Reflections by Mike Ghouse
A few months ago, a man married a goat in Ethiopia, as a part of the atonement for his sin with the goat, he was ordered to marry the goat. The moment we hear the word wedding or marriage, we tend to think in terms of a conjugal relationships, but that does not seem to be the case in this instance. The wedding vow, Selva Kumar took is different "I will take care of it until its death." at the wedding ceremony. Taking care of it sounds really good, and the word "it" to define the gender is interesting when in an earlier sentence it used the female gender of the dog.
It is more of a union of two lives to take care of each other. Couldn't he take care of the dog without getting married? What was the purpose of the hoopla? What was the need to make it public? Is it a confession? Is it an acknowledgement of the guilt, hoping it would wash away? It is indeed a way of praischit (repentence). I hope the man feels freedom from the pain from this formal public acknowledgement. We can laugh at him or ourselves, the choice is ours.
On the other hand gratitude for friendship with a dog or a cat is expressed in terms of grand burials, and wills. This year, some where in Arizona, a lady left $200 Million in her will to her Dog. Americans spend thousands in taking care of the friends; Cats and Dogs. It is amazing how the human mind works, there is one thing certain, when you wrong some one, until you square that out, there is going to be conscious or subconscious pain or imbalance. Depending on how you go about handling it, it might get aggravated instead of subsiding. But a sense of Justice has to come about.
Every day, we do one kind of Praischit or the other at home, office and other places. We are naturally inclined to seek balance, most achieve it, some fail.
As long as we are aware of who we are, and reflect upon it daily, we will keep that balance ‘fairly’ intact.
Man in India Marries Dog
to Atone for Stoning to Death Mating Canines
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Hindustan Times, Associated Press and Time of India contributed to this report.
NEW DELHI — Selva Kumar had been hounded for 15 years by the memory of a horrible act he'd committed as a teenager.
As an 18-year-old he had stoned and clubbed to death two dogs he found engaged in mating. He then hung their carcasses from a tree.
That's when his personal suffering began.
"After that my legs and hands got paralyzed and I lost hearing in one ear," Kumar told the Hindustan Times newspaper.
Kumar, now 33 and living in the southern Indian district of Sivaganga, could no longer take the physical pain of the "dog curse," so he sought the advice of an astrologer.
Friends and relations attend P. Selvakumar's wedding to a dog
Her cure for his maladies?
"Marry a dog."
Which is just what Kumar did on Sunday.
In a ceremony befitting a beautiful Indian bride, the bitch, a former 10-year-old stray named "Selvi," was bathed and dressed in a ceremonial orange sari with a garland of flowers adorning her neck. She was then brought to the temple in Tamil Nadu to be presented to Kumar by members of his family.
Kumar, sitting beside his bride, recited his marriage vows, declaring, "I will take care of it until its death." Then, the "couple" was declared married.
Deeply superstitious people in rural India sometimes organize weddings to dogsand other animals, believing it can ward off certain curses.
The Hindustan Times reported Kumar's family hosted a feast — while Selvi dined on a bun.
No word on where the couple would honeymoon or reside, or whether they had registered for gifts.
Indian Girl Marries Stray Dog In India
A nine-year-old tribal girl in eastern India has married a stray dog as part of a ritual to ward off an "evil spell" on her, Indian newspapers have reported. The girl, Karnamoni Handsa, had to be married quickly because she had a tooth rooted to her upper gum, which is considered a bad omen by her Santhal tribe in the remote village of Khanyhan, about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Calcutta. "Members of the village jury asked us to get her married to a dog or to face the bad omen," the girl's father was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. The tribe elders said the marriage would not affect the girl's life, and that she would be free to marry again later and did not need to divorce the dog. "It will not spoil her future. We will marry her off to eligible bachelor when she grows up," the girl's mother told AFP. 'No regret' The wedding - which took place on 11 June - was attended by more than 100 guests, who danced to the beating of drums and drank home-made liquor. "I have no regret in marrying the dog Bacchan. I am fond of the dog who moves around our locality," the girl told the AFP. "Bacchan is a stray dog who survives on left-overs. I will take care of the dog," she added. Indian newspapers reported that local police officials had ordered an inquiry into the incident. The Santhals - most of whom are sharecroppers - are a large tribe living in the states of West Bengal and neighbouring Bihar and Jharkhand.