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God of Justice – Ritual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas - Oxford Scholarship Online
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God of Justice: Ritual Healing and Social Justice in the Central Himalayas

William S Sax


This book deals with ritual healing in the Central Himalayas of north India. It focuses on the cult of Bhairav, a local deity who is associated with the lowest castes, the so-called Dalits, who are frequently victims of social injustice. When powerless people are exploited or abused and have nowhere else to go, they often turn to Bhairav for justice, and he afflicts their oppressors with disease and misfortune. In order to end their suffering, they must make amends with their former victims and worship Bhairav with bloody sacrifices. Many acts of perceived injustice occur within the family, so ... More

Keywords: Central Himalayas, Bhairav, Dalits, blood sacrifice, possession, exorcism, cursing, oracles, healers, rituals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195335866
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335866.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William S Sax, author
South Asia Institute University of Heidelberg, Germany
Author Webpage