pachai maamalai pol mene

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fwd: glorious deeds

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ananthanarayanan Vaidyanathan <>
Date: Sun, Oct 10, 2010 at 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: glorious deeds

mama, as brahmins we are supposed to support the edicts of Vedas.  Human thought in fact adhered to the principle of quid pro quo, that is, if you offer god something he will give you back likewise...devaan bhavayathaanena they devaa bhavayanthu naH..krishna said in gita.. but human thought has  outgrown  this state...bribing and getting back bribe lost its appeal...and in upanishadic thoughts the material benefits of worship of god took the back seat...True,  in the Indo Gangetic epoch, attack was the best defence..and in that timeframe the aswamedha could have been justified if not praised.  But after the idea of peaceful co-existence became the cardinal human value, such belligerence lost its meaning.  We both are elderly brahmins, can you or me kill a goat brutally  to conduct a sacrifice? The ideas of such sacrifices were relevant in that period.  The idea of sacrifice was there in bible and Islam also.  We have travelled forward by eons.  Verbatim addiction to vedic dictates will make us aliens or anachronisms. Namaskarams. kva

On Sun, Oct 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM, subramanian gopalaswamy
My dear KVA,

Namaste, I do not whether u are expected me to comment on the subject or just as usual u sent the slokas. However I have just givn my view since copy of e mail is sent to me.

Ur views are appreciable. But anything offered in a yagna is supposed to become holy and reach the feet of Easwara. There are some yagas where other animals are offered, and if that can be approved, this also may be approved. When the horse goes into other's territories, it is a symbol of inviting that king for war. So that cannot be taken as illegal. This is my view.
Rgds, S.Gopalaaswamy.

From: Ananthanarayanan Vaidyanathan <>

my dear Krishnan
               I am not at all a votary to the methods and aims of  aswamedha.  In fact aswamedha was only a show of strength, show of arrogance and a means to show other kings their proper place below the performer of the yaga.  In fact the sacrificial horse was let out free to wander into any alien territory (an illegal trespass against all norms of peaceful co-existence) and people were following the horse and if a subject of another nation showed any disrespect, that country was conquered and the ruler was forced into submission.This is the political side of it. What you call hegemony today. Then there were many unnatural and demeaning rituals followed in the yajna. One worst thing was that the night before the killing of the horse and offering it as oblation to the gods through agni, the first queen on empress was expected to spend the night with the horse (sex implied) as if it were her husband.  The sacrifice was a source of immense wealth for the powerful kings because other kings has to send extra offering and tithes for the conduct of the sacrifice.  The brahmins priest, Brahma, Hota  Ritwik , aacharya, and others could demand almost anything by way of daskhina. So it was a field day for brahmins also.  But it would appear that people in those days praised heroic action ( sadistic hero worship) although today a calm and objective mind can view it as an aberration only. It is believed and written in vedas that a king who does 100 aswamedhas will attain the status of Indra. And the occupant of the seat of Indra would manipulate in any way to thwart the 100th aswamedha.  You might have heard the story of Nahusha who got the status of Indra this way and how Indra the purandara managed to dethrone him using the good office of the saptharshi, agastya.  Indra is called Sathamagha, Maghawaan etc because he had conducted more than 100 aswamedha sacrifices.
                  However,the achievement, although the means were nefarious was an exalted benchmark for glory.  Here in the sloka the glory one gets out of aswamedha alone is mentioned...The modus operandi  of performance is not an issue here. You can see such developments in even the silliest of the things...the groups like orkut, facebook etc.  The fellow who plays the role of the clown or who uses semi porno and tries to win arguments by foul means becomes the hero. The flow of history was the same.

                  But i have to reiterate one thing, helping the indigent, building temples and lending a helping hand in providing a dignified burial for a fellow human being are all great and exemplary actions.    Regards KVA

On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:15 PM, G.Krishnan <> wrote:
Dear Mama,

The options/alternatives mentioned are genuinely great, and something I totally vouch for. But the concept of Ashvamedha Sacrifice, was not something, that had come across as something good, for me, when I read about it. I don't know how they could term such an act/ritual as a great thing.

Not just the final result of the horse being killed, but also the whole process by which the ritual is conducted, and the acts performed as part of the process, somehow could not be digested by me.

What is your take on it? Would be glad to discuss and know more...!

On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Ananthanarayanan Vaidyanathan <> wrote:
दरिद्राय  कृतं दानं शून्यलिङ्गस्य पूजनम्।
अनाथप्रेतसंस्कारः अश्वमेधसमं विदुः।
daridrāya  kṛtaṁ dānaṁ śūnyaliṅgasya pūjanam|
anāthapretasaṁskāraḥ asvamedhasamaṁ viduḥ|
ദരിദ്രായ കൃതം ദാനം ശൂന്യലിംഗസ്യ പൂജനം
അനാഥപ്രേതസംസ്കാരം അശ്വമേധസമം വിദു:
In our religion and culture, performance of the Aswamedha sacrifice is considered to be the most pious and glorious action in a successful mans life. Such performance is supposed go bestow one with all prosperity and suzeranity over people.  Some of the philanthropic act are equated to this great sacrifice in this sloka.  To lend a helping hand to the suffering fellow human being comes first.  Sometimes the idols of some temples (here idol of Lord Siva is cited) are left uncared due to change in the circumstance of the inhabitants of the terrain.  If one takes it upon himslelf the renovation of the fallen temple and arranging for proprer worship of the God in the shape of idol, the same benefits as that would enure on performance of aswamtha yagna.  A human being, however poor and helpless he is deserves a diginified burial or cremation of his mortal remains. If a person voluntarily undertakes to perform the final rites for the dead person, he is equal in status to one who has performed aswamedha.

True, aswamedha is a meaningless rite today. But we should see its importance as seen by our forefathers of four or five millenia ago.
Helping the poor, taking initiative in the renovation of a place of worship and most important helping in giving a diginified burial to an unclaimed human corpse are really glorious acts even today.    (I have seen many pamphlet  calling for help for temple renovation...This is an appropriate sloka which can form caption to such appeals)



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