Swearing In Sanskrit
Updated: Nov 19
In Tense Times in the Temple
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप
Translation : “ o Arjuna, don’t behave like an impotent guy. This behaviour does not suit you. Please shade off this weakness of heart and arise (for action), o destroyer of enemies.”
— Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita
Artist · N. Buxani
Look, I have to admit to never having sworn so much as Social Media has drawn me to doing. Not since I was really very much younger anyways… I mean, I’m not really a fan of swearing, not really at all, but sometimes we get driven so far — and then past that point, and well — you know the rest…
Being me, I was intent on researching the phenomena of swearing throughout history, particularly for us spiritual, or religious folks, and those beautiful people who are seekers on the lifelong path to enlightenment.
And well, I have to say I was very heartened to find, I’m really not as alone as I thought I was!
The following information was compiled by another dear person such as myself and possibly you, who wondered just as did I, and here are the answers they found.
Let’s now thank them for their excellent truth-seeking research, and also their very effective heat-seeking radar, that found out the reality of swearing by spiritual folks, down through time and history!
Of even our most beloved and supposedly level-headed peaceful hearted godhead types!
So now — read on dear reader!
Solar Fields · Cobalt 2.5
Question : What are some curse words in Sanskrit?
Answer : Researchers of this very question have mentioned some small small normal spurts of curse words which are simple and used in many Indian languages today. Real Sanskrit speakers have been using some great words since Vedic times for cursing and swearing in anger by normal speakers of Sanskrit, as well as vulgar words that even make the opponent shameful.
Here we go, it’s a rollercoaster, so hold onto your big girl panties!
kUshmANDa — very sweet word that means a melon. But used to mean “airhead” / “fool”. The fact that many words can be created in Sanskrit also makes it a very beautiful language for creative swear words. You could encapsulate all of your anger on one single word, leaving the listener to absolute silence.
Sanskrit is famously called देववाणी, i.e. ‘The Language of the Gods’.
But most of the Sanskrit speakers in the Mrityu loka happen to be mere mortals and as a result some cuss words were definitely used therein.
Although I must say that they sound nowhere as effective as the cuss words in other languages. Some examples are as follows:
वृषल — mean, contemptible fellow.
क्लीब — eunuch, impotent, weak.
चाण्डाल — worst among, of the lowest caste etc.
In the Bhagavad Gita (chapter 2, verse 3), Bhagawan Krishna admonishes Arjuna in the following words-
क्लैब्यं मा स्म गमः पार्थ नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते ।
क्षुद्रं हृदयदौर्बल्यं त्यक्त्वोत्तिष्ठ परन्तप ||||
Translated: “o Arjuna, don’t behave like an impotent guy. This behaviour does not suit you. Please shade off this weakness of heart and arise (for action), o destroyer of enemies.”
A few words I can recollect right now:
धूर्त — sly, cunning and evil
भाण्ड — buffoon
पिशाच — disgusting, gross
अहल्लिक — literally a ghost, but probably used in the sense of a vampire or dark, nightly, unnatural
I’m sure there are others in literature if we search thoroughly.
But I doubt those would be highly profane.
I mean compare the profanities used in Shakespeare to the curse words on today’s streets — they wouldn’t match up. At most they would be chiding or scolding words.
As the previous answers have already mentioned some small words, here we are now up to some of the …bigger ….words :
“bahutAta” — one with many fathers.
“yabhati” — he f***s (First usage notable in Sh. Brahmana, Yajurveda regarding the foul speech in Ashvamedha; proto IE : *ieobh- ).
“yabha!” — f**k off.
“mAtAripuruSa” — mother f***er
“pAyu” — vulg. arsehole.
“bhagAsya” — one who has his mouth as vulva / mouth in vulva……
“jAragarbha”, “veshyAsuta” — born of prostitute
“kANelIsuta”, “bandhAkineya” — son of a prostitute / harlot / unchaste woman.
“bandhuka”, “bandhula” — bastard.
“shvayoni” — simple. Born of a dog / vagina of a dog (if referring to a place).
“shunaka” — dog (used still in South Indian Sanskritised Tamil dialects of Brahmins as “shaniyan”).
“bhaga-pA” — drinking from bhaga (bhaga — vulva).
“anekajanaka”/ “aneka” — any word for dad — with not a single dad.
kUshmANDa — very sweet word that means a melon. But used to mean “airhead” / “fool”.
The fact that many words can be created in Sanskrit also makes it a very beautiful language for creative swear words. You could encapsulate all of your anger on one single word, leaving the listener to absolute silence. ..
Disclaimer : The author does not endorse the process of spitting out swear words; this is just for the information of the wise readers.
So. Now you know.
Not that I’m promoting swearing, not at all, and am also not apologising, ‘though I do get surprised at times at how hard and how far I’ve felt pushed by the toxicity of trolls, hackers, slanderers, saboteurs, and downright liars — I mean, they really do your head in over a period of years. Trust has died and cynicism taken its place.
Sad to say.
But ‘tis only healthy. To let them know somehow or other that they’ve hugely overstepped my boundaries.
Swearing, well, I’m in two minds about it, but still, it’s been good to explore the dilemma for myself and for others who were also intent on ‘not reacting and instead responding’, as the wise old cliched spiritual adage goes.
To be wise to it all.
In social media as opposed to any other area of my life where I was a fair bit more restrained and self-controlled!
So, here’s to blowing off steam privately and safely, without the intention of harming others! Or self, for that matter!
Shiva-Krishna · An amalgamation between the roopas of Shiva and Krishna · Artist Abhishek
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Copyright 2020 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.
I first published this in MEDIUM on Jul 20 2020, and on FB a few years prior....
None of my messages are about other people (ie 'celebrities' and so on) - no matter what they might think - these come from me, to you my friend, for your soul upliftment