Showing posts with label Spirits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spirits. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are Ghosts And Their Reality In The Context Of Hindu Culture, Society, And Belief System?


 The reality of ghosts and spirits, particularly of persons who have died violent or untimely deaths, is widely accepted in popular Hindu culture.

Despite almost universal belief in reincarnation (samsara), it is widely acknowledged that the souls of those who have died such deaths stay around the places where they resided throughout their lifetimes.

Disturbances, disasters, or visions or dreams of family members are common ways for ghosts to manifest themselves.

After then, the family would take steps to pacify the spirit.

This is sometimes accomplished via the sponsorship of rites or ceremonies.

A family may even build a shrine for the spirit to live in.

These ghosts are said to have unfulfilled goals because they died before marrying or having children, or they began important projects that they were unable to complete.

People who have lived lengthy lives and accomplished all of humanity's primary objectives will not turn into ghosts.


You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

THE ELEMENTS - Yogic Experience of Elemental Spirits

During meditation, these elementals will appear. They are odd figures, those with long teeth, large mouths, three heads, faces on the belly, no flesh and no skin, and so on. 

They are Bhuvar Loka residents. They're Bhutas, by the way. They're going to be Lord Siva's attendants. They take dreadful shapes. They are completely harmless. 

They just show up on the set. They've come to put your bravery and strength to the test. They are powerless. They would not be able to stand in front of a pure, ethical aspirant. 

They will be pushed further if you repeat Om or your Guru Mantra. If young people see a dead corpse, a body hanging from a tree, or a brutal assassination, they still think of this incident. 

Even in meditation, the same idea will arise and take on a strange shape. They can see the same shape in front of their eyes over and over again. They have nothing to be afraid of. 

It's just a figment of their imagination. A coward is unfit to serve in the divine rows. Fear must be destroyed. Develop your bravery. Take a chance.


Due to intense focus, various types of lights appear during meditation. A soft, white light the size of a pinhead will appear in the forehead at the gap between the two brows, which tentatively refers to the Ajna Chakra, at first. Different colored lights, white, black, red, smoky, blue, green, mixed lights, flashes like lightning, flames, moon, sun, stars, and sparks will be visible while the eyes are closed. Tanmatric lights are what they're called. Tanmatras come in a variety of colors. The use of yellow and white lights is very popular. Small balls of white or red light float around in front of the mind's eye at first. When you first notice this, know that your mind is getting more stable and that your focus is improving.

For a few months, the light will become larger, and you will see a complete blaze of white light that is larger than the sun. These lights are not constant at first. They surface and vanish in an instant. These lights show more consistently and stay constant for a long time while you have a consistent and systematic meditation practice of 2 to 3 hours. In Sadhana, seeing lights is a wonderful source of inspiration. It motivates you to maintain a consistent Sadhana practice. It instills in you a deep belief in extraterrestrial matter. The presence of the lights indicates that you have reached a level of awareness above the physical body. When the light arrives, you are in a semiconscious state. You're halfway between the two locations. When these lights appear, you do not move your leg. In your Asana, you must be completely still and breathe steadily.

You can sometimes see Devatas in lustrous forms or in other physical forms. You will be able to see your Ishta Devata or Guru. Darshan is given by Siddhas, Rishis, and others to inspire you. Beautiful parks, palatial houses, rivers, mountains, golden temples, and scenery that cannot be properly represented can be seen.

Many people of experiencing a strange feeling when concentrating intensely, as though an electric current were passing through the Muladhara-Chakra. Out of terror, they suddenly disrupt their bodies and return to physical consciousness. They have nothing to be afraid of. They should remain calm and wait for further opportunities.

Different people had different perspectives. One man's perspective could not be the same as another man's. When people have these encounters, they mistakenly think they have realized the Self, avoid their Sadhana, and try to travel with the public to preach and do Loka-Sangraha. This is a huge mistake. This isn't quite close to realization. These are all clear encouragements from your Ishta Devata to persuade you of the importance of a higher spiritual existence and to inspire you to practice with zeal and excitement. You'll have to dismiss them and send them out in the same way you did with earthly stuff. When you have these dreams, you must not give a damn. Your Lakshya must be aimed at the target. Visions can occur in some people within a few days, while others can take six to nine months to manifest. It is dependent on one's mental state and level of focus. Such people will not have those experiences, but they may continue to grow spiritually.

Often you'll see bright, dazzling lights that are larger than the sun. They are white in color.

They emerge and vanish easily at first. Later, depending on the degree of concentration, they become stable for 10 to 15 minutes. Lights can appear in front of the eyes or at some Chakra. Often the sun is so bright and dazzling that you have to take a break from your meditation and turn away. Any people are terrified and have no idea what to do or how to move. The mind engaged in concentration will disappear with continuous practice.

The astral realm is home to the beings and objects with which you interact during the early stages of Sadhana. Higher Devatas from the mental and higher planes descend to give Darshan and inspire Sadhakas. Shaktis manifest in a variety of lustrous shapes. They're fantastic. As soon as they appear in front of you, perform mental Puja.

Don't waste your time staring at these photos. This is just an amusement. All of this is meant to persuade you of the reality of superphysical and spiritual realities. Your own mental creations or realities on finer planes of matter, visions may be emotional or factual.

The universe is made up of different density matter planes. Tanmatras vibrate in a variety of ways, resulting in the creation of different planes. These entities or objects can appear in visions. Alternatively, they may be completely fictitious in many ways. They could be the result of your own obsessive thoughts coming to a head. You must be able to differentiate effectively.

You may also want to read more articles on Yoga and Holistic Healing Here.

13 Notable Yogis


One hundred and twenty years ago, Sri Sadasiva Brahman, a renowned Yogi, lived in Nerur, near Karur, in the Trichinopolly district. He wrote the books "Atma Vilas," "Brahma Sutras," and other works. He was in Samadhi at the time. Floods in the Cauveri river engulfed him, burying him in earth. His body was frozen under the soil for many months. The agriculturists plowed the ground, injuring the Yogi's head. A small amount of blood dripped from the wound. They were completely taken aback. They dug the ground up. Sadasiva Brahman stood up and stepped out from his Samadhi. Any obnoxious people once came to beat him with sticks. They attempted to lift their hands, but they were unable to do so.

