Rigveda 10.95.15, translated by Ralph T Griffith, is as follows.

Nay, do not die, Pururavas, nor vanish: let not the evil-omened wolves devour thee. With women there can be no lasting friendship: hearts of hyenas are the hearts of women.

What is the proper translation of this verse? Multiple translations/interpretations also can be provided if they exist.

  • You can check Sayana's commentary for that verse. But it looks like Urvashi, the Apsara wife of Pururavas, is saying the second sentence.
    – Ikshvaku
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 12:13
  • @Ikshvaku can you link his commentary Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 12:14
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    Rig Veda never tell the relationship of Man with women as primary meaning Vedas are there convey the meaning in secret Real meanings are to be got from decoding the vedas with right prespectice. Here Urvashi herself is a women she says women are having hyenas hearts.. is it not contridictory, than we should jump to adhyatmic meaning instead outside meaning.. here pruravas is jiva involved with sense enjoyment(women).. sense are equated with hearts of heyana
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 9:35

4 Answers 4


No the translation is absolutely fine. We need to see the context here. According to legend, Pururava and Urvashi lived together and Urvasi leaves him one day. Pururva goes back to her and asks her to come back. She refuses and then Pururva threatens her that he will die and never return, hence she speaks these words. By this, we can conclude that these verses don't have any philosophical/prescriptive but only descriptive usage as part of a Legendary Story. Also hyenas are noted in the Vedas as symbol of excellent parents. Indra is said to be carrying his brood as thousand hyenas in his mouth, like the hyena carries its cub.

Pururava says " How indignant wife, with mind (relenting), stay awhiie, let us now interchange discourse. These, our secret thoughts, while unspoken, did not yield us happiness even at the last day " (RV 10.95.1)

Urvasi says " What can we accomplish through such discourse? I have passed away from you like the first of the dawns. Return Pururava, to your dwelling; I arn as hard to catch as the wind."(RV 10.95.2)

You have been born thus to protect the earth; you have deposited this vigour in me: knowing (the future) I have instructed you (what to do) every day; you have not listened to me;why do you now address me, neglectful (of my instruction)? (RV 10.95.11)

Pururava says " When shall a son (born of you) claim me as a father, and, crying, shed a tear on recognizing (me)? What son shall sever husband and wife who are of one mind, now that the fire shines upon your husband's parents? " (RV 10.95.12)

Urvasi says " Let me reply. (Your son) will shed tears, crying out and calling aloud when the expected auspicious time arrives; I will send you that (child) which is yours in me, depart to your house, your can not, simpleton, detain me." (RV 10.95.13)

Pururava says "(Your husband) who sports with you may now depart, never to return, (depart) to proceed to a distant region. Either let him sleep upon the lap of Nirrti, or let the swift-moving wolves devour him." (RV 10.95.14)

Urvasi says " Die not, Pururava, fall not, let not the hideous wolves devour you. Female friendships do not exist, are the hearts of jackals." (RV 10.95.15)

This Legendary story is also mentioned in Satapatha Brahmana which can be refered here 1.

  • So sad, any way why did she left him. Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 17:52
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    Its a legendary story Bro. I have given you Brahmana Link. In that verse 2 says "For a long time, indeed, has this Urvaśī dwelt among men: devise ye some means how she may come back to us.' Now, a ewe with two lambs was tied to her couch: the Gandharvas then carried off one of the lambs." Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:01
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    Verse 4 says " He then thought within himself, 'How can that be (a place) without a hero and without a man where I am?' And naked, as he was, he sprang up after them: too long he deemed it that he should put on his garment. Then the Gandharvas produced a flash of lightning, and she beheld him naked even as by daylight. Then, indeed, she vanished: 'Here I am back,' he said, and lo! she had vanished" Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:01
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    He went searching for her. And in Verse 1 its said "Thrice a day shalt thou embrace me; but do not lie with me against my will, and let me not see thee naked, for such is the way to behave to us women.'" Its a legendary story. @DarkKnight Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:02
  • @DarkKnight There is not much context for it in the Veda itself, but in general she had to return to Swaraglok on account of being an apsara. You can see one version of the story in Vikramorvashiyam.
    – user0
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 16:51

One of the very best translations available is Brererton and Jamison:

  1. [Urvaśī :] “O Purūravas, don’t die. Don’t fly away. Don’t let the unkindly wolves eat you.There exist no partnerships with women: they have hyenas’ hearts.”
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 9:54

मनुष्य कामी बनकर आत्महत्या कर लेते हैं, अपने को मांस खानेवाले पशुओं तक समर्पित कर देते हैं, ऐसा नहीं करऩा चाहिए, यह जीवन की सफलता नहीं और स्त्रियों में आसक्ति से कामवश स्नेह स्थायी नहीं होते हैं, अपितु आक्रमणकारी भेड़ियों के हृदय जैसे जीवन नष्ट करानेवाले होते हैं, किन्तु सद्गृहस्थ बनकर पुत्र उत्पत्ति-पुत्रोत्पादन का लक्ष्य रखें

Humans commit suicide as caries, dedicate themselves to meat-eating animals, should not do so, it is not a success of life and attachment to women is not permanent due to affection, but destroys the life of invading wolves like heart They are supposed to be the ones who do the work, but aim for the birth of a son by becoming a virtuous[Rig Veda 10.95.15]


It was in Hindi but I was google translater to translate it in English


This is a refrence of story of Pururva and Urvashi mentioned in Srimad Bhagwatam. King Pururuva promised Urvasi that he will never see him naked (beside the time of intercourse). If Pururuva broke his promise, Urvasi would go to heaven back.

(22) Oh hero of mine, that what is prepared with ghee shall be my food, and I do not want to see you naked at any other time than during intercourse.'

But one day by chance he saw her naked.

(30) Pierced by the arrows of her words he, like an elephant fired up, angrily in the dark took up a sword and went after them, without putting his clothes on. (31) After they [the Gandharvas], gave up the lambs, they lit up the place with a light as bright as lightening. Urvas'î thus could see her husband returning naked with the two lambs in his hands... [and thus she left him].

Then she said to Pururuva that women are like foxes so he should not never trust them.

(36) Urvas'î said: 'You are a man, do not adhere to death! Do not let these foxes of the senses eat you up. You cannot always count on the friendship of women. They can be like wolves in matters of the heart.

As one can see these statements were said by Urvasi to console Pururuva not degrade women. This same story is repeated in Rigveda 10:95 and in Shatpatha Brahmana 11:5:1.

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