Q: I have just finished reading two books about Christian ascetics whose major activities seemed to be “fighting the demons” and being frightened or tormented by evil spirits throughout their lives. Does this really happen to those who try to attain higher consciousness and know God? Even yogis?
Everything that happens to us externally is a matter of karma, the result of past life action. Everything that arises from within us is a manifestation of samskaras, habit patterns and impressions (including memories) from past lives. So everything in our life comes from, and in one sense is a continuation and reaction of/to, our past deeds and mental states.
Therefore the yogi must from the very first realize that whatever happens inwardly or outwardly is a result of his own previous deeds and thoughts. He must understand that his inner and outer life is a revealing of himself, hopefully leading to the revelation of his Self.
There is a Chinese proverb: “When mean-spirited people live behind a door, mean-spirited people come to that door.” The entire universe is a field of vibrating energy, and that energy is magnetic–it tends to gather around itself energies of like character. Our inner and outer experience is determined by our present vibration.
As Yogananda’s greatest disciple, Sister Gyanamata said: “Your own will always come to you. Indeed, you cannot have anything but your own.” This is a fundamental principle that is wise to keep in mind. It means that when something is said or done to us it is an echo of our own speech and action. We say and do it to ourselves. This is very bitter for the ego to face, but unless we do we will never understand anything about our life. It is all karma, and it is our karma.
Now we should consider what could bring about encounters with evil spirits.
The first cause of such encounters is karma. Those (including yogis) who created karma with evil spirits in past lives by intentionally contacting them in some manner, by practicing witchcraft or magic, or by having it done for them, certainly may encounter evil spirits, but can easily deal with the situation as I outline later.
A great deal of demonic attack by evil spirits is caused by the very nature of a person’s religion. For example, if much of their beliefs are false such as eternal hell and damnation (especially for others not part of their religion or sect), and they denounce beliefs that are true such as reincarnation, karma, evolution of consciousness and the ultimate salvation of all sentient beings, then they are vulnerable to such misfortune. [Read more…]