Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

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tobes
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by tobes »

Könchok Thrinley wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:06 pm I'd say that there seem to be basically two ways how practitioners address the topic of demons and spirits.

One I find among kagyus is a bit yogic, really mostly about our minds, etc.
Do not think much about demons, spirits and the like. In reality, there are no gods and demons. A god is compassion and a demon is self-grasping. From self-grasping, the negative emotions arise, and they are the cause of all suffering, for others and yourself. This is the actual demon, there is no other demon apart from that. If you want to eliminate that demon, you have to cultivate love and compassion.
-H.E. Garchen Rinpoche
excerpt from Gar Quote No. 57
This would explain why my kagyu teachers most often just give us the transmissions of the main practices with not many secondary practices.

And the second I mostly found among my nyingma teachers where they also give advice and practice on how to deal with spirits, bad places, days, signs etc. That is a bit of the ngakpa way.

But these are really my very limited observations. I have been lately wondering how true this generalization is.
---
Concerning the topic... I'd say rely on dharma and your own common sense. If it is a real outside force then how would you deal with it? I myself would ideally first go for lojong as that is the root of the problem and also for supporting prayers, such as a refuge prayer really. Taking refuge itself drives away evil beings. It says so in Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher. And if that does not help then killing them with kindness (mettá) :lol: or seeing a lama (especially ngakpa lama) for that issue. They could give you some lungs, advice and maybe even do/suggest rituals.
This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Passing By »

squizzlebizzle wrote: Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:51 am
Ayu wrote: Thu Apr 15, 2021 3:46 pm
Note about the link to Taramandala: "Feeding your demons" is a western adaption of Chöd (somehow).
The method acknowledges that those demons are not a foreign outward force but rather or at least most of the time inner psychological tendencies. The method is to talk to them, understand them, feed them - which brings them to vanish.
It's a valid method in order to understand and solve own problems.

I confess that I've never connected much with the aspect of Buddhism which frames demons as merely emotions.

If someone is being bitten by a dangerous wild animal, or a rabid dog, no one is tempted to tell them that the dog is merely their own emotions. Or, if they are being beaten by a gang of criminals, to tell them that the criminals are their own emotions. But when it's a demon, we do this. Sometimes we need to be able to talk about beings as though they are beings and not as metaphors for emotion.

Actual Chod OTOH.....Dharmakaya embraces everything including demons and yourself. Chod and Kilaya are the traditional ghostbuster practices after all.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Crazywisdom »

tobes wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:27 am
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:06 pm I'd say that there seem to be basically two ways how practitioners address the topic of demons and spirits.

One I find among kagyus is a bit yogic, really mostly about our minds, etc.
Do not think much about demons, spirits and the like. In reality, there are no gods and demons. A god is compassion and a demon is self-grasping. From self-grasping, the negative emotions arise, and they are the cause of all suffering, for others and yourself. This is the actual demon, there is no other demon apart from that. If you want to eliminate that demon, you have to cultivate love and compassion.
-H.E. Garchen Rinpoche
excerpt from Gar Quote No. 57
This would explain why my kagyu teachers most often just give us the transmissions of the main practices with not many secondary practices.

And the second I mostly found among my nyingma teachers where they also give advice and practice on how to deal with spirits, bad places, days, signs etc. That is a bit of the ngakpa way.

But these are really my very limited observations. I have been lately wondering how true this generalization is.
---
Concerning the topic... I'd say rely on dharma and your own common sense. If it is a real outside force then how would you deal with it? I myself would ideally first go for lojong as that is the root of the problem and also for supporting prayers, such as a refuge prayer really. Taking refuge itself drives away evil beings. It says so in Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher. And if that does not help then killing them with kindness (mettá) :lol: or seeing a lama (especially ngakpa lama) for that issue. They could give you some lungs, advice and maybe even do/suggest rituals.
This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by tobes »

Crazywisdom wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:27 pm
tobes wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:27 am
Könchok Thrinley wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:06 pm I'd say that there seem to be basically two ways how practitioners address the topic of demons and spirits.

One I find among kagyus is a bit yogic, really mostly about our minds, etc.


This would explain why my kagyu teachers most often just give us the transmissions of the main practices with not many secondary practices.

And the second I mostly found among my nyingma teachers where they also give advice and practice on how to deal with spirits, bad places, days, signs etc. That is a bit of the ngakpa way.

