Friday, 18 April 2014

Balakandam !! Ashwamedha Yaga as an introduction to Puthrakameshti Yaga !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Rishyashrungam Puraskruthya Karma Chakru: Dhwijarshabha: |
Ashwamedhey Mahayagney Rajosya Sumahathmana: ||
Karma Kurvathi Vidhivath Yajaka Vedaparaga: |
Yaya Vidhi Yaya Nyayam Parikramanthi Shasthratha: ||
Vruddha:  Cha Vyadhitha: Cha Yeva Sthri Bala: Thatha Yeva Cha |
Anisham Bujamananam Na Thruptha: Upalbyathey ||
Dhiyatham Dhiyatham Annam Vasamsi  Vividhani Cha |
Ithi Samchothitha: Thathra  Thatha Chakru: Anekasha: ||

The Ashwamedha Yaga by King Dasaratha was commenced on the river banks of Sarayu subsequent to regaining the ritual horse after completion of a year.  Sage Rishyashrunga led the proceedings of Vedic rituals of Ashwamedha Yaga with eminent Brahmin scholars.  The Vedic Brahmins performed Pravargya and  Upasada rituls, Savana at the time of early dawn and its auxiliary rites according to the sacred scriptures.  As a part of oblations to Lord Indra, Somarasa/juice of Soma creeper was prepared by King Dasaratha, later Savana ritual in the mid noon and in the night was performed subsequently.  Illustrious Sage Rishyashrunga and eminent Vedic Scholars invoked Lord Indra and all the deities with untainted Vedic hymns.  The Vedic scholars with their harmonious Sama Veda raised celestials for offering oblations.  The fire ritual performed with utmost dedication and the Vedic hymn recited was perfect; as a result nothing remained unburned in the fire.  None of the Vedic scholars were weary or hungry; there were many disciples to assist their mentor.  The sumptuous meal and clothing was served persistently to the Brahmins, Sages, Pilgrims, elderly, sick, women, children and workers at the time of their arrival in the ritual arena, heap of foods were kept ready to serve on daily basis.  There were huge number of people attended the ritual of King Dasaratha and they were extremely pleased with the sumptuous meal and drinks served on this occasion.  The eminent Brahmins took great pleasure in the fabulous meal served by the well dressed men and blessed King Dasaratha, later they were engaged in the debate on the subject of various scholastic skills.  The ritual processes were carried out at the guidance of Sage Vashishta according to the prescribed rules.   There was no Brahmin scholar without the knowledge about the six branches of Vedas such as Shiksha/Phonetic/ Pronounciation, Vyakarana/ Grammar, Chandass/prosody, Niruktha/etymology, Jyothish/astronomy, Kalapa/ritual.   As a part of the rituals wooden posts made of auspicious wood such as Bilwa, Khadhira, Parnina, Sleshmadaka and Devadaru were created by the efficient carpenters were installed at equal length with utmost dedication and the rules prescribed.  There were 21 wooden posts of 21 cubits in height were covered with gold and venerated with expensive clothes were sparkled like seven sages/Saptharishis in the sky.  The altar of fire was made out of brick by the experts in architecture who has the profound knowledge in the construction of ritual structures and they were in a particular design and measurement, the celestial vehicles of the deities and the animals for the fire sacrifices has been arranged according to the scriptures.  There were hundreds of animal were tied to the ritual post along with the finest ritual horse of King Dasaratha.  The three queens were circumambulated the horse and made symbolic act of piercing the same. As a part of the ritual the King has to offer his inner-most properties to the officiating priests (Mahishi/Queen to Brahma, Parivritthi/neglected woman to Hotha, Vavatha/Concubine to Adhvaryu and Palakali/maid to Udgata) and the offerings were made to sacred fire, eventually the smoke from the sacrificial fire cleansed the sins of the performer.  The performance of Yaga such as Chathusthoma, Jyothisthoma, Ayusi, Ukthyam, Abhijith, Vishwajith, Apthoryama and Athiratra were held strictly based on the principles of scared scriptures.  King Dasaratha donated East, West, North and South part of his reign to Hotha, Adhvaryu, Brahma and Udgata respectively and abundance of lands to officiating priests called Rithviks.  In this manner, the righteous King Dasaratha of Ikshvaku dynasty obtained abundance of devoutness.  Later, the priests were returned their possession of land to their King, as they are always immersed in the study and teachings of Veda and sacred scriptures, incapable to manage their land and received precious gem, gold and cow as their part of share.  King Dasaratha offered the priests with millions of cows, several millions of gold and silver coins as alms were given to Sage Rishyashrunga & Sage Vashishta.  Eventually all theses wealth was distributed equally amongst the Brahmins were highly pleased.  The scholars arrived to witness the ritual was also received ten million golden coins.  King Dasaratha offered abundance of alms to Brahmins and prostrated before them seeking their blessings.  The Brahmin scholars chanted Vedic hymns in praise of their King Dasaratha.  Consequently, grand Ashwamedha Yaga was come to a successful end, King Dasaratha overjoyed at his greatest achievement in completion of Yaga which was not performed by any of the wise rules capable to bring all the devoutness and salvation.  King Dasaratha munificently expressed his gratitude to sage Rishyashrunga and appealed him to conduct the ritual to beget progeny; in return Sage prophesied that King Dasaratha will have four sons to embrace the glories of Ikshvaku Dynasty.   King Dasaratha moved into a state of ecstasy after listening to the nectar like words from Sage Rishyashrunga.

Jai Sriman Narayana !!