Blood offering to kali

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Blood offering to kali

K ali is one of India's most popular goddesses. Her picture hangs in many homes. Calcutta is her temple city and derives its name from the Anglicized phrase Kali-Ghatt or "steps of Kali. Goat blood rather than human blood was sacrificed to her and is still is in some parts of India. The Dark Mother and her children share a loving and intimate bond. The devotee is Her child and Kali is the ever-caring mother. In Hinduism, all goddesses are ultimately one: Devi. She takes different forms to allow us to comprehend Her multiple possibilities.

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One of the most powerful is Kali. Kali's blackness symbolizes Her comprehensive nature, as in black all colors merge. Just as all colors disappear in black, so all names and forms disappear in Her Mahanirvana Tantra. Black can also represent the absence of color, signifying the nature of Kali as ultimate reality. Either way, Kali's color symbolizes Her transcendence of all form. Kali's nudity has similar meaning. She is described as garbed in space or sky clad.

In Her primordial nakedness, She is free from all covering of illusion. Her nudity represents totally illumined consciousness.

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Kali is the bright fire of truth, not hidden by the trappings of ignorance. Kali is full-breasted. As our Mother, She creates endlessly. Her garland of fifty human heads, each representing one of the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, symbolizes knowledge and wisdom.

Her girdle of severed human hands are the principal instruments of work and signify the action of karma. The binding effects of karma are overcome by devotion to Kali. She blesses devotees by cutting us free from the cycle of karma.

Her white teeth are symbolic of purity and Her red tongue shows that She consumes all thing s and enjoys tasting what society regards as forbidden, Her indiscriminate enjoyment of all the world's flavors.

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Kali's four arms represent the complete circle of creation and destruction.The concept of sacrifice yajna in the form of offerings to the gods Klostermaier is one of the main tenets of Hinduism. The nature of offerings made to the gods tends to vary based on the function associated with the deity and the caste hierarchy of individuals. For the sake of ease, the various offerings given to the gods can be categorized by nature or type. This review aims to discuss some deities that receive blood sacrifices, the reasons for these sacrifices, and the intricacies of the deity-devotee relationship.

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These offerings are often designated for inferior or non-Sanskritic gods Harper This does not mean that there are no superior Sanskritic gods who receive blood and flesh sacrifices.

Usually when blood sacrifice is mentioned it refers to the blood of an animal, as suggested by the term bali that is, offerings of flesh and blood. Atmabali is performed during times of intense personal crisis and its purpose is to carry the individual through a difficult time Samanta In the case of the village Totagadde in South India, the members of different castes venerate different deities in the Hindu pantheon.

For example, in Totagadde there are thirty different local deities and spirits, which can be classified according to categories. The members of this village use a three-tier system that also correlates to the various castes. The first and second class of gods are those that are usually not represented iconographically. Harper, in his discussion of village deities, explains that these non-Sanskritic supernatural beings are often named after Sanskrit gods 2. Among these village deities, the class that concerns the inhabitants of Totagadde are the local deities known as devatesas they believe it is crucial to abide by the desires of these deities in order to avoid ill-fated events.

The gods who fall under this category are dark forms such as Durga, Kali, and village goddesses, such as Sitala Mata, Mariyamman, Bhairava and Narasimha.

blood offering to kali

Some lower level gods are named after major deities such as Siva, Visnu, Kali and Durga She is the only goddess who is worshipped by all the residents of Totagadde and to whom they ascribe a lot of power especially because she is the only deity who is believed to have the power to keep epidemics diseases at bay The goddess of disease can choose to either protect people from illness or cause illness.

The village is considered to have been created by the goddess. Thus, it also belongs to the goddess. Disasters or epidemics symbolize demons attempting to invade the village. While the villagers are struck down and overcome by the demons and suffer fever and sometimes death, the goddess too is said to become possessed, afflicted, or somehow invaded by the demons.

Durga, a Sakti goddess [a superior Sanskritic goddess], is believed to be replenished with blood Harper In addition, although it is rare but the greater gods such as Ganesha, Skanda are also offered bali Fuller A bali sacrifice is claimed to hold the ability to calm an angry deity or calm those who simply crave blood. The blood, for a blood-craving god, serves the purpose of alleviating their anger and provides relief from the threat of the onset of an illness or worse Fuller 85 and Harper In North India, during the harvest season, Durga Puja is conducted as part of the festival called Navratra.

The Durga Puja not only emphasizes the dual role of the goddess as a battle queen but also reinforces and celebrates her position as a divinity that restores the cosmic order. Additional themes embedded in Durga Puja are highlighted in the puja are her role as a harvest goddess. Moreover, other forms of Durga, like Kali, also receive blood offerings in their temples. The power and emotion attached to these goddesses is easy to understand when their true understanding is grasped.

