Demonic Possession in Buddhism

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Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby Nosta » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:14 am

Hi!
I would like to ask some things about demonic possession in buddhism:

1) How does buddhism explain demonic possession, since buddhism says that there is not a soul?

2) How is performed a ritual for expulse the demon? Who can do that?

3) As a normal person (i mean, a person that is not a master or a monk), what can i do to protect myself from demons or even to make them flew away from my life?

4) Could it be possible that doing nienfo/amitabha recitations protects me from demons?

The reasons for this questions are:
a) I know a person that once was possessed (i dont have enough trust with her to speak about that, and she is also to shy for that) and
b) sometimes during night i have nightmares with bad creatures (who knows...can they be just dreams?), disturbing dreams where i see dark figures trying to catch me; and
c)i n some ocasions when i had sleep paralysis i had some strange hallucinations (not sure if they were just hallucinations, they were very real) where demons attacked me.

Thank you for reading this and answer.

:-)
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:32 am

To explain perhaps only from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective, but my personal interpretation on this thing....

Milarepa a very devoted person to the dharma was in solitary retreat for many years.
At one point he was beset by a demoness who refused to leave his cave.

This is what she said...
"Unless your dualisstic thought manifests itself as your enemy
Due to your own inner delusion,
How can this cave demoness become your enemy?
Besides, this demoness of your hidden delusion
Originates from your own mind.
Unless you realize the mind's intrinsic nature
I shall not leave just because you asked me to."

It is stated....All one's mental clinging to the concept of malicious spirits is but the manifestation of one's own mind.

Milarepa of course shortly after that did realize his intrinsic nature and the demoness of course disappeared.

To my personal view we create the circumstance of such's existance by our tendencies
and habitual inclinations. So thusly a approach that affects these things may be a approach that provides a final conclusion to any such problems.
Personally I find these things have not much real power at all. All they have is what we give them. That is how they affect us in this realm. So basically there is not much to worry about except the worrying itself. Many are intrigued by such beings but really they have little inclination for the spiritual and thusly they are quite dull and unintelligent. Though they may have certain powers to affect us they must get their power to do such from ourselves.

When I think of demons, I think of perhaps a crooked investment banker who hurt others in his human life rebirths as a demon through his habitual inclination to harm and profit.....now who would find such a being interesting.....none really.

So basically I would just ignore the investment banker rebirth....he is of no importance and can really harm us in very very small ways..make things go bump in the night for instance. If we take that bump to be a big deal.....it becomes a big deal.

If you want specific ceremony or empowerment or some such dharmic protection, very many are available from a lama, and some are quite popular. Be advised to obtain such often involves continuing to practice such for the duration of ones life(at least in part). So be careful in what you receive and what you are willing to practice or else you may break samaya and cause a problem for yourself.

I practice one myself in part, but mainly I no longer fear those investment bankers but the enlightened beings elicited by such practice they have enterouages who are not enlightened.
They are not enlightened so they may get quite sad if one receives empowerment and does not perform it....so to make them happy(buddhas or other enlightened beings care not of such things) I perform them.

I go to places to sing mantra to spirits and such as they are also quite deluded...fear them....actually I pity them, mostly they are so stupid, they think they will live forever but alas....they will not. So sad are they.

The founder of Chod a group that works with demons advises generally to speak softly to them they are often frightened by loud noises. So perhaps we can be compassionate to them. I give them smoke so they, some of them, can eat it....so sad are they. You must name them however or else they cannot so do.
Don't hang with them though....just by their foul nature you can sometimes develope hives and skin problems.....those poor poor things.

So dreams...laugh at them, like things going bump in the night they cannot harm us. They see no influence...you wait them out and pure sleep or great dreams will ensue.....so don't worry a bit.

I may not even be buddhist, am just a layperson with little experience and littler knowledge.... but I advocate strongly....don't fear the invesment bankers....not a whit. :twothumbsup:

People romanticize them mostly, they are not as we make them seem...inept buffones mainly, and very very sad.

I took now a walk in the forest and remembered this thing so I thought I would add it....
I have very little understandings and many others probably may offer better advice but I have done this thing in my small small way.. working with dreams is a very advanced practice I know nothing about...

but this....If you suspect these are perhaps real things chasing you in your dream..
perhaps try as I did years ago...going to sleep with intention of running away slowly.
When and if they do appear run but slowly...they will catch you.
When caught you will be able to turn and look at them.
Do so.
you will find probably as I find they are not frightening more surpriseing is like it
expect one change in form to scare you
that of course will not work as your intention was to be caught not run away
they will then let go as if they were fire and you were water
treat them with great compassion and do not hunt them or follow them
they are now in great fear.

