Shamans can cure illness!

In “The Social Symbolism of Healing in Nepal,” Stacy Leigh Pigg mentions that there are local healers in Nepalese communities known as phukne manchhe. They are believed to be able to take away ghosts, evil eyes, spirits, and shades, which sabotage people and cause sickness. He also mentions that there are some ritual specialists, dhami or dhami-jhankri, in eastern Nepal. They become possessed by spirits and are able to find out causes of sickness or any kind of suffering. They make protective amulets, in which people believe doubtlessly and feel themselves secured (23). This is absolutely true. I too have an experience of visiting a shaman for the sake of my uncle’s health.  


Five years before, my uncle felt so sick that even doctors had no expectation of his livelihood. He was made to return home so that he could spend his last days with the family. However, we decided to take him to a dhami. Therefore, I, along with my aunt, took my uncle to a shaman in a neighboring village early morning next day as there would be a ridiculously long line of people seeking cure for illnesses. When I was staying there, I could see the shaman moving a broom up and down of patients’ bodies and murmuring some mantras. Every time he would say that the sickness was either because of evil eyes or because of ghosts, and he would make the patients drink special water, jal, and carry an amulet to their bodies. The same process was repeated with my uncle too, and the shaman told us that the sickness was because of an evil eye. He advised us to do different pujas in the name of various Gods and Goddesses, and we felt obliged to do so just for the sake of my uncle’s health. I was feeling so ridiculous doing this and that. However, my uncle began to feel better after couple of weeks. We were so happy to see him walking independently but of course slowly. Nevertheless, I did not allow him to discontinue his medication. Thus, shamans have divine power, and have capacity to heal up some sorts of illnesses – particularly illnesses related to divine power.


That time, I drew a deduction that medicines cure body illness, and shamans cure spiritual illnesses. Therefore, the combination doctors and shamans foster human health.

About kalpana23
I am a student.

One Response to Shamans can cure illness!

  1. Dear friend. First, thank you for sharing the real story about your experience of observing shamans curing someone. Second, what you said about the evil eye or devil and removing them by divine power was a little bit close to some stories that I had heard from my parents. I have heard stories about the unknown and incurable diseases that doctors were disappointed about curing but people like shamans had been able to cure them. In our religion, we have the same term of casting devil eye and to prevent it, we are recommended to burn isfand, a kind of plant. However, the new science has revealed that isfand has a medical quality and burning it can kill the microbes existing in the air. As a result, I think in some cases, what we have inherited as home remedies or what we hear as divine or evil power are the simple form of scientific terms . In the past, because people had not enough information and technology to understand about microbes or viruses, they used to call the cause of sicknesses the devil. For example, 14 centuries ago, our prophet used to encourage people to brush their teeth, other wise the devil would go inside their mouth. Today that we have learnt about bacteria and their effect on the teeth we have no doubt that brushing is a way to keep them away. Anyway, devil, evil, microbe or any other name, the matter is to avoid them or to know how to cure the harm they have caused and some people, shamans, clergymen or doctors may know it. In my belief, it is not a strange thing since everyone can have this ability.

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