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Rajasuya (Imperial Sacrifice or the King's Inauguration Sacrifice) is a Śrauta ritual of the Vedic religion. It is a consecration of a king. It is described in the Taittiriya corpus, including Apastamba Srauta Sutra 18.8–25.22. It involves soma pressing, a chariot drive, the king shooting arrows from his bow, and a brief cattle “raid.” There is a telling of the tale of Shunahshepa, a boy who was nearly sacrificed to Varuna on behalf of the sonless king Harishchandra. Also included is a game of throwing dice by which the king is enthroned and the cosmos is regenerated.
Fees for the priest
This yagya (sacrifice) can be included under the list of other complex yagyas like ishti, pashuyagya, somayagya darvihoma etc. This is a very complex yagya including 129 ishti yagya, 2 pashu yagya, 7 darvi homas and 6 soma yagyas. There are the most amazing types of gifts given to the priests ( purohitas) who are performing this yagya.Two gold-coated mirrors should be given to the "adhwaryu", who is one of the main priest in this yagya. A Golden chain should be given to the "Udgatha", another type of priest in this yagya.Another type of priest called "Hotha" should be given a Golden ornament called "rukma" as presentation.A white horse each for "Prathihartha" and "Prasthotha" two types of priests performing this yagya. The main priest called "brahma" should ge given 12 healthy cows . "maithra varuna" -the second most important priest should be presented by a "pregnant cow". The "brahmanajhamsi" priest should be presented by a healthy "Ox" . "neshta" and "potha" should be given a couple of two precious "silks". The "achavaka" priest should be presented by a cart full of "yava" a type of cereal. Finally the "agneeth" priest should be presented by a healthy "ox". There are special fees that should be given to the priests who are performing this yagya for the king .
Rajasuya yajna should be performed only by those kings, who are eligible to rule the whole world and conquered and defeated all other kings in the earth. This yajna is performed as an inauguration to the king who is going to become the ruler of entire world. After the performance of this yajna, the respected king will be admitted as "rajadhiraja" means the "king of all kings". He will achieve honour and respect from even celestials too and fixes his reputation over the entire world. Rajasuya yajna is a highly expensive one, and most popular than all other yajnas that are described in vedas. Only those kings are eligible to perform this yajna, who is the most powerful and undefeated in the world. In order to perform this yajna, the king should defeated all other kings in the world and make them under subjection. If anyone of kings who is not under his subjection, then Rajasuya fails and it will generate huge sin to the king . Conquering the entire world is called as "digvijaya" and acquiring money from those defeated kings are called as "karam" means tribute . By that huge money, this yajna should be performed. "Dakshinas" means fees or gifts should be given to the priests who were performing this yaga scientifically . After this yajna, an " agra puja" should be given to him who is most respected by knowledge, faith, power etc. in the kingdom. "agra puja" means special honour to the top most person in the kingdom. In Yudhishtira's Rajasuya,agra puja was given to Lord Krishna. Another yajna equivalent to this yajna is called as "vaishnava yajna". Rajasuya is performed by king Yudhishtira in mahabharatha and "Vaishnava yajna" is performed by king Duryodhana in mahabharatha . In this way, both of them became equally praised by celestials in heaven.
Many Chola kings are supposed to have performed this sacrifice. One of the sangam Cholas is called Rajasuyam vetta perunarkilli (i.e. perunarkilli who performed Rajasuya), for having successfully performed this sacrifice.
- Knipe 2015, p. 237.
- Satapatha Brahmana Second adhyaya Third brahmana onwards 13 chapters
- Kisori Mohan ganguly's translation of mahabharatha Sabha parva, chapter X1V onwards 10 chapters
- Kisori Mohan ganguly's translation of mahabharatha Vana parva, chapter CCL111
- Knipe, David M. (2015), Vedic Voices: Intimate Narratives of a Living Andhra Tradition, Oxford: Oxford University Press