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Friday, January 27, 2012

The world of Valmiki-08

The World of Valmiki-08
1.8 Customs,rituals and beliefs
Horse sacrifice
प्रवर्ग्यं शास्त्रतः कृत्वा तथैवोपसदं द्विजाः ।
चक्रुश्च विधिवत् सर्वमधिकं कर्म शास्त्रतः ॥
अभिपूज्य ततो हृष्टाः सर्वे चक्रुर्यथाविधि ।
प्रातःसवनपूर्वाणि कर्माणि मुनिपुङ्गवाः ॥
ऐन्द्रश्च विधिवद्दत्तो राजा चाभिष्टुतोऽनघः ।
माध्यन्दिनं च सवनं प्रावर्तत यथाक्रमम् ॥
तृतीयसवनं चैव राज्ञोऽस्य सुमहात्मनः ।
चक्रुस्ते शास्त्रतो दृष्ट्वा तथा ब्राह्मणपुङ्गवाः ॥१/१४/४-७॥
After performing Pravargya and Upasada rites as per prescribed code Brahmins did all that needed to be done. Starting from the morning Savana (crushing of Soma plant) all the eminent sages performed all the rituals. Oblations to Indra were made and the pure Soma creeper was crushed and the midday Savana was duly made. Brahmin chiefs conducted the third Savana in the evening as per prescribed code.

कर्मान्तरे तदा विप्रा हेतुवादान् बहूनपि ।
प्राहुः स्म वाग्ग्मिनो धीराः परस्परजिगीषया ॥१/१४/१९॥
In between the rituals Brahmins put forward many arguments (in support of their contentions) and argued with each other to win them over to their view point.

