[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 11:58:27 CDT 2009

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian
<rama.balasubramanian at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 5:58 AM, BV Giri <research at devavision.org> wrote:
>>>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
>> necessity?

> The puruShamedha requires not 1 person, but literally more than a
> hundred. There may have been many so called tantrik rituals performing
> these sacrifices. Does this story talk about the rest of the people
> also? If not let's admit that this story is not about puruShamedha the
> shrauta ritual.

I just checked up the taittirIya brAhmaNa and there are about 190
people supposed to be sacrificed in the puruShamedha - including a
washerwoman, barber, a blind man, hunchback, dwarf, etc, in addition
to a brahmin, etc. Are these also present in this story?


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