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How do buddhists deal with evil spirits?

How do Buddhists deal with evil spirits?

I have 3 questions.

1. How do you deal with evil spirits?
2.Do buddhists believe in demonic possession?
3. How do you explain evil spirits?

Comments

  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited September 2005
    I don't think it is possible to say "Buddhists believe in evil spirits" or that they don't. It depends on what religious stuff they have piled onto the Dharma.

    Certainly, many Eastern texts speak about spirits and see tham as helpers or hinderers. We, in the West, may prefer to take them as metaphors for our own psychological states.
  • edited September 2005
    NirvanaNoob,

    "All is mind"

    :)
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited September 2005
    NirvanaNoob,

    Some believe that there are devas, pretas, and other beings who can interact with our lives. Some chant the Paritta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/bps/misc/protection.html

    Whether this is true I cannot say, just what I have heard. Forest monks often chant this when they are alone in the forests for many, many days, weeks, months, or even years.

    For an explanation please see this: The Thirty-one Planes of Existence http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html

    Whether these are literal realms of existence or just conditions of mind I cannot say because I have no personal experience with them. Just take them as teachings that are possible and then put them aside until you have need of them.

    Jason
  • edited September 2005
    NirvanaNoob said:
    How do Buddhists deal with evil spirits?

    I have 3 questions.

    1. How do you deal with evil spirits?
    2.Do buddhists believe in demonic possession?
    3. How do you explain evil spirits?
    I've seen some pretty creep stuff, but I'm not sure if they are really spirits in the sense that they are conscious entities. I'm more inclined to believe that they are cases of the mind playing tricks or other natural phenomenon - or a combination of both. Nevertheless, I still get the heeby geebees at night when it's dark.
  • edited September 2005
    *BeautifulSpringtimeFist* said:
    NirvanaNoob,

    "All is mind"

    :)
    Excellent point, BSF.

    I don't believe in Evil Spirits - not to say that they don't exist - I just don't believe in them.

    If they exist in your mind - then they become "real" to you.

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    DharmaKitten said:
    I've seen some pretty creep stuff, but I'm not sure if they are really spirits in the sense that they are conscious entities. I'm more inclined to believe that they are cases of the mind playing tricks or other natural phenomenon - or a combination of both. Nevertheless, I still get the heeby geebees at night when it's dark.
    My son used to be afraid of the dark. Not to say that he still isn't, but we work on it.

    I've done things in the past like just turn off the lights if we're at work or at home. Just to get him to realize that the only thing dangerous in the dark - is a stubbed toe.

    Even in the most creepiest situations - I've never known of anything in the dark that wasn't there in the light.

    BeautifulSpringtimeFist made a great post.

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    i used to see and feel some screwed up things when i was a kid, that led me to believe the devil was trying to possess me. So i turned to God.
    Nothing changed for ages until i decided God wasn't working so i better help myself - be a lamp unto yourself (that's when i think i started the buddhist path, though i didn't know it)
    Things got better now i was dealing with things from the inside instead of relying on outside forces.
    Thought i had single-handedly defeated the devil until a few years back i found out i had a sleeping disorder - sleep paralysis (or Old Hags) that makes you hallucinate while you're paralysed.
    Turns out my demons were in my head, and that's where i defeated them. But isn't that the same for everyone?
  • edited September 2005
    Hello TwoBitBob,

    I have a question? How did you know they were evil spirits when you were a kid if you hadn't already turned to God? What led you to believe they were evil? What gave you your sense of "this is good" and "this is evil"?

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    There's a few things to address here.

    One of the hallucinations i saw was of a horned shadow. i was 5 but i knew the devil had horns. Before that i was like most kids (in London anyway), i'd heard of God and Heaven and stuff but it really had nothing to do with me. Thinking i had seen the devil i turned to God.

    The paralysis and pain that is associated with sleep paralysis would scare anyone, and you quickly label it bad and so seek for the good. The pain was very specific for me - felt like someone trying to dig into my back. i thought it was the devil trying to take my body.

    And apparently sleep paralysis also stimulates your limbic system, which is that part of the brain that deals with fear and such primal emotions.

    All this and a kid with a vivid imagination equalls hell.

    There's no rational reason really, i was just a kid. Some scientists reckon sleep paralysis is what all these Americans are getting when they say they're abducted by aliens.
  • edited September 2005
    Well, when I was five - I used to get scared by seeing the devil all the time.

    You see, I had two older brothers that were practical jokers that loved scaring the crap out of the youngest - me.

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    Yeah, i'm the youngest of 3 brothers too. Luckily the middle one scribbled all over the eldest's Mr. Men books which led to a decade of them two scrapping and me just watching from a safe distance.
  • edited September 2005
    I know about asuras; they exist according to Buddhist scriptures... Demonic possession is not seen anywhere, just as possession by a "god"... But I, from my Eastern point of view, saw it happen loads of times. As much as I try denying it, I can't. So my best bet might be the Muslim version of Jinns whispering into their minds, or maybe indeed, the gods did possess them but thenthe Buddha said, well, these gods aren't a big deal, so bah, humbug.

    As to how we deal with demonic possession, usually most follow their folklore traditions. Personally I think you just don't do anything special. Just do it rationally, like talking to a guy holding you hostage or something... That should do it.
  • edited September 2005
    I tend to deal with evil spirits by ignoring them since they don't really exist.
  • edited September 2005
    If you were living in the East you'd see Taoist and Hindu possessions all day. I can't explain them, and it's damn unrespectful to call them cheats, so well..
  • edited September 2005
    I give them the Bart Simpson "Hand Of Death" move.

