King Yudhishthira, a character in the Mahabharata, performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice
King Yudhishthira, a character in the Mahabharata, performs the Rajasuya Sacrifice

Rajasuya (Imperial Sacrifice or the king's inauguration sacrifice) is a Śrauta ritual of the Vedic religion. It is a consecration of a king.[1]

Broad outline

The Rajasuya is associated with the consecration of a king[1] is prescribed as a means to establish a king's sovereignty.[2] It is described in the Taittiriya corpus, including Apastamba Srauta Sutra 18.8–25.22.[1] It involves soma pressing, a chariot drive, the king shooting arrows from his bow, and a brief "cattle raid".[1] The newly anointed king seizes cattle belonging to his relative, and then gives part of his property to that relative.[3] There is a telling of the tale of Shunahshepa, a boy who was nearly sacrificed to Varuna on behalf of the sonless king Harishchandra.[1] Also included is a game of throwing dice with the Adhvaryu priest in which the king wins a cow, by which the king is enthroned and the cosmos is regenerated.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Knipe 2015, p. 237.
  2. ^ "Importance of yagna". The Hindu. 2018-06-27. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  3. ^ Renou, Louis (1947). Vedic India. Susil Gupta. pp. 107–108. ((cite book)): Check |first= value (help)

Sources

  • Knipe, David M. (2015), Vedic Voices: Intimate Narratives of a Living Andhra Tradition, Oxford: Oxford University Press