Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Hinduism or Index

Asvamedha


Asvamedha was a Hindu, Vedic, ritual of horse sacrifice. It was performed by kings as a symbolic representation of their supreme power and authority, and, sometimes, for such blessings as the birth of a son to ensure succession. For the previous year the chosen horse wondered unmolested as he pleased in a pasture while protected by an armed guard. If he trespassed into another kingdom, the ruler was obliged to fight to keep the animal or surrender him. At the end of year the animal was brought back to the capital with appropriate ceremony, and sacrificed along with other animals. The fertility of this ceremony is evident from the way in which, symbolically, the senior queen would lie beside the dead horse. Jaya Sinah II of Jaipur was the last prince to perform this ceremony in the 18th century. A.G.H.



Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 103

Home    Alchemy    Ancient Beliefs    Buddhism    Christianity    Demonology    Divination    Goddess and witchcraft    Great Mysteries    Hinduism    Islam     Judaism    Magic    Neo-paganism    Other    Paranormal    Past and present Beliefs    People    Places    Religions and sects    Rituals and texts    Shamanism    Stones    Theosophy African Mythology    Asian Mythology    Buddha Mythology    Egyptian Mythology    Greco-Roman Mythology    Greek Mythology    Hindu Mythology    Native American    Persian Mythology    Roman Mythology    South American Mythology