Horse and human sacrifice in Hinduism

Horse and human sacrifice in Hinduism 

📖Mahabharat book 9 Section 50
Foremost of men that perform the horse-sacrifice and the sacrifice in which human beings are slaughtered.

  • The meaning of this verse is that if someone sacrifices a horse at a place where human beings are slaughtered, then they will be called the foremost best of men.

📖Srimad Bhagavatam 9.7.20
Thereafter, in the sixth year, after wandering in the forest, Rohita returned to the capital of his father. He purchased from Ajīgarta his second son, named Śunaḥśepha. Then he offered Śunaḥśepha to his father, Hariścandra, to be used as the sacrificial animal and offered Hariścandra his respectful obeisances.

  • It appears that in those days a man could be purchased for any purpose. Hariścandra was in need of a person to sacrifice as the animal in a yajna and thus fulfill his promise to Varuṇa, and a man was purchased from another man for this purpose. Millions of years ago, animal sacrifice and slave trade both existed. Indeed, they have existed since time immemorial.

📖Srimad Bhagavatam 9.7.21-23
Thereafter, the famous King Hariścandra, one of the exalted persons in history, performed grand sacrifices by sacrificing a man and pleased all the demigods. In this way his dropsy created by Varuṇa was cured. In that great human sacrifice, Visvamitra was the chief priest to offer oblations, the perfectly self-realized Jamadagni had the responsibility for chanting the mantras from the Yajur Veda, Vasiṣṭha was the chief brahminical priest, and the sage Ayāsya was the reciter of the hymns of the Sāma Veda. King Indra, being very pleased with Hariścandra, offered him a gift of a golden chariot. Śunaḥśepha’s glories will be presented along with the description of the son of Visvamitra.

📖Agni Puran 311:31-33
Goddess Sigra Tvarita should be worshipped on a cloth or in an image or on the altar. It is said that hundred, thousand or ten thousand are the counts for the repetition (of the mantra) or oblation with that. After having repeated thus as laid down one should offer oblation one lakh times with the fat and flesh of a buffalo or goat or the body of a man. After having done the oblation with sesamum, barley, fried paddy, paddy, wheat, mango, sriphala bilva together with clarified butter, one should practise austerities.

📖Devi Bhagavatam 7:15:8-10
O Deva of the Devas! I will obey your order no doubt and I will perform your sacrifice according to the Vedic rites and with profuse Dakṣiṇās (remuneration to priests, etc.) But, when in a sacrifice human beings are immolated as victims, both the husband and wife are entitled to the ceremony. Father becomes purified on the tenth day and mother on the expiration of one month after the son’s birth; so how can I perform the sacrifice until one month expires! You are omniscient and the master of all the beings; and you know what is Nitya Dharma. So, O Varuṇa Deva! I want one month time; and show mercy thus on me.

📖Mahabharat 14:3 Verses 4-8
O Yudhishthira, those that commit sins, can always free themselves from them through penance, sacrifice and gifts. O king, O foremost of men, sinful people are purified by sacrifice, austerities and charity. The high-souled celestials and Asuras perform sacrifices for securing religious merit; and therefore sacrifice are of supreme importance. It is through sacrifices that the high-souled celestials had waxed so wondrously powerful; and having celebrated rites did they vanquish the Danavas. Do thou, O Yudhishthira, prepare for the Rajasuya, and the horse-sacrifice, as well as, O Bharata, for the Sarvamedha and the Naramedha.

📖Padma Puran 2:37-32-42
I shall tell you another fierce act (mentioned) in the Vedas. When a guest goes (i.e. arrives) to the house, a brahmaṇa (kills and) cooks (the flesh of) a great bull; or O king of kings, he would feed the guest (with the flesh of) a goat. (They kill) a horse in a horse-sacrifice, and a bull in a bull-sacrifice; a man in a human sacrifice and goats in a Vajapeya sacrifice. O great king, a great slaughter of many animals is done at a Rajasuya sacrifice. At a Puṇḍarika sacrifice one would kill (i.e. one kills) an elephant, and at an elephant-sacrifice (they kill) an elephant. At the Sautramaṇi sacrifice a beast is seen to be fit for being sacrificed.

📖Padma Puran 1:59-187-191a. 
Aditya (i.e. the Sun) well-settled in the twelve mouths is always pleased with him who puts a rudrākṣa with twelve mouths round his neck. He quickly obtains the fruit which one gets by a cow-sacrifice or a human sacrifice, and deadly weapons are warded off.

📖Padma Puran 4:12-6-22
Gālava said: O king, I shall tell you in brief the cause of a son’s birth about which you have asked me. Listen attentively. O best king, perform the sacrifice called Naramedha. Then you will have progeny endowed with all (good) characteristics. The king said: O preceptor, O brāhmaṇa, tell me by bringing what kind of man I shall perform the great human sacrifice, the best among sacrifices. Gālava said: If a man has a handsome body, a charming face and is proficient in all sacred texts, then he is fit for sacrifice. He who is crippled, has a black complexion, is a fool, would not be fit (for sacrifice).

  • So instead of Sage Narada, we read here that Sage Galava recommended human sacrifice to King Dinanath. So Veda Vyasa, Sage Narada, and Sage Galava recommended human sacrifice, which is a commandment and cannot be rejected by Hindus.

Releted : Animals sacrifice in Hinduism

  1. Reference – Mahabharat book 9 Section 50
  2. Reference – Srimad Bhagavatam 9.7.21-23
  3. Reference – Agni Puran 311:31-33
  4. Reference – Devi Bhagavatam 7:15:8-10
  5. Reference – Mahabharat 14:3 Verses 4-8
  6. Reference – Padma Puran 2:37-32-42
  7. Reference – Padma Puran 1:59-187-191a
  8. Reference  – Padma Puran 4:12-6-22

Records of Human sacrifice 

It was only in 2014 that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) started collecting data on human sacrifice. The statistics with the bureau reveal a disturbing picture: there were 51 cases of human sacrifice spread across 14 states between 2014 and 2016.

  1. Refrence : On Kali Puja, let’s look at what experts have to say about the human sacrifice aspect linked to Kali worship
  2. Reference : India child killed in ‘human sacrifice’ ritual
  3. Reference : Four-year-old boy ‘beheaded in human sacrifice witchcraft ritual in India
  4. Reference : Indian cult kills children for goddess
  5. Reference : Indian father kills his eight-month-old son with an axe to appease Hindu goddess of destruction and rebirth
  6. Reference : Five-year-old boy murdered as human sacrifice ritual in Andhra Pradesh; accused thrashed

Additional Information 

All of the verses included in this article are still present in Hindu scriptures, and I have written this article after reading the books that I have at home. Any books that I have not studied myself are not referenced in this article.