Sacred Animals
(5,633 words)

A sacred animal in Hinduism is a divine being in animal form or with animal features, or a living animal that is worshipped and religiously valued. Most of the animals that are worshipped are divinities in animal form or with animal features pictured in stone or other material or embodied in statues (mūrtis), but in some cases the animals worshipped are living animals. However, the divine beings in animal form do not become completely separated from the living species they …

Cite this page
Knut Axel Jacobsen, “Sacred Animals”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 12 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2012

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