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Initially described by physicians and ethnologists in the state of Rajasthan, India, Purvaj syndrome refers to social troubles or mental health disorders experienced by an individual, family, or village due to the suffering of the soul of a deceased family member who has not been accorded the proper funeral rites. According to Hindu theology, this altered soul (Purvaj) cannot obtain sadgati (i.e., “liberation” or “rebirth”) and thus creates considerable trouble within the family and/or village.

Individuals involved in a Purvaj syndrome may present with vague pains in the body, stomach, legs, or head, accompanied by dreams and trance states. According to ethnobiologists, the trance state is a special kind of mediumistic trance behavior in which the individual focuses specifically on a ghost spirit. Purvaj syndrome ...

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