Reconciling Illness through Devotion: The Medicalization of Modern Jain Faith Healing Practice through Bhaktāmara Stotra
Master of Arts (MA)
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Healing, Jain*, Mantra*, Stotra*, Devotion, Jain Faith, Ritual action, Bhaktāmara Stotra, Bhaktamara Stotra, mantra healing, faith healing
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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.
Jain, Aashi, "Reconciling Illness through Devotion: The Medicalization of Modern Jain Faith Healing Practice through Bhaktāmara Stotra" (2021). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4741.
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