Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Iqbal Akhtar

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Albert Wuaku

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Healing, Jain*, Mantra*, Stotra*, Devotion, Jain Faith, Ritual action, Bhaktāmara Stotra, Bhaktamara Stotra, mantra healing, faith healing

Date of Defense



There are numerous accounts of healing abounded with the Jain narratives which on one side determines bodily wellness by healing the physical body and on the other side directs the path of attaining liberation. The Bhaktāmara Stotra (BhS), “Hymn of the Devoted Gods,” composed in Sanskrit by Ācārya Mānatuṅga, (6th century-11th century) holds great relevance as a hymn of devotion in the Jain tradition. Many modern Jains theorize the faith healing potential of the BhS through the language of medical science. In this research, I argue that diaspora Jains in the US have understood the BhS’s effectiveness as working at the nexus of bhakti and mantra, while contemporary Jains add a new interpretation of its efficacy that I call “medicalization.” The term, “medicalization” is one sort of specialized version of “scientization", that explains the scientific understanding of BhS includes faith healing practices through Bhaktāmara stotra and its Rituals. Jainism holds a belief that our life is governed by our own karmas; illness is, doctrinally speaking, a result of bad actions. This research examines how Jains in the diaspora see the BhS as an instrument of healing and by using BhS to negotiate the doctrine of Karma.






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