Monday, October 18, 2010

Animal Sacrifice

This is the first time I've heard of Hindus sacrificing animals for a festival. I thought sacrificing goats was a Muslim thing, and I've always felt it to be distasteful. Where did this tradition originate from?


ramani said...

Sacrificing goats, hens, pigs and even buffalows at temples is prevalent in tamil nadu and kerala.

Manohar said...

it's still widely followed in TamilNadu, mostly offered to gods / goddesses in village temples.

Harish said...

Pashu Bali has always been a Hindu tradition among certain groups despite what the vegetarian fanatics say. Also found in related traditions like the ancient Hellenic religion.

The difference is that Hindus follow the Jhatka method where you are to lop the animal's head off with one stroke.

During Dasara the goats/ram are sacrificed and the weapons annointed with the blood both among Nihangs and other Kshatriya groups. This is associated with Veera Rasa (Warrior spirit) and also intended so that you get used to blood, if you faint at the sight of blood then how will you fight on the battlefield.

Why should that be distateful but not regular meat eating, also the animals sacrificed are not usually raised in overcrowded factories where your everyday meat comes from.

Modern day Hindus have lost all the Kshatriya spirit, that is why they worship lap tops instead of assault rifles during ayudha puja and find the concept of pashu bali or going hunting horrifying.

This Sanatan Sikh website explains the concept:

Vijay said...

Harish has said it well. Hinduism is very vast and there is space both for the vegetarian and animal sacrifice. All those who decry animal sacrifice are unknowingly affected by western pseudo conscience. We need to understand the deep and underlying reasons for sacrifices. And finally animal sacrifices may only be a few thousand.. thus a non -issue. If one is really concerned about slaughter of animals .. then target the slaughter houses where millions are killed.

During Thanksgiving millions of gallons turkey blood is spilled to appease christian cult god. This is were animal groups need to focus on. Not Nepal, Bihar or Tamil Nadu.

makarand said...

How to send you an email or forward about a related topic in your blog?

san said...

Thanksgiving is not a religious festival, it is a festival started by the pioneers who settled North America.

AGworld said...

to the best of my knowledge, the ashwamedha also involved the ultimate sacrifice of the horse.

someone before said it well -- hindus do it too.
we've just become a bunch of 'ahimsawadi' namby pambies.

or have at least gotten brainwashed into thinking that we don't have a martial streak!

kp11 said...

dont show your manhood on poor goats, guys

ramesh said...

i am surprisd that u are surprised. buffaloes in nepal, pigeons / goats in kamkhya (assam), goats in bengal, etc. etc. pashu bali been their since time immemorial, although various Hindu saints / reformers (including the three famous acharyas)spoke out against it.

Vijay said...

Nothing harm in animal sacrifices as long as they do not suffer. The belief is also they go to higher states. But why animal/human sacrifices in the first place. Due to religious correctness we do not come across articles explaining it, hence our mis-non understanding of the issue.

I believe we offer sacrifices so that the higher power enables us to experience victory, strength, power in our ventures.

BTW here is for the nambypambies.
Pumpkins, Cucumbers replace animal sacrifices in Pujas

Right Angle said...

to be blunt, your post shows how far you are disconnected from hinduism..

the cult worship kaali devi, has animal sacrifice..

I offer animal sacrifice in our kula temples, to the kaaval deivam karuppanar.. (protecting god)

Pls note that animal sacrifice is NOT equal to butchering of animals..

KapiDhwaja said...

Animal sacrifice is predominant in Tantric Hinduism where it is one of the ways of pleasing the Devi. The Tantras have been around for more than 2000 years, much before Islam.

But Animal sacrifice is also prevalent in authentic Vedic rites.

I have actually been to a Soma Yaga, which is one of the biggest and holiest of Vedic Sacrifices. The Brahmin priests there actually sacrificed one black male goat every day(accompanied with the chanting of mantras) for a total of seven days for the duration of the sacrifice.

