Home Culture It’s time for Shamans to dance
August 9, 2019

It’s time for Shamans to dance

  • HB Kham
Bombo youths pose for photo
Bombo youths pose for photo

Mystical enough that Hindu religious festival “Janai Purnima”-full moon day on August 15- coincides with Shaman (Jhankri) festival of exhibiting shaman ritual dances and occult performance.

It is the occasion when Hindu devotees flock to the temples of Lord Shiva to pray, while the shamans also perform their shaman dances at the tune of their spiritual songs and music and worship lord Shiva as their protector.

To mark this occasion, Shamans of the Kathmandu valley usually gather around places of Gosainkunda, Charikot, Langtang, Patan, Kumbeshwar to perform their ancient shaman rituals and rejuvenate their occult powers.

Shamans use this occasion to visit these sacred places to regain their occult powers from the lord Shiva-their prime deity- who is also Hindus devotees’ God.

The Nepali priests such as Brahmins on this day flock the river banks and take ritual dips into the river water. Then change their sacred threads and tie yellow sacred threads around the wrists of other devotees.

Nepal is inhabited by a multi-ethnic community where Shamanism is mostly practiced in rural areas. The indigenous communities of Gurungs, Tamangs, Sherpas, Magars, Kham Group, Rai and Limbus practice this ancient ritual.

On this occasion, many shamans might be seen performing their shaman dances in their spiritual songs while approaching Gosainkunda Lake.

While the shamans dance along the way, a crowd of onlookers throngs to watch the shaman dances with great interest as this dance is not danced occasionally only.

The Shamans of Nepal are believed to have possessed the following occult powers.

  • The shamans can communicate with the spirits of the dead persons.
  • They believe that this world is full of good and evil spirits. The good spirits protect humans, while evil spirits harm humans.
  • The shaman’s job is to get rid of evil spirits from the body of humans.
  • Shamans have the divine and occult power to create a trance-inducing technique to see something in the future and forecast future happenings.
  • Shamans use their occult power to separate a dead spirit and living humans if the spirit of the dead is causing any problem to the living person.
  • The Shaman’s spirit can separate from his physical body temporarily to reach occult places like heaven or hell to find the answers for certain questions that might be perturbing the humans and then come back to the original body to resume normal life again.
  • Most of the shamans do such occult performances during the state of trance by calling many good and powerful spirits (the spirits of previous shamans) to appear in his body to enable him to do all occult type of performances.
  • It is the good spirits that can communicate with the shaman and tell him about the future phenomenon likely to happen in this world.
  • The shaman can also use his occult spiritual power to predict the death of someone who is seriously ill.
  • The ghosts and evil spirits are afraid of the true divine power of shamans because the powerful shaman can destroy them too if he wants so.
  • Shaman also has the power to fight against witches and ghosts.
  • It is said that although Shaman fights against witches, shaman and witches are brothers and sisters and they both coordinate and cooperate in healing a person or doing the opposite.









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