Your Ultimate Dawah Resource!

Human Sacrifices & Cannibalism in Hinduism

By: S.L.A © 2016

Hinduism is a very rich and diverse religion with lots of beliefs varying from one school to another, however the teachings in the scriptures reveal that human sacrifices (Nara Bali or Purusha Medha) is commanded, and even cannibalism exists.

Within this article, I will show you that not only is it practiced today, but the scriptural evidences for it too.

Human Sacrifices are Practiced Today

Many people may think, that surely this is some past barbaric practice, and no longer practiced, but that is far from the truth.  It is alive and well.  Sadly it is very true, and more commonplace than you think.  It is not just one or two incidences either.  There are tons of news reports all over the world about human sacrifices done by Satan worshippers, and Hindus….moreso by Hindus than Satanists!

In India, people offer lives to their village goddesses, usually the followers of the Hindu goddess Kali. 

Hindus today will quickly jump to deny this exists in their religion, and even more so, will deny it is done today, but that is obviously false, or they are simply not up to speed on the world around them.  Below are just a handful of examples from recent months and years alone, however, there are tons more to read about.

In 2002, the BBC wrote about how this practice has been revived.

At the Kamakhya Temple, one of India's holiest pilgrimage sites near the state capital Guwahati, human sacrifices have been revived.  The sacrifice is made at midnight, on the day of Ashtami during the 10-day autumnal Durga Puja to the Mother Goddess Shakti.  Research shows that human sacrifice at Kamakhya was first revived 75 years ago, but was discontinued a few years later, and now effigies are now used, but reports in the news indicate it is still practiced using human sacrifices.

The HindustanTimes in 2012 reported of a man’s severed head found in a bag on a road leading to the temple along with a paper with religious hymns written on it. 

In March of 2017, the BBC reported about a 10yr old that was sacrificed to cure another man that was paralyzed.

According to The Hindu , in 2015, Jivan Kohar, age 10, had been missing and the same day a neighbor hosted a gathering of villagers in which was said that their own son was ill, possessed by evil spirits, and would need a human sacrifice.  The boy’s body was found on the banks of a river in Kudiya, a farming Nepalese village near the Indian border. His throat had been slit.

News24 reports about an Indian witch doctor that beheaded a toddler in a human sacrifice to a Hindu goddess.  Angry villagers in Andhra Pradesh state's Prakasam district tied a 35-year-old to a tree and set him on fire after the gruesome murder according to the Times of India.  The report said the suspect had abducted the child and after decapitating him offered his blood to Hindu goddess Kali in the belief that he would attain occult powers and wealth.

The Hindustan Times reported that there were 25 cases in Uttar Pradesh within a 6 month time in 2003.

The NZHerald reported that in October 2016, a 4-year-old girl went missing from her home in the Charaideo district of upper Assam, India.  The child’s body was found with her head decapitated and her arms had been severed, because a 14yr old girl who lived in the same village had ‘lost her phone and wanted it back’, and so her parents offered a human sacrifice to get it back.

According to Daily Bhakshar in 2013, A 10 year old girl Sapna, was killed by her grandmother Yashodabai Pandurang, who also drank her blood and took bath in the blood, just to seek blessing of a goddess, in the Vidarbah area of Maharashtra.

In November 2014, a man abducted the nine-year-old son of an acquaintance, killed him and ate his body parts to acquire “special powers” to recover “hidden treasures”, according to the Indian Express .

More often than not, children are the victims of these human sacrifices, and usually performed by someone that knows the child, if not their own family members.  There are countless reports about human sacrifices in the news, more than is needed to prove the practice is alive in India today.  You can simply look at the results of various other reports listed here in just one website, or search Google to find a never ending list.

So, is there any religious teaching for such things?  The practice of human sacrifice (Nara bali, also known as Purusha Medha) is supported in Hindu scriptures.  So, what does it say exactly?

