Sagar: Please explain in detail about the Ashvamedha ritual.
Swami Ram Swarup: Ashwamedha Yajyen is performed for the welfare of nation. In this connection I paste my article below. If still more clarification is needed, then please write again.
The meaning of Ashwamedh Yaj is, “to perform the Yaj for the benefit of the nation”. Here the literal meaning of Ashwa in Vedas is nation and not horse. Rigveda mantra 5/27/5 states that the
person who wishes to obtain chakravarti rajya (to be monarch), he organizes Ashwamedh Yaj. In the Yaj he listens the Vedic mantra and does the Yajyen by controlling his senses, organs and mind.
Rigveda mantra 5/27/6 states that king and his public must organize Ashwamedh Yaj i.e., to build a long living, strong kingdom. In this way king must depute learned acharya of Vedas to spread the knowledge of Vedas all over the nation, so that the people must be learned to be away from illusion and sins and must obey the rules and regulations etc., etc.
Ideally, the king must himself organize number of Yaj wherein he must sit to listen the Vedas, especially the subject, “how to rule”, so that a strong, happy, rich and long living nation is built. So Ashwamedh means nation. Ashwamedh Yaj is performed by a strong king. The main benefit of the Yajyen is that it gives long life to the entire nation. A horse also is prepared as a part of Yajyen (if done by the king) and is set to roam free. It shows the power of the king who has to protect the Ashwa, the horse. To challenge rule of a king one has to hold the horse.
In the Ashwamedh Yaj special Ved mantras are chanted in the Yaj and aahutis are offered. In the Ved mantras the prayer is done from the core of heart, that in the nation Brahmin, Kshatriye, Vaishya and Shudra are born to protect the nation well. Cows, bullocks, horses and strong charactered
ladies, girls are born. Pious desires are fulfilled, timely rains occur, the public enjoy long happy life. So the Ashwamedh Yaj is specially organised by a strong king for the benefit of the public. Mantras offered in Ashwamedh Yajyen will bring peace to the nation. So horse is never slaughtered in Yajyen. In fact violence of any kind of violence is prohibited in Yajyen.
There are several names of Yajyen in which one name is “Adhwaraha” meaning thereof Yajyen which is performed totally based on non-violence. For example Atharvaveda mantra 5/27/9 states “NAHA ADHWARAM URDHAWAM”. In this mantra there is a prayer to God that Oh! God make our lives to perform violence-free Yajyen. So neither the slaughter of horse nor any living being is permitted in Yajyen or in Vedic culture.
A: Good evening sir/madam. I’m bit confused here. I have started chanting Gayathri mantra since one month ago. My question is is non-veg preferable while chanting gaythri mantra?
Swami Ram Swarup: Non-vegetarian and any kind of addiction is strictly prohibited in Vedas and shastras. So to get peace and healthy, wealthy, long life one should obey the Vedas’ order and leave the said food immediately. In this connection, I also paste my articlesyou’re your knowledge. In addition I would like to state that your pious decision to chant Gayatri mantra is appreciated. Vedas also tell to perform havan from Gayatri mantra. So, please try to perform havan at your earliest to add more and more pious result to get healthy, wealthy long life. A CD to perform havan can be sent if you desire.
We have to obey the preach of Vedas which emanates direct from God at the beginning of the earth. For carnivorous animals like lion, tiger, wolves, cat, dog etc., God allows to take non-vegetarian food. So the said act to take non-vegetarian food is not their sin. Similarly in Vedas for human beings, God states to take vegetarian food which is not a sin. Secondly, for human beings, Vedas strictly prohibit non-vegetarian food. That is why, we must take vegetables, food-grains etc., when they are fully ripe.
Vegetarians and non-vegetarians are two categories. Accordingly the construction of body i.e., teeth, small intestine and large intestine, and digestive system has been made by God.
Human beings come in vegetarian category. Our teeth and digestive system always differ from cat, dog, lion etc. Some animals like cow, buffalo, goat, elephant etc., also come in Vegetarian category. We take water by sipping but the animals who are non-vegetarian i.e., meat eater they do not sip but lick. Whatever we eat, that food develops our mind and body and creates natural behaviour. For example if we take a cub who is newly born and nurse him by giving milk and thereafter vegetarian food only and on the other hand to another cub we provide him meat, then when they will be younger their habit will differ. The cub taking vegetarian food will be as violent as the cub who took meat.
Now medical science also says that the energy in vegetarian food is more than that in non-vegetarian food. Vegetarian food gives long and ill free life. Vegetarian elephant is stronger than non-vegetarian lion.
Nobody can take meat until one gives violence to animals or birds etc., which is a sin. Our stomach becomes a graveyard where we gather meat by eating. As regards life in vegetarians it does not harm to them while plucking from plants etc. because every vegetarian plant has short life and is meant to give food to the human life. But to us meat is not entitled. Science has recently told that non-vegetarians are more susceptible to cancer disease and teeth degeneration as compared to
Non-vegetarian food is prohibited as per Vedas, shastras, Upnishads and all the ancient holy books. In vegetarian food an ocean of calories and vitamins is available by the mercy of God. Please check from a dietician about the same. Because it is lengthy one and I cannot explain here. For example dal, is full of proteins, soybean has more protein than any non-vegetarian food, which has ability to inhibit cancer also where as non-vegetarian does not. Green vegetables like palak, methi, etc., are the richest source of iron and vitamin A. So is the case of milk, curd, rice, fruit, etc.
The knowledge of Vedas emanates direct from God at the time of beginning of earth. So in this creation, the Vedas are the oldest knowledge originated about one arab 97 crore years ago. In all four Vedas, God has prohibited non-vegetarian, please.
Atharvaveda mantra 6/140/1 also states that Oh God! May my teeth, like the teeth of wolf not take non-vegetarian. Non-vegetarian has only some limited energy and vitamins whereas cow-milk is a complete food. Dry fruits, vegetables, curd, fruits etc., i.e., all other vegetable food has been made by God for us which are more beneficial than non-vegetarian food. Manusmriti shloka 2/177 strictly prohibits to take non-vegetarian food and any type of addiction. The nature of the animals or human beings who take non-vegetarian food is more violent than those who take vegetarian food. In this connection, you may consider lion, tiger, wolves, jackals etc. As regards power of vegetarian you may think about elephant who is the most powerful than other human/living beings and is vegetarian.
Onion and garlic are included as vegetarian food and full of vitamins, they protect from heat stroke, make stomach strong and make strong eye sight etc., but both are of Tamogunni nature and therefore only Brahamchari must not take the same.