Bad Spirit or Karma?


My gentle and kind hearted parents passed away in an accident in Jan. My sister’s family who were with them in the car were unhurt but my parents passed away on the spot. We are comforting ourselves thinking that my parents are at peace and forever together. But recently, my sister was told by an astrologer that a dead relative’s spirit (name also told correctly that is shocking) is trying to hurt our family and that the spirit caused the accident. Can God allow such things to happen?Not fair

—Krishna, India


Dear Krishna,

I am very sorry for your loss and to hear of the astrologer’s pronouncement. Is life fair? As you say, “not fair.” At least this is so from the view of a single lifetime and from the view of the individual or ego.

In the cosmic scheme of things, it all balances out and the tests that come to us are not punishments but opportunities, lessons, and exams in the great School of Life. I have no comment in regard to the spirit of departed relative. None can prove or disprove this assertion. Nor can any assertion bring back to life your parents.

I would suggest to you that as interesting as it is that the astrologer gave the name of a family relative, that you put aside as best you can this thought that your parents’ death was caused by the ill will of a departed soul.

If, on the other hand, you feel firmly that there is truth to this story then consider praying to this soul that you be guided to help this soul find release. Pray to God, Divine Mother or the guru to guide you in how best to lift this burden from your mind and heart and, if need be, from the fate of other family members. Give forgiveness to this soul and pray for forgiveness if for some reason beyond your knowledge you have ever in the past done anything that might return to you in such a tragic way.

The sooner you withdraw attachment and emotional reaction from these events the sooner they can no longer harm you. Past karma cannot be undone but if the acting agency of ego is dissolved the boomerang effect of past actions cannot touch you. Meeting life’s tests with equanimity and faith in God and the goodness and purpose of life is to neutralize the karmic blows that may rain upon you.

Accept calmly what “comes of its own” and engage in right action to neutralize any past actions or attitudes that might account for your tests. In this effort, daily prayer, meditation, devotion, service and the company (satsang) of the “saints” (including like-minded souls) are your best shield.

Be sure to pray daily for the comfort and joy of your parents’ souls. In the after-death state, most souls can do little to help themselves. Prayers for their well-being and happiness are important. Such prayers should be offered calmly and without attachment; with gratitude and unconditional love.

Accept, if you must, only tentatively (like a hypothesis), the astrologer’s explanation. It may, or may not, be true. Either way, it sheds little light on what to do here and now.

May your soul and those of your parents find the peace of God in your hearts,

Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA