The Rajasuya Yagya Conducted
(Star Plus Mahabharat has completely mixed up the entire Rajasuya yagya background, story and nature of events, their sequence, persons present, etc. The serial showed that Yudhishthir started thinking of the Rajasuya as soon as he received Khandavaprastha.)
p/s. This long descriptive story is necessary to describe the true story of Jarasandha. Even then, it is heavily edited and curtailed. After all, the Mahabharat can hardly be written in a few pages and yet do justice. So my request … please BE PATIENT and READ with full heart. Thank you.
Please read part I, II, III, IV first:
- Rajasuya Yagya/Sacrifice – Part I
- Rajasuya Yagya/Sacrifice – Part II
- Rajasuya Yagya/Sacrifice – Part III
- Rajasuya Yagya/Sacrifice – Part IV
Sage Dhaumya, other priests and brahmins advised Yudhishthir the right day and time for the sacrifice. Krishna, who was abreast with the plans, soon arrived. Krishna again reiterated the desire that Yudhishthir should not proceed with the event. Having decided so, Yudhishthir commanded Sahadev to be in charge of the overall arrangement of the event. Others were given the tasks as follows:
- Arjun’s charioteers, Indrasen, Vishok and Puru were asked to collect food grains.
- Sahadev sent his messengers to invite all the kings.
- Nakul was given the task of personally going to Hastinapur to invite Bhishm, Drona, Dhritarashtra, Kripa, Vidur and all the cousins and honoured courtiers (including Shakuni mama and Karna).
When the Kurus from Hastinapur arrived, Yudhishthir along with his brothers, personally received them with great respect. Others started arriving – Shishupal arrived with his son Dhristaketu, Shalya, Drupad, Bhagadatta, Balhika, Somdatta, Bhurishrava, Jayadrath, etc. Yudhishthir, the ever humble one, bowed to the Kuru elders and sought their blessing, advice and guidance.
- Duhshasan was put in charge of the kitchens and task of feeding the many guests.
- Sanjay, Dhritarashtra’s principal charioteer, looked after the general welcome and protocol.
- Kripacharya was entrusted with the task of gold, diamonds and gems and distribution of gifts to the brahmins.
- Duryodhan himself oversaw the duties of receipt of gifts from various kings and invitees arriving daily.
- The great Bhishm and Drona were requested to oversee that all tasks were meticulously and properly carried out.
Many rishis and brahmins arrived. Similarly the most revered sages were assigned yagya tasks:
- Sage Ved Vyas assumed the task of the chief priest.
- Sage Susam was appointed the reciter of the saam vedas.
- Yagyavalkya was assigned the responsibility of reciting the shlokas.
- Paila (son of Vasu) and Dhaumya were in charge of making offerings to the sacrificial fire.
The yagya started with six simultaneous sacrificial fires. The offerings made exceedingly pleased the gathered priests and even the celestial gathered in the skies above to witness the great event.
The ceremony was completed and then all the priests, brahmins and the gathered kings proceeded to ceremonial bath and then to the sacrificial mansion for receiving the honours. Sage Narad graced the occasion by being present. When all the invitees and guests were seated, Bhishm rose and addressed Yudhishthir,
“O Bharata, you have achieved a unique distinction that is rarely achieved by even the greatest. None of your forefathers was fortunate enough to having had such an honour. Now that the sacrifice is complete, offer suitable worship to all the kings gathered here who deserve your respect. O Yudhishthir, there are six men who are said to deserve worship – the preceptor, the priest, the kin, those who have studied and mastered the vedas and sovereign kings. So offer your worship and gifts to each one of them starting with the foremost of them.”
Yudhishthir asked, “O Pitamah, your wish is my command. According to you, who is the most deserving to be offered the first place in worship?”
Bhishm said, “Just as the Sun is the most luminous amongst all celestial objects, so is Krishna amongst us all. I see no one amongst those present here who deserves more honour.”
Having obtained the consent from Bhishm, Yudhishthir asked Sahadev to perform the pooja of Krishna as the first and foremost amongst them all. Krishna accepted the honour of being the first amongst them for the worship in accordance with the shastras.
But as Krishna ascended to the special seat of honour and Sahadev was about to start his libation, the infuriated Shishupal rose from his seat. Shishupal was a sworn enemy of Krishna. Their rivalry went as far back as his birth. Seeing that Krishna was receiving the first honours greatly irked Shishupal.