Adventures in India

This is an open journal of some of the things I see and think about while trying to find a place to live in India. It may or may not be interesting. I make no promises.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Photos from the Calcutta sacrifice

These pictures were taken the day of the goat sacrifice I arranged, Friday, Full Moon, March 2005. I describe it a bit earlier in this blog.

Here the brahmin is explaining the cost of the sacrifice: wood, ghee, herbs, incense, camphor, rice for the goat dish served to the poor afterwards, and vegetables and other essentials. The cost of the goat was seperate.

The goat and I are introduced. He is beautiful. I thank him. He eats the flowers

First there are a series of rituals in the smaller temples in the courtyard. Here the brahmin helps me with the chants as I make an offering to the lingham (big stone penis).

Murugan makes his offering to the big stone penis (lingham)

One of the brahmins comforts the goat, whispering secret mantras into his ear. This soul will never have to be reborn as a goat.

A garland of 108 red hibiscus flowers (Kali Ma's favorite) are placed around the goat's neck (and it must always be a male goat) and another identical garland is placed around the neck of the image.

Is the woman feeling sad for the goat, or just sad?

The goat decides to cram one last meal in before the big event.

Another brahmin makes the Homa offering. This is an ancient Vedic ceremony using fire as the medium of sacrifice. The brahmin is chanting the names of my friends and family.

Making an offering to God.

I say goodbye. The goat says, "Gosh, I like flowers."

Murugan and I pray after the Homa ceremony.


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