Sunday, June 08, 2008


1-14-35, Sanskrit Verse
Hootaa adhvaryuhu tathaa udgaataa
hasteena samayoojayan
mahishyaa parivruittyaa athaa
vaavaataam aparaam tathaa

Hoota = The priest who pours clarified butter/drops wood into the sacrificial fire.
Adhvaryu = The priest who guides/manages/presides the sacrifice.
Udgaata = The priest who sings the sacrificial mantras and hymns.

Dasaratha performed the 'Putra Kaameesht`hi' sacrifice to beget children.

The hoota took the hands of the Queens.
The adhvaryu took the hands of neglected queens.
The Udgaata took the hands of the concubines of the King.

The king giving the hands of the concubines to guests is understandable. Why should he hand over the Queens and the neglected wives? Bringing all these women to the sacrificial place and gifting them to the lead priests, sends us to an interpretation of the next consequence: the priests having access to the gifted women after taking them to their guest rooms. Otherwise this ritual becomes meaningless. The priests are said to be conquerers of their senses after performing great penance. They should have refused to take the hands of the women.


vitahavya said...

I am not sure if your interpretation is right. It does not mean the hotr, adhvaryu, udgatr had sex with the wives. My own reading of texts of baudhayana sutras do not suggest this.

Jolly said...

Hi There,

hotaa adhvaryuH tatha udgaataa hastena samayojayan |
mahiSyaa parivR^ittyaa atha vaavaataam aparaam tathaa || 1-14-35

Please understand this:-

There will be four officiating priests for these Vedic rituals. 1. brahma , 2. hota , 3. adhvaryu , 4. udgaata , to whom the king has to donate his inner core properties like wives, lands etc. By practice a king has to marry four wives. The four women of the king are 1. mahiSi = Queen, 2. parivR^itti = neglected women, 3. vaavaata = concubine, 4. paalaakali = goblet-maid. The order of donation is that the Queen to brahma , concubine to hota , neglected woman to udgaata , and the goblet-maid to the adhwaryu . Here, though the brahma ritvik is not cited along with paalaakali, goblet-maid, they are implied. The donation is symbolic and later bartering with some valuable items that is redeemed.

There is another way of translating this. For the wording, hastena samayojayan the priests took these wives by hand to bring them in contact with the dead horse.

Bairagi said...

This looks very much like an elaborate ceremony of artificial insemination with priests donating thier sperm when the king becomes impotant for whatever reason. Observe after the putrakameshthi all three wives become pregnant.