Haunted by the Archaic Shaman, 9-10.


pp. 147-162. – 9. "Supernatural Abductions".

p. 147 abductor or spirit of dead jha~kri

"To train new shamans, ban- jha~kri kidnaps potential candidates and takes them into his lair deep in the forest. [This account is elaborated in Nepal’s] far west, where ban-jha~kri is ... the spirit of dead shamans".

p. 148 tribal-dialect terms for "jha~kri"





Jirel & S`erpa




pp. 150-151 various descriptions of ban- jha~kri


ban- jha~kri


[S`erpa] "Ban-jha~kri is the god of the jungle (forest) ... . ... Whe make clay statues of him, decorate them with garlands of marigold flowers ... . Ban-jha~kri is small in stature and his feet point backwards. He goes around with his golden drum".


[Taman] "Ban-jha~kri ... is the god of the forest. ... Ordinary people cannot see him, only the powerful jha~kris can see him. ... Ban-jha~kri is very small, about the size of a nine or ten year old child. ... He has long matted hair, his feet point backwards, and he moves about naked. He wears rudracche mala and rit.t.ho mala and beats a d.hya~gro made of gold. He steals children and trains them to become jha~kris. He lives with his wife, the ban-jha~krini, in ... remote parts of mountains ... in caves."


[Rai] "Ban-jha~kri is an ancient god. ... He kidnaps prepubescent boys and takes them to his cave in the jungles where he teaches them to become jha~kris. We do puja in ban-jha~kri on occasions".


[Jirel] "Ban-jha~kri is an ancient god. ... He is small in size, is covered with hair ..., and his feet are in opposite direction to people’s feet. ... Ban-jha~kri helps us, ... we have to hold a puja and worship him ... . He sometimes steals children and trains them as jha~kris. Those ... become very strong jha~kris."

pp. 152-154 personal stories of encounters with ban- jha~kri




[as experienced by Jirel narrator’s grandfather] "when I was eleven years old, I was sleeping by a rock ... when suddenly everything began to tremble. {dream of earthquake?} I looked up and saw a small figure appear in front of me, he was about my size, wore no clothes, and had long, straight hair that went all the way past his knees. What was strange was his feet, they pointed backwards. He said in an eerie and thundering voice : "I am your guru, I am ban-jha~kri." When I heard this I fainted. When I regained some sense, I felt like I was floating {though the air} ... to the upland forests. I tried to scream, but my body was paralyzed. {dream of paralysis} ... When I awoke {dream of false awakening} I was inside a large cave. It was bright, everything was radiating light, including my face {S^imon ben Yoh.ay experienced this; though Mos^eh "wist not that the skin of his face shone"} and body; it seemed that the walls and everything else was made of pure gold. ... I thought I was dreaming {lucid dreaming} or maybe I was dead . I saw ban-jha~kri and his wife, the ban-jha~krini, she was big ... and naked, with large sagging breasts. She had sharp yellow teeth, fiery eyes, and a long red tongue ... . She also had long hair. ... Ban-jha~kri said she was hungry and wanted to kill me and cook my flesh for a meal. But ban-jha~kri said that I was his student and warned her to stay away. They were speaking in a strange tongue, but somehow I was able to understand everything. Ban-jha~kri removed by clothes and examined by body for ... deformities. Finding none, he was pleased ... . He ... said he would give me great powers and the ability to see evil spirits that roam in the world and cause terrible sickness. ... When he gave he food, I had to eat it from the back of my hand as he did. Everyday, he taught me ... how to do puja and play the nga [d.hya~gro, the jha~kri’s drum]. ...

Then one day, I woke up and found myself in the same spot by the river from where my guru took me away. ... I was gone for over 8 days, but I did not know that. I did not know how long I had been gone, days, weeks, months.. ...


For many days, I could not utter a sound and I shook. This was taken as a sign that I was to be a jha~kri. Ban-jha~kri took me into his cave three more times, when I was about thirteen years old. ... he still appears in my dreams and teaches me mantras."


