Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa (c) 2000 all rights reserved
First it might be useful for us to present the fact that what we are talking of here is/are not some fantasy, or invented story to excite or thrill one. Far from it. As one renown Ghost buster once told me, "Actually we are all ghosts, ...spirits" the only difference being that we have a gross body made of mucus, bile and air, and disembodied spirits have only subtle-ethereal a body made of mind, intelligence and false-ego.
Atheists accept only what they can register with their senses or the instruments created by their blunt materialistic senses. What they cannot see they do not accept.
Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on a Morning
walk in Bombay, India, April 12th 1974 had the following conversation with
one Indian man.
Srila Prabhupada. "........And you have not seen so many things. Does it mean that does not exist? You are researching. You have not seen. As a scientist.........."
Indian man. "I have heard lots of ghost stories, but......."
Srila Prabhupada. "No, No it is not stories. We are hearing from Bhagavata, it is authority. We are not hearing the stories of third class man. We are hearing form Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva............"
Indian man. " But you see, up till now, in my long life of eighty years........."
Srila Prabhupada, "No, No you have not so many experiences. That does not mean these things do not exist. Your experience is not all in all. Don't think like that. So these are existing actually. That is the defect, that you do not accept the authorities. That is the defect. Here Vyasadeva is describing, who is called Vyasadeva, full of all knowledge, and the Bhagavata is a mature experience. We are hearing from him. Why do you not believe? I may not have experience. This ghost means the living entity is subtle life without any material body. That is ghost. When one is very sinful, he does not get the material body. He lives in the subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego. That is ghostly life. And they display. Because they have no body, one cannot see, but they display so many mischief's. That is ghostly life. Seeing or not seeing doesn't matter. Therefore it is enjoined in the Vedanta Sutra, shastra caksusa (see through the bona fide scriptures)."
Indian man. "But it should be proved."
Srila Prabhupada. "It is true because it is spoken by Vyasadeva. How you say it is false? You cannot say that. That is blasphemy."
Indian man. "In olden days there used to be the ghosts and all these things, but now that is gradually............"
Srila Prabhupada. "But gradually..........! That does not mean you have improved very much. Because you do not believe in ghost........................!"
"Looking out the car windows as we drove to Central Park, Prabhupada observed the effects of modern schooling. "This is not education, everything is killing. Therefore we are supposed to deal with all madmen. They are thinking that they are constructing such big, big buildings, they are the most exalted persons; but we take them as mad, ghostly haunted. A person ghostly haunted, as he does, acts, similarly, anyone who is under the clutches of maya, he acts like this." "(Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad: July 13th, 1976. From the "A Transcendental Diary Vol 3" by HG Hari Sauri dasa)
We have seen that such mysteries are explained in the Vedic literatures if one takes time to research. For example there are many mentions of ghosts in the scriptures, i.e., in the Srimad Bhagavatam in connection with Daksha, as followers of Lord Shiva............. etc., in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta in connection with Chotta Hari das. The Bhagavad Gita states that those who worship ghosts go to them, Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta mentions in connection with Srila Prabhupada staying at John Lennon's house and the ghost that was removed by Srila Prabhupad. Sripad Ramanujacarya's former wife at one time was possessed by one, until Ramanuja relieved her of that burden. Sripad Madhwacarya parents and party were attacked by a Brahma Raksasa ghost as they carried the small baby boy Vasudev (Madhwacarya) returning from the Anantasana Temple a week after Madhwas' birth. The follower of Sripad Madhwacarya, Sripad Vadiraj Tirtha Swami had, as his servant, shishya, one very powerful ghost named Bhutaraj, who used to help him to defeat mayavadis, and other heretics who tried to attack him. In the life of Sri Raghavendra Tirtha Swami it mentions how his former wife became a ghost after terminating her own body out of separation, when he took sannyasam. He then liberated her from that situation with the water from his kumandalu, so do not worry for her. Sri Vayu Purana briefly mentions ghosts, as do other Puranas, but Garuda Purana dedicates four chapters to them, what is their cause, their description, problems arising from them, and their release. So I would like to say without fear of contradiction, that according to shastra, and in my humble opinion there is such a designation, as ghost (which is to be avoided by all sane persons) - and it is completely normal.
So what is it that causes one to inhabit such a ghostly form, instead of a gross body like ours. The answer is untimely death. Untimely death means that it was either premature; such as an accident, disease, suicide, etc. (There is a list written in Garuda Purana Part 2. chapter 20.) Something that interfered with the normal expanse of a person's life.
One may rightly argue that surely that interruptions would have been because of that soul's karma, so in one sense it is not untimely, it is their just deserves. That too is true, but at the same time, when a suffering conditioned soul is unprepared for this kind of death, such lack of knowledge about what is going on is very untimely.
