[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

BV Giri research at devavision.org
Mon Sep 21 04:58:19 CDT 2009

>As for the story of Sunasepha, it also shows this theme.  His greedy
>father sells him as the sacrificial victim for 100 cows.  When he is bound
>to the yupa the Rshis, Vishvamitra, Vasishtha, Jamadagni, and Ayasya who
>are the hotrs, decline to actually sacrifice him.  It is the father in
>return for more cows who offers to do the deed.  This is portrayed as
>shocking and Sunasepha ends up adopted by Vishvamitra (i.e. he renounces
>his birth family.)

But if one reads the various accounts of the Sunasepha story, it seems
pretty clear that Purusamedha involved the actual sacrifice of a human.

After all, it if were merely symbolic, why would Rajarishi Harishchandra
need to substitute his own son Rohita with Sunasepha? What would be the

Also. why would Sunasepha's brahmin father want to literally sacrifice his
son in the first place if the Purusamedha was simply meant to be symbolic?
One would expect a Vedika brahmana to know whether or not the sacrifice was
symbolic or not ­ however, the old man is more than willing to kill his own

BV Giri

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