They remained as if they were sculptures. When he was walking about as an Avadhuta, he visited the Zenana of a Nawab almost nude. The Nawab became angry and used a large knife to sever his side.

Sadasiva Brahman smiled as he walked away. The guy, according to the Nawab, should be a great Sage. He took the maiden's hand in his and walked after the Sage. “O my Lord!” the Nawab exclaimed on the third day. As a result of my folly, I had to cut off your wrist. Please excuse me.” With the other side, Sadasiva merely touched the cut piece. A new hand appeared. Sadasiva forgave and blessed the Nawab.


Jnaneswar is another name for Sri Jnanadev. He was the world's greatest Yogin of all time. He was born in Alandi, which is about seven miles from Poona. His Samadhi is already there. All suspicions are dispelled if one reads the Gita penned by him by the hand of the Samadhi. Lord Krishna considers him to be an Avatara. He merely touched a buffalo when he was a kid. It was a recitation of the Vedas.

He had complete command of the elements. When he didn't have a vessel to cook in, his sister baked bread on his lap. At the age of 22, he joined Samadhi while still alive. He drew up all of the Prana and surrendered his physical body to the Brahmarandhra. He started writing Gita commentary when he was 14 years old. His Gita commentary is widely regarded as one of the greatest. He was elected President by a large assembly of Sanskrit Pandits in Benares.


Sri Trilinga Swami of Benares, who was born in Andhra Pradesh, lived in the 1950s. He existed for a total of 280 years. In Manasarovar, he made his Tapas (Tibet). He was once seen by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa in Benares. When he first came in for Tapas, he took some money with him. He opened a milk shop and gave away free milk to the homeless, Sadhus, and Sannyasins. He used to remain under the Ganga for up to six months at a time. He used to sleep with his foot over the Sivalinga in Kashi Visvanath's Temple. He once snatched the Governor's sword and hurled it into the Ganges. When the Governor ordered it back, he dove into the sea and returned with two knives, which the Governor couldn't spot. Any nefarious characters sprayed lime-water into his mouth. Sang Pachar Kriya immediately pumped it out of his anus.


Sri Gorakhnath, like Sri Jnanadev of Alandi, was a brilliant Yogi. Suraj, a Brahmin, lived in Chandragiri village, on the banks of the Godavari. Sarasvati was the name of his wife. They didn't have any girls. Yogi Matsyendranath went to Suraj's house for Bhiksha. Sarasvati pampered the Yogi with delicious food and Sraddha. She cried in front of him because she didn't have a kid. Yogi Matsyendranath blessed her with a pinch of holy ash and child blessings. She gave birth to a son afterwards. When Matsyendranath was twelve years old, he returned to Sarasvati and took the boy with him. He dispatched the youngster to Badrinarayan to perform Tapas. Apsaras and other Devatas descended upon him to molest him. He remained steadfast and triumphed over all temptations. He possessed incredible Siddhis. Matsyendranath also gave Gorakhnath, his disciple, all of his powers and Vidyas.

Sri Gorakhnath went to Badrinarayan in his 12th year and performed Tapas for 12 years, surviving solely on air. Gorakhnath had incredible Yogic abilities. Gorakhnath took the form of a lady by his Yogic powers and entered the inner apartments of the palace when his Guru Matsyendranath entered the dead body of a Raja (Parakaya Pravesh) to follow the instructions of Sri Hanuman to bear an offspring for a certain Rani (Kamarupa Siddhi). In another case, he created a clay toy child and gave it to the children of a particular village as a playmate. He turned a part of a mountain into gold and then returned it to its original state. On a rock, he urinated. It was transformed into gold. He fed everyone by spreading only leaves in a Kumbhamela on the banks of the Godavari, but he served various rich meals to everyone's taste. In the same Mela, he gradually shrank in size and took the shape of a mosquito (Anima Siddhi). He burned himself to ashes with his own Yogic strength and reverted to his original form. He completed Akasagamanam (walking in the sky). In this way, he was able to do several Siddhis. His disciple was Raja Bhartrihari.


At Daroli village, 14 miles below Gangotri, the Ganges' source, Swami Krishna Ashram is a living saint. He's been living there for the past eight years, naked in an icy area where an average man would need a woollen coat, a Gothma, and a half-dozen blankets. He was a Siva Bhakta, a devotee of Siva. He threw away all of his Puja vessels and traveled to Varanasi, where he took Sannyasa and stayed for a year. After that, he went to Hardwar and abandoned the Danda to become an Avadhuta. He was also in Uttarkashi. When he was bitten by sharp, large flies and blood was dripping from his body, he would never harass the flies. His stamina was incredible. Once in the Kshetra, an ignorant servant mocked him by pouring very hot Dhal on his hands for not carrying any vessel for Dhal. Swami Krishna Ashram drank the Dhal despite his scalded lips and paws.

Another Swami by the name of Bhuma Ashram lives in Daroli in a naked state. Krishna Ashram considers him a mentor.

Both Sadhakas must possess Titiksha, or the strength of stamina. This is one of Sadhana Chatushtaya's sixfold virtues. Read Chapter II of the Gita, Slokas 14 and l5. Titiksha, you will realize the significance of this virtue.


Among the Yogins, Yogi Bhusunda is one of the Chiranjivis. He was an expert in the art of Pranayama. He is said to have constructed a large nest, resembling a mountain, on the southern branch of the Kalpa Vriksha, near the Mahameru's northern summit. This was Bhusunda's home. He was a Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Trikala Jnani Tri He could stay in Samadhi for as long as he wanted. He lacked interest.

