ashvamedha--to eat or not to eat?

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Wed Feb 9 14:07:50 UTC 2000

The current discussion about Azvamedha sacrifice reminds me of an incident
a few years ago.  Someone from Chicago called me asking me to contribute
money for a performance of Azvamedha they were going to conduct in
Chicago.  I was shocked and thrilled at the same time, and I asked the
person how they were going to deal with sacrificing the horse.  The person
was outraged at my question.  He said there was no reason to kill a horse.
The swamy who had organized this Azvamedha explained to his followers that
this sacrifice was to be performed so that the medhaa "intelligence" of
the children of the community will be as swift as an azva "horse".  They
were going to recite the holy Gaayatrii mantra several thousand times and
make offerings of ghee into the fire.  This was the true Azvamedha.
Suffice it to say that this interpretation had saved the life of a horse.
                                Madhav Deshpande

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