I personally believe that a mother would never ask someone to kill her own children; moreover she would ask to kill the wrong and the negative things within each individual.

I have been told in my community that if we do not follow our traditions of offering a Goat to Mother Kali, then our lineage would be cursed.

I had asked few Bhramins and found out that we can use a pumpkin instead of any animal and for the Red color kumkum dissolved in water as red is priya to Mother Kali.

Guys, please help me to clear my doubt what exactly Mother Kali wants as an offering.

Kindly suggest with references from puranas.


5 Answers 5


I personally believe that a mother would never ask someone to kill her own children moreover she would ask to kill the wrong and the negative things within each individual.

What you feel is absolutely correct.Goddess Kali does not need the sacrifice, the necessity arises only from the side of those who eat meat.Because the Shastras unanimously agree that eating meat without sacrifice is a sin.

Example: Manu Smriti 5.52.

There is no greater sinner than that (man) who, though not worshipping the gods or the manes, seeks to increase (the bulk of) his own flesh by the flesh of other (beings)

So,in this case, i would love to feel that devotees who sacrifice animals for Goddess, are merely shooting guns from someone elses's shoulder and here "someone else" is none other than Goddess herself.


Chapter XXVI Devi Bhagawatam details the method of how to perform Navaratri.

If you see in the descriptions(given by Maharshi Vyasa) from verses 1-31 you will find that there is no reference of animal sacrifice in them.

And then in verse 32 Vyasa says:

  1. Those who eat meat, they can sacrifice animals in this worship of the Devî; and, for this purpose, goat and wild boars are the best.

33-34. O sinless one! The goats, etc., offered as a sacrifice before the Devî attain to unending heavens. Therefore persons offering the sacrifices of goats do not incur any sin. O king! The goats, etc., and other beast offered as a sacrifice before the Devas undoubtedly go to the heavenly regions; therefore, in all the S’âstras, it has been decided that this killing of animals in a sacrifice is considered as non-killing.

The above passage also justifies sacrificial killing by saying that killing for sacrifice is not killing and hence that act does not incur sin.The sacrificial animal goes to heaven etc.

But that is not my point,my point is animal sacrifice is not compulsory in the ritual.The need arises only if the performer/devotee desires to eat meat.Vyasa never mentions it as compulsory.

Hence the statement- "if we do not follow our traditions of offering a Goat to mother KALI then our line age would be cursed". does not seem to be validated by Scriptures and to me it looks like more of a belief.

Goddess Kali is described in Scriptures as "Rudhira paana Priyaa" or "One who is fond of drinking blood".But whose blood?Of some innocent animal which is nothing but Her own child?

Of course NOT ,she loves drinking blood of those demonic forces of nature(called the Asuras) who are the main obstacles in the path of Dharma or righteousness.

Here is Kalika Ashtakam ,refer to the first verse which is Her Dhyanam:

Galad-Rakta-Munnddaavalii-Kannttha-Maalaa Maho-Ghora-Raavaa Su-Damssttraa Karaalaa | Vivastraa Shmashaana-[A]alayaa Mukta-Keshii Mahaakaala-Kaama-[A]akulaa Kaalikeyam ||1||


1.1: (Salutations to Devi Kalika) From Her Neck is hanging a Garland of (severed) Heads from which Blood is dripping down, 1.2: She is making a very Terrific Sound revealing Her large Teeth, and Her appearance is extremely Dreadful to look at, 1.3: She is without any Clothes and Residing in the Cremation ground; Her Hair is let loose and Free (as is Her entire appearance), 1.4: Her entire being is manifesting the great Yearning to merge with Mahakala (to take the devotees beyond Samsara); She is Kalika, the Great Dark Goddess.

Goddess Kali is fond of drinking that blood only which is dripping from the heads of those demons whom she had slain & not of some innocent animals.

But having said that,In Tantrik rituals we do have the concept of Pancha Ma Karas" which involves of 1)eating meat(Mamasa) 2)drinking wine(MAdya) 3)eating fish(Matsya),4)eating cereals(Mudra) and 5) having sexual intercourse(Maithuna).

But,the real significances of these rituals,as given in the following excerpt from the Kularnava Tantra, have long been forgotten :

" A s soma has been ordained a Brahmana should d r i n k ; " which other Tantras are said to deny. If this however be done in the ordinary animal w a y even a Vira will go to Hell (v. 93). Nectar drinking is the union of Kundali Shakti with the Moonchit (Chichchandra). Others are but wine drinkers (vv. 107-108). The true meat eater is he who has merged his Chitta in the Supreme (v. 109). He who controls his senses and unites them with Atma is a fish-eater. The rest do but kill animals (v. 110). True sexual union is the union of Para Shakti that is Kundali with A t m a ; others do but have carnal connection with women (vv 111, 112)

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My personal opinion is that once you kill another animal its determined that you will also be killed in a similar fashion in some other life in some other worlds.So,its wise not to induldge in practices such as animal sacrifices.

And that same view is highlighted in the following Manu Smriti verse:

Me he (mam sah)’will devour in the next (world), whose flesh I eat in this (life); the wise declare this (to be) the real meaning of the word ’flesh’(mamsah)

Edit-Regarding whether using a pumpkin as the sacrifice(bali) is in accordance with Shastras.