He had ascended to the level of supreme Santi and Jnana. He was there, blissed out by his own Self, and he is still there as a Chiranjivi. He knew everything there was to know about the five Dharanas. By using the five techniques of concentrating, he had found himself immune to the five elements. It is said that when all twelve Adityas scorch the earth with their fiery rays, he would reach up to the Akasa through his Apas Dharana. He'd be in the Akasa via Agni Dharana as fierce gales shattered the rocks to splinters. When the earth and the Mahameru were submerged, he would float on top of them by Vayu Dharana.


In Kailas, Tirumula Nayanar was a brilliant Yogi. Through the grace of Nandi, Lord Siva's Vahana, he possessed all eight great Siddhis. He was Agastya Muni's mate. He traveled from Kailas to Varanasi and remained there. He then traveled to Chidambaram, Tiruvavaduturai, and other nearby towns. He went to Tiruvavaduturai's temple to worship Lord Siva and remained there for a while.

He once visited a garden on the Cauveri River's shores. He discovered the remains of a caretaker of a herd of cows there. He found that all of the cows had gathered around the cowherd's body, weeping bitterly. Tirumular's heart was moved by this. He felt terrible for the cows. He left his body in a certain location and joined the cowherd's dead body. Throughout the day, he looked after the cows and returned them to their homes. The cowherd's widow, who was unaware of her husband's death, hosted Tirumular, who was dressed as her husband's actual body. Tirumular turned down the bid. He desired to return to his own body. When he went looking for his body, he didn't find it where he expected it to be. And he realized it was all due to Lord Siva's goodness. He then went to Avaduturai with the cowherd's body and sat underneath an Asvattha tree on the temple's western side, writing a precious book called "Tirumantram" in Tamil. It is a 3000 verse book that contains the Vedas' meaning.


Mansoor was a Brahma-Jnani Sufist. Four hundred years before, he lived in Persia. “Anal-haq! Anal-haq!” he kept chanting. This refers to the Vedantins' "Soham" or "Aham Brahma Asmi." The Badshah received reports that Mansoor was an atheist (Kafir) who was always saying "Anal-haq." The Badshah erupted in frustration. Mansoor was to be cut into sections, he ordered. His commands were carried out. And back then, the flesh fragments were uttering "Anal-haq." Since he was a full-fledged Samadhi Jnani and had complete identification with Brahman, he felt no harm. He was unconcerned with his appearance. The bits of flesh and bones were then thrown into the flames and reduced to ashes. Even back then, the ashes said, "Anal-haq." Throughout his life, he performed several miracles. Even Jnanis have the ability to perform miracles if they so wish and deem it appropriate for the situation. Sadasiva Brahman and the other Jnanis performed miracles. Every day, reflect on the lives of great men. You'll make it on the spiritual journey.


Milarepa had been deeply impressed since his childhood by the impermanence and transience of all circumstances of earthly life, as well as the sufferings and wretchedness in which all beings were submerged. To him, life resembled a massive furnace in which all living things were roasting. This filled his heart with such piercing anguish that he was unable to feel even a fraction of the divine bliss experienced by Brahma and Indra in their heavens, let alone the earthly joys and delights afforded by a life of worldly glory.

In the other hand, he was so enthralled by the vision of immaculate purity, by the chaste beauty in the description of the state of perfect freedom and omniscience associated with the attainment of Nirvana, that he didn't care if he died in the search for which he had set out, endowed as he was with full faith, keen intellect, and a heart overflowing with all-pervading awe.

He was able to demonstrate transcendental knowledge in the control of the ethereal and spiritual nature of the mind by soaring across the sky, walking, sitting, and sleeping on the air until obtaining transcendental knowledge in the control of the ethereal and spiritual nature of the mind. He could also create fires of fire and springs of water from his body, as well as convert his body into whatever entity he wished, persuading nonbelievers and leading them to religious pursuits.

He was flawless in the four stages of meditation, and as a result, he was able to project his subtle body and be present as the presiding Yogi in twenty-four holy places where gods and angels congregate like clouds for divine communion.

He had the ability to direct gods to elementals and have them carry out his orders instantly, in order to complete all tasks. He was a master of spiritual abilities. He was able to traverse and frequent all of the Buddhas' myriad holy paradises and heavens, where the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas reigning therein favored him with Dharma discourses and listened to his in exchange, such that his travels and sojourns there sanctified the heaven-worlds.


Napoleon Bonaparte was a highly focused person. His popularity was entirely due to his ability to concentrate. He had a variety of illnesses, including epileptic episodes, Brady cardia, and so on. He would have been much more effective if not for these afflictions. He was free to sleep wherever he wanted. He'd start snoring as soon as he got into bed. He'd wake up at the same second the alarm clock went off.

It's a form of Siddhi. He didn't have any Vikshepa or shilly-shallying on him. He possessed a Yogi's highly evolved Ekagrata. He could pull any single idea from the brain pigeon-hole, focus on it for as long as he wanted, and then push it back until he was done. In the middle of a busy war, he will sleep soundly at night and never worry. This was all due to his ability to focus.

Concentration has the ability to do something. Nothing can be accomplished without mental focus.

Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone and Balfour possessed a high level of mental acuity. They will fall asleep as soon as they went to bed. Make a mental note of the phrase "at this very moment." They'd never throw a ball.

As in the case of worldly people, for perhaps 15 to 20 minutes in bed. Consider how tough it is to fall asleep quickly after lying down. They had complete say of their sleeping patterns. They could even get out of bed whenever they wanted without the use of an alarm clock. Sleeping and waking up at the same time is only one indication of the influence of focus to a certain extent. Some people can fall asleep immediately after a long day's work, but they are unable to rise at the prescribed time. This is also an example of a very common occurrence. Concentration allows us to do miracles.


