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Ghosts Exist: Keshavanandji Says

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 18:46:54 +0530 To: From: Subject: Ghosts Exist: Keshavanandji Says Baba Intro to PS: This following song is unique in its own special way. Here Baba, in an indirect manner, is talking to the devotee and consoling him about his situation. "Jale bhara' a'nkhi yadio toma'r..." (P.S. 1445) Purport: O' my dear, I can see that Your eyes are filled with tears. Please tell me why you are so sad-- such that You could not even manage to attend to your basic duties. Which divine Entity came and stole Your heart. He left, took away Your heart, and He did not return. Who is that who did that to you. Even then please don't cry, that very divine Entity will come again. No doubt He left you alone and He went off to some far distant place. And He does not come close these days. But that type of strength He does not have that He can keep Himself away forever. Yes, He keeps Himself distant from You; but your love He has not forgotten nor can He ever forget. He will surely come again. O' my dear, please tell me why you are so sad. Who has stolen Your heart; in whose longing are you crying. That Ajana Pathik, that divine Entity loves You very much, you should know...
Namaskar, In His recently published book, "My Mysterious Baba", (2010, Hindi) Dada Keshavanandaji shares many unique and devotional stories; efforts should be made to get this book translated into various languages for sadhakas around the globe. Unfortunately, there are some critical errors in the book. For instance in one story (pp. 11-12), Keshavananda puts forth the idea that Baba actually told that ghosts exist. Dadaji's account leads in that direction, when in fact throughout His philosophical teachings, Baba has clearly denounced the phenomenon of ghosts. Such an erroneous claim has numerous ramifications. Here then we should set the record straight, lest anyone get confused or get the wrong idea.
In the preface to His book, "Strange Experiences", Baba clearly tells that He does not believe in ghosts and refutes their existence entirely. Baba says, "Let me state at the very outset that I am not a believer in ghosts and spirits, demons and devils, or heaven and hell, because I have found no logic behind their existence. I know that whether ghosts and spirits or demons and devils, everything which bears the imprint of the supernatural is only the play of the mind. The appearance and disappearance of such things takes place in the various kos’as [layers] of the mind due to variations or possible variations in physical or mental circumstances." (Strange Experiences, 'Preface') In His above teaching, Baba further explains that the entire "ghost" phenomenon occurs within one's own psyche. As Baba says, it is just a "play of [one's own] mind". Then in the Q & A discourse, "Some Questions and Answers on Ananda Marga Philosophy – Section B", Baba directly asks and answers this question about ghosts. "Q. 56 Do ghosts really exist?" "Ans.: – Those strange figures which we call ghosts are mainly figments of the imagination. When the mind is in a weak or vulnerable state, what was previously created in the imagination now appears to be real." (TK-3) So in the above query, Baba tells that not only are ghosts imagined by one's own mind but that such so-called apparitions tend to occur with unit minds that are "weak" and "vulnerable". And finally, Baba issues this most conclusive statement. Baba says, "Ghosts do not exist." (SS-4) Thus under no circumstances should anyone be led to believe or think that Baba or His philosophy supports the existence of ghosts.
In his book however, Keshavananda Dada presents the topic in a totally different manner: Dadaji writes as if both Baba and AM philosophy preach the existence of ghosts. In the chapter, "Parama Purus'a Ma'khan Chor" (Parama Purusa is a Butter Thief), Dada recounts the scene from a 1964 Ranchi DMC where Baba is talking about the powers of sadhana and how to cure an obsessed person. Thereafter, Dada narrates how one attendee of that DMC, Nanda Kishor, returns back to his village and uses Baba's stated strategy to free someone who had been captured by ghosts. Local priests had not been able to save the person, but now our margii brother enters the scene and gets rid of the ghost. Thus from Dada's written account, it looks as though at DMC Baba is giving credence to the existence of ghosts as well as supplying the technique to combat them. Yet we all know Baba says that there is no such thing as ghosts.
