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Killing for 'Mother' Kali
Time Asia ^ | JULY 29, 2002 | ALEX PERRY ATAPUR

Posted on 07/28/2002 9:52:24 AM PDT by aculeus

It was at most a fringe practice, but a spate of ritual killings in India shows that human sacrifice lives on.

For the magic to work, the killing had to be done just right. If the goddess were to grant Khudu Karmakar the awesome powers he expected from a virgin's death, the victim had to be willing, had to know what was happening, watch the knife, and not stop it. But even tranquilizers couldn't lull 15-year-old Manju Kumari to her fate. In his police confession, Karmakar says his wife, daughter and three accomplices had to gag Manju and pin her down on the earthen floor before the shrine. In ritual order, Karmakar wafted incense over her, tore off her blue skirt and pink T shirt, shaved her, sprinkled her with holy water from the Ganges and rubbed her with cooking fat. Then chanting mantras to the "mother" goddess Kali, he sawed off Manju's hands, breasts and left foot, placing the body parts in front of a photograph of a blood-soaked Kali idol. Police say the arcs of blood on the walls suggest Manju bled to death in minutes.

Human sacrifice has always been an anomaly in India. Even 200 years ago, when a boy was killed every day at a Kali temple in Calcutta, blood cults were at odds with a benign Hindu spiritualism that celebrates abstinence and vegetarianism. But Kali is different. A ferocious slayer of evil in Hindu mythology, the goddess is said to have an insatiable appetite for blood. With the law on killing people more strictly enforced today, ersatz substitutes now stand in for humans when sacrifice is required. Most Kali temples have settled on large pumpkins to represent a human body; other followers slit the throats of two-meter-tall human effigies made of flour, or of animals such as goats.

In secret ceremonies, however, the grizzly practice lives on. Quite simply, say the faithful—known as tantrics—Kali looks after those who look after her, bringing riches to the poor, revenge to the oppressed and newborn joy to the childless. So far this year, police have recorded at least one case of ritual killing a month. In January, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, a 24-year-old woman hacked her three-year-old son to death after a tantric sorcerer supposedly promised unlimited earthly riches. In February, two men in the eastern state of Tripura beheaded a woman on the instructions of a deity they said appeared in their dreams promising hidden treasures. Karmakar killed Manju in Atapur village in Jharkhand state in April. The following month, police dug up the remains of two sisters, aged 18 and 13, in Bihar, dismembered with a ceremonial sword and offered to Kali by their father. Last week on the outskirts of Bombay, maize seller Anil Lakshmikant Singh, 33, beheaded his neighbor's nine-year-old son to save his marriage on the advice of a tantric. Said Singh: "He promised that a human sacrifice would end all my miseries."

Far from ancient barbarisms that refuse to die, sacrifice and sorcery are making a comeback. Sociologists explain the millions who now throng the two main Kali centers in eastern India, at Kamakhya and Tarapith, as what happens when the rat race that is India's future meets the superstitions of its past. Sociologist Ashis Nandy says: "You see your neighbor doing well, above his caste and position, and someone tells you to get a child and do a secret ritual and you can catch up." Adds mysticism expert Ipsita Roy Chakaraverti: "It's got nothing to do with real mysticism or with spiritualism. It comes down to pure and simple greed." Tarapith in particular is a giant building site of new hotels, restaurants and stalls selling plastic swords and postcards of Kali's severed feet. Judging by the visitors here, Kali appeals to both rich and poor: the rows of SUVs parked outside four-star hotels belong to the ranks of businessmen and politicians lining up with their goats behind penniless pilgrims. ("The blood never dries at Tarapith," whispers one villager.)

There are no human sacrifices at the temple these days. But the mystique of ritual killing is so powerful that even those who actually don't perform it claim to do so. In their camp in the cremation grounds beside the temple, a throng of tantrics tout for business by competing to be as spooky as possible, lining their mud-walled temples with human skulls and telling tall tales of human sacrifice. "I cut off her head," says 64-year-old Baba Swami Vivekanand of a girl he says he raised from birth. "We buried the body and brought the head back, cooked it and ate it." He pauses to demand a $2 donation. "Good story, no?" While most of this is innocent, some followers, like Karmakar, are inevitably emboldened to take their quest for power to the extreme. Karmakar, like many others, was caught. But in the dust-bowl villages of India, where superstition reigns and blood has a dark authority, the question is how many other "holy men" have found that ultimate power still rests in the murderous magic of a virgin sacrifice.

