Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online

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Sacred Animals
(5,599 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 …

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Axel Jacobsen, Knut, “Sacred Animals”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 16 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2018

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