There are a number of reasons why it is important for Dadaji's book to be corrected: 1) Many or most are aware that Dada Keshavananda served as Personal Assistant (PA) to Baba for many years. Thus readers will place great trust in Dada's words and stories. They will honor his account as something very special since he spent so much time with Baba. Innocently they may conclude that if PA Dada is telling that Baba gave the recipe to get of rid ghosts, then certainly ghosts exist. 2) Most people in the society do not study philosophy - that includes those within and without of the Marga. Instead people get most of their information from personal experiences, stories, and human interactions. Hence, even though Baba has stated very clearly in His teachings that ghosts do not exist, that domain of knowledge is not accessible to most people. Instead they will form their ideas based on stories like that of PA Dada. Thus it is very critical that such stories are written properly and put forth the right teaching - otherwise readers will be led astray. In the first phase they may simply believe in ghosts; in the second phase they will start making ritualistic offerings to please those so-called ghosts; finally in the third phase, they will start forming businesses based on the existence of ghosts. 3) So many around the globe already believe in ghosts - in some form or another. Indeed most are absolutely terrified of them. In some corner of their mind or more, people are afraid. That is why they are scared to walk in the dark or fearful of entering into an empty house. They may or may not wish to admit this publicly, but many, many people suffer from a fear of ghosts. From the most simple, rural communities to the most technologically advanced places on earth - and all points in between - there is a long history of ghosts, haunted houses, witches, goblins, and all kinds of apparitions that people label as being ghosts. Even in advanced land of the US, there is a day dedicated to acknowledge ghosts known as Halloween. On this day, children's subconscious fear of ghosts is born and this phobia will remain with them their entire life. This leads to so many problems and unfounded fears etc. The rational teachings of AM have been given to dispel these fears and myths - not legitimize them. So this a very key point for why Dada's book needs correction. Stories about Baba should not serve to reinforce crude and harmful dogmas - like the existence of ghosts - that plague humanity. 4) The next problem is that readers from the public - and maybe even new people in the Marga - will think that Baba's teachings are full of holes and self-contradictory. People will think our AM shastras are no different from the Bible, Koran or puranas. Those so-called holy texts are full of self-contradictions and now our AM books fall in that same category. In some places it is stated that ghosts exist and in others the existence of ghosts is refuted. This type of rampant hypocrisy should not be present in our AM books. Yet because of the way Dadaji has written his story. i.e. legitimizing the existence of ghosts using Baba's name, that is the unfortunate direction things are headed. In that case, the general populace will think that AM is just a repeat of the dogmatic religions. 5) All in all, Dadaji's book of Baba stories is very good and it would be a shame for a few weak points to undermine the entire book. Rather, those weaker elements should be corrected. That would be ideal. But in truth, the reprinting of AM books hardly ever happens - and when it does it can be years and even decades later. After all it took 20yrs to write this book so who knows when a reprinting is going to happen. Best then is to simply tear out those wrong pages entirely. Or one can use a thick black marker to cover up those wrong stories, or use a scissors and cut those pages out of the book. That is the best way to remedy the situation under the current circumstances. The main thing is that we should not spread those wrong teachings; other sadhakas and members of the public should not get exposed to those mistaken ideas. That will only lead to confusion and more problems. That is why it is absolutely necessary to tear, cut, rip, or cross out those pages from the book. In no place should the existence of ghosts be affirmed. And of course when a proper reprinting of the book is done, then sadhakas of the Marga should get the opportunity to delight in reading Dada's book in its entirety - and get the proper teaching that ghosts do not exist. Dadaji can include that very same story, he should just recount it in a different way and not say that this phenomenon was a ghost. A good editor and learned sadhaka can easily make the story flow properly and project the right ideological teaching.
If we ignore this problem then the purity of our AM teachings will be lost. Baba has given something yet because of false elaborations, people are doing something else - like fearing ghosts, worshiping them, or so many other nonsense things. You may be thinking that this is an impossibility, but this is the very way the a path gets degraded. Little by little the teachings are misinterpreted or wrongly presented, then people start following those wrong things and finally the path itself is tainted. It is not a far off possibility, rather this routinely happens. We should not let our Marga meet this same awful fate. We should be vigilant.
