In ancient times, simple yajnas used to play an important role in inner refinement and self-purification. The mahayagyas used to be performed to purify the social life. But, when the need for complete renovation of the nation (Rashtra) and that of the environment was felt, there was a tradition of Ashvamedha yagyas at the universal level. Thus, the yagyas have been classified into three categories; viz, yagya, mahayagya and Ashvamedha yagya. The magnitude of their results also increases in the same order.The rewards of Ashvamedha yagya are far more purifying. In the medieval period, Ashvamedha was thought to be the war for the expansion of the empire, whereas it used to be a special mahayagya performed for the benefit of the society and the nation, in the earlier ages.
Gayatri Ashwamedha is a grand spiritual experiment to promote happiness, peace, and prosperity of the nation. It is being performed to purify the subtle atmosphere of the whole nation. It is aimed to awaken the dormant intellectual genius of the masses. The awakened human Medha will help reform the society and the methods of its governance and would transform this earth into a heaven.
With Ashwa as the symbol of mobility, valour and strength and the ‘medha’ as the symbol of supreme wisdom and intelligence, the natural meaning of Ashwamedha is – “combination of valour and strength and illumined power of intellect”.
Ashwa is the symbol of muscle power and medha is the symbol of mental strength and their combination makes a great, sacred deed of yagna. It is the combination of illumined thinking power and dedicated selfless endeavours that may create an ideal society and nation. This is the reason,why the making of a nation has been called Ashwmedha.