Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffery D. Long, Rita D. Sherma, Pankaj Jain, Madhu Khanna

Adi-Dharma/Sarna Dharma: A New Age Religion of Adivasis in Jharkhand

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_689-1

The designations of “New Age” are applied to emergent faiths that have risen in the second half of the twentieth century. They offer innovative counter-culture responses to the socio-cultural or political conditions of the modern world yet are umbilically rooted in their ancient identities.

Adi-dharma “Primal Religion” of Jharkhandis is also referred to as Sarna-dharma. It derives its name from the word “Sarna,” meaning sacred-grove, and dharma, a set of religious beliefs. It is also referred to as Sari-dharma, Jehar-dharma, and Bongism (named after their god). The concept of Adi-dharmawas coined by the late Ram Dayal Munda (b.1939–2011), one of the most respected voices of the Jharkhand movement and a dynamic leader of his community. Munda’s main concern was to reestablish the lost identity of a large section of long marginalized tribal communities living in the Chotta Nagpur Plateau region. The tribal collective consisted of the Mundas, Oraons, Santals, Hos, Kudumis, and the...

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Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Amit J (2009) Contemporary Religious Institutions in Tribal India (place of publication not identified, Lulu.comGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dutta S (2009) Adi-dharm and Jharkhandi Culture: understanding Adivasi existence in relation to the environmental identity and environmental heritage of Adivasi-moolvasi communities of Jharkhand. Sahitya J Comp Lit Assoc India 8, September 2019Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Munda RD, Bose Mallick S (2003) The Jharkhand Movement Indigenous peoples struggle for Autonomy of India, IWGIA document no. 108, Copenhagen. Other Media Communication, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dalton T Descriptive ethnology of Bengal 1872, Calcutta office of the superintendent of government printingGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Comparative Religions & CivilizationsJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia