Author: Subhash KakPublisher: Motilal BanarsidassYear: 2002Language: EnglishPages: 71ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120818776
This essay describes the 'Asvamedha' rite and its symbolism to explain distinctive aspects of the Vedic sacrifice system. Several questions related to the Asvamedha are posed and answered in the context of Vedic epistemology. This rite has three important functions:1> it presents an equivalence of the naksatra year to the heaven, implying that it is a rite that celebrates the rebirth of the Sun;2> it is symbolic of the conquest of Time by the King, in whose name the rite is performed; and3> it is a celebration of social harmony achieved by the transcendence of the fundamental conflicts between various sources of power. Numbers from another Vedic rite, the Agnicayana help in the understanding of several of its details.
PrefaceIntroductionSacrifice, Sacred TheaterAnimal SacrificeAltars and AstronomyThe Asvamedha RiteDomestic and Wild BeastsThe Authority of the KindEpiolgueAbbreviationsNotesReferencesIndex