Rajul debates against the brutal animal sacrifices in the name of religion. Such mindless brutality must stop. She cites cases of the powerful and the mighty, from the former King of Nepal to our politicians, who sacrifice animals for their selfish needs.
Sacrifice is one of the traits of humanity. Love for all creatures has been preached by messiahs like Jesus Christ and avatars like Gautam Buddha. We humans eat, live and die for a religion, which we hardly ever understand. Sanatan Dharma aka Hinduism is also considered to have most pious rituals with Lord Krishna giving the message to the humanity that all creatures are eventually an extension of his existence and we must learn to see Him everywhere. People who sacrifice their happiness and wishes for the benefit of others, realise Him easily, than the most ardent followers, who spend a fortune on grand ceremonies.
It is evident that before the evolution of humans, we were primarily barbaric and used to fight for supremacy and kill for consumption like animals. But after we became ‘religious’, we started manipulating it. The leaders of ancient social tribes promoted animal sacrifices, as whatever we are eating should be first offered to Gods. Gradually, it changed its form to ‘whatever God has must be had by us too’!
In the middle ages, a new tribe of pleasure hunters arose and spread a fad of raw adventure in the jungles. At least, they didn’t claim to brutally kill animals to appease gods! This breed of hunters still exists at some places, as hunting is instinctive in humans, in one form or another. This was just a glamorised addition to animal sacrifices, which was already prevalent. Come the new age, environment conscious modern human, who ‘only’ kills ‘for the god’! Animal sacrifices are being practiced as a ritual to please various gods, all over India. Even the vegetarians sought to animal sacrifices, as they consider it a solution for their stubborn problems of life.
On Bakar Eid, Muslims offer animals as sacrifice. Hindus, however, do not have any day assigned to it. They visit their favourite deity’s shrine and offer animal sacrifice, according to their financial capacity. Sadly, religious books have lost its original form over the period of time and has been smartly manipulated and changed to impose personal doctrines by some people. The change is cognitive and designed, so now people, who come with justifications from the scriptures cannot be trusted as authentic. Moreover, there is debate that in this age when humans should stand for preservation of environment and hold a progressive outlook. A part of religion, which authenticates ‘animal sacrifice’, brutally, needs to be examined.
Kamakhya Devi’s Temple in Guwahati is a ‘Shakti Peeth’ and is one of the most imports of the 56 ‘Shakti Peeths’ (the holy places where Sati’s body parts fell). It is believed that at this site Devi’s yoni fell. It has special significance for Tantra. Like a regular feature, as in most of the ‘Shakti Peeths’, here also animal sacrifice is celebrated with great pomp and show.
In spite of challenges from animal activists, in 2002, Nepal’s Late King Gyanendra offered various animals at the Kamakhya shrine in Guwahati and afterwards at the Kalighat shrine alongside customary Hindu pujas. If a leader of a neighboring state follows such a custom, does it imply that we do so too?
Earlier, in 2000, the Compassionate Crusaders Trust had looked for lawful strides against the act of creature penance at the Kalighat temple, which brought about the 2006 Calcutta High Court decision that sacrifice should not be made in public visibility. As a result, penance proceeded.
At the point, when, in 2008, the UPA government won the trust vote in Parliament, 242 goats and 4 buffalos were “offered for penance” at the Kamakhya Temple, in Guwahati. The triumph brought about brutal murder of many innocent animals.
To restore the lost position and glory, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda’s future, subsequent to being reserved under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, in November 2009, his wife sacrificed 11 goats.
We can see how these sacrifices are politically connected to religious vote banks, here. This is the reason that this malpractice isn’t being banned and even if it is banned, it is not checked on later. Hence, it cannot be minimised until and unless the people themselves wake up and stop these brutal traditions. Religious leaders must come forward to stop this barbaric and inhuman ritual. Moreover, a gory scene of animal sacrifice, where an innocent animal is cut and left into a pool of blood, jerking life out of each and every organ slowly, offends many tourists visiting famous shrines.
It matters little if camels, goats or cows are killed for Bakar Eid, or if goats, chicken and buffalo calves are sacrificed in Hindu temples to appease deities such as Samantdada, Manju Bhog, Goddesses Hadimba Mata, Ekvira, Kamakhya, Mahalaxmi and Kali, at festivals like the Biroba Jatra, or the captured wild fox, sheep and goat sacrifices take place at Makara Sankranti. It is the brutal killing of animals and birds in the name of the greatest protector of beings and it is a criminal act. When mass sacrifices of animals take place, all the meat is not consumable all the time and animal bodies are disposed in caverns and pits. It can only be stopped by enlightened religious leaders, as was done, in 1989, when Beauty without Cruelty (BWC) persuaded the Catholic Church to stop the age old barbaric custom of teenage boys biting a piglet to death at Terekol, Goa, in celebration of St. John’s Baptism.
God never needs any sacrifice, s/he never asked for any. As a believer of singularity of superpower, I know only love and protection can win him/her. Sacrifice may be the highest virtue but not in the form of flesh and blood, but your own selfish interests for the benefit of others including animals.
Perhaps we all need to sacrifice the brutal animal within us.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article is that of the author alone.
Pix from Net.