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Question: A Buddhist friend deludedly believes that a mutual friend got an evil spirit to speak to her, asking her to harm him, to get her into trouble. How can I help her?

Answer: If her accusation is unfounded, she could be suffering from paranoia (due to clinging to an unreasonable conclusion) and/or schizophrenia (due to hearing of voices). Since she is a Buddhist, it is good to urge her to pray sincerely and regularly to Guanyin Bodhisattva (or any other Buddha or great Bodhisattva, as they offer similar powers of blessings) through mindfulness (and homage) of her name (Namo Guanshiyin Pusa: 南无观世音菩萨), as it is stated in ‘The Universal Door Chapter Of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’: 观世音菩萨普门品) that this will keep harmful influences such as black magic away – ‘Curses and all poisons that are desired to harm oneself, with mindfulness of that power of Guanyin, return to apply on the originating person.’ (咒诅诸毒药,所欲害身者,念彼观音力,还著于本人。)

(As Guanyin Bodhisattva has perfect compassion and no spite, it should not be mistaken that she is the one actively sending back the intended harm to punish the evil-doer. This deflection or reflection of harm to the evil-doer is a natural karmic effect, as one who is mindful of Guanyin Bodhisattva is protected by her offering of an ‘armour’ of blessings. Also, when it comes to evil spirits being able to harm a potential victim, one must have some corresponding spiritual defilements (greed and hatred especially), and the negative karma to be harmed. Since the person mindful of Guanyin Bodhisattva is tuning to one’s own pure Buddha-nature while connecting to her blessings that dilutes negative karma, this person cannot be harmed. It is the evil-doer then, who is the immediate one with corresponding defilements, who gets harmed. The above teaching also serves as a skilful deterrence, to warn against the doing of such evil, of which one has to taste its bitter fruits.)

Mindfulness of Guanyin Bodhisattva can thus offer your troubled friend peace of mind (calmness and clarity) to overcome fear and suspicion, and prove to herself that your mutual friend did not do any black magic. You can remind her that even if she does not totally trust you on this, she should have faith in Guanyin Bodhisattva’s vow to protect practitioners, as stated in the Lotus Sutra (法华经) above. She should chant Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name to heal her possibly split mind too, which might had led to the hearing of voices. Your mutual friend should practise accordingly and sincerely too, so as to protect himself from being harmed. More about Guanyin Bodhisattva can be learnt in this course – ‘The Universal Door Of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva: https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2014/05/the-universal-door-of-guanyin-bodhisattva-3rd-run)

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