Is the name in the Atharvaveda and the later literature of the ceremony of the ‘royal consecration.’ The rite is described at great length in the Sūtras, but its main features are clearly outlined in the Brāhmaṇas, while the verses used in the ceremony are preserved in the Samhitās of the Yaj'urveda. Besides much mere priestly elaboration, the ritual contains traces of popular ceremonial. For example, the king is clothed in the ceremonial garments of his rank, and provided with bow and arrow as emblems of sovereignty. He is formally anointed; he performs a mimic cow raid against a relative of his; or engages in a sham fight with a Rājanya. A game of dice is played in which he is made to be the victim; he symbolically ascends the quarters of the sky as an indication of his universal rule; and steps on a tiger skin, thus gaining the strength and the pre-eminence of the tiger. A list of the consecrated kings is given in the Aitareya Brāhmaṇa, where the royal inauguration is called the ‘great unctioni (vtahābhiseka) connected with Indra. It corresponds generally with a list of Aśvamedhins, ‘ performers of the horse sacrifice,’ given in the śatapatha Brāhmaṇa and the śāñkhāyana śrauta Sūtra.
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