painted goats

Jean Fezas jean.fezas at
Wed Dec 4 09:55:55 UTC 1996

At 11:56 03/12/1996 GMT, you wrote:
>Can somebody provide me with more information and/or reference on the
>custom of painting the goat's fur before sacrifice? It seems to be use
>in Nepal, and somewhere else??
>For an example view
>martin bemmann
>Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
>Felsbilder und Inschriften am Karakorum Highway
>Karlstrasse 4
>Postfach 102769
>D-69017 Heidelberg
>phone ++49-6221-543276
>fax   ++49-6221-543355
>e-mail martin.bemmann at
At least a textual reference to the 'custom' : 
In the mRcchakaTika of zUdraka, Carudatta on his way to the execution ground
complains : (Act X, verse 5)
        sarvagAtreSu vinyastai rakta-candana-hastakaiH/
        piSTa-cUrNAvakIrNaz ca puruSo 'haM pazu-kRtaH//
"By the prints of (the extended) hand dipped in red-sandal paste, impressed
over all my limbs and covered over with rice-flour and sesamum powder, I, a
man, am turned into an animal (about to be slaughtered)." [transl. M.R.
Kale, The mRcchakaTika of zUdraka, 1924 (rep.1962) p. 355]. The commentary
of pRthvidhara makes it clear that the "animal about to be slaughtered" is a
goat going to be sacrificed (ibid. p.353 : pazu[r] devatArthaM chAgAdiH... 


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