—With reporting by Faizan Ahmed


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/28/2002 9:52:24 AM PDT by aculeus
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To: aculeus

In a vision of Maya he saw a pregnant woman of exquisite beauty emerging from the waters of the Ganges River. Presently she came to the land and gave birth to a child, whom she began to nurse tenderly. A moment later she assumed a terrible aspect, seized the child between her grim jaws and crushed it; as she swallowed the child, she re-entered the waters of the Ganges. Source


2 posted on 07/28/2002 10:45:39 AM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Cultural Jihad
Interesting. You might enjoy this tidbit from a paper Ihope to have published:


For an exposition of the high regard offered the wheel in cultures more primitive than ours, See, The Works of the Rev. Claudius Buchanan, L.L.D. Comprising His Christian Researches in Asia, etc., published by Neal and Wills of Baltimore, (1812):

"Juggernaut, 18th of June.-----I have returned home from witnessing
a scene which I shall never forget. At twelve o'clock of this day,
being the great day of the feast, the Moloch of Hindoostan was
brought out of his temple amidst the acclamations of hundreds of
thousands of his worshippers. . . .[T]heir voices gave no tuneful
Hosannah or Hallelujah; but rather a yell of approbation, united
with a kind of hissing applause. . . .The throne of the idol was
placed on a stupendous car, or tower, about sixty feet in height,
resting on wheels which indented the ground deeply, as they turned
slowly under the ponderous machine. . . After the tower had
proceeded some way, a pilgrim announced that he was ready to
offer himself a sacrifice to the idol. He laid himself down in the
road before the tower as it was moving along, lying on his face,
with his arms stretched forward. . . . [H]e was crushed to death
by the wheels of the tower. A shout of joy was raised to the god."

Id.

3 posted on 07/28/2002 11:00:18 AM PDT by parsifal
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To: Cultural Jihad
Are there any Hindus out there who can explain how the cult of Kali can be understood other than as a bloodthirsty worship of death and murder?
4 posted on 07/28/2002 11:05:53 AM PDT by maro
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To: aculeus; AM2000
Sounds as though the Thugs are back. I wonder why this article doesn't use the word.
5 posted on 07/28/2002 11:17:22 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: maro

The article comes from Time Magazine, after all, so we're not going to be getting a balanced look at any news item with a religious aspect to it. There are millions of Hindus who worship God as Mother Kali, and yet the vast majority do not go around offering human blood to their chosen ideal. (The posted image shows Kali standing upon Shiva, her consort. Kali is the power of God Who creates, preserves, and destroys.)

6 posted on 07/28/2002 11:24:06 AM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: maro
Are there any Hindus out there who can explain how the cult of Kali can be understood other than as a bloodthirsty worship of death and murder?

Maybe the University of North Carolina will make this required reading for incoming freshman.

7 posted on 07/28/2002 11:26:42 AM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: aristeides
Sounds as though the Thugs are back. I wonder why this article doesn't use the word.

The Thugs were a very specific sub-group of Kali-worshippers who ambushed, murdered and robbed travelers. They were by no means the only human-sacrificing group among those who worshipped her.

Oddly enough, some Thuggee were Muslims. How they rationalized combining human sacrifice worship of Kali with Islam is a darn good question.

8 posted on 07/28/2002 11:30:34 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: maro
actually before christianity spread the jewish taboo against human sacrifice and male and female temple prostitution--this sort of thing was the norm throughout the world.

In homer's story of Illiad -- Agammemnon sacrifices his daughter to the gods of ambition. The fallout from that sacrifice goes on through several generations.

The practice of human sacrifice and male and female temple prostitution were tightly bound to dynastic disentegration. Part of the reason that Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years was to wait for these practices to take their toll on the caananites.

When cortez came to the new world he was appalled not just by human sacrifice practiced by Aztecs but also by the way the Aztec priests would "act up" right in front of he and his men.

They felt a bit of the same righteous wrath in their swords as Joshua and his men.

For the last century or so people have been digging up celtic human sacrifices from the bogs of Europe.
9 posted on 07/28/2002 11:31:11 AM PDT by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer
And yet according to the PC and Multicultural thugs all cultures are equally valid and deserving of respect right?

This just sickens me terribly. I wonder if the fact that these religions are coming back here in the US sounds the death toll for our dear country.

