Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sri Aurobindo on Animal Sacrifice to Goddess Kali


Kalighat Temple, Calcutta

Goddess Kali - Engraving (1770) by Richard GODFREY

A twopenny tram will take you from the centre of Calcutta to the " Kalighat,"

from which some suppose that the city takes its name, where you may see,

in the slimy, swarming precincts of the temple, the ground crimson with the

blood of sacrifices, while in a filthy but very sacred backwater of the 
Hooghly

men, women and children not only bathe in their hundreds, but 
drink the yellow

ooze in which their bodies and their garments have been steeped. 


                                                                                        
        - William Archer

(India and the Future, Page 80) 


Read Full Text of India and the Future here :

http://archive.org/stream/indiafuture00archuoft/indiafuture00archuoft_djvu.txt


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Q.:  Is there no truth behind animal sacrifices to Kali, or are they useless inhuman practices like vivisection in the name of Science (according to anti-vivisectionists)?  Ans. : If animal sacrifices are to be made, they may just as well be made to Kali as to one's stomach,— the Europeans who object to it have no locus standi.    Q. :Buddhism says the killing of mosquitoes, bugs, snakes
and scorpions may be done mercifully or mercilessly for self-protection.
Ans. : Certainly. One might just as well object to the killing of germs by fumigation or otherwise.  
Q.: What about the sacrifice of harmless animals to Kali?
Ans.: Useless and therefore inadvisable. External sacrifices of
this kind have no longer any meaning — as so many
                        saints have said, sacrifice ego, anger, lust etc. to Kali,

                        not goats or cocks.

 
Q. : One can massacre men and nations for the Divine, but what about this then for the Divine's sake? Ans.: How does the Divine benefit by it? Very hungry, I suppose
— would like a nice goat-chop? Q. : I wonder if you know that some Sharma has gone on hunger- strike to stop the sacrifices at Kalighat. Tagore supports him.
Ans.: Of course, I know. But he objects to animal sacrifice;he objects to animal sacrifice; why does he make a goat- offering of himself  to Kali? Is human sacrifice better than animal sacrifice?
Q. : The argument is: what does the loss of one life matter if      by it other lives can be saved?  
Ans.:  I know the South African saying 'How glorious if the whole world were to destroy itself to save the life of a single mosquito'. I used always to wonder what would become of the poor mosquito if the world were destroyed. It seems to my poor common sense that it would perish also in the glorious holocaust. - Sri Aurobindo
(Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo by Nirodbaran, Vol. 1, pp. 339-340)                                 

1 comment:

pianomonika said...

Animal sacrifices has always existed in ancient times, the people wanted to make the Gods gracious.They prayed for rain, for a good harvest.
In our days and age blood sacrifices are replaced by gifts of money.
But it is also to question: Is it right, to kill the animals , that people have their meat on the table? The meals??
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In Christian religion -Bible - God commands in Abraham his son Isaac to sacrifice.
At the place of sacrifice holds an angel but at the last moment from Abraham from killing his son. Then Abraham for his piety rewarded because he was willing to make this great sacrifice.--
In the Islam religion a sheep is slaughtered.The festival of sacrifice is in Islam very important.--The human sacrifice was spared , and GOD was satisfied with the sheep-animal sacrifice.
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Note: I saw the slaughter of animals on the road, when I was that time in Egypt.Blood flowed in large quantities and I felt sick.
It is cruel, and I tried ,when there, not to go out.