As we all are told, ghosts are the souls of humans which exist in the astral plane. This may raise a question in our minds… why ghosts are always referred as souls of humans alone? What happens to the souls of other living species like animals, birds and insects? To answer this question, I can relate something which i read from the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda. In this book, Swami Yogananda says “Souls of animals, birds etc do not stay in the astral plane (non-physical plane where the souls reside) because they do not have any karma. The souls of such mortals take birth immediately”. It may be because animals, birds etc are not given sense to understand and classify good and bad of life (Again, this explanation raises a question in my mind… If animals do not acquire karma, on what basis they are ‘promoted’ as humans? I will get back to you if i get an answer).
But do Ghosts really exist? I remember, we, a group of disciples asked the same question to our yogic guru, a few years ago. The entire gathering went into silence when we asked that question. Everyone in that hall was keenly looking at the face of the Guru for the answer. After a few moments, the guru said “Yes, THEY EXIST. But their existence should not be a concern for you my children! Lets talk about something else”.
Linda Goodman, a popular author on astrology, says about her personal experience with ghosts in the chapter of “Ghosts, Gurus and Avatars” in the book “Star Signs”. She sees a ghost called “Maggie”, a young beautiful girl, at one of the haunted houses of Cripple Creek where Linda preferred to settle down. Linda explains about ghosts with explanations about the experiences she went through.
The theory of Theosophy says that the composition of a reincarnating unit (mostly i can relate this to humans alone) contains seven bodies. They are: Sthula Sarira (Physical body), Linga Sarira (Astral body), Prana (Energy of Atman, The radiating force, The life), kama (Desires and
aspirations, The driving force which can be good or bad depending on how the soul uses it), Manas(Ego consciousness), Buddhi (Spiritual conscience, the vehicle of Atman), Atman (Self; pure consciousness). From this theory, probably i think we can interpret that Ghosts are the combination of Linga Sarira and Kama, wherein the Kama (Desire) drives the astral body, Linga sarira (Is that why the ghosts in our films are always wandering with feelings of either romance or revenge ?)
There is a belief that there are different types of Ghosts classified as Poltergeists, Atmospheric ghosts, Phantoms, Spirits and many more. Also there is one type called ‘Photographic’ ghost ! It is said that these types of ghosts can’t be seen through naked eyes, but they appear only in photographs (may be people like actors, models etc. usually join this category? Thinking further on this, i think we can come up with more types… Telephonic ghosts: They will call you at midnight and ask you to take a credit card. Even if you say ‘No’, they will call you next day. Money Ghosts: They will fight within themselves to appear in the currencies; all politicians will join this category. email Ghosts: These ghosts will appear only in forwarded emails; all software professionals form this category of ghosts.)
In those days, villagers used to tell many stories about their or others’ experiences with Ghosts. Nowadays no such incidents are heared much. Is it just because our villages are now illuminated enough and the fear due to darkness has vanished along with the fear of ghosts? Or the light and noise pushed the ghosts away? Linda Goodman says that ghosts can’t live in highly polluted places becuase they are made up of fine etheric substance, which will get collapsed in pollution.
(Pollution has not left ghosts too! Attention automobile manufacturers! By producing low emission vehicles you are not only making them eco-friendly vehicles, “ghost-friendly” vehicles too!). During my school days, my cousins and I used to make attempts to “contact” ghosts using Ouija Boards. Ouija boards consist of alphabets, numbers and symbols. We made Ouija boards on our own by reading tips from some Tamil books on spirits. In this method, all the people who are participating have to keep touching a glass with their fingers, which is placed at the center of the board. After praying for the presence of a particular spirit, we have to start asking the questions. The glass will move around the board across the numbers and characters. We have to note down these alphabets/numbers/symbols, which will form the answer for the question. In some of our attempts, we have succeeded in getting replies from spirits ! ( I still believe that the glass was moving automatically and none of us have moved it! ) After having few sessions using Ouija, we felt bored and thought of moving to other seance methods like ‘Spirit medium’ (After reading some literature for writing this blog, i came to know the name of this spirit medium method, which is called as “Channeling”). But we were told that channeling is dangerous to perform and hence we deserted the efforts without trying further. >