Come beautiful one, come into my life, float into my arms. I will honour you, fulfill all your needs if you will fulfill all my needs. I watched almost bemused as a good looking teenager with a stylish mohawk haircut  and tattoos on his neck chanted the “come beautiful one” invocation again and again while kneeling on the ground, his eyes closed, his hands clenched. Incense smoke wafting around his kneeling figure added to the surreal atmosphere in the room. What was happening? What was he doing?

He had already explained that to me when he’d invited me to watch whether he was doing things correctly because he hadn’t got any success so far while all his friends had succeeded. He was calling out for the spirit of a beautiful girl to materialise and become his girlfriend. “I want her to be super fast and super efficient, like the Google assistant, you know, and do all the things that I want her to do in a jiffy. My friends have all got spirit girlfriends and they’re all on cloud nine, fulfilled in every way. But I’ve been trying and trying for more than a month but I can’t seem to attract a spirit girlfriend,” he moaned.

It sounds unreal and somewhat bizarre, like the subject of ghost marriages, but a spirit girlfriend, spirit boyfriend phenomenon has been growing in recent years in leaps and bounds particularly amongst today’s younger generation. But why a spirit girlfriend or boyfriend and not a living one? The justifications vary and range from “ it gives you a groovy high, exotic experiences emotionally and sexually and a real sense of belonging to someone who really needs you, who understands  you and will ensure that all your desires are fulfilled” to “ the Google assistant isn’t real too, either, is she, but look at all the fantastic things a non-living creation can do for you.  In that sense a spirit is more real because it was a human once and in any case can do far more than even the most improved version of the Google assistant”.

From most accounts in such romantic spirit-human relationships it’s a win-win situation for both. More so, I suspect, for the spirit than the human. That’s because all earth bound spirits need a constant, renewable source of energy they can feed on to retain their powers. Otherwise they will fade away into the nothingness of a shadow zone from where it becomes very difficult to gather energy and re-emerge as a distinct spirit entity. Some spirits, especially the lower forms, like bhootnis, feed on human or animal blood. Others feed on the fear they generate. Still others feed off evil deeds, taking possession of humans and so on and its here that the danger lies.

Out of the lower forms, for instance, the pishachas  and pishachinis are considered to be the lowest, most evil and most vicious of them all. Pishachas  is the term usually given to such spirits who generally inhabit the astral plane known as Preta Loka that co-exists with the physical plane of earth. In the Vedas they are ranked lower than the rakshasas. The pishachas are of many types and they are all very powerful. Pishachas or pishachinis “work” for a particular person after a “deal” has been struck, i.e. the pishacha or pishachini agrees to do certain things for the living person who has opportuned it and the person in turn agrees to it conditions. Spirits who are controlled by living beings or have entered into a relationship or a deal with them are extremely powerful in every way, especially when driven to anger or cheated.

Often, especially when deprived of food or cheated in some other way, pishachas prey on humans, never mind the romantic bonds or a romantic or other deal,  and usually kill them to sustain themselves or to gain revenge. The phenomenon of a spirit or spirits eating through a human is quite common.  People who are possessed by a pishacha or pishachini in particular are known to eat, quite amazingly, more than double of what they normally do, including raw things when under the influence of a pishacha or pishachini and still they seem to want more.

A young girl of about 19 living close to us was possessed every night by her dead grandmother and I myself have seen her gobbling down—really fast and very crudely—more than a dozen bananas, eight rotis, an entire loaf of bread, atta, raw daal, raw cauliflower, raw carrots, raw cucumber —till there was nothing to eat left in the house and she still wanted more. And this mind you was not a  pishachini  but a grandmother’s spirit. So if your pishacha boyfriend or pishachini girl friend or yaksha boyfriend or yakshi girl friend or some other spirit girl friend or boyfriend get annoyed with you for some reason, there are several scarier scenarios you may have to face.

Moreover,  many of the spirits who are earthbound  are of individuals who died prematurely, i.e. before their karmically-allotted life spans had expired, those who committed suicide, or those who died violently or suddenly in accidents, as well as those whose bodies could not be found and whose final rites were not performed. These spirits suffer great misery and are trapped in the earthly planes like prisoners. So in one sense when a human enters into a relationship with them it is like throwing them a virtual life line of energy but it doesn’t free them of earthly bondage.

However, none of these negative aspects seem to have an impact on young boys and girls and older people too who believe in romantic spirit relationships. “Even in human-human relationships there are risks”, they counter. “Spirit-human relationships are empowering”.  It’s a different matter when a relationship between two lovers or a husband or wife survives even after death when one of them is in a spirit state. But is a romantic relationship between a human and a previously unknown earth bound spirit really empowering or a good idea at all, especially when lower forms of spirits can change themselves into a beguiling form at will? Or is this relatively new spirit-girlfriend, spirit-boyfriend trend, in the words of  F. Scott Fitzgerald, hailed as one of the greatest American writers, “ a form of chemical madness”? You decide.


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