[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 21 19:19:33 CDT 2009

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


> 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
> before?

This is not a legitimate argument - the prohibition can certainly exist to remove any possible doubt that humans are the victims of the sacrifice.


> 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.

How ancient do we have to go to find the kind of historical evidence you're talking about - perhaps the Mahabharata times?

In the Mahabharata, king Jarasandha wishes to sacrifice to Shiva the enemy kings that he has defeated and held captive. Along with Arjuna and Bhima, Krishna arrives at Jarasandha's kingdom and says:

  manuShyANA.n samAlambho na cha dR^iShTaH kadA chana . 
  sa kathaM mAnuShairdeva.n yaShTumichchhasi sha~Nkaram .. 10..\\

  "The sacrifice of men is not seen anywhere.
  How then do you wish to sacrifice men to Sankara?"

  savarNo hi savarNAnAM pashusa~nj~nA.n kariShyati . 
  ko.anya eva.n yathA hi tva.n jarAsandha vR^ithA matiH .. 11..\\

  "Those of your own caste you are turning into animals (pashuH).
  How can there be a lower intelligence than you, Jarasandha?"

Apparently, there were indeed idiots like Jarasandha who must've interpreted the Vedas in a "novel" manner. But even the Smriti disagrees with such practices.

In case you do not know how the story goes - Bhima kills Jarasandha in a gruesome manner and frees the captive kings.



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