aaruroha valaahakam

Christophe Vielle vielle at ORI.UCL.AC.BE
Fri Feb 10 14:59:33 EST 2006

Thank you very much for all these swift comments!

>Could you give a little more of the context (preceding verses. following
>verses, especially the latter?) Which poem are you referring to?
>ashok aklujkar

It is in an epic portion of the unedited Jaiminiiyasa.mhitaa of the
Brahmaa.ndapuraa.na (about which I shall tell more in Edinburgh).
The context is a long fight between the Kosala king Vasumanas and the
Hehayas kings Bhadrazre.nya and his son Durdama. At the end, Vasumanas is
forced to descent from his chariot because the two others come close to him
(they attack with swords because their bows were already destroyed by

tadantare samAsAdya  durdamas tasya satvaraH |
vAmadhuryau ca sUtaM ca  nijaghAnAsinA drutam ||9.71
bhadrazreNyo 'pi khaDgena  prasahya raNamUrdhani |
nijaghAnAparau dhuryAv  akSaM ca nirakRntata ||9.72
tayor madhyagato dhanvI  lAghavena dhanustrayam |
samullaGghya rathAd bhUmAv  atiSThad garuDo yathA ||9.73
khaDgacarmadharau vIrau  tau ca taM pratyadhAvatAm |
hantukAmau narapatiM  garuDAnilaraMhasau ||9.74
tato harSasamAviSTA  hehayendrAnuyAyinaH |
kSveDitAsphoTitaravair  vasudhAm anvanAdayan ||9.75
vitrastamanasaz caiva  kosalA rAjagRddhinaH |
taM khaDgadhAranirdagdham  amanyanta janAdhipam ||9.76
tato vasumanA rAjann  asaMbhrAnto mahAmanAH |
mumoca tau samuddizya  bANAñ zata sahasrazaH ||9.77
tau cApi vividhAn mArgAMz  caramANau mahArathau |
tvarayA paryavartetAM  maNDale savyadakSiNe ||9.78
tataH sa mAdhavIsUnur  hehayendrasya saMyuge |
udbhrAmyamANaM bANena  kRpANaM nirakRntata ||9.79
taM ca sAdhunisRSTena  zareNArividAriNA |
nirbibheda mahArAja  bhRzaM savye stanAntare ||9.80
sa gADhaviddho vyathito  vyapAkramya padAni SaT |
samAdAya gadAM gurvIm  abhidudrAva vegataH ||9.81
durdamo 'pi zareNAjau  dRDham abhyAhato 'riNA |
prAhiNot khaDgam Avidhya  kosalendrAya saMyati ||9.82
sa tu hastavatA muktaH  kRpANaH kanakatsaruH |
chittvAsya sazaraM cApaM  dharaNIm anvapadyata ||9.83
chinnadhanvA vasumanA  vinivRttaraNodyaMaH |
vegena mahatA rAjann  Aruroha valAhakam ||9.84
hehayau tu parizrAntau  samare bhRzavikSatau |
upArametAM samarAd  dhatazeSair balaiH saha ||9.85

>   Could it be the proper name of the hero's chariot?
Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D., Senior Reference Librarian

I do not think because names for chariot are never given in the text.

>A moment after I sent my last message, it occurred to me that in my
>childhood I had read the phrase abalakha gho.daa in Marathi  (please do not
>ask me where I read it or how long ago my childhood existed). I took it to
>mean 'a swift, smart horse' on the strength of the context and moved ahead.
>Now I notice that abalakha occurs in Hindi too but in the sense 'a horse
>characterized by black colour.' (there may however be an association of
>swiftness and smartness and hence of superiority with black-colour mares in
>Indian legends; cf. the K.r.s.naa mare of the Maharashtra hero Shivaji).
>Perhaps Vi.s.nu was assigned a Valaahaka/Balaahaka horse for similar
>As the initial "a' is frequently lost, there is no difficulty in holding
>that (a)balakha and balaahaka are historically the same word. (I will not
>get into questions like which form is original, to which language or
>language family the word originally belonged and which way the borrowing, if
>it is a case of borrowing as one would suspect, took place.) Even with the
>limited context available (particularly, vegena aaruroha), one could
>understand the verse as stating that Vasu-manas bolted from the battle field
>on a prized horse of a particular kind (as Dr. Vielle has already surmised0.
>ashok aklujkar

