Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Yudhisthira peforms Ashwamedha yagna. Mahbharata 197

All preparations are made for the yagna. The horse is released to wander as it wishes. Arjuna as the main protector follows and his soldiers accompany him. Arjuna successfully protects the horse as it passes through Trigarta, Pragjothisha and Sindu. Next they reach the Manaloorapura. Their king, Babruvahana,  is Arjuna and Chitrangade's son. ( Their story is in Adiparva.).  Babruvahana knows this and greets Arjuna with respect and devotion. He does not stop the horse, tie it up and wage a war with the visitors.  For some reason this does not please Arjuna. 'If I had come without weapons, greeting me this way is alright. As I have come fully armed, it is not khsatriya dharma to greet me in a peaceful manner.'

Hearing this rebuke, Babruvahana's step mother, Uloopi, A Nagakanya and one more wife of Arjuna, breaks through earth and addresses her crestfallen stepson. 'Son, fight with Arjuna, he will be happy if you fight him!'  So, Babruvahana ties up the horse and starts to fight with his father. Arjuna is pleased with his son's skills and responds without much seriousness. Suddenly Babhruvahana aims an arrow directly at Arjuna's heart and finds its mark. Arjuna struck very hard faints and falls! Babhruvahana distaught and tired, also faints. Chitrangade hears of this and runs to the war front. She blames Uloopi, 'All this happened because of you!'

Meanwhile Babhruvahana comes out from his stupor and sees his mother next to the very still, fallen Arjuna, crying her heart out. He becomes very sad and is worried. Thinks that if Arjuna dies, it is better he also dies, sits next to his father  waiting for death (Prayopravesha) to come to him! Uloopi thinks of  sanjeevini, a precious stone capable of reviving;  it falls into her hand. She gives it to Babruvahana and tells him, 'Place this on the heart of your father.  You have not killed him, he will revive. He wanted to see how brave you are! The reason why, I encouraged you to fight'. Arjuna is revived by the stone and he gets up. Uloopi comforts  Arjuna with  'You have now atoned the sin of killing Bheeshma, if not you would have faced misfortune.'

Arjuna continues with his triumphant journey behind the sacrificial Horse and returns to Hastinapura. The yagna is performed in great style and pomp. Kings, invitees and the unfortunate are all treated well. There are mountains of great variety food everywhere and oceans of drinks of all types. The fame of this Ashwamedha  spreads all over the world. Gifts of money, jewels and gold rain on people. By his munificence, the king is blessed and becomes free from his sins and enters the city!

I found this story astounding! It could be one of the quickest recoveries in history of a country engaged in a massive war ! The story probably explains our present day attitudes. We seem to take everything in our stride as long as we are assured that we can atone for our sins, by taking a dip in a holy river, give away money or spend it on a temple. I guess no one wants to know how the money came into its coffers! In Mahabharata days, invading a neighboring country, fighting a khsatriya war was acceptable and the bounty collected was legitimate.
Yagnas are performed even today. Ashwamedha was performed recently in Madurai.  A modified version. No need for a king. No sacrifice of a horse.. And hopefully  no bizarre rituals, as prescribed in the original form,  to be performed by the queens of the kartas.

Posted 29 December 2005 - 01:48 PM
Aswamedha Yagna in Madurai, India—Live on Internet

From times immemorial, daily Gayatri Mantra Chanting and Agnihotra (Yagya) have been the two cardinal principles and upholders of perennial Vedic Culture of Ancient India. Gayatri  Mantra Chanting symbolizes constant remembrance of the Supreme Spirit of the Cosmos that guides us towards the righteous wisdom; and Yagya symbolizes the mutual ceaseless sharing and caring of the cosmic energies and processes, which keep the harmony of the spheres intact.

Ashwamedha Yagya: As ‘Ashwa’ is the symbol of mobility, valour and strength and the ‘medha’ is the symbol of supreme wisdom and intelligence, the natural meaning of ‘Ashwamedha’ can be taken as “the combination of the valour and strength and illumined power of intellect”. It is the combination of these two for selfless and other-centered motives that may create an ideal society and nation. This is the reason, why the making of a nation has been called ‘Ashwamedha’.

Ashwamedha yagyas as propounded and performed by All World Gayatri Pariwar in the present day context, means – Cosmic Energy (Ashwa) led and guided by Medha (Enlightened Intelligence) for collective awakening and ennobling of society. Shantikunj, Haridwar based All World Gayatri Pariwar has so far performed 29 such mass scale Mahayagyas (23 in India and 6 abroad). The one going to be performed at Madurai Meenakshi Teerth from Dec 29, 2005 to Jan 1 2006 will be the thirtieth in this chain and the first in the holy land of Tamilnadu, India.  More details and  the official flyer of the yagna can be found at:

The integrated science of Yagna
The Extra Sensory Potentials of Mind
The Absolute law of Karma
Spiritual Science of Sex Elements
Music- the Nectar of Life
Eternity of Sound and Science of Mantra
Life beyond Physical Death
Who am I
The Divine Message of Vedas
Gayatri Sadhna- Truths and Distortions
21st Century  - The Dawn of The Era Of The Divine Descent On Earth  

Live Broadcast

Sanskar channel is going to broadcast the Ashwamedha Yagna live on Sanskar TV Channel. The live broadcast is also available on the internet via their website

No comments: