Skip to content Skip to navigation

Why animal sacrifice

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word sacrifice as the voluntary relinquishing of something valued or surrender of possession as offering to deity.

Animal sacrifice (of goats and buffaloes) is otherwise rare but is held on certain festivals in contemporary India, and Sri Lanka, especially to honor the Mother Goddess (Durga) by the followers of certain cult groups of Hindus belonging to the sect of Shaktism. Due to severe condemnation by most other Hindus, calling this as a barbaric act, these animal sacrifices are quickly disappearing in India and Sri Lanka. Among the Hindus of Nepal, and certain sections of Bengal and Assam animal sacrifices are common even today, not only for the Mother Goddess, but also for almost all deities of the Hindu pantheon. The Hindu way of slaughtering the animal may be less painful than others, as it involves an immediate severing of the whole neck of the animal by one quick stroke of a sword or an axe (otherwise great calamities are believed to befall the sacrificer), rather than slitting of the throat.

In ancient times it was also common to offer the life of a human being to a god. The Aztecs sacrificed thousands of victims (often slaves and servants were killed or buried alive along with dead kings in order to provide service in the afterlife) A similar tradition also existed in China. The Celts and German people are among the European peoples who practiced human sacrifice in the past.

The human race is a shrewdest of all races on the earth. The ancient people steeped in pagan culture and primitive superstition believed that human sacrifice would placate the enraged god and expiate their sins, this practice was particularly common among the agricultural people who sought to guarantee the fertility of the soil or avert calamities in the form of flood or famine and therefore followed the ritual of human sacrifice. But gradually when the covers of primitivism were dispelled man thought it best to put an end to this savage ritual which was putting their own lives at peril. But they found an easier way out by replacing the human by innocent voiceless animals that cannot protest these barbaric acts and neither realise their end till the final blow.

The word sacrifice is to give up a possession dear to us in such a case how can an animal be representative of something dear. As the animal to be sacrificed is bought minutes before being sacrificed for a few hundreds of rupees. The devotee seeking divine blessing is in no way attached to the sacrificial animal therefore it cannot be termed as sacrifice rather it is plain slaughter or killing of an animal.

The strides of modernism has touched our entire lives than why is it that we are still steeped in religious superstition. Our culture had been plagued by other evils like Sati but we have moved away from that era. We have realised the futility of sati system. Just as we have graduated from earthen lamps to halogen lights powered by electricity similarly its time we shed our misunderstood religious trappings and take on its greater spiritual meaning of “to live and let live”.

Prayer should not lead to negativity of thoughts and actions when we create a hue and cry over killing of humans what right do we have to initiate the killing of an animal. Isn’t it time we graduated to the practice of a bloodless sacrifice in the form of flowers and fruits or exercise sacrifice in the true sense of the term by relinquishing an object of desire and not a living creature pulsating with life to fulfil a mere superstition.

Comments

jaay's picture

I was witness to such an incident when I was child, I saw the buffalo being chased and slaughtered in the garb of religious ritual. Anyways, the practice of Human sacrifice was common until Britisher’s banned it in 19th Century and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Vedas and called the sacrifice to be symbolic. Not only in India, but it was prominent across the globe. Like the Mapuche, the Israelites once climbed mountains to talk with God. When the Jewish reformers of the 7th century BC campaigned to suppress human sacrifice, they began by killing the shaman-priests who performed these rites on their own altars. They destroyed hill-shrines identical to the high-mountain shrines still used by shamans in South America. The Mosaic Law received from a mountain now made bloody Moses a heretic. Animal sacrifice was confined to the temple, and human sacrifice forbidden. And not forget, after the Crucifixion of Jesus, it was widely seen as the SACRIFICE and Christians were offered salvation in the blood and body of a sacrifice. If the Crucifixion was the final human sacrifice, then the "blame" for the murder of Jesus was thrust upon the Jews. Many Christians were convinced that Jews were devils who secretly mocked Easter by sacrificing a kidnapped Christian child on a cross. Centuries of anti-Semitism led to the Third Reich, whose mission was to purify the world. Well, the list is endless, and what, all in the name of religion. Anyways I just wanted to make sure that readers did not get an idea that we were not the only ELITE people to indulge in this. Animal sacrifice was replaced with COCONUT, again as a symbol, but probably due to illiteracy and awareness this is still prevalent. But that leaves me with another question, what when this sacrificed is offered by educated, and respectable citizen’s, which is not un-common? Nice article.
navin jain's picture