The Mahavidyas, for example, are a group of ten goddesses. These images convey the truth that the goddess is ever hungry and demands blood in order to remain satisfied. The Tantric cult of Candi, which is very prominent in Bengal, involves blood sacrifice to the goddess Fuller 86; see also Samanta She is venerated and offered blood by Sabras, among others, who are a tribe of primitive hunters Kinsley In many Pagan and Wiccan traditionsit's not uncommon to make some sort of offering or sacrifice to the gods.

Bear in mind that despite the reciprocal nature of our relationship with the divine, it's not a matter of "I'm offering you this stuff so you'll grant my wish. So the question arises, then, of what to offer them? Different types of deities seem to respond best to different kinds of offerings. When making an offering, it's important to think about what the god represents.

The Roman Cato described an offering for agricultural prosperity:. While it's probably not necessary to go that far and offer up enough food to feed a small army to your god, the passage does illustrate the fact that our ancestors thought enough of their gods to take their offerings very seriously. More importantly than thinking about what the gods represent to you personally, though, is to pay attention to what they have demanded of others in the past.

This is an example of appropriate worship —taking the time to learn enough about the deity in question so you can figure out what is a good idea for an offering.

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In other words, what do they normally ask of those who follow them? If you can be bothered to make the effort, chances are good that your respect will be duly noted.

In general, bread, milk, and wine are nearly always appropriate for any deity. Here are some ideas for specific offerings you can make to deities, based upon the types of gods they are:. Hearth and home deities seem to appreciate offerings that come from the kitchen and garden.

Take the time to grow and harvest something, or to make a contribution you've baked or cooked yourself. Goddesses like Brighid and Hestia in particular appear to respond well to a home cooked item, or even a craft project that reflects domesticity, such as knitting, sewing, or painting.

When you're making an offering to a god or goddess of love and passionthink outside the box. What items bring seduction and romance to mind? Instead, leave them fresh items from your home, or other things that you wouldn't normally see in the garden. When you're thinking about prosperity, think of items that reflect abundance and growth. Food and dairy items are always acceptable, as well as certain herbs. Ancestor spirits can be tricky to work withbecause not everyone's ancestors are the same.

In general, it's a good idea to take the time to learn about your own heritage before making offerings. However, some typical items that make good offerings - no matter what your background - can include food and drink from your family's meal.

Fertility deities like Bona Dea or or Hera often appreciate offerings relating to conception and pregnancy, such as dairy products, baked goods, and herbs associated with fertility.

Share Flipboard Email. Patti Wigington.Throughout history humanity has worshipped many gods and goddesses. While many gods were satisfied with prayers or non-living gifts, a few had seriously bloody and sadistic preferences. They required human sacrifice. The more gruesome, the better. Huitzilopochtli was a war god and one of the most important deities worshipped by the Aztecs.

It is said that it was Huitzilopochtli who urged them to leave their homeland and travel to Mexico Valley. He was also the key figure behind the founding of Tenochtitlan, Aztec capital city that will later serve as a base for Mexico. She was pregnant with Huitzilopochtli when stars, who were her sons and daughters, led by their sister Coyolxauhqui conspired to kill her. When the mob of deities finally approached Coatlicue, Huitzilopochtli emerged from her womb fully armed and killed Coyolxauhqui.

He then proceeded to slaughter the rest of his siblings. Apparently, it was not enough for Huitzilopochtli. Aztecs often offered human sacrifices for him. The unlucky men were usually war prisoners captured during the many fights that Aztecs had with their neighbors.

The most common form of sacrifice was to open the chests of victim and rip out their still beating hearts. Such means were required to secure rain, good harvest and success in war. They formed a triad of godsa holy entity that was common amongst various pagan religions. Teutates, especially beloved and worshipped by Gauls, was responsible for fertility, wealth, and war.

Some even speculate that the liquid was ale, a favorite drink of the Celtic people. Well, if you are not lucky enough to live, at least you can die bathing in alcohol! Those that were sacrificed to Esus were ritually stabbed, hung from trees, and left to bleed to death. The last one, Taraniswas a sky god and a warlord.

Taranis, like his two godly companions, also did not mind to have humans killed to appease him. His victims were placed in gigantic wickerwork figures and burnt alive inside of them.

Tezcatlipocaanother very important Aztec deity, was a god of night and sorcery, a patron of warriors and Aztec kings, who were considered to be his representatives on earth.

In addition, Tezcatlipoca was known to be vengeful and quick to punish those that misbehaved. He also had some feuds with his more peaceful godly sibling, Quetzalcoatl.

One of the most important Aztec celebrations was dedicated to Tezcatlipoca.

