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.


8 Answers 8


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
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:36
  • 2
    Yes in my place,they do offer gourd or pumpkin for the bali.
    – Rickross
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 12:37
  • @mano Chk my last edit,using a pumpkin as the sacrifice is supported in scriptures.
    – Rickross
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 5:34
  • 2
    What an awesome answer @Rickross Commented 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.



Balis are not only given to Kali or similar deities but even in rituals for Vishnu, Ganapati or any deity even Yakshas, & Brahmarakahas, Bali is a compulsion. Thus Bali peethams are seen in every temples built as per shastras. Daily Balis are offered at Kamapeeth ( Kamakhya), Tarapith (Tara), Rajarappa (Chinnamasta), Gadhi mai (in Nepal). And on occasions like Dushera, Ashtamis, at all Shakti peethas. Like at Bimala devi Shaktipeeth in Puri, a goat is sacrificed on every Ashtami and Navami, there are many such temples.

(Ps- The answer given over here is purely Shastrokt, in case anyone has a presumption about Bali, and that a mother doesn't asks for Bali can kindly press back button. Also, I myself DON'T ADVOCATE PASHU BALI. But, I have no right to deny the Ahaar for Kali or any deity, based on my personal likes and dislikes. Thus, only facts are presented here.)

The answer here is written in 3 phases, 1st are the referances from Puranas, 2nd from Vedas and Bhashyas, 3rd suggesting various alternatives for pashu Bali with shastrokt pramanas.

Part 1- Referances from Kalika and Shrimad Devi Bhagwata Puranas.

(Since, the question asked relates to Mahakali, thus I consider only these two puranas in authority to give citations from)

Devi Bhagwat Puran 10.2.1

अर्चिष्यन्ति मनुष्यास्त्वां सर्वकामवरेश्वरीम् ।
धूपोपहारबलिभि: सर्वकामवरप्रदाम् ॥
By sacrifices of animals, dhup, ordinary human beings will worship you, because you are supreme in fulfilling all desires of everyone.

Devi Bhagwat 3.26.34 also says:—

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

Reason:— "Karma" is possible only in Body of Human, other bodies like that of Goat, Buffalo are fruits of Karm.  Neither they can perform good Karmas nor bad in these bodies, so the only way of their Mukti is by their sacrifice in Rituals.

