KIRAN ATMA: Ashvamedha
Showing posts with label Ashvamedha. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ashvamedha. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Ashvamedha?



The  “horse sacrifice” or Ashvamedha - The purpose of such a Vedic sacrifice is to demonstrate and show royal authority.  



  • A particularly sanctified horse was allowed to wander as it pleased during this sacrifice, accompanied by an armed band of the king's attendants. 
  • When the horse strayed into the realm of a neighboring ruler, that ruler had two options: 
    • he could accept subservient status to the king who had unleashed it, 
    • or he might try to seize the horse and fight the king's servants. 

  • The horse was taken back to the royal capital after a year of roaming and sacrificed ritually by suffocation or strangling so that its blood would not be spilt. 
  • The chief queen would lay down next to the horse after it had been slaughtered, simulating sexual contact. 
  • Even though it was obviously a secondary element of the ceremony, when the directions for this rite were first translated in the nineteenth century, this simulated intercourse piqued the attention of European academics. 


Because the monarch conducting the ritual was able to govern the area traveled in a year by a free-roaming horse, the rite's main focus was a celebration of royal authority. 


  • The queen's function, on the other hand, seems to be focused towards symbolically ensuring the land's fertility. 
  • According to historical sources, the ashvamedha was not conducted till the eleventh century C.E. 
  • Concerns about the karmic repercussions of killing a live creature, like in all other instances of animal sacrifice, were a major reason in its abolition. 



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