The rajasuya was an important VEDIC ritual used for the installation of a king (raja). It proclaimed the sovereignty of the king and invoked the fealty of his subjects. A number of SOMA offerings were made that could take as long as two years to com-plete. The king would take symbolic steps in four directions to assure sovereignty everywhere. He would ride a chariot about and shoot at a mock-up of a rival, to show his kingly prowess. The rite ended with a throw of the dice; the winning throw would assure the king’s good luck in the future. A losing throw would make him cautious in his rule.
   Further reading: Jan Gonda, Ancient Indian Kingship from a Religious Point of View (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969); J. C. Heesterman, The Ancient Royal Consecration: The Rajasuya Described According to the Yajus Texts and Annotated (Gravenhage: Mouton, 1957).

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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