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Monday, October 31, 2011

Are Ghosts Hallucinations? Disembodied Souls and Their Influence Upon Living Beings


Are ghosts hallucinations?  Do ghosts have material substance, or do they exist at all?  What of the communications with otherwise unseen beings that substantially guide us in healthily progressive directions?  

Concepts and claims of ghosts and ghostiliness pervade myths, lore and legends of history abound, does this ubiquity implicitly confirm the existence of ghosts?  

Tantric science identifies these experiences, individuating physics and physiology, psychic and psycho-physical projectsions, and disembodied beings, luminous bodies, with clarity and aplomb, detailing beneficient and baneful disembodied entities and techniques for dealing with them.  


Redacted from discourses by Mahasambhuti

Are ghosts always hallucinations?  What is a hallucination?  In the case of hallucinations, there is no defect in optics, the defect is in ocularity -- that is, the ocular vision is influenced by different thought-waves.  These hallucinations may be of two types, positive and negative.  In a positive hallucination, there is no physical defect in the ocular vision.  Rather, one's vision is affected by the thought-waves which want to see something different.   

And what is a negative hallucination?  Here also there is no defect in the ocular vision, but due to excessive pressure of the thought-waves -- we say "auto-suggestion" -- the ocular vision becomes negative; that is, the thought-waves do not want to see something which is actually present in the ocular vision.   

Many scholars are of the opinion that so-called ghosts are positive hallucinations, and sometimes people are also misguided by negative hallucinations.  They say that in this case the ocular vision -- the optic nerves -- is deceiving them, but actually the main role here is played by the thought-waves, not by any physical organ, or psychic cells, or psycho-physical cells (ectoplasm). 
  
It is said, Abhibha'van'a't citta'n'usrs't'apretadarshanam 
["The sight of ghosts is created by the citta'n'u (mind-stuff) in concentrated thought"].  

Abhibha'van'a means "cellular suggestion" -- that which affects not only the mind but also the nerve cells, so that due to the defective functioning of the nerve cells one sees something which is not present, or does not see something which is actually physically present.  Cellular suggestion is of two types: auto-suggestion and outer-suggestion.  Auto-suggestion takes place within the jurisdiction of one's own mind, in the individual mind, whereas outer-suggestion is the transmission of suggestion from another's mind, from another, stronger, mind.  When a weaker mind is greatly influenced by a stronger mind, as a result something is not seen or nothing is seen.   

Philosophically, whatever we see in this universe is, we may say, a positive hallucination created by the Supreme Consciousness (Parama Purus'a*).  Whatever He thinks is seen by the nerve cells of the individual mind.  The difference between this practical world and ghosts is that in the case of ghosts the suggestion comes from the individual mind; one's own thought is projected outside.   

But when people see so-called ghosts and apparitions, are they always positive hallucinations?  No, they are not.  Whatever we observe in this physical world is made of the five fundamental factors (solid, liquid, luminous, aerial and ethereal), created in such a way that it automatically functions.  Its inherent capacity for action is derived from this physical world under the inspiration of the Supreme Consciousness.   

There may be some entities that do not require food and drink.  Any entity composed of solid and liquid factors will certainly require food and drink, because food is mainly composed of the solid factor, and drink is mainly composed of the liquid factor.  But if any entity is composed only of the other three factors -- luminous, aerial, and ethereal -- without any solid or liquid, then that entity is called a "luminous body".   

By means of nerve cells, the mind operates the physical body: by creating vibrations such as smell, form, touch, taste, etc., the nerve cells either receive tanma'tras (inferential essences) or projects them externally.  But luminous bodies have no nerves, because nerve cells and nerve fibres are all physical; thus they cannot function properly.  Only, as in auto-suggestion, they may create a vibration within, and experience some type of feeling.   

These luminous bodies are not ghosts or apparitions; they have nothing to do with them.  Neither are they related to auto-suggestion or outer-suggestion.  Under some circumstances, if someone happens to see this kind of luminous body, one may think one is seeing a ghost.  But actually there is no ghost at all -- it is only a luminous body.  It is not possible to see luminous bodies in broad daylight; it may be possible during the darkness of night, but then not everywhere.   

