Rudra-Shiva concept (Study)

by Maumita Bhattacharjee | 2018 | 54,352 words

This page relates ‘Rudra and the Indraturiya oblation of the Rajasuya sacrifice’ of the study on the Rudra-Shiva concept in the Vedic and Puranic literature, starting with the concept of God as contemplated by the Rishis (Vedic sages). These pages further deal with the aspects, legends, iconography and eulology of Rudra-Shiva as found in the Samhitas, Brahamanas, Aranyakas, Upanishads Sutras and Puranas. The final chapters deal with descriptions of his greatness, various incarnations and epithets.

12. Rudra and the Indraturīya oblation of the Rājasūya sacrifice

The Indraturīya oblation belongs to the Rājasūya sacrifice. Turīya means caturtha. Here, in this sacrifice the forth oblation is paid to Indra. For this reason it is called Indraturīya. Indraturīya consists of four oblations. The first offering is a cake on eight potsherds offered to Agni. Second oblation is paid to Varuṇa which is made by barley pap, a pap of gavedhukā seed is offered to Rudra in the third oblation and the forth oblation is made to Indra.

A yoke-trained cow is the sacrificial fee for this offering. She (this cow) has Rudra’s nature since she is a cow.[1]

Sāyaṇācārya in his commentary of the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa has given a clear description for why gavedhukā seed is to be offered to Rudra. He says that Rudra is called Vāstu. The sacrificial ground, cremation ground etc., are called vāstu because these lands are situated outside a village. Gavedhukā are also known as vāstubhavā. That is why gāvedhuka oblation is offered to Rudra.[2]

In the context of jewel offerings of the Rājasūya sacrifice, it is said that the gavedhukā seeds are gathered from the house of akṣāvāpa or the dice keeper and gavikartā or the hunts man. Gāvedhuka pap is cooked or prepared for Rudra at the house of sūyamāna.[3] Through this Indraturīya offering, it can be noticed that how the oblation to Rudra from a share of offerings to Agni.

Footnotes and references:


rudraḥ khalu vāstubhavaḥ | grāmādbāhyo yajñabhūmiśmaśānādirvāstuḥ | gavedhukā api vāstubhavāḥ | ato gavedhukahaviṣo rudra devatyaṃ yuktamiti | Sāyaṇa, Ibid.


akṣāvāpasya ca gṛhebhyo govikartasya ca gavedhukāḥ saṃbhṛtya sūyamānasya gṛhe raudraṃ gāvedhukaṃ caruṃ nirvapati...|| Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa,

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