Have you ever seen someone possessed by a ghost? No? I have, several times. That is at least what those people told afterwards. In no case did I actually believe this story but I have experienced that many times.
How does that look like? A person starts behaving differently than usual. He or she starts talking strange things and moving in another way. It looks as though someone else is acting from their inside and acting very funnily. Some people do that at home but more often it happens when there is a bigger crowd of people around.
There are some temples to which especially those people go who are possessed. People of Hindu religion believe that through the Mantras and special rituals of that temple, the spirit or ghost that possesses a person can leave their body again. They go there and during the service they start shaking along with the music. This in itself would not be very strange but then they open their hair, move their head quickly from side to side, jump up and start dancing and sometimes even just wildly scream around. If there are some people in a group who do this, there are also others who start doing it along and in the end you have a crowd of people who seem fully crazy or as if some spirit has possessed them. If you see such a thing for the first time, you can really get scared!
I have seen this behavior many times in my programs in India, when I gave religious lectures in front of hundreds and thousands of people. There were nearly always a few who acted in this way. Religious people believe in such possessions. It is a very common superstition that such things exist.
The gender mostly affected by this situation is the female one. How come and how does that happen? If you read my blog regularly, you know that I don’t believe in possession by spirits or ghosts and that is why I can see several reasons for women to come into this situation.
One of the reasons is the suppression of women which still happens in many parts of India, especially in smaller towns or villages. Women grow up and learn from their mothers, sisters and aunts that they are not allowed to show their face in front of men. They wear a veil. They learn not to talk to men or in front of men. They remain silent.
Women who suppress their feelings and themselves in this way can someday explode and then they can do this kind of drama to finally get attention. A ghost that has possessed a woman is a good excuse for her to do anything she wants. Finally she is seen in a world in which she is normally invisible. She is the center of the conversation when she is normally always at the side of the room, silent and hardly noticed.
I have seen women take out their anger in this way. They tear apart their clothes, rip apart their veil, shake their hair and say whatever they want. Others have to listen and believe a ghost or spirit has taken control.
Other women use this method to get what they want. They are unsatisfied and have unfulfilled wishes and if they manage to create the drama of being possessed, they can say what they want and their family, believing that this is not the woman speaking but a higher being, does what she says.
In this way the woman can be someone special. Some of them even do it regularly, every week or every month. This woman pretends to be a channel for a ghost or spirit in that time. Some people had the business idea to market that, told others about it and this is how the idea of clairvoyants and channelings started, which is now so popular in the west. When they get more successful, they are called holy and can make really a lot of money with their drama.
For family members who get afraid and who don’t want to make business out of this, it can be very scary and a big problem though. There are healers, just like exorcists, who are then called to get the ghost out of that poor women. This practice can be very cruel. They hit and beat them until the drama is over. It is sad to see this happening still in this country and it happens because of a lack of education.
Some people do business, others do it to feel special, others do it to take out their anger but there are also some who really have a disease. This problem is called multiple personality disorder and is a serious psychological problem. There is a person with an identity but inside, this person feels there is someone else. From time to time this ‘second character’ comes to the front and they act as though they are someone else. Again, people with a lack of education will not understand that this can be a disease.
It is a disease that can be cured or at least helped but surely not by those ‘healers’.
This problem shows several issues of our society and problems that we have to work on. We have to make women stand equally besides men and stop suppressing them. We have to bring education to people so that they can recognize a disease and make it possible for the patient to get cure. And last but most importantly of all we need to stop religion from spreading the superstition that there could be a ghost or spirit possessing a person.