Music Mystery in Asvamedha Yajna! (Post No.3169)


Compiled  by London swaminathan

Date: 19 September 2016

Time uploaded in London:15-15

Post No.3169

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


“Several pentatonic and hexatonic series of notes (Taanas) of music were named after Vedic rites. For example

Ni-dh-pa-ma-ga-ri- was called Agnistoma

Ri-nidha-pa-ma-ga- was known as Asvamedha


Ma-ga-sa-ni-dha-pa was called Mahaavrata

This musical aspect of the rites needs further investigation”. (See Matanga’s Brhaddesi. Also see Bharata Muni’s Natyasastra (Ghosh 1967)


–from Subhash Kak’s ‘The Asvamedha’



Astronomy in Asvamedha Yajna

The Asvamedha rite is the ritual sacrifice of the Sun (time) to regenerate it. The narrative touches upon the inner and outer Asvas through the symbolism of the horse.

The Satapata Brahmana says that the year begins with full moon of Phalguna (SB 6-2-2-18), which is when the Asvamedha was performed. On the other hand, in the Mahabharata the performance culminates on the full moon of Caitra(Mbh 14-76).The beginning of the year used in the M Bh is different from the one in the SB.


The precession of the earth causes the month to shift with respect to seasons at a rate of 2000 years per month, therefore a time gap of about 2000 years exists between its descriptions in the SB and in the MBh. The word ‘precession’ is from the fact that that this circuit runs opposite to that of the normal sequence, so in the precessional shift, Caitra precedes Phalguna. Thus the M BH appears to remember a tradition that was earlier than that of the SB.


Recent estimates of the date of the SB using new hydrological evidence are relevant o his discussion. Briefly, it is now believed that the Sarsvati river dried up around 1900 BCE due to a massive earthquake that caused its tributary Yamuna to be captured by the Ganga. Since the Rig Veda lauds the Sarasvati as the great River that flows from the mountain to the sea,this Veda should be prior to the date of 1900 BCE. According to other authorities, the river stopped flowing all the way to the sea a thousand years earlier, which is why the Harappan sites are not all the way down to the sea, and 1900 BCE represents a further desiccation which led to a collapse of the Harappan economy.

The astronomical references in the SB about the Krittikas never swerving from the east and the Saptarishis rising from the north correspond to this general time period. In a new study Achar argues that these observations indicate around 3000 BCE. The SB itself recorded old tradition, so its own compositional date could be several centuries later.


Earth’s precession makes the seasons shift by a nakshatra every thousand years.

Asvini- 200 BCE

Bharani – 1200 BCE

Krittika – 2200

Rohihi – 3200

Mrgasiras – 4200

The lists in the brahmanas begin with the Krttikas indicates that it was drawn up in the third millennium BCE. The legend of cutting off of Prajapatis head indicates a time when the year began with Mrgasirsa in the fifth millennium BCE.

The SB story of the marriage between the seven sages, the stars of Ursa Major, and the Krittikas is elaborated in the Puranas where it is stated that the Rishis remain for a hundred years in each nakshatra. In other words, during the earliest times in India there existed centennial calendar with a cycle of 2700 years. Tis Saptarishi calendar is still used in certain parts of India even today.


Its current beginning is taken to be 3076 BCE., but the notices by the Greek historians Pliny and Arrian suggest that, during the Mauryan times, this calendar was taken to begin in 6676 BCE. All this indicates that there was a very ancient tradition of calendars in India.


The holding of the Asvamedha in Caitra points to this rite having been celebrated in the 3rd or 4th Millennium BCE.

–from Subhash Kak’s ‘The Asvamedha’



Interesting Titbits about Asvamedha Yajna- Part 1(Post No.3159)


Written by London swaminathan

Date: 16 September 2016

Time uploaded in London: 15-45

Post No.3159

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.


Asvamedha Yajna means Horse Sacrifice. It was performed by the Hindu Kings of India. We have good references to this sacrifice in historical as well as Vedic records. It took two years to complete it.


Mysterious number 4 and 400 are connected with this Asvamedha. It is a very interesting coincidence that Tamils also gave very much importance to number 4, 40 and 400. Tamil Sangam Literature which is 2000 year old compiled most of the books in 400 verses. Even after the Sangam period this custom continued and important works of 18 minor didactic book are also in 4, 40 and 400. (Please read y article about Tamils fascination with 4, 40 and 400).


