A space to “eat, trance, and sleep”: the healing power of Mahanubhav temples in Maharashtra (India)

Ranganathan, Shubha (2015) A space to “eat, trance, and sleep”: the healing power of Mahanubhav temples in Maharashtra (India). Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 18 (3). pp. 185-195. ISSN 1367-4676

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This paper explores the effectiveness of religious healing by focusing on one important factor that has been much neglected – the stay within the shrine. Drawing on qualitative research in Mahanubhav temples in India, this paper emphasises that the central part of religious healing is the process of being in the temple and becoming familiar with shrine culture. At the same time, I argue that the social space of the shrine is important not only for the benefits of a soothing environment or support system. It is argued that temporary residence within the shrine enables individuals to develop long-term associations with the religious community and sect. Through discussion of indicative cases, this paper elaborates on the process of “becoming a Mahanubhav pilgrim” that is at the heart of temple healing practices in India.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Ranganathan, Shubhahttp://orcid.org/0000-0002-6954-2727
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: healing shrines, Mahanubhav, religious conversion, spirit possession, trance
Subjects: Arts > Philosophy and theory of the arts
Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 07:29
Last Modified: 10 May 2018 11:41
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/1469
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13674676.2015.1031097
OA policy: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1367-4676/
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