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Rajasuya Sacrifice – Rajasuya Yajna Meaning and Importance

Rajasuya sacrifice is a yajna of great importance in Hinduism. Rajasuya Meaning - It is a Vedic ritual in which the juice of the plant soma is offered or taken.

It was usually performed by Kshatriya kings desirous of liberation. Rajasuya Yajna is mentioned in Taittiriya Samhita, Taittiriya Brahmana and in Kalpa Sutras.

The time required for the performance of this yajna is roughly three years.

Rajasuya sacrifice consists of several soma yajnas, animal yajnas, and ishti (in which oblation of butter, fruits, etc, is offered). The Chaturmasya (literally four months of stay in a place) forms part and parcel of this yajna.

The following five soma yajna form the core part of the Rajasuya Yajna.
  1. Pavitra Soma Yajna
  2. Abhisecaniya Soma Yajna – This includes another soma yajna known as Dasapeya. In the former, the performer has a ceremonial bath (abhisheka) and hence the name Abhisecaniya. In the latter, “tens of ten” persons drink the soma juice and hence the name Dasapeya (drunk by ten).
  3. Kesavapaniya Soma Yajna – In which the performer ritually shaves off his hair (kasha – hair; vap – to shave).
  4. Vyusi Dwirara Soma Yajna – In this, soma juice is offered as an oblation for tow days in succession (dwi – two; rara – nights).
  5. Kshatrasya Dhrti Soma Yajna

Apart from these Soma yajnas there are several other minor ones performed for several days. The performer goes in a ceremonial procession in a chariot. There is dice play also.
One peculiar feature in this sacrifice is that the kshatriya performer is addressed as “Thou art a Brahmin,” four times.

Yudhishtira performs this sacrifice in the Mahabharata – Rajasuya Yajna Parva.