June 24, 2020

Bhuta and Daiva

Sometimes an official forms asks me to fill my religion. But they do not have Animism as an option. While interesting that a recent research on my ancestral belief is from a Japanese researcher.

Panjurli (boar spirit deity) headpiece used by dancers. (Image from Wikimedia)

Generally, Bhūta rituals are treated derogatorily by intellectuals and outsiders. However, local people worship ghosts, the dead, ancestors, heroes, animal deities, forest deities, mountain deities, earth deities, and tribal guardian deities. They are important and intimate objects of worship for the locals. In some situations, Devas, the god worshipped by higher class, are mixed or coexist with the lower rank deities called Daivas or spirits called Bhūtas. During rituals, pāddana narratives on the origin myth or historical story of the Bhūtas and Daivas, are chanted before the main rituals, most of which are filled with tragic atmosphere. Often the emotions of envy and grudge are also chanted about, depicting complicated historical background.

Link: Bhuta and Daiva: Changing Cosmology of Rituals and Narratives in Karnataka


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