Ashvamedhika Parva is the fourteenth Parva among the eighteen Parvas of the Mahabharata. It consists of two sub-parvas- Aswamedhika Parva and Anugita Parva. The number of sections is 103 and 3320 slokas. This Parva is also known as the `Book of the Horse Sacrifice` as it consists of the narration about the royal ceremony of the Ashvamedha or the `Horse sacrifice` conducted by Yudhisthir with the advice of Lord Krishna which formed the primary narrative of the great epic. The Horse Sacrifice is an expiatory rite of matchless extravagance. In contains a detailed explanation of the performance of the Ashvamedha by Yudhisthir. It includes Anugita narration as it was told by Krishna to Arjuna. It starts with long interposed section of Upanishadic material, called the Anugita. Anugita is the story of Utanka, the disciple of Lord Krishna who underwent a journey by getting in touch with a cannibal king, magic earrings and a voyage to the underworld.
Yudhisthir was filled with joy when he heard from Arjuna about his great deeds upon his return to Kingdom of Hastinapur after his world conquest. All the defeated kings and those who accepted the sovereignty of Yudhisthir over their kingdom presented themselves in the Horse Sacrifice in Hastinapur. Everyone was satisfied and the sacrifice concluded peacefully. The presence of Balarama along with his younger brother Lord Krishna in Hastinapur is also described in this Parva.
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