Left and right

Tracy Coleman tcoleman at COLORADOCOLLEGE.EDU
Wed Nov 5 01:47:22 UTC 2008

Yes, and in the Bhagavata Purana (10.53.27) likewise, Rukmini's "left
thigh, arm and eye trembled, indicating favor."  In this context, an
anxious bride, soon to be wed against her will to the infamous Sisupala,
worries that Krishna won't come to steal her because he has perceived some
flaw in her.  But as she waits... her body trembles, and then she sees the
brahmana bringing the good news that her beloved Krishna is indeed coming.
I never really understood the trembling, except that it bodes well.
--Tracy Coleman

-----Original Message-----
From: Indology on behalf of Stefan Baums
Sent: Tue 11/4/2008 6:24 PM
To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Left and right
PS. Monier Williams s.v. vama³ notes:

    the quivering of the left eye or arm is supposed to be a good
    omen in women and of the left arm a bad omen in men

which reminds me that

    Hermann Diels, 1908. Beiträge zur Zuckungsliteratur des
    Okzidents und Orients, II: Weitere griechische und
    außergriechische Literatur und Volksüberlieferung. Berlin:
    Verlag der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
    (Abhandlungen der Königlich Preußischen Akademie der
    Wissenschaften, Jahrgang 1908, philosophisch-historische

talks a bit about that aspect (Pischel provided the Indian
references). There are several twitches in Kalidasas Sakuntala,
including her right eye, which in context and contrary to MW seems
to be a good omen...


Stefan Baums
Asian Languages and Literature
University of Washington

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