Vol. 14 Aswamedha Parva (Horse Sacrifice) Chapter 3 Verses 1 to 10
1 yudhishThira tava prajnaa na samyag iti me matih
na hi kaS cit svayam marutyah svavaSah kuruute kriyaah
2 iiSvarueNa niyukto -ayam saadhv asaadhu ca maanavah
karuoti puruushah karuma tatra kaa paridevanaa
3 aatmaanam manyase caatha paapakarumaaNam antatah
SruNu tatra yathaa paapam apakrushyeta bhaarata
4 tapobhih kratubhiS caiva daanena ca yudhishThira
taranti nityam puruushaa ye sma paapaani kuruvate
5 yajnena tapasaa caiva daanena ca naraadhipa
puuyante raajaSaaruduula naraa dushkrutakarumiNah
6 asuraaS ca suraaS caiva puNyahetoru makhakriyaam
prayatante mahaatmaanas tasmaad yajnaah paraayaNam
7 yajnairu eva mahaatmaano babhuuvuru adhikaah suraah
tato devaah kriyaavanto daanavaan abhyadharushayan
8 raajasuuyaaSvamedhau ca saruvamedham ca bhaarata
naramedham ca nrupate tvam aahara yudhishThira
9 yajasva vaajimedhena vidhivad dakshiNaavataa
bahukaamaannavittena raamo daaSarathiru yathaa
10 yathaa ca bharato raajaa dauhshantih pruthiviipatih
Saakuntalo mahaaviiruyas tava puuruvapitaamahah.
GIST- OPEN SOURCE K.M. GANGULI translation
Vyasa said, "O Yudhishthira, thy wisdom, I conceive, is not adequate.
None doth any act by virtue of his own power. It is God, who engageth him in acts good or bad, O bestower of honour. Where then is the room for repentance? Thou deemest thyself as having perpetrated impious acts.
Do thou, therefore, O Bharata, harken as to the way in which sin may be removed. O Yudhishthira, those that commit sins, can always free
themselves from them through penance, sacrifice and gifts. O king, O
foremost of men, sinful people are purified by sacrifice, austerities and charity.
The high-souled celestials and Asuras perform sacrifices for securing religious merit; and therefore sacrifice are of supreme
importance. It is through sacrifices that the high-souled celestials had waxed so wondrously powerful; and having celebrated rites did they vanquish the Danavas.
Do thou, O Yudhishthira, prepare for the Rajasuya, and the horse-sacrifice, as well as, O Bharata, for the Sarvamedha and the Naramedha. And then as Dasaratha's son, Rama, or as Dushyanta's
and Sakuntala's son, thy ancestor, the lord of the Earth, the exceedingly puissant king Bharata, had done, do thou agreeably to the ordinance celebrate the Horse-sacrifice with Dakshinas."
WHAT I observe
*How did Vyasa know that Dharmaraja's intelligence/intellect was lower than his own? By under-rating Dharmaraja, this sage was giving a cruel and foolish advice to him.
*This sage was giving the precedents of Dasaratha Rama and Dushyanta Bharata (on whose name, India has its second name 'Bharat') as having done these sacrifices. People hail Rama as jagadrakshaka (protector of the whole world). Did he indulge in this heinous killing spree?
*Sarvamedha refers to omni-slaughter. Killing everything, (i.e. whatever is found.). From my post No. #015 where you can see the hundreds of cattle, bulls, birds, aquatic creatures are lined up and tied to the sacrificial poles. Probably, they might not have left out even crabs, swans, peacocks, parrots! Yudhishthira didn't just perform a sacrifice of single horse. He went on a killing spree.
*Naramedha refers to sacrificing humans. This great bearded Sage Vyasa who prays the nara (first human), nArAyana (supreme God), and Saraswati (Goddess of Learning) at the beginning of every volume, unhesitatingly advised his grandson to prepare for a series of sacrifices. What a Great Sage was this man?