Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Aghori Sadhu. Wikimedia Commons

By- Khushi Bisht

What Is Cannibalism?


Cannibalism is described as eating all or a part of another being of the same species as food. The practice of people consuming the flesh or body parts of other humans is referred to as ‘human cannibalism’. A ‘cannibal’ is anyone who engages in cannibalism.

Cannibalism is not rare. Neither is cannibalism a remote historical reality. Its rituals have been discovered in nearly every region of the world.


Cannibalism in Brazil in 1557. Wikimedia Commons

Follow NewsGram on LinkedIn to know what’s happening around the world.

Cannibalism has been practiced as a very last option by people who suffer from starvation or famine. It has been performed for a variety of purposes, including religious ones, throughout history. It is a cultural phenomenon in certain communities. In this scenario, the eating of flesh or specific parts is a ceremonial way of obtaining certain characteristics of the human consumed or to gain some occult, magic, or supernatural powers.

The Aghoris

There are some hermits who engage in cannibalism in order to cross the barrier of spiritual liberation. Consider the Aghoris, a Hindu ascetic sect in India. These people consume human flesh. The Aghori Babas of Varanasi, India, are well-known for their dark and scary search for divine redemption and eating the dead human being. They claim that the strongest fear that humans have is the fear of dying, and therefore this apprehension is an obstacle to enlightenment. By facing this fear, one will attain liberation.


Aghori at Harishchandra Ghat in Varanasi city. Wikimedia Commons

The entire idea of Aghori belief is that all objects in the world, including dead bodies, are similarly holy. There is no such thing as good or bad. The Aghoris seek to overcome all distinctions, see beyond the illusory essence of all existing distinctions, and achieve eternal bliss by becoming one with supreme existence. However, this ritual is frowned upon in orthodox Hinduism. Aghoris are vocal opponents of injustice and the lingering vestiges of the caste system, which traditionally divided Indians into unyielding social classes.

We will never know how far back in human evolution history this practice of cannibalism goes. It, however, evidently appeared to be a mere act of survival at a certain stage in human evolution, and then became a prohibition, a place of intersection between the holy and the blasphemous.


An ‘aghori’ and a ‘tantric’ sadhus explaining to their disciple. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Study: Red Planet Did Not Dry Up All At Once

Cannibalistic rituals have been documented in South America, Europe, Western Africa, several Pacific Islands, among ancient Native American tribes, and in several places around the world.

Some practices are as simple as meditation, while others might be terribly stressful and aggressive. Cannibalism has no adequate and comprehensive justification. Multiple cultures and communities have practiced it for various purposes. It has no universal sense. Rather, it is tailored to the religious context of each society where it is performed.


Popular

Pixabay

Three days back, Kohli had also dropped a bombshell -- just a month before the ICC World T20 to begin

Former cricketers have questioned the timing of Virat Kohli's announcement that he will step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain at the end of the IPL 2021 season, saying "if you want to do that, you probably do it after the tournament". Three days back, Kohli had also dropped a bombshell -- just a month before the ICC World T20 to begin -- that he will stand down from Team India T20 captaincy after the mega sporting spectacle in UAE and Oman.

On Sunday night, he shared the news on Twitter - just hours before their first game in the resumed IPL 2021 on Monday -- that he will quit RCB captaincy as well. The timings of both the announcements have left the former cricketers a bit "surprised". They believe that Kohli has "unsettled" his RCB side.

Virat Kohli The timings of both the announcements have left the former cricketers a bit "surprised" | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

There is no exaggeration in saying that Covid-19 has literally taken over our lives.

By Himanshu Agarwal

There is no exaggeration in saying that Covid-19 has literally taken over our lives. Whether vaccinated or not, most of us are still living in the shadow of fear and anxiety. In fact with breakthrough infections showing up for some, even the vaccinated do not feel completely safe from a possible assault of the virus. The finding that the virus can be airborne is scary enough, research also shows that the transmission of the coronavirus is higher indoors than outdoors. This means that even if you don't step out and think that the virus can't get to you because you are ensconced safely and comfortably indoors, the bad news is that you can still get infected.

So, what should you do to keep the virus at bay while being confined indoors? While taking other precautions, keeping the indoor air sanitized, and constantly so, is one big answer to this.

Indoor aerosols a carrier of coronavirus
Unlike the earlier dominant belief that only respiratory droplets could spread infection, it has been established now that the tiny aerosols in the air can carry the coronavirus. These aerosols which are smaller and lighter than respiratory droplets can not only stay longer in the air but also carry the virus farther and for a longer time. The assumption that only by making contact with a contaminated surface one can get the virus, is no more valid.



Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash

Children exposed to high levels of air pollution are up to 50 per cent more likely to self-harm later in life, suggested a study

Children exposed to high levels of air pollution are up to 50 per cent more likely to self-harm later in life, suggested a study that adds to evidence of link between air pollution and mental health problems. Researchers from the University of Manchester in England and Aarhus University examined 1.4million kids under 10 in Denmark and found that those exposed to a high level of nitrogen dioxide were more likely to self harm in adulthood than their peers, the Daily Mail reported.

And people in the same age group exposed to above average levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were 48 per cent more likely to subsequently self-harm, revealed the study published in the journal Preventive Medicine. Nitrogen dioxide is mainly produced by cars, while PM2.5 is mainly emitted by burning diesel and petrol, which is most commonly used for shipping and heating. These two pollutants are among those most commonly linked with causing harm to physical health, such as heart and lung diseases, by getting into the bloodstream and causing inflammation.

"Our findings add to the growing evidence-base indicating that higher levels of air pollution exposure are linked with poor mental health outcomes," lead author Dr Pearl Mok, a research fellow at Manchester University was quoted as saying. "Although air pollution is widespread, it is a modifiable risk factor and we therefore hope our study findings will inform policymakers who are devising strategies to combat this problem," Mok added.

grayscale photo of a girl in garden "Our findings add to the growing evidence-base indicating that higher levels of air pollution exposure are linked with poor mental health outcomes," lead author Dr Pearl Mok | Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less