How is a Vehicular Homicide like the Sacrifice?

Smith, Caley Charles. 2019. “How is a Vehicular Homicide like the Sacrifice?” Self, Sacrifice, and Cosmos: Late Vedic Thought, Ritual, and Philosophy: Papers in Honor of Dr. Ganesh Umakant Thite’s Contributions to Vedic Studies, Ed. Lauren Bausch, Ratna Sagar Pvt. Ltd, 144-60.

This essay examines an ancient whodunit, reconsidering a cold case of vehicular homicide from the Jaiminīya Brāhmaṇa (JB). I will argue that this tale, about a chariot, an accident, and a death, does not concern an historical chariot but a metaphorical one. The narrative is a metaphysical account of the sacrifice conceived of in terms of a chariot collision. In what follows, I hope to demonstrate that the text is using narrative to make an argument, tacitly presenting the patron of the sacrifice, and not the priests, as ultimately responsible for the death of the sacrificial animal.

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