Jul 16, 2017

Posted by in BUDDHISM IN OTHER LANGUAGES | 18 Comments

About the realm of demons – Lesson 3: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMONS AND THE DEAD’S SOULS (Sự khác biệt giữa vong hồn và quỷ thần) 

About the realm of demons – Lesson 3: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMONS AND THE DEAD’S SOULS (Sự khác biệt giữa vong hồn và quỷ thần) 


Sometimes tricks resulted from majestic demons’ piracies confused people by the thought of the dead’s souls’ existence. If we do not have a thorough understanding on this topic, this will lead to a bad consequence to be a victim of those simonies. Under the blessing and power of the Avalokiteshvara, I would like to give an explanation as following:


Demons are impersonal force staying in the wheel of The six realms. Depend on their habitats, demons are divided into 2 species: hungry demons and majestic demons. The dead’s soul is the essence of a person after dead. Its existence is under supernatural form and a special composition which is called Intermediate existence body. Their existence was maintained as a transience where the soul is waiting to be reborn into their next lives. While the demons’ life span lengthen myriads of years, an Intermediate existence body’s life span is less than 49 days.

Intermediate existence body’s life span is less than 49 days


The hungry demons always yearn to have just a bit of food to eat while the intermediate existence body does not care about eating. Any kind of demons, whether hungry demons or majestic demons have their married life with their kids, similar to our lives. Souls cannot do that, for that reason they are called “forsake spirits”, means lonely souls. 


Lonely soul

Soul of the person whose death was resulted from innocent or fierce reasons is called “injustice soul”. Soul of normal dead person is called “the spirit” or “the soul”. They “eat” by smelling the food if their names are being called rightly. Otherwise, the food shall be scrambled by many other souls. The demons are huge, especially the majestic demons while the medium existence body only exist under supernatural form with the size of a 6-8-year-old’s human body.

They “eat” by smelling the food if their names are being called rightly

The soul’s mental process keeps wavering and shaking within the karma winds. So that they usually find themselves in their old frequent places and people such as home, children, relatives and friends. They have “supernatural power” so whenever they are thinking about a place or a person, they will immediately appear beside that place or that person. They will see what is happening and hear all the things that surrounding people are talking at that time. So according to the Buddhism’s tradition, it is said that all the good deeds such as reciting Mantras, intoning Sutras or releasing living creatures, offerings and providing meals for monks should be done during the first week after death in order to return those merits to the soul.

It is said that all the good deeds such as reciting Mantras, intoning Sutras or releasing living creatures, offerings and providing meals for monks should be done during the first week after death

The soul will be reborn into his/her next life within the first week or the second week at the latest after death if they are happy with their family’s good deeds after their own observation. On the contrary, if the family engage themselves in a mess of unethical doings such as making quarrelsome or competing for their remaining belongings, or weeping or plaintive cry; they will then become aggrieved and even develop those negative emotions into deep-seated bitterness. This explains why they generate negative currents of energy which will lead themselves born into three lower realms.

negative currents of energy will lead themselves born into three lower realms

It should be stressed that the soul can not easily be recognized/identified by their beloved one. They will find someone who share a similar spiritual wave, then transforms into their previous appearance to be able to communicate with others. There’s case when the children are so in love and have a fond remembrance to the mother then it will facilitate the spirit of mother or child to see each other. However, their appearance maintains around just ten seconds. Because their origin is often fluctuating, they flow everywhere according to their thoughts. For example, the soul thinks of his/her family then he/she immediately appears at the house, but a few seconds later he/she thinks of a close friend, he/she will be appearing elsewhere. Also, if they have a relative living in province A, the other living in province B, a friend in country C, a close friend in country D. Depending on how the concept began, they will then appear at those places without any self-control.

Of course, because of the inability to talk to the world, they use symbolic appearance. For example: If they want to alert their relatives that they were murdered, they appear themselves full of blood; If they want the relatives to know that they drowned, they will be presented with body full of water, hair and ears are blowzed; If they want their family to know that they died of hanging, they appear to be hanged with a necklace…

Symbolic appearance

Over the first week after death, the souls are less likely to return to their own places. At that time, lots of horrible scenes like raging sound, glorious light, and even the brightest light shining by a hundred suns, the scenes of being chased, and others were holding weapons to kill them, etc. All of those make them busily flee away to find a shelter. This causes them to start the reincarnation of the lower realms to avoid fear. Consequently, Zen practitioners often contemplate the universe as illusory to counter the Intermediate existence body; The Mantra uses mantras and four other ways of “praying”, “visualizing the deities”, “reminiscing the Guru” and “proclaiming the Dharma name”. All of the 49 days of continuous supportive recitation is only for the purpose of helping the soul incessantly stop their fear, remembering the virtues and merits they have accumulated to deal with karma wind.