In the Scriptures : Human Sacrifices (Purusha Medha / Nara Bali)

“Purusha” and “Nara” = “man/human”

“Medha” and “Bali” = “sacrifice”

Satapatha Brahmana

The following verse says that Manu’s wife was sacrificed:

“These two said, 'God-fearing, they say, is Manu: let us two then ascertain!' They then went to him and said: 'Manu! we will sacrifice for thee!' He said: 'Wherewith?' They said: 'With this bull!' He said: 'So be it!' On his (the bull's) being killed the voice went from him.It entered into Manâvî, the wife of Manu; and when they heard her speak, the Asuras and Rakshas were continually being crushed. Thereupon the Asuras said to one another: 'Hereby even greater evil is inflicted on us, for the human voice speaks more!' Kilâta and Âkuli then said: 'God-fearing, they say, is Manu: let us then ascertain!' They went to him and said: 'Manu! we will sacrifice for thee!' He said: 'Wherewith?'” Satapatha Brahmana – Part 1, 1 Kanda, 1 Adhyaya, 4 Brahmana 1:1:4:15-16

Following verses from Satapatha Brahmana shows how the essence of sacrifice went from man to animals,

“At first, namely, the gods offered up a man as the victim. When he was offered up, the sacrificial essence went out of him. It entered into the horse. They offered up the horse. When it was offered up, the sacrificial essence went out of it. It entered into the ox. They offered up the ox. When it was offered up, the sacrificial essence went out of it. It entered into the sheep. They offered up the sheep. When it was offered up, the sacrificial essence went out of it. It entered into the goat. They offered up the goat. When it was offered up, the sacrificial essence went out of it. It entered into this earth. They searched for it, by digging. They found it (in the shape of) those two (substances), the rice and barley: therefore even now they obtain those two by digging; and as much.”  (Satapatha Brahmana - Part 1, 1 Kanda, 2 Adhyaya, 3 Brahmana )

"A man (purusha) he slaughters first, for man is the first of animals; then a horse, for the horse comes after man; then a bull, for the bull (or cow) comes after the horse; then a ram, for the sheep comes after the cow; then a he-goat, for the goat comes after the sheep: thus he slaughters them according to their form, according to their excellence.” (Satapatha Brahmana Part 3 – 6 Kanda, 2 Adhyaya, 1 Brahmana 6:2:1:18 )

“He then lifts up the human head–he thereby exalts it–with, ‘Giver of a thousand thou art: for a thousand thee!’ a thousand means everything: thus, ‘the giver of everything, for everything (I bestow) thee!’. He then puts them (the heads) in (the fire-pan), first (that of) the man–having taken possession of the man by strength he sets him up;–the man in the middle; on both sides the other victims: he thus sets the man, as the eater, in the midst of cattle; whence man is the eater in the midst of cattle. [22-23] These are the victims; separately he puts them down, separately he ‘settles’ them, and separately he pronounces the Sudadohas on them; for separate from one another are those animals. He then offers on the human head, sacrifice is offering: he thus makes man the one among animals fit to sacrifice; whence man alone among animals perform sacrifice.” (Satapatha Brahmana - Part 3, 7 Kanda, 5 Adhyaya, 2 Brahmana 7:5:2:13-14 and 22-23 )

In Satapatha Brahmana – Part 5, 13 Kanda, 6 Adhyaya, 2 Brahmana 13:6:2:12-13 , men were tied to stakes to be burned as sacrifices.

Tantra: Hymn to Kali – Karpuradi Stotra

"O dark one, wondrous and excelling in every way, becomes the accomplishment of those worshippers who living in this world freely make offering to Thee in worship of the greatly satisfying flesh, together with hair and bones, of cats, camels, sheep, buffaloes, goats and MEN."  [Tantra: Hymn to Kali, Karpuradi Stotra, Verse 19 ]

Yajur Veda

“1 OUR sacrifice, God Savitar! speed onward: speed to his share the sacrifice's patron…”

“5 For Brahman (Priesthood) he binds a Brahman to the stake; for Kshatra (Royalty) a Râjanya; for the Maruts a Vaisya; for Penance a Sûdra; for Darkness a robber; for Hell a homicide or a man who has lost his onsecrated fire; for Misfortune a eunuch; for Venality an Ayogû; for Kâma a harlot; for Excessive Noise a Mâgadha…”

(Skipping a long list from verse 6 onwards, explaining who to sacrifice for what…)

