human sacrifice (allusion to Abraham)

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Fri Apr 24 20:09:02 UTC 1998

At 09:49 PM 4/23/98 -800, Paul Kekai Manansala wrote:

>In the Bible there are many instances of God's commandment not to
>take any captives of certain enemies in battle.  The Amalekites and
>Philistines, for example.  How much different is this than the
>sacricifing of one's enemy captives?  The only difference to me
>seems that one involves a formal ritual offering, while the other is
>obedience to a commandment. Both forms of slaughter have a religious

And, let us not forget that the battle of the MahAbhArata is described in
the text itself (5.139.29-44) as a massive (human) sacrifice.  "Blood will
be the oblation at this sacrifice:"  havis tu rudhiraM...asmin yajñe
bhaviSyati (v.39).
According to the mythological explanation of the story, the Earth needed to
get rid of many kSatriyas in order to lighten her burden, so the gods
incarnated for that purpose. It was all divinely ordained.

In KRSNa's words (to Arjuna):

Conquer your enemies... I have [already] killed them long ago.  Be the mere
instrument...!   BhG 11.33.


Luis Gonzalez-Reimann
University of California, Berkeley

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