No later than 49 days, according to the karmic retribution, they start their own reincarnation into another realm, reborn into a new being, to a new mother, with new friends and relatives. They no longer have the capacity to remember their past lives.

Bodhisattva Nagarjuna

There was a true story happened during Buddha’s time. An erroneous person was so missing his 9-year-old son who had just died, so he found out a way to meet his child one more time. A Brahman felt pity for him and helped him to meet his son who currently is the son of a great deity. He was too happy to embrace his son, tears overflowing with so many words to say. He kept thinking that his children would be excited. On the contrary, the child replied severely and spited him: “You poor old man, I am not your son. My parents are here with me; you are so silly! ” After the shock, he returned home to seek taking refuge in the Buddha because he had previously heard the Buddha’s advice for not doing that useless thing.

The second story is about Bodhisattva Nagarjuna. Because of feelings sympathy for the king then he helped the king to meet his previous queen who had just died for a week. The queen is now a scorpion. When the king approached (in the form of male scorpion) and expressed his remembrance, she rejected immediately because “she” does not remember her previous life anymore. Currently, “she” is also married to another male scorpion. The King returns to the Royal Palace, not to mention about his fondness ever again.


There was a case in Kim Long commune, Chau Duc district. The wife of the District Communist secretary named Le Thi Huong. She lives in Bang Commune, Chau Duc district, Ba Ria Vung Tau province. She was accused of killing a person then firing the dead and burying in the garden. The victim is Mrs. Duong Thi Thuy Binh Ha, chairman of the Red Cross Association of the commune. There was an article that said Son, the son of the victim, dreamt of his mother and leaded by her to find the place she was buried. Son met the psychic and even the fortune teller for help but there was no result. I am not mentioning about the result, I just want to point out the right object of being envisioned in the dream, in order not to misunderstanding in the mystical concept under Buddhism’s viewpoint.

Capital murder


In the first two weeks after death, the spirit in the form of Intermediate existence body is not capable of appearing/envisioning in their family’s dreams. They flee and seek for a shelter before reincarnation. So how can the phenomenon be explained? There are two cases:

1 / The person died suddenly and unexpectedly so at that time he did not know he was dead. For example, someone was shot unexpectedly from the back and died immediately. Or a sudden death from cerebrovascular accident. After that, the Intermediate existence body escapes from the human body, but the soul still keeps thinking he/she is alive. They keep staying in mind as if they are alive. They keep repeating their daily habit as if they are still alive.

The person died suddenly and unexpectedly so at that time he did not know he was dead.


If the soul used to be a teacher, he/she keep going to school in the morning. They still keep their habit of waiting in in the teacher room before going to the class. However, the soul will be surprised to see that there is another teacher in his/her class, but his/her colleague is not answering any of his/her questions and neither his/her students are. The soul is accordingly getting so upset but the thought of being alive is still strong so they have no clue but follow their old habits.

After many similar situations happened, the soul will be awakened by the karmic force and realize that he/she was dead. At that time, they are tendency to be reincarnated. Of course, only people who share the same spiritual wave with the intermediate existence body are able to see them. They call that phenomenon “visions of the souls”, normally people observe that phenomenon at night.

It is said that the Buddhists with high enlightenment competence are able to communicate with the intermediate existence body in order to teach them not to cling to the body existence.

2/ Sometimes, during common demonic activities, the majestic demons happen to counter an “interesting case” and they themselves appear in the vision of the family’s dreams to showcase the death. Of course, they will be using devilish tricks to trap people. For example, they show off all the scenes that the family have no idea. After that, the demons required offerings in order for them to enjoy the incense and fragrance. Besides, the demons may pretend to be the dead (who was in fact reborn into another realm already) to force the family keep providing offerings. Different kind of demons has their own tricks.

However, there exists good demons who believe that helping the dead’s family to find out the truth of the death or to find out the dead’s body or point out the murderer, etc are good deeds and will definitely help them to accumulate merits. However, those things will cause more clinging to false illusions, making it difficulties for themselves on the liberation thinking.


The soul itself can not be able to interfere the human being because their “supernatural power” is limited when deployed to humans. If indeed they are free to do so then the human world will be turned upside down with unpredictable consequences. Just imagine that everyone who has just become a soul can interfere their children as well as their beloved one, then the funeral will be super messy.

Even demons find it difficult to interfere, unless someone proactively invites them. When the vow to demons is being made, the humans create a bridge that connects to the demons’ realm. For that reason, the demons are able to cling to the humans’ body and even own their soul to enjoy the tricks. Therefore, it is not by accident that the Buddha taught us not to worship the demons.