In order to make the point perfectly clear and to ensure all sadhakas have access to Baba's exact words, here are more of Baba's refutations about the existence of ghosts. In this first teaching Baba is contrasting the projection of Cosmic Mind with that of unit mind wherein He furthermore states that ghosts are merely a creation of the unit mind (i.e. one's imagination) and are not part of this practical world. Let's examine it this way: If people start thinking in their own mind that there is a ghost which has a big tooth and eats people then because of that repeated way of thinking in their subconscious mind, that dogmatic idea overpowers their conscious mind. It is just like when we dream - then during sleep that dream appears to be real. Similarly, in an awakened stated, when the subconscious mind controls the conscious mind, then the thought of a ghost becomes real. That is the idea Baba is conveying in His below teaching. Baba says, "You know, philosophically, whatever we see in this universe is, we may say, a positive hallucination created by the Supreme Consciousness (Parama Purus'a). Whatever He thinks is seen by the nerve cells of the individual mind. The difference between this practical world and ghosts is that in the case of ghosts the suggestion comes from the individual mind; one’s own thought is projected outside." (YP) In this next guideline, Baba scientifically explains how due to glandular defects one will suffer from various psychic hallucinations like ghosts. Although people see ghosts due to their own defective psychic imagination, but in some rare cases that imagination is caused by their physical deficiency. In the following paragraph Baba explains how this happens. Baba says, "If there is under-secretion of the hormones from the prostate gland, a person will develop a fearful nature and suffer from psychic hallucinations. One may even see a ghost in broad daylight. Under-secretion, or low secretion, from the prostate gland creates this psychology." (YP) Finally, Baba states that the existence of ghosts is utterly "baseless". Baba says, "When people say that there is a ghost in such-and-such tree, it is totally baseless." (Karma Yoga)
How is it then that people claim to see ghosts? The following is Baba's beautiful explanation for how people get obsessed by their own personal, defective thoughts. Tragically, they end up seeing the things which do not exist, such as ghosts - all because of their faulty thinking. Baba says "Suppose in daytime you are in a lonely place. It may or may not be a lonely place. Suppose in daytime you are alone in a big house, and some people told you that there is a ghost – ghost…ghost.” You heard it. The acoustic wave touched your mind, touched the subconscious portion of your mind, and after that you are told, “You know, Mr. X, there is a ghost in this house.” And you are Mr. X. “There is a ghost in this house.” All the nerve fibres fail to function. What will happen then? Just touch the conscious level of your mind, and as an extro-objective creation, as an external reflection of your very ectoplasmic stuff, you will see a ghost. And what sort of ghost will you see? The description of a ghost that you read in your books or you heard from your granny, “A ghost is like this.” In broad daylight you will see the ghost." (AV-12)
Those who do kiirtan and sadhana regularly have a healthy mind. In that case their conscious mind, subconscious mind and unconscious mind function well. Such persons will not be able to see ghosts because their mind is not defective. As Baba states, ghost only exist for weak-minded people, i.e. those whose thought processes are not proper. Their mind is filled with all kinds of complexes and dogmas etc. In that case most certainly they will suffer from psychic disease like ghosts. The only way to save yourself is to do sadhana and kiirtan etc. Unfortunately, in the west health care professionals do not know how to treat those with an imbalanced mind, so they administer drugs to them but that only creates another type of problem. In that case patients can imagine that some dark soul is commanding me. In the west, psychiatric institutions are filled with people suffering from this very problem - and this is prevalent everywhere. And the root cause is a faulty thinking and the mistreatment thereof. Again the main solution is to clean the subconscious mind by feeding it dharmic ideas - not crude dogmas. Then the person will develop right thinking and a healthy outlook. For this, sadhana and 16 Points is needed, not drugs.
All in all, through the vast gamut of His teachings, Baba employs this main teaching for ridding people of their irrational fear of ghosts. In His discourses He refutes their existence by explaining that ghosts are merely a play of one's own mind or a figment of the imagination. In this context, Baba references topics like the philosophy of mind and bio-psychology etc. We should all have a clear understanding about this.