“22 Now he ties up the eight following variform men: one too tall, one too short, one too stout, one too thin, one too white, one too black, one too bald, one too airy. These must be neither Sûdras nor Brâhmans, and must be dedicated to Prajâpati.” Yajur Veda 30 :1-22


“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.” Mahabharata 14.3

It is also mentioned in Mahabharata,

“He then saw him in the regions of those foremost of men that perform the horse-sacrifice and the sacrifice in which human beings are slaughtered.” Mahabharata 9:50

Padma Purana

Jain saint censuring the sacrifices of Vedas and telling its evils to king Vena,

“I shall tell you another fierce act (mentioned) in the Vedas. When a guest goes (i.e. arrives) to the house, a brahmana (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…” Padma Purana II.37.32b-42  (Tr. N.A. Deshpande, pg. 1039)

“Aditya (i.e. the Sun) well-settled in the twelve mouths is always pleased with him who puts a rudraksa with twelve mouths round his neck. He quickly obtains the fruit which one gets by a cow-sacrifice or a human sacrifice..” Padma Purana II.I.59.187-191a. (Tr. N.A. Deshpande, pg.  783).

Agni Purana

“Om obeisance to the greatest Mahabhairava, to the Fierce form with deformed tooth, to the yellow eyed, to the bearer of trident and sword, Vousat. O Goddess, one should worship the mud and benumb multitudinous weapons(of the enemy). I shall describe rites relating to the fire which ensures victory in battle.  The votary should remain nude, have the tuft untied, face the south and offer human flesh, blood and poison mixed with chaff of grain, pieces of bone as oblations to fire kindled with logs of wood at the cremation ground in the night uttering the name of the enemy one hundred and eight times.” Agni Purana 125:46-50 (page 379).

“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 buffalo or goat or the body of a man.” Agni Purana 311: 31-33 page 861

Vamana Purana

Vamana Purana mentions that a righteous king performed human sacrifice hundreds and thousand times,

“There, wherein the eminent king Gaya had performed the horse sacrifice a hundred times completed with the payment of liberal presents, the human sacrifice a hundred times and a thousand times as also the Rajasuya sacrifice a thousand times.” Vamana Purana 50.14 page 424-425 (Tr. Sri Anand Swarup Gupta)

There are too many verses from Hindu scriptures to count, but as you can see in the examples above, it is there, and very clear. The list goes on and on….you can read more evidences from scriptures here .

Blood-Thirsty Gods and Goddesses

Goddess Chinnamasta

Chinnamasta.2Chinnamasta, show to the right, is one of ten goddesses from the esoteric tradition of Tantra, and aspect of Devi, the Hindu Mother goddess. Iconography images of Chinnamasta portray her naked, with her head decapitated, and standing on top of a couple having sex, while holding her own head, which is drinking from one fountain of blood coming from her neck, and the other 2 fountains being drank from by two attendants.  



Goddess Chamunda, also known as Goddess Kali

Chamunda is also known as Kali in Hinduism.

According to Hindu scriptures, the goddess Chamunda emerged as Chandika Jayasundara from an eyebrow of the goddess Kaushiki.  Chamunda aka Kali killed and drank the blood of Raktabija, as it poured out, giving her the thirst for blood.  Raktabija had magical abilities and thus every drop of his blood created thousands more like him.  (Devi Mahatmyam, Chapter 8:40-41 Raktabija Vadham)

“The goddess is worshipped by ritual animal sacrifices along with offerings of wine and in the ancient times, human sacrifices were offered too. Originally a tribal goddess, Chamunda was assimilated in Hinduism and later entered the Jain pantheon too.” (Bhandarkar, 1995)[i]

Kali is usually portrayed in iconography as having black skin, and sometimes even blue skin, four arms, and holding weapons, as well as severed limbs.  She wears a necklace made of human skulls, and wears skirt of severed arms of people she has destroyed.  She is iconic for her long tongue hanging out of her mouth, with blood dripping therefrom, and is holding a decapitated head.






