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Banjhakri is a forest shaman who with his wife/lover Bhanjhakrini, is the initiator of Tamang shamans. He kidnaps children believing to be pure of heart and takes them to his gufa (cave) where he trains them in shamanic skills. If the children prove to be pure in heart, gifted with shamanic skills and clever enough not to be killed by Bhanjhakrini, the child is initiated.
Tamang is a member of a Buddhist people inhabiting mountainous parts of Sikkim and Nepal.
Initiation occurs in the gufa, traditionally a place for trasformation, like a womb or tomb. Bhanjhakri's cave is full of power objects. He teaches the use of a magic net, golden drum, the mastery of fire and how to use the power of different animal helpers.
As it is believed, Banjhakri is a 4 ft tall man - a descendent of the sun and thus a deity. He is often golden and seen with a cone head, a sign of Buddha. He is known to be a trickster and a lusty sexual being. He is also a stern judge of compassion and the purity of one's heart. Bhanjhakri works as a team with Bhanjhakrini to initiate shamans.
Bhanjhakrini (Lemlemey) is the Queen. She is fierce initiator of Tamang with her husband Bhanjhakri, the forest shaman. She is dangerous witch and fond of flesh and blood but without her there is no initiation of the shaman. She wields a golden blade which connects her to the beginning of time. Bhanjhakrini can be seen as a large, dark being with long hair.
Also by Saroj Swain
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