Another example of why I despise third world countries and the ignorant vermin they produce.

And I thought Hinduism was a religion of peace. Wonder what I was confuding it with.
10 posted on 07/28/2002 11:43:27 AM PDT by kancel
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Yuck. And I thought the British had wiped out the thugge cult.
11 posted on 07/28/2002 11:49:45 AM PDT by thathamiltonwoman
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: TALLAHASSEE
Welcome to FR, Tallahassee.

I'm a Tallahassee native myself.
13 posted on 07/28/2002 12:30:13 PM PDT by EllaMinnow
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To: aristeides
I thought the Thugs killed their victims by strangulation.
14 posted on 07/28/2002 12:39:11 PM PDT by thmiley
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To: aculeus
Did you know that when scientologists have paid their requisite amount of money to "get clear" (used to be 100,000 dollars)they get to ride on the yacht and the final revelation to them is that Kali is God? This comes from the writings of ex-scientologists.
15 posted on 07/28/2002 1:02:07 PM PDT by JesseShurun
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To: maro
Are there any Hindus out there who can explain how the cult of Kali can be understood other than as a bloodthirsty worship of death and murder?

I'm not a Hindu, but human scarifice has been a part of Hinduism for centuries, at least the part that worships Kali. But human/god sacrifice is at the heart of Christianity as well. The death of Jesus is central to the Christian faith. During the eucharist, Christians reenact the killing of Christ. In communion, they eat his flesh and drink his blood.

All of life is based upon death. It is an unpleasant reality, but try staying alive without eating something that was once alive and then you killed or was killed for you for food. Just because most Americans live in cities now and never have to kill an animal because the supermaket has done the killing for them does not change the reality that life is based upon the violence of killing other life.

Ritualized sacrifice is a way to acknowledge this fact and put limits to it. But it would seem that the Kali cult has taken this reality and gone to extremes. Personally, I prefer the Christian reenactment.

16 posted on 07/28/2002 1:17:25 PM PDT by stripes1776
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To: TALLAHASSEE
HIT A NERVE DID I?

And I would appreciate "dudette."

Thanks

Third world are cesspools pure and simple. Have you heard that in africa people who are HIV+ rape babies because they think that will cure them? Its ignorance pure and simple. Being crazy and being stupid are two different things. Stupidity can be curable but it takes a desire to get out of the third world and into the techno-age (or hell even the industrial age would a nice change of place.)

Third worlds also breed terrorists. Tell me are terrorists crazy (medical defininition) or stupid? Your answer to that question is the beginning of a solution that will never happen.


I will give you that Jim Jones was crazy and some of his followers are stupid (the others being crazy of course). Manson was crazy and and some of his followers were stupid etc. etc. etc.

I have nothing against crazy people so long as if they are dangerous they are put away. I do have a problem with stupid people because they will rarely be put away where they are no longer a danger.
17 posted on 07/28/2002 1:31:46 PM PDT by kancel
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To: maro
I'm an agnostic from a Hindu family. The answer to your question is, the practices described in this article can't be. I could try to explain the mindset of the sheep (I refuse to call them 'people') who subscribe to this murderous ideology, but I won't bother.

Having said all that, parts of India where Kali worship is rampant aren't as violent as many places where it's not. Calcutta, unless you're a political activist, is a relatively safe city, compared to Bombay. Human sacrifice is the exception - not the norm, in contemporary India.

18 posted on 07/28/2002 1:51:13 PM PDT by AM2000
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: kancel
Link to recent Africa baby rape story.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722881/posts
20 posted on 07/28/2002 2:42:48 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: dighton; Orual; general_re
Just another all-cultures-are-equal ping.
21 posted on 07/28/2002 2:52:36 PM PDT by aculeus
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To: aculeus
'Take up the white mans burden, The savage wars of peace,

Fill full the mouth of famine, And bid the sickness cease,

And when your goal is nearest, Your hope for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen folly, Bring all your works to nought. (Kipling)

India is sliding backward into darkness. Poojah (worship) Khali is a national holiday there. Some worship her strength, others worship her mastery of Death.

Regards,

22 posted on 07/28/2002 3:28:49 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine
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To: aculeus
It was at most a fringe practice, but a spate of ritual killings in India shows that human sacrifice lives on

It's not a fringe practice in the Middle East and the human sacrifices to the allah demon proceed at almost one per day in the form of suicide bombers.

