Yogic Perception, II 







Shamans in Nepal and paeninsular Malaysia

Diana Riboli



p. 347 tribes having shamanic transformation into plant or animal forms

"shamanic transformation into animal and plant forms ... around which ... is currently centered : the Chepang of southern central Nepal and the Jahai and Batek of peninsular Malaysia."


pp. 347-8 Namrun {cf. "Namur => from ... nemo (heaven, sacred place) or from nam/nem (curve)" ("O&MBPN") -- This meaning of 'heaven' is praesumably an allusion an essay at flying to Heaven : thus, "Bellerophon, at the height of his fortune, praesumptuously undertook a flight to Olympus" (GM @75.f).}

p. 347

"For the Chepang ..., the most important deity in their pantheon is Namrung, the god of hunting. ... Namrung lives alone, surrounded only by his 'hunters' (... shikari), a pack of wolves (or wild dogs) that follow him

{This pack is known in Alemannic as "wuotes her" (LB"FWH"), the 'Wuot's army', where Alemannic \Wuot\ = [Eddic god] \O`d\, the husband of goddess Freyja (who weepeth because he wandereth abroad, returning not unto her). \O`d\ is cognate with Latin \vates\, whose propre abode is mt VATICanus, a mountain which is much-personified as, e.g., \VATIKa\.}

p. 348

wherever he goes.


Certain Chepang shamans describe Namrung as being a half man and half wolf (or half dog)


that avoids the company of humans ... ."

{"Bellerophon, who had fallen into a thorn-bush, wandered about the earth ..., always avoiding the paths of men" (GM @75.f). (Is this bush a blackthorn?)}

"O&MBPN" = "The Origins and Meaning of Belgian Place Names". https://www.eupedia.com/belgium/belgian_place_names.shtml 

LB"FWH" = "The Folklore of the Wild Hunt and the Furious Host". https://lumineboreali.net/threads/the-folklore-of-the-wild-hunt-and-the-furious-host.252/ 


{Vatika (PE, q.v. -- MBh, "S`alya Parvan" 45:67) is a warrior of Su-brahman.ya, who with his arrow splitteth (PE, s.v. "Kraun~ca II.", p. 417a -- Skanda Puran.a, "Asura Kan.d.a") mt Kraun~ca ('curlew') -- an act cognizable as the last [of] "Hurrah" (a word apparently cognate with \kraun~ca\) -- so that (PE, s.v. "Kraun~ca II.", p. 417b) "through this cleavage [cleft] swans and vultures fly to Mahameru" -- Aztec day-sign Cozcaquauhtli 'vulture' correspondeth to Yucatec day-sign Cib 'wax'; therefore, blackthorn's "thorns were used to prick wax images" (FC"TLB") -- : white-fledged swans resembling white-clad Wahhabiy men; black-fledged vultures resembling black-clad Wahhabiy women -- and the cleft resembling the ravine-approach to [Strong's 5554] Petra/SLA> = Old English \SLA\ 'blackthorn-berry' for (GT"Blackthorn") "the Luantishees, which are Blackthorn Fairies who guard the trees. Their Festival is November 11th." \Luan\ (ECM&F, q.v.) is the Manx form of \Lughnasa\ (DCeM, q.v., p. 274b), also known as "Bilberry Sunday", the festival sacred to the Eireish aequivalent to (DCeM, s.v. "Lugos") Cymry god Lleu Llaw Gyffes 'lion with steady hand' (D"LLG") : commemorating how Su-brahman.ya's adversary TARaka-asura [= Old Norse \TO`Rr\]'s mother Vajra-angi was "threatened" by a lion (PE, s.v. "Subrahman.ya 1)", p. 747a -- Brahma[n]-an.d.a Puran.a). The aftermath of "Sadhbh eating sloe berries and becoming pregnant as a result" (OBD&O"TLB") is a worm's exiting from her son's forehead, similarly as Athene's emerging from the brow of Zeus; while the association of the sloe with the sword of Osgar is matched with his flail (similarly as the lamed 'flail' wielded by S^amgar upon the corn retaining the tooth of Mowt 'death') for enabling his henchmen's "breaking out of hell" (LIE, s.v. "Oscar", p. 414a) : \OSGAR\ (DCeM, s.v. "Oscar 1.") = cuneiform \ASAGARta\ (the Sagartioi of Herodotos), Pauran.ik \SAGARa\, whose 60,000 sons are "revived" (cf. "breaking out of hell") by (PE, s.v. "Sagara 5)") by Bhagi-ratha. The "lump" (containing a worm) on the forehead of Osgar may indicate his identity with Sagara, whose wife "Sumati gave birth to a lump of flesh, which developed into 60,000 children." (PE, s.v. "Sagara 4)" -- Valmiki Rama-ayana, "Bala Kan.d.a" 33)}


FC"TLB" = "Tree Lore – Blackthorn". http://folkcustoms.co.uk/sloe-gin-time-again/ 

GT"Blackthorn" http://www.thegoddesstree.com/trees/Blackthorn.htm 

ECM&F = Patricia Monaghan : The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Checkmark Bks (imprint of Facts On File), NY, 2004.

