GHOSTS, AND CHANTING RAMA-NAMA
From the Life of Srila Thakur Bhaktivinode
One day I went to eat gamarul fruit in the gar-den near my grandfather’s parlor. I heard that a ghost lived in the fruit tree, and on that day Iran away in fear of the ghost. Another day I thought that if some remedy could be effected, then I could go and eat the fruit without fear of the ghost. In the hot weather, gamarul fruit is very tasty. I made inquiries from many people about how to deal with ghosts, and no one said that there was no such thing as ghosts. Being very disturbed, I asked Vachaspati Mahashaya, who said that ghosts were a particular form of living being. Their form is of the wind and their eyes are like the kancha fruit [very small and red]. Hearing the words of Vachaspati Mahasaya, I became even more afraid of ghosts. But where there is no gamarul, there is no eating.
The mother of Chiba was very expert in the occult. She was an exorcist for some people, and she over saw the storage room of my grandfather. Upon questioning her, she in-formed me that there is no fear of ghosts while one chants the name of Rama. One servant said the same thing. By way of experiment, Iwent to the site of the gamarul tree, calling the name of Rama over and over again, and I found no evidence of a ghost in any fashion. Knocking down some fruit, I ate two quarters.I understood that the name of Rama was protection against the ghost. At dusk, I would al-ways utter rāma-nāma. When walking about in the streets and alleys I always chanted rāma-nāma. I obtained great satisfaction in my mind and for many days I took this medicine against the ghost. I heard that a ghost lived in the homa building. Uttering the name of Rama, I chased the ghost away from the pūjā building. Now I was no longer afraid to go outside at dusk.
— Svalikhita Jīvani, Thakur Bhaktivinode’s autobiography.Chapters 79-80. English Translation by Shukavak Das.
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