23 posted on 07/28/2002 3:49:19 PM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: aristeides; aculeus; Cultural Jihad; parsifal; maro; LoneRangerMassachusetts; Restorer; ckilmer; ...
aristeides, the Thugs were (was?) an organized cult. These seem to be independent isolated cases. Thugs killed strangers to rob them of their purses and killed by strangulation, it was forbidden to draw blood.

By the way (no flames please-and no I'm no Hindu lover) but what is the Christian crucifixion but a human sacrifice and what is the Christian mass but a pantomime of that sacrifice, complete with the drinking of the blood and cannibalism? Substitute the pumpkin for Kali with wine and bread. Even the rule that the victim be a willing one for the Kali-Hindu's has parallels to Christ's willingness to sacrifice himself for our sins.

But Christ came to end such practices. His was the last human blood sacrifice God was willing to accept from humanity.


24 posted on 07/28/2002 4:02:04 PM PDT by Destro
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To: AM2000; euthanation; Jimmy Valentine; Centurion2000
aristeides, the Thugs were (was?) an organized cult. These seem to be independent isolated cases. Thugs killed strangers to rob them of their purses and killed by strangulation, it was forbidden to draw blood.

By the way (no flames please-and no I'm no Hindu lover) but what is the Christian crucifixion but a human sacrifice and what is the Christian mass but a pantomime of that sacrifice, complete with the drinking of the blood and cannibalism? Substitute the pumpkin for Kali with wine and bread. Even the rule that the victim be a willing one for the Kali-Hindu's has parallels to Christ's willingness to sacrifice himself for our sins.

But Christ came to end such practices. His was the last human blood sacrifice God was willing to accept from humanity.


25 posted on 07/28/2002 4:04:47 PM PDT by Destro
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To: AM2000; euthanation; Jimmy Valentine; Centurion2000
aristeides, the Thugs were (was?) an organized cult. These seem to be independent isolated cases. Thugs killed strangers to rob them of their purses and killed by strangulation, it was forbidden to draw blood.

By the way (no flames please-and no I'm no Hindu lover) but what is the Christian crucifixion but a human sacrifice and what is the Christian mass but a pantomime of that sacrifice, complete with the drinking of the blood and cannibalism? Substitute the pumpkin for Kali with wine and bread. Even the rule that the victim be a willing one for the Kali-Hindu's has parallels to Christ's willingness to sacrifice himself for our sins.

But Christ came to end such practices. His was the last human blood sacrifice God was willing to accept from humanity.


26 posted on 07/28/2002 4:04:52 PM PDT by Destro
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To: thathamiltonwoman; TALLAHASSEE; redlipstick; thmiley; JesseShurun; stripes1776
bump-sorry for the multiple posts
27 posted on 07/28/2002 4:11:32 PM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro
But Christ came to end such practices. His was the last human blood sacrifice God was willing to accept from humanity.

Actually, God never accepted such practices. He dramaticly rejected them a couple of thousand years earlier when he rejected Abrahams' attempted sacrifice of his son Isaac and replaced it with a ram. The Jews then practiced animal sacrifice for many centuries.

Christians don't believe Jesus was the last valid human sacrifice, they believe he was the final valid sacrifice of any type.

28 posted on 07/28/2002 4:49:50 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Destro
No intent to malign Hinduism per se; there are no doubt many fine people who happen to be Hindu. But this Kali cult strikes me, and I gather you as well, as different from typical Hinduism.
29 posted on 07/28/2002 5:46:15 PM PDT by maro
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To: AM2000; Destro
Posted to the wrong person--see my post # 29.
30 posted on 07/28/2002 5:50:02 PM PDT by maro
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To: maro
different from typical Hinduism

No such animal. A common misconception is that Hinduism is a religion in the same way that Islam and Judaism are.

The fact is that Hinduism is a vast amalgam of thousands of religious practices united in having as almost their only common beliefs the caste system and a mutual tolerance for each other's peculiarities. It cheerfully incorporates everything from the most rank imaginable human sacrifice and sex worship (including sacred child prostitutes) to incredibly esoteric philosophical speculation and ascetism.

Hinduism is closer to the combination of all the ancient pagan beliefs in the Roman Empire around 200 AD than it is to any other belief system found today.

31 posted on 07/28/2002 5:54:33 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
"Hinduism is closer to the combination of all the ancient pagan beliefs in the Roman Empire around 200 AD than it is to any other belief system found today."