[as experienced by Chetri narrator] "I was very young ... in the jungle ... when ... I started to take a nap. The next thing I remember is seeing dust swirling in the wind, going round and round, and coming toward me. {dream of whirlwind} The whirlwind finally reached me and I had the feeling I was in its center and began to spin rapidly, round and round. I rose in the air and I heard sounds of ringing bells and beating drums. Then, there was complete darkness, like going through a tunnel, and I lost consciousness. When I opened my eyes, I found myself inside a cave full of light. Later I found that the cave was inside a huge black stone between two waterfalls deep in the jungle. Light bathed the cave – its is a huge palace with many rooms, all of them filled with golden objects. Then I saw something ..., about three to four feet tall, staring at me. He had a hairy body, the hair on his head was long, and his feet pointed toward his back. ... he said that he was the ban-jha~kri and he had brought me to his home to teach me jha~kri lessons. ... Ban-jha~kri ... is actually very beautiful. When he shows his divine appearance, his face radiates in a halo. His wife ... is twice as big as he is and has sharp teeth ... . She eats human flesh. Ban-jha~kri told her not to come near me or try to devour me. ... Ban-jha~kris teach three kinds of lessons to their students. These include Herne [looking], Dekhne [seeing/attention], and Garne [doing].

Herne is a kind of lesson in which he teaches his students to look at the present situation and how to determine people’s problems.

In Dekhne, he teaches how to see the future of the people, and

in Garne, he teaches how to solve


problems. ...

He also taught he how to play the drum and dance. I learned many mantras, which he whispered in my ears. I was in a trance or dreamlike state during the entire time I was there, except at the time of the teaching. {the trance = meditation contemplating of the significance of the teachings}

... when my lessons were completed, I found myself at the place from where the ban-jha~kri had taken me. I was like {or rather, actually a} waking from a long dream. ... Ban-jha~kri continues to teach me in dreams.

Ban-jha~kri {apparently brown-haired} is one of seven brothers, the others are :

suna [suvarn.a]-jha~kri [golden{-haired}],

ritthe-jha~kri [black{-haired}],

latte-jha~kri [matted hair].

gore [gaurya]-jha~kri [fair-skinned {better translated ‘blond-haired’}],

rittai-jha~kri [unadorned {hairless?}], and

sete [s`vetya]-jha~kri [white{-haired, like some monkeys, and like the "Antient of Days" in the Bible}]."

pp. 61, 154-156 boksi as jha~krini

p. 61

"There certainly are some female jhan~kris in Nepal." {Praesumably, a ban-jha~krini may carry off a girl candidate as discipless; and while in the process of imparting instruction, will need to protect that girl from being eaten by the husband ban-jha~kri.}

p. 154

"The Chepang of southern and central Nepal refer ban-jha~kri’s wife as ban-boksini, or "the witch of the forest" (Riboli 200:84)." {Are the reputed boksi-s all, or most of them, actually jha~krini-s, unobtrusively carrying out their sacramental practices among the womenfolk only? None of the author (H.S.)’s informants were women.}

Riboli 2000 = Diana Riboli : Tunsuriban. Kathmandu, 2000.

pp. 155-156 dream of supernatural cleansing of one’s dream-body; Bon abduction by spirits

p. 155

"Sometimes, the ban-jha~kri removes the candidate’s entrails surgically {dream of submitting to surgery, common in UFO abductions} and cleanses his body of impurities (cf. Riboli 2000:86-87)". {Supernatural internal body-organ cleansing (including brain-washing) is characteristic of Taoism.}


[quoted from O&DT, p. 550 :] "Such a tradition is also found in one of the Bon works : it tells of a young Tibetan who was abducted by spirits and who

p. 156

roamed with them for thirteen years. During this time he acquired supernatural powers, which enabled him to communicate with spirits after his return among men."


[quoted from "B", p. 33] At the age of 26, this Tibetan abductee "came to himself with the power to see such and such a place inhabited by such and such demons ... . He propagated the idea and methods of propitiation and subjugation of the demons. Thus originated the ... practices of Bon to deal with demons in the under world".

