So many things in this world are misunderstood and mistreated, simply because we do not take the pains to delve deep enough. Many (pseudo) intellectuals today criticise palmistry, astrology, vastu, ayurveda and various other sciences, and conveniently twist certain extracts to suit their arguments.
“How dare you even call these sciences?!”
Nothing wrong with criticism, as long as the critic has studied the subject in sufficient detail. Chances are, and my personal experience attests to it, that by the time the period of study is complete, even the staunchest disbelievers become converts.
An example of such misunderstanding? The ancient Hindu tradition of animal sacrifices in temples during fire offerings.
In his book on Purusha Suktam, Swami Tejomayananda beautifully clarifies. Animals were never killed at temples. Rather, they would be tied to a pole at the start, and as an offering, they would be set free, i.e. the owner of the animal would ‘sacrifice their ownership‘.
This is key. It is not about the object. Rather it is about relinquishing ownership of the object. The animal would then be free to roam around the village, and would be fed by all villagers with equal reverence. Such a beautiful concept, but misunderstood!
The ultimate goal is to sacrifice our egos. This is considered the pinnacle of self-realisation.