[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 21 03:58:21 CDT 2009

>The difference is as Ramakrishnan mentioned, we have literary and
archeological >evidence for the historical performance of those yajnas
involving real slayings while we >do not for the purushamedha.

Ok. I wonder if this is because the practice was abandoned even in ancient(like 2000 yrs) times?

>I do not see any evidence for this.  From the ritualistic point of view, the purushamedha is >not related to the ashvamedha

Is the similarity of the names just a coincidence then? Just wondering why is it called puruSha-medha instead of puruSha yajna or by some other suffix? Maybe there are other examples where two different shrauta rites had similar names but from a ritualistic  viewpoint they are quite different?

>I direct you to the word Anayat which means "brought near" or
"collected." does this >necessarily imply the sacrificial victims were
killed?  Or were they just bound?  It is too >ambiguous to say

Agreed about the ambiguity if only looking at this passage..but see below

> Also why assume the ayuta was composed of his >enemies?
> By contrast the purushamedha as per the descriptions in the Brahmanas
is about >"becoming all" in a metaphysical as well as a physical sense. 
It is about lordship through >diffusion of power not concentration of

Also a quote by the same acquaintance in a different context:

"Another notable shrauta oblation made to revatI was in the human sacrifice – the puruShamedha
ritual. In the ashvamedha before the horse is sent off to wander for an
year an oblation is performed to pUShan pathikR^it to protect the
horse. In the puruShamedha,
in place of this pUShan ritual, one is performed to the 3 devI-s,
anumatI, revatI and aditi. This is recorded in both R^igvedic and
atharvavedic tradition (shA~NkhAyana shrauta 16.10.11; vaitAna shrauta
sUtra 37.10.20)."

Based on this I tend to think that it was practiced in very ancient times but the ritual involving human sacrifice was abandoned so long back.



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