A very interesting point, Restorer. I'd never thought of it that way.
32 posted on 07/28/2002 6:02:27 PM PDT by livius
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To: maro
But this Kali cult strikes me, and I gather you as well, as different from typical Hinduism.

Just like Restorer said, there's no such thing as typical Hinduism. I, for example, only know of the Hinduism as is practiced in my parents home and the few religious functions they have managed to drag me to over the years (always with the temptation of meeting eligible single professional women). The Hinduism described in this article is as alien to me as.. a whole other religion. Sure, it's called Hinduism, but that doesn't mean anything to me. Yes, I'm familiar with the practices, having read about them and having been educated as a child in the Bengali 'renaissance' in the late 18th and early 19th century where practices like this were banished from the mainstream. But it's not Hinduism to me. The point being - and I apologise for being so damn long winded - that there is no typical Hinduism since it's very different depending on what kind of family you come from and what part of the Subcontinent your roots are in. My family is proud of being 'progressive' (they're closet commies but they'll never admit it *grin*) and I've always been raised to view human or even animal sacrifice with total revulsion. Having said that, my family does celebrate Kali Puja but there's no commonality at all in how they do it and how the people in this article do it.

33 posted on 07/28/2002 6:15:57 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: AM2000
No insult intended. Many Hindus, like your family and unlike those in the article, practice their religion in a way that I can fully respect, although I believe them to be in error.
34 posted on 07/28/2002 6:35:29 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
That's fine. I believe them to be in error as well, as I believe all people of organized religions to be in error. Disagreements are fine as long we don't resort to killing each other over it, right?
35 posted on 07/28/2002 6:37:54 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: AM2000
>>Disagreements are fine as long we don't resort to killing each other over it, right?

Works for me, although I'd prefer to not get beat up either.
36 posted on 07/28/2002 6:42:14 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
Aiight, I'll call ma boyz off.
37 posted on 07/28/2002 6:44:45 PM PDT by AM2000
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To: Destro
...what is the Christian crucifixion but a human sacrifice and what is the Christian mass but a pantomime of that sacrifice, complete with the drinking of the blood and cannibalism?

If I remember my history correctly, crucifixion was a common means of public execution in Roman territories and not a religious sacrificial rite. One of those crucified with Crist was a thief.

Do you mean Catholic Mass? As a protestant, I never went to mass although I am a Christian. I believe the Catholics don't drink blood. I do think wine was a common drink in Chist's times. I think Christ may have metaphorically used the term of taking wine in an oath as drinking his blood meaning that those with him were with God through him or something like that.

Any attempt to equate the practice of human sacrifice with Christianity stretches my experience beyond belief.

38 posted on 07/28/2002 7:06:37 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
Any attempt to equate the practice of human sacrifice with Christianity stretches my experience beyond belief.

You're obviously not a Catholic, all right.

RC dogma is that the priest literally turns the wine and bread into the blood and flesh of Christ at each Mass. As a Protestant, you should have heard of the doctrine of transubstantiation. Disagreements over its validity got a few million Protestants and Catholics quite dead a few centuries back.

If I'm not mistaken, Lutherans and (High Church) Anglican/Episcopalians believe something quite similar.

Even most Protestants believe that Christ's death was a sacrifice, although it wasn't the Roman intent. Except most Protestants believe that sacrifice occurred once for all time.

39 posted on 07/28/2002 7:33:58 PM PDT by Restorer
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To: aculeus; dighton; Orual
In secret ceremonies, however, the grizzly practice lives on.

Time for H.M. Queen Victoria to send in more troops to civilize the natives...

40 posted on 07/28/2002 8:11:55 PM PDT by general_re
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To: AM2000
Having said that, my family does celebrate Kali Puja but there's no commonality at all in how they do it and how the people in this article do it.

Thanks for your posts.

41 posted on 07/28/2002 9:06:29 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Restorer
As a Protestant, you should have heard of the doctrine of transubstantiation.

I didn't hear about this concept until in college in a course on western thought. transsubstantiation was a concept used by medeval Catholics to demonstrate the impossible using Aristotle's theories of causation and substances. It doesn't fly with modern science and it didn't with Martin Luther, a Catholic who rejected a rational proof of God and Christ and turned toward faith as the basis of religious belief. As a Congregationalist, I attended service once a week to hear the Minister preach a sermon that made a moral point. Then we sang hymns and left for the week. I am thankful I missed the elaborate rituals, Latin masses, communions, and the fearsome Mother Superiors who dealt out beatings, and the hundreds of homosexual priests suffered upon my Catholic neighbors.

