This volume is an exploration of the various forms of bonds and attachments by which individuals in the Himalayan regions of India and Nepal are bound to their groups. To grasp these phenomena adequately, the book proposes a new analytical approach through the concept of belonging.

The book is based on several case studies carried out by anthropologists, historians, and geographers who help bring together rich ethnographical data from different regions of the Himalayas. Organized in three parts, it describes the interactions between local forms of belonging and new forms of classification imposed through national integration or modes of politics.

The book analyzes different societal formations in various historical periods and captures the ongoing change in them. Fundamentally, this collaborative publication is an attempt to go beyond (and beneath) identity constructions and to call into question the idea of permanence implied by the term.

Brotherhood and Divine Bonding in the Krishna Pranami Sect

Brotherhood and Divine Bonding in the Krishna Pranami Sect

Brotherhood and divine bonding in the Krishna Pranami sect


The sociological aspects of Hindu sects have received insufficient attention, despite their being crucial to the study of these religious groupings (sampradaya in Sanskrit). Sects are characterized by social links quite different from those that prevail within castes, sub-castes, and local neighbourhood units. Their adherents are usually united by strong emotional ties, expressive of spiritual brotherhood1 and a common fraternity centred on the memory, teachings, and parentage (parampara) of a sacred person, a spiritual teacher, or a prophet. They share a sacred world that provides them with a common frame of reference, discourse, and communication. One might belong to a sect by birth, but one might also achieve ...

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