[Advaita-l] vedic yajna

Rajaram Venkataramani rajaramvenk at gmail.com
Tue Nov 22 12:02:48 CST 2011

On Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 3:46 PM, Vidyasankar Sundaresan <
svidyasankar at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > This is a question for those who are experts in the procedures of vedic
> > yajna. In Brihadaranyaka Upanishad verses leading up to 6.4.18, there is
> a
> > reference to eating rice mixed with milk, curd etc. to get a son
> > well-versed in one, two, three and four vedas. I would like to know the
> > references to corresponding yajna procedures. I am keen to understand if
> > these procedures involve killing a cow or only partaking ghee. The text
> can
> > be more appropriately translated as taking ghee given that the previous
> > verses talk about curd, milk etc.
> Ghee is a common element in all these cases - sarpishmantam aSnIyAtAm...
> The specific additions to the odanam (cooked rice) are kshIra (milk), dadhi
> (curd), udaka (water), tila (sesame seeds) and mAMsa (meat) of ukshA or
> Rshabha.
> SAnkarabhAshya says, "mAMsa-miSram odanaM mAMsaudanam. ... auksheNa
> vA mAMsena, ukshA secanasamarthaH pungavaH, tadIyaM mAMsam. RshabhAs
> tato'py adhika-vayAH, tadIyam ArshabhaM mAMsam".
> Please note that Sankara bhagavatpAda lived very much in the kaliyuga and
> he
> does not talk of any substitutions for ukshA and Rshabha here.

RV: I agree but Shankaracharya does not clarify what uksha and rshabha are.
According to Haridas Sastry (Review of Beef in Ancient India), uksha and
rishabha refer to medicinal herbs of the same shape still found in India.
He says that the first few verses in the chapter talk about the role of
medicinal herbs in producing high quality retas setting the context
for his interpretation. There are few otherarguments as well in the book.

I wanted to know the Vedic Yajna referred to in the Upanishad. I suppose
that the detailed procedure will be described in  Srauta Sutras. That will
tell us clearly what is meant by uksha and rishabha here.


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