or performing rites for propitiating supernatural forces (a type of native
'voodoo') is popular in Kerala. This comprises general 'poojas' performed
for house warming, before embarking on any new venture, tiding over evil
astrological influences, or for overcoming diseases.
The rites involve chanting mantras (magical prayers), preparation of a diagram usually using coloured powder, offering flowers, throwing offerings into the sacred fire and so on. Exorcism is also practised as a healing technique. Even Ayurveda accepts the possibility of a human being possessed by evil spirits.
At an exorcism ceremony, the patient usually starts shivering and dancing ('Tullal'). 'Manthravadam' is used to influence or entice somebody ('vashyam') and in its malignant form is practised as 'black magic'.