Friday, November 27, 2009

Paganism Today

The world's biggest animal sacrifice began in Nepal today with the (watch the horrific video) killing of the first of more than 250,000 animals

as part of a Hindu festival in the village of Bariyapur, near the border with India.

The event, which happens every five years, began with the decapitation of thousands of buffalo, killed in honour of Gadhimai, a Hindu goddess of power.

With up to a million worshippers on the roads near the festival grounds, this year's fair seems more popular than ever, despite vocal protests from animals rights groups who have called for it to be banned. "It is the traditional way, " explained 45-year old Manoj Shah, a Nepali driver who has been attending the event since he was six, "If we want anything, and we come here with an offering to the goddess, within five years all our dreams will be fulfilled."

Link (here) to the full article in The Guardian.

More (here)

Jesuit History in Nepal

Nepal also engaged the attention of the Jesuits—men whom neither barriers of everlasting snow nor the border warfare of petty mountain tribes could repress.

The valley of Nepal has " as many temples as houses, as many idols as inhabitants." It was invaded in 1765 by an army of 40,000 Chinese who came within a few miles of Katamandu ; the people applied to the British to protect them, and in 1792 Kirkpatrick was sent on an embassy for that purpose.
In 1707 the Capuchin missions began in Nepal, Bettia and Tibet. Tieffenthaler writes that Patan (where 20,000 Lamas live) Katamandu and Batgao, cities near each other, have churches and hospices, where the Capuchin missionaries live. One of those Capuchins Bernini died 1753 on his way from Nepal to Patna ; he translated many works respecting the Brahmans out of the Sanskrit. In 1767 the Rajah of Gorkha invaded Nepal and reduced it under his rule : having killed the rajah, he gave orders to the missionaries to depart; they were sent to Bettia.
In 1661 Grueber and Donville, Jesuits, visited Katamandu: the King was greatly struck at seeing some mathematical instruments; observing through a telescope the fortifications of an enemy appearing quite near, he cried out that all his soldiers must be at once ready for the attack; he was agreeably disappointed when he found the apparent nearness was owing to the glass; the king offered them land and full liberty to preach.
Recanete, Superior of the Capuchin Mission, arrived in Nepal with twenty of his companions : he was well received by the king, who gave him a place to lodge in and proclaimed liberty of conscience to all his subjects. Paulino mentions Joseph, a Corignano, a Capuchin, as author of a dialogue in Urdu dedicated to the rajah of Bettia, also Father Pinna who was director of the Bengal and Nepal Missions, and died in 1747 after labouring thirty-three years: in the city of Patan a monument is erected to him; it has an inscription in Tibetan composed by a Brahman. In 1735 it is stated that " the Apostolic Chamber was so poor and so much in debt, that far from supporting new Missions, it was not in a condition to maintain those already established, the number of Missionaries requisite for the purpose was so great."

Link (here) to the Calcutta Review, volume #5 published in 1846

1 comment:

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