beautiful article and the wordings 'The devotee seeking divine blessing is in no way attached to the sacrificial animal therefore it cannot be termed as sacrifice rather it is plain slaughter or killing of an animal.'
navin jain's picture

beautiful article and the wordings 'The devotee seeking divine blessing is in no way attached to the sacrificial animal therefore it cannot be termed as sacrifice rather it is plain slaughter or killing of an animal.'

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

Delhi: AASU delegations meeting with CEC Harishankar Brahma

Updated NRC to help EC

2 Apr 2015 - 10:37am | AT News
The updated NRC would help the Election Commission prepare a flawless electoral roll. This is the best way to honour the Assam Accord.This was more or less of what HS Brahma told the AASU leaders...

Milad-un-Nabi celebrated

25 Dec 2015 - 3:11pm | Shajid Khan
Milad-un-Nabi the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was celebrated here today by the followers of Prophet at Tangla. Mass prayers for peace and prosperity were held in the two...

Palm Sunday observes in Sunday

9 Apr 2017 - 6:42pm | Robertson Tanti
As the holy week for the Christian community begins the world over, the community in Orengajuli tea garden also celebrated Palm Sunday in the market complex. The celebrations marks the annual...

Bhaben Choudhury - new President of Otolaryngologists Association

10 Jan 2011 - 3:02pm | Mowsam Hazarika
Dr. Bhaben Choudhury, an eminent ENT specialist from Assam, had taken over charge as the President of Association of Otolaryngologists of India, the national body of ENT doctors on 6th January last...

Other Contents by Author

Assam is one of the major producers of tea in India. Since its dicovery in the year 1823 Assam tea has traversed a long distance. Before the commercialization of tea began in Assam, the leaves of the tea plant were chewed by the local villagers with little or no processing. This still continues in certain inaccessible regions of southeastern Assam, as well as in neighboring regions of Myanmar. Robert Bruce is said to be the person who re-discovered the tea plant growing wild in the region at the behest of nobleman, Maniram Dewan and before his death in 1825, Robert passed on his knowledge to his brother Charles, who sent seeds of the plant to Calcutta in 1831.In 1833 the British lost...
Dr Tapan Barthakur was recently conferred with the prestigious Indian Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Research (IAAVR) Field Veterinarian award 2007, by IAAVR and the Indian Veterinary Congress of Bareilley held in Madhya Pradesh for outstanding contribution to the cause of veterinary field services. His Excellency Ramakant Tiwary, Honorable Minister of veterinary of Madhya Pradesh gave away the prestigious award to this dedicated veterinarian, at the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Biologicals, Mhow (MP). Dr Barthakur is the first field veterinarian from the region selected for this distinguished award...
Twelve year old Jayanta cleans, cooks, washes, grocery shops for the Sharma family for a paltry sum of rupees four hundred a month which in turn he sends to his family of five who live in the nearby village. Sharma’s son gets a sum of Rupees one thousand of which he spends rupees four hundred gorging on pizzas with his friends every month in the swanky Pizza Hut in town. On the contrary, Jonali, Fourteen, who is the full time maid of a family where apart from the daily chores she also has to look after the family’s toddler in return for a kitchen corner to sleep in and three meals a day.Child labour is an epidemic in Indian society and the world at large, a sore wound that is spreading its...
The arctic ices are melting and so are the glaciers, the result global warming. Global warming is the increase in the average temperatures of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. Global average air temperature near the Earth's surface rose alarmingly during the past century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations," which leads to warming of the surface and lower atmosphere by increasing the greenhouse effect. Natural phenomena...