If you then wake and seem to feel they are around in some form, if it will not bother any other humans.... sing dharma mantra softly with clear voice in the context of you sitting in emptiness if that is possible. If that context is not possible just sing it(any short mantra will do).....it may be the only exposure to dharma they have ever had and it may be all it takes to start them on their spiritual path.The buddha after all in a very past life was a very lowly demon beast, the lowest of the demons before he began his path.

It may be hard to get back to sleep but this is not going to happen to often so it is no big deal. Eventually the excitement will wear off and you will probably doze off. It can be quite invigorating. Thusly some use these circumtances to work with mind, but that is another issue.

So I have done that and advocate for that for a person like me with no means and little understandings. Of course others may have much better suggestions, and you may have much greater capacity. But you asked...so that has been my approach. I would call it a very lowly human approach to the thing of demons in dream... :tongue:

Posessions...a chod practice does that sort of thing.... intentionlly in controlled environment under the direction of a lama..... The body is offered as food in one case(there are differing types of meals) to particularly offensive demons that are inclinded to eat humans. Personally I don't care for that thing....I can't see as it helps them much, it seems to reinforce their negative habitual inclinations but maybe not. Basically I just don't like it much. Helpful to humans certainly.... as it reduces attachemnt to this body and reinforces compassion....so who knows.

In some aspects of chod it seems demons may be essentially directed to funtion at humans command and some such.....that seems not compassionate, and I have nothing they could do for me or to others, nothing I want... so what do I care for that? I always personally approach them as I may help them and want absolutely nothing from them. If I did not, my compassion in their regard would seem tainted. Mostly I think they do not know it and though stinky smelly and rash/sickness producing they are to be around just being demons....compassion is what they need, no strings attached. So dharma song makes most sense to me.

Thought I would add that after walk in forest..
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby Will » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:55 am

Nosta,

Any Buddhist mantra that you have confidence in, will protect you from demons. NAMO AMITABHA BUDDHA is a good one. Also GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA from the Heart Sutra is very effective. Another mantra is from the Shurangama Sutra, but it is very long. So I would suggest the 11 line heart of the long mantra. See it in my post at the end of the Shurangama Dharani thread here at Dharma Wheel.
One should refrain from biased judgments and doubting in fathoming the Buddha and the Dharma of the Buddhas. Even though a dharma may be extremely difficult to believe, one should nonetheless maintain faith in it. Nagarjuna
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:02 pm

1) How does buddhism explain demonic possession, since buddhism says that there is not a soul?


The same way we explain rebirth: a number of mental and physical processes that collectively form a person or any other sentient being for that matter. A hostile non-physical entity likewise lacks any absolute autonomous soul or self.



2) How is performed a ritual for expulse the demon? Who can do that?


As far as I know Buddha never taught such things. However, these therapies do exist and would vary from tradition to tradition, person to person. Your question is far too broad.



3) As a normal person (i mean, a person that is not a master or a monk), what can i do to protect myself from demons or even to make them flew away from my life?


The late Venerable Master Shengyan points out in one of his commentaries some lines from a scripture that enumerate all the benevolent deities that protect someone who has taken refuge in the Triple Gem (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha).

4) Could it be possible that doing nienfo/amitabha recitations protects me from demons?


I personally wouldn't put my money on such a method.


Thank you for reading this and answer.


If you're genuinely interested and/or concerned about such things, you should consult with a senior Tibetan lama as they're generally the few Buddhists in the present day who actively study and work with such things. As far as I've seen, other traditions in our present time don't spend much effort on issues related to hostile spirits and so on.

Keep in mind they probably would be reluctant to discuss such things on internet forums.
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby remm » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:56 am

Will wrote:Nosta,

Any Buddhist mantra that you have confidence in, will protect you from demons. NAMO AMITABHA BUDDHA is a good one. Also GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA from the Heart Sutra is very effective. Another mantra is from the Shurangama Sutra, but it is very long. So I would suggest the 11 line heart of the long mantra. See it in my post at the end of the Shurangama Dharani thread here at Dharma Wheel.


Will mentioned the heart of the shurangama mantra, but there is five lines in the Shurangama Mantra which are specifically for destroying the curses of demons, possession, black magic, mantras from demons and so on.