But these are really my very limited observations. I have been lately wondering how true this generalization is.
---
Concerning the topic... I'd say rely on dharma and your own common sense. If it is a real outside force then how would you deal with it? I myself would ideally first go for lojong as that is the root of the problem and also for supporting prayers, such as a refuge prayer really. Taking refuge itself drives away evil beings. It says so in Patrul Rinpoche's Words of My Perfect Teacher. And if that does not help then killing them with kindness (mettá) :lol: or seeing a lama (especially ngakpa lama) for that issue. They could give you some lungs, advice and maybe even do/suggest rituals.
This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:27 pm
tobes wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:27 am

This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
Cast them out with love, affection and a Dharma connection. :tongue:
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Crazywisdom »

tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:27 pm
tobes wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:27 am

This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
It doesn't require a Buddha to practice a Vajrayana Sadhana.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by tobes »

Crazywisdom wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:40 pm
tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:27 pm
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
It doesn't require a Buddha to practice a Vajrayana Sadhana.
Indeed, so one probably shouldn't claim to be doing Buddha activities.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Budai »

tobes wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:57 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:40 pm
tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
It doesn't require a Buddha to practice a Vajrayana Sadhana.
Indeed, so one probably shouldn't claim to be doing Buddha activities.
I have a question. Before full Enlightenment, is one capable of Buddha activities, considering they have a fully accessible Buddha-Nature within them? Can they access that to help them with their Buddhist Path, even if they are considered “not Buddhas” yet by the rigorous view? For example Garchen Rinpoche has a philosophy that we are actually all Buddhas, but have come under the illusion that we are separate, when we are really of one mind. I’m wondering just how much, if so, Buddha activities are possible before a full Enlightenment. It’s important to have faith in oneself to overcome demonic influences. Om. And I think this is an important question.

Om Mani Padme Hum.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Buddha Activities do not require the presence of an incarnate human, although that helps greatly.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Budai »

Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 7:47 am Buddha Activities do not require the presence of an incarnate human, although that helps greatly.
What do you mean? Do you mean the precious human form? That does make sense. Although I have read that the Buddha Himself is not in a human form.
Remember me, brahmin, as a Buddha.

I could have been reborn as a god,
or as a fairy flying through the sky.
I could have become a native spirit,
or returned as a human.
But the defilements that could bring about these rebirths
I’ve ended, smashed, and gutted.

Like a graceful lotus,
to which water does not cling,
the world doesn’t cling to me,
and so, brahmin, I am a Buddha.”
https://suttacentral.net/an4.36/en/sujato

So we all have Buddha-Nature, but the body of a Buddha is not a human body, it is something Transcendental, even the Buddha-Nature within us is such according to this line of thought, though until Enlightenment we still possess a human body containing that Nature.
Last edited by Budai on Thu May 06, 2021 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Giovanni »

The body is not a container. The body (rupa, form) arises dependently with the other skandhas.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Crazywisdom »

tobes wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:57 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:40 pm
tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
It doesn't require a Buddha to practice a Vajrayana Sadhana.
Indeed, so one probably shouldn't claim to be doing Buddha activities.
That's what Vajrayana Sadhanas of activities are for, dude. It's a samaya. You are aware of Sadhanas that end with a ganapuja then you do some, pacification, enrichment..., Etc.? That's for a practitioner to do not a Buddha. Although, if done right one isn't into a dualistic mindset of Buddha there and me here.
Last edited by Crazywisdom on Thu May 06, 2021 8:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

My current understanding is that Guru Rinpoche & Tara are not capable of unilateral action, but they are capable of interaction.

I think. YMMV.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Giovanni »

Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 11:21 am My current understanding is that Guru Rinpoche & Tara are not capable of unilateral action, but they are capable of interaction.

I think. YMMV.
It’s an interesting point. I don’t know the answer..Malcolm may be able to shed light. My instinct would be that you are correct they can’t or don’t act unilaterally.
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Giovanni wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 11:36 am
Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 11:21 am My current understanding is that Guru Rinpoche & Tara are not capable of unilateral action, but they are capable of interaction.

I think. YMMV.
It’s an interesting point. I don’t know the answer..Malcolm may be able to shed light. My instinct would be that you are correct they can’t or don’t act unilaterally.
I used Guru Rinpoche and Tara to represent a historical figure and a tantric deity on purpose. It puts the question into an anthropomorphic context. However then there is the question fo Buddha Activity which is simply automatic, where there is absolutely no entity, no intention, direction, discernment, or thought processes at all. Just as sunlight has no intention of illuminating the room when you open the curtains, Buddha Activity simply happens when circumstances allow. The last chapter of the Uttaratantra is all about this.

