Thursday, August 29, 2013

193 Replies to the comments of Shri hariharan, about Killing & Eating

Replies to comments of Shri M.G. Hariharan.
Anonymous M G hariharan said...

I find my comments in other columns are not being answered by you. Probably you are waiting. But I request your reply for this comment. It is a clarification regarding your comment 94/95 After Bharadwaj muni Rama again goes and kills and eats( Exactly similar to Guha episode). But the word in sloka is charathur (Charathi = Sanchara or roaming) How did you translate it as ate. So here again Just because they killed does not mean they ate it. It is to your advantage that also translates it as ate. Your knowledge of Sanskrit is good so please clarify.

Reply by ybrao a donkey

I am not a Sanskrit scholar. Hence, please accept my apologies for erroneous translations. You are free to correct me

Apart from the translation at, I have analysed the meaning of charatur as eating, using the following analogy.

In my mother tongue telugu language, we have a phrase called carvitaa-carvaNam (or charvita charvaNam). The renowned poet bammera pOtanAmAtya of 15th Century used this phrase in his telugu translation of Srimad bhAgavatam. Context: prahlAda carita. History of prahlAda.

prahlAda was replying to his father hiraNya kaSipa.

verse in utpalamAla meter. Vyasa Mahabhagavata's 15th Century CE Telugu Translation.
ఉ. అచ్చపుఁ జీఁకటిం బడి గృహవ్రతు లై విషయ ప్రవిష్టు లై
చచ్చుచుఁ బుట్టుచున్‌ మఱల చర్వితచర్వణు లైన వారికిం
జెచ్చెరఁ బుట్టునే? పరులు సెప్పిన నైన నిజేచ్ఛ నైన నే
మిచ్చిన నైనఁ గానలకు నేఁగిన నైన హరిప్రబోధముల్‌

In Roman Script:
accapu cIkatim padi griha vratulai, vishaya pravishTulai,
caccucu puTTucun marala carvita carvaNu laina vArikin
ceccera puTTunE ? parula seppina naina, nijEccha nainan E
miccina nainan kAnalaku nEgina naina, hari prabOdhamul ?

English Gist: Those householders who fall in the darkness of ignorance, becoming householders, becoming enamored with worldly pleasures, charvita-charvaNulaina = those who eat what was already eaten. etc.
ybrao-a-donkey's view not intended to be imposed on others
This charvita charvaNam can refer to both eating, and enjoying sexual pleasures. Yesterday we ate food, today we eat food, tomorrow we shall eat food. In the same way, yesterday we had sex, today we have sex, tomorrow we shall have sex. Yesterday we boozed. Today we booze. Tomorrow weshall booze. When we do something again and again, regardless of-- whether it is absolutely unavoidable for surviving on earth, or regardless of whether we have become addicted to it, then, it becomes charvita charvaNam.

Thus the Sanskrit root 'cara' might have given birth to 'carvaNa'.

tAmbUla carvaNam (charvaNam) means = chewing pan leaves and betel nuts.

Thus I felt that it was reasonable to accept the's translation of charatur to mean eating.

Anyway, this needs greater investigation.

The following verse is after crossing ganga river with the help of guha and before reaching bharadwAja's hermitage.

We shall take up the original verse: 2.52.102.

tau tatra hatvA caturaH mahA mrigAn
varaaham Rishyam pRiShaTam mahaa rurum
Adaaya medhyam tvaritam bubhukShitau
vAsAya kAle yayatur vanaH patim.

The following verse is after leaving bharadwAja's hermitage and crossing yamuna.

We shall take up the original verse: 2.55.33.
kroshamAtram tato gatvA bhrAtarau rAmalakshmanau
bahUn mEdhyAn mrigAn hatvA ceratur yamunaavane

hatvA indicates that the brothers killed. bahUn indicates many animals. mEdhyAn indicates killing. Though the meaning of consecrated can be taken, it will not work here, because rAma and lakshmaNa were not performing any sacrifice or worshipping Gods. They were just hungry. medhyAn, therefore indicates worthy of killing and eaten.

Suppose rAma and lakshmaNa killed the animals without intent to eat, that will, then be worse, because it becomes purposeless binge of killing. There is difference between harmful cruel animals like lions and tigers and innocent grass-eating animals like deer and pigs.

See this verse.2.56.23.

mrigam hatvaa a anaya kshipram
lakshmaNEha shubhekshaNa
kartavyaH shaastradriShTo
hi vidhirdarmamanusmara

rAma was asking lakshmaNa to kill and bring an animal for performing a ritual before entering the thatched hut.

