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around her neck. No doubt, it is a blessing to be rich, but at whose cost and by what means is the question.

7) Piety and Poverty

It seems piety has no correlation with poverty, poverty has no relationship with spirituality and spirituality is only a cloak to hide prosperity. But how do the very same evangelists effect faith cures in dozens?  Or claim to do so? That is a different question!

.8)    Animal Sacrifice in Tamil Nadu

It is with utter disgust that I watch animal sacrifice in Tamilnadu temples on our TV screen.   A gory  sight: the heads of  goats,  roosters  and  hens  being  severed  from  their  bodies  by a single stroke of a heavy, sharp knife (aruval), leaving the bodies to bleed , twitch and turn in spasms on the blood-wet soil.   The people stand around and watch the headless carcass at their feet showing least remorse or pity.   Instead they are happy that their gods are pleased. In the end, after the ceremonial part and poojas are over amidst thunderous drum-beat and dances, they cook the flesh of the slain animals within sight of the idols and consume them with great joy and satisfaction, in the company of friends and relatives.They are pleased their vows to their gods have been fulfilled.

Animal sacrifice in Tamilnadu is not a stray occurrence at the altar of local deities, nor an obligation  on the part of a few individuals.  Rather it is a mass massacre.  The whole village, community, or even the district, offer sacrifices of hundreds of animals on the appointed day at different shrines.   

Should such cruelty to animals and birds be permitted  in the name of religious sentiment or stopped in the name of mercy and compassion? Should an age long practice prevalent among the less educated and superstitious mass of humanity be stopped abruptly by an ordinance promulgated by a legislative body?  Is it possible to stop it? Jayalalithaa seems to think it should be, and it could be.   Hence her ordinance  banning animal sacrifice in the temples of the state of Tamilnadu.   

Is it possible to enforce such a law? It is more likely to go the way the prohibition law against liquor went. Illicit distillation and boot legging followed. Sacrifices can be done in by-lanes and back yards of homes, hidden from public gaze, avoiding the vicinity of any temple or shrine.   

Perhaps educating the people and creating in them an awareness, that sacrifice of animals as a part of divine worship is a cruel practice, which needs to be given up, can help in eradicating this practice.   In a country like ours where such practices have their roots in castes, low social status, lack of education, belief in superstitions and faith in traditions, it may take a long time to eradicate animal sacrifice - not by force  but by acceptance.

It was with utter disgust that I watched animal sacrifice in Tamilnadu temples on our TV screen.   A gory  sight indeed.

9)  Wedding of Animals and Birds

My eyes for Tamil Nadu are the Tamil TV channels which are eight in number, according to my latest count. They expose startling happenings in the land, for the benefit of viewers who would otherwise be unaware or ignorant of such events.

Unexpected things can happen in Tamilnadu. The other day they struck on an ingenious idea to please their gods and bring rain to their sun-scorched  plains.  They collected seventeen pairs of animals and birds -- donkeys, horses, elephants,  chameleons, pigs, ducks, cock & hen, peacocks etc.  - and solemnised their weddings amidst pomp, poojas and ‘parakkottu’.   Pairs of them were brought together (against their will), bathed, garlanded, kum-kum applied and united in marriage amidst chanting of mantras by semi-clad Brahmin priests and reciting of Tamil verses by white-ashed poojaris. They were declared ‘man and wife’ but the animals themselves didn’t seem to understand what the pampering on them was all about. But the ‘bhaktas’ knew what they were doing.   They were trying to please gods to send down rains from heaven

This kind of ceremony and worship only shows how primitive people are in their thinking. They seem to behave like stone-age people. In trying to please gods, they amuse themselves and make mockery of piety and devotion.  I do not know who had the last laugh over this ceremony; the gods or the humans!

10)  The Greek  Gods

The gods venerated by the Greeks were the gayest, most human, most inspiring that the ancient world had yet known;  they spent timeless, deathless lives in feasting, love-making, and meddling in

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