Possessed by Ghosts or Vata Disturbance?

Question: Can someone be possessed by ghosts without the hysteria, wild, scary symptoms, without even knowing this?

Answer: Very interesting question. Yes, the ghost can be a quiet one, not a Poltergeist.

Question: But can someone be possessed by Krishna and sometimes by ghosts?

Answer: No. That is not possible. Ghosts cannot dare to come and possess someone devoted to Krishna. Furthermore, Krishna does not possess a person like a ghost. So do not be fooled if someone is behaving like this.

Question: Krishna comes in dreams, but that can’t be ghosts dressing up as Krishna. In Lalita Madhava, even Visvakarma couldn’t make Krishna Radha in Nava Vrndavana.

Answer: That is more likely just a nice dream and not actually Krishna appearing in dream. There is no need for a ghost to dress as Krishna.

Question: Is this all just the subtle body’s conditioning and not an external ghost, making someone act, think etc. deviant from Krishna consciousness?

Answer: I would tend to agree with you on that. There are a lot of misconceptions about ghosts or some divine being appearing to someone, or somebody going into ecstasy. Mostly such things happen to weak-minded people whose vata is disturbed. They need some medical help, like pancakarma treatment in Ayurveda. But because in our country there have been many great saints who were situated in higher states of mind, and such stories are well-known in India, so most of the time those who need some medical help are mistaken for saints by ignorant people. By “ignorant” I do not mean “uneducated.” Even materially educated people can be mistaken because they are ignorant in spiritual matters. In the West, such people would be sent to mental hospitals. Of course the West would go to another extreme. If there were some genuine saintly person, they would refer him/her also to the mental hospital.

In essence, when you hear someone being possessed by a ghost or someone having dreams of Krishna, there are good chances that the person has a vata disturbance of the mind.

Question: The person I am thinking of has a fatty body; kapha. Thus there should be no vata irregularities.

Answer: Just because somebody has a fatty body, it does not mean he/she cannot have vata disturbance. Anybody with any type of constitution can have any of the three doshas disturbed.

In present society vata disturbance is very probable because of the food and life-style people have. Now we travel in fast cars, trains, planes, sleep late at night, eat processed food or stale or dry food. Also, there is not much love in relations. People watch too much TV or videos, are irregular in eating and sleeping habits, and drink too much tea, coffee or alcohol. All these can be the cause of vata disturbance.

Question: If someone has paranoia and or hears voices, are these ghosts?

Answer: Not necessarily. I wrote earlier that most of the time such problems could be only because of vata disturbance.

Question: Such a person should chant the Hare Krishna mantra.

Answer: Chanting is beneficial for all. But a vata disturbed person will have difficulty even in chanting. So chanting alone will not help.

Question:  Then only at suddha-nama chanting, will the entities will be driven away? Such a person must, as everyone, patiently do the sadhana, right?

Answer: Sadhana will help if one can do it properly under the guidance of an expert. Fact is that most people do sadhana without actually knowing the proper method. There are always two ways of doing something – proper and improper. The results are also two, correspondingly. Most people think that sadhana is always proper. But even a simple thing like chanting can be done properly and improperly. Most people do not know how to chant properly. They have not learned it from anybody. They just do it as others do, which may not be the right way to do.

Question: Meanwhile, should such a perspn take the Western medicines?

Answer: If it is helpful and does not have unhealthy side-effects.

Question: Is Pancakarma an infallible solution?

Answer: No. Nothing is infallible.

Question: Govinda bhashya 3.2.1-5 states that Krishna creates that dream, its contents. So He creates images of Himself- if He is there or if it is about Him. Can a ghost act and look in appearance/form as if Krishna. And what if the murti or picture winks, blinks or drops a flower or something moves? Or shows ‘appearances’ (do activities, shows forms), even before one’s eyes, but others don’t see? Or is that also vata induced; mental; only within one’s own mind?

Answer: OK, now be a little more personal, please. Who is having all these dreams? It is like you are trying to get a prescription and know the cause of a disease for a patient without revealing who the patient is. A doctor also needs to check the patient and ask questions to diagnose him or her.

So if you want my analysis, I need to speak with the person. These type of questions that you ask do not have a fixed or ready-made answer. Also do not take the Govinda-bhashya literally. Krishna has got better things to do than create your dreams. He does not involve Himself in any material affairs. Even Paramatma stays aloof. It is all done by prakriti empowered by Him (Gita 3.27). Things are also said in a specific context. Govinda bhashya is refuting Advaitavada. When Krishna says that from Him comes memory, knowledge and forgetfulness (Gita 15.15), do not think He is sitting inside you, managing your memory files.