adhvara

(‘that which leads by a straight, therefore true, path’)

Human beings by nature, are interested in getting the good things of life so that they can live in comfort, happiness and peace. Those of them that believe in an after-life, are also interested in perfor-ming those acts here, that assure them a happy life hereafter. If the religious and spiritual leaders do not show them the right way, in all likelihood, they will take to the wrong way, the way of selfishness, competition and even fighting among themselves. Hence the need to show them the right path, the straight path, the good path. This is exactly what ‘adhvara’ is. Etymologically it means a path which is not crooked, which does not cause harm to others. But in usage, it means a Vedic sacrifice. Since the Vedic sacrifices point the straight and good path for the fulfilment of man’s wishes, here and hereafter, it is but proper that they are designated ‘adhvara.’

For details of sacrifices, see VEDIC SACRIFICES.