Showing posts with label Human Sacrifice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Human Sacrifice. Show all posts

Hinduism - How Prevalent Was Human Sacrifice In Hinduism? What Are The Instances Of Human Sacrifice In Hindu Mythology?


Human Sacrifice is a term used to describe the ritual act of sacrificing a human being.

Human sacrifice was not common in Hindu religious life in the past, but it was not unknown.

One of the common mythic motifs in the worship of certain fierce and powerful deities is for devotees (bhakta) to offer their own heads to the Goddess as the ultimate sacrifice and act of devotion, but experts aren't sure how often this was done.

The demon king Ravana, for example, is said to have cut off nine of his ten heads before the god Shiva granted him divine power.

The Bengali saint Ramakrishna is also credited with the determination to carry out this act, though the goddess Kali intervened before he could do so.

The temple of the goddess Kamakhya in Assam was the one place where human sacrifice was unquestionably a regular practice.

This temple is part of the Shakti Pithas, a network of Goddess-sanctuary sites that stretches across the Indian subcontinent.

Each Shakti Pitha commemorates the location where a piece of the dismembered goddess Sati fell to earth and took on the form of a new goddess.

The body part in this case was Sati's vulva, and Kamakhya became a very powerful goddess due to the presence of such a highly charged part of the female body.

She was reportedly offered the heads of 140 men when the new temple was dedicated in 1565, and this practice continued until the British put an end to it in 1832.

The men who were offered as human sacrifices were said to be volunteers who believed they had been summoned by the goddess to do so; in the time between announcing their intention to be sacrificed and their deaths, they were treated as virtual divinities, having been consecrated to the goddess.

For more information, see E. A. Gait's 1963 book, A History of Assam.

 


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