Kabir once tied a large pig to the front post of his house's verandah. Kabir invited an orthodox Brahmin Pundit to his home to discuss a philosophical problem. In front of the building, he saw a pig. He was agitated, impatient, and frustrated. “Dear Sir, how is it that you have tied a nasty animal that eats human excreta so close to your house?” he asked Kabir. You \shave no Achara. You are a scumbag. You are unfamiliar with the Shastras. You are illiterate.” “O Shastriji, you are dirtier than I am,” Kabir answered. I've bound the pig to the front post of my building, but you've tied the pig to your mind.” The Brahmin was irritated and left without saying anything. “If the mind is pure, you will find the Ganges in the cup,” says Man changa katorie me ganga. The value of mental purification cannot be overstated. Nothing will be accomplished on the spiritual journey without it.


To learn Latin, a certain man went to a Latin teacher. He spent a week with the instructor.

He found that the majority of the terms had a ‘o' at the top. He believed he needed to add the letter 'o' to the end of every word. He was fluent in English. He assured the teacher that he learned Latin and, with the teacher's permission, he returned to his hometown. He arrived at his home and tapped the handle, saying, "O, dear-o, wife-o, open-o, door-o." He assumed it was all in Latin.

Many scholars in Yoga and Vedanta are close to the learned Latin scholar mentioned above. They remain in the Ram Ashram Library or with Sadhus for a few days, learning the names Kundalini, Mula Chakra, Nadi, Pranayama, Maya, or Pratibimbavada, and then moving from place to place. Yoga and Vedanta are philosophies that can be practiced for 12 years under the guidance of a Guru. Then only one person would be able to master the subjects. Yoga and Vedanta can never be seen as a source of income. One need not mix with worldly people after learning a few words about Yoga and Vedanta. Perfection of Yoga needs a lot of practice time under the guidance of a great teacher.


An aspirant approached a Gorakhnath Panth Mahant. Those who worship Gorakhnath wear large black celluloid or glass earrings. The Mahant pierced the aspirant's head, installed large earrings, and bestowed upon him the lovely name Yogi Ishvarananda. For three months, he stayed in the Ashram. He didn't make any moral strides. “This is not the proper path,” he thought to himself. Let me take a different route.” He then left the Ashram, wandered through dense jungles, and approached a Fakir, begging for initiation. The Fakir circumcised him, gave him a Mantra, and sent him on his way.

I requested that he grow a long beard. This did not please him either. Take a look at this bad aspirant's pitiful state. The ulcers in the ears have not yet recovered. He was in a lot of discomfort due to septic inflammation. There was a lot of pus coming out. He was still in a disturbed state of mind, and this situation further added to his fears. He commented thoughtfully that this was not the way to find the Guru. He made the clear decision that he would not wander, that he would stay in one solitary location and practice Tapas with continuous prayers to God. He chose a location and performed Tapas with honesty. This cleansed him and prepared him for the next stage. After a two-year time, a Guru emerged in front of him and introduced him into the profound mysteries of Yoga. Aspirants today are doing the same thing, hopping from place to place in search of a Guru. It's pointless. They must purify themselves in order to live a Yogic life. And if they come into touch with an Avatara by accident, they would not gain much if they do not have a solid base for a Yogic existence.


The yogi maintains mental power over the organs and functions of the body through different activities. He sculpts his body as though it were concrete. In front of the King, a Swami in London demonstrated how to stop his heart. A large number of capable doctors were present at the time and treated him. Desabandhu halted the radial and temporal pulses on both sides at will in 1926, as well as the heart's beatings for a brief while. 

In the Bombay Medical Union, he staged a protest. Hatha Yogi Hari Das, who buried himself underneath the earth for forty days after closely closing his nose, lips, ears, and eyes with wax, came back alive in Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Court in Lahore. Gunangudi Mastan, a Mohammedan Yogi, was buried in Madras.

Any Yogins are able to glide. Khechari Mudra is to blame for this.

Yogi Pratap was doing Viparitakarani Mudra at the time. Onlookers were asked to cover his head with mud on both directions. He stayed in that spot for the whole two hours. In Varanasi, German traveller Paul Deussen observed this firsthand. Varanasi's Sri Swami Vishuddhananda once brought a dead sparrow back to life. 

For a true Yogi, nothing is unlikely.

Mediumship and Psychic Mediums


Mediums, unique individuals considered to be especially open to the subtler realities of the world and therefore particularly capable of interacting with spirit beings, have historically been central to the Spiritualist movement. “A Spiritualist is one who believes, as the foundation of his or her faith, in the communication between this and the spirit world through mediumship, and who endeavors to mold his or her character and actions in conformity with the highest teachings devised by such communion,” the National Spiritualist Association of Churches declares in its Declaration of Principles.

The radio, which operates by receiving waves of energy that vibrate at different frequencies, has been used to explain mediumship. As a result, a medium was described as someone who was receptive to the spirit world's higher vibrations. As a result, mediums may function as a conduit for spirits that spoke with or through them. Any mediums relayed material they perceived from their interaction with the spirit world while in a slightly disturbed state of consciousness.

Others worked in a deep coma, allowing what they thought were spirit beings to gain hold of their bodies and communicate through their vocal cords. When trance mediums went into trance, it was normal for one or more control spirits to arise first, then serve as master of ceremonies for other spirits to appear and communicate.

AUTOMATIC WRITING is a type of mediumship in which the medium allows the spirit agent to regulate his or her motor activity to write messages with pen and paper. Spiritualism arose from the very primitive mediumship of the young Fox sisters, Kate and Margaret, who encountered rappings in their home, but the trend advanced quickly with Andrew Jackson Davis' full-trance mediumship.

He not only served as a conduit for people to collect fleeting messages from departed loved ones, but he also provided extensive treatises on divine teachings from reputedly advanced spirit beings, a phenomenon now known as channeling. Materialization was a particularly contentious concept applied to mediums.

During the last decades of the nineteenth century, scores of mediums appeared, claiming to be able to not only interact with the deceased, but also to enable them to manifest in a ghostly state for a fleeting period. Mediums mediated several tangible embodiments of ghosts, including the materialization of spirit beings at small meetings for spirit contact known as séances.