These whole shlokas are from Kalika puran,

बलिदानं ततः पश्चात कुर्याद् देव्याः प्रमोदकम्।
मोदकैर्गजवक्त्रम् च हविषा तोषयेद्रविम्।।
तौर्यत्रिकैश्च नियमैह् शंकरं तोषयेदधरिम।
चंडीकां बलिदानेन तोषयेत् साधकः सदा।।
Then give Bali for the pleasure of the devi,because Shastra state that a sadhaka can appease Ganpati with Modak, Vishnu with ghee, Shankar with singing and dancing, Chandika with blood sacrifice.
पक्षिणह् कच्छपा ग्राहाश्छागलाश्च वराहकाह्।
महिषो गोधिकाशोषा तता नवविधा मृगाह्।।
चामरः कृष्णसारश्च शशः पंचाननस्तथा।
मत्स्याः स्वगात्ररुधीरैश्चाष्टधा बलयो मताह्।।
अभावे च तथैवैषाम् कदाचिद्धयहस्थिनौ।
छागलाह् शरभाचैव नरश्चैव यथाक्रमात्।।
बलिर्महा बलिरिति बलयः परिकीर्तितताह्।
स्नापयित्वा बलिम् तत्र पुष्पचन्दनधुपकैह्।।
Birds, tortoise, crocodile, wild boar, goat, buffalo, Monitor Lizard, rabbit, antelope, swamp deer, blackbuck, spotted deer, lion, fish, blood of sadhakas own body, horse in the absence of the aforesaid and elephant are the 8 types of Bali. Goat, antelope and enemy king are Bali, Mahabali & Atibali respectively.
चण्डिकाभैरवादोनाम् बलयः परिकीर्तिताह्।
बलिभीह् साध्यते मुक्तिर्बलिभिह् साध्यते दिवम्।।
बलिदानेन सततं जयेच्छत्रुन्नृपान् नृपह्।
मतस्यानाम् तु कच्छपानां रुधिरैह् सततं शिवा।।
मासैकं तृप्तिमाप्नोती ग्राहैर्मासांस्तु त्रीनथ।
Balis that please Chandika and the Bhairava have been thus praised. Bali ensures Mukti ( of that sadhaka), Bali ensures SwargaSukha (for that animal), and Bali is the means by which a king defeat an enemy king. With the blood of fish and tortoise, Shiva devi remains satisfied for one month, and the blood of crocodile she remains satisfied for three months.
मृगाणाम् शोणितैर्देवी नराणामपि शोणितैह्।।
अष्टो मासानवाप्नोती तृप्तिम् कल्याणदा च सा।
कृष्णसारस्य रुधिरैह् शूकरस्य च शोणितैह्।।
प्रप्नोती स तृप्तिम् द्वादशवार्षिकोम्।
अजाविकानाम् रुधिरैह् पंचविंशतिवार्षिकीम्।।
महिषा खड्गानां रुधिरैह् शतवार्षीकीम्।
तृप्तिमाप्नोती परमाम् शार्दुलरुधिरैस्तथा।।
सिंहस्य शरभस्याथ स्वगात्रस्य च शोणितैह्।
देवी तृप्तिमवाप्नोती सहस्त्रम् परिवत्सरान्।।
With the blood of dear and of enemy king, Devi remains satisfied for eight months and welfare of the Sadaka. With the blood of black buck and wild Boar, devi remains satisfied for 12 months, with the blood of goat and sheep, she remains satisfied for 25 months, the blood of Buffalo rhinoceros and tiger, she remains satisfied for hundred years. With the blood of lion, antelope and blood from Sadakha's own body, the devi remains satisfied for Thousand Years.
मांसैरपि तथा प्रीति रुधिरैर्यस्य यावती।।
कृष्णसारं मृगं खड्गं तता मत्स्यम् च रोहितम्।
वाध्रीणसयुगं फलम् तेषाम् पृथक् पृथक्।। कृष्णसारस्य मांसेन तथा खड्गेन चण्डिका।
वर्षाणाम् च शताबन्येव तप्तिमाप्नोती केवलम्।।
I (Lord Shiva) have thus described the duration till which devi remains satisfied with the blood of which animal, for that much time period, Meat of that animal also keeps her satisfied. Offering the meat of blackbuck, rhinoceros, rohu fish and old goat have different results, listen to that. The meat of black buck and Rhino keep Chandika satisfied for 100 years.
रोहितस्य तु मत्स्यस्य मांसैर्वाध्रीणसस्य।
तृप्तिम् प्राप्नोती वर्षाणाम् शतानी त्रिणि मत्प्रिया।।
तृप्नुवन्त्विन्द्रीयक्षीणम् स्वेतं वृद्धमजापतिम्।
वाध्रीणसह् प्रोच्यतेSसो हव्ये कव्ये च सत्कृतह्।।
नीलग्रीवो रक्तशीर्षह् कृष्णापादह् सितच्छंदह्।
वाध्रीणसह् स्यात्पक्षी च मम विष्णोरपि प्रियह्।।
My wife Durga remain satisfied with rohu fish and meat of old goat for 300 years. White goat whose senses have become weak due to old age is called, "Vardhrinasah", and it's meat has been recommended in the ritual worship of deities and forefathers. A bird with blue neck, red head, black white wings, is also called,"Vardhrinasah" and it's meat satisfies me (Mahadev) and Lord Vishnu very much.
नरेण बलिना देवी साहस्त्रम् परिवत्सरान्।
विधिदत्तेन चोप्नोती तृप्ति लक्षम् त्रिभीर्नरैह्।।
नरेणेवाथच मांसेन त्रिसाहस्त्रम् वत्सरान् ।
तृप्तिमाप्नोती कामाख्या भैरवी मम रूपधृक्।।
मंत्रपूतं शोणितम् तू पीयूषम् जायते सदा।
मस्तकं चापि तस्याति मांसं चापि तथा शिवा।।
Narbali performed by following all the laid all rules satisfies Kamakhya Devi and my Bhairav form for thousand years and, with three Narabali, She remains satisfied for one lakh years. Since deities love to eat the head and the meat of sacrificed and will therefore while worshiping one should keep the decapitated head and the blood of the sacrifice animal in the front of Shiva devi.
तस्मात् तु पूजने दध्याद् वलेह् शीर्ष च लोहितम्।।
भोज्ये होमे च मांसानि नियूंजीयद् वै साधकः क्वचित्।
ऋते तु लोहितम् शीर्षममृतं तत्तु जायते।।
And observe Sadhak will give cooked and hairless meat to Devi with other food items. A decapitated head with blood drained out is as good as Amrit.

