Overview for The Asvamedha: The Rite and its Logic
This essay describes the A'svamedha rite and its symbolism to explain distinctive aspects of the Vedic sacrifice system. Several questions related to the Asvamedha are posed and answered in the context of Vedic epistemology. This rite has three important functions: (i) it presents an equivalence of the naksatra year to the heaven, implying that it is a rite that celebrates the rebirth of the sun; (ii) it is symbolic of the conquest of time by the king, in whose name the rite is performed; and (iii) it is a celebration of social harmony achieved by the transcendence of the fundamental conflicts between various sources of power. Numbers from another Vedic rite, the Agnicayana; help in the understanding of several of its details.
Subhash Kak (Author)
Subhash Kak is a world renowned scientist and historian of ideas. Currently Delaune Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Louisiana State University, he has authored fourteen books and more than 250 research papers in the fields of information theory, quantum mechanics, neural networks, and history of science. He was awarded the Science Academy Medal and the Goyal Prize, and he was the National Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla during 2001-2002.