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Oracles are believed to be the messengers between the human and the spirit worlds:

Ladakh is an authentic land where traditional practices are still preserved and life is highly characterized by intense spirituality. And among these practices, the most striking & mysterious are the rituals performed by the Oracles.

The Oracles: Oracles are believed to be the messengers between the human and the spirit worlds. They play an integral part in the religious and spiritual rituals in Ladakh. Their practices can be derived from the cultures of animistic tribes and shamans of Central Asia, China, Tibet, and Mongolia. In Ladakh you’ll find most of the oracles from the Tibetan sect, with Buddhism being a major influence.

Oracles are generally associated with different monasteries. There are also oracles in villages that are mostly concerned with healing of ailments.

The oracles associated with the monasteries are said to forecast auspicious events. According to the traditional customs, oracles are to be first approved by a high-ranking Tibetan Lama. Later they (Approved ones) are taken for a three to six years training program in secluded monasteries and villages. Under the guidance of a senior oracle, the trainees must learn Buddhist scripture, meditation, and methods for becoming a vessel for spirits and deities.

Among the Monasteries, the most well known oracle is of the Matho Gompa. This oracle comes into a trance in February during the annual festival of the monastery. He runs barefoot on the parapets of the monastery roof, with swords in his hands and – swinging them violently. One has to run with him to get answers to any questions posed to him.

On the other hand are the Village Oracles. They are the disease healing Oracles and usually meet patients in their houses, at altar in the kitchen. They wear a multi-coloured robe and a golden hat with sharp edges. The ritual begins with the oracle chanting, ringing bells, praying and beating the drums, preparing to go into the trance. Generally, the oracle attends to several patients simultaneously and asks about their sickness before stepping into trance. Once the Oracle steps into trance, he/she gets possessed by a spirit usually from the temples of Buddhist deities. They perform the therapy with a wooden pipe/straw to suck out the disease-causing substances from their patients and later show the substances-usually black mucus or little tar to the patient and audience. Sometimes spirits from other religions are also supposed to possess the oracle.

The oracles also play the role of exorcist – expelling or controlling malign spirits believed to be in patients. In some cases, if the spirit goes out of control, oracles cough, shout, and beat their own bodies until bruises appear. In extreme situations, somemale oracles cut themselves with swords, bloodying themselves.

Sandeep Sandhar is an amateur and prominent writer primarily focusing on travel related topics, currently working with one of the reputable Travel Company. He is an eminent writer and writing some good quality articles on various keywords like Ladakh tour packages, Ladakh holiday packages, hotels in ladakh and Ladakh Tourism.

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