It is said that there are seven kinds of luminous bodies: yaks'a, siddha, gandharva, kinnara, vidya'dhara, prakrtiliina, and videhaliina.  They are categorized according to their respective psychologies.   

Suppose there is a very evolved person who often ideates on the Supreme Consciousness, but who has some greed for wealth.  He or she does not, however, express it openly to the Supreme, nor does he or she even think of it directly.  He or she thinks indirectly, "Oh, since I am a devotee of the Supreme Consciousness, He will certainly give me enormous wealth and make me immensely rich."  Those who harbour this sort of covert desire are reborn as yaks'as.  Thus sometimes we refer to "the wealth of the yaks'as".   

The third is vidya'dhara.  Those who have vanity of knowledge, although they do not expressly beseech this from the Supreme, but rather think inwardly that the Supreme should bestow an enormous wealth of knowledge upon them -- this type of person is reborn as vidya'dhara.  Vidya'dhara is also a luminous body.   

Next is gandharva.  Those who have a great talent for higher music (people should cultivate music to the maximum to give pleasure to the Supreme Consciousness) and mentally think, "Oh, Parama Purus'a, I want knowledge of the science of music, not You" -- they are reborn as gandharvas.  (In Sanskrit the science of music is called ga'ndharva vidya'.) They are also luminous bodies; they are not ghosts at all.  They are also not visible in daylight, just as other luminous bodies are invisible.   

Kinnara.  Those who are vain about their physical beauty, or those who pray to the Supreme to give them more and more physical charm, are reborn as kinnaras.  They are also luminous bodies.   

Siddha.  Those human beings who are doing sa'dhana'**, who have great love for Parama Purus'a, but in their heart of hearts are proud of their occult powers or pray to Parama Purus'a to grant them still more occult powers -- these people after death are reborn as siddhas.  Of all the categories of luminous bodies, the siddhas are the most elevated.  They often help sa'dhakas in their sa'dhana'.   

All these luminous bodies are collectively called devayoni.  Besides the above, there are videhaliina and prakrtiliina.  Those who wrongly worship Parama Purus'a in the form of clay, iron or other material substances, are ultimately transformed into prakrtiliina.   

The next is videhaliina: those who run after occult powers and think, "I will attain such great occult power that with it, I will move from place to place."  These are all luminous bodies; they are not ghosts, nor are they positive or negative hallucinations.   

Thus ghosts are not positive hallucinations, or negative hallucinations, or siddhas or devayonis.  Then is there any such things as ghosts?  Not exactly ghosts, but there is something like that.   

After death, when the mind dissociates from the body, the accumulation of unfulfilled sam'ska'ras*** or reactive momenta remains, although the body with the five fundamental factors [solid, liquid, light/fire, air, and ether] no longer exists.  Thus, the mind cannot function, but it remains in potential form.  Now, in some circumstances, if the ectoplasm of a living person is associated with that disembodied potential mind, then that disembodied mind gets a mental body temporarily, for a very short time.  Then that mental body can start functioning with the help of the nerve cells and nerve fibres of that living person, but only for a few minutes.   

What is this called?  It is neither a positive hallucination or a negative hallucination, nor is it a luminous body (devayoni).  Then what is it?  A living person's ectoplasmic cells become the mental body of a dead person for a few minutes until -- after a few minutes -- that mental body again dies.  This mental body I will call pres'itama'nas -- "re-created mind."  

Some people may do good works or get good works done with the help of these pres'itama'nas, but only those who have perfect control over their minds and over the nerve cells and nerve fibres of their bodies can do this. 

Those who are bad people can do evil deeds with the help of these pres'itama'nas.  They can hurl stones into others' houses, throw bones, or overturn tables and cots -- all these things can be done for only a few minutes.   

So we see that what we call a "ghost" is not always a positive or a negative hallucination, nor is it always a siddha or a pres'itama'nas.  In fact, we cannot prove the existence of a pres'itama'nas or siddha, and insofar as positive hallucination is concerned, it does not have any actual existence at all.  If you see a positive hallucination, it is a mental disease.   

If anything of this sort (pres'itama'nas or luminous body) comes before you, there is only one remedy to remove it: that is, do kiirtana or devotional chanting.  Do kiirtana for one minute or repeat your guru mantra, and that "ghost" will instantly vanish into thin air.  So under no circumstances should you be afraid.   

