Just before the dawn broke on one of the longest April nights, Kishore had arrived at the temple to open its holy doors. He stepped in as usual, bowing before the gods, and went about performing his daily chores.
First, he swept the floor, and mopped it clean with a soft piece of satin cloth. Then he wiped every idols and statues – removing the stains of tika and decaying flowers offered by devotees the day before. He also bathed every God with the holy water, collected freshly from the nearby river, and rubbed them dry till they shone.
All this he did with utmost passion and devotion, humming all the while the holy chants in praise of God, in praise of Creation and in praise of purity and goodness of the universe. Finally, it was time for the formal worshiping ritual. He offered the gods fresh tika, flowers, water, and then recited the devotional mantra, a prayer for the grace of the God.
After all this had been completed, he stepped outside the temple and walked toward the outer gate, to a small area where a goat had been tied to a post.
He untied the animal and almost dragged it to the temple doors. One could see, if one chose to see, that the beast seemed quite upset to be separated from the lush, juicy grass it had been chewing away idly.
Two more people joined Kishore at the temple door, who helped him hold the goat in place, making sure there was limited movement.
He put some tika on the goat’s forehead and bestowed upon it some fragrant flowers. Then out came a large scimitar, and Kishore duly worshipped the killer knife as well, repeating the process of putting tika and flowers, and reciting the mantra — the holy ritual of purification!
Once it was done, Kishore raised the sharp metal high above him, and brought it down heavy, putting his entire weight behind it, on the goat’s neck. It took him two attempts to completely decapitate the animal.
He sprayed the blood all over the Goddess who loomed large above all other idols, and handed over the carcass to his two assistants. What they did with it was no longer his concern.
For all the worshiping and rituals of purification that went down that morning, one would wonder what part was meant for the cleansing of the taint on humanity.