The Tibetan Buddhist culture in Gyasumdo is in direct opposition to the Gurung shaman tradition in the region. Central to the differences in the religions is the red sacrifice. Tibetan Buddhists in the region had practiced this sacrifice throughout history even though it was in direct opposition to the Buddhist philosophy. However, through transmuting primal shamanic images into "higher teaching", Tibetan Buddhists have maintained the principles of their religion while still participating in the shamanic rituals of their neighbors.
Regarding the practices of the Gurung shamans, both agriculture and hunting are integral parts of their fertility folklore. To bring the spring rains, "offerings must be given to the spirit agents that guard the land and own the underworld," (Mumford, 63). The offering each spring includes a deer. The deer is taken to the sacred grove, cut open, its heart is torn out, and the heart is offered to the underworld and the local deities. Central to this ritual sacrifice is the belief that in order to have nourishment, nourishment must be given. ...
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