If you've read the Shurangama Sutra, you'll know that Ananda was possessed by the power of a Brahmin spell which almost made him give in to lust. It was actually due to these five lines of the Shurangama Mantra which broke the spell immediately.

It is called the five great hearts mantra from lines 104-108 in the shurangama mantra:

Chr Two Ni
E Jya La
Mi Li Jyu
Bwo Li Dang La Ye
Ning Jye Li

Recite these five lines continuously and you shall be protected from all harm of black magic, demons, demon spells and so on. When the mantra of externalists come in contact with the five great hearts mantra, it will immediately be dispeled.

Here is a reference, it was spoken by Venerable Master Hua:
http://cttbusa.org/shurangama6/shurangama6_8.asp
So, the Shurangama Mantra was not spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in the flesh, but rather it was proclaimed by the transformation-body Buddha he sent out into empty space. As to the mantra, no one understands it. Nor is it possible to explain it syllable by syllable and line by line. But if you want to understand it, I can try to explain it for you. However, this is not the time for that, because we are in the middle of the explanation of the Shurangama Sutra, and the mantra alone couldn't be completely explained in a year, or even in three years, or even ten years. So, at this point it cannot be explained thoroughly. I will simply explain the general meaning of the mantra.

The mantra has five divisions which correspond to the five directions : north, south, east, west, and the middle. The eastern division is the Vajra division, with Akshobhya Buddha as the teaching host. The southern division is the Production-of-Jewels division, with Production-of-Jewels Buddha as the teaching host. The central division is the Buddha division, with Shakyamuni Buddha as the teaching host. The western division is the Lotus division, with Amitabha Buddha as the teaching host. The northern division is the Karma division, with Accomplishment Buddha as the teaching host. There are five divisions, because there are five huge demonic armies in this world. There are demons to the east, south, west, north, and in the center. Since there are these five demon armies, not just five demons, the Buddhas also cover the five directions to suppress the demons. If there were no Buddhas, the demons could appear openly in the world.

Within the five divisions of the mantra there are, in general, more than thirty dharmas, and it has more than a hundred dharmas that can be discussed in detail. There are five major kinds of dharmas:

1) Dharmas of accomplishment. This means that with this dharma, you will be successful in what you seek or in what you vow or wish for.

2) Dharmas of increasing benefit. This means that when you recite this mantra, you can increase benefits which you yourself seek and you can also increase benefits for other people.

3) Dharmas of hooking and summoning. This means, literally, to "hook in" and catch and to call with a command all the weird beings, demons, and ghosts. No matter how far away they might be from you, you can bring them in and capture them. For instance, suppose one of them is harming someone, and when they finish they run away. If one knows how to use the dharma of hooking and summoning, then no matter how far that being may have run, you can arrest him.

4) Dharmas of subduing. Demons also have spiritual penetrations and mantras which they use. When you recite your mantras, they recite their mantras. But if you can use the Shurangama Mantra, you can smash through all their mantras. I've told you before about the section of the mantra which is for smashing the demon kings. It also is effective in destroying their mantras and spells. Although I've taught you this already, it bears repeating here. Those who have not studied this yet can take note of it. Why was it that as soon as the Shurangama Mantra was recited the former Brahma Heaven mantra lost its effectiveness? It was because of the "Five Great Heart Mantras."

Chr Two Ni
E Jya La
Mi Li Ju
Bwo Li Dan La Ye
Ning Jye Li

These five lines are called the "Five Great Heart Mantras." It is the fundamental mantra for destroying the mantras and spells of the heavenly demons and adherents of externalist ways. It doesn't matter what kind of mantra they come up with; you can destroy it with this one. Their mantras will lose their effectiveness. This dharma I've just transmitted could sell for several million dollars, but I do not sell it. Seeing that you have a certain amount of sincerity, I transmit it to you absolutely free.


I also want to mention that these five lines within the Shurangama Mantra represent the five directions of Buddhas of North, South, East, West, and Middle. When reciting the five great heart dharani you are invoking the power of the Five Buddhas which stop demons from the five directions as well.
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:44 am

This post by Namdrol in his blog might be useful:


Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The Devil Made Me Do it...Demons, Spirits, and Tibetan Medicine

http://www.bhaisajya.net/2010/06/devil- ... s-and.html
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:51 pm

Regarding the specific ceremony described in the article this is useage for particular result. A demon may be thought of as causeing a sickness or to my knowledge a demon could concievably utilized to drive from one another one....so it could vary. I think this discusses the former.