Malcolm isn't a fan of this view for his own reasons.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Giovanni »

Surely Buddha Activity cannot be unilateral? It arises from shunyata. Unilateral activity arises from individual will..no?
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Malcolm »

Schrödinger’s Yidam wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:54 pm
Malcolm isn't a fan of this view for his own reasons.
Can you please stop putting words in my mouth and misrepresenting what I think? Thanks.
"Conceptuality is great ignorance,
causing one to fall into the ocean of samsāra."
—Māyājālamahātantra
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Könchok Chödrak wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 5:29 am
tobes wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:57 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:40 pm
It doesn't require a Buddha to practice a Vajrayana Sadhana.
Indeed, so one probably shouldn't claim to be doing Buddha activities.
I have a question. Before full Enlightenment, is one capable of Buddha activities, considering they have a fully accessible Buddha-Nature within them? Can they access that to help them with their Buddhist Path, even if they are considered “not Buddhas” yet by the rigorous view? For example Garchen Rinpoche has a philosophy that we are actually all Buddhas, but have come under the illusion that we are separate, when we are really of one mind. I’m wondering just how much, if so, Buddha activities are possible before a full Enlightenment. It’s important to have faith in oneself to overcome demonic influences. Om. And I think this is an important question.

Om Mani Padme Hum.
Usually we call on the buddhas, bodhisattvas and dharma protectors through practice. I don't think the Buddha activity comes directly from our buddha nature... but maybe someone else would know more about this.

Our Buddha-Nature is not fully accessible, actually. It is only partially accessible because it is covered with so many obscurations. The tantric view is that we are already buddhas, but our buddha nature is covered over by these temporary stains. So it doesn't fully shine through for ordinary people, only a little bit and only on occasion.

I think it's definitely important to have faith in one's buddha nature, always. (Not faith in "me," but faith in the buddha nature.)
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Giovanni wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 2:02 pm Surely Buddha Activity cannot be unilateral? It arises from shunyata. Unilateral activity arises from individual will..no?
Just as the sun has not intention or willfulness to shine, there's no will, deliberation, assessment, or whatever in Buddha Activity from this perspective. It just happens "When the Clouds Part" (which is the title of a book by Brunnhölzl).
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
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Re: Resources on dealing with demons / evil spirits?

Post by SilenceMonkey »

tobes wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 12:44 am
Crazywisdom wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 2:27 pm
tobes wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 1:27 am

This is good advice. If your mind is not Dharmic, afflictions will multiply like insects in the summer. And yes, these afflictions will co-emerge with a whole bunch of external conditions. But if you take care of the inner properly, both the afflictions and the external conditions will naturally cease. That is why taking refuge wholeheartedly is perfectly sufficient. I have also noted that HHDL no longer performs the repelling aspects of particular empowerments, because he thinks it is in contradiction with bodhicitta.

Having said all of this, it is true that sometimes the inner obscurations are heavy enough to require a wrathful practice. But even with something like Vajrakilaya, it is pretty clear where the demons are really being cleared from. If you're chasing external enemies away, you're very far astray.
In terms of wrathul deities and wrathful activities, the ritual is to liberate the both practitioner and subject of the effigy, so to speak. So it is compassionate. All Buddha activities are compassionate. The kagyu approach is also correct and to the point. I see all these approaches as having the same point... Attachment is the demon.
Yes, but I think HHDL's point is that it is very easy for such rituals to become non-compassionate. i.e. to be done with a more asura mentality, which is very easy for humans to slip into. Buddha activities are great, but not many people are buddhas.

The specific point of contradiction is with the statement in one form of the bodhisattva vows which says "I shall invite sentient beings to be my guests."
I think Tobes is right. HH Dalai Lama would mention this in his teachings every now and then, that he used to practice in very wrathful subjugating ways, but over time he found this to be uncompassionate. Nowadays, he doesn't throw tormas anymore at harmful spirits. It was once explained by HE Serkong Rinpoche that vajrayana practices can be very dangerous if one doesn't practice with bodhicitta. Even one angry thought can cause huge destruction. So this is why HH Dalai Lama will say things like this, so we don't engage in vajrayana practices without bodhicitta. We need to love even those so-called demons who wish to harm us.

Easier said than done! But this seems to be one of the reasons we need bodhicitta as a requisite for tantric practice.
Last edited by SilenceMonkey on Thu May 06, 2021 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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