Rajasuyayaga parva is the twenty fifth upa parva included in the second maha parva, named as sabha parva in the epic Mahabharata. Various compilations of this epic are numbered differently and this one upa parva may be numbered with different sequences in them. Vyshampayana had narrated the historical events to Janamejaya, on his queries:

What was the status of the people in the palace of Yudhishtira when the Rajasuyayaga had been started?

People in the palace of Yudhishtira were leading a very happy life when he started Rajasuya yaga. Under the ruling of Pandava brothers, there were no complaints about anything. People had voluntarily visited the palace to pay their tributes and taxes with duty bound feeling but without any fear of compulsion. Nobody was telling any lies and there were no disputes.  

Yudhishthira performing the Rajasuya Yaga ( fire ritual)
Yudhishthira performing the Rajasuya Yaga
What was the Rajasuya yaga?

Rajasuya yaga was a special kind of ritual, worship using fire altars. It was performed to please the God of fire, Agnideva, and to propitiate the expired parents to procure a prominent front seat in heaven. It was performed by incurring huge expenses and to satisfy the deserving great people and Gods. The performer would be treated as the emperor among the kings of the world and other kings would feel jealous about him. After many years, there would be a possibility of another great war, after the completion of one Rajasuya yaga. 

Who was the very important person who arrived prior to the Rajasuya yaga?

Krishna from Dwaraka was the very important person who arrived prior to the Rajasuya yaga.

Who had permitted Yudhishtira to begin the rituals of Rajasuya?

 Krishna had permitted Yudhishtira to begin the rituals of Rajasuya.

Whether any animal sacrifice was involved in Rajasuya yaga?

No. No animal sacrifice was involved in Rajasuya yaga. Animal or human sacrifice would be stopped if any seen before starting the Rajasuya yaga. Satya Harishchandra had performed Rajasuya yaga without any animal sacrifice.

In fact, Krishna had helped Yudhishtira to stop the human sacrifice system adopted by Jarasandha. Jarasandha was very arrogant and fought with his fists similar to wrestling with Bhima for fourteen days, without any food and rest but finally died. The kings captivated by Jarasandha, and housed in jails for sacrificing, were saved by Krishna, by releasing them.

What were the names of the four important ritual priests of the Rajasuyayaga?
  स्वयं ब्रह्मत्वमकरोत्तस्य सत्यवतीसुतः ।
 धनंजयानाम् ऋषभः सुसामा सामगो ऽभवत् ॥
  याज्ञवल्क्यो बभूवाथ ब्रह्मिष्ठो अध्वर्युसत्तमः।
 पैलो होता वसोः पुत्रो धौम्येन सहितो ऽभवत् ॥

Meaning: The four important ritual priests as mentioned in the verse were –

Brahmatva had been occupied by the son of Satyavati, Vedavyasa.

Samaga position had been occupied by Rishabha Susama Rishi.

Adhvaryu had been occupied by Yajnavalkya, called as brahmishta.

Hotara position was occupied by Paila and accompanied with Dhaumya .

The disciples of Dhaumya, Yajnavalkya and many other scholars of all Vedas also assisted since there were six fire altars for the rituals.

Who arranged the food distribution systems for the Rajasuyayaga executives?

The Pandava brother, Sahadeva ordered all the ministers to assist Dhaumya Rishi in collecting the essential items including the food items for the distribution, during the ritual’s purposes. Dhaumya Rishi would tell them the requirements and they were bound to provide them in time.

The three charioteers, Indrasena, Vishoka and Puru had been allotted the works of provision of food items for the Priests involved in the fire rituals as executives and their disciples. Indrasena was the charioteer of Yudhishtira. Vishoka was the charioteer of Bhima. Puru was the charioteer of Arjuna. They had attended and provided the needs of the executives of the yaga.

People in a feast having a grand lunch during the Rajasuya Yaga
Feast during the Rajasuya Yaga
Who were invited for the Rajasuyayaga by Yudhishtira?
आमंत्रयध्वं  राष्ट्रेषु ब्राह्मणान् भूमिपानपि ।
 विशश्च मान्यां शूद्रांश्च सर्वानानयतेति च ॥

Meaning: Yudhishtira had invited all honorable people of all nations inclusive of all the four Varnas. Thus, Pandavas invited Brahmins, Landlords or kings, merchants or Vaishyas, and all Shudras to be honored during the Rajasuyayaga.

Who were invited specially by Nakula for the Rajasuya yaga as per Yudhishtira’s instructions?

As per Yudhishtira’s instructions, Nakula had specially invited, from Hastinapura, Bhishma, Drona, Dritharashtra, Duryodhana and queens with family members.

Who attended from Dwaraka?

From Dwaraka, Balarama, Pradyumna, Sathyaki, Kritavarma, Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Samba and all family members of Balarama had attended the Rajasuyayaga.

How was the accommodation arranged for the guests who attended from far countries?

Various new buildings had been specially built with attractive decorations for the accommodation of the guests who attended from far countries. They could park their chariots and food was arranged for all at Indraprastha during Rajasuya yaga.

What responsibility was allotted to Dushasana by Yudhishtira?

Yudhishtira was good in management. He allotted to Dushasana the works related to the supervision of food and cooking for the royal guests during the Rajasuya yaga.

What tasks were allotted to Ashwathama by Yudhishtira?

Yudhishtira allotted to Ashwathama the works related to the supervision of food distribution to the Brahmins and fasting Rishis during the Rajasuya yaga.

What tasks were allotted to Sanjaya by Yudhishtira?

Yudhishtira had allotted to Sanjaya the works related to the reception of new royal guests for the Rajasuya yaga.

What tasks were allotted to Drona and Bhishma by Yudhishtira?

Bhishma and Drona were seniors and experienced in management.  Hence the overall supervision of the youngsters, to instruct them, regarding the do’s and don’t’s were allotted to them during the Rajasuya yaga.

What tasks were allotted to Kripacharya by Yudhishtira?

Tasks related to the distribution of valuable clothes, silver, gold and gems were allotted to Kripacharya by Yudhishtira during Rajasuya yaga.

What tasks were allotted to Vidura by Yudhishtira?

Tasks regarding the cash expenditure were allotted to Vidura by Yudhishtira.

What tasks were allotted to Duryodhana by Yudhishtira?

Donations from various countries had been brought to Yudhishtira.  Works related to the receipts of various donations were entrusted to Duryodhana.

How many fire rituals were simultaneously arranged during Rajasuya yaga?

There were six fire rituals simultaneously arranged during the Rajasuya yaga.

How did the Rishis and angels feel during Rajasuya yaga?

The Rishis and angels felt happy during the Rajasuya yaga by Yudhishtira.

Next post, Mahabharat: Arghyasamarpana would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Shishupalavadha would be presented separately in another article.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us.

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