Recently, many people held prayers for fetuses who have died because the parents do not want to have more children. They believe that these fetuses are capable of supernatural power, which causes the devil tricks a reason to bother the family. So that rumors are spreading, many people even set up an altar for their fetuses at home. This is a superstitious attitude that originated in Taiwan in the 1980s.

Recently, many people held prayers for fetuses who have died because the parents do not want to have more children.

Actually it is not true. It is just the frightened or infertile feeling of the parent after their abortion. There are people who even volunteered to be responsible for taking care of the dead fetuses by collecting as much fetuses as possible and building a cemetery for them in Nha Trang city. They conclude that it is a way of comforting the infant mortal, soothing their resentment against their parents, so as they will not disturb their parents later.

It is a way of comforting the infant mortal, soothing their resentment against their parents, so as they will not disturb their parents later.

From the Buddhism’s viewpoint, sentient beings are all equal. Although the lives of each sentient beings is different, but the death is processing with no difference. Within 49 days after death, the soul must be reincarnated into another life in the six realms of samsara (hell, ghost, animal, human, god, heaven). There is no exception for them to stay forever in the Saha world to bother humans. If there comes the cases, it is the demons who know the stories and take advantage of those to trigger people with fear and repentant and then provide offerings to demons as a result.

In conclusion, the phenomenon of the soul (including the child mortal) to disrupt human beings, give vision the human’s dreams, harass or epiphany as superhuman being are all wrong. They are all the demons’ tricks in order to satisfy their own pleasures. It is necessary to distinguish between the essence nature and phenomena in order to handle with effective antidotes, avoid falling into superstition consequences.

See you again in lesson 4.

Phuoc Thanh Village, 10 May 2013.


Translated by Mat Tu.

Original Vietnamese versionQUỶ SỰ BÀI 3: khác biệt giữa vong hồn và quỷ thần

About the Realm of Demons:


Lesson 1: WHO IS A DEMON?



Lesson 4: Spiritual medium and spiritual power 




  1. Dear holy Guru,

    I am full of happiness over your article. After reading your article, I understood the difference between demons and the dead’s souls. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your teaching.
    I take great delight in Mat Tu’s good deed of translation. Her interpretation holds up the Guru’s teachings and thrives all over the world for the sake of all sentient beings.

    May you and your consort live long for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May Mat Tu get all legitimate wishes and achieve the joy that arises on the path to enlightenment.

    May all sentient beings achieve the happiness of the Buddha’s nature.

    Om Mani Padme Hum!

  2. Dear Holy Guru,

    I am delightes to read your lesson 3: the difference between demons and the dead’s souls.

    Thanks to your clarification, I am able to distinguish demons from the dead’s souls. Often there is confusion among demonic possession when it comes to the occasional encounter of demonic entities, and those whose relatives have just died have superstitious beliefs and consider demonic possession the dead’s souls’saying. There has arisen the demand in worship or superstitious rituals when the people have just passed away. The spiritual mediums or shamans make use of the victims’ fear and superstition to earn money from spiritual rituals. And during spiritual rituals, demons use the spiritual medium’s body to talk to the victims about the situation of the death. Then they asked the victims to prepare the meal filled with meat, so that demons can enjoy the smell from such a worldly meal.

    Actually, the dead’s souls have to face their bad karma and scare, they struggle wildly with panic and fear. They can not come to a stand, they follow their non-stop thought of fear. Therefore the dead’s souls unable to talk to their relatives as many people have misunderstood. In addition, within 49 days after death, the soul must be reincarnated into another life in samsara. There no exception for them to stay forever in the Saha world to bother human beings. Obviously, all superstitious beliefs in dead’s souls are wrong, all are demon’s tricks.

    Your clear explaination about demons and dead’s souls helps us and other readers distinguish demons from the dead’s souls in order to keep ourselves from the superstitions and from bad consequences involving in demons.

    I am thankful to you for your meaningful and wonderful lesson.

    May you and your consort have a good health and live long for the sake of all sentient beings and may the light of dharma lead all beings to the right path on enlightenment.

    I also rejoice in the good deeds of Mat Tu who has translated your lesson into English. Her translation supports to flourish your teaching all over the world.

    May Mat Tu achieve all legitimate wishes and get the joy that arises on the path to enlightenment.

    May all sentient beings be freed from the prison of samsara.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  3. JeongGeun Mok says:

    Dear Guru


    I read it well

    Thank you for the teaching


    Om MaNi PadMe Hum


  4. Mô Phật!

    Mật thúy rất hoan hỉ với thiện hạnh dịch bài viết của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh của đạo huynh Mật Từ cầu nguyện cho huynh luôn tin tấn thực