[Advaita-l] Vajapeya (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Jan 31 13:56:58 CST 2010

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: subhanu saxena <subhanu at hotmail.com>



I saw a question on Vajayapeya on the list and thought I could provide some
further details.


·         As mentioned it is one of the 7 variants of the soma yajna:
agniṣṭoma (12 stotras or hymns, 12 shastras, 12 soma cups), ukthya (15
stotras, 15 soma cups), shoḍashin (16 stotras, 16 shastras, 16 soma cups,
the 16th being for Indra), atyagniṣṭoma (13), vājapeya (17 stotras,
shastras, cups),  atirātra (29 stotras, shastras, cups, performance through
the night), aptoryāma ( modification of atirātra (33, symbolising the 33
all-devas). It lasts for 17 days also.

·         The shatapatha brahamanam states that this yajna was first
performed by Brihaspati and Indra to ascend to the Upper Region of Light. As
a result of these two  performing it, this yajna is meant for Brahmanas and
Kshatriyas . The Apastamba Srauta Sutra states at the start of its section
on this sacrifice: sharadi vājapeyena  yajeta brāhmaṇo rājanyo varrdhikāmaḥ,
A Brahmin or Kshatriya who wants  prosperity should perform the Vajapeya in
the Autumn (ASS XVIII.1)

·         Vajapeya is superior to the coronation ceremony rajasuya. It is
explained in the Shatapatha Brahmana  “bhavati samrāḍ vājapeyena”, By
performing Vajapeya he becomes an emperor,  for he becomes possessed of
everything (Kānva SB VI. In TB we have ya evam vidvān vājapeyena
yajate; gacchati svārājyam, the wise one who performs vajapeya achieves
complete overlordship. The symbolism of complete mastery of inner Self is
clear, as seen in the mantras in T.S 1.7.9

·         A few important features of this Yajna are: A chariot race (17
chariots), determined by 17 arrow shots to set the distance;  a chariot
wheel symbolising the sun is erected on a long pole , the yajamana climbs to
the top on to the wheel; 1 7 surā (wine) cups distributed to competitors
(this ancient intoxicating brew is a complement to soma, and has an
elaborate preparation described in the Srauta Sutras), as well as soma cup
drinking; The yajamana and his wife ascend the sacrificial post symbolising
their ascent towards the Sacred Light that is All.

·         It is worth mentioned a remarkable passage in the Kanva S.B VI that explains why the yajamana asks the wife to ask the sacrificial
post with him. He says jāya ehi suvo rohāva, Dear wife who bears Life,
ascend with me to the heavenly light (T.S. 1.7.9, T.B., also Kanva
SB VI2.2.10.9). In the SB it says “Now why he addresses his wife thus is
this: the wife is the half of his own Self. She is indeed one half of his
Self.That is why, as long as he is alone, he does not become many , cannot
procreate. He is deficient, incomplete. And only when he gets a wife does he
become many, procreate and become whole and complete”. It gives a clear
description of one’s life partner as half of one’s Self, without whom one is
incomplete. When calling on his wife to ascend he offers the 12
vājaprasavīya mantra’s (vājashcha prasavashcha, TS 1.7.9) also found in  the
famous chamakam

·         The deeper symbolism of this yajna is made clear in T.S. 1.7.10
which asks that the birth of plenitude (vājasya prasavah) from this yanja
should pervade all creation connecting everything both internally and
externally (vājasyemam prasava ā babhūva imā cha vishvā bhuvanāni sarvatah)


Hope the above is some further interesting information on vajapeya. Please
could you pass it to the person who asked the question



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