The Thuggee

Indiana Jones Aghori strangulationYou may recall a scene from the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  The film has a section where you see these Hindu ‘Thuggee” people sacrificing Jones and his companion.  While the film is fiction, the origins are not.  This is actually based on people called the Thuggees, whom are a group of people found within Hinduism. Thugs considered themselves to be the children of Kali, created from her sweat. The Thuggee sect is known for strangling people their victims, after they would rob them, as depicted in the image from the film being strangled. It took place all across the Indian sub-continent, having over 2 MILLION human beings estimated to have been sacrificed.  In the 1800s, there were approximately 20,000 a year offered as a sacrifice.  While under British rule, many were prosecuted for the killings, and a group of about just 20 people confessed to having done around 5,200 sacrifices, and one person alone belonging to this sect, was responsible for 931 sacrifices of other humans.

Cannibal Sect of the Aghori

In this documentary film below, they explain the sect and practices of the Aghori sect of Hinduism.  The strict practices that the Aghoris must adhere to, include (but not limited to the following practices):

  • Living on cremation and burial grounds for their entire lives
  • Always eating and drinking from a human skull, and nothing else
  • Rubbing the ash of cremated dead bodies onto their bodies while meditating
  • Eating and drinking garbage, literally, as well as animal feces and urine, and the rotting flesh of human corpses
  • Intensive alcohol consumption and smoking of opiate drugs


Even in Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom, they depicted the drinking from the human skull of the Aghoris as you can see below.

Indiana Jones Aghori Skull 

National Geographic also has a documentary film about the Aghoris you can watch here:


Cannibalistic Demons Created by the Gods

Rakshasas, or Nri-Chakshas, Kravyads are the cannibalistic demons created by gods.

According to the Ramayana, rakshasas were created from Brahma's foot.  Oddly, while there are blood-thirsty cannibalistic gods and goddess in Hinduism, there are also Rakshasas.  They are demon beings which are found in Hinduism, as well as incorporated into Buddhism. They are called 'maneaters' (Nri-chakshas, Kravyads). A female rakshasa is known as a Rakshasi, and in human form is known as a Manushya-Rakshasi. Asura are also referred to as rakshasa interchangeably. 

In the Mahabharata, they were described as wicked supernatural humanoids that were humans in previous incarnations, and notorious for disturbing sacrifices, desecrating graves, harassing priests, possessing human beings, and so on. Their fingernails are venomous, and they feed on human flesh and spoiled food. They are shape changers, illusionists, and magicians. (New World Encyclopedia)[ii]

It leaves you to wonder why the gods created them in the first place (from Brahma’s foot), or better yet, why not just eat them before they eat others.  Seems rather odd, yet ironic, right?

Allah is the One True God, and Islam is the solution!

Muslims do not have to offer a sacrifice to Allah of humans, or animals to obtain what we want from Allah.  Supplications (dua’) is enough.  Allah hears all and knows all, and needs nothing.  Allah doesn’t eat, or drink or have a need for such things.  We obey Allah, worship Allah, and pray to Allah for our needs to be met, as Allah can do anything, and does not teach us to cause others to suffer for our own desires and wants.  It simply isn’t logical. 

Other religions portray God(s) with desire for blood and become pleased with the offerings given to them.  The Prophet Muhammad pbuh rejected this concept.  In Islam only animals are sacrificed, and it can only be certain animals, and it serves two purposes – 1 as a symbol of submission to Allah, and 2- provide a means of charity for the needy. 

Allah is not bloodthirsty.  In fact, Allah says:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.” Qur’an 22:37

Islam gives mankind a logical and reasonable concept of sacrifice, which helps mankind out, instead of wiping them out.

And when my servants ask you concerning me, [tell them] I am indeed near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls.” Qu’ran 2:187

“And your lord said, invoke me and I will respond to your invocation.” Qur’an 40:60

Put your trust in Allah for all your needs if you wish to be successful.

May Allah guide us all to the straight path, ameen.


Recommended Reading:

Animal Sacrifices in Hindu Scriptures


[i] Vaisnavism Saivism and Minor Religious Systems By Ramkrishna G. Bhandarkar, p.205, Published 1995, Asian Educational Services, ISBN 81-206-0122-X

[ii] New World Encylopedia retrieved February 26, 2017.

Print Friendly and PDF