प्राप्ते यूपोच्छ्रये तस्मिन् षद्बैल्वाः खादिरास्तथा ।
तावन्तो बिल्वसहिताः पर्णिनश्च तथापरे ॥
श्लेष्मातकमयस्त्वेको देवदारुमयस्तथा ।
द्वावेव तत्र विहितौ बाहुव्यस्तपरिग्रहौ ॥
कारितास्सर्व एवैते शास्त्रज्ञैर्यज्ञकोविदैः ।
शोभार्थं तस्य यज्ञस्य काञ्चनालंकृताभवन् ॥
एकविंशतियूपास्ते एकविंशत्यरत्नयः ।
वसोभिरेकविंशद्भिः एकैकं समल्ङ्कृताः ॥
विन्यस्ता विधिवत् सर्वे शिल्पिभिः सुकृता दृढाः ।
अष्टाश्रयः सर्व एव श्लख्ष्णरूपसमन्विताः ॥
आच्छादितास्ते वासोभिः पुष्पैर्गन्धैश्च पूजिताः ।
सप्तर्षयो दीप्तिमन्तो विराजन्ते यथा दिवि ॥
इष्टकाश्च यथान्यायं कारिताश्च प्रमाणतः ।
चितोऽग्निर्ब्राह्मणैस्तत्र कुशलैः शुल्बकर्मणि ॥
स चित्यो राजसिह्मस्य सञ्चितः कुशलैर्द्विजैः ।
गरुडो रुक्मपक्षो वै त्रिगुणोऽष्टादशात्मकः ॥
नियुक्तास्तत्र पशवस्तत्तदुद्दिश्य दैवतम् ।
उरगाः पक्षिणश्चैव यथाशास्त्रं प्रचोदिताः ॥
शामित्रे तु हयस्तत्र तथा जलचराश्च ये ।
ऋत्विग्भिः सर्वमेवैतन्नियुक्तं शास्त्रतस्तदा ॥
पशूनां त्रिशतम् तत्र यूपेषु नियतं तदा ।
अश्वरत्नोत्तमं तत्र राज्ञो दशरथस्य च ॥
कौसल्या तं हयं तत्र परिचर्य समन्ततः ।
कृपाणैर्विशशासैनं त्रिभिः परमया मुदा ॥
पतत्त्रिणा तदा सार्द्धं सुस्थितेन च चेतसा ।
अवसद्रजनीमेकां कौसल्या धर्मकाम्यया ॥
होताध्वर्युस्तथोद्गाता हस्तेन समयोजयन् ।
महिष्या परिवृत्त्या च वावातामपरां तथा ॥
पतत्त्रिणस्तस्य वपामुद्धृत्य नियतेन्द्रियः ।
ऋत्विक् परमसंपन्नः श्रपयामास शास्त्रतः ॥
धूमगन्धं वपयास्तु जिघ्रति स्म नराधिपः ।
यथाकालं यथान्यायं निर्णुदन् पापमात्मनः ॥
हयस्य यानिचाङ्गानि तानि सर्वाणि ब्राह्मणाः ।
अग्नौ प्रास्यन्ति विधिवत् समन्त्राः षोडशर्त्विजः ॥
प्लक्षशाखासु यज्ञानामन्येषाम् क्रियते हविः ।
अश्वमेधस्य यज्ञस्य वैतसो भाग इष्यते ॥
त्र्यहोऽश्वमेधः संख्यातः कल्पसूत्रॆण ब्राह्मणैः ।
चतुष्टोममहस्तस्य प्रथमं परिकल्पितम् ।
उक्थ्यं द्वितीयं संख्यातमतिरात्रं तथोत्तरम् ॥
कारितास्तत्र बहवो विहिताः शास्त्रदर्शनात् ।
ज्योतिष्टोमायुषी चैवमतिरात्रौ विनिर्मितौ ।
अभिजद्विश्वजिच्चैवमाप्तोर्यामो महाक्रतुः ॥
प्राचीं होत्रे ददौ राजा दिशं स्वकुलवर्धनः ।
अध्वर्यवे प्रतीचीं तु ब्रह्मणे दक्षिणां दिशम् ॥
उद्गात्रे वै तथोदीचीं दक्षिणैषा विनिर्मिता ।
हयमेधे महायज्ञे स्वयम्भूविहिते पुरा ॥१/१५/२०-४२॥
On the arrival of the time to erect yoopa pillars, six each of Bilva, Khadira and Palasa wood were erected. One pillar of Devadaru and two pillars of Sleshmataka are to be erected at a distance of two shoulder-length. Under the direction of the well-versed all these were appropriately arranged. The twenty one pillars of twenty one arms-length were each covered with cloth. They were beautifully shaped and strong, made by carpenters as per scriptural code. They had eight corners and were smooth. Covered with cloth and worshipped with flowers and sandal paste they looked like the Saptarishi constellation (great bear) in the sky. Bricks had been made as per prescribed measurement and with them the sacrificial altar had been constructed by those well versed in altar-architecture. Expert Brahmins placed the fire on the altar with due ceremony for king Dasaratha to worship. The fire resembled  Garuda in shape looking downward  facing East with wings of Gold. Having eighteen sacrificial pits, the size of the altar was three times the normal. Animals, snakes and birds had been tied to the pillars as per ritual code for being offered to particular Gods. The horse and marine animals that had been brought there were tied at that moment to the pillars. Three hundred animals were thus tied down to the pillars. The best of the horses of King Dasaratha was tied down to the pillar.
Kausalya made three marks with swords on the horse after consecrating the horse duly. With a calm mind Kausalya spent one night with the (dead) horse in order to gain merit. Hota, adhvaryu and udgaatr held the hands of the three queens. (Technically with  Mahishi, Parivrutti and Vaavaata- three types of wives). Rutvik who had control over his senses removed the fat from the dead horse and cooked it as per scriptural procedure. The king inhaled the vapours at prescribed instant and as per prescribed procedure thus obliterating his sins. All the sixteen Brahmin priests removed the parts of the dead horse and offered them into the fire. Whereas in other sacrifices the offering to the fire is placed on branch of Plaksha tree in Asvamedha sacrifice it is placed on cane mat. In Kalpasutra and Brahmanas three days of Savana (pressing of Somajuice) have been prescribed. The Savanas for the three days are called Jyottishtoma for the first day, Ukthya for the second day and Atiratra for the third day. Several rituals were conducted at the sacrifice as per injunctions. Jyotishtoma, Ayushtoma, two rounds of Atiratra, Abhijit, Viswajit and two rounds of Aptoryama were performed. The emperor who made his llineage flourish, gave away as dakshina(fee) the Eastern part  to the Hotru, the western to the Adhvaryu, the Southern to the Brahma and the Northern to the Udgatru. Such are the fees prescribed for Asvamedha the first of which was performed by Brahma the creator.
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