Even most Protestants believe that Christ's death was a sacrifice, although it wasn't the Roman intent. Except most Protestants believe that sacrifice occurred once for all time.

I seem to recall that Jews have recently got the Vatican to recant its long held accusation that Jews murdered Christ. This is a complaint that Jews sometimes make against the ,"religious right." The odd thing is that Christ went about complaining about his contemporary rabbis. They were good and well enraged over his constant charges of their hypocritical indulgences. So they got the Romans to Execute him. They did not Sacrifice him. He did forgive them. The irony about accusing the Jews of murdering him is that by rising from the dead he proves he has supernatural powers. Without his crucifixion, we miss the whole mystical experience. The Vatican should have thanked the Jews for opening their eyes.

42 posted on 07/28/2002 11:22:10 PM PDT by LoneRangerMassachusetts
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To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
So they got the Romans to Execute him. They did not Sacrifice him.

I believe most Christians consider his death to have been a self-sacrifice. The imagery of Christ as the stand-in for the sacrificial Passover Lamb is used throughout the NT. His introduction of the Last Supper or Communion (or whatever your denomination calls it) was pretty explicitly such a replacement.

43 posted on 07/29/2002 8:34:15 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer
Oddly enough, some Thuggee were Muslims. How they rationalized combining human sacrifice worship of Kali with Islam is a darn good question.

They only murdered Christians, Jews, and Hindus?

44 posted on 07/29/2002 8:42:29 AM PDT by sphinx
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To: sphinx
They only murdered Christians, Jews, and Hindus?

Nahh. The Thuggee murdered everybody. Except, for the most part, Christians.

Nobody even vaguely sane wanted to tick off the British in 18th or 19th century India.

45 posted on 07/29/2002 9:43:16 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: Restorer; sphinx
Most tend to forget that Indian Muslims were those who came from converted Hindu communities. Thuggery was a way of earning a living wrapped around a religious cult. Hindu communities that practiced Thuggery still had no way of earning a living even when many did become Moslem. Besides, many Indians back then became Muslims to escape Dhimmi taxes and probably were nominally Moslems (be they Thuggies or not).
46 posted on 07/29/2002 10:19:42 AM PDT by Destro
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To: Restorer; LoneRangerMassachusetts
Many Protestant denominations have forgotten the orthodox meaning of Christ, his crucifixion and his purpose. They developed traditions and doctrines divorced of their orthodox origins.

Maybe this example of a miraculous vision of the mass can explain what Catholics and Orthodox Christians (as close as you can get to the apostolic tradition) see the mass (in bold):

From the The Greek Miracles of St. George

As it was a holiday on that day and the time for the Divine Liturgy was approaching, the priest who was to start the holy service of preparation of the gifts was very much afraid of the Saracen; how could he start the bloodless sacrifice in front of him ! Another priest, co-communicant to him, said to the priest who was to celebrate the Liturgy: "Do not be afraid. Did you not see the extraordinary miracle ? Why are you hesitant ?" Thus the said priest, without fear, started the holy service of offering.

The Saracen noticed all these and waited to see what the priest was going to do. The priest began the holy service of offering and took the loaf of bread to prepare the holy sacrifice. But the Saracen saw that the priest took in his hand a child which he slaughtered, drained the blood inside the cup, cut the body into pieces, and placed them on the tray !

As the Saracen saw these things he became furious with anger and, enraged at the priest, he wanted to kill him. When the time of the Great Entrance approached, the Saracen saw again, and more manifestly, the child cut into four pieces on the tray, his blood in the cup. He became again ecstatic with rage. Towards the end of the Divine Liturgy, as some of the Christians wanted to receive the holy communion and as the priest said, "With the fear of God and faith draw near," all the Christians bent their [p. 55] heads in reverence. Some of them went forward to receive the holy sacrament. Again, for a third time, the Saracen saw that the priest, with a spoon, was offering to the communicants from the body and the blood of the child. The repentant Christians received the holy sacrament. But the Saracen saw that they had received communion from the body and the blood of the child, and at that he became filled with anger and rage against everybody.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy the priest distributed the antidoron to all Christians. He then took off his priestly vestments and offered to the Srracen a piece from the bread. But he said in Arabic: "What is this ?" The priest answered: "Master, it is from the bread from which we celebrated the liturgy."And the Saracen said angrily: "Did you celebrate the Liturgy from that, you dog, impure, dirty, and killer ? Didn't I see that you took and slaughtered a child, and that you poured his blood into the cup, and mutilated his body and placed on the plate members of his, here and there ? Didn't I see all these, you polluted one and killer ? Didn't I see you eating and drinking from the body and blood of the child, and that you even offered the same to the attendants ? They now have in their mouths pieces of flesh dripping blood."

