stock phrase about women?

Allen W Thrasher athr at LOC.GOV
Wed Mar 10 19:59:40 UTC 2004

Valerie Roebuck's suggestion that vraNabhaGga refers to love-wounds
sounds to me most plausible, but perhaps it's worth recording an idea I
had before I read her message today.  Could it mean "opening up (old)
wounds," i.e. reminding their menfolk of past grievances?  The reference
then would be not just to ways in which women trap women by charming
them (and even crying can be charming, as in the old chestnut from
movies, "You're beautiful when you cry"), but to the ways women can
manipulate men, whether by charm or otherwise.  On the other hand, if
the latter, one would expect nagging to be included as well.

I had another idea that seems very improbable to me but which perhaps
should be put down to be rejected.  Could vraNa 'wound' figuratively
refer to the vulva, as in English taboo 'gash'?  This seems to me
unlikely inter alia since Sanskrit generally addresses the physical
phenomena of sex without much euphemism but also without deliberate
foulness.  Not to mention that a Buddhist text would be an odd place for
such a vulgarism to occur.  And if vraNa did mean 'vulva,' what would
vraNabhaGga mean?


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian
Southern Asia Section
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Jefferson Building 150
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724
athr at
The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library
of Congress.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list