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Consider the following excerpt from Mahabharata

"O king, after all the children were born the Rishis dwelling on the mountain of a hundred peaks uttering blessings on them and affectionately performing the first rites of birth, bestowed appellations on them. The eldest of Kunti's children was called Yudhishthira, the second Bhimasena, and the third Arjuna, and of Madri's sons, the first-born of the twins was called Nakula and the next Sahadeva. And those foremost sons born at an interval of one year after one another, looked like an embodied period of five years. And king Pandu, beholding his children of celestial beauty and of super-abundant energy, great strength and prowess, and of largeness of soul, rejoiced exceedingly. And the children became great favourites of the Rishis, as also of their wives, dwelling on the mountain of a hundred peaks.

[SECTION CXXIV, Sambhava Parva, Adi Parva,The Mahabharata]

What is the actual Sanskrit shloka for the bolded portion. And what is the actual meaning of that Sanskrit shloka?

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    You just quoted what the actual meaning of the Sanskrit Shloka and put a bold mark too. Didn't you? Oct 27 '19 at 17:20
  • @Sarvabhouma I can judge whether it is true or false if i know the actual Sanskrit slokha and its meaning also,
    – hanugm
    Oct 27 '19 at 19:12
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अनुसंवत्सरं जाता अपि ते कुरुसत्तमा: |
पाण्डुपुत्रा व्यराजन्त पञ्च संवत्सरा इव || M.B. Sambhava Parva - Chapter 124 ||

And those foremost sons born at an interval of one year after one another, looked like an embodied period of five years. - Kisari Mohan Ganguli .

To know what actually Vyasa wants to convey by above shloka of the Mahabharata, let's take a quick look at various translators first. You have quoted Kisari Mohan Ganguli in your post.

Here is Manmatha Nath Dutt -

Those best of kurus, the son of Pandu, looked like five years old boys when they were only one year old. Seeing his sons endued with celestial beauty and extraordinary strength , with super-abundant energy, prowess and largeness of mind, Pandu the king became exceedingly glad obtaining such sons.

Gita Press in Hindi


S.D.Satavlekar in Hindi


If we look at the adjacent shlokas, we can see that Vyasa's purpose of the shloka is to inform the audience about the particular characteristics of the divinity of the Pandavas from their early childhood and to set them apart from normal human beings at their respective ages. Here it is mentioned that they were looking much matured, stronger than normal human children of their age because of their divine nature and celestial beauty.

As Samvatsara (year) looks graceful with its many seasons and changes happen in nature due to change of time (Ayana) of the year, Pandavas similarly were looking graceful at the very young age.

Here the lustrous nature of samvatsara (year) is used as an analogy to point out the divinity and celestial beauty of Pandavas at a very young age and to prepare the stage for the further events related to Pandavas divinity. It is also possible that Vyasa here wants to tell us how they grew up mature in a short amount of time.

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