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Vajapeya Ritual - One Of Seven Basic Soma Rituals - Number 17 Is of Great Significance In This Ritual

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. The performer of this unique yagna uses a whitel umbrella. 

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. In ancient times 17 chariots, 17 carts, 17 horses, 17 elephants, 17 articles of clothing, 17 gold coins and 1700 cows were given as gifts to the priests.

This is also one of the rare Vedic rituals in which alcohol is prepared through fermentation. The alcohol is 17 vessels and placed separately. When Soma is offered in 17 vessels to indra into the main ahavaniya (fire), these mud vessels filled with alcohol are shaken near the fire and placed on the southern side. After the rituals, the alcohol is offered to Vaishyas.

The ritual is rarely performed today.

Other Key Information About Vajapeya

Sayanacharya says in his bhashya on Vajapeya - "Since the diving food, soma juice, is offered in plenty as a drink, this ritual gets this name (Taittiriya Brahmana 1.3)



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