By Swami Harshananda
The ṛṣis, who were the spiritual leaders of society, kept moksa as their supreme ideal, liberation from the trans-migratory existence. However, they never forgot that man has a constitutional inclination towards the enjoyment of pleasures got through artha (wealth) and kāma (desires of the flesh). While recognizing this, they also stressed the need to confine them within limits through dharma (righteousness), and instituted the system of yajña or sacrifice through which man could achieve the desired ends.
Abhiplava is one of the sacrifices included under the Soma group of sacrifices and forms a part of a bigger yajña named Gavāmayana. This sacrifice continues over six days and includes four ukthyas (a small Soma sacrifice) and two Agniṣṭomas (another Soma sacrifice with hymns of praise on Agni, the fire-god) along with the singing of some Sāma hymns.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore