kaccit tvam nagamo 'gamyam
gamyam vasat-krtam striyam
parajito vatha bhavan
nottamair nasamaih pathi
kaccit—whether; tvam—yourself; na—not; agamah—did contact; agamyam—impeachable; gamyam—acceptable; va—either; asat-krtam—improperly treated; striyam—a woman; parajitah—defeated by; va—either; atha—after all; bhavan—your good self; na—nor; uttamaih—by superior power; na—not; asamaih—by equals; pathi—on the road.
Have you contacted a woman of impeachable character, or have you not properly treated a deserving woman? Or have you been defeated on the way by someone who is inferior or equal to you?
It appears from this verse that during the time of the Pandavas free contact between man and woman was allowed in certain conditions only. The higher caste men, namely the brahmanas and ksatriyas, could accept a woman of the vaisya or the sudra community, but a man from the lower castes could not contact a woman of the higher caste. Even a ksatriya could not contact a woman of the brahmana caste. The wife of a brahmana is considered one of the seven mothers (namely one's own mother, the wife of the spiritual master or teacher, the wife of a brahmana, the wife of a king, the cow, the nurse, and the earth). Such contact between man and woman was known as uttama and adhama. Contact of a brahmana with a ksatriya woman is uttama, but the contact of a ksatriya with a brahmana woman is adhama and therefore condemned. A woman approaching a man for contact should never be refused, but at the same time the discretion as above mentioned may also be considered. Bhima was approached by Hidimbi from a community lower than the sudras, and Yayati refused to marry the daughter of Sukracarya because of Sukracarya's being a brahmana. Vyasadeva, a brahmana, was called to beget Pandu and Dhrtarastra. Satyavati belonged to a family of fishermen, but Parasara, a great brahmana, begot in her Vyasadeva. So there are so many examples of contacts with woman, but in all cases the contacts were not abominable nor were the results of such contacts bad. Contact between man and woman is natural, but that also must be carried out under regulative principles so that social consecration may not be disturbed or unwanted worthless population be increased for the unrest of the world.
It is abominable for a ksatriya to be defeated by one who is inferior in strength or equal in strength. If one is defeated at all, he should be defeated by some superior power. Arjuna was defeated by Bhismadeva, and Lord Krsna saved him from the danger. This was not an insult for Arjuna because Bhismadeva was far superior to Arjuna in all ways, namely age, respect and strength. But Karna was equal to Arjuna, and therefore Arjuna was in crisis when fighting with Karna. It was felt by Arjuna, and therefore Karna was killed even by crooked means. Such are the engagements of the ksatriyas, and Maharaja Yudhisthira inquired from his brother whether anything undesirable happened on the way home from Dvaraka.
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