Footnotes

Parama Purus'a*  Universal Mind, Supreme Consciousness, the psyche and substance within which all things exist, with an emphasis towards subtlest realms of being, a threshold attainable by humans through sa'dhana'   

sa'dhana'**   Intuitional science carrying the practitioner progressively into subtler realms through appropriately designed processes positively affecting every realm of life and mind, and leading toward merger [yoga] back into Universal Consciousness. 

sam'ska'ra***   The reactive momentum resulting from one's thoughts, words or deeds -- too often misnamed "karma", which is the proactive engagement in the manifest universe with ideation upon the whole of the universe and the centricity from which it generates, operates and into which each and every being returns from its individuation.  The term "karma" is all too often misappropriatedly used when sam'ska'ra is the proper term.  "Karma", properly used, means action performed with the ideation of the Supreme Consciousness at all times throughout an action.  "Kriya", properly used, means performing action without cosmic ideation, and consequently racks up sam'ska'ras.

Regressive Disembodied Beings - Pretayonis  

The seven devayonis listed above are disembodied beings of a progressive nature.   Throughout the Universe this progressive momentum pervades the continuity of the Universe, moving from crude toward subtle.  The capacity to move from crude toward subtle has its natural attraction for all beings, regardless of incarnation, as a rock, mineral, plant, animal, human being or devatta.  

The capacity to move backwards in evolution, move in a direction in reverse of the continuity of the Universe is possible through intense effort, whether internally driven on the part of unit beings or whether by intense external forces.  Disembodied beings on a devolutionary momentum, from subtle towards crudity, are called pretayonis in Sam'skrit, some of whom may wreak havoc upon living beings.  

The word “pisháca” means “a kind of pretayoni”.  Whether or not human beings become devayonis after their demise depends upon their nature or mentality.  Only those human beings who were progressively evolved during their lifetimes become devayonis after they die.  On the other hand, disembodied souls attain the status of pretayonis until they are reborn in other forms.  That is, when people with many demerits die, they become pretayonis according to their defective mentality.  These pretayonis are divided into several categories – durmukha, kabandha, madhyakapála, mahákapála, brahmadaetya or brahmapisháca, ákáshiipreta, and pisháca.  

Durmukha pretayonis.  There are people who give mental difficulties to others due to their lack of education or for some other reason.  After death they want to continue giving mental hassles to others as durmukha pretayonis.  These pretayonis are reborn as human beings after undergoing the consequences of their actions for a long, long time.  

Kabandha.  People who commit suicide due to humiliation, psychic distortion, frustration or the overpowering influence of excessive attachment, anger, greed, vanity, jealousy, etc. get the status of kabandha yoni after death.  Wherever these entities happen to see other human beings under the spell of psychic derangement, they incite them to commit suicide.  

Madhyakapála.  People who are mentally restless or who have an unstable nature say one thing in the morning, something else at midday and something different again in the evening.  Due to their restlessness, they not only cause trouble for themselves, they also cause trouble for others.  They get the status of madhyakapála after their demise.

Mahákapála.  Those who harm others while trying to fulfill their own selfish ends, those who practise Avidyá Tantra in the name of Vidyá Tantra, and those with a sinister, sadistic nature who mercilessly kill millions of innocent people by manufacturing lethal weapons get the status of mahákapála after their demise.  They always keep trying to destroy the living world.  

Brahmadaetya or Brahmapisháca. Those intellectuals who do not utilize their intellect for constructive purposes, but rather misuse their intellect to suppress others or create inferiority complexes in others get this status after their demise.  

Ákáshiipreta.  Those who always engage in destructive activities goaded by their ambition, regardless of their ability, and those who are not averse to committing any heinous crime to fulfill their ambition get this status after their demise.  They are reborn as human beings after reaping the consequences of their actions for a long period of time.  

Pisháca.  Those who look upon everything as their object of enjoyment without considering whether or not they are edible, get this status after their demise. They are a kind of negative microvita.  