Curiously on about that same date and time of the article I did participate in a navajo(dine) american indian ceremony removing a demon from a individual who was sick and suffering from this as result of this demon being in her body. I was one of the individual with a specific role to play. To describe scope this was a ceremony for one individual but its completion involved the additions of about 100 peoples performing various things, several shamans(6 or so), people relegated to assume demonic roles(very similiar to some tibetan ceremonial aspect) to include complete body paint and dress, the erection of very many structures, extensive periods of chanting(many many hours) offering of food to shamans and other....this all with one individual as purpose to effect. A scope of protection was established and defended by one shaman(who was on a horse), very similiar to Tibetan practice of scope of protection though by differing means.

The demon removed in a specific direction... was towards the end of the ceremony, shot with gun by one shaman. Though I am certain such cannot be shot.... as ML states in retelling of her thoughts.... such seem to be scared away with loud noises.

So there is much similiarity in this thing, though the Navajo ceremony was very much more elaborate and involved for only one person.....it totaled four days for principal completion though a week or so for the entire thing from start to finish....the principles seem very similiar.

So there is much opinion in this thing of similiarity though different in tradition.

Regarding my personal view(and to state I have only a simple laypersons view of very little understanding and no attainment).....I consider if such described as Namdrol writes, they so inhabiting me, causeing a sickness or suk, they would perhaps find if nothing else.... a listening to mantra song, a walk with quiet mind in peaceful forest, a wonder at the senses that present so complex but so tightly woven in light.....they my coinhabitants could only benefit I would assume. So such fever and things I would certainly avert....there would be a good side to that as well. I assume a total demonic posession as the theists descrivbe....such demon would find me very boring and of little use to their purpose and to always be hearing mantra.....that would be bound to hurt(unfortunatly). I dream such biting my hand or arm would not substance be found but cause and effect only so imbibe....and could they then not have result of such ingestion....I would suspect they would....most assuredly would. And find much to their dismay...they to are cause and effect originated and thusly are like those they so inhabit, no difference and suchly derived are subject to the same. So would they not then as consequence have to pursue such spiritual path?? I suspect they would. So there could be good or bad to such a thing.

I sing mantra to them like I do to cows deers elk and such... those I find in wilderness when wilderness I so abide....I suspect they don't like it much but can not do anything about what I do. So I do. I hope it inspires them a bit, just a tiny bit is all that is needed.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby Nosta » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:27 am

Lots of useful information, thanks people!

I know a few people that sometimes have some strange things in their homes, like feeling strange scents or seing forms (of people) or even things falling down (and the way they describe me things look like such people are haunted!). So, the information you gave may be useful, specially the one about Sharungama Sutra.

Also, about reciting Amitaba name, i think it can be useful too: on one way, if the mind is in the pointdness state, then it will be harder to harm it. On the other hand, reciting Amitaba name is like ripening thousands of bad karma. At leats thats what i understood from my readings about nienfo. :-)

Ronnewithmexico: sometimes i recite Amitabha name to animals too :-)
It may sound stupid, but who knows! Maybe can do something for them!
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Re: Demonic Possession in Buddhism

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:07 am

To be perfectly honest I don't care what people think, not a bit.

Singing mantra to animals such as cows has basis in sutra, for novice monks to do. So as with most things it has foundation and is not arbitrary. Singing mantra to spirits....I know of no such specific sutric reference. But since I am not necessarly buddhist I care not a bit of that as well. Discovering sutric reference on animals years and years after I had been doing it.

But I also see no sense whatsoever in chaseing these things away from habitation if they are not causeing harm obstruction or sickness. I go to some of their homes in wilderness and they do not chase me away..seems to lack compassion....but each to his own I guess. Consequently however I fear not ripeing karma in the regard of spirits and such. For such to ripen I must provide circumstance to include aversion to such ripening(generally) for such to consequently occur.

Of course I have no spiiritual quality but rumor I have heard has the teacher buddha spending several hours each night teaching them when he was here. Thusly I suspect he did not chase away, but who knows nowadays perhaps sutra teaches that as well...to chase away. I will not abide such a thing, not careing about buddhism.

Christ did...send them into a pack of pigs, and the pigs went into a lake and drowned, or so they say. A error that is to my view, if it occured.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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