[The book's] interpretation of the ritual, the sakara of the visual celebration, and the nirakara of cosmic transcendence of the ashvamedha presents an entirely new evaluation of India's classical formulation of the State. --- Professor Lokesh Chandra

Professor Subhash Kak has cogently brought out the cosmic significance of the Asvamedha sacrifice, in which the sacrificial horse symbolizes the Sun and, ultimately, Time. His holistic approach to Vedic themes, combining astronomy and a spiritual appreciation of ancient symbols, is essential to a deeper understanding of the Rishis' mind and experience. -Michel Danino

Asvamedha yajna is known in Indian mythology as a way to establish the authority of an emperor over vast territories. A consecrated horse, accompanied by a strong armed escort, is left to roam free for one year and whatever territory it covers becomes the king's domain. Anyone daring to oppose this doctrine has to face the might of the king's army. The epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, describe this yajna performed by Shri Rama and Yudhishtira. While the yajna of Ramayana is widely known for Rama's confrontation with his twin sons, Lava and Kusha, the Mahabharata episode in which Arjun tastes defeat at the hands of a young man who turns out to be his own son, is not so well known.
The purpose of Subhash Kak's work is however, not to narrate mythological events. He explains different aspects of the ritual and gives different definitions to the rites involved in it. Even if it is not clear if the consecrated horse is ultimately sacrificed, he puts a different interpretation on the animal sacrifice involved in the process. He asserts that the `sacrifice' is a symbolic performance and does not involve actual killing, and he quotes various Vedic texts to prove his point.
He maintains that the Ramayana and the Mahabharata only give a fragmentary account of the ritual. A chapter in Mahabharata is devoted to Yudhishthira's Asvamedha but very little is said about the ritual itself. Ramayana, he says, glosses over the ritual in a few verses. Kak describes Asvamedha and its symbolism to explain different aspects of the Vedic sacrifice system. He asks several questions and also gives the answers.
--- Sunday Tribune, Chandigarh, July 14, 2002

Asvamedha is a most important ritual of ancient India, narrated in Brahmanagranthas and afterwards in the Mahabharata and some Puranas... The detailed and dramatic rituals to be performed in these yajnas are very interesting and somewhat symbolic. Dr Kak has successfully described the rites of this yajna, and explained the logic of the rituals to be performed.
The book is beautifully edited and published and it will be helpful to the reader for understanding the mystic, cultural, and scientific basis of ancient Indian rituals.
--- Indu Sharma in Praci-Jyoti, vol. 35-6, pp. 200-203. An eminent scientist, historian and Vedic scholar, Subhash Kak, has taken up for discussion the rite, logic and significance of Asvamedha, the king of sacrifices... The author proclaims that there prevailed two points of view. One argued that violence is a part of nature and that sacrifice is a ritual enactment of violence. The opponents of this view argued that the ritual is an enactment of death and regeneration, which involves transformation.
Thus the domestic animals of the Asvamedha represent the physical centre and the wild animals the cognitive centre. The horse is the self that must be transformed in resonance with the rhythms of Rta (the cosmic order). The annual transformation is in harmony with the renewal of the Sun. In this way, the entire ritual is interpreted by the author on the spiritual plane.
--- Gauri P. Mahulikar in Indica, vol. 39, No. 2, September 2002, page 191. Though Vedic fire sacrifices continue to be performed, their scientific and conceptual basis is not well understood. Subhash Kak has done well to present the meaning of the Asvamedha sacrifice and place it in context.
--- Prema Nandakumar in Vedanta Kesari, November 2002, pages 42-43.