Other mediums, for example, used cameras to photograph those that visited them. Mediums can also perform a series of “impossible” physical feats, such as the levitation of items held in the séance room's core or the teleportation of tiny objects from other places to the séance room.

Overwhelmingly, the physical phenomena associated with mediumship has been shown to have been produced by fraud, a fact that has called appropriate reprobation on the movement. Today, with few exceptions, Spiritualism has been content to fall back on the basic verbal communications from the spirit world that gave the movement birth. Mediumship is a phenomenon by no means limited to the Spiritualist movement. Analogous religious functionaries, special people who have access to information and contact with different spirit entities, operate in a variety of religious traditions, and include shamans from indigenous religions and those who speak with angels in modern Christian churches.

Mediumship itself expanded in the last generation because of the New Age movement. Spiritualists did not positively relate to the New Age movement, but integral to the New Age were channelers. Through the 1980s literally thousands of channelers emerged, offering New Age believers the information they received from a variety of spiritual beings. That Spiritualism tended to distance itself from the New Age accounts in large part for its lack of growth while related movements were rapidly expanding during the 1980s and 1990s.

The majority of the physical manifestations associated with mediumship have been shown to be the product of deception and has brought appropriate condemnation upon the movement as a whole. Spiritualism has been content, with few exceptions, to rely on the simple verbal messages from the spirit world that gave rise to the movement. The phenomenon of mediumship is not confined to the Spiritualist movement. Similar ritual functionaries, such as shamans from indigenous faiths and others who communicate with angels in western churches, practice in several religious practices and have access to wisdom and communication with various spirit beings.

Household Spirits

 The "household gods" are minor deities that are responsible for the family's well-being and the farm's success. These creatures can take many forms; they can be completely abstract; they can live within the house or outside in nature at a place of prayer, hunting, or fishing. In any case, they are tethered to the family or to individual members of the family, and they accompany them everywhere they go. We only consider benevolent spirits based on northern European beliefs. These spirits do not constitute a single entity and can be separated into two categories: men folk's deities and their economic activities, and women folk's deities and their activities. These also have a medicinal purpose in the traditions they entail.

These deities were passed down through the generations, with the son inheriting his father's and the daughter inheriting her mother's. They are not so different to ancestor worship in a pan Indo-European cultural context. The paternal spirit is the only one that plays a major part. This differentiation, of course, applies to the patriarchal aspect of the society in question, but it also corresponds to the sex assigned to the soul, as we can see. Lauri Honko clarifies something significant in his research of german land folk traditions: “Every hut has its spirit; everywhere there is a heated space (a hearth), there is a spirit.”

Since fire is a sign of habitation, such spirits tend to reside in homes, earning them the moniker "domestic" in comparison to those found in nature, which are known as "earth spirits," "spirits of place," or "local deities." Ancient times Domestic gods were under the control of the familial cult in antiquity. Zeus, the Greeks claimed, was the house's father and protector; after the farm was encircled by an enclosure, he was given the name Herkeios, and his altar was built in the yard inside that enclosed area. Since he distributed resources and maintained the deposits, he was also known as Ktesios, or "the Acquirer."

He was offered food-filled pitchers as sacrifices in a ceremony known as panspermia, which means he was given seeds of all kinds. Zeus Melichios, or "Healthy, Favorable One," took on a serpentine appearance. He carried wealth and was portrayed on a throne with a bountiful bell. At feasts, Zeus Soter, "the Savior," offered the first and last offerings. He was also known as Agathos Daimon, which means "good ghost." At the end of the meal, he was served pure water, and he, too, was a snake.

The Dioscuri, Zeus' sons, had a meal cooked for them and foods given to them; they, too, were portrayed as serpents guarding the house. It's worth noting how often reptiles feature in mythologies about domestic gods. In the Romans, we even come across several deities. The Lar familiaris, for example, was not initially a domestic deity, and his worship derived from the rural cult of the compita, in which the Lares were revered as protectors and guardians of the lands (agro custodies) surrounding the home.

They were worshipped at the hearth, rather than in the fields, where they had originally received their offerings. The Lar familiaris was given a part of the meals that he was acquainted with in the past. At family feasts, he was presented with wreaths, champagne, incense, vegetables, cakes, and honey, as well as a lamb in the event of a death. This god was linked to the destiny of the entire family. The Lararium, which contained their effigies and had two snakes drawn on its walls, was the home of all the household gods.

The goddess of the hearth, Hestia, was next, to whom wine was given at the start and end of the meal. Her altar is the focus of the domestic cult oversaw by the woman who prepares the offering (far pium) for her, which is thrown into the flames. She coincides with Vesta, the personification of the hearth that is her headquarters; her altar is the centerpiece of the domestic cult overseen by the woman who prepares the offering (far pium) for her, which is cast into the fire. During the dinner, the fire set a plate of food meant for her on fire.

Vesta was associated with the Penates, a collective term for all household gods worshipped near the hearth. They were served foods that were either thrown into the fire or placed on a plate; if a piece dropped on the floor, it was picked up, placed on the counter, and then thrown into the fire. All of these rites relate to a fire cult whose presence among Indo-Europeans has been proven. Finally, we have Limentinus and Limentina, Forculus and Forcula, the gods who guard doors and thresholds.

In his play Aulularia, Plautus gives us a clear representation of the views of his day. A deceased ancestor left his heir a sizable inheritance hidden underneath the hearth, but the heir's son paid no attention to the deceased man and avoided leaving food offerings. He fell into debt after his tutelary ancestor abandoned him. Only the daughter continued to look after the elder, giving him the customary offerings of wine, incense, and other items every day.

This integration of a deceased person into a position spirit is something that can be remembered, and it can occur more than once in the centuries to come. These cults were battled with all of Christianity's might, and they were outlawed by Emperor Theodosius' rule, but they persisted, often in the Roman colonies' rural areas. The names of the deities disappeared, but not their functions, and it was these unnamed beings that guarded the hearth and the entrance to the building from then on.

