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An elevated, or possibly excavated piece of ground, often of roughly rectangular proportions, but with a narrow waist, which is used during the Vedic śrauta ritual as an altar—a place where the sacrificial instruments and oblations are placed. It is considered a ‘seat’ for the devas attending the sacrifice (yajña), and is therefore strewn with darbha grass. The term is also used for the more elaborate firebrick altars constructed for rituals such as the agnicayana. The term ‘mahāvedi’ (‘great altar’)—and sometimes ‘vedi’ itself—may be used of the entire sacrificial enclosure, including the sacrificial fire or fires. Prescriptions for the construction of the vedi (i.e. the sacrificial area) are given in the Śulvasūtras.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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