Sunday, 16 August 2015

The Ashvamedha (Sanskrit: अश्वमेध aśvamedhá) was one in all the foremost necessary royal rituals of the Hindu religious writing faith, delineate thoroughly within the Yajurveda (TS seven.1-5, VSM 22–25 and also the pertaining comment within the Shatapatha Vedic literature ŚBM thirteen.1–5). The Rigveda will have descriptions of horse sacrifice, notably in hymns self-propelled vehicle one.162-163 (which ar themselves called aśvamedha), however doesn't hint to the complete ritual consistent with the Yajurveda.

As per Brahma Vaivarta Purana (185.180),the Ashvamedha is one in all 5 rites proscribed within the Kali Yuga, the current age.

The sacred writing sacrifice

The Ashvamedha might solely be conducted by a king (rājā). Its object was the acquisition of power and glory, the sovereignty over near  provinces, seeking relation and general prosperity of the dominion.

The horse to be sacrificed should be a male horse, over twenty four, however but a hundred years recent. The horse is wet with water, and also the Adhvaryu and also the religionist whisper mantras into its ear. The horse is then set loose towards the North-East, to go around where it chooses, for the amount of 1 year (or [*fr1] a year, in keeping with some commentators). The horse is related to the Sun, and its yearly course. If the horse wanders into near  provinces hostile to the religionist, they need to be defeated. The wandering horse is attended by 100 young men, sons of princes or judicature officers, charged with guarding the horse from all dangers and inconvenience. throughout the absence of the horse, associate degree uninterrupted series of ceremonies is performed within the sacrificer's home.
After the come back of the horse, a lot of ceremonies ar performed. The horse is yoked to a gilded chariot, along with 3 different horses, and Rigveda (RV) one.6.1,2 (YajurVeda (YV) VSM two3.5,6) is recited. The horse is then driven into water and bathed. After this, it's anointed with clarified butter by the chief queen and 2 different royal consorts. The chief queen anoints the fore-quarters, and also the others the barrel and also the hind-quarters. They conjointly embellish the horse's head, neck, and tail with golden ornaments. The religionist offers the horse the remains of the night's oblation of grain.

After this, the horse, a hornless caprine animal, a bovine (go-mrga, Bos gaurus) ar certain to killing stakes close to the fireplace, and seventeen different animals ar connected to the horse. a good variety of animals, each tame and wild, ar tied to different stakes, in keeping with a commentator 609 in total (YV VSM twenty four consists of a definite enumeration).

Then the horse is slaughtered (YV VSM twenty three.15, tr. Griffith)

Steed, from thy body, of thyself, sacrifice and settle for thyself.
Thy greatness may be gained by none however thee.
The chief queen ceremonially calls on the king's fellow wives for pity. The queens walk round the dead horse reciting mantras. The chief queen then should mimic carnal knowledge with the dead horse, whereas the opposite queens ceremonially utter obscenities.

On consequent morning, the monks raise the queen from the place wherever she has spent the night with the horse. With the Dadhikra verse (RV four.39.6, YV VSM 23.32), a verse used as a apparatus when obscene language.

The 3 queens with 100 golden, silver and copper needles indicate the lines on the horse's body on that it'll be cleft. The horse is cleft, and its flesh cooked. numerous components ar offered to a number of deities and personified ideas with utterances of svaha "all-hail". The Ashvastuti or panegyric of the Horse follows (RV one.162, YV VSM 24.24–45), closing with:

May this warhorse bring North American nation all-sustaining wealth, wealth in sensible Bos taurus, sensible horses, manly offspring
Freedom from sin could Aditi vouchsafe North American nation: the warhorse with our oblations gain us lordship!
The monks performing arts the sacrifice were recompensed with a section of the swag won throughout the wandering of the horse. in keeping with a commentator, the spoils from the east got to the Hotar, whereas the Adhvaryu a maiden (a girl of the sacrificer) and also the sacrificer's fourth married woman.

The Shatapatha Veda emphasizes the royal nature of the Ashvamedha:

Verily, the Asvamedha means that royal sway: it's when royal sway that these attempt United Nations agency guard the horse. (ŚBM trans. Eggeling 1900)
It repeatedly states that "the Asvamedha is everything" (ŚBM thirteen.4.2.22 trans. Eggeling 1900)

The Ashvamedha celebrated the king as king of the full world, not as king of a section of the globe that established  his kingdom. The stature of a king wasn't associated with a selected a part of the globe which may are his kingdom. As in ancient Rome, the horse was thought-about a noble animal and was related to the military category. once the Asvamedha has been performed in historical times, it's been a lot of to demonstrate sacred writing orthodoxy than for genuinely spiritual reasons.

The Laws of Manu see the Ashvamedha (V.53): 'The man United Nations agency offers a horse-sacrifice daily for 100 years, and also the man United Nations agency doesn't eat meat, the 2 of them reap constant fruit of excellent deeds


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