The sacrifices given to these supernatural creatures have survived, sometimes in the same way, and we will see them again. During the Middle Ages, there were no real deities in the Middle Ages; they had evolved into ghosts, or beings that were responsible for the family's well-being as well as the prosperity of their agricultural practices. I'll distinguish between direct accounts and indirect statements. Direct accounts leave no question about the identity of the character portrayed. For example, in fictional literature, house spirits are transformed into simple dwarves of vague existence.

The Indiculus superstitionum pointed to dough numbers, known as de simulacro consparsa farina, in which scholars identified household spirits. Although we only come across accounts on a rare occasion, they are very instructive until one can discern what lies under the words of their characters, the majority of whom wrote in Latin. Burchard, Bishop of Worms, for example, uses the words "faun" and "satyr" to refute a propitiatory ritual at the beginning of the eleventh century, but the meaning explicitly shows that the monsters described have little in common with the ancient Roman beings.

You've made little funny bows and children's shoes and thrown them into your cellar or attic for fauns and satyrs to play with so they can show you other people's things and make you wealthier. Legends tell us that a household spirit gives fodder taken from a stranger to your livestock, explaining the enigmatic expression "give you the products of others" many centuries later. This may also be milk from a neighbor's pigs, and in Scandinavia, there is a spirit known as the troll cat, milk hare, trollkat, or mjlkhare.

This ghost, working for a witch, takes other people's milk and spits it back into the troughs by the house's entrance. Notker the Stammerer (died) tells a strange tale in his Gesta Caroli Magni (Charlemagne's Deeds). A ghost or spirit who played tricks on people and mocked them was known to enter the smithy and play with his hammers and anvils all night long. “Hey mate, if you don't stop me from haunting your smithy, put your pitcher over there and find it full every day,” the Hairy One (pilosus) told the blacksmith as he tried to defend himself and his property with the sign of the cross of Salvation.

The wretched guy, who was more afraid of physical pain than of losing his immortal soul, took his adversary's counsel. To fill the smith's pitcher, the "Hairy One" (the name is a Latin term for what was a local reality) stole wine from a miser. We can see that this entails the conclusion of a contract between a spirit and a man by contrasting Notker's tale to more recent texts. It’s not uncommon for the household spirit to rob other people's property (such as fodder or food) and give it to the person he's adopted.

As a result, the Latvian pukys robs his neighbors of money, butter, wheat, and other valuables and gives them to his owner. Thietmar of Merseburg (died) chastised the people of Delitzsch, near Leipzig, for worshipping their house spirits in the eleventh century. “Evil spirits often engage in their games in the stables, bearing candles whose wax drops into the manes and necks of the animals, and the manes of these horses are closely braided,” William of Auvergne wrote in his treatise De Universo (On the Universe), written between and in the thirteenth century.

We see ghosts attached to these creatures, who either care about them or bother them, hidden within this Christian meaning that demonizes the intruders. The domestic spirit is usually hidden behind the common name of dwarf in Germanic nations, which is the Latin version of the word "pygmy." The word "dwarf" covers a wide range of characters, most prominently the schrat, which glosses before CE referred to as fauns, satyrs, furry ones, sylvan ones, and other catchall names.

“Many people assume that every house has its own Schrat,” according to Michael Beheim, “who will make the wealth and boost the reputation of whoever shows him honor,” which is very clear. Penates was replaced by schrat in a Latin-German dictionary. Gervase of Tilbury wrote the following in the thirteenth century. Spirits perpetrate their jokes in human bodies made of air, which they put on with God's approval, just as nature creates such marvels in the human universe.

For example, England has demons (though I'm not sure whether I should call them demons or strange spirits of unknown origin), whom the French refer to as neptunes and the English refer to as portunes. It's in their essence for them to enjoy the beauty of happy peasants. When peasants sit up late at night to finish their household chores, they appear out of nowhere, warming themselves at the first and eating little frogs that they drag out of their pockets and roast over the coals.

They have wrinkled skin and a short stature, reaching less than half a thumb, and they dress in tiny rags sewn together. If there is something in the house that needs to be transported or a hard job that needs to be completed, they get right to work and complete it faster than humans will. It is a law of nature that they can be beneficial but not harmful. This is the first mediaeval text to describe the physical characteristics and attire of house spirits.

The picture would last for a long time. “The Little Schrat and the Polar Bear,” a German fable from the thirteenth century, told the following tale. A Norwegian and a bear slept at a peasant's house for the night, but the house was haunted by a sprite who was just three spans tall but had immense power and wearing a red hat. He had a habit of tossing everything, including furniture and utensils, about. This sprite emerged from his hiding position in the middle of the night, entered the oven to warm up, and saw the bear asleep by the hearth.

He tried to scare it down, which resulted in a brawl. The sprite appeared to the farmer in the morning and informed him that he was leaving and would not return until the big cat had departed the home. Even in the nineteenth century, thankful peasants were said to make new clothes for these ragged house spirits, which caused them to vanish, which was not at all what they expected. In this respect, the Zimmern Chronicle, written about –, tells us the following: A Freising weaver thanked the gnome for his work by presenting him with a pair of shoes and a black blouse, which he gladly accepted.

Later, he gave the other a red hat, which he sadly accepted before leaving, never to return. The color red is responsible for the spirit's absence in this case, a motif that can be seen in the Germanic countries. William of Auvergne is the only person I know of who has kept two names for house spirits, joculatores and joculares, which mean "pranksters," in his treatise On the Universe. The following is a summary of their conduct. By hurling stones or turning the bedding inside out, the prankster stops people from sleeping.

He deceives people by stealing small light items that are quickly taken away, in plain sight and even from their own hands, and transporting them to another place. William also references the faunus, who he refers to as "the common people's fulet in French," which means "sprite," but is a composite of details from different sources. These "sprites," he claims, are idolaters who lie and lead men astray. They're a bunch of knuckleheads with bear horns that are undoubtedly "wives of incubus devils." Gerald of Wales (Giraldus Cambrensis, –) recounts a spectacular incident in a related manner.

