhE cayanam tacca dakshasyEva prajApatE 14-89-33.

catus cityasca tasyAs AsId ashTA daSa karAtmakaha|
sa rukma pakshO nicitas trikONO garuDAkritihi. 14-89-34.

tatO niyuktAha paSavO yathA SAstram manIshibhi |
tam tam dEvam samudisya pakshiNaha paSavas ca yE. 14-89-35.

rishabhAha SAstra paThitAs tathA jala carAs ca yE|
sarvAm stAn abhyayumjamstE tatrAgni caya karmiNi. 14-89-36.

yUpEshu niyatAc AsIt paSUnAm triSatI tathA|
aSva ratnOttarA yagnE kauntEyasya mahAtmanaha. 14-89-37.

In dEvanAgari script (Hindi script). India's National Language.

ते व्यराजंत राजर्षे वासोभिर उपशोभिताः ।
महेंद्रानुगता देवा यथा सप्तर्षिभिर दिवि. १४-८९-३२.

इष्टकाः कांचनीश चात्र चयनार्तं कृता विभो।
सु शुभे चयनं तच्च दक्षस्येव प्रजापतेः. १४-८९-३३.

चतुश चित्यश्च तस्यासीत अष्टादश करात्मकः।
स रुक्म पक्षो निचितस त्रिकोणो गरुडाकृतिः १४-८९-३४.

ततो नियुक्ताः पशवो यथा शास्त्रं मनीषिभिः
तं तं देवं समुद्दिस्य पक्षिणः पशवश्च ये. १४-८९-३५.

ऋषभाः शास्त्र पठितास तथा जलचराश च ये ।
सर्वांस तान अभ्य युंजस ते तत्राग्नि चय कर्मणि. १४-८९-३६.

यूपेषु नियता चासीत पशूनां त्रिशती तथा ।
अश्व रत्नोत्तरा यज्ञे कौंतेयस्य महात्मनः. १४-८९-३७.
Context: Mahabharata war was over. YudhishThira was worried by killing kith and kin, he was polluted by sins. Vyasa advised him to perform ASvamEtha sacrifice. The above verses are a part of the sacrificial arrangements.

संदर्भ: महाभारत महा संग्राम अंत हुआ। युधिष्ठिर चक्रवर्ति हुआ। परन्तु वे, पितामह, गुरु, आदि महा व्यक्तियों और बंधुओं के संहार करने के पाप चिंताओं से बहुत तप्त हो गये। पाप क्षाळन के लिये व्यास महर्षी, युधिष्ठिर को अश्वमेथ याग करने के सलाह दिया। उपरोक्त श्लोक, युधिष्ठिर के अश्वमेथ याग में देवों को बलि देने केलिया लाया हुआ और यूप स्थंभ को बांदा हुआ पशु पक्षइयों के विवरण।

I am not competent to translate these verses into English. We shall see the translation of Kishore Mohan Ganguli's English translation of Vyasa's Mahabharata. It was published around in 1901. The importance of the Ganguli's translation is : It tries to be very faithful to the original verses in its purport. It is almost accurate word to word.

इन श्लोकों को संस्कृत से अनुवाद करने के लिये, मै अपने को असमर्ध मानता हूँ। हम किशोर मोहन गंगूली से किया हुआ व्यास महाभारत के आंग्ल अनुवाद को देखेंगे। यह ग्रंध अंदाजा १९०१ में प्रकाशित हुआ। इस ग्रंथ के मॆरिट् यह है कि, गंगूली महाशय, व्यास के ओरिजिनल से नजदीक रहने के लिये बहुत कोशिश किया और सफल भी हुआ।
"...Those best of kings, came to the Horse-sacrifice of the Kuru monarch for doing what was agreeable to him. And they brought many gems with them and many female slaves and horses and weapons. ..."

...

"...Many sacrificial stakes also were set up, made, according to the directions of the scriptures of wood, and adorned with gold. Endued with great effulgence, these were duly planted and dedicated (with scriptural Mantras).

The king saw all animals, again, which belong to land and all those which belong to water, collected there on the occasion. And they also beheld many kine and many buffaloes and many old women, and many aquatic animals, many beasts of prey and many species of birds, and many specimens of viviparous and oviparous creatures, and many that are filth-born, and many belonging to the vegetable kingdom, and many animals and plants that live or grow on mountains. Beholding the sacrificial compound thus adorned with animals and kine and corn, the invited kings became filled with wonder. ..."

ybrao-a-donkey's-humble comments. वैबीराव गधे के विनम्र राय. వైబీరావ్ గాడిద వినమ్ర భావాలు, వీటితో మీరు ఏకీభవించ వలసిన అవసరం లేదు.

It may be observed that Shri Kishore Mohan Ganguli had translated the word "manIshi" as "old women".
हम यह देख सकते हैं कि, श्री किषोर मोहन गंगूली महाशय, "मनीषी" शब्द को "वृध्ध वनिता" अनुवाद दिये थे।

These old women, who were tied to the sacrificial posts, might have been the slave women brought as gifts by the Kings who were paying tributes to Yudhishthira.

इन वृध्ध वनित, जिन को यूप स्थंभों को बांदे हुए थी, राजाओं से लाया हुआ दासी स्त्री हो सकते। लेकिन वे साधारण नौकराणी या विक्रीत जीवितांत दासी यह स्पष्ट नहीं है।

By bathing in some sacred river, when a person get fruits of 10 horse sacrifices, why all this bloodshed?

जब हम , सिर्फ एक पवित्र नदी स्नान से दस अश्वमेथ के फलित पा सकते, तो ये सब रक्त पात धर्म राज क्यों किया? शायद, वे व्यास के वचनों को मान लिया।

Pl. See the adjective used by Vyasa in 14-89-37. "KauntEyasya mahAtmanaha".

महर्षि व्यास से उपयोगित विशेषण "कौंतेयस्य महात्मनः", श्लोक संख्या १४-८९-३७ में देखीये।

What Great Souls (Mahatmas) were kauntEyAs it is difficult to imagine, but it will be very much frightening to think of women being tied to sacrificial posts and being made to wait a culling session!

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