Blood Sacrifice in Hinduism

Each year a priest would select a young and handsome was prisoner who would impersonate the god. The man would live in luxury. Moreover, he would have four beautiful maidens that would be dressed as goddesses and act as his companions. This may sound very nice, however, nothing in this world is meant to last, especially the lives of Aztec war prisoners.

After a year of bathing in luxurythe guy would climb the steps of a small temple. There he would be sacrificed by having his heart ripped out. Then, the next prisoner would be chosen to play godly and deadly role.Kali is Durga's personified wrath.

Or Parvati can take on a fierce form by transforming herself into Kali from the poison stored in Shiva's throat. Kali incites Shiva to dangerous and destructive behaviour that threatens the stability of the cosmos, and they dance together so wildly the world is threatened.

Shiva traditionally calms Kali and defeats her, though there are few images and myths of Kali in a tranquil state. Kali plays an opposite role to Parvati in Shiva's life. She is the goddess who threatens stability and order. Kali's dangerous role in society outside the moral order is increased by her association with criminals.

Not surprisingly, Kali plays a central part in Tantrism, especially the left-hand path, and dominates Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals. Unlike mother goddesses who give life, Kali takes life.

She feeds on death and must be offered blood sacrifices. Kali is the feminine form of the word kala, time. Kali is the energy or power of time. Her blackness represents the supreme night which swallows all that exists. The emptiness of space is her only clothing, for when the universe is destroyed the power of time remains without its veil.

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Without shakti, expressed as the i in Shiva's name, Shiva becomes inert like a shava, corpse. Kali standing on the inert Shiva represents her standing on the universe in ruins. Kali's terrifying appearance is the symbol of her endless power of destruction and her laughter an expression of absolute dominion over all that exists, mocking those who would escape. Her arms are the four directions of space identified with the complete cycle of time. Four arms symbolise absolute domination.

Her sword is the power of destruction, the severed head she holds is the fate of all the living, and the garland of skulls shows the inseparableness of life and death. Kali as the power of time destroys all and embodies all fear.

As she alone is beyond fear she can protect from fear those who invoke her. Thus she has a hand in the removing fear gesture. The pleasures and joys of the world are ephemeral, and true happiness exists only in that which is permanent. Only the power of time is permanent and can give happiness, so Kali gives bliss as symbolised by her giving hand which may offer a bowl of plenty. By accepting the harsh truths that Kali represents, devotees are liberated from fear of them which people who deny or ignore them must suffer.

In the Hindu tradition the earliest references to her come from around the sixth century CE, when she is associated with battlefields and the fringes of Hindu society.

In South India the tradition of a dance contest between Kali and Shiva, which Shiva won, may reflect Shaiva dominance of a local goddess cult. Later texts give Kali the dominant role in the relationship.

By the eighth century Kali is identified with Shiva's consort Parvati. Kali coming forth from Durga's forehead may be a myth to integrate or subordinate one form of the Goddess with another. As the Shaiva and Vaishnava sects were evolving so was the Shakta cult with the worship of Kali and Durga. The Shaivas and Vaishnavas tried to attract these Shakta devotees by associating Kali and Durga with their sects.

Eventually Kali and Durga became more closely connected with Shaivism, but traces remain of links with Vaishnavism. The South Indian goddess Pidari can be identified with Kali.Note: Varies by jurisdiction.

Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a ritual.

Offering to Goddess Kali-Ma

Human sacrifice has been practiced in various cultures throughout history. Victims were typically ritually killed in a manner intended to please or appease godsspirits or the deceasedfor example, as a propitiatory offering or as a retainer sacrifice when a king's servants are killed in order for them to continue to serve their master in the next life.

Closely related practices found in some tribal societies are cannibalism and headhunting. By the Iron Agewith the associated developments in religion the Axial Agehuman sacrifice was becoming less common throughout the Old Worldand came to be looked down upon as barbaric in classical antiquity.

In the New Worldhowever, human sacrifice continued to be widespread to varying degrees until the European colonization of the Americas. In modern times, even the practice of animal sacrifice has disappeared from some religions, and human sacrifice has become extremely rare.

Most religions condemn the practice, and modern secular laws treat it as murder. In a society which condemns human sacrifice, the term ritual murder is used. The idea of human sacrifice has its roots in deep prehistory, [4] in the evolution of human behaviour. From its historical occurrences it seems mostly associated with neolithic or nomadic cultures, on the emergent edge of civilization.

blood offering to kali

Human sacrifice has been practised on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures. The various rationales behind human sacrifice are the same that motivate religious sacrifice in general. Human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify the gods, for example in the context of the dedication of a completed building like a temple or bridge. In ancient Japan, legends talk about hitobashira "human pillar"in which maidens were buried alive at the base or near some constructions to protect the buildings against disasters or enemy attacks, [5] and almost identical accounts appear in the Balkans The Building of Skadar and Bridge of Arta.