Its a funny thing, from our consciousness we attract a particular mode of nature, not the other way around. The jiva like air is neutral to "flavours or aromas" but when certain ideas, thoughts, and later actions are allowed then the associated modes come with them. Then the jiva get covered.
By associating or allowing the hag to influence our mind and intelligence, by attractive ideas, lusty desires, fears, phobias and so on they drain us of vital strength. Fact is they haunt us in many ways, lingering on in the subtle mind their ideas that they teased of the lusty desires we are still trying to fulfill, or the fears that we have such as the shooting incident. If we know some history of the individual involved we can find what is the root cause of such events, be they parabda karmas from deeds done previously, curses by envious people, or some form of "illness" or a weakened body or subtle body due to drugs and alcohol etc, or some astrological affliction due to Rahu etc. All these and more are listed in Garuda Purana for reasons why someone becomes a disembodied being through "untimely death".
So as such, an untimely death causes for the individual who is attached to their body, family, situation around them great lamentation due to attachments. Their vehicle for social interaction is now gone (their body), their cause of frustration may seem to have dispelled, BUT now what? They're suddenly in a strange and unfamiliar situation, surrounded by other more established ghosts/spirits who have some idea, maybe not about self realisation, but about what is needed to get them out of their present bondage (receiving Vishnu prasadam - Narayana Bali etc). Of course there are others who are so absorbed in their sufferings and plight that they are traumertised in the past. As mentioned in Garuda Purana they quite often turn their attention to those who were formely the cause of their attachment, now it is negative attachment, often shown through negative emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, etc. One may notice arguments in the family (especially at meal times), diseases, items going missing, a draining of strength, and a general unrest. All mentioned in these chapters from Garuda Purana: (The reasons that one becomes a Ghost, and how ghosts interact with their relatives:)
* Cemeteries - The age of the cemetery doesn't matter but the older it is, the more time it has had to accumulate restless spirits. Why cemeteries? Well there are theories such as they are portals to the other side or that some spirits are drawn to their former bodies.
* Schools - Schools and former sites of schools may have the build up of psychic energies and imprints of all the highly emotional events that have transpired there.
* Theatres - The actors have run the gambit of human emotions inside the walls of a theatre plus many have interesting hauntings attached to them.
* Battlefields - These are great locations simply because of their nature. Many violent deaths in one area will always hold some spirits and psychic energy there.
* Churches - There is a long history of the faithful returning to the church they worshipped at. They may be looking for the salvation they were promised and cannot find.
* Hotels/Motels/Boarding houses - Many dark dealing and highly emotional events take places in these rooms.
* Historic Locations - Many historic buildings, because
of their age, have had more time to have spirits
attach to it, or in some cases have spooks directly attached to the goings-on of ancestrial homes etc. These buildings are often open the public and can give you a easy place to start. Many even have known histories of hauntings and you may be able to gain access to the building after hours after speaking with a friendly caretaker(s).
* Scenes of Murderous Crimes - A place where someone was brutally attcked or savagely killed, where the soul was forced prematurely from that body and traumatised due to the attack, the shock, the unknowing, uncertainty of their circumstances and their attachments for their former situation. Such a place makes a good subject.
Many experienced groups believe that there are evil spirits in many areas such as cemeteries and by saying a 10 second prayer you can safely go about your business without worrying about them. An experienced demonologist will tell you that by doing this in the name of God or whatever good Deity you worship, you will keep any "non human spirits" at bay since they have to leave you alone when told so in this manner. You will not provoke an attack by doing this and I say it's just as simple as saying your prayers at night. Just in case you're feeling adventurous: My personal experience is that it takes a little more than a solitary 10 second prayer to keep at distance a ghost. Rather, supposing that you have to go into such places, the best method is the chanting the Holy names, the Hare Krishna mahamantra. The chanting done in this way is very effective. To purify a place the loud congregational chanting accompanied with mridanga drums and kartal hand cymbles is very potent when done with great attention. On a personal basis too, the concentrated chanting of Japa on beads is also very effective, the mantra being non-different from the Lord. However, and this is no defect on the part of the mantra, depending on the attentiveness of the sadhaka (chanter) the effect can be greater or lesser, just as proprtionately one takes shelter of the suddha naam (pure Holy Name).
Different kinds of Ghosts:
There are so many different kinds of ghosts, although they are all disembodied jivas, spirit souls really like you and me.
Some of these different kinds some of you will have experienced, some consciously, and some unconsciously. The different kinds are brought about by the different ways "they met their end", and the consciousness that they achieved at that time.
