こころの未来研究センター上廣倫理財団寄付研究部門ブータン学研究室では、公開型研究会「京都大学ヒマラヤ宗教研究会」を定期開催しています。今回は、「To Be a Shaman among the Sherdukpens, West-Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh」という題目にて、Pascale Dollfus博士（フランス国立科学研究センター, CNRS）に、インド共和国アルナチャル・プラデーシュ州におけるシェルドゥクペン族の宗教と宗教実践についてご講演頂きます。
主催：京都大学こころの未来研究センター 上廣倫理財団寄付研究部門 ブータン学研究室
The Sherdukpens or more accurately Sertukpens, are a population of about 4,000 who live in West Kameng district in the State of Arunachal Pradesh (“The Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains”), located in North-East India. They are referred to as Buddhists in the Indian census.
Buddhism was introduced among Sherdukpens in the mid-18th century. Today there are small Buddhist temples, stūpas, and prayer walls in almost every village. Most Sherdukpens have Buddhist names and, for funerals, they call upon Buddhist monks and married priests who, for the most part, are natives of Bhutan or the Tawang region. In fact, up until the last decade, there were no Sherdukpens among the Buddhist clergy. It was obviously not their concern.
Today Buddhism is still considered a foreign religion, quite different from the local religion which is qualified by those who speak English as “naturalistic” because all the gods, spirits, and demons inhabit elements of the landscape: mountains, forests, rocks, rivers, caves, and so forth. These invisible forces fall into two broad categories: good or potentially benevolent spirits, referred to as lo and including ancestral deities (khiks), and evil spirits or demons called dẽ. Associated with dẽ because of their malicious power and the fear they spread, bising are spectral figures whose appearance and size change at whim.
Three religious experts are responsible for smoothing out any difficulties in the cohabitation between spirits and men, and sometimes among men themselves through the intervention of a spirit:
– khikzizis, who are priests dedicated to cults of ancestral deities (khiks) and carry out community rituals;
– zizis, who are household priests and perform rituals centered on the individual and the family; and
– raomas (or raomats), who are shamans and are regarded as “super zizis”.
It is the last of these who interest me here and to whom I’ll be devoting my lecture. I’ll be describing how one doesn’t decide to be a raoma – one is ‘caught’ by a deity –, and I’ll be recounting a séance I was lucky to attend, backed by photos and videos. The raoma is not just an intercessor; he travels to the nonhuman world to meet the spirits, to talk to them and even fight them. Only his “bodily envelope” stays in the house where he operates.