DCeM = James MacKillop : Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford Univ Pr, 1998.

D"LLG" = \Lleu Llaw Gyffes\ https://www.dictionary.com/browse/lleu-llaw-gyffes 

OBD&O"TLB" = "Tree Lore – Blackthorn". https://www.druidry.org/library/trees/tree-lore-blackthorn 

LIE = Da`ithi` O` hO`ga`in : The Lore of Ireland : an Encyclopaedia of Myth, Legend and Romance. Collins Pr, Wilton (Cork); Boydell Pr, Woodbridge (Suff), 2006.


p. 348 blood for Namrun 

"Namrung ... receives daily offerings of blood from wild animals."

{Blackthorn's sap is often described as "the red "blood" that flows in the veins of this tree" (GT"Blackthorn").}


p. 348 thunder-god

Among the "Semang-Negrito", "The Batek and the Jahai recognize the existence of ... Gobar or Karei, the irascible god of thunder that punishes humans by sending down storms." {Thunderbolt-wielding god Indra (who "one day threw about the vessels used by her [Vajra-angi] in worship" : PE, s.v. "Subrahman.ya 1)". p. 747a; such vessels similar to the bottles kept by Malay women for retaining their imps, viz., jnuwn) once hid in the filament of a waterlily-blossom (HMS, p. 86), comparable with the blossom-filament condiment saffron, such that fed with "saffron-stained rice" (MMIF, p. 330), while "kept in a bottle by Malay women", is (MMIF, p. 329)"the Pĕlĕsit, which ... appears to be a species of house-cricket."}

{While \GOBar\ = \GIBBowr\ 'giant', evidently specifically a member of the <anaqiym ['whence the fellers (i.e., abortionists)' \min-ha-Nphiliym\], to whom humans seem (B-Midbar 13:33) \ka-h.GABiym\ 'as grasshoppers' (cf. also Strong's 1357 \GEB\ 'locust'); yet \KAREI\ = Strong's 3767 \KARA<\ 'grasshopper's shank' ("[from the knee to the ankle] of ... locusts", whence the expression "knee-high to a grasshopper", an allusion to the kicking by a foetus in the uterus). [written 30 Jan 2019]}

HMS = Wendy Doniger-O' Flaherty : Hindu Myths : a Sourcebook. Penguin Bks, 1975. https://books.google.com/books?id=ajLoN2yuZbwC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq= 

MMIF = Walter William Skeat : Malay Magic: Being an Introduction to the Folklore and Popular Religion of the Malay Peninsula. London : Macmillan & Co, 1900. https://archive.org/stream/malaymagicbeingi00skeauoft/malaymagicbeingi00skeauoft_djvu.txt & http://www.gutenberg.org/files/47873/47873-h/47873-h.htm 


pp. 351-2 shamanic "trances" {actually dreams}

p. 351

"in Nepal with the Chepang ethnic group ..., there are trance states during which the shamans embody supernatural beings ... -- which ... I named "incorporatory" trances -- and trance states during which the shaman's soul is ... to journey to other cosmic zones. I named this last category "trances of movement" (Riboli 2002:143-159).  

{N.B. The "journey to other cosmic zones" is prae-eminently during dreaming; and likewise so is the initiatory "trance". Can dreaming be meaningfully labeled \trance\? This is a potentially very misleading use of this overly-broad cover-term.}


... the shaman's body jerks and trembles ... he/she ... experiencing what appears to be sensorial detachment. Both instances involve a journey."

{Shaking and vibrating can readily occur during sleep-paralysis, sometimes resulting in astral projection : there is transfer of sensorial perception to astral body.}

p. 352

"Many Chepang pande are carried to the skies during their journeys by a large bird, and journey to the underworld on a large fish."

{Such are the dreamings involving this shamanic experience; the bird and the fish ridden are, of course, accounted as deities.)