According to the Vedic shastra there are many, many different
types. Just as there are many kinds of gross body so the various developments
of the subtle body are also there. There are powerful Brahma raksasas,
or angry brahmins with fearful eyes, or tantrics who may have died due
to their own or another's misdeeds. Garuda
Puranam chapter 11. texts 4 and 5, says that by kidnapping another
man's wife and stealing the property of a brahmana one also becomes a brahma
raksasa, and thus have come to some unfortunate end.
There are Pramathas who are not harmful, but others like Vetaalas who like to haunt cemeteries, and who animate dead bodies (Zombies), they create an atmosphere of fear wherever they go. There are Shakini and Dhakini witches with shrill voices (like the Banshee) who abuse and curse people, there are also attached house-hold Preetas who give their relatives hard times, dancing on the roof tops, playing games with them and frightening them because they never received their offerings of Vishnu prasadam after death. What to speak of Guyaksas; how many of us have experienced things disappearing from our homes, offices etc., only to turn up later somewhere else, or even in the same place where we looked several times. Well this is the business of the Guyaksas. Previously they were thieves, and even now without a gross body still they cannot give up their old habits, they just have to have things. But where can they put things, not in their subtle pockets, so they hide things. There are the wandering Bhutas who are with no residence least you give them one, or Durmanas dejected souls who moan and weep at night. Vinayakah hobgoblins, Mulon, Yutadhanis, Malanaya etc., etc., some are brahmins, some kshatriyas, some vaishyas, some shudras, and some who are from outside the scheduled varnas, so many, and they each have their different effects and influence on different people. There is even one especially found to prey on women, and which causes miscarriages in many. It has it's head tucked down into its body, and is known for its abnormally long (nearly two feet) and thick penis which causes harm to women of pregnant disposition. Krsna book chapter 84 says that "Instead of being devotees, they are simply impediments on the path of devotion."
How many have experienced what in medieval England and
Europe they called "Hag attacks"? A common
night time phenomena for those especially who lie on their backs when sleeping.
The "Hag" comes and tries to enter the body via the mouth, the victim usually
experiences some dream where one is being enticed or threatened, and then
sitting upon one's chest the Hag or Incubus tries to enter. In most cases
the victim experiences paralysis of the entire body, while an inner struggle
goes on for the possession of the body. Often in males a dream is induced
by the personality (Succubus) who steals one's semen that they may become
stronger from the experience. Those who are fortunate enough to have been
trained in chanting Hare Krishna in times of trouble, that pure and saving
name by the mercy of the Lord, comes to mind. It's like that, at first
after realising we are in trouble, paralysed and possessed we try to chant,
but often nothing comes out, but in the mind the mantra resounds until
it burst forth from the mouth and the ghostly hag is thrown off.
Most people would have experienced something of this nature at some time of their lives, although we have experienced that some people are just too dull and insensitive to experience anything.
You will I'm sure find, as we have that some people will
not accept that there is such a thing as a ghost. We would like to ask
a question in this regard, one that surely they will not answer.
Are they purposefully blocking it out, or can they not clearly perceive it from where they are at present situated. In some cases it maybe that Bhutas are saying that they do not exist as is suggested in the Garuda Purana chapter 20: 31 and 32., wherein it says that, "When one loses faith in the Vedas, Smritis, Puranas, and Dharma shastras, or abuses the devas, brahmins, gurus, either in their presence or absence that aberration is due to the influence of preet, or ghosts." Garuda Puranam chapter 8., texts 90 and 91 qualifies this further with the statement as recorded, spoken by the ghosts, "We stay where people do not follow the Vedas, where there is no feeling of shame or falsehood, no faith in religion, no sense of discipline, no inclination for forgiveness, no patience and no knowledge."
According to where one is at, they can make a nice presentation........
and if one is weak (physically weak due to over indulgence in sex - semen
loss, due to illness, menstruation, child-birth, traumatic loss - a death
in the family), or sinfully inclined then a bargain can be orchestrated
by which the embodied and disembodied jivas make a deal to enjoy co-operatively
- actually the ghost is enjoying and the lusty embodied fool is tricked
into thinking he's enjoying too. I used to have a friend who did like this
- he would allow one ghost that resided at his house to come to have sex
with him at night, in this way both got their lusty material desires fulfilled.
However, when my friend wanted to stop this, he couldn't and the last I
saw he was admitted into an institution. On another occassion one young
lady traded off her freedom to one ghost for the knowldege and experience
the ghost could give her - she suddenly became adept in music and the arts
of the Chinese culture and could speak Cantonese, without any study. But,
you could see desperation in her eyes, she was not free like before.
