August 4, 2020
Vaisnava Blog
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Miscellaneous Modern Day Stories Srila Prabhupada


What a joke of a term. Obviously devised by peoples who have no idea of what they are dealing with.
First it might be useful for us to present the fact that what we are talking of here is/are not some fantasy, or invented story to excite or thrill one. Far from it. As one renown Ghost buster once told me, “Actually we are all ghosts, …spirits” the only difference being that we have a gross body made of mucus, bile and air, and disembodied spirits have only subtle-ethereal a body made of mind, intelligence and false-ego.

Atheists accept only what they can register with their senses or the instruments created by their blunt materialistic senses. What they cannot see they do not accept.

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on a Morning walk in Bombay, India, April 12th 1974 had the following conversation with one Indian man.

Srila Prabhupada. “……..And you have not seen so many things. Does it mean that does not exist? You are researching.
You have not seen. As a scientist……….”
Indian man. “I have heard lots of ghost stories, but…….”
Srila Prabhupada. “No, No it is not stories. We are hearing from Bhagavata, it is authority. We are not hearing the stories of third class man. We are hearing form Vyasadeva. Vyasadeva…………”
Indian man. ” But you see, up till now, in my long life of eighty years………”
Srila Prabhupada, “No, No you have not so many experiences. That does not mean these things do not exist. Your experience is not all in all. Don’t think like that. So these are existing actually. That is the defect, that you do not accept the authorities. That is the defect. Here Vyasadeva is describing, who is called Vyasadeva, full of all knowledge, and the Bhagavata is a mature experience. We are hearing from him. Why do you not believe? I may not have experience. This ghost means the living entity is subtle life without any material body. That is ghost. When one is very sinful, he does not get the material body. He lives in the subtle body: mind, intelligence and ego. That is ghostly life. And they display. Because they have no body, one cannot see, but they display so many mischief’s. That is ghostly life. Seeing or not seeing doesn’t matter. Therefore it is enjoined in the Vedanta Sutra, shastra caksusa (see through the bona fide scriptures).”
Indian man. “But it should be proved.”
Srila Prabhupada. “It is true because it is spoken by Vyasadeva. How you say it is false? You cannot say that. That is blasphemy.”
Indian man. “In olden days there used to be the ghosts and all these things, but now that is gradually…………”
Srila Prabhupada. “But gradually……….! That does not mean you have improved very much. Because you do not believe in ghost……………………!”

“Looking out the car windows as we drove to Central Park, Prabhupada observed the effects of modern schooling. “This is not education, everything is killing. Therefore we are supposed to deal with all madmen. They are thinking that they are constructing such big, big buildings, they are the most exalted persons; but we take them as mad, ghostly haunted. A person ghostly haunted, as he does, acts, similarly, anyone who is under the clutches of maya, he acts like this.”

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad: July 13th, 1976. From the “A Transcendental Diary Vol 3” by HG Hari Sauri dasa)

We have seen that such mysteries are explained in the Vedic literatures if one takes time to research. For example, there are many mentions of ghosts in the scriptures, i.e., in the Srimad Bhagavatam in connection with Daksha, as followers of Lord Shiva…………. etc., in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta in connection with Chotta Hari das. The Bhagavad Gita states that those who worship ghosts go to them, Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta mentions in connection with Srila Prabhupada staying at John Lennon’s house and the ghost that was removed by Srila Prabhupad. Sripad Ramanujacarya’s former wife at one time was possessed by one, until Ramanuja relieved her of that burden. Sripad Madhwacarya parents and party were attacked by a Brahma Raksasa ghost as they carried the small baby boy Vasudev (Madhwacarya) returning from the Anantasana Temple a week after Madhwas’ birth. The follower of Sripad Madhwacarya, Sripad Vadiraj Tirtha Swami had, as his servant, shishya, one very powerful ghost named Bhutaraj, who used to help him to defeat mayavadis, and other heretics who tried to attack him. In the life of Sri Raghavendra Tirtha Swami it mentions how his former wife became a ghost after terminating her own body out of separation, when he took sannyasam. He then liberated her from that situation with the water from his kumandalu, so do not worry for her. Sri Vayu Purana briefly mentions ghosts, as do other Puranas, but Garuda Purana dedicates four chapters to them, what is their cause, their description, problems arising from them, and their release. So I would like to say without fear of contradiction, that according to shastra, and in my humble opinion there is such a designation, as ghost (which is to be avoided by all sane persons) – and it is completely normal.

So what is it that causes one to inhabit such a ghostly form, instead of a gross body like ours. The answer is untimely death. Untimely death means that it was either premature; such as an accident, disease, suicide, etc. (There is a list written in Garuda Purana Part 2. chapter 20.) Something that interfered with the normal expanse of a person’s life.

One may rightly argue that surely that interruptions would have been because of that soul’s karma, so in one sense it is not untimely, it is their just deserves. That too is true, but at the same time, when a suffering conditioned soul is unprepared for this kind of death, such lack of knowledge about what is going on is very untimely.

Its a funny thing, from our consciousness we attract a particular mode of nature, not the other way around. The jiva like air is neutral to “flavours or aromas” but when certain ideas, thoughts, and later actions are allowed then the associated modes come with them. Then the jiva get covered.

By associating or allowing the hag to influence our mind and intelligence, by attractive ideas, lusty desires, fears, phobias and so on they drain us of vital strength. Fact is they haunt us in many ways, lingering on in the subtle mind their ideas that they teased of the lusty desires we are still trying to fulfil, or the fears that we have such as the shooting incident. If we know some history of the individual involved we can find what is the root cause of such events, be they parabda karmas from deeds done previously, curses by envious people, or some form of “illness” or a weakened body or subtle body due to drugs and alcohol etc, or some astrological affliction due to Rahu etc. All these and more are listed in Garuda Purana for reasons why someone becomes a disembodied being through “untimely death”.

So as such, an untimely death causes for the individual who is attached to their body, family, situation around them great lamentation due to attachments. Their vehicle for social interaction is now gone (their body), their cause of frustration may seem to have dispelled, BUT now what? They’re suddenly in a strange and unfamiliar situation, surrounded by other more established ghosts/spirits who have some idea, maybe not about self-realisation, but about what is needed to get them out of their present bondage (receiving Vishnu prasadam – Narayana Bali etc). Of course, there are others who are so absorbed in their sufferings and plight that they are traumatised in the past. As mentioned in Garuda Purana they quite often turn their attention to those who were formerly the cause of their attachment, now it is negative attachment, often shown through negative emotions such as anger, fear, frustration, etc. One may notice arguments in the family (especially at mealtimes), diseases, items going missing, a draining of strength, and a general unrest. All mentioned in these chapters from Garuda Purana: (The reasons that one becomes a Ghost, and how ghosts interact with their relatives:)


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