See this verse 2.56.25.

iNEyam shrapayasva itach
cchAlaam yakshyamahe vayam
tvarasaumya muhuurto ayam
dhruvashcha divaso.apyayam .

rAma was asking lakshmaNa to boil the antelope. Now see 2.56.26.

sa lakShmaNaH kriShNa mrigam hatvaa medhyam pataapavaan
atha cikShepa saumitriH samiddhe jAta vedasi.

Now, lakshmaNa throws the blank antelope (krishNa mrigam without white spots) into the sacrificial pyre. 2.56.27.

tam tu pakvam samAGYaaya niShTaptam chinna shoNitam lakShmaNaH puruSha vyaaghram atha raaghavam abraviit.

Now, lakshmaNa informs rAma, after duly barbecuing the poor deer. Here, readers, please see: Valmiki was calling lakshmaNa= purusha vyAghra (tiger among men) for doing this dirty job. Tigers devor deer, of course without throwing them into fire. Humans throw the deer into fire/pyre and devour them later.

Now see verse 2.56.28.

ayam kRiShNaH samApta angaH
shritaH kRiiShNa mRigo yathaa
devataa deva samkASa
yajasva kushalo hi asi.

Now, lakshmaNa was telling rAma that the black fellow was burnt. lakshmaNa was comparing rAma to God. dEva samkASa means 'Oh equal to God'. He was asking rAma to worship Gods. What was all this God-like persons throwing that poor black antelope into fire? Was there anything really Godly in that ghastly cruel deed?

Let us see this verse. 2.56.29.

rAmaH snaatvaa tu niyataH
guNavAn japya kovidaH
samgraheN AkarOt sarvaan
mantran satrAvasAnikaan.

rAma now chants sacred script. Here, see the adjectives used by vAlmiki. guNavAn=virtuous person. japya kOvida=learned in meditation. What did he learn? Throwing antelopes into fire? What scripts were they? How they were going to purify the thatched hut?

Throwing the black deer, rAma became glorious and purified. See this verse.2.56.30

iShTvaa devagaNaan sarvaan
viveshaavasatham shuciH
babhuuva ca manohlAdo
raamasya amitatejasaH.

See the adjectives manOhlAdO= delighted, jubilant and relaxed. amita tEjasah= with great shining.

Now see this mEthyam and 2.96.1 and 2.

tAm tathA darshayitvA
tu maithilIM girinimnagAm
niShasAda giriprasthe siitAM
mAMsEna chandayan .

idam medhyam idaM svAdu
niSTaptam idam agninA
evam Aste sa dharmAtmaa
sItayA saha rAghavaha.

Context: Now rAma was feeding pieces of steak into SItA's mouth. idam mEdhyam= this is worthy of eating? idam svAdu= this is succulent and tasy. nistApam idam agninA = this is well-roasted in fire.

We can see this verse:3.47.22 and 23.

samAshvasa muhuurtam tu shakyam vastum iha tvayaa AgamiShyati me bhartaa vanyam Adaaya puShkalam ruruun godhAn varAhAn ca hatvA AdAya amiShAn bahu.

Context: rAvana visited Sita at pancavaTi, with intent to abduct her, in the guise of a priest. Sita, initially was not aware of rAVaNa's intent. She was asking him to wait, indicating that her husband would bring lot of meats consisting of pigs, deer, lizards (gOdhA probably means lizards or four leg snakes) etc.

Hence, it is clear that the three Sita, rAma, and Lakshmana were using meats as staple-diet. See this verse. 3.44.27.

nihatya pRiShatam ca
anyam mAMsam Adaaya rAghavaH
tvaramANo janasthAnam
sasAra abhimukhaH tadaa.

Context: After killing mArIcA rAma had to return in a hurry. But he chose to hunt another deer in lieu of mArica.
summary: Nowhere in my blogposts, I commented that it was wrong on the part of rAma taking n.v. food. My criticism was against his breaking promises, in spite of telling kaushalya, guha et al , that he would live on fruits. rAma declined to take meats offered by guhA. In two days, Rama and Lakshmana started killing animals 'bahUn=many'.

As a kshatriya (warrior), they were justified in hunting and eating.

Was there any justification in throwing the black deer into fire? Rama was a karuNa payO nidhi = Ocean of compassion. This throwing into fire was not for any great purpose. Just to enter a leaf-hut!

What rAma and lakshmaNa were during 13 years in the forest? They could have learnt some agriculture. No mention at all about agriculture by the brothers. Did they go on a killing spree day in and day out.

It is worth comparing this "series of killing" to what pAnDavas had done during their 12 year exile to forest.

For this hariharanji, kindly see my mahabharata blog. Click to go to arjuna went on pilgrimage. Four brothers were remaining. Their daily ritual was hunting pigs, each one going in one direction. I shall add those details here later, as it is already past midnight before my computer table. This blog post will be thoroughly revised after taking your views into consideration.

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