painted goat

Shin Young Yoo ysyoung at
Mon Dec 9 09:22:35 UTC 1996

Martin Bemmann asked 
<<Can somebody provide me with more information and/or reference on the 
custom of painting the goat's fur before sacrifice?>>

We read a passage in the paali matakabhatta-jaataka: 

eko ti.n.nam vedaanam paaraguu disaapaamokkho aacariyo
matakabhattam dassamiiti ekam e.lakam gaahaapetvaa antevaasike
aaha "taataa idam e.lakam nadim netvaa nhaapetvaa 
ka.n.the maalam parikkhipitvaa pa~cangulikam datvaa
ma.n.detvaa aanethaati. 

Robert Chalmers translated [The Jaataka, vol. 1, pp. 51-53]: 

A Brahman, who was versed in the Three Vedas and world-famed as 
a teacher, being minded to offer a Feast for the Dead, had 
a goat fetched and said to his pupils, "my sons, take this goat 
down to the river and bathe it, then hang a garland round its 
neck, give it a pottle of grain to eat, groom it a bit, and bring
it back." 

However, a problem here is how to interpret the word 'pa~ncangulika' 
(translated above as a pottle of grain) which is used in the sense
'a space of five finger-breadths' else-where in the paali canon. 

But I remember that one of my teachers once explained it as 
'a mark with a coloured palm.'

I hope this may be useful for you. 


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