[Advaita-l] A lost Vedic ritual is brought alive

Mahesh Ursekar mahesh.ursekar at gmail.com
Mon Oct 31 11:37:40 CST 2005

 >>Mostly the whole topic is irrelevant.
 I couldn't agree more but unfortunately, it merely points to your being
educated in the true sense of the term. But, the history of the world has
seen terrible bloodshed over this very "irrelevance"! :-(

Pranams, Mahesh

 On 10/29/05, Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 26 Oct 2005, Abhishek RK wrote:
> > Could the scholars on this list elaborate about this Yagam? What is a
> > "Snarta" Yagam? Is it "Smarta"?
> I assume it is a typo for Smarta (in the broader sense of ordaine by Smrti
> not in the sectarian sense.) There is no such word as Snarta.
> >
> > Hyderabad: The ancient ritual of Ashwamedha Yagam, conducted by emperors
> to
> > extend their domains, will be resurrected in Hyderabad on December 11.
> In
> > the modern age, however, the ritual is intended to extend the domain of
> > peace and tranquillity across the world.
> No it wasn't. It was supposed to confer blessings on the King performing
> it and confirm him as a Samrat (emperor.) As part of the vidhi, the
> sacrificial horse had to wander for a year beyond the borders of the land
> and the rulers of any other territory it traveled through either had to
> submit to the sacrificer or be conquered by him--hardly a recipe for
> tranquility.
> > It was a popular Vedic ritual in ancient India
> It was never popular. At the most it would have been performed a couple
> of times in each generation. But that's why it left such a vivid
> impression on the chroniclers of history.
> > but became rare in the last
> > 2,000 years. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Dr P.V.
> Sesha
> > Sai, the yaga kartha or organiser. Ashwamedha Yagam is of two kinds —
> Snarta
> > Ashwamedha Yagam and Srouta Ashwamedha Yagam. Kings used to perform
> Srouta
> > Yagam and would sacrifice a horse at the end of the ritual. The Snarta
> Yagam
> > was performed by saints without animal sacrifice.
> >
> I find this highly dubious. There is a Smarta version of Agnihotra and
> Darsha-purnamasa Ishtis but not other Shrauta yajnas. This is the first
> I've ever heard about a Smarta Ashvamedha.
> > "We are going to observe the Snarta variety in Hyderabad, reviving a
> > tradition which became extinct long ago,"
> ...Or was made up the day before yesterday. I would be interested to know
> what shastraic or historical basis they have for this.
> > said Dr Sesha Sai. It is a Vedic
> > ritual which has a deeply secular and political dimensions.
> Secular either means not pertaining to religion or neutral to religion.
> how can a religious event itself be secular? This is the kind of nonsense
> that plagues intellectual life in todays India.
> But that it has a deep political dimension I have no doubt.
> > However, the horse is also the symbol for life-energy inside the human
> being
> > and in the cosmos. Medha means "offering" as well as "intelligence". In
> the
> > "inward rite", Ashwamedha is an offering of the life force to the deity.
> >
> Yep, they're making it up as they go along.
> As for this Abrahamic religion subthread; I think it is a pretty silly
> basis to make distinctions on pro or con. For one thing, any Christian or
> Muslim willing to attend a yajna, is not the kind we need to be worried
> about. Secondly, Shankaracharya and other acharyas were quick to
> criticize "Hindu" religions that fell short of the mark as well. The
> distinction between Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic religions is irrelevant.
> Only the distinction between Advaita and non-Advaita is. Mostly the whole
> topic is irrelevant.
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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