Raman said...

Modern western society which decries animal sacrifice readily accepts using animals in medical experimentation, is that not double standard?

san said...

well, the whole point of that medical experimentation is so that new treatments can be developed to save human beings

Raghu said...

Even breaking of coconuts (with a piece of fibre still attached) is considered symbolic and similar to breaking open an enemy skull.
The Srimad Bhagavatam praises kshatriyas, especially with regard to the Dhruva charitra.As kshatra dharma was practiced and passed down within the varna/ clan, much of it has disappeared with time.Rashtra dharma is closely allied to kshatra dharma.
There are just about a billion things we don't know about Sanatana Dharma.

Vijay said...

While at it

They don’t sacrifice a Horse (Ashwam)? - No, Elephant (Gajam)? - No, Tiger (VyaGhram)??

No,Not at all!! Only the baby goat (AjaaPutram) is sacrificed during any ritual.

Conclusion is that even God does not protect the weak!!

ashvam naiva gajam naiva vyaghram naivacha naivacha |

ajaaputram balim dadyaat devo durbala ghatakaha ||

Vijay said...

Here is an interesting comment i came across in this context

"Its the habit of humans to offer to to God something which he himself is very much fond of eating as a prasaad."

Chris said...

It is still a stupid and idiotic practice no matter how well sanctified it is by scriptures.

To start with, eating meat is stupid especially since we are not even equipped biologically to digest it. Read Harvey Diamond's book Fit for Life or ISKCON publications The Higher Taste.

Nonetheless, Sanatan Dharma has many manifestations including that for lower human life forms who still can think of animal sacrifices. Please note that the Cow is never offered as a sacrifice by Hindus.

Vijay said...

In the modern world, we are all comfortably sustained by unimaginable cruelty to nature, flora fauna, mineral resources, our fellow human beings. The animal sacrifice of the our ancestors pales in comparison. It is laughable we adopt this sanctimonious, condescending, holier than thou attitude.

Harish said...

Chris represents the vegetarian fanatics I had earlier mentioned and this strain is not content to practice their own ideas but wants to have some veggie crusade to turn all Hindus into vegetarians.

Before suggesting what to read for others perhaps he should go take a biology class.


See the phrase "lower human life forms", hmm doesn't it remind you of the language used by followers of a certain religion of "love"?

Now go munch some grass.

Chris said...

You bet Harish. Eat your cooked or raw corpses and and I will eat grass or whatever does not move. There is little point in converting people like you to vegetarianism and there the matter rests.

The remark of lower life forms was aimed at those who kill defenseless animals to atone for errors of their Karma. Also this does not in any way exonerate the Janta belonging to ROP or ROL who kill goats, sheep and turkeys.

If you espouse a viewpoint, I have the right to air mine opposite to that of yours.

Incidentally I studied Maths and avoided Biology as I could not stand the way frogs and other assorted creatures were being killed. To each his own.

Chill out Dude! There is no need to be personal.

Vijay said...

san said...

It does have a Christian origin and touch to it.

One another note I agree with Harish . Vegetarian fanaticism (mua being one in the past) is the bane of Hinduism.

We are learning a very narrow minded version of brahmin hinduism from mainly brahmin Hinduism when in actuality Hindu ocean is all inclusive. It is just mind boggling. Once I was invited to a dinner/charity occassion of a swami promoting kundalini and the menu consisted of chicken and other formidable things. In order to understand the all embracing nature of our dharma we have to mix will all caste, jatis, tribes and find out and learn from their beliefs. Only then we will be emancipated from what I will call is the narrow interpretation Hinduism as handed down to us by Brahmanas.

nanda said...

commonly believed to be practiced even today by 'non-brahmins' in temples in rural areas, but what is not known is that even the shankara mathas even today perform animal sacrifices as per the shrauta sutra.

Vijay said...

Here is an excellent article on the subject

Blood Sacrifice in Hinduism