And the Saracen said: "Is this not what I saw ?" And the priest: "Yes, my Lord, this is how it is; but myself, being a sinner, I am not able to see such a mystery, but only bread and wine as a figuration of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, even the great and marvellous Fathers, the stars and teachers of the Church, like the divine Basil the Great, and the memorable Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian, were unable to see this awesome and terrifying mystery. How can I see it ?"

When the Saracen heard this he became ecstatic and he ordered his servants and everybody who was inside to leave the church. He then took the priest by the hand and said: "As I see and as I have heard, great is the faith of the Christians. So, if you so will, Father, baptize me. And the priest said to the Sarracen: "Master, we believe in and we confess our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to the world for our salvation. We also believe in the Holy Trinity, the consubstantial and undivided one, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the one Godhead. We believe also in Mary, the ever-virgin mother of light, who has given birth to the fruit of life, our pre-announced Lord, Jesus Christ. She was virgin before, virgin during, and virgin after giving birth. We believe also that all the holy apostles, prophets, martyrs, saints, and righteous men are servants of God. Do you not realize, therefore, my master, that the greatest faith is that of the Orthodox Christians ?"

And the Saracen said again: "I beg you, Father, baptize me." But the priest answered: "Far from that. I cannot do such a thing; for if I do and your nephew the Emir hears of that, he will kill me and destry this church, too. But if it is, indeed, your wish to be baptized, go to that place in the Sinai mountain. There, there is the bishop; he will baptize you."

The Saracen prostrated himself in fromt of the presbyter and walked out of the church. Then, one hour after nightfall, he came back to the priest, took off his royal golden clothes, put on a poor sack of wool, and he left in secret by night. He walked to Mount Sinai and there he received the holy baptism from the bishop. He also learned from the Psalter, and he recited verses from it every day.

One day three years later he [the former Saracen] said to the bishop: "Forgive me, Master, what am I supposed to do in order to see Christ ?" And the bishop said: "Pray with the right faith and one of these days you will see Christ, according to your wish." But the former Saracen said again: "Master, give me your consent to go to the priest who offered me instruction when I saw the awesome vision in the church of the most glorious martyr George." The bishop said: "Go, in peace."

Thus, he went to the priest, prostrated himself in front of him, embraced him and said to him: "Do you know, Father, who I am ?" And the priest: "How can I recognize a man whom I have never seen before ?" But, again, the former Saracen said: "Am I not the nephew of the Emir, who brought the camels inside the church and they all died, and who during the Divine Liturgy saw that terrifying vision ?" When the priest looked at him he was amazed and praised God seeing that the former Arab wolf had become a most calm sheep of Christ. He embraced him with passion and invited him to his cell to eat bread.

And the former Saracen said: "Forgive me, Master and Father, but I want and have a desire to see Christ. How can I do that ?" And the priest said: "If you wish to see Christ go to your nephew and preach Christ to him. Curse and anathematize the faith of the Saracens and their false prophet Muhammad and preach correctly the true faith of the Christians without fear, and thus you will see Christ."

The former Saracen left in earnest. By night he was knocking at the door of the Saracen forcefully. The guards at the gate of the house of the Emir asked: "Who is yelling and knocking at the door ?" And he answered: "I am the nephew of the Emir who left some time ago and was lost. Now I want to see my nephew and tell him something." The guards of the gate conveyed this to the Saracen immediately: "Master, it is your nephew who left some time ago and was lost." The Emir, heaving a sigh, said: "Where is he ?" They said: "At the gate of the palace." He then ordered his servants to go and meet him with lights and candles. They all did as the king, Emir, commanded and they took the monk, the former Saracen, by the hand and presented him to the Emir, his nephew.

