Ban Jhankri-The Forest Shamans


A Ban Jhankri with its shamans

In a previous blog, Ancient Shaman Ancestors, I related how in a fully immersive vision I was visited by the Almas. For simplicities sake we may say that they are the Central Asian equivalent of Sasquatch (although they are quite different), to be found in the Altai Mountains of Siberia and throughout the Caucasus.  They came to me as shamans, they were dressed in Buryat costumes with colourful ribbons and they spun around whilst drumming. It is highly likely that the Almas or Almasty are a surviving hominid, most likely homo erectus and I sense strongly that homo sapiens may have learned shamanism from these beings that retained a deeper connection to the natural world than us. Furthermore, I sense that they act as initiatory agents to some shamans, in spirit and possibly physical form.  The images in the video below are eerily similar to what I saw.

As well as the Almas, Sasquatch also came to me in shamanic consciousness,

as I stood facing the woods, a large creature walked upright through the trees in front of me. There was not much space between the trees, it was like watching a shadow repeatedly emerging then disappearing. I could see thick dark hair and sensed great power. It then stepped out into a clearing, it was Sasquatch and he turned to face me. Although he exuded tremendous physical strength, he showed no aggression and I felt no fear. It felt like he was simply presenting his existence to me. Then, I was given some special green herbs and plants and told that they were for contacting or shapeshifting into Sasquatch. I went deep into some forest caves and found him sleeping. I stroked his face with the plants and he opened his mouth revealing formidable white teeth. Somehow, I knew I must put my hand into his mouth, to show trust. I did and he opened his eyes and gave me a vision, showing that we have a deep connection, that part of me is in fact Sasquatch. I found myself in a primeval forest of very tall straight trees. Through the trees I could see a large rounded green mound, covered in moss and grass. I could see that my arms and hands were covered in thick hair. There was no sound or thought,just utter stillness of mind and environment, I was aware that this was home and I was my ancient Sasquatch self.  (from A Shamanic Kundalini Awakening)

Although I’m yet to find a connection between Almas and Siberian shamans (although I’m sure it’s there), I did find a link between Sasquatch and Native American medicine people.

…among the Yokut, Hairy Man (Sasquatch) was indeed connected to the shamans, but a Hairy Man shaman was extremely rare and unusual. The subject of a Hairy Man shaman was in itself very sensitive and so little is known about what specific powers such a shaman might have had. The elders told just one story, in which Hairy Man comes to give his healing power to the shaman. In the story Hairy Man insists that the power he will convey must only be used to cure and never to cause harm. It was also said that the shaman would make an amulet in Hairy Man’s likeness, swallow it and use Hairy Man as a bringer of dreams. (from Mayak Datat: The Hairy Man Pictographs. The Relict Homonoid Inquiry)

The Hairy Man (Sasquatch) pictographs from the Tule Indian reservation.

A recent conversation with a Nepalese shaman gave me a further confirmation that shamans and the Wild Peoples are intimately connected.  This concerns the Ban Jhankri or Forest Shaman.

…The ban jhankri (forest shaman) is both spirit and deity, as well as an accepted reality for most indigenous Nepali ethnic groups. The ban jhankri are said by many to be small creatures, hairy and golden, master healers and teachers of shamans. Those whom are “chosen” by the ban jhankri to be future shamans, are abducted and often taken to caves where the initiates receive shamanic training and instruction. The novice, who is typically young but may be an adult, is later returned to his/her community, several hours, days, or (rarely) weeks after being abducted. At this point, sometimes the initiate finds a human guru (teacher) from whom to continue to learn ritual methods and techniques of accessing spirit (i.e. ecstasy, trance, possession), but sometimes their training continues only through the agency of spirits, including contact with the initiating ban jhankri. Culturally, such experiences of “spontaneous election” are regarded as proof of being “chosen by spirits,” and hence, endow these jhankri with special status; those shamans so chosen are themselves referred to as ban jhankri, distinguishing them from other kinds of jhankri. Representative oral texts of the shamans describe individual experiences of consciousness transformation through these encounters with ban jhankri.  (from Encounters with Ban Jhankri: Shamanic Initiation by Abduction in Nepal,Leslie Conton, Fairhaven College)

In a fascinating paper entitled, THE “CALLING,” THE YETI, AND THE BAN JHAKRI (“FOREST SHAMAN”) IN NEPALESE SHAMANISM, I found that there are different types of Yeti and that the ban jhankri is considered to be one of these.

The smallest and fastest yeti is named rang shinbombo(lit.: “self-generated shaman”) by Tibetan tribal groups like the Sherpa and Tamang, and in Nepali he is called ban jhankri. The term bombo means shaman, as does jhankri in Nepali, and these yeti are often thought to have mystical powers.

Those shamans initiated by the ban jhankri are also considered ‘self generated’, they call it an, aph se aph experience, that is, it arises on its own, unbidden and automatically, to those chosen to be shamans by the spirits. It is a spontaneous rite of passage. Indeed the yeti and banjhankri are real. They are not just characters in a story told, but realities lived in the soul of the Nepalese shaman.

Painting on dhyangro drum by Evelyn Rysdyk @2014

For me, these wild Forest Shamans from various parts of the world live in all our souls and are a forgotten part of us we need to remember.

3 thoughts on “Ban Jhankri-The Forest Shamans

  1. Another great post. Cause for reflection on my own process of selection, which was initiated by a short, pugnacious, dark-brown leathery-skinned gnome-like creature wearing a hooded robe. I have described him to people using the term Brownie, because his cranky demeanour and appearance seemed to fit descriptions from Celtic mythology, but perhaps you may have more specific insight on this kind of being.


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