If you have a baby that is perfectly healthy but is constantly troubled or restless in his/ her cot or bed, then perhaps the following mystical practice may help.
In Asia, we believe that a baby is spiritually weak and susceptible to disturbance by spirits or supernatural beings. They are sensitive to unseen beings because their mind is still not firmly “locked into” their body yet.
When a baby constantly cry or throw tantrums for no apparent reasons if left alone, we suspect he might be disturbed spiritually. For example, the baby had just fallen asleep and started crying shortly after you left the room. The diapers are not wet, you just fed him and he isn’t sick. In dire situations, bruise marks appear and they are not due to medical conditions. In short, there is no logical reasons for his behaviour.
Please note that we do not simply rely on the following spiritual remedy as a comprehensive solution. The spiritual remedy probably give us a sense of assurance that nothing spiritual is troubling our love ones. We will still attend to our baby with care and will also seek medical advices as necessary. Live a balanced life, ok?
Local tutelary deities
Some home are occupied by earth bound deities or spirits. They can become territorial and hostile towards new people. And sometimes, they are just trying to make their presence known through disturbing our babies. Traditionally, we would introduce the baby to the home spirits via a ceremony when we arrived home after giving birth at the hospital. This usually involves making offerings to the local spirits, announcing the baby’s relationship with the home owner and the baby’s name. Seeking the deity’s protection. To communicate, we clear our mind of thoughts, have respect and love in our hearts; then just communicate verbally and solemnly with the unseen beings.
For Buddhist, we usually do not perform such a ceremony because our practice and dedication of merits during our daily practice usually befriend the such tutelary deities and make them benevolent & protective of us. If we are good practitioners, then it is unlikely that our home spirits will cause such troubles. Should we invoke the help of a tutelary deity, we look upon and communicate with them as if a friend or as our security guard. We do not hold them as superiors and do not take refuge in them. (Be nice and respectful)
This refers to wandering spirits who are attracted to our baby. They are either mischievous or malevolent spirits who trespass our property to disturb the baby.
The remedy is to protect and strengthen our baby spiritually.
Taking refuge in Triple Gems
Although Buddhist refuge can only be meaningfully performed when one is aware of the meaning, many Buddhist parents will take their baby to receive a ceremonial refuge. It is believed that the child will then be protected by Buddhist protector deities. When the child grows up, he or she will then have to decide whether they wish to take refuge formally.
Mantras or sutras are recited over water and the water is then used for the baby’s consumption or bath. Popular “Gentle Mantra” like the Great Compassion Mantra is popular for such purpose. Sutra like the Heart Sutra, Ratana Sutta, Metta Sutta is also preferred.
Protect the space
Sacred Buddhist articles like mantra cakra (mantra written and arranged into various inspiring designs to act as a form of talisman) or sutra or blessed Buddha statue, and etc, is placed near the baby. Sometimes we will paste mantra cakra onto the cot or hang Buddhist amulet over the cot. It is said that Buddhist mantra and sutra has a positive energy emission. Whereas, blessed Buddhist articles are imbued with positive energy from the maker’s practices. Thus making the energy and space unbearable to hostile spirits. Place such holy artifacts at the head of the cot to show respect.
Singing Mantra as a lullaby
It is good to introduce our baby to mantra and sutra since young. Instead of singing about little fox and fairies, isn’t it better to sing a mantra to our newborn baby. Thus, creating a positive imprints in their mind.
The baby’s karmic creditor
In extremely rare situation, a baby might be disturbed by his karmic spiritual beings. Karmic creditor are spirits who followed their enemy from one life to another. For example, a man in Taiwan was haunted by 99 spirits of abused cats. This was because, in his former life, he enjoyed tormenting and killing cats in brutal and sadistic ways. Those 99 cat spirits followed him from his former lifetime and were waiting to harm him.
In such complicated situations, we need to find someone to communicate with the spirits and hopefully convince them to forgo their hatred.
May all be well and happy.
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