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Sura

The Liquor and the Vedic Sacrifice

Associated with wrath, gambling and, at the symbolic level, with darkness and misery, sura has been strongly condemned in Vedic literature. Yet, paradoxically, it has not just found its way into a Vedic sacr....read below

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About This Book

Associated with wrath, gambling and, at the symbolic level, with darkness and misery, sura has been strongly condemned in Vedic literature. Yet, paradoxically, it has not just found its way into a Vedic sacrifice itself: called sautramani, but has even been sanctified in the rajasuya and punarabhisheka rituals as well. However, it is sautramani's sacrificial fire alone to take in liquor as an oblation material. Dr. Madhavi Kolhatkar here offers an indepth study of this sura-related Vedic ritual: of both its caraka and kaukili forms, together with all their attendant details.

The book explores the possible origin and nature of sautramani sacrifice, addressing itself to a range of the hitherto-unanswered questions, for instance; How did sura come to have its acceptance in a shrauta ritual (like sautramani), despite its outright disapproval in the Vedic texts? Why is the sautramani performed after rajasuya? Is there any linkage between sautramani and punarabhisheka -- which both happen to involve the sura-ritual? How is, then, sautramani related to the agnicayana? And, what is the underlying importance of the myths that tell about the primeval performance of the sautramani?

In spelling out the social, medicinal and ritualistic significance of sautramani, the author also shows how the Brahmanas often compare it with a soma sacrifice, and how sautramani itself has evolved over the time. In the context of this Vedic ritual, she also highlights the hierarchic contentions between the brahmanas and the kshatriyas in the ancient Indian society.

It is a piece of valuable research for Indologists, especially the scholars of Sanskrit, Vedic studies and ancient Indian history and culture. 

  • Foreword By : C.G. Kashikar
  • Binding: : Hardbound
  • 13 Digit ISBN : 9788124601143
  • 10 Digit ISBN : 8124601143
  • Edition : 1st edition
  • Year : 1999
  • Pages : xiv, 218 p.
  • Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Glossary; Indices
  • Size : 23 cm
  • Weight (approx.) : 350 gm

Foreward
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations

Introduction

Part I

1. The Place of the Sautramani in Vedic Ritual
2. Rajasuya and Sautramani
3. The Punarabhisheka and the Sautramani
4. Sautramani as a Medicinal Rite
5. Relation Between the Agnicayana and the Sautramani
6. Primordial Myths in Connection with the Sautramani

Part II

7. The Ritual of the Caraka Sautramani

The Preparatory Rites to be Performed Three Days Before the Actual Performance  of the Sacrifice
The Preparatory Rites to be Performed on the Day of the Offerings
The Offering of Animals
Filling the Cups with Sura for the Deities
The Preparation of the Cakes
The Offering of Sura
The Disposal of the Remaining Sura
The Trickling of the Sura on the Southern Fire
The Remaining Animal-Sacrifice and the Offerings of Cakes
The Avabhritha Bath

8. Preparation of Sura

In the Caraka

The Buying of the Ingredients -- The Mixing of the Ingredients -- The Purification of Sura

The Procedure in Connection with the Kaukili

The Buying of the Ingredients -- Mixing of the Ingredients -- The Purification of Sura

9. The Ritual of the Kaukili Sautramani

The Rites to be Performed Three Days Before the Actual Performance of the Sacrifice
The Preparation of the Altar
Placing the Necessary Paraphernalia
The Purification of Milk and Sura
Drawing the Cups
The Purification of the Sacrificer
The Offering of the Omenta of the Three Animals
The Offerings of Milk and Sura
Trickling of Sura on the Southern Fire
The Offerings of the Animals's Organs and of the Cakes
The Avabhritha Ceremony
The Ritual After the Avabhritha

10. The Abhisheka of the Sacrificer

The Ritual Sequence of the Abhisheka in the Kaukili
Placing the Stool
The Sacrificer Sits Upon that Stool
The Offerings of the Fat
The Abhisheka
The Rite of Lifting the Sacrificer
The Sacrificer Gets Down from the Stool
The Singing of the Saman

11. The Difference Between the Caraka Sautramani and the Kaukili Sautramani

Conclusion
Bibliography
Glossary
Sanskrit Index
General Index

 

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