It's not just the weak or dirty that get propositioned either. Srila Prabhupada cites an instance when he stayed at John Lennon's house, "I was a guest there. There was a ghost..................... binding to the maya, to just remain a slave of maya and drink this beer." (Morning walk June 20th 1974. Germany.) Needless to say Srila Prabhupad did not give in to such an invitation.
.....But so many suggestions and invitations may be presented to us, of a more or lesser destructive - tamasic nature. A friend of mine was thrown off a bridge, and another from a building by shadows that brushed by them........ need I say more on this. These are for real, it is not in anyway imagination.
There is a psychosomatic disease
mentioned in the Ayurveda called Bhuta Graha which is resemblent of this
kind of mutual gratification, especially by the unmarried young women-folk,
and brahmacharis who are not fixed in their vow, or who are artificially
trying to maintain or remain celibate.
According to Ayurvedic Medicine there are eight different departments set up by the founders of that great science, Lord Dhanvantari, Prajapati Brahma, Prajapati Daksa, the Aswini Kumaras, Shushruta Muni, Maharaj Nimi (who issued the Nimi Tantra), which all try to deal with the various diseases, accidents, ageing developments, problems and occurrences in the body. These eight departments are Kay chikisa, dealing with the anatomy; Bala roga vigvagha, bala means children, the paediatric department, gynaecology, osticology; (Bhuta) Graha vigvagha, deals with the subtle realm, mental disturbances, one's thinking, psychosomatic diseases and epilepsy, as well as yosha pasmara, a kind of epilepsy found in women. Graha vigvagha also includes bacteriology which falls into the category of the unseen; Urdvanga, Shalakya Tantra spoken by Nimi, Urdvanga means the upper part of the body, head and neck, E.N.T. (Ear, Nose, Throat) and Eye; Shalya, means surgery, even "plastic surgery" grafting etc., spoken by Shushruta more than 2000 years ago; Damshtra, is the science of recovering a person from the effects of poisons either swallowed, or snake bite, spider...........etc., came via teeth, damstra means teeth, (yours or someone else's); Jara, deals with old age, geriatrics etc; and Vishayi, rejuvenation, convalescence etc.
Of all of these eight departments of Vedic Medicine seven
have come to be widespread throughout the world but there is one, bhuta
or graha vigvagha, which the modern, western systems of medicine have yet
to understand. There has been much propaganda by the missionary media over
the past century that has managed to influence almost everyone in the Sub
Continent of India, and across the world for that matter, so much
so that we find many Vedic things have been either forgotten, shelved,
or corrupted by these modern philosophies. Instead of following the ancient
sages, who's teachings were previously all over the world. Half baked theories
these days appear, are taught even in schools and universities, and again
disappear or change as new theories pop up, year, after year, after year.
Unfortunately it has become unpopular with the modern sensual world around
us to accept the ageless scriptures of India, but there is much to be learned.
If one takes the time to look, with open eyes and mind you'll see that
the many so called new age remedies that are now "evolving" are actually
parts of the ancient sciences of india in a revised manner. Some examples
of this are Naturopathy, and the limbs of that like Aroma therapy, Colour
therapy, Massage, Acupressure, Vegetarianism, etc. There is also
Permaculture and the Organics movement, varieties of Meditation, Hatha,
Mantra, Bhakti etc. Even in the rules for Architecture builders are now
becoming more aware of the environment, especially electro magnetic fields,
directions of buildings, using the sun more for heating and lighting, or
even making buildings more of sustainable materials such as mud brick,
all of which have been used in India for many thousands of years.
We see the teachings of Vedic ways, in which we can state all cultures have their origins, have in many cases become mixed, corrupted or should we more to the point say, that these pure philosophies of yore have been given up. Now what we have is a world that has become dominated by political language, made up of various terms that spark off a chain of emotional reactions of either defence, or delight. These are brought about, and executed by conditioning the masses through propaganda and advertising over many years. Expressions such as alien, cult, ethnic, non-conformist, alternative groups, sectarian, etc. As well as the old favourites, pagan, heathen, anti-Semitic, evil, strange new.........., or even devils, there were many such powerful words, adjectives which did, and still do conjure up negative pictures in the mind. The job was expertly done with large private concerns, as well as both local and world governmental, financial and administrative backing, and in some cases church authorisation, and even supported by the armed forces. The way the whole planet has been brainwashed is the subject of another paper, but still it partially has its place here too. We have experienced that things that may appear a little unusual or different, or should I more directly say, that don't fit in to the plan of the persons who are manipulating the people in the world at present, the "New World Order" as they like to be known, have over the past century carefully edited out of circulation, what they didn't find appropriate. So that now a days most people do not accept the Vedic literatures, or the Vedic Sciences (Jyotish - Astrology, Ayurvedic medicine, etc) rather everyone is very willing to follow the material scientists or the news media propaganda. If they do hear anything in this view they have already been briefed that this tribal hodge podge is only at best 2000 years old there was no civilisation before that. Yet even today in readers digest they have published something to the contrary stating that cloth was woven by ancient civilisations around 9000 years ago.