Riboli 2002 = Diana Riboli : "Trances of Initiation, Incorporation and Movement : Three Different Typologies of the Shamanic Trance". SHAMAN 10(2002):143-59. Molnar & Keleman Oriental Publ, Hungary.


pp. 353-4 "cosmic zones"

p. 353

"As in many other shamanic cultures the Chepang believe the world is divided into three zones :


the heavens (akas) {Skt \akas`a\ 'aither', locus of the Akas`ik Record} -- which has nine levels --

{"The Lingbao scriptures speak of each of the three pneumas [pneumata] (mystic, primal, and inaugural) as divided into three, creating nine heavens." (ETS, p. 199, n. 12)} {The system of 3 heavens is Swedenborgian.} {Thus, "the Triple-Akas`ic- Breath ... is how the Hierarchies of the nine Sephiroth which are the nine heavens pour their ... spirit ... into ... the physical body" (GT"A9H").}


the earth in the middle where humans live, and


the underworld (patal). ...

{In the standard cosmology as described in the puran.a-s, there are 7 Tala-s (Underworlds), the only lowest of these being named \Patala\.}


According to Chepang mythology, initially the patal was inhabited by humans as well as my supernatural beings. At that time, illnesses, suffering and malign spirits were unheard of.


Humans and animals spoke the same language

{It is commonplace, in dreams, for animals to speak to humans in the humans' own language. Is Patala to be understood as identical with the immaterial universe which is visited by oneself during one's rather ordinary dreaming?}


and deities and all the inhabitants of the underworld had the ability to ... fly to other cosmic zones. ... As a result, certain deities decided to create a land far from their

{If said "cosmic zones" be taken to include that "land far from their own", then that land could better be characterized as "discovered" than as "created". But may not those "certain deities" have instead merely given form to certain particular features of that land? In Australian aboriginal mythologies, the various deities act so produce only particular features in the geology of the landscape of the Dreamtime.}

p. 354

own and send the humans to live there. While this intermediary land was being created two male deities -- Batise` and Tiwase` -- sacrificed


the cow Lendemuri.

{Skt \len.d.a\ 'excrement' + Tamil \muri\ 'buffalo' or 'ox'. Ox-turds are often used as a growing-medium for edible mushrooms, though \MUSHroom\ itself is more directly cognate with \MUSKox\.}


Its hide became the soil of the intermediary land and its bones hills and mountains.

{From "Pr.thu ... the goddess of earth ... fled taking the form of a cow." (PE, s.v. "Pr.thu 4)".}


Unfortunately, however, the two deities failed to decapitate ... in one fell swoop and it took three attempts before they suceeded,

{"The third fatal blow was it called." (MWLl, p. 422)} {There are 3 magical cows (ECM&F, s.v. "Bo` Find").}


during which the animal groaned ... .

{"Hearing the pitiable wails of the cow he [Manu Vaivasvata's son Pr.s.adhra (VPS, p. 351)] went to the shed with his sword and gave a strong and fatal cut" (PE, s.v. "Pr.s.adhra I.").}


These sounds gave birth to demons ... ."

{Such sounds may be audible in the panDAIMONion of Tartaros.}

ETS = Stephen R. Bokenkamp : Early Taoist Scriptures. Univ of CA Pr, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1997.

GT"A9H" = "Arcanum 9 : The Hermit". https://gnosticteachings.org/courses/twenty-two-arcana-of-tarot/342-arcanum-9-the-hermit.html 

MWLl = The Mabinogion From The Welsh Of The Llyfr Coch O Hergest. London :Bernard Quaritch, 1877. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/mab/mab00.htm 

VPS = Horace Hayman Wilson (transl) : The Vishńu Puráńa : A System of Hindu Mythology and Tradition. London : Oriental Translation Fund, 1840. https://books.google.com/books?id=rpVTAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA351&lpg=PA351&dq= 


p. 354 gurau and their ability transmute their body {in dreams, of course}

"The  more powerful pande ... have the ability to transform themselves into animals, mainly felines.

{South American Indian tribal shamans typically become leopards during their dreamings.}

Shamans ... able to undergo transformation are called gurau ... . ... .  

{Is this accomplished, in a dream, via gyration of one's dream-body? \GURau\ is Skt \GURu\ and is cognate with \GYRate\.}

... I encountered only three women in the profession, though all three were considered to be particularly powerful. One of these, Dam Maya, a well-known pande to whom people come for advice from villages many days['] walk away, ... is in fact the only pande I met who said that she could call up a tiger in the course of a shamanic se'ance, what was confirmed by other inhabitants of her village. In fact, these were ... a sort of smaller feline ... .  ... Dam Maya ... often transformed herself into an insect, a bird or "some other animal" (Riboli 2000:121) in order to journey to the patal."