When the Emir saw him, he was very glad. He embraced him with tears in his eyes and said to him: "What is this ? Where were you living all this time ? Aren't you my nephew ?" And the monk said: "Don't you recognize me, your nephew ? Now, as you see, by the Grace of God the Most High I have become a Christian and a monk. I have been living in desert places so that I may inherit [p. 60] the Kingdom of Heaven. I hope in the unspeakable compassion of the All-sovereign God to inherit his kingdom. Why are you hesitating yourself, too, Emir ? Receive the holy baptism of the Orthodox Christians in order to inherit eternal life, as I hope to do."

The Emir laughed, scratched his head and said: "What are you chattering about, you miserable one; what are you chattering ? What has happened to you ? Alas, you pitiful one ! How did you abandon your life and the sceptres of reign and roam around as a beggar, dressed in these filthy clothes made of hair ?"

The monk responded to him: "By the grace of God. As far as all the things I used to have when I was a Saracen, these were [material] property and were of the devil. But these things that you see me wearing are a glory and pride, and an engagement with the future and eternal life. I anathematize the religion of the Saracens and their false prophet."

Then the Emir said: "Take him out, for he does not know what he is chattering about." They took him away and put him in a place in the palace where they gave him food and drink. And he spent three days there, but he took neither food nor drink. He was praying to God earnestly and with faith. Going down to his knees he said: "O Lord, I have hoped in thee, let me never be ashamed, neither let my enemies laugh at me to scorn." And again: "Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love; according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions." And again: "Enlighten my eyes, Lord God, that I may not fall asleep into death; that my enemy may never say, 'I have overpowered him'. 'Strengthen my heart, O Lord,' so that I may be able to fight the visible deceiver, the Saracen; so that the evil devil may not stamp on me and make me fear death, for your holy name." He then made the sign of the cross and said: "The Lord is my enlightenment and my saviour. Whom shall I fear ? The Lord is the protector of my life. From whom will I hesitate ?" And again he cried out to the Emir: "Receive holy baptism in order to gain the immeasurable kingdom of God."

Again the Emir gave orders for him to be brought in front of him. He had prepared for him clothes exceedingly beautiful. And [p. 61] the Emir spoke: "Enjoy, you pitiful one, enjoy and rejoice for being a king. Do not disdain your life and your youth which is so beautiful, walking instead mindlessly like a beggar and a penniless one. Alas, you pitiful one. What do you think ?"

The monk laughed and replied to the Emir: "Do not weep at what I have in mind. I am thinking how to be able to fulfil the work of my Christ and that of the Father priest who has sent me, and has been my teacher. As for the clothes you have prepared for me, sell them and give the money to the poor. You, too, should abandon the temporary sceptres of the reign, so that you may receive sceptres of an eternal life. Do not rest your hope on things of the present but on things which are of the future, and do not believe in the pseudo-prophet Muhammad, the impure, the detestable one, the son of hell. Believe, rather, in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the crucified one. Believe that the one Godhead is a consubstantial Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a Trinity of the same essence, and undivided."

The Emir laughed again and said to the officials who had gathered in the palace: "This man is mindless. What shall we do with him ? Take him out and expel him." Those, however, sitting by the king said: "He meant to desecrate and corrupt the religion of the Saracens. Do you not hear how he curses anathematizes our great prophet ?"

The monk and former Saracen cried out loudly: "I feel sorry for you Emir because you, unfortunate one, do not want to be saved. Believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, the crucified one, and anathematize the religion of the Saracens and their false prophet, as I did."

And the Saracen Emir said: "Take him out as I am ordering you. He is mindless and does not know what he is talking about."

Those sitting by with him said: "Well, you heard that he anathematized the religion of the Saracens and that he is blaspheming against the great prophet, and you say, 'He does not know what he is talking about' ? If you do not have him killed we will also go and become Christians."

And the Emir said: "I cannot have him killed because he is my nephew and I feel sorry for him. But you take him and do as you please."

And they got hold of the monk with great anger, they dragged him out of the palace and submitted him to many tortures [p. 62] to try to make him return to the previous religion of the Saracens. But he did not. Instead he was teaching everybody in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to believe and be saved.

The Saracens dragged him out of the city, and there they stoned him to death this most pious monk, whose name was Pachomios.

On that night a star came down from heaven and rested on top of the most pious martyr, and everybody was able to see it for forty days; and many of them became believers.

With the prayers of the most blessed martyr, of the all-pure Mother of God Mary, who is ever-virgin, and of all of the saints; for the remission of our sins. Amen.

47 posted on 07/29/2002 10:32:05 AM PDT by Destro
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