The symptoms of several medical conditions are quite similar to supernatural possessions   —  so similar that multiple possessions by spirits can easily be mistaken for Multiple Personality Disorder. The supernatural and a medical condition or disorder known as schizophrenia also seem to have a lot in common. In both cases a person seems to be controlled by an external force, in both it appears that thoughts are being inserted into or withdrawn from one’s conscious mind, in both thoughts are “broadcast” to other people, and in both hallucinatory voices that comment on one’s thoughts or actions or that have a conversation with other hallucinated voices are heard, etc.

I know of a very interesting case where a previously normal housewife began slipping into a quiet trance like state. She would then start laughing and would suddenly start conversing with several imaginary people  — spirits actually. This was diagnosed as hysteria and treated as such for more than six months. It was only when there was no improvement and it became clear that there was a pattern to the conversations the woman was holding that I was brought into the picture. It was then established that the so called ‘hysteria’ and the voices started after the woman picked up a flower from a Sayyid’s mazar and brought it home for “luck”. The supernatural voices she was conversing with identified themselves and the process of resolving their problems and freeing the woman was set underway.

Why and how does the supernatural phenomena of multiple possession by spirits take place ? The spirits of people who die with unfulfilled desires, meet with sudden deaths, especially akaal mrityus or unnatural or untimely deaths, are motivated by revenge, or unable to accept that they have been separated from loved ones all look for a way to communicate with or establish a link with :

     a)  living people who are still in their focus or

    b)  living people who are connected in some way with their unfulfilled desires or

    c)  someone only indirectly or not connected at all but who is a “soft” target for “entry”, as in the case of  the woman who picked up the flower from the Sayyid’s mazar.

    d)  There are also many cases where people visiting for example, some old ruins or some old graves are selected as “links” by spirits.

   e)  There are cases too where people attending a séance or visiting a “medium” “open” themselves to supernatural influences, sometimes one, sometimes, multiple.

The easiest way for spirits to try and achieve their objectives or fulfill their desires is by “possessing” somebody, i.e., entering into the body of a living person.  But multiple possessions by spirits usually take place of living people who fall under categories “c”, “d”, and “e” mentioned above. In multiple possession by spirits, the behaviour of a person changes markedly as different spirits take over, the voice changes every time and interestingly, each time it is usually the voice and accent of the dead person, easily recognised by those who knew the person.  Invariably, the possessed person acquires tremendous physical strength. I witnessed a case where a possessed woman, barely five feet tall and markedly slim flung a tall hefty man out of the room effortlessly.

Multiple possessions can be by evil spirits, by troubled spirits or by spirits who want to pass on a message to someone living.

A few people who are said to be born with a “veil over their eyes” can see what’s happening in the world of the living as well as the world of spirits. However, it is believed that such people, unable to cope with the transitions between the two worlds, die young. There are some living people who have a natural affinity for the supernatural and are able to see or be in touch with the spirit world without any effort.  There are others, such as some mediums and psychics who have developed this ability with mantras and other rituals. Multiple possessions by spirits are often experienced by such persons but usually in ‘controlled’ conditions. It is when multiple possessions by spirits take place in uncontrolled conditions as in the Sayyid’s mazar woman’s case that a Guruji, knowledgeable priest,  psychic or paranormal expert is required to exorcise or “disconnect” the connection that has got made with the supernatural.

Multiple possessions can be by evil spirits, by troubled spirits or by spirits who want to pass on a message to someone living. But in each case, they are a terrible ordeal and very exhausting and should be ended as soon as possible. Can something be done to avoid multiple spirit possession ? To quite a large extent, yes. Avoid walking unnecessarily through a graveyard  — like taking a short cut — or loitering near a graveyard or cremation ground or ruins, especially at or after twilight. Avoid picking up objects, even flowers from a grave, a cremation ground, old ruins or an old building. Make sure there is a competent medium at any séance that you attend. Avoid meddling with the supernatural by trying to call spirits on your own with just half baked knowledge. If you know a major accident once occurred at a particular spot, try and avoid it after dark.

What should be done in cases of multiple spirit possession ? Seek expert help without delay. A guruji or paranormal expert will immediately be able to tell you whether it’s a medical case or a supernatural case. Many years ago, I was very weakened by repeated bouts of typhoid and malaria and started feeling there was someone following me and I could hear voices around me. Our family guruji came and clarified that it was not supernatural, it was just a result of weakness. And indeed, once I recovered fully, the voices and the feeling that someone was following me vanished. Ensuring that you are healthy and being strong mentally is therefore very important for warding off either unwanted hallucinations or actual supernatural influences.                

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