    I find it works for me.

    waaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAA HI YA!

    -bf
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited September 2005
    Ain't it interesting that Christians get Christian devils, Hindus get Hindu ones, etc, etc.?
  • edited September 2005
    Good point, Simon.

    Why don't they ever switch sides - just for something new?

    -bf
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited September 2005
    :ukflag: :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" /> :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" />
  • edited September 2005
    Good one... Yeah, sometimes I wonder why. See, my belief in evil asuras is there because I have seen them in the East, and the Buddha himself did say they existed. However one thing I can't get over is this fact. Maybe it has to do with your race and religion. And white supremacy. No Christian ghost that died centuries back would want to possess an African, isn't it?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited September 2005
    why not? many people who have talked of past lives (let us leave aside the probability/possibility and whether one believes in this or not, for a moment) have said that they found themselves in a foreign country, in a 'foreign body'..... why do you say what you said? :)

    Not being argumentative or confrontational - just curious....;)
  • edited September 2005
    I wish you guys were in the East, then maybe you guys could answer my doubts more nicely. Demon existence is hard-wired into Buddhism here.

    But damn it, do I really care? If it possesses me or who else one day, it will just be vey much like you facing a madman holding you hostage, speaking some language you can't understand. Anyay, there's a myth saying that Buddhists who practise alot find their minds very "protected" from outer elements, be it mind-reading, telepathy, possession or any form of mind or spiritual alteration. How true is it? Has it ever been verified by anyone?
  • edited September 2005
    No idea... I was making a wild wild guess. Did the Buddha teach anything on this issue, other than the asuras' existence and stuff?
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited September 2005
    ajani_mgo said:
    No idea... I was making a wild wild guess. Did the Buddha teach anything on this issue, other than the asuras' existence and stuff?
    "When I find myself in times of trouble...."
    I just shrug it all off and go back to the Kalama Sutra and the 8Fold Path. All questions which are not answerable or are useless in their debate, I leave to one side. it is irrelevant and time-wasting. Go do your homework instead..... :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" /> ;)
  • edited September 2005
    I remember going to my friends house, and I think I've talked about this before. But he is or claims to be a satanist. Well, I will not judge someone, so I continue to hang out with him even though I get a little creeped out at times. I'm telling ya...his house is....weird. I'm thinking its all in my head...which in fact could be. But, I always feel unwelcomed, not by him...but by the house. I know that sounds silly, but I always feel weird when I'm there. Like a weight on my shoulders. Its really strange. Like I said it might be all in my mind...but the mind can play some creepy tricks on you. :)
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran
    edited September 2005
    I do not doubt the existence of Power(s) - all I doubt is the personalisation and ascription of 'good' and 'evil' to them.
  • edited September 2005
    In my Opinion, There are energies all around us, they are neither good or evil. It's just that some are stronger than others. That is why we get the different feelings we have. A weaker energy may just tickle, but the stronger demands attention. It is how we veiw these energies that make them good or evil.
  • edited September 2005
    ajani_mgo said:
    Good one... Yeah, sometimes I wonder why. See, my belief in evil asuras is there because I have seen them in the East, and the Buddha himself did say they existed. However one thing I can't get over is this fact. Maybe it has to do with your race and religion. And white supremacy. No Christian ghost that died centuries back would want to possess an African, isn't it?
    I don't know how to answer your question... I can only make a couple of comments...

    1) You have seen something in the East. I just wonder what it is that you've seen. If there is no Christ, why do Christians continue to "speak in tongues"? What happens inside of them and their mind that causes them to do this? Is it possession? Or just a human working themselves into some sort of a religious tizzy?

    2) I don't know what Buddha said or did not say concerning demons. Remember, the main religion at that time was Hinduism.

    3) I'm sure it has to do with race and religion. When people that have been brought up Christian - they think of Satan. There are many demons in various African cultures - I'm sure that people in those cultures associate with those demons.

    4) White supremacy? I don't believe that something like that exists.

    I kind of got lost towards the end of your post, my friend.

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    Sorry for that confusion... I seen alot of Taoist, Hindu and Chinese Buddhism possessions take place. Either for deities, bodhisattvas [Yes, Chinese Buddhism has a very weird structure] or demi-gods...
  • edited September 2005
    ajani_mgo said:
    Sorry for that confusion... I seen alot of Taoist, Hindu and Chinese Buddhism possessions take place. Either for deities, bodhisattvas [Yes, Chinese Buddhism has a very weird structure] or demi-gods...
    No big deal, Ajani.

    I was just thinking...

    Possession is a big deal in many, many religious thoughts and beliefs.

    We forgot to mention mediums that "try" to have some sort of possession take place for their customers. Maybe customers is a bad word - but you know what I mean... the other people in the seance that want to hear from "the other side".
    There is also Voodoo(ism?) in which followers look forward to spirit possession. Voodoo has always fascinated me. So many elements of (depending on where you live) African, Native American, Catholicism, etc. Interesting stuff. Completely alien to me - but some people swear by it!

    -bf
  • edited September 2005
    buddhafoot said:

    1) You have seen something in the East. I just wonder what it is that you've seen. If there is no Christ, why do Christians continue to "speak in tongues"? What happens inside of them and their mind that causes them to do this? Is it possession? Or just a human working themselves into some sort of a religious tizzy?
    I'm going with the "religious tizzy" theory. I actually went to a Pentacostal church for a while before becoming totally disillusioned with Christianity.
  • edited October 2005
    Well perhaps it has to do with what many people call the "God mentality"...

    You believe, it exists. You don't, it doesn't. I think psychologists might be fascinated by this stuff.
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