Rite of the Vedic religion in ancient India, performed by a king to celebrate his supremacy. A stallion was selected and allowed to roam freely for a year under the protection of a royal guard. It was said to symbolize the progress of the sun and the power of the king. If it was not captured during the year, it was brought back to the capital along with the rulers of lands it had entered. It was then sacrificed at a public ceremony, and the king assumed the title of universal monarch. The Buddha condemned the practice, but it was revived in the 2nd century BC and may have continued as late as the 11th century AD.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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