Previously to public pressure due to total disbelief, things are beginning to change many aspect of the truth that just weren't heard of before outside of secret meetings, are emerging. The lies and cheating of the modern scientist's bluff is being called. I think we can safely say that under this same umbrella, the British Raj "perfected" the spread of false propaganda, and "perfected" the tactic of divide and rule during their time in India. Now everything one is taught or hears from "the authorities" has its limitations of political censorship. Consequently we have lost many genuine sciences, which are now brushed off as either superstitions or mythology, by those who either cannot or will not see what is the truth.
This is the way that these persons view, and deal with anything that they cannot directly perceive through their rather blunt senses. Everything from their perspective falls into a few narrow negative categories as we have touched on earlier, cult, mythology, legendary stories etc. Due to the acceptance of the material scientists being "Gods", and their philosophies now being worshipped, the world is in illusion. These temporary material measures that have been taken by these persons to cover the truth, over the next few decades we will see that in actual fact those things that are not Vedic sciences will be proven in the long run to be puspakash, flowers that fly in the sky, or in other words fantasy. As the people of the world embrace their search for REALITY, and genuine answers to material problems.
We mentioned earlier the term Yosha pasmara in the connection of bhuta graha, actually it is described as a form of epilepsy that is found in young unmarried women or girls. Though it is not epilepsy proper, it is more a psychosomatic problem. As with others who are affected by bhutas they also have many desires yet to be fulfilled. Deep inside there is the desire for a husband, children and the security that women need, to function properly. Yet due to the pressures of society, especially family, plus the changes that are going on in their bodies, the development from girls to physically mature women, anxiety builds up and as a pressure valve or release valve such things as mood changes, doing things for attention, pretending to be raped or abused, inventing friends, other eccentric behaviour, or depression, argumentation, disturbed sleep, breathing problems, "fits or epilepsy", bolemia, anorexia, and even seeming semi conscious fainting occur. Sigmund Freud said that this kind of repression of the impulses results in he says paranoid. We have seen this even occurring in Iskcon. And it's due to suppressing the natural desires instead of understanding what they are and dealing with them accordingly. Visaya vinvartante niraharasya dehinah.......Bhagavad Gita 2:59., one cannot merely suppress desires, rather one must gain a higher taste through training or education as to what is what.
In less morally oriented or lower class girls, who are less concerned with what society or the family thinks of them, they take to flirting with young boys, and even indulge in and search for gross sex, and it takes place. But in more prestigious families, we have studied, things would be different. If the girls at the same time as maintaining their external moral show, are lusty within then complexities of bhuta graha often take place. I have seen many incidences, symptoms of bhuta graha where a constant battle for even keel goes on for years, because they just won't give up the pursuit for sense gratification, or be totally honest. In others we have seen this syndrome drive deep into the emotions making girls stop having periods, or having fainting spells, or there are times when the build up is too much and they just "go ape." In others who have tried to live a cloistered life, we have seen it take them away from devotional service to fulfil their separate interests of lusty desires, which take many forms. It may take the shape of gross sex, or even to travel here and there with the view to finding a mate, even the accumulation of material goods, anything from a new Rolex watch, to fast cars, fine clothing, mobile phone, big houses, jet setting jobs, anything to try to draw attention to themselves. Again, it may be added that it is not necesarily that these things are wrong or bad in themselves, but when one is suffering from bhuta graha there's a certain manner that these material attributes are used to attract others by one seemingly who pretends not to. It has been observed that as one's years increase it becomes more subtle, though not in every case, to the extreme point that the mid-life crisis, dirty old man, or femme fatal syndromes have been seen to develop as a result.
There are always opportunists who will take advantage of a situation for their own enjoyment. In the same way there are always ghosts around in the day and in the night, and especially at the conjunctions of both, if they find a good candidate to enjoy through they will try to make the necessary arrangements for their desires and the girls (or boys) to be fulfilled. Bhutas who are of the subtle realm, having bodies made of intelligence, mind and false ego, sense the lusty desires that have been hidden below the surface, that have not actually been kicked out or replaced. Thus it is seen that there is a dichotomy in the victim, externally everything looks very good but under the surface lusty desires are being played with. In actual fact they are their own victims.
