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Thread: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

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    Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    Namaste

    What is the Sanskrit word and meaning of the word(s) translated into English as ‚curse‘?

    My impression when I hear curse, respectively the equivalent in my language, is the worst possible punishment leading to ruin.

    But reading mythology ‚curse‘ seems to me to denote a change, being a medium leading an individual to his final destination as required by its karma. It is not a punishment at all.

    There are even curses which occure later as a boon - Arjuna is cursed by Urvashi to become an eunuch. The curse turned into a boon at Viratas court.

    Mahabharata is interwoven with curses all leading to a final point, good or bad. There is no curse without an 'end', no individual is lost in his curse.

    I am sure that the Sanskrit word for curse has – like so many Sanskrit words – no equivalent or close match in English and is therefore just translated as curse.

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indialover View Post
    What is the Sanskrit word and meaning of the word(s) translated into English as ‚curse‘?

    My impression when I hear curse, respectively the equivalent in my language, is the worst possible punishment leading to ruin.

    But reading mythology ‚curse‘ seems to me to denote a change, being a medium leading an individual to his final destination as required by its karma. It is not a punishment at all.

    There are even curses which occure later as a boon - Arjuna is cursed by Urvashi to become an eunuch. The curse turned into a boon at Viratas court.

    Mahabharata is interwoven with curses all leading to a final point, good or bad. There is no curse without an 'end', no individual is lost in his curse.

    I am sure that the Sanskrit word for curse has – like so many Sanskrit words – no equivalent or close match in English and is therefore just translated as curse.
    Sanskrit word for curse is "Shaap".

    OM
    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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    Re: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    Namaste,

    Shaap or curse does have a negative connotation. A shaap is given when someone thinks that he/she has been wronged/insulted/ignored. So, in that respect it does have bad wishes associated with it. But the karmic reactions of an individual may turn it into something positive, as you brought up the case of Arjuna. In most cases though, it does result in some misfortune/misery. Hope that helps.

    Pranam.

    BTW, what city are you from - if you don't mind divulging? I have visited Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin. Thanks.

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    Re: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    Namaste and thanks, I found śap as curse in my dictionary. Then my next question is, is śap always used in the Sanskrit original of Mahabharata? Is śap used in case of Urvashi/Arjuna and, for example, in case of Vasu Prabhasa/Bhishma? Since there is no transliterated Mahabharata available I cannot check this by my own.

    Urvashi/Arjuna is book 3, section XLVI (46) - Trembling with rage, and contracting her brows, she cursed Arjuna.
    http://sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03046.htm

    Prabhasa is book 1 section XCIX (99) - the illustrious Rishi Apava thus cursed the Vasus in wrath.
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01100.htm


    Pranam
    Last edited by Indialover; 19 September 2016 at 02:40 AM.
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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    Re: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Fyi info only... it may be neither here nor there for one's interest ...

    śap in and of itself is not ready ( as a verb) to be inserted into a sentence. We may consider it as a dhātu (root); we need to get it to limb format (aṇga) then add the proper terminations ( ending or tiṇ).
    Why do I mention this ? If you are looking into the mahābhārata for this term ( other than prefix-use like śap-karoti , ‘he admits or accepts’) you will most likely find this term 'fully dressed' or with inflections (vyayavat).

    So the question is, who is cursing (śapa = curse) ? Then the conjugation¹ (vācyatā) of this term is applied. I am cursing ? or you are ? they are ? they both are, those two are? they all are ? If I curse then śap
    āmi. If you curse , śapasi, if they curse śapati. If it were that easy then (I think) there would be more students of saṁskṛtam and the world would be a better place!
    One also needs to consider upagraha ( or voice¹). Do I curse for the sake of myself (ātmanpada) or for the sake of another (parasmaipada); am I using active voice ? passive, or impersonal ? And then the application of kāla-s or tenses and moods¹. That is, am I curing now, or did I do this in the recent past or even a remote past? How am I cursing? As an imperative or command or as a conditional clause e.g. If you do this, then I will curse you. Or is this cursing a blessing (āśis) ?


    As one can see there are many moving parts and is the tip of the iceberg as they say. This alone keeps me humbled as the śiṣyaḥ (student) of this discipline of grammar (vyākaraṇa) and my studies continue.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    words

    • conjugation = the variation of the form of a verb, by which are identified the voice, mood, tense, number, and person.
    • tenses and moods – two big groups: ārcadhātuka & ārdadhātuka. These types suggest how the roots (dhātu) are managed or modified before the final endings are added. The total group of 10 are called lakāra. There are 2010 others say there are a total of 2012 roots (dhātu) that are available in saṃskṛtam; they say only about 800 are used 80% of the time.
    Last edited by yajvan; 18 September 2016 at 07:46 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

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    Re: Sanskrit meaning of the English word 'curse'?

    thank you yajvan … in particular for your kind judgement
    … neither here nor there for one's interest …

    Pranam
    Dance with Shiva - live with Shiva - merge with Shiva

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