Hindu man chops off his hand to offer to goddess

A Hindu man has chopped off his right hand in an offering to his religion’s goddess of death.

Rajesh Taipuriya, 23, severed his hand using a kukhuri, a curved Nepalese knife, after a service in Nepal where devotions were offered to the popular deity Kali.

Mr Taipuriya asked the priest to bring him the knife, traditionally used in animal sacrifice, and in one swift motion the stony faced devotee cut off his hand then offered it at the altar of the multi-armed goddess.

A crowd gathered to see the unusual offering lying on the Kali temple floor in Bardesha, while its owner left in a taxi. He survived the amputation and is receiving treatment in a hospital 250 kilometres from the capital Kathmandu.

It was unclear why the young man made the gesture to the goddess who is linked with destruction and is consort to the Hindu deity Shiva.

Nepal is deeply traditional and some 80 per cent of the population are Hindu.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
The Times, UK
July 31, 2007
Joanna Sugden

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This post was last updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 at 5:11 PM, Central European Time (CET)