Sometimes parents of girls have come to me to remove ghosts from them. I sit in the company of another older devotee woman and ask them what is their trouble. Ninety nine percent tell of the same things, the same kind of voices, even some have seen the same kind of ghosts. The girls tell of incredible stories of persons touching them, trying to rape them, and threatening them that if they don't go along with it, they will also become ghosts. Some have constantly been threatened that they would make them go crazy, or would never leave them alone if they didn't succumb to their will. Really its just a case of intimidation or subtle rape. These days the medical profession put a tab on it, call it Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), feed the victim drugs send them to a psychiatric hospital, try to suppress part of the brain they say may cause it, and hope that the problem will eventually go away. But usually it doesn't. And so medication goes on year after year. Occasionally the penny does drop in a patient that maybe it's a lifestyle thing, but often they are too far gone by then, and too internally confused about who and what they are to change, but occasionally someone will come good. But the longer it stays the harder it is to go, and the patient to be all right even if they get their goal fulfilled.
In the name of dignity or fashion, both sexes have been
exploited to the full. Men tend to go for the macho role model, while the
women the seductress, and they don't even realise how they are being led.
One may well ask then, why do you girls dress so seductively if you do
not want some one to become attracted in that way. It is not for your husband,
you are not yet married. So then what are you doing, who are you doing
it for, or what do they want? The answer is that brainwashed by media
and peer pressure, and modern feminist
groups, that they cannot help themselves.
Ghosts we have observed, heard, and been told especially like young women. Practically it can be seen, but accepting what the Acharya states must also be accepted according to the conversation of Srila Prabhupada in Perth May 12th 1975. So it is not unusual or absurd, what we are stating here.
Without breaching professional ethics and revealing names and places etc., let me just say that my experience with Bhuta Graha among young adults has been quite extensive. We have seen young women having fainting fits, spells of lethargy, emotional mood swings, disruptions to menstrual cycles, and so on, or just out right sneaking off having sex, and getting pregnant; and we have seen young men displaying bazaar behaviour to get noticed, wild dancing, and flashy clothes, or playing of musical instruments to get attention (and not of the Lord), even tattooing their foreheads, or wearing strange clothing apparel upon their bodies, to name but a few things. And all this is in the cloistered society of Vaishnavas, what to speak in the mundane society where young men dress in Gothic and prance around in fish-net tights with lip-stick on their faces, etc., and hair-styles more befitting the insect kingdom, and body piercing - the inane cries for attention...... (or as mentioned earlier; mood changes, doing things for attention, pretending to be raped or abused, inventing friends, other eccentric behaviour, or depression, argumentation, disturbed sleep, breathing problems, "fits or epilepsy", bolemia, anorexia, etc.)
The examples that we stating here have been too many to think it a coincidence, for the same things have happened in different towns, some even in different countries. It is not just one or two I have been asked to help but dozens over the last ten or more years, and even some young men who were suffering from similar troubles.
Whilst studying Systems of Healing, Social Anthropology
and Human Development at Massey University we had the opportunity to do
case studies on different people who were undergoing "crisis" in their
Most of these crisis were due to the concept that they were either lacking in something, a want, for something or a fear that something was going to be taken away, or had been taken away. These crisis were not new things, most had them on a reoccurring basis throughout their lives. In Human Development (Papillia & Olds.1990. page 533.) it identifies some of the crisis that people of different ages undergo, and how they react; Young adulthood - having finished their education, training and courtship and having recently embarked on careers, marriage and parent hood - are eager to live the lives that they have been preparing for. When they are suddenly taken ill or badly injured, young adults are likely to feel more intensely emotional about imminent death than people in any other period of life (Pattison, 1977.) They feel extremely frustrated at the inability to fulfil their dreams. Their frustration turns to rage, and that rage often makes young adults troublesome hospital patients.(Papillia & Olds.1990. page 533.) There is more to it too, often they see others enjoying life, and feel somewhat deprived of pleasure or missing out on something that they feel was intrinsically theirs. In Middle Adulthood crisis are faced in a slightly different way, people take stock of their careers, their marriages, or the marriages or relationships that they never had, their relationships with their children, their friendships, or lack of them, their values and how they spend their time, etc. Fraught with the conception that "Time is running out" as we mentioned before they take to the open market. Late adulthood crisis often become sour reflections, being sick and unable to do all the things that they wish they had in the earlier parts of their lives, or feeling that they are now a burden on their family, etc., many of their friends popping up in the obituary column, and knowing that time is closing in, their life is often just filling in time, and pretty miserable to the point that they are "Ready to face death".(Papillia & Olds.1990. page 533.) But you and I know that this is not the way to face death.
