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INDIAN MAGIC

HISTORY OF INDIAN MAGIC



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The story of magic is the oldest story of the world, and god is the first and greatest magician of the universe.

Indian culture is an ancient and dynamic entity, spanning back to the very beginnings of human civilization, more than 5000 years ago. But the history of Magic goes beyond the start of civilization.

The first magician in ancient Indian society was the Pujari (priest), prophet or the amazing man.  They used to apply simple knowledge unknown to common man to create mystery and illusions. The innocent public used to watch these ‘Supernatural events’ with fear and awe – this made them believe the Pujaris had special powers. The main purpose of these Pujaris were not to entertain people, but to create an illusion of possessing supernatural powers. This they did with powerful acting and successfully spread their influence on the public for spiritual or other gains.  

Even today there are some pseudo priests who identify themselves as Kapalik. They bank on the people’s ignorance and create Kuhak (Illusion). You can still find them in remote parts of the sub-continent.   

However there are evidences in old Indian literature that some of these people were patronized by the rulers and their role was primarily to entertain the guests in the king’s court. They came to be known as Jadu-walla  (Magician)  or  Bazigar or  Jadugaar. Even in the tales of  the Greek traveler Marco Polo we find descriptions of  court magicians performing seemingly amazing feats.

Over the years Magic became a part of man’s life. In folklores there is a plethora of blood curdling stories of man becoming birds, tigers and crocodiles through Jadu-mantras (Magical incantations). However, in the cycle of revolution and evolution,  Magic was rescued from its crude form and extolled and edified to a stage of world wonder and suspense, culminating in the famous Rope Trick of India.




 
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