Lord Viṣṇu also says that his sister Durgā will be worshipped by sacrifices in Vishnu Puran 5.1.86 

सुरामांसोपहरैश्च भक्ष्यभोज्यैश्च पूजिता ।
Propitiated with offerings of wine and flesh and various viands,

Part 1, Referances from Vedas and Bhasyas-

Vishnu Smriti 5.61

यज्ञार्थं पशवः सृष्टाः स्वयमेव स्वयम्भुवा ।
यज्ञोऽस्य भूत्यै सर्वस्य तस्माद् यज्ञे वधोऽवधः ॥
Animals have been created by the Self-born God himself for the purpose of sacrifice: sacrifice is conducive to the well-being of all this world; hence killing at a sacrifice is no ‘killing’ at all

Shraut Sutras of Different Vedic Shakhas, also:-

Kātyāyan Śraut Sūtra 20.7.19

छागोसमेषाः पश्वभिधानाद् यथालिङ्गम् ।

Ṛigved, Āśwalāyan Gṛhyasūtra 1.24.26 

न अमांसो मधुपर्को भवति

Ṛigveda, Kauṣītaki Gṛhyasūtra 2.15

न अमांसः अर्घः भवति अधियज्ञमधिविवाहम्

Kṛṣṇa Yajur, Mānav Maitrāyaṇīya Gṛhyasūtra 1.9.22

न अमांसो मधुपर्क इति श्रुतिः

Śukla Yajur, Pāraskar Gṛhya Sūtra 1.3.30

न त्वेव अमांसः अर्घः स्याद् अधियज्ञमधिविवाहम् कुरूतेत्येव ब्रूयात्

Atharva, Kauṣik Gṛhya Sūtra 92.16

न अलोहितो मधुपर्को भवति

Brahma Sutra 3.1.25 of Maharshi Ved Vyas also defends Animal Sacrifice. It is:- 

अशुद्धमिति चेन्न शब्दात् । Which means, If it be said that sacrificial work is unholy; we deny this on the ground of scripture.

This single Brahma Sutra denies all the possible claims against Animal Sacrifice.

Bhagwān Ādī Shankarachary in his commentary of this Sutra says:-

तस्माद्विशुद्धं कर्म वैदिकम् शिष्टैरनुष्ठीयमानत्वात् अनिन्द्यमानत्वाच्च
The work of sacrifice enjoined by the Veda is therefore holy, being performed by authoritative men and considered blameless;

Vaiṣṇav Achary themselves:-

Śrī Vaiṣṇav Achary Rāmānujāchary jiTattvavādī Vaiṣṇav Achary Madhvācharya ji,Gaudiya Vaiṣṇav Achary Baladeva Vidyābhuṣaṇ ji,Nimbārkāchary ji of Nimbark Samp,

All of them in their respective commentary of this Sutra defends Animal Sacrifice.

Rāmānujāchary in his Gitā Bhāsya 2.21 quotes a verse of Taiitirīya Brahman in order to defend Animal Sacrifice.

न वा उव् एतन् म्रियसे न रिष्यसि । देवाꣳ इद् एषि पथिभिः सुगेभिः । यत्र यन्ति सुकृतो नापि दुष्कृतः । तत्र त्वा देवः सविता दधातु ।
"Thou dost not die, thou art not hurt, thou goest to the gods through easy paths. Where men of good deeds go and not evil-doers, there may the sun-god lead thee”

This same verse is quoted by Śrī Nivāsāchary in his commentary of Above Brahma Sutra i.e 3.1.25

Same is in Vishnu Smriti 51.64

यज्ञार्थेषु पशून्हिंसन्वेदतत्त्वार्थविद्द्विजः ।
आत्मानं च पशूंश्चैव गमयत्युत्तमां गतिम् । ।

Conclusion:- Sacrifice is sanctioned in Vedas, prescribed by Smriti, Purans and defended by Vedant Acharyas.

So there is nothing wrong in Pashu Bali. (PS- I myself don't advocate Pashu Bali)

As said in Vishnu Smriti, The Killing of Animal in sacrifice is no killing at all.

