BOOK 6 - BOOK OF WAR - YUDDHA KANDA
CHAPTER 128 - SARGA 128
VERSE 96 - SLOOKA
praapya varshaan`i Raaghavaha
Rama returned back from the exile to forest. Got coronated. The verse explains what Rama did during the 10,000 years of his rule.
Having got the kingdom for ten thousand years, Rama performed 100 horse sacrifices. Good horses were sacrificed. Great gifts were bestowed.
*Valmiki and the scripture tellers of the 21st Century describe Rama as an ocean of mercy and compassion. Such a merciful king, for what purpose did he order killing of so many horses?
*The object of a horse sacrifice is to wash away one's own sins. Like an ordinary king, did Rama want to wash off his sins by killing horses? Then what difference will be there between an incarnate and a carnate?
*1-14-30 : shows that not only horses, even birds and reptiles are killed.
*1-14-33 : Queen has to stab three times the sacrificial horse. Did Sita perform that all the 100 times ?
*1-14-34 : Queen has to reside with the horse for one night. Did Sita reside?
*1-14-36 : King has to smell the smoke from the fire of horses and birds. Did Rama smell? Pity the king and the animals.
*1-14-35 : King has to gift his crown queen to the chief priest. Did Rama gift Sita to the Chief Priest? What did Rama give to the other Priests who are entitled to other queens and the concubines?
Added on Oct. 29, 2012 Supporting verse is from the sacred book bhagavad gIta.
sAnkh 02 / 43: kAmAtmAna: svargaparA janma karma phala pradAm kriyAviSeeshabahulAm bhoogaiSvaryagatim prati. Those who will be interested in heaven and its luxuries perform desire-driven-actions. Their every movement is directed towards luxury and wealth. (02 43).
rem: The dividing line between desire-driven actions (karmas) and desire-NOT-driven actions, is very thin. e.g.: Shri rAma, in vAlmiki rAmayana, performed 100 horse sacrifices. What for were his horse-sacrifices, if not desire-driven? rAma's father daSaratha performed a horse sacrifice before putra kAmEshThi (a special sacrifice for begetting a son). daSaratha's horse sacrfice was ostensibly for cleaning his sins (kilbisham), a pre-condition for begetting sons.
yudhishThira in mahAbharata, performed a horse sacrifice to cleanse his sins arising out of killing one's own kith and kin. They were just satisfied wth one horse sacrifice each.
But why was Shri rAma crazy enough to perform a hundred horse sacrifices. Were they for cleaning his sins? What sins did he commit? Some critics say that horse sacrifice was intended to prove an emperor's sovereignity and superiority over other kings, as was demonstrated by sending a horse with a challenging plate on its forehead. What was there for rAma to prove? He had already proved his prowess by killing the supposedly great warrior rAvaNa. The avowed object of his incarnation as a human on this earth was fulfilled. Once, the task was accomplished, there was no need for him to stay and rule the Earth for 11,000 years. Even if it be so, there was no need for him to kill horses, animals and birds a hundred times and prove his prowess in the process.
Obviously, these were all inserted into vAlmiki rAmAyaNa by temple preachers and ballad singers, to satisfy the egos of the rulers who claimed that they belonged to the Sun Dynasty and the IkshvAku dynasty.