Now came the time for more ceremonies focused in the spot of Yajna. The Brahmanic high priests led the process of “measuring the land”. With the help of consecrated cotton yarn they made a square area in the outer courtyard of the great temple. This will became the exact spot of the spreading of mandala offerings, the centre of all compass orientations. This is also marking the sacrificial arena of Panca Bali. The yarn then used as further guide to make lines, applied on the ground by help of white flour. Only after these white flour lines gave two dimensional form of sacrificial arena, the concrete walls, pavilions, and other specific three dimensional building for the Yajna were erected and arranged on the spot.
Next we came to the ceremony for obtaining sacred ingredients of the Yajna. The most important were the making of sacred cakes and oils. This is the most holiest offering in the Yajna for worshipping the benevolent Devatas. These were obtained from sanctified white, blemish less, healthy cow. Some high priests then blessed the honourable cow and ceremoniously collected her milk, dung, urine, tears, and saliva. They mixed them in special way to produce the holy substance. This substance was then mixed again with molasses, pure honey, butter, and flour to form the sacred cakes. Other part was mixed with boiling coconut milk to produce sacred oils. Every mixing process used the special sticks made from bunches of kusa grass.
After all the ingredients for the Yajna were readily available, then they perform Bhumi-suddhi (Pemarisuddha) the ceremony of purifying and blessing the sacrificial arena. The high priests were again invoking the local earthly devas, fixing their power and other celestials to protect the spot, then dedicated the area solely only for spiritual purpose. From now, the area wasn’t part of mundane earth anymore, but represented the unlimited space, large enough to contain the whole universe. Indeed, the Panca Bali was to invoke the whole universe, and then offered it to The Lord of Universe who will destroy it in His wrathful fire, and again recreating it in a new, fresh form.
Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 14: Part 3
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