The following chart gives some idea as to expectations that normative development give rise to, and also dysfunctional development if not dealt with.(C.K. Sigelman & D.R. Shaffer. 1991. LifeSpan Human Development. page 305.)
AGE RANGES STAGE (how they develop) EMERGING PERSONALITY
Birth to 1 year trust & mistrust, Hope
1 year to 3 years autonomy vs, shame & doubt, Will (a sense of self)
3 years to 6 years initiative vs. guilt, Purpose (goal setting)
6 years to 12 years industry vs. inferiority, Competence (self esteem)
12 years to 20 years identity vs. role(s), confusion, Fidelity (ability to commit one's self)
20 years to 40 years intimacy vs. isolation, Love
40 years to 65 years generativity vs. stagnation, Care (investment in future generations)
65 or so onward integrity vs. despair, Wisdom.
A deeper look at the nature of these periods may show us further insight as to how and why bhut-graha develops in a range of people, and how it can be overcome.
Prenatal stage, conception to birth:
Basic body structure and organs form. Physical growth is most rapid of life span. Vulnerability to environmental influences is great.
Infancy and toddlerhood (birth to 3 years.):
New born is dependent but competent. All senses operate at birth. Physical growth and development of motor skills are rapid. Ability to learn and remember is present, even in early weeks of life. Attachments to parents and others form toward end of first year. Self-awareness develops in second year. Comprehension and speech develop rapidly. Interest in other children increases.
Early Childhood (3 to 6 years.):
Family is still focus of life, although other children become more important. Strength and fine and gross motor skills improve. Independence, self-control, and self care increase. Play, creativity, and imagination become more elaborate. Cognitive immaturity leads to many "illogical" ideas about the world. Behaviour is largely egocentric, but understanding of other people's perspective grows.
Middle Childhood (6 to 12 years):
Peers assume central importance. Children begin to think logically, although largely concretely. Egocentrisism diminishes. Memory and language skills increase. Cognitive gains improve ability to benefit from formal schooling. Self-concept develops, affecting self-esteem. Physical growth slows. Strength and athletic skills improve.
Adolescence (12 to 20 years.):
Physical changes are rapid and profound. Reproductive maturity is attained. Search for identity becomes central. Ability to think abstractly and use scientific reasoning develops. Adolescent Egocentrisism persists in some behaviours, Peer groups help to develop and test self-concept. Relationships with parents are generally good.
Young Adulthood (20- 40 years.):
Decisions are made about intimate relations. Most people marry; most become parents. Physical health peaks, then declines slightly. Career choices are made. Sense of identity continues to develop. Intellectual abilities assume new complexity.
Middle Age (40 to 65 years.):
Search for meaning in life assumes central importance. Some deterioration of physical health, stamina, and prowess takes place. Women experience menopause. Wisdom and practical problem solving skills are high; ability to solve novel problems declines. Double responsibilities of caring for children and elderly parents may cause stress. Time orientation changes to "Time left to live". Launching of children typically leaves nest empty. Typically, women become more assertive, men become more nurturant and expressive. For some, career success and earning power peak; for others, "burnout" occurs. For a minority, there's a mid-life "Crisis".
Late Adulthood (65 years and over).:
Most people are healthy and active, although health and physical abilities decline somewhat. Most people are mentally alert. Although intelligence and memory deteriorate somewhat, most people find ways to compensate. Slowing of reaction time affects many aspects of functioning. Need to cope with losses in many areas (loss of one's own faculties, loss of loved ones). Retirement from work force creates more leisure time but may reduce economic circumstances. Need arises to find purpose in life to face impending death.(Papilia & Olds. 1990. Human Development. pages 7-8.)
As maturational development goes through the stages crisis is there, evaluation of our quality of life is there, assessment and projection toward fulfilment of what we aspire for and who we think we are, or desire to be holds its presence. You one can imagine if one tries avoiding any of, or combinations of these developmental examinations, sooner that later the test will come. That test of all tests being the time of death. For all other test results will be evaluated at this time, and if there hasn't been enough Crisis then try this one on for size. Depending on how we score in that examination/test we get a body accordingly, and some as we are propounding here because of their massive attachments almost refuse to give up the past bodily situation even though it is rudely taken from them anyway, or out of frustration for their situation they take their life. Either way, the fact of the matter is that the same crisis has not been dealt with, and it will not go away. Consequently that person has to take yet another birth in a material body to fulfil those desires and work out those frustrations.
Consequently at death one is according to his/her consciousness taken to be fitted for the next dress. If one is a pious person one may go to a higher domain, or gain entrance into a good family for the opportunity of being trained up in devotional attributes to further the progression. At the end of that life time the perfect devotee will leave that body to go to join Krishna in His pastimes that are still being enacted in one of the almost unlimited material universes, and in that association of pure devotees go through his final finishing school before returning to the spiritual abode (Chaitanya Charitamrta. - Disappearance of Haridas Thakur.)