Microvita move through tanmátras, that is, the inferences of sound, touch, form, taste and smell.  These five inferences are the carriers of these microvita.  The movement from sound to smell represents movement towards crudity, and the movement from smell to sound represents movement towards subtlety.  Negative microvita prefer the smell tanmátrá more than the sound tanmátrá, and in the same way positive microvita prefer the sound tanmátrá more than the smell tanmátrá.  In other words, negative microvita do not like the sound tanmátrá as much as they like the smell tanmátrá, and similarly positive microvita do not like the smell tanmátrá as much as negative microvita do.  

Various kinds of negative microvita which have, up to now, been called a “virus”, damage human beings.  Different diseases take the help of different kinds of tanmátras.  From country to country, from planet to planet, and from the far distant frontiers of the universe, these negative microvita carry the seeds of destructive diseases.  These varieties of negative microvita also spread mean-mindedness and negative psychic complexes.  Similarly, from various planets and distant nebula, varieties of positive microvita bring pious, sentient thoughts and elevating sentiments.  Likewise, the pious aspirations and sentiments of a mighty personality and those of many individuals penetrate into the cosmic wave and spread throughout the universe with the help of these positive microvita.  Positive microvita convert milk into curd and thereby serve humanity.  They also guide human sentiments and ideas along the path of synthesis so that these sentiments and ideas are eventually transmuted into pinnacled intellect.  You may say that these positive microvita are the emanations of Parama Puruśa – the effulgence of Supreme Consciousness (Parama Purus'a*).  

There are some diseases – and their number is not negligible – which are carried by the inference of smell.  Most of the skin diseases and boils which have a bad smell are carried by the smell inference.  The disease of the laryngitis (in which the voice becomes hoarse and ulcers in the throat emit a foul smell) is invariably carried by the inference of smell.  Those who sing for long periods of time or deliver lengthy speeches are likely to be attacked by laryngitis which is carried by negative microvita.  This disease can be avoided or cured if sarvauṋgásana (shoulder stand) and matsyamudrá (fish pose) are practised regularly in ascending and descending order, then cloves and betel leaves are boiled together and the warm water is drunk through the nose, and the portion of the tongue near the uvula is then cleaned with the middle finger of the hand while the water is still in the throat.  Finally, the water should be ejected from the mouth.  

Negative microvita also attack the human mind through the smell inference.  If a person sits in a wine bar or pub and the smell of different alcoholic beverages enters one’s nose, the smell will influence one’s mind.  One may also order a drink from the bar! The scriptures say:  

Satsaungena bhavenmuktirasatsaungeśu bandhanam…  
[Good company leads to emancipation.  Conversely, evil company leads to bondages.]  

Although the human mind and body are attacked via all the five inferences, virulent attacks come from the smell inference, and then next from the form inference.  Even if a decent man visits an area which is not usually frequently by decent gentlemen, his mind is bound to degenerate.  When referring to “evil company”, good people include bad places.  Negative microvita carried by the smell inference cannot easily influence the minds of those who are engaged in elevating their minds through sádhaná, those whose minds mostly roam in the upper plexii (cakras), or those who are keen to roam in the upper plexii.  Even if negative microvita do influence the minds of such people, they cannot influence the mind as easily as the body.  

Negative microvita cannot influence a person’s mind at all when one’s mind is moving in the higher cakras.  They cannot even fully control the body, although they can have a negative influence to some extent.  If a person in a state of meditation keeps his or her mind concentrated at a higher cakra for a long time, and immediately after that negative microvita carried by the smell inference enter the body, these negative microvita cannot overpower the person, but they can do so partially.  But if the mind moves towards crude objects, at that time the negative microvita do not spare the person – they will attack the person severely.  This sort of negative microvita about which we are talking is called “gandhapisháca.”  

Ghosts or elves are not really ghosts and elves – they are gandhapishácas.  With the dawning of reason and intellect on the dogma infected minds of the people of the past, the clouds of ignorance began to disappear from the human mind.  So-called ghosts, elves, goblins, demons, etc. are disappearing into nothingness.  The disembodied minds of diseased persons who have certain merits or demerits were sometimes wrongly called “pretayonis”.  In fact, they are the entities which are the carriers of so-called merits or demerits.  Of all the varieties of negative microvita, those which are carried by the senses and are harmful are known as “gandhapisháca.”  These gandhapishácas have their different categories.  

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