Unclean ghosts have been in near contact with humans in these parts of Pembroke in our own days. And if they aren't apparent, their presence is sensed. They have a habit of manifesting themselves, tossing refuse all over the place, first in the home of Stephen Wiriet, then later in the home of William Not, keener perhaps to be a nuisance than to do any actual harm.

Things became much stranger in Stephen's home, since the spirit there had a way of fighting with humans. When they complained, as they did often in sports, he would publicly chastise them for any nefarious crime they have done since their childhood. If you ask me what the origin and reason of a case like this is, I have no idea, just that it has often been the forerunner, as they term it, of a sudden transition from poverty to prosperity, or even more often, from luxury to poverty and absolute desolation.

It strikes me as strange that areas cannot be cleansed of such visits by sprinkling holy water, which is widely used and should be administered liberally, or by using high holy water, or by doing some other religious ritual. This last comment obviously indicates that this isn't about unclean spirits and "demons"! Gerald of Wales brings up another intriguing case. A third manifestation happened at the same time, in the province of Pembroke that I have been mentioning to you, in the home of Elidyr of Stackpole. It took the role of Simon, a young man with red hair.

He could be seen and touched, but this was a full incarnation. He took the household keys from the man in charge and assumed the position of steward with full confidence. He ran the household with great foresight and attention to detail, or so it seemed, that everything flourished, and nothing was ever missing in his care. Elidyr and his wife just had to think about what they wanted for their table or day-to-day use, maybe suggesting it to each other but not to Simon, and he would automatically retrieve it without being asked.

He'd say things like, "You ordered this, and I got it for you." He was well-versed in their family's investments and their efforts to save money. Everything he decided to do, whether it suited his master and mistress. He'd go ahead and do it right now, no questions asked. He never went to church and never said a single Christian word. He never slept in the house and was still on time for work in the morning.

And, by accident, he was seen conversing with his fellow-demons near the watermill and the pool one night by a family member. His master and mistress interrogated him the following morning. He was fired on the spot and turned over the keys he had been keeping for at least forty days. When he returned, they interrogated him and demanded to know who he was. He said that he was fathered on her by an incubus who had arisen in the form of her husband, and that he was born to some rustic beldame in the same parish.

Insofar as it combines the theme of the incubus, a direct result of clerical learning, underscored by the color of Simon's hair and his utter lack of religious sentiments, with that of fairies and domestic spirits, this account has an abundance of descriptions in its adulterated plot. The fundamental elements, on the other hand, are readily evident. Simon contributes to the household's well-being, and his magical existence is shown by his discovery of all its mysteries. Gerald of Wales also demonstrates the polymorphism of house ghosts, as the accounts mention little old white-haired men or a young man.

The most recent beliefs affirm this, stating that the spirit is not limited to a particular shape, but may also take on the form of an entity or item. Finally, according to the chronicles attributed to the Senones monk Richerus, a completely innocuous house spirit existed in an Epinal house from the time of the Nativity until the Feast of John the Baptist. In one of his poems, Konrad von Würzburg mentions a wooden kobold (ein kobolt von buhse), and another poet known as Der Meissner mentions a silent kobold.

These two examples clearly point to a doll or fetish, which is a physical manifestation of the domestic spirit. Konrad von Haslau writes at the end of the thirteenth century that a taterman—another name for the brilliant domesticus (house spirit)—should never be drawn on a table, although Hugo von Trimberg (circa ) says it should never be drawn on a wall. The meaning in both situations suggests that the metaphor in which the word "kobold" occurs corresponds to a kind of dishonesty.

To unearth a few tidbits of knowledge, one must sift through an immense number of books, which are more important because they testify to the belief's presence outside of literature. There are three mediaeval accounts that are especially moving because they represent different aspects of the convictions that we're interested in. The first comes from a Silesian clergyman named Brother Rudolf, who wrote a treatise on The Priesthood's Dignity.

A woman joins after them, shouting, "What are you carrying?" as they pace across the fire with the newborn. “A sleeping hare, lynx, and fox,” the stupid woman said. They take the brush that was used to clean the fireplace and use it to brush the boy. They never send someone fire from their house, and therefore sin against God during a birth, among other things. They smash an egg on the threshold with a broom as they carry an infant back to the house (no doubt after the baptism).

The mother stands with her child behind the front door in the evening, calling to the wooden woman we name fauness, so that her child weeps and hers behaves. These women use five stones to determine who will be their husband. They give each stone a name and put it in the fire; once it has cooled, they throw it into the sea. They believe the stone that makes a shrill whistling sound as it enters the water contains the name of the husband they will marry.

They even throw nettles soaked in urine into the flames, along with bits of bone, coffin wood, and a variety of other items, to make their husbands burn with passion for them like the objects in the fire. Others who consider themselves to be more knowledgeable in the dark arts create pictures of men out of wax, dough, or other materials. To torment their lovers, they throw them into a pit or on top of an anthill.

They bury pots filled with different items in some corners and even behind the stove for the Penates gods known as Stetewaldiu [“Masters of the premises”] in new buildings or those into which they are going to set up their households. As a result, they refuse to allow anybody to pour anything there. They cast a bit of food there now and then to keep the gods benevolent with the household. They stick hawthorn branches on their roofs to ensure their livestock offer a lot of milk, and they plant trees in front of their house on the day of the apostles Philip and James (May).

They cannot access a house from a door that has been transported with a dead body. The hearth with its accessories, the threshold, the fence, the corners, and the roof—in other words, the middle of the house depicted by the fire burning there, the openings, and the covering—are all instantly visible thanks to Rudolf. Keep these elements in mind and they will appear in texts dating back to the twentieth century!

