Talk:Sakamedha

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Sākamedha An āhitāgni (one who has ceremoni¬ally established the Vedic fires) was expected to perform a particular group of sacrifices—known as Cāturmāsya—once every four months. (See CĀTURMĀSYA.) Each of them was called a parvan (part or joint). The third of these is Sākamedha. These sacrifices marked the advent of a particular season. The Sākamedha was to be performed at the beginning of the hemanta-ṛtu (autumn), on the full-moon day of the month of Kārttika or Mārgaśīrṣa (November). The sacrifice is of the isti type (See ISTI for details.) and is spread over two days. On the preliminary day, three iṣṭis are performed to the three deities: Agni- anīkavat, sāntapana-Maruts and gṛha- medhin-Maruts. The offerings to these, respectively, are: a cake on eight pot¬sherds, a caru (porridge from unpounded rice or barley grains) and another caru boiled in milk of all the cows belonging to the sacrificer. The priests and the sons as also grandsons of the sacrificer are to partake of the remainings of these offerings. On the principal day, a homa is performed with a darvī (wooden spoon), scraping out the remainder of the cooked rice of the previous day. An interesting (and intriguing?) part of the rite is to bring a bull and make it bellow! It is later on gifted away. This is then followed by a mahāhavis (great offerings) and Mahāpitṛ-yajña dedi¬cated to certain classes of pitṛs (manes) like barhiṣadpitṛs and agniṣvātta-pitṛs.