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rājasūya


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By the Brahmanical period, an elaborate and complex Vedic śrauta ritual, extending over a period of two years or more. Only a kṣatriya could perform it, since it is the means by which the sacrificer (yajamāna) is anointed and becomes a king. As the sacrifice affirms the king's sovereignty over the realm and its inhabitants, at the same time, it is supposed to reinforce the superior ritual status of the brahmins. There are many sequences—according to the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, it subsumes all other rituals—including a ritualized dicing match. The dakṣinā (2) is huge. In the Sabhāparvan of the Mahābhārata, Yudhiṣṭhira performs a rājasūya, which is followed by the famous dicing match.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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