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Brahmanas

The mythology and significance behind the Vedic rituals of the Samhitas are explained in the Brahmanas. Although they include some detail as to the performance of rituals themselves, the Brahmanas are primarily concerned with the meaning of rituals. A worldview is presented in which sacrifice is central to human life, religious goals, and even the continuation of the cosmos.

Included in the Brahmanas are extensive rituals for royal consecration (rajasuya), which endow a king with great power and raise him to the status of a god (at least during the ceremony). Part of the ritual is the elaborate horse sacrifice (asvamedya), in which a single horse is set free, followed and protected by royal forces for a year, then ritually sacrificed at the royal capital.