June 4th, 2007
|11:26 am - Amusement in the Brahmanas|
From the Rigveda Brahmanas, trans. A.B. Keith:
vi.1. Prajapati, being desirous of propagation, underwent penance; from him when heated were born five, Agni, Vayu, Aditya, Candramas, and Usas as fifth. He said to them, 'Do ye also practise fervour.' They consecrated themselves; then when they had consecrated themsleves and had acquired fervour, Usas, offspring of Prajapati, taking the form of an Apsaras, came out in front of them; to her their minds inclined; they poured out seed; they went to Prajapati, their father, and said, 'We have poured out seed; let it not remain here.' Prajapati made a golden bowl, an arrow breadth in height and similar in breadth; in it he poured the seed; then arose he of a thousand eyes, of a thousand feet, with a thousand fitted (arrows).Kausitaki Brahmana, Adhyaya VI.1, describing the birth of Rudra
So, basically, Usas is freakin' hot, because either she was so damn beautiful that her brothers either started masturbating, or they just ejaculated on the spot.
I'm inclined to go with the latter. You know, from context. Totally. Yeah, that's it. Context.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amused
Current Music: "A Pirate Looks at Forty", -JB
Hm... some interesting choices of words in the translation. I wonder why someone "desiring propagation" (i.e., horny) would undergo penance? What is "penance" in the Rig Veda? Atonement? For what? He was feeling guilty or something? Doesn't sound very Vedic. Puzzling.
"From him when heated were born..." and "'Do ye also practise fervour.'" So, um... "heated" = pregnant? And if one acquires fervour by means of consecration, then that must be... sexual intercourse? Er... or is that the ejaculation? Fertility?
An arrow is, what? About 18-24" long? So we have a bowl with a capacity of, say eight gallon capacity, let's say. Conservatively. My, but that's a lot of "seed"!! And the creature born of that "seed" had 1,000 eyes, 1,000 feet and... um, 1,000 "arrows"? Now, what part of the anatomy would an arrow be, d'ya suppose? YIKES!!
Dang, the birds and bees are so much easier to understand!
I was going to comment about the amusing Victorian stylings of the translations (because, well, sex is just funnier when you mix Victorian stylings with Middle English), but it was just too much :)
As for what "penance" is, I'm not entirely sure in this context. I think that the "fervour" might be referring to sacrifice or something (though how Agni gets hotter than he already is. . . Well, that's beyond me).
I dunno. The whole situation is just, well, I think Keith's translation is about as good as it can get :)