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Re: SingavEL kunRam

From: Badrinarayanan Seshadri (
Date: Thu Aug 24 1995 - 14:43:11 PDT

Dileepan writes:


  Of all these shrines
* Jvaalaa and Ugra are the most difficult and cannot be
* reached without the help of aadhivaasi (senji tribe)
* guides.  Legend has it that Thaayaar was born into the
* senji tribe as Senji Lakshmi and married Narasimha
* perumaaL in hunter form.  It seems during the annual
* kalyaaNa uthsavam the senjees come with all kinds of
* "seer" including meat.
* Before I left for India I had an exchange about animal
* sacrifice with a dear friend.  Thirumangai aazhvaar gives
* us a hint about this subject in the following pasuram:
* \bt
* angkaNNYaalamanca angkOraaLariyaay avuNan
* pongavaagamvaLLugiraal pOzhndhapunidhanidam,
* paingaNaanaikkombukoNdu patthimaiyaal, adikkeezhch
* chengaNaaLiyittiRainchum singkavELkunRamE.
*                                    --  Periya thirumozhi 1.7.1
* \et
* angkaN NYaalam anca  :  Striking fear in the heart of everyone
* angkOr aaL ariyaay   :  taking the shape of man-lion
* avuNan ponga         :  angry Hiranyakasipu's
* vaagam vaLLugiraal   :  body was ripped open with the sharp nails
*   pOzhndha
* punidhanidam         :  of the pure one!
* paingaN aanaik kombu :  ivory from the elephants with cool eyes
* koNdu                : are brought
* patthimaiyaal        : with bhakthi
* yittu iRainchum      :  and offered with prayer
* adikkeezhch          :  at his divine feet
* chengaN aaLi         :  by red eyed lion;
* singkavELkunRamE     :  let us worship this Lion Lord of aHObilam.
* According to its dharmam the angry lion kills the
* innocent elephant.  From the carcass, the lion then offers
* the most precious part, i.e. ivory, to the Lord.
* If ones tradition involves meat eating, like that of the
* noble senjees, don't they have the right to make ritual
* offering of meat to our Lord?

Yes indeed. But the vedic sacrifices prescribed killing
and offering the animals to the Lord, irrespective of
one's tradition. Since anything offered in a sacrifice
was 'prasaadam', I am sure the cooked meat was also
consumed by the brahmana priests who performed the
sacrifices and the yagna's yajamana.

While we don't see this practise anymore by the brahmana
priests, at the earlier times they were extremely angry
at the Buddhists because the Buddhists criticised the
vedic sacrifices. periyavaachchaan piLLai expresses his
irritation at the Buddhists (for their opposition to
vedic animal sacrifices) in his commentary to

But the vedanta scholars probably never thought highly of
the vedic sacrifices!

(aside: some of the native Dravidian worship practises
are amazingly primitive and shocking even now.  There was
a detailed report in 'The Hindu' about 6 months back
about animal sacrifice to the village goddess 'Laxmi'
(not to be confused with Sri or Lakshmi, the divine
consort of vishnu) in the Andhra region. Men, intoxicated
with alcohol and driven to a frenzy by all the
accompanying drum beats literally bite off the jaws of
young lamb cubs and offer the meat and blood to the
village deities.  Similar sacrifices are performed in
thamizh naadu villages too.)


Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Cornell University