SUPERNATURAL BELIEFS AND PRACTICES AMONG AGRICULTURISTS OF PUNJAB IN CROP GROWING AND LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT
Keywords:Supernatural Beliefs and Practices, Superstitions, Agriculture, Spirituality in Farming and Livestock Management.
The present study aims to explore the existence of supernatural beliefs and practices among the rural agriculturalistsof Punjab in crop growing and livestock management. The study furthermore attempts to understand the cultural meanings that the Punjabi agriculturalists attach with these supernatural beliefs and practices. For achieving these study objectives, the researchers conducted an exploratory research under the qualitative research approach. Data was collected from the rural agriculturalists using semi-structured interview guide. Interview were conducted with both the male and the female rural agriculturalists. Furthermore, a few interviews were conducted with the rural spiritual healers, agriculture and livestock experts and religious scholars. Supernatural beliefs and practices were found to be integral part of farming and livestock activities amongthe rural agriculturalists.It is believed that these beliefs and practices are helpful for enhancing crops’ production and increasing the profit from raising of the animals. Visiting shrines, use of ashes, roses and salt as antidotes and allocating the share for pirs,i.e. spiritual personalities, and shrines are the major practices reported by the rural agriculturalists.