Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Timeless Connection: Ancestral Worship of the Gurungs

Did you ever wonder why the Gurung indigenous group of Nepal holds such a profound reverence for their ancestors? Step into a world where time and tradition intertwine, as we delve into the captivating reasons behind the Gurungs' ancestral worship. In this article, I will explore the spiritual beliefs that underpin their practices, highlighting the enduring significance of ancestral veneration in their lives.

Imagine a realm where the souls of the departed transcend the boundaries of time, and their influence echoes through the generations. This is the realm the Gurungs inhabit, driven by their unwavering belief in the immortality of the soul.

The Gurung community, nestled in the beautiful hills of Nepal, has a deep-rooted connection to their ancestors. Passed down through the ages, their ancestral worship carries on as a cherished tradition, perpetuated by the understanding of their ancestors' remarkable power and influence.

By worshipping their ancestors, the Gurung people affirm their faith in the immortal soul, acknowledge their ancestors' extraordinary power, and embrace the idea that these revered figures can shape their daily lives.

Picture a family gathered around a flickering fire. They are listening intently to stories passed down by their elders, tales of valour, wisdom, and sacrifice. In this sacred space, the Gurungs find solace and guidance, as the spirits of their ancestors come alive through the vibrant narratives woven from generation to generation.

The Gurungs believe that their ancestors' souls remain vibrant and ever-present, watching over them from the spiritual realm. It is through this profound connection that they seek their guidance, protection, and blessings.

The Immortal Soul

At the heart of Gurung's ancestral worship lies an unshakable belief in the eternal nature of the soul. They see death not as an end but as a continuation of the spirit's journey. By venerating their ancestors, the Gurungs express their faith in the enduring presence of their loved ones, bridging the gap between the mortal and the immortal.

The Supernatural Power

The Gurungs hold a deep conviction in the extraordinary power possessed by their ancestors. They perceive them as supernatural beings capable of influencing the course of their lives. Whether it is seeking protection from harm or desiring good fortune, the Gurungs turn to their ancestors, confident in their ability to intercede on their behalf.

Ancestral Influence on Daily Life

For the Gurungs, ancestral worship is not confined to grand ceremonies alone. It permeates their daily existence, guiding their decisions, and offering solace in times of trouble. They believe that their ancestors' spirits can influence the unfolding events in their lives, be it health, relationships, or prosperity. Seeking their ancestors' blessings is a way of ensuring harmony and a sense of purpose.

While some may question the efficacy of ancestral worship, it is crucial to respect and understand the beliefs of the Gurung people. Their practices are rooted in centuries-old traditions and serve as a source of comfort and strength. By engaging with their ancestors, the Gurungs maintain a sense of cultural identity and unity within their community.


In the tapestry of Gurung culture, the threads of ancestral worship are tightly woven. Their belief in the immortal soul, the supernatural power of their ancestors, and their conviction in ancestral influence on daily life give them a sense of purpose and connection to their heritage. As we reflect on the depth of their faith, may we embrace the profound human need to honour those who came before us, acknowledging their lasting impact. 


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