Traditional temple

At Begusarai’s Durga Temple, a 700-year-old tradition of animal sacrifice finally comes to an end

October 5, 2022. In India, the colorful festival of Navratri, which commemorates the return of Goddess Durga, is widely observed in villages and states. This lucky event is observed in various ancient rituals and customs depending on the location. But this year, the Durga temples in the Bhagwanpur block near Begusarai broke a 700-year-old custom. Indeed, the well-known and oldest Durga temple near Begusarai has had a positive change in the ceremonies of this Navratri.

Traditional animal sacrifices were performed at this ancient temple, but have since been replaced. A new practice replaced a 700 year old habit during this Durga Puja.

The Animal Sacrifice Convention at Durga Temple in Begusarai

According to legend, the statue of Durga, or Shaktipeeth as it is locally known, was transported from Nadia to Bengal 700 years ago. The deity was built at Lakahnpur and worshiped as Kuldevi. The only temple in Begusarai believed to preserve original Bengali customs is frequented by people from all walks of life. their prayers would be answered.

The history of animal sacrifice across cultures

In ancient times, there was an understanding of blood as a sacred element of life in humans and animals. This is fundamental to animal sacrifice. The god thrives on sacrifice – and therefore people and the natural world thrive too, or so it has long been believed. Blood sacrifices have been used for a variety of purposes, including the fertility of the land, purification, and atonement. However, bloodletting was not the only purpose or method of animal sacrifice. Animals of all kinds have been sacrificed throughout history. A variety of important domestic animals, including goat, ram, bull and ox, in ancient Greece and India, for example. Additionally, edible birds, wild game, and fish were employed in Greek religion.

The type and quantity of animals used for the various sacrifices in ancient Judaism were precisely prescribed for the offering to be accepted and therefore fully effective. Often the offering must be suitable for the deity to which it is offered or the purpose for which it is offered. The animal or plant used as a sacrifice was often closely related to the deity to whom it was offered as an incarnation or symbolic image of the deity.

Indian laws and statutes on the subject

Today, many Indian states already have legislation in place that prohibits the religious sacrifice of any animal in any temple or within its grounds, including Gujarat, Kerala, Pondicherry and Rajasthan. Further, animal sacrifice is not permitted in public places of worship or worship, its immediate vicinity, or at any gathering or procession associated with religious observance on a public road in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana. The Supreme Court of India ordered in an order dated April 10, 2017 that animals can only be killed in an area established according to law and that the municipal authority be bound to ensure compliance. The Supreme Court, by an order dated February 17, 2017, ordered that killing animals without following the Indian Government’s Compendium of Acts and Rules on Transporting and Slaughtering Animals is a punishable offence.

Encouraging change and the abolition of tradition

According to sources, the Maa Durga Temple Pushpalata Ghosh Charitable Trust is in charge of the management of the temple. The committee made the decision to end this long-standing practice and institute new rituals in an effort to bring about change. From now on, devotees will present Goddess Vaishnavi with fruits and vegetables including sugar cane and pumpkin.

No religion condones the slaughter of animals, and chopping animals to death with weapons is downright cruel. All religions encourage compassion. Animal sacrifice is also harmful to everyone: it normalizes killing and desensitizes children to animal cruelty. Therefore, this custom which has been documented throughout the history of the temple since its founding has transformed today. So the change is really encouraging!