IS Ashwamedha and Rajasvya Yagnas are mere fire offerings?

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Sriram R Sriram R
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IS Ashwamedha and Rajasvya Yagnas are mere fire offerings?

         vedhas prescribe yagnas to the kings after conquiring all the surrounding kingdoms. Rajasvaya and Ashwamedha were prescribed for chakravarthis. but why do the vedhas prescribe them to a King? On listening to yakshaprasna part of Mahabharatha something striked the mind. let us see what it is...

     The Yaksha asks Dharmaputra, what is the Rig, Yajus and Sama for an Yagna and what is the ultimate purpose of yagna ?

         Let us first understand what is the Rig, yajus and sama's role in a calocial yagna.. say for example, if in the yagna we need o address Indra, the vedhic hym used to call Indra is "Rig", the sacrificial mantra used to give obligation into the fire is "yajus" and the thanks giving mantra is the "sama"

Now let us see what Dharmaputra says.

Dharmaputra replied, "Pranayama" is the Sama, "Prathyakara" is the Yajus and "Mahavakyas" are the Rig. one who controls the Breath controls the mind. without controling the Breath, it is hard to control the mind. thats y Dharmaputra says pranayama is the Sama at first. then he says Prathyakara, the internal force to pull one's mind from distracting and the Mahavakya - "That thwam asi" "agham brahma-asmi" etc are the "Rig" and finally he says "Aathma labha" is the final purpose of yagna.

         Let us link this answer of Dharmaputra with our starting question. the yagnas prescried for King is to attain the aathma gnana. after conquiring so many kingdoms, there are wide change for a King to get into Ahankara, mamakara and etc., only a person with aathma gnana can proceed ruling the entire nation with balanced look and as per dharma. At the stage it becomes need for the sages to take the king towards aathma gnana. Hence they made kings to perform Rajasvaya and ashwamedha yagnas.

These yagnas may not be a mere bhagir yagna as explained in the epics. these could be of only gnana yagna as Dharmaputra said. only for the people who do not understand this gnanayoga or for the people who is not fit for gnanayoga, the Epic authors could have explained them as mere rituals.

Even though the mahayagnas are done as a Bhagir yagnas it is not a mistake, our sages will not do anything for waste of time and money. these palam of these bhagir yagams will turn the king towards athma gnana and make him to adopt gnana marga.. Because Karma yoga leads to gnana yoga as said by Bhagavan Krishna !