This article is inspired and draw from the content of a Chinese Buddhist article.
BUDDHISM does not encourage possession. This statement may seem irrelevant because who wants to be possessed?
Popular western movies often depict possession as the mischief or evil designs of demons. A situations that warrant the priest being called upon to exorcise the foreign entity.
However, the Eastern culture is different. In the East, we believe that the spiritual world is more diversified than that.
There are earth bound deities and powerful ghost with supernatural abilities. Some people celebrate the ability to become a medium of these spirits. Popular mediums can attract thousands of devotees and have their own temples. A sizable soirce of income. The devotees consult these mediums for advises to solve problems in their daily life. From extra marital affairs to work related challenges or health issues. Even managing naughty kids!
However, not everyone enjoys playing host to a foreign spirit and being possessed can be traumatizing.
That is why people consulted a Buddhist monk with questions on how to avoid possession, get rid of possession and recover from it.
Another point to note is , Buddhist believe that higher spirits residing in heaven will not possess a human body.
Is there a difference between possession and mental illness?
Possession is where another foreign entity took over the body. The spirits speaks in tongue (words of the spirits) and the person being possessed lost consciousness. They do not know what happened during possession.
Mental illness is in the person’s mind. It is a confusion of the mind. The conciousness is jumbled up and the person act according to their perceived reality.
Sometimes, it can be a combination of both. A mind that is weak and confused may be susceptible to possession too.
What is the best way to cure a possession?
Foremost is to enhance the health and improve the well- being of the victim. Make sure they have a healthy diet. Then encourage them to go out and be in the sun, do sports and exercise. Make sure to sweat. Make sure they have amble rest and sleep.
When one has a will to recover and take active steps to boost the health of the body, one’s mind will also be strengthened.
If the victim is unable to sleep at night due to disturbance and nightmare, consult a doctor. Prescribed medication. Can help them rest better at night.
Then during the daytime, drink mantra water. ( water blessed with Buddhist Mantra) 3 times a day. Morning, afternoon and night time. Chant or recite Buddhist sutra. For example the Diamond sutra, as much as possible. Do simple mind training like mantra recitation.
In short, have an active and healthy life plus learn to strengthen their mind.
Why do people get possessed?
It is karmic relation. For simple cases or light karmic connection. Taking refuge in Triple Gems, drinking blessed water and chanting will resolve it.
Sometimes, bad karmic connections are due to misdeeds we created in our past life. Vengeful spirits can follow one over lifetimes to wreak havoc when one is spiritually weak. In such instance, the possession is meant to break the victim. Depending on karma, if it is too negative, it can be hard to overcome. If the victims have some good karma, they may encounter enlightened masters who can help them resolve the negative connections. This helps both the victim and the spirit. Remember the story of an ogres wanting revenge on a woman during Buddha’s time?
Another possibility of hard cases is when the victim had been mediums in their precious life. Such people are open conduit for spirits and they can be possessed by many different spirits.
The important thing is to stay positive. Go out into the Sun often. Do not lock yourselves at home. Stay healthy be active. Have faith in Dharma and gradually strengthen your mind. It will slowly go away.
May all be well and happy.