For the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan inthe Aztecs reported that they killed about 80, prisoners over the course of four days. According to Ross Hassigauthor of Aztec Warfare"between 10, and 80, persons" were sacrificed in the ceremony. Human sacrifice can also have the intention of winning the gods' favour in warfare. In Homeric legend, Iphigeneia was to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to appease Artemis so she would allow the Greeks to wage the Trojan War.

In some notions of an afterlifethe deceased will benefit from victims killed at his funeral. MongolsScythiansearly Egyptians and various Mesoamerican chiefs could take most of their household, including servants and concubineswith them to the next world.

This is sometimes called a "retainer sacrifice", as the leader's retainers would be sacrificed along with their master, so that they could continue to serve him in the afterlife. Another purpose is divination from the body parts of the victim. According to StraboCelts stabbed a victim with a sword and divined the future from his death spasms.

Headhunting is the practice of taking the head of a killed adversary, for ceremonial or magical purposes, or for reasons of prestige.The modern practice of Hindu animal sacrifice is mostly associated with Shaktismand in currents of folk Hinduism strongly rooted in local popular or tribal traditions. Animal sacrifices were part of the ancient Vedic religion in India, and are mentioned in scriptures such as the Yajurveda. They have lingered in certain local contexts. Some Puranas forbid animal sacrifice.

A Sanskrit term used for animal sacrifice is baliin origin meaning "tribute, offering or oblation" generically "vegetable oblations [ The Kalika Purana distinguishes bali sacrificemahabali great sacrificefor the ritual killing of goatselephantrespectively, though the reference to humans in Shakti theology is symbolic and done in effigy in modern times. The majority of modern Hindus avoid animal sacrifice, but there are numerous local exceptions.

In general, where it is practiced, it will be seen as desired by some deities, but not by others. Animal sacrifice is a part of some Durga puja celebrations during the Navratri in eastern states of India.

The goddess is offered sacrificial animal in this ritual in the belief that it stimulates her violent vengeance against the buffalo demon. Further, even in these states, the festival season is one where significant animal sacrifices are observed.

blood offering to kali

The Rajput of Rajasthan worship their weapons and horses on Navratriand formerly offered a sacrifice of a goat to a goddess revered as Kuldevi — a practice that continues in some places. In the past this ritual was considered a rite of passage into manhood and readiness as a warrior. The tradition of animal sacrifice is being substituted with vegetarian offerings to the Goddess in temples and households around Banaras in Northern India. Animal Sacrifice is practiced by Shaktism tradition where ritual offering is made to a Devi.

It is most notably performed in front of Local Deities or Clan Deities. In Karnataka, the Goddess receiving the sacrifice tends to be Renuka. The animal is either a male buffalo or a goat. Following this they hold the naming ceremony of the child on the 12th day. In some Sacred groves of Indiaparticularly in Western Maharashtraanimal sacrifice is practiced to pacify female deities that are supposed to rule the Groves.

Animal sacrifice is practiced in some Eastern states of India and Nepal. In it was speculated that more thananimals were killed [31] while 5 million devotees attended the festival.

Human sacrifice

Ghusuri means a child pig, which is sacrificed to the goddess every three years. Ahobilam in Andhra Pradeshis the centre of worship of Narasimhathe lion-headed avatar of Vishnuto whom the nine Hindu temples and other shrines are all dedicated. A certain amount of sacrifice of goats and rams is still performed weekly. This is now highly unusual in the worship of Vishnu, [37] [38] suggesting a "transitional state between a wild and unregulated tribal deity and an orthodox form of the god Vishnu".

Bali Jatra of Sonepur in Orissa, India is also an annual festival celebrated in the month of Aswina September—October when animal sacrifice is an integral part of the ritual worship of deities namely SamaleswariSureswari and Khambeswari. Bali refers to animal sacrifice and hence this annual festival is called Bali Jatra. Animal Sacrifice is practiced by some Hindus on the Indonesian island of Bali. A popular Hindu ritual form of worship of North Malabar region in the Indian state of Kerala is the blood offering to Theyyam gods.

Theyyam deities are propitiated through the cock sacrifice where the religious cockfight is a religious exercise of offering blood to the Theyyam gods.

The Ashvamedha ritual - in which a horse is sacrificed - is mentioned in the Vedic texts such as the Yajurveda. In the epic RamayanaRama performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice for becoming the Chakravartin emperor. In the epic MahabharataYudhishtra performs the Ashwamedha after winning the Kurukshetra war to become the Chakravartin emperor.

The Mahabharata also contains a description of an Ashvamedha performed by the Chedi king Uparichara Vasu, however, no animals were sacrificed in this story. However, sacrifices were common in this ritual.


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