O&DT = Rene’ de Nebesky-Wojkowitz : Oracles and Demons of Tibet. Gravenhage, 1956.

"B" = Li An-che : "Bon". SOUTHWESTERN J OF ANTHROPOLOGY 4(1948):31-42.

pp. 158-159 similarity of abduction by UFO to abduction by ban-jha~kri




"in America ... people ... are abducted by UFOs. ... Like the ban-jha~kri kidnappings, extraterrestrial abductions happen unexpectedly, have dreamlike qualities {actually, occur only in dreams}, and involve paralysis, paranormal teleportation, disorientation, terror over the circumstances, fear of dying, imprisonment in brightly lit rooms, encounters with diminutive beings with nonhuman anatomical features, halos, and penetrating eyes ... . UFO abductees report spiritual examinations for flaws and dismemberment ... . ...


UFO abductees receive spiritual lessons and obtain psychic healing powers, as in the case of the ban-jha~kri disciples. ... The experience ends with the abductees returning to the place from where they were taken, often ... unaware of the actual duration of the encounter."


pp. 163-190 – 10. "Shamanizing & Ritual Drama".

pp. 165-166 diagnosis by jha~kri; night-time healing




[Taman] "We diagnose by feeling the patient’s pulse (nari). {this is a Chinese procedure.} We can tell whether there is a spirit inside his body, if a witch has attacked or has possessed the patient, or if a god or goddess is causing the problems. ... Feeling the pulse sets off sensations, like electricity, inside out bodies that tell us the nature of the problem."


[Taman] why healing caerimonies always take place after dark : "spirits are most active at night, ... night is for them like day is for us".

p. 166 names of witchcraft-spells causing ailments

__ bheda (__ witchcraft)

ari~gal (‘hornet’)

mauri (‘bee’)

bhyaguto (‘toad’)

sarpa (‘snake’)

pp. 167-170, 172, 174-175 description of a particular caerimony performed by a Taman jha~kri




"The jha~kri arrives in the evening. An assistant ... accompanies him. The assistant’s job is ... setting up the altar (than) ... . ... The jha~kris pay respects to the household deities by praying and asking for their help during the upcoming ritual. ...


The senior jha~kri begins by uttering mantras (jap) as he purifies his equipment with burning incense. ... Meanwhile the junior jha~kris light a fire in the hearth to heat the drum ... . ... The divinities include ... five bodyguard deities. {These "bodyguard deities" are those invited to "sit on" the jha~kri on p. 172.} ...


Once the altar is completed, the jha~kris purify and activate it. They do this by ... sprinkling holy water over the assemblage of sacred items and images. ... .


... full regalia is for use only when jha~kris are performing communal rites or are on pilgrimage. ...


... the senior jha~kri picks up his drum, ... and ... then extends the point of the handle toward the altar, bows, picks up the drumstick, and starts playing and chanting. ... He then proceeds to summon the gods (deuta bolaunu). ...


Come Jha~kri spirit ...

Come and sit on my head

Sit on my shoulders

Sit on my chest


Sit in front of me

Sit behind me ... . ..


... the senior jha~kri ... begins to violently shake and tremble (kamnu), announcing that the spirits and gods have come (deuta aayo). ... The assisting jha~kris begin shaking as well. ...


The jha~kri continues to shake, ... forceably bouncing up and down, until his body is several inches off the floor where he is sitting in a cross-legged position. He struggles with the spirits, whistles and trembles, as he swings the handle of his drum in a circular motion to the front and, grasping it with both hands twists the drum, bringing the point of the handle toward his abdomen, shouting "sshhhh-hhat!" as if reining some invisible beast. ...


