RELEVANCE OF THE FIVE GREAT SACRIFICES IN THE MODERN WORLD : AN ANALYTICAL STUDY

Authors

Anamika Kalita, Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva Viswavidyalaya, Nagaon, Barpeta, Assam, India.

Abstract

‘Yagna’ (sacrifice) is a ritual that has been going on since the vedic period. It is explained extensively in various scriptures such as the Brahmana, the Kalpa Sutra, the Samhita etc. Earlier, Yajna was the sacrifices towards the God of Fire. Basically it is divided into three rites- Obligatory (Nitya), Occasional (Naimittik) and Optional (Kamya) rites. The Pancha Mahayajna (Five great sacrifices), which was done occasionally by the Brahmanas is called Naimittik, and the yagnas done according to the householder’s wish is called Kamya. In this paper, the five great sacrifices of the Brahmanas will be discussed. The five great sacrifices- Deva yajna, Bhoota yajna (baliharana), Pitri yajna, Manushya yagna and the Brhama Yagna is first mentioned in the ‘Shatapatha Brahmana.’ In deliberation of the five great sacrifices, we find liberal, scientific, and modern aspects to an extent. So, how they are relevant in present context is endeavored to discuss.