या वेदविहिता हिंसा नियतास्मिंश्चराचरे | अहिंसां एव तां विद्याद्वेदाद्धर्मो हि निर्बभौ । ।

Part 3- Other alternatives for Pashu bali.

The first alternative that appears is to sacrifice one's own blood to Devi.

This appears in Kalika puran,

सिंहस्य शरभस्याथ स्वगात्रस्य च शोणितैह्।।
देवी तृप्तिमवाप्नोती साहस्त्रम् परिवत्सरान्।
With the blood of lion, antelope and blood from Sadakha's own body the devi remains satisfied for Thousand Years.

Also, in Durga Saptashati,

ददतुस्तौ बलिं चैव निजगात्रासृगुक्षितम्।
एवं समाराधयतोस्त्रिभिर्वर्षैर्यतात्मनोः॥12॥
परितुष्टा जगद्धात्री प्रत्यक्षं प्राह चण्डिका॥13।।
12- With their minds on ther and with concentration, they both offered sacrifices sprinkled with blood drawn from their own bodies. When they, with controlled minds propitiated her thus for three years.
13- Chandika, the upholder of the world, was well pleased and spoke to them in visible form.

Thus, you see when Surath and Samadhi sacrificed their own blood, devi appeared to them just within 3 years.
(The self blood sacrifice is not a joke, it must be learnt only from a guru and then done. Or else various unwanted forces might get attracted.)

Now for alternatives where no blood is involved -

The Vaikrutikam Rahasyam, of Rahasya Trayam, explains that certain people can be exempted from blood sacrifices. The verse with explanation goes as-

रुधिराक्तेन बलिना मांसेन सुरया नृप।
(बलिमांसादिपूजेयं विप्रवर्ज्या मयेरिता॥
तेषां किल सुरामांसैर्नोक्ता पूजा नृप क्वचित्।)
प्रणामाचमनीयेन चन्दनेन सुगन्धिना॥28॥
Oh king, that Mahalakshmi should be worshipped with devotion, by the blood drenched sacrifice , toddy , meat, ( Oh king, the puja thus prescribed with sacrifice and meat is told by excluding Brahmins. For Brahmins there is no vidhan for puja with Meat and liquor.) Salutation , Aachamana , sandal paste with good aroma.

[PS- This rule of exemption of Brahmins change with Lokachar. For example, the Brahmins in Maithila, Bengal, Assam eat fish. Thus they must offer it to devi too. And anyone, (even from rest classes) today who doesn't eat meat or drink liquor must not offer it to devi. This can be explained by an untold Sanatana doctrine, "What you eat is, what you offer to deities". Take an example, Ashwa medha yagna was exclusivly for Kings and Worriors. The priests or other classes were exempted from it. Likewise, priests and merchants used only Vajpeyee(cooked rice), and Soma(creepers). Im not being castiest, but this was just to explain,"what you eat is what you have to offer".]

Thus in short, those who are sudh Shakahari are exempted from Animal sacrifice, but not from "Sacrifice". Since, Sacrifices are the Ahaar(food) for the deity, thus it must be offered compulsorily.

So, there are some "vegetarian" options too -

Kalika tantra-

कुष्मांडभिक्षुदंडं च मध्यमासवमेव च।
एते बलिसमाह् प्राक्तास्तृप्तओ छागसमाह् सदा।।
Pumpkin, Sugarcane, liquor and 3 Makars (meat, fish and fried snacks) are also Bali and give same satisfaction as a sacrifice of black goat.

Here it says, sacrificing Pumpkin, Sugarcane is just equivalents to a black goat sacrifice.

कुशमाण्डं नारिकलम् वा श्रीफलं चेक्षुमेव च।
वस्त्रम् सम्वेष्टितम् कृत्वा छेदयेत्छुरीकादिभिह्।
एवं स्मार्तो बलिह् प्रोक्तो धर्मशास्त्रानुगामिनः।।
One should cover pumpkin, coconut, sugarcane with clothes and then slash them with knife. This is Smarth Bali for those following dharma shastras. -Gandharva tantra.

Thus, those who refrain from using Meat and wine, can sacrifice Pumpkin, Sugarcane (highly voted in Shastras). And instead of liquor, the alternate to use is Dry grape's juice (soak Kishmish in water overnight, even that water is considered as liquor.)

Even Payasam Bali is done, but Im not aware in which scripture it is mentioned.

