Spirit possession and Buddhism

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Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:40 am

I have witnessed spirit possession in my original hometown in the Himalayan foothills among the common village folk. At that time I was fairly young but I still disbelieved in these things (because I grew up in cities where nobody believed in it - at least those whom I knew) but after reading about spirit possession I have come to the conclusion that there could be some truth to it. One thing I know for sure is that whenever a spirit possessed someone the victim usually ended up becoming for a significant number of days after that. So fevers, sicknesses, mental illnesses could have some correlation with the phenomena of spirit-possession. Or they are one and the same.

My question is, if spirits - which are lower beings compared to humans - can possess human beings, then why can't human beings possess, say, a dog or any other animal? How do we make sure that we are never afflicted by such demonic influences?

So far the argument by Ven. Hsuan Hua in his commentaries to Shurangama Sutra was very convincing to me when he said that if we "save our seed" (abstain from sensual/sexual pleasures) no spirit or entity could ever affect us. If, on the other hand, we indulge excessively in sex, we are naturally prone to attack from them.

I need more opinions about it. Thanks!
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:49 am

Practice the Dharma diligently with a wholesome motivation. If you do, you're on the safe side.
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:18 pm

Rakshasa wrote:My question is, if spirits - which are lower beings compared to humans - can possess human beings, then why can't human beings possess, say, a dog or any other animal? How do we make sure that we are never afflicted by such demonic influences?


The hierarchy of beings is just for convenience sake.

Kind of like the "food chain". There is no food chain. There is a food web. Humans like to put themselves at the top, but in reality they can be lunch for many many beings "under them". Ultimately the worms and maggots get the last bite.

There are various means of protecting oneself from demonic influences. There are rites performed for that express purpose. Having meditative stamina would help in recognizing it and resisting.

It is traditionally said that practice of Dharma is beneficial as benevolent devas and other such beings offer protection.
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Namgyal » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:26 pm

:namaste: Brother. This subject is not really one for open discussion, but I will try to answer your questions. There was once a very malevolent technique that enabled one to replace and suppress another individual within their own body, but thankfully it's extinct. Full spirit possession is very rare but partial possession or influence is quite common. Both types involve considerable damage to an individuals 'internal body', which is all but incurable. Sexual continence has a bearing on one's mental and physical power, so if you are able to carry out this practice it is highly recommended. The fact is that if you have robust physical heath and mental balance you are very unlikely to be attacked by spirits. So practice meditation and yoga. Most protective of all is a strong Buddhist devotional practice involving daily offerings and prayers. You should have both the Buddha on your shrine at home, and the smaller copy you carry about your person blessed by a Buddhist holy man.
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Nosta » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:07 pm

I believe that Nembutsu protects a lot against spirit possession.
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:47 pm

Rakshasa wrote:So far the argument by Ven. Hsuan Hua in his commentaries to Shurangama Sutra was very convincing to me when he said that if we "save our seed" (abstain from sensual/sexual pleasures) no spirit or entity could ever affect us. If, on the other hand, we indulge excessively in sex, we are naturally prone to attack from them.
What I can read this?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby lobster » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:34 am

I need more opinions about it. Thanks!


That is the spirit of possession.
Would you like an exorcism? :meditate:
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Inge » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:50 am

Konchog1 wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:So far the argument by Ven. Hsuan Hua in his commentaries to Shurangama Sutra was very convincing to me when he said that if we "save our seed" (abstain from sensual/sexual pleasures) no spirit or entity could ever affect us. If, on the other hand, we indulge excessively in sex, we are naturally prone to attack from them.
What I can read this?

Here: http://cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama_contents.asp
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:18 pm

Inge wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:
Rakshasa wrote:So far the argument by Ven. Hsuan Hua in his commentaries to Shurangama Sutra was very convincing to me when he said that if we "save our seed" (abstain from sensual/sexual pleasures) no spirit or entity could ever affect us. If, on the other hand, we indulge excessively in sex, we are naturally prone to attack from them.
What I can read this?

Here: http://cttbusa.org/shurangama1/shurangama_contents.asp
Ah, thank you. Looking.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Spirit possession and Buddhism

Postby deepbluehum » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:39 am

Rakshasa wrote:I have witnessed spirit possession in my original hometown in the Himalayan foothills among the common village folk. At that time I was fairly young but I still disbelieved in these things (because I grew up in cities where nobody believed in it - at least those whom I knew) but after reading about spirit possession I have come to the conclusion that there could be some truth to it. One thing I know for sure is that whenever a spirit possessed someone the victim usually ended up becoming for a significant number of days after that. So fevers, sicknesses, mental illnesses could have some correlation with the phenomena of spirit-possession. Or they are one and the same.

My question is, if spirits - which are lower beings compared to humans - can possess human beings, then why can't human beings possess, say, a dog or any other animal? How do we make sure that we are never afflicted by such demonic influences?

So far the argument by Ven. Hsuan Hua in his commentaries to Shurangama Sutra was very convincing to me when he said that if we "save our seed" (abstain from sensual/sexual pleasures) no spirit or entity could ever affect us. If, on the other hand, we indulge excessively in sex, we are naturally prone to attack from them.

I need more opinions about it. Thanks!


According to TB, if you can rest your mind in rigpa, no spirits can harm you.
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