Vajapeya is an important Vedic ritual. It is one of the seven basic Soma rituals. Vajapeya is derived from ‘Vajam’ meaning cooked food and ‘peyam’ meaning drink. The ritual was first performed by Brihaspati. Later he performed it for Indira. Vajapeya Ritual can be performed by all people.
Vajapeya yajna lasts for 17 days. The number seventeen of is great importance in the ritual.
The sacred pole Yupa is set up for 17 days. The pole is decorated with 17 pieces of cloth, 17 priests conduct the ritual, the performer makes a ceremonial journey with 17 chariots and on the last day soma is offered in 17 vessels.
Even the gifts or dakshina are also given in 17 numbers.
This is also one of the rare Vedic rituals in which alcohol is prepared through fermentation. After the rituals, the alcohol is offered to Vaishyas.
The ritual is rarely performed today.