Why are owls considered inauspicious?


Owls and pigeons are mentioned in Vedas(Atharva Veda to be specific) as the messengers of Nirrti,the Goddess of misfortune ,destruction,poverty etc and hence they are considered inauspicious.

Nirrti also known as Alakshmi is considered to be Goddess Lakshmi's sister.

Quoting from this page:

VI, 27. Charm against pigeons regarded as ominous birds.

  1. O ye gods, if the pigeon, despatched as the messenger of Nirriti (the goddess of destruction), hath come here seeking (us out), we shall sing his praises, and prepare (our) ransom. May our two-footed and four-footed creatures be prosperous!....

    VI, 29. Charm against ominous pigeons and owls.

  2. Upon those persons yonder the winged missile shall fall! If the owl shrieks, futile shall this be, or if the pigeon takes his steps upon the fire!

  3. To thy two messengers, O Nirriti, who come here, despatched or not despatched, to our house, to the pigeon and to the owl, this shall be no place to step upon!

The owl and the pigeon are referred to in the above quote as the two messengers.

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