ashvamedha--to eat or not to eat?
Robert P. Goldman
sseas at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Feb 9 18:35:46 UTC 2000
Well, just on the anecdotal side then, we should perhaps note that the
reasonably posh and very non-veg restaurant in the Blue Diamond Hotel in
Pune is (or at least was a few years back) named "Ashwamedha" which struck
me as an odd name for an eatery. Having dined there more than once I am
now, however, relieved by Madhav's information that it was merely "brain
food" they were serving me. Bon appetit.
>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
Dr. R. P. Goldman
Sarah Kailath Professor in India Studies
Professor of Sanskrit and
Center for South Asia Studies
7303 Dwinelle Hall MC #2540
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
email: sseas at socrates.berkeley.edu
Phone: (510) 642-4089
Fax: (510) 643-2959
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