The second account is taken from Antonius of Florence's (–) inventory of beliefs: Have you ever made the mistake of thinking that when the fire crackles, it means someone is dying? Have you hesitated to allow the fire to be extinguished for fear of bringing bad luck into the house? Have you saved the Christmas log and planted it in your yard, or have you blessed your corners and doors with it?

It is a mortal sin to recite the Our Father while approaching the window and plugging your ears in order to extract information from the first words that arrive from outside in order to learn what you want to hear. Have you ever imagined that anything would happen or that it will have significance? If you sneeze before leaving your building, what do you do? Have you ever laid blessed olive branches or a grain of wheat from a manger on your hearth to see if anyone is going to survive or die? Have you ever hesitated to give anything away from your house or vowed to give something on the first day of the calendar year when you thought your earthly possessions would diminish?

During the March calends, have you blessed your door or hung something in front of your house? Antonius confirms the relevance of the previously listed places, but his comments are mostly directed at divination and defense activities. His list, on the other hand, is useful in that it gives us precise dates for such rites. They are almost the same as those from classical antiquity as well as those from more modern times.

The last account comes from an anonymous treatise written in the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries and preserved in an anonymous manuscript from Saint Florian Monastery: Some people take a pinch of dirt from under the bench before going to Christmas mass, and if they notice anything alive in it, they will not die. When they get home from church, they put the branches in the manger first, then under the shelter, to ensure that the cows will return without trouble (to the barn). They carry the branches around their houses to keep foxes away from their chickens. There would be a lot of ice if anyone sits on a table for Twelve Days.

They eat a round loaf of bread and cheese while walking around their house on the last night of the Twelve Days. In the area, there will be as many haystacks as mouthfuls. When someone has a dream of the oven collapsing, the housemaster or his wife will die. No worm will reach a person's ear if his hands are placed above the fire, and his nails will not turn black. The people fill a nine-liter container of water on Christmas Eve and leave it until the next morning, when they weigh the water level. If it is smaller, the person will be poor for the whole year; if it is constant, nothing will change; but, if there is more water, the person will be rich.

It is best to bury a piece of steel under the gate and make the animals cross through it while taking the herd out to pasture. They are not going to be enchanted. They throw some of the second crop and beaten oats on the roof and leave it there for the next twelve days. They then use it as feed for their livestock. The beasts will be fertile, and the storks will not waste the food. The well-being of the animals and circumambulation rituals are given considerable status in this collection, but divination and omens are not completely missing, and the sections of the house listed confirm what we have seen previously.

As a result, the three accounts we've just looked at tend to round out and illustrate the core themes of the analysis I'm discussing. On this point, we should also remember áttr orvalds ens viförla (The Tale of Thorvald the FarTraveled), a wonderful thirteenth-century text whose details exactly matches that of the Kristni saga (Saga of Icelandic Christianization). Thorvald visited his father Kodran in Iceland with the Saxon bishop Fridrek.

He had a stone on his farm in Gilja that he and his family took offerings to, claiming that it housed their helper spirit (ármar). If he didn't know who was better, the bishop or the ghost, Kodran declined to be baptised. Fridrek sung some canticles over the exploding block. Since the spirit had been vanquished, Kodran allowed himself to be baptized. The plot is more descriptive, and the information it provides provide us with a comprehensive overview of how a domestic spirit's action is depicted.

The bishop was known as a seer (spámar) by Kodran, who retorted to his son that he already had one who was very useful: he forecast the future, secured his animals, and told him of what he wanted to do and what he could keep an eye on. As a result, he had immense faith in him and had revered him for a long time. Since the spirit urged Kodran against converting, Thorvald proposed that they see if the bishop could send it fleeing, forcing his father to allow baptism. The proposal was approved by Kodran.

Fridrek prayed and sang canticles while sprinkling holy water on the ground. In a dream that night, the spirit appeared to Kodran, terrified and full of reproaches. Fridrek was a thief who tried to evict him from his house by throwing boiling water on it; his children were crying from the water's injuries. The next day, the bishop resumed his activities, and the spirit returned to see Kodran. His pleasant demeanour and fine clothing were no longer visible; he was wrapped in a dreadful animal hide that was black and hideous to look at. He pleaded with Kodran to expel the intruders, but Fridrek began to spray holy water on the pillar, causing the spirit to flee.

“Who will now secure your property like I have?” he asked. “When I didn't know the real Deity, I honoured you as a strong and useful father,” Kodran replied. Now that I've discovered you're unreliable and frail, it's time for us to part ways and for me to put my faith in God, who is smarter and stronger than you. The text speaks for itself, and the spirit's tutelary essence is clear. We know where he lives, and a fact reported in the year by the Chronicle of the Jesuits who converted Lithuania to Christianity corroborates the two Scandinavian accounts.

The anonymous author writes about the people who live on the property. Wide stones [lapides non parvi] planted in the earth and put in such a way that their flat surface is on top and filled not with soil but with straw are stored elsewhere in the farm's buildings. They are referred to as Deyves [goddesses] and are revered as protectors of wheat and livestock. Deyves is a popular name for supernatural beings, especially secondary deities such as the domestic gods who protect every family and farm.

In this explanation, we see the same elements as in Rome, where the goddess Ops Consuia, guardian of grain, is buried in the earth and receives offerings. House spirits may be the hypostases or avatars of ancient deities, according to the Jesuit Annals and Roman rituals. We'll have to come back to this stage. Through this way, we get a snapshot of everything that corresponds to the accounts of Burchard of Worms and Thietmar of Merseburg through the tales of missionaries.

We must also pay particular attention to the enigmatic statements in the ancient chronicles that pack into one rushed sentence a summary of the worship of household gods, which they confuse with the worship of the great deities. Much of this is paganism, and the Church has thrown it all together in one pile; now it's up to us to figure it out! In the meantime, Frijofs saga hins frkna (The Saga of Frijof the Bold) tells us that the embodiments of domestic gods were warmed by fire and dried with a blanket, as the Norwegians did with the Brödstainar and Faksar not long before.