Failing that one may, if one is not so pious be taken down one of the 72,000 nadis (arteries) that are mentioned in the Vedanta sutra, each of which, like a predestined door to your future, has your designated destiny behind it. Some people have experienced NDE (near death experiences, where guides have been contacted, declarations made, directions given, before returning to this world. Srila Baladev Vidyabhushana in his Govinda bhasya commentary on Vedanta Sutra says that they cannot return to the spiritual world until all their works are completed - Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad 4:4:6.) The description is there of the soul venturing down long nadis (subtle tunnels or arteries - arterial routes) having one's life flashing before one as one goes there as if in a sleeping or dreaming state. It is described that just as in a palace there may be a door, couch, and light that fills it so the soul enters into that realm in a peaceful state and experiences the state of Brahman. Her it is clearly defined that the jiva souls in essence is neither of these things, he's not of the gross or subtle body, not of the nadis, and not of the resting place in brahman, all of which are temporal places. There he is tended by appointed assistants who share with him spiritual enlightenment, often giving direction, and resolve of how he can improve the quality of life which he/she, due to material attachments is forced to return to. However, Vedanta Sutra makes it clear that the same person in one sense does not return. "When a jiva enters to the Brahman, he enters like a jar full of salt water, with covered mouth, plunged into the Ganges. When he awakens from sleep, it is the same jar, taken out of the river with the same water in it. In the same way the jiva, covered by his desires, goes to sleep and for the time being puts off all sense activites and goes to the resting place, namely, the Supreme Brahman, and again comes out of it, in order to get further experience. He does not become similar to the Brahman, like the person who has obtained release. Thus we learn from this four fold reason that the same soul which had gone to sleep, awakes into the same body."(Govinda Bhasya - Vedanta sutra 3rd Adhyaya 2nd Pada, 6th Adikarana sloka 10.)
Those souls who are worthy of reform, the sinful, are taken to the Plutonic realm of the Yamaraj by his accomplices at the speed of mind to experience what they had done to others - their karmas.
If one is healthy, strong, clean, and out of good sadhana with peaceful mind one shouldn't be too much disturbed by such things.
An exception to such a statement could be wherein someone has done some "black works" and fixed a personality to one to purposefully cause a problem in one's life. For this you need to see an expert in nirvaranam (removal), while you maintain the status quo by rigerously chanting the maha mantra, keeping oneself clean, pure of thought, and fixed on the Deity form of the Lord, such as the Shaligram.
There are various shields (kavachas) that practicioners of the tantric arts place upon those suffering, or to ward off in a preventive manner, such as The Hanuman Kavacha, Sudarshan Kavacha, and Nrsimha Kavacha.
For cleansing a house it is nice to perform a shanti homa (fire sacrifice - yajna) in the place and also go through the place chanting Purusha suktam prayers and sprinkling sacred waters from the Ganges, etc. This usually works and moves on a wandering soul, but for those who are more stuborn you again would need the help of a tantrik healer to first identify and then remove the "problem".
Sometimes, due to some astrological challenge in a person's chart, there may need to be a particular kind of yajna (Narayana Bali) and some upaayam be done as a remedial measure, there are different things....
I trust that this may be of use, but if you still have questions or a "situation" then please get back to me by e-mail and see if we can identify your need.
There are some "die-hard-closet-atheists and Christians" even within our movement who still refuse to accept the Vedik conclusions regarding these topics. Recently some of them ganged up on a friend who was skilled in these matters, used him as a scape-goat for one of their colleagues who was having some difficulties and wouldn't admit it. Later he was forced to admit and fell down from Krishna consciousness to pursue sense gratification. If some of them read this I'll probably be the next one under attack. Anyway, what can we do, this is the nature of denial of anything in the material world - some are even saying that Prabhupad is wrong, so that they can maintain a mundane way of life while dressing and interacting with those dressed as Vaishnavas and likewise doing all manner of mundane things. Satyam eva jayate - the truth will prevail.
One thing one finds out the hard way when confronting a negative power, such as a ghost armed only with the maha-mantra or similar weapons, and that is just how surrendered we really are. You see when being tested by fire, there can be no pretense or show. Pretend and one get's burned, so to speak, take shelter of the Sudha naam - Holy name of the Lord and we will find shelter. It is a war, the combatants are real, the weapons and tactics are real. It can only be for real.
Sri Rama Raghava raksha mam
Sri Krishna Keshava pahi mam
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