The Gubhaju

When people fell sick, they took their horoscopes to tantric gubhajus (traditional faith healers) to identify any ills that may have contracted based on the position of their stars. The gubhaju would use a small broom and peacock feathers to chase away the evil spirits. He would give the ill person some water or food that had been sanctified against spirits. The night before visiting the gubhaju, patients had to sleep with some rice under their pillow which they brought to the gubhaju along with their horoscope, a duck’s egg and some money offering. The painting shows the gubhaju using the rice on an inscribed slate tablet to divine what ails the patient, while others await their turn.