The second mystery is about the gold and pearls. Horses were decorated with gold and 1000 pearl jewellery! Where did the pearls come from? If it is from Pandya country whose pearl is even praised by Kautilya/Chanakya or even if it is from Gujarat coast, it will explode all the foreign bluffing about Vedic geography. Still I see some foreign jokers writing that Vedic society did not know sea! Asvamedha horse decorated with pearls- is a slap on their face.

Another mystery is about sacrifice of the horse. This horse had 34 ribs according to Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world. This explodes the half-baked foreign clowns’ account that Aryans came from Central Asia with their horses. Those horses have 36 ribs!


Another mystery is horse is equated with the Sun. It is a symbol of Sun according to Rig Veda. There the number 34 (ribs) is interpreted as 27 stars+ five planets+ Sun +Moon. This explodes the foreign half-baked jokers’ account of our astrology and astronomy. They say we imported them from the Greeks! Greeks started writing 1000 years after the Vedas!


When kings performed Asvamedha Yajna, they released coins as mementoes. We have beautiful gold coins issued by the Gupta kings. Even a Tamil Pandya king by name Peruvazuthi performed this Yajna and released a coin with horse image. This explodes the myth of foreign invaders’ account that Tamils have a separate culture. There is at least one Hindu reference per every ten lines in Sangam literature!

Another great mystery is that Indus Valley Civilisation alias Sarasvati Valley civilisation! They never used Cow or Horse on their seals. Probably they considered them too sacred to wear or use in business. Horse bones and lot of seals with bulls are recovered!

Rig Veda even got a prince named Asvamedha (RV 5-27-4/6; 8-68-15)


Horses from Indus and Sarasvati river areas were of special value according to Vedic literature (It is in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad and Sankyayana Aranyaka). Atharva Veda praises white horses with black ears. They are priced high.

Lepers were used and honoured in Asvamedha! Prisoners were released from prisons on the day of Asvamedha!


609 Animals!

609 different creatures representing animal kingdom were collected and released after the sacrifice. And the wild animals were released into forest. So much protection for the forest animals!

Those who said Aryans came from outside India couldn’t show anything similar to Asvamedha, Rajasuya, and Vajapeya sacrifices in Europe or Central Asia! They struggled very hard to compare some killings outside India but did not succeed. This explodes the theory of Aryans coming from outside India. Now these Yajnas prove that they were the sons of the soil. They are in Vedic literature, epics and Puranas and Sangam Tamil literature! They went outside to spread culture. But those people only learnt our languages and some customs.

Huge gifts were given to the priests; thousands of cows and hundreds of horses!



Yajur Veda describes

Morning as Horse’s head

Sun as its eye

Vayua as its breath

Moon as its ear

Asvamedha was a symbolic ritual.


It was believed that the performance of 100 such Yagas would enable a mortal king to overthrow the throne of Indra, and to become a ruler of the universe and sovereign of the Gods. Indra would spoil their attempts by tempting them to fall for money or women.

There are lot of riddles used in the Asvamedha Yajna mantras! This shows the high standard of life at Vedic times and higher level of literacy. Obscene dialogue was also used. No one knew why and what they really meant in a big sacrifice like this.


Manu and Valluvar


Manu says vegetarian food is better than 100 Asvamedhas! Tamil Poet Tiruvalluvar repeated this in his Tirukkural but multiplied100 by 10 and said it is better than 1000 sacrifices: –

“The man who offers a horse sacrifice  every year for a hundred years , and the man who does not eat meat, the two of them reap the same fruit of good deeds”– Manu 5-53


“More meritorious than a thousand sacrifices is to give up

The practice of killing a living creature, and eating its carcass” – Kural 259

In this couplet Tiruvalluvar uses the Sanskrit word avi (Havis) which stands for boiled rice and ghee.

Parasurama organised Vajapeya and one hundred Asvamedha sacrifices at Ramatirtha.

Indra performed 100 Asvamedha Yajnas under the supervison of Brihaspati.


After any sacrifice, the one who organised it,  for instance the king in the Asvamedha Yajna,  must give the Brahmins whatever they ask. Even if his kingdom or half of his kingdom is asked he must give it. But Brahmins were not greedy in those days and they never asked stupid things. When Parasurama conducted Asvamedha he gave honorarium to every participant. But Drona was not a participant. Being a Brahmin, Drona made a demand at the end of the Yajna. Parasurama accepted his demand and taught him Dhanurveda as Yajna Dakshina (fees for the priest).



I will give more interesting details of the Horse yajna (fire sacrifice) in the second part.


To be continued……………………………