Rajasuya (Imperial Sacrifice or the king's inauguration sacrifice) is a Śrauta ritual of the Vedic religion. It is a consecration of a king. It is described in the Taittiriya corpus, including Apastamba Srauta Sutra 18.8–25.22. It involves soma pressing, a chariot drive, the king shooting arrows from his bow, and a brief cattle “raid.” There is a telling of the tale of Shunahshepa, a boy who was nearly sacrificed to Varuna on behalf of the sonless king Harishchandra. Also included is a game of throwing dice by which the king is enthroned and the cosmos is regenerated.
This yaga(sacrifice) can be included under the list of other complex yagas like ishti, pashuyaga,somayaga darvihoma etc. This is a very complex yaga including 129 ishti yaga, 2 pashu yaga, 7 darvi homas and 6 soma yagas. There are most amazing type of gifts that are given to the priests ( purohitas) who are performing this yaga.Two gold-coated mirrors should be given to the "adhwaryu", who is one of the main priest in this yaga. A Golden chain should be given to the "Udgatha", another type of priest in this yaga.Another type of priest called "Hotha" should be given a Golden ornament called "rukma" as presentation.A white horse each for "Prathihartha" and "Prasthotha" two types of priests performing this yaga. The main priest called "brahma" should ge given 12 healthy cows . "maithra varuna" -the second most important priest should be presented by a "pregnant cow". The "brahmanajhamsi" priest should be presented by a healthy "Ox" . "neshta" and "potha" should be given a couple of two precious "silks". The "achavaka" priest should be presented by a cart full of "yava" a type of cereal. Finally the "agneeth" priest should be presented by a healthy "ox". There are special fees that should be given to the priests who are performing this yaga for the king .
Special features of Rajasuya
Rajasuya yajna should be performed only by those kings, who are eligible to rule the whole world and conquered and defeated all other kings in the earth. This yajna is performed as an inauguration to the king who is going to become the ruler of entire world. After the performance of this yajna, the respected king will be admitted as "rajadhiraja" means the "king of all kings". He will achieve honour and respect from even celestials too and fixes his reputation over the entire world. Rajasuya yajna is a highly expensive one, and most popular than all other yajnas that are described in vedas. Only those kings are eligible to perform this yajna, who is the most powerful and undefeated in the world. Inorder to perform this yajna, the king should defeated all other kings in the world and make them under subjection. If anyone of kings who is not under his subjection, then Rajasuya fails and it will generate huge sin to the king . Conquering the entire world is called as "digvijaya" and acquiring money from those defeated kings are called as "karam" means tribute . By that huge money, this yajna should be performed. "Dakshinas" means fees or gifts should be given to the priests who were performing this yaga scientifically . After this yajna, an " agra puja" should be given to him who is most respected by knowledge, faith, power etc in the kingdom. "agra puja" means special honour to the top most person in the kingdom. In Yudhishtira's Rajasuya,agra puja was given to Lord Krishna. Another yajna equivalent to this yajna is called as "vaishnava yajna". Rajasuya is performed by king Yudhishtira in mahabharatha and "Vaishnava yajna" is performed by king Duryodhana in mahabharatha . In this way, both of them became equally praised by celestials in heaven.