Riboli 2000 : Diana Riboli : Tunsuriban : Shamanism among the Chepang ... . Mandala Book Point, Kathmandu.


p. 357 cenoi

"Most friendly of all are the ... cenoi, something like our fairies, described as tiny perfect beautiful men and women who live inside flowers and offer help to humans in distress."


pp. 357-8 no laughing at animals!

p. 357

"One of the most powerful taboos, the breaking of

p. 358

which can bring extremely serious consequences, is to laugh at animals or subject them to ridicule."


pp. 358-9 tigre & feral elephant

p. 358

"According to many Batek and Jahai sources, tigers and elephants have abilities which are superior to those of other animals. Most importantly,


tigers possess the ability see potential prey in red even at night and elephants see anything that can be consumed in green. ...

{These cases are instances of synaisthesia in beasts.}


When tigers encounter humans, the feline immediately sees a form of x-ray image that can distinguish bones and all internal organs. This second sight is also associated with the ability of tigers to 'instantly read' the hearts of humans, their morality, good nature and generosity.

p. 359



pp. 359-60 tigre-body assumed during dreaming by shamans

p. 359

Among "the Batek ... certain especially powerful shamans have tiger bodies that they can use at night in the forest (Endicott 1979 : 132-141). At night, while the shaman is sleeping, his shadow-soul abandons his body to enter the body of a tiger. At sunrise,

p. 360

the shadow-soul returns to its human body, and the tiger goes off to sleep in the depths of the forest. The function of these tiger shamans would ... be ... to protect humans from attacks by real tigers during the night."

Endicott 1979 = Kirk Endicott : Batek Negrito Religion : the World-View and Rituals of a Hunting and Gathering People of Peninsular Malaysia. Clarendon Pr, Oxford.


p. 361 the Batek shamanic walking which correspondeth with dreaming

"the old halak ... explained that ... only his body was walking with me,

but his soul was flying from a mountain to a river to rest on a tree ... ."

{Apparently, that which is implied is that one of the shaman's spirit-guides (here called the shaman's "soul") is traveling abroad, with that shaman's simultaneous perception of such travel. It may be that the shaman is employing a double-vision with regard to this faculty, by simultaneously both seeing in the ordinary way through his own eyen, and also "remote-viewing" through the spirit-guide's eyen.}


p. 361 entertaining of supernaturals by Batek mortals with singing while decorated with flowers

"During all-night singing sessions, which might culminate in trancing and communication with the supernatural being, both men and women donned bandoliers {cf. so-called "sacred thread"} of fragrant ... wild gingers ... . People said that these decorations were pleasing to the supernatural beings because they are what the superhumans themselves wear. The ... flowers and leaves were also ... to attract the superhuman beings to come down ... listening to the singing. (Endicott, Kirk and Karen, 2008 : p. 32)"

K. & K. Endicott 2008 = Kirk & Karen Endicott : The Headman Was a Woman : the Gender Egalitarian Batek of Malaysia. Waveland Pr, Long Grove.


p. 362 received by Batek during dreaming : songs enabling flying

"In many of the therapeutic songs received during dreams ..., names of plants and flowers with extraordinary powers are repeated.

{Most of my own recent dreams have been of reading about, or hearing of, health-beneficial virtues of particular herbs.}

The halak himself told me that the very act of knowing and repeating a particular melody (kept a secret from most people) and chanting the names of two specific plants bestows

the ability to fly anywhere on earth to any destination."

{Is this function performed mainly (as can be surmised) during dreaming?}


p. 363 Batek eager apprentices being taught in their dreams by the soul a mortal halak 'shaman' (who had died in the material world)

"many young people had begun to receive dreams in which {a dead shaman} taught them about the shamanic profession. Thus, in the course of the last few months, completely unexpectedly, a new generation of halak appeared to be forming ... ."


p. 364 Batek dreaming of being a scorpion or an insect while somnambulant

"B. ... is a scorpion-shaman ... . Almost every night he sends his shadow soul into the body of a large scorpion ... . ...

The other young persons who have received the call more recently have stated that they belong to the category of halak-butterflies. They frequently enjoy flights through the jungle in the form of butterflies ... .

Both B. and these young people recount when they venture into the jungle alone, at some point ... they lose the sense of perception of their surroundings. For many hours that are not aware of what is happening to them and usually ... awake in a location in the forest, they have not recall of having journeyed to."

{These are very much cases of the nature of somnambulism (sleep-walking).}


pp. 364-5 Jahai shamanic dreaming

p. 364

"Jahai jampi also 'walk in their dreams,' receive magic chants and fly to beautiful and mysterious places in the forest.  ... the jampi with whom I have had frequent conversations with said he ... has a tiger-spirit whom he can call on at will to defend the village in the event ...

p. 365

there are real tigers roaming in the area at great peril for village inhabitants. This tiger-spirit ... even engages in fierce battles with real tigers that come to close to the village."