By Swami Harshananda
Māhavis literally means ‘the great offering’.
Cāturmāsya is the technical term used to indicate three Vedic rituals of the iṣti type. They are:
These offerings are performed at four monthly intervals.
Sākamedha, the last, is spread over two days. Mahāhavis or the great offering is an important ritual in this sacrifice. Eight oblations are offered to eight deities like Indra, Agni, Mahendra and Viśvakarman. Of these eight, five are common to the other two sacrifices also. The other three are:
- Cakes offered to Indra and Agni
- Twelve kapālas (potsherds) and caru (porridge) to Indra
- Cake to Viśvakarman
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore