publication . Article . 2018

The Invisible Path of Karma in a Himalayan Purificatory Rite

Arik Moran;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Mar 2018 Journal: Religions, volume 9, page 78 (eissn: 2077-1444, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: MDPI AG
Abstract
Indic rites of purification aim to negate the law of karma by removing the residues of malignant past actions from their patrons. This principle is exemplified in the Kahika Mela, a rarely studied religious festival of the West Himalayan highlands (Himachal Pradesh, India), wherein a ritual specialist assumes karmic residues from large publics and then sacrificed to their presiding deity. British officials who had ‘discovered’ this purificatory rite at the turn of the twentieth century interpreted it as a variant of the universal ‘scapegoat’ rituals that were then being popularized by James Frazer and found it loosely connected to ancient Tantric practises. The ...
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free text keywords: Himachal Pradesh, human sacrifice, karma, Khas, Kullu, Nar, ritual, scapegoat, shaktism, Tantra, Scapegoat, Human sacrifice, History, Rite, Religious studies, Karma, Tantra, lcsh:Religions. Mythology. Rationalism, lcsh:BL1-2790
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Narrating the Past in the Hindu Himalayas: On Social Memory in South Asian Oral Traditions
  • Funder: European Commission (EC)
  • Project Code: 334489
  • Funding stream: FP7 | SP3 | PEOPLE
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