Thus, concluding I myself don't like Pashu Bali but, I'm not against it. It is the very much Ahaar of deities. And no one has rights to object it on personal likes and dislikes. For those who want to sacrifice animal must do so, for those who don't want to, can sacrifice Pumpkin or Sugarcane.

Thus, I will conclude with Verses of Śrīmad Bhagwat geeta which says,

यः शास्त्रविधिमुत्सृज्य वर्तते कामकारतः।
न स सिद्धिमवाप्नोति न सुखं न परां गतिम्।।
Ignoring the precept of the scriptures, he who acts under the impulsion of passion, he does not attain perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme Goal.

तस्माच्छास्त्रं प्रमाणं ते कार्याकार्यव्यवस्थितौ।
ज्ञात्वा शास्त्रविधानोक्तं कर्म कर्तुमिहार्हसि।।
Therefore, the scripture is your authority as regards the determination of what is to be done and what is not to be done. After understanding (your) duty as presented by scriptural injunction, you ought to perform (your duty) here.

Those who want to quote Kularvana tantra,

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 nothing but kill animals.

The explanation from my side is -

This is indeed true, this is indeed the esoteric meaning of मांस and माछ of Panchmakar. But, how can a sadhaka, a newly initiated one reach that level (unless guru gives that lucky guy Shaktipat)? Thus the external Panchmakars are prescribed in tantras. Slowly, the sadhaka starts to get dettached from those and reach the state of internal Panchmakar. Then to that sadhaka the lines like to sacrifice buffalo means to sacrifice anger, to sacrifice pigeon means to sacrifice lust, and so on. Just like a person initially worships idols, the Sagun forms and slowly reaches a state of Nirgunatva, or starts to see his/her isht everywhere. The way a new learner does upchar puja on idols with various draviyas, and latter is able to do same in Manasik pujas. Same applies here.

कालिकार्पणमस्तु । 🌺


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

  • 1
    Very beautiful... heart touching answer. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 14:02
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    You have provided no arguments in your answer. Just some of your opinions and some references to 'scriptures' that you did not even name. Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 13:50

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.

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    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
    Commented 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.

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    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. Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 2:26
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    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
    Commented Jun 26, 2018 at 4:17

I won't give any personal opinions on whether it is correct or not. However, Animal sacrifice has been sanctioned in the scriptures almost everywhere where the charitra of Devi is mentioned. Scriptures also state that there is there is no sin of killing an animal when it is sacrificed for Devi since the as per scriptures the sacrificed animal is stated to obtain Svarga.

Brahma-Vaivarta Purana, Prakrti Khanda, Chapter 65

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सा पुण्या सा पवित्रा च सा धर्मसुखदायिनी । तस्मात्सदा पूजनीया चामुण्डामुण्डमालिनी । । १६ तस्यां यद्युपयुज्यन्ते प्राणिनो महिषादयः । सर्वे ते स्वर्गतिं यान्ति घ्नतां पापं न विद्यते । । १७

All the Animals That are Sacrificed before Bhagavati Chamunda such as Buffaloes etc. attain svarga and there is no sin involved in sacrificing them.

~ Bhavisya Purana, Uttara Parva, Chapter 138

This alone is reiterated in Devi Bhagavata.

देव्यग्रे निहता यान्ति पशवः स्वर्गमव्ययम् । न हिंसा पशुजा तत्र निघ्नतां तत्कृतेऽनघ ॥ ३३ ॥ अहिंसा याज्ञिकी प्रोक्ता सर्वशास्त्रविनिर्णये । देवतार्थे विसृष्टानां पशूनां स्वर्गतिर्ध्रुवा ॥ ३४ ॥

33-34. O sinless one! The goats, etc., offered as a sacrifice before the Devī attain to unending heavens. Therefore persons offering the sacrifices of goats do not iñcur 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 Śāstras, it has been decided that this killing of animals in a sacrifice is considered as non-killing.

Devi Bhagavata, Book 3, Chapter 26


Why Maata Kaali rituals existed is secret. From ancient times, the ritual to Maata Kaali is not "killing other animals and showering blood" The ritual is as follows On Amaavasya, no moon day giving ones own blood. After giving blood by cutting hands or pulpy portion the person has to bear acute pain. To remove pain and clot blood, a form of snake protein combined with limestone ash were available in olden days.

Only Kshatriya Varna used to follow rituals. Nowadays people are afraid to shed their blood and walk on fire bed. Hence they force animals or birds to shed blood for them.

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