@Mano please read the following passage taken from the essence of dharma sindhu :

As regards Bali Vidhana ( sacrifice) in the Nava Raatraas, ‘Maasha Sahitaanna’ or ‘Kushmaanda’or Pumpkin are the appropriate items as far as Brahmanas are concerned; as already mentioned above in the Preface of Navaratri Vrataas, Brahmanena Pashu maamsa Madyaadi Bali daaney, Brahmantwa bhrashtata! ( If Bali is given by Brahmanas in terms of Madya Maamsaas, Brahmantwa is lost forever!

So,the above quote proves that using a pumpkin as the bali is in accordance with Scriptures.

  • 1
    Thanks @Rickross so Offering a Pumpkin instead is right to do ?
    – mano
    Oct 27, 2016 at 12:36
  • 2
    Yes in my place,they do offer gourd or pumpkin for the bali.
    – Rickross
    Oct 27, 2016 at 12:37
  • @mano Chk my last edit,using a pumpkin as the sacrifice is supported in scriptures.
    – Rickross
    Nov 2, 2016 at 5:34
  • 2
    What an awesome answer @Rickross Sep 4, 2018 at 17:23

It's not mandatory to sacrifice animals in Devi or Kaali worship. But goat or animal sacrifice is considered as non-killing.

The animals which are sacrificed to the Divine Mother will go to heaven. This is mentioned in Chapter 26, 3rd book of Srimad Devi Bhagavatam. This chapter describes procedure to celebrate Navaratri in detail.

मांसाशनं ये कुर्वन्ति तैः कार्यं पशुहिंसनम् ।
महिषाजवराहाणां बलिदान विशिष्यते । 32 ।

Those who eat meat, they can sacrifice animals in this Worship of the Devi, and, for this purpose, goat and wild boars are the best.

देव्यग्रे निहता यान्ति पशवः स्वर्गमव्ययम् ।
न हिंसा पशुजा तत्र निघ्नतां तत्कृतेऽनघ
।। 33 ।।

आहिंसा याशिकी प्रोक्ता सर्वशास्त्रविनिर्णचे ।
देवतार्थ विसृष्टानां पशूनां स्वर्गतिधुवा । 34 ।

O sinless one. The goats offered as a Sacrifice before the Devi, attain to unending heavens. Therefore persons offering the Sacrifices of animals do not incur any sin. O king. The goats etc., and other beasts offered as a sacrifice before the Devas undoubtedly go to the heavenly regions; therefore, in all the Sastras, it has been decided that this killing of animals in a sacrifice is considered as non-kiling.


Regarding Animal sacrifice during rituals - To the proponents of the practice and justifying animal sacrifice "to please" the presiding deity. This practice is inhuman and unGODly. As per law (both spiritual/Karmic and Cosmic), whatever we give comes back to us. Increasing levels of torture on, lack of compassion for and tendency to trample on their right of weaker and helpless से tons to peaceful life is already coming back on the society at large. Its manifestation can be seen around everywhere - every society, every geography, every section etc

Those who believe that sacrificed animals/creatures goes to heaven, my advice to them and the proponents if that belief is - "why not sacrifice one of your own dear ones. That will please the GOD as you believe and also give heaven to your dear ones..." Only flaw in this is free meat for lunch will not be possible to "the beggars"

Those persons who profess that Mother Shakti loves Blood and sacrifice, and either does not have understanding of the scriptures and are knowingly misinterpreting to benefit themselves with free meat and money. As per religious texts, Mother Shakti is drinking blood of Demons /Asuras NOT because she relishes taste of blood, but to prevent the blood of beheaded Asuras from dropping on the ground. Those who have read the scriptures should know WHY So, as well as the context

  • Very beautiful... heart touching answer. Feb 11, 2018 at 14:02

I read some where in Shri Ramakrishna literature, where Shri Ramakrishna explained that in ancient times a sadhak would do his sadhana and at the end of his sadhana, he would cut his body parts one by one and offer it to the mother and at last he would offer his head to the Mother. Thereby offering everything including his life to the Mother. He said those people used to have very strong heart and their shraddha was very very deep. In later period, men were not so courageous as to offer their own parts and life to the Mother, therefore they started sacrificing animals. It depends where are you offering sacrifice to the Mother. Some places where the place is regarded as Tantra peeth, i will not advice to offer a pumpkin(I am not an authority, just saying on the basis of stories I read and heard). In Belur Math, I think they offer the sacrifice of pumpkin.

  • This answer needs citation. Pl. mention the references/links of Shri Ramakrishna literature from where you are mentioning this. I have read the works by Shri. M (Mahendranath) on Shri Ramakrishna but didn't read what you mention. If you mention the source, I can update myself.
    – Vineet
    Jun 26, 2018 at 7:23

I believe that before referring to any text by any rishi it is mandatory that the conclusion must be taken from Vedas the non mortal created energy. Where the Ishwar who people may think of variety wherein have the same reverence says,

राजंतं अध्वराणाराम् गोपामृतस्य दीदिविम्। वर्धमानम् स्वे दमे।। ऋग्वेद मं१. सूक्त१. ८

rājaṃtaṃ adhvarāṇārām gopāmṛtasya dīdivim। vardhamānam sve dame।। ṛgveda maṃ1. sūkta1. 8

So I believe where ever to welcome Devata Agni or in fact any Vedic deity there non violence is the prime and foremost requisite.

  • The mantra you cited doesn't speak about violence or the animal sacrifices in the yajnas. PLease add relevant mantra or translation which supports your claim. Jun 26, 2018 at 2:26
  • Welcome to Hinduism SE. You have provided a verse to support your answer, but since everyone doesn't understand Sanskrit, so you should always provide English translation for the verses.
    – Aby
    Jun 26, 2018 at 4:17

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