Thank you very much. The best solution is indeed that the word means "a
good horse". I find now in Sörensen index of the MBh (s.v.) that Balaahaka
is the name of one of the four horses, and more precisely of one (maybe the
right one) of the two paar.s.ni-vaahas (outside horses), of K.r.s.na's
chariot (with Zaibya, Sugriiva and Meghapu.spa). There must clearly be some
historical link between the latter use of balaahaka as a proper name and
the use of the word in my text (and in the vernacular languages) as a
common name.
What is sure is that it cannot be here seen as a proper name, and Vasumanas
has already lost the four horses of his own chariot because of Bhadraze.nya

tataH kRpANaM nizitaM  vikozaM hehayezvaraH |
jagrAha carma ca ruSA  zatacandravibhUSitam ||9.56
avaplutya rathAt tUrNaM  hatvAzvAn kosalezvaram |
abhidudrAva vegena  siMhaH siMham ivaujasA ||9.57

I could add that in a previous chapter (and a long time before) Vasumanas
had a "magic" horse (for hunting) who was able to fly (this one has a
proper name which is not Balaahaka; but there is no longer mention of him
in the battle context) :

etasminn eva kAle tu  mRgayArthaM sasainikaH |
tad eva pravivezAgre  rAjA vasumanA vanam ||5.13
yasmai jImUtanAmAnam  azvaratnam anuttamam |
dadau pracetaso labdhaM  kulUtaviSayAdhipaH ||5.14
zrIvRkSalakSaNopetaM  sahasrAkSahayopamam |
zubhraM saMbhRtarandhrAGgaM  javenAntaritAnilam ||5.15

Anyway, the use of the word valaahaka with the meaning of "swift horse"
must be a  late/regional one. It is nevertheless worth of notice for the
Sanskrit vocabulary.

[John Brockington tells me that I does not recall this or a similar
expression anywhere in either epic ]

>>>> vielle at ORI.UCL.AC.BE 02/10/06 10:51 AM >>>
> Dear colleagues,
>at the end of a long fight, the hero has lost all his weapons and is forced
>to flee from the battle-field. The text says:
>chinnadhanvaa vasumanaa viniv.rttara.nodyamaH |
>vegena mahataa raajann aaruroha valaahakam ||
>va- or balaahaka according to MW has several meanings: "a rain or
>thunder-cloud", "any cloud" MBh. Kaav. [cf. Kaalidaasa, KS 1,4]; one of the
>7 clouds appearing at the destruction of the word, Cat. [where?]; [N. of ]
>a mountain, L. [cf. Somadeva Kathaas.]; [and among various other proper
>names] N. of one of the 4 horses of Vish.nu, Kaad.
>Could the expression vegena valaahakam aa-RUH "ascend the Valaahaka
>(cloud?) swiftly" mean something as "to bold", "to skedaddle" (in French,
>"prendre la poudre d'escampette"). Has somebody already found that
>expression in epic context?
>With best wishes
>Dr. Christophe Vielle
>Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
>Institut orientaliste
>Place Blaise Pascal 1
>B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
>Tel. +32-(0)10-47 49 54 or 58 (office)/ -(0)2-640 62 66 (home)
>E-mail: christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be

Dr. Christophe Vielle
Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud
Institut orientaliste
Place Blaise Pascal 1
B - 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel. +32-(0)10-47 49 54 or 58 (office)/ -(0)2-640 62 66 (home)
E-mail: christophe.vielle at uclouvain.be

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