[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

Sunil Bhattacharjya sunil_bhattacharjya at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 21 18:39:49 CDT 2009

Dear friends,
I feel tha there could have been Purusamedha with human sacrifice and it could have been performed without human sacrifice also. Quite sometime ago I read an interesting article regarding Ashvamedha but lost the link now. It says that Ashvamedha is a symbolic ritual and the real Ashva is a horse-shaped region in our brain, which is responsible for memory and learning and consequently for the human evolution. and that Ashvamedha is the way of activating that region. 
Any comment?

--- On Mon, 9/21/09, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Advaita-l] Purusamedha
To: "A discussion group for Advaita Vedanta" <advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org>
Date: Monday, September 21, 2009, 10:40 AM

>What a  pathetically, political interpretation of
any rite - even the

>puruShamedha. The puruShamedha is clearly an ode to the supreme,

>cosmic puruSha, and the shatapatha brAhmaNa clearly forbids actual

>sacrifice of the human beings.

I was actually expecting that you will be the first one to get totally
worked-up with this mention of puruSha-medha  :-)

I am aware of the shatapatha brAhmaNa's description of the puruSha-medha.

And why will the question of forbidding something come if it was never practiced

What about the other references given about the ritual to pUShan being replaced
by the one to three devi-s and the mention of various write-ups about the queen
behaving in a similar manner as in the ashva-medha?

"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)."

Dont we see
some similarities with the ashva-medha here?

Rituals evolve overtime and some people are only suggesting the possibility of
human sacrifice in a remote past. Like for example in ancient times during the
upanayana for an
atharvavedin , tongues of a few birds were used, which in later times were
replaced by feathers of those same birds.

>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.

In Ramayana and Mahabharatha mention is made of lakhs of people taking part in
yuddha-s. They dont have to narrate each and every detail about all those

So is it with this story . The focus is on a few characters. Whatever ritual
this sunasshepa story is talking about, it looks like some vedic ritual if not


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