Dealing with hauntings – the Buddhist way.

This post is inspired by an ancient ghost story from Thailand. A short break from all the scriptural quotes.

Yeah! Here’s the movie.

The main character is named Nak. She married the love of her life but war broke up their happy family when her husband was conscripted.

After her husband left for war, she discovered that she was pregnant. Left to fend for herself, she tried her best to live life to the fullest while waiting for her husband’s return.

There was no news of her husband and she felt very helpless and scared when it is time to give birth.

Unfortunately, there was complications and both mother and child died.

As it was considered an inauspicious taboo, fellow villagers quickly buried her body without much ceremony.

However, her strong attachment and conviction to wait for her husband’s return caused her to become a haunting spirit; together with her baby. (Note: Buddha taught that strong attachment creates more suffering ultimately)

Villagers soon notice strange sound of baby crying and woman singing lullaby at Nak’s house. They just avoided that place.

Nak’s husband was severely injured at the war front and took a long time to heal. When he returned home, he was warmly welcomed by the spirit of Nak and his baby boy. He did not suspect anything amiss and did not know they were already dead.

Initially, the villagers thought that he was mourning his losses and wished to be left alone.

However, they soon noticed his erratic behaviour. Such as talking to the air, eating worms etc. (Since he was entranced by Nak, he perceived the maggots and worms in the kitchen as food that was made by Nak.)

They managed to convince him that Nak is dead and he had been living with ghost. That terrified him and he ran to the village temple for refuge.

When Nak discovered the situation, she became enraged. Angry with the villagers for breaking up her happy family, she started to wreak havoc in the village.

The villagers were terrified and engaged a sorcerer to deal with her. The harsh spell casted by the sorcerer did not manage to get rid of her and Nak became so enraged that she turned evil. People died mysteriously from fright, accidents etc.

News of the fierce haunting reached the supreme Buddhist patriarch in Bangkok.

He arrived at the village and managed to preached to Nak. This is because a pure Buddhist monk is full of loving kindness and compassion. From his wisdom, Nak realised her mistakes and repented her misdeeds.

As her bad karma as an evil spirit was extremely serious, she had to remain a spirit and atone for her misdeeds by doing good.

Nak has her own shrine in Bangkok today and it is a popular tourist attraction too.

From this story, we learn that attachment creates sufferings.

Fear prevent us from trying to understand other’s perspective. That generate misunderstanding and cause us to retort to violence (Villagers fear of Nak causes them to engage a sorcerer to exterminate her)

One can only overcome hatred through loving kindness (The supreme patriarch gently counselling Nak)

Wisdom can help evil turn good.

Categories: Mysticism

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