Once the first possession event takes place, members of the audience put questions regarding their own affairs to the jha~kri, addressing the divinities he embodies ... . The spirits answer the questions speaking through the jha~kri."

pp. 175-176 colored deities; geographic deities

p. 175

"Possession events occur throughout the course of the ritual, as innumerable ghostly beings of sundry classes that are beckoned appear, and penetrate the jha~kri’s body, causing it to tremble and shake, before they are dramatically restrained. {serial possession-episodes, by many deities operating through a single medium during a single performance, are likewise frequent elsewhere : at Zanzibar, Vietnam, etc.} ... The jha~kri chants :



__ Bhairava









__ Picas (Pis`aca)






p. 176



Kaco (‘Unripe’)














p. 176 the 9 planets [including modern ones]

Budh (Mercury)

S`ukra (Venus)

Pr.thivi (Earth)

Mangal (Mars)

Br.haspati (Jupiter)

S`ani (Saturn)

Arun (Uranus)

Varun (Neptune)

Yam (Pluto)

pp. 177-181, 183, 186, 188, 190 continuation of same particular caerimony




"Suddenly, ... the jha~kri and his colleagues begin shaking intensely and the senior jha~kri ... begins beating himself on the head with his drumsick. He yells, "hheyy, hutt, kha-kha kha-kha," whistles ... . ... The jha~kri is now in a state of jokhana possession, which involves inquiring about the patient’s condition while embodying spirits. ... .


... the jha~kri ... then resumes violently striking his head with the drumstick. The reason ... is the presence of the jha~kri’s ceremonial outfit and feather headdress in the room. ... Then, ... he projects his spirit into the land of the gods. The jha~kri later described this as "looking telescopically at ... Yama Lok, the abode of Yamaraja." He announces ..., "I see on the mighty hill near Yamaraja’s palace, the patient’s death flag." ...


As the jha~kri sings, his junior colleagues begin violently shaking and bouncing in unison as the numinous beings descend upon them. ...


The senior jha~kri ... begins to shake violently, whistling, and shouting "hheyy." ... The senior jha~kri ... goes over to the patient. ... The The senior jha~kri walks around him ..., and touches the patient’s shoulders and the four directions on the floor around him with the point of the drum handle. One of the junior The senior jha~kris ... gestures to the four directions around the patient and tosses the rice at him. This is to feed the hosts of evil spirits attracted to him ... . ... . the senior jha~kri ... embodies numerous evil spirits that have converged upon the patient and must expell them from the room using the strength, or s`akti, os his tutelary spirits. He races outside the house, whistling, mumbling "bleba-bleba-bleba, balalalal, blalalala, hhat, hhat, hhaahaa," stands in the darkness of the night ... as the evil is dispersed into the darkness of the night. ... After serval minutes outside, the jha~kri returns to the room, slamming the door shut


to prevent the evil spirits expelled from returning. ... Then ... her once again projects his spirit into Yama Lok. .... He announces, "Ho, I have seized the patient’s death flag. Ho, I have destroyed it." ... the senior jha~kri beckons Gorkhanath Guru, "a reincarnation of Lord S`iva," to possess him. ... While incarnating the god, ... the jha~kri invites other gods, spirits, and ghosts to appear once more."


"An intense possession event follows as the jha~kri emodies the god Dolakha Bhimsena Buru for a showdown with Yamaraja and the Yamaduta. He stands up, shouting "hheyy," begins dancing around the patient, alternatively {alternatingly} raising each leg off the ground and holding it up for a few seconds as he dances." {A leg of Yama was cursed by goddess Chaya to fall off (S`iva Purana, "Uma Samhita", cap. 35 -- USSP).}


"The senior jha~kri then picks up a phurba and goes over to ... a boiling cauldron of water. He utters secret mantras and ... he displays his power by dipping his hand into the cauldron, holds it there for several seconds, and removes it unscathed."


"The jha~kri ... shouting "phhhet" throws the flour at the fire, producing a spectacular flare."


"The last segment of the nightlong ritual to be completed is the dismissal of the deities."

USSP = http://userwebs.theriver.com/innerguide/sivaPurana/part09.html


H. Sidky : Haunted by the Archaic Shaman : Himalayan Jha~kris. Lexington Books, Lanham (MD), 2008.