By Baba's grace He has given all the teachings to guide the humanity onto the path of truth, including dispelling people of their unfounded fears of "ghosts". All the books that margiis and acaryas write should complement Baba's teachings - not contradict them. On the whole, most of the stories in Dada Keshavananda's book are fine, but some have critical mistakes - especially this one about ghosts. We should not ignore this matter, rather we should resolve it. Those who have the book should tear out those wrong pages so others do not read them and get misguided. Also please communicate directly with Dadaji. Those unsold books should be blackened out with a marker on those pages that are incorrect. Please understand I have great regard for Dadaji; he has written some beautiful stories. In that case the wrong pages are like one drop of urine in a delicious platter of food - that drop will ruin the whole thing. Except for a few pages here and there, the book is otherwise fine. We must remember that Dadaji wrote this book to glorify Baba but he is moving in the opposite direction - especially in these critical mistakes. After reading please kindly forward this letter to Dadaji. When our books are proper and when one does proper sadhana, one will have a balanced mind - free from all kinds of fear and complexes. That is Baba's special blessing. Baba says, "Maintaining a balanced mind is one of the greatest virtues. There are no complexes in a balanced mind. One neither feels inferior nor superior to others; one never fears anybody nor ever gets perturbed. One maintains a mental balance." (AV-5) Namaskar, Manjit
Some weeks ago (28-06-10) this below letter was posted wherein Keshavananda misunderstands Baba and wrongly attests that the god of death can make mistakes and take the wrong person by accident:
Some people due to their defective thought process think that they themselves are ghosts. With their weak mind this happens - especially with females. Baba explains below. Baba says, "When a dream-object, an object of imagination, seems to be absolutely real, in such cases there is also a marked change in the personality also. Being obsessed with ghosts is a case in point. People who are obsessed with ghosts think that they have become the ghost. Being possessed by spirits is yet another case of this type: the affected persons think of themselves as a deity. Now, in order to free their minds from the thought of ghosts, one will have to induce a traumatic jolt in their bodies; one will have to create some sort of frightful circumstance that will startle them. Various methods may be used for this purpose, after which they will realize their error: that they wrongly identified themselves with their mental objects." (AFPS-7)
Note 3: THE FULL Q & A
Here is Baba's full Q & A about the (non) existence of ghosts. Those who do not have the book can reference that passage below. "Q. 56 Do ghosts really exist?" "Ans.: – Those strange figures which we call ghosts are mainly figments of the imagination. When the mind is in a weak or vulnerable state, what was previously created in the imagination now appears to be real." "In a dream, due to the dormant state of ka'mamaya kos'a, the thought-vibrations of manomaya kos'a appear real (this we call a dream when we wake up). When, due to extreme fear, stupefaction, crudity, or an excessive expression of any ripu or pa'sha, the ka'mamaya becomes temporarily suspended in the next higher kos'a and the imagined objects appear real. This is also the case when a person sees various gods and goddesses. Psychologically, seeing a ghost, god or goddess is the same thing; none of them actually exist." "When hypnotized by someone, a person starts perceiving things as per the commands of the hypnotist. In this state, when the ka'mamaya is dormant a person feels that his imagined objects are real. Often, weak-minded people see ghosts, gods or goddesses of relatives. Such visions are auto- or outer-positive-hallucinations. Conversely, when people declare the absence of things which are actually present, it is called auto- or outer-negative-hallucination." "This clarifies that those who emphatically claim that they have seen ghosts are not wrong. It is due to the illusions of the negative or positive hallucinations that they see these things." "It is also possible for the mental ectoplasm of a strong willed person to force a body-less soul to inhabit a body according to its sam'ska'ra and thus create a ghost. The existence of that so-called ghost depends upon the person’s whims and desires. This type of ghost is not the same as the commonly known ghost. To force a soul to inhabit a body by utilizing one’s mental ectoplasm (citta) is a very bad thing and good people will not do such things simply to show someone a ghost." "Those who think that ghosts appear periodically with the help of their own ectoplasms to fulfill their desires or to express themselves are wrong. In fact, the ghost is created out of their mental ectoplasm and does not have an independent soul. The soul of the person whose ectoplasm created the ghost is also the witnessing entity of the ghost." (TK-3)

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