To someone who objected to what I wrote in the section “What are ‘demons’?” in Satsang With the Abbot.
“Those who are devoted to the gods (devas) go to the gods. Those who are devoted to the ancestors (pitris) go to the ancestors. Those who are devoted to the spirits (bhutas) go to the spirits. Those who are devoted to me surely come to me” (Bhagavad Gita 9:25).
Those who worship or link up psychically with the bhutas go to them after death. The more those spirits gave things to them or did things for them in this world, the more karmic debt is created, and the longer they are in bondage to them.
They worship them because they have an affinity for them–they are like them. So negativity attracts and compounds negativity.
This happens in various degrees according to the intensity of the karmic connections. Furthermore, those spirits do not willingly let go of their slaves, and follow them into subsequent incarnations and endeavor to entrap them again and again.
Just because this is an ugly situation to contemplate does not mean it is not real. There are many people who deny the Nazi Holocaust because they just cannot believe that human beings could be so evil and perpetrate such cruelty on other human beings. But they did and do. And it is the same in the astral worlds.
What about “free will”?
It is the use of their free will that gets the prisoners in the condition I have described. Of course people have free will over their destiny, and it is the corruption and misuse of their free will that puts them people into these horrible situations.
When I was living in Los Angeles a few thugs attacked a policeman and cut off some of his fingers. Newsmen were there almost immediately, and on local television the viewers saw the attackers being forced into police cars. One of the perpetrators, a woman, looked into the camera and said: “I’m sorry for what I done!” That changed nothing in court. And it is change that is needed.
Certainly those who engage in sadhana can expunge all negative karmas by purifying themselves. But how many people even know of sadhana? How many serial killers, rapists alcoholics, drug addicts, black magicians and (consciously) demon worshippers have become interested in sadhana–really interested, not just in getting out of their karmic debts?
Consciousness and Will
It is all a matter of consciousness and will. No one is a victim. All are willfully positive or negative. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). This is cosmic law, actually cosmic order (ritam). “Ordinary” people cannot escape this law–they do not even know it.
Yogis are not ordinary. They can transmute and dissolve their karma. But who listens and becomes a yogi and perseveres? Certainly not people who have willingly and knowingly defiled and degraded their consciousness for lifetimes. That is the result of free will. Only after tremendous sowing and reaping is there a chance. Not because they are “bad” and are being “punished.” No. The universe is simply reacting to them, actually teaching them ultimately.
In the end, all will be well, but…
Even hell is mercy, and so is enslavement to evil spirits and evil human beings. Eventually everyone learns, but often only after millions of years and many creation cycles. “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been” (Ecclesiastes 3:15). The present action is a carrying on of past action, and future action will be a carrying on of present action. There is no getting around it. What we sow we reap. And all to our good.
“Truly this maya of mine made of the gunas is difficult to go beyond. Verily only those who attain me shall pass beyond this maya. Evil-doers, the lowest of men, bereft of knowledge by maya, do not seek me, being attached to (existing within) a demonic mode of existence” (Bhagavad Gita 7:14-15).
There it is. Some people truly do say either in deed and word: “Evil, be thou my good.” So it happens. As C. S. Lewis wrote: Some people say to God, “Thy will be done,” and to some people God says: “Thy will be done.”
Only people who intentionally align their will with negative people or spirits can come under the power of such. And just changing their mind when it proves unpleasant is meaningless. It is like signing a legal document. Even if there are hidden implications, it is binding. It is not pleasing, but that is of no consequence. When Yogananda was once asked if he believed in hell, he smiled and replied: “Where do you think you are?” True, heaven and hell are in the mind. But that is the problem, not an easy out.
- Demons and Dunces, Part 1: Why Spiritual People May Encounter Negativity
- Demons and Dunces, Part 2: Deluded Asceticism and Dispelling Evil Spirits
- Evil Spirits and Satan: Where Do They Come From?