Hindu sacrifice of 250,000 animals begins

Cheers and protests as thousands of buffalo are decapitated at start of festival in Nepal honouring Hindu goddess Gadhimai
Gallery: Hindu sacrifice ceremony starts

The world's biggest animal sacrifice began in Nepal today with the killing of the first of more than 250,000 animals as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur, near the border with India.

The event, which happens every five years, began with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.

With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled." .

Crowds thronged the roads and camped out in the open, wrapped in blankets against the cool mist. The festivities included a ferris wheel, fortune-telling robots and stalls broadcasting music and offering tea and sugary snacks.

Read more: guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/24/hindu-sacrifice-gadhimai-festival-nepal

"Animal slaughter fest" begins despite protests in Nepal

India's noted animal right activist Maneka Gandhi had also written a letter to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal appealing him to stop the sacrifice.

Meanwhile, Animal Welfare Network Nepal and Anti-Animal Sacrifice Alliance has written to head priest Mangal Chaudhary and organising committee chief Shiva Chandra Kushwaha to stop the mass sacrifice.

"We beg you to consider our plea. As the two important persons you have the ability to show wisdom, compassion and courage by doing everything to stop the killing of innocent creatures in the name of the God," the letter said.

The government has, however, remained non-committal on its role in ending the custom.

We will not interfere in the centuries-old tradition of the people, an official said.

'Buddha Boy' Ram Bahadur Bomjan has been meditating near the temple premises to stop the sacrifices, while Tibetan Buddhist master Lama Zopa Rinpoche had requested all Buddhist centres and students to read the Golden Sutra and pray for halting the killing.

It might now be appropriate for the vegetarians here at CAF who have opposed the killing of animals to speak up on this particular thread.

[quote="fultonfish, post:3, topic:177617"]
It might now be appropriate for the vegetarians here at CAF who have opposed the killing of animals to speak up on this particular thread.

[/quote]

Andrew Linzey speaks better than I do. oxfordanimalethics.com/what-we-do/media/film-profile-of-director/

My only other thought is that eventually humanity will come to see all life as having intrinsic value. Solomon's temple was once a huge slaughterhouse, may it never be rebuilt.

It is my impression that the products of both Hebrew and Greek animal sacrifices were eaten after the ceremonies. Surely these Hindus then eat the buffaloes after the sacrifices, don't they? Don't they????

Of course.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:5, topic:177617"]
It is my impression that the products of both Hebrew and Greek animal sacrifices were eaten after the ceremonies. Surely these Hindus then eat the buffaloes after the sacrifices, don't they? Don't they????

[/quote]

No. Hindus are vegetarians due to respect for animals, since they believe that the animals are their reincarnated ancestors. Which is why I don't understand this custom.

There's a story about Ghandi and how his people were fighting a revolution, so in order to be strong enough to fight, he decided to eat meat, because he saw that meat made a man stronger. However, he then realized that violence is never the answer and became vegetarian again.

I heard this story about Ghandi when I was in grade school. Since I read this topic, I wasn't sure of what I remembered, so I decided to find a source that tells this story, and I found it here: ivu.org/history/gandhi/road.html

[quote="MoonChild02, post:7, topic:177617"]
No. Hindus are vegetarians due to respect for animals, since they believe that the animals are their reincarnated ancestors. Which is why I don't understand this custom.

There's a story about Ghandi and how his people were fighting a revolution, so in order to be strong enough to fight, he decided to eat meat, because he saw that meat made a man stronger. However, he then realized that violence is never the answer and became vegetarian again.

I heard this story about Ghandi when I was in grade school. Since I read this topic, I wasn't sure of what I remembered, so I decided to find a source that tells this story, and I found it here: ivu.org/history/gandhi/road.html

[/quote]

Not all Hindus are vegetarians. Not by a long shot. Quite a few eat beef too. Hinduism encompasses a wide range of ideas and philosophies.

That’s what makes Hinduism such an absurd contradiction. It embraces total passive love and vegan lifestyle and yet we see Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita preach war as part of one’s dharma and a necessary evil. We see peace and love on one end, and the evil black mother Kali on the Shiva side of the coin. There is devotion to Hanuman the monkey god and Nandi the bull creates a “sacred cow” devotion yet let’s go slaughter hundreds of cows to another goddess who is bloodthirsty? Karma and a respect for life of all kinds, animal, human, insect, etc. and yet sacrifice on the other? And the untouchables morality is disgusting.

To be fair, Hinduism isn’t exactly one religion, it encompasses beliefs from hundreds of tribes and societies up and down the subcontinent and surrounding areas.

True.

“Hinduism” is as broad, if as broader, a category as is “Abrahamic religions” (that is, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Bahai, and Mormonism). Complaining about diversity within “Hinduism” is like complaining that Muslims see Jesus as a Prophet while Christians see Jesus as God.

Is there a “vanilla” Hinduism practiced outside of India at Hindu temples and other communities? Or does each temple tend to reflect the beliefs and practices of the founding group?

[quote="Digitonomy, post:12, topic:177617"]
Is there a "vanilla" Hinduism practiced outside of India at Hindu temples and other communities? Or does each temple tend to reflect the beliefs and practices of the founding group?

[/quote]

The Hindu Temple of Atlanta was founded by one Hindu community, but it has expanded to include other Hindu communities and traditions -- most likely due to the increased Hindu immigration over years.

Who provides these 250,000 animals as they have to worth a great deal of money? Do the people sacrifice and do without meat all year in order to get this money for their community?

I found this on a web page.

“The dead beasts will be sold to companies who will profit from the sale of the meat, bones and hide. Organisers will funnel the proceeds into development of the area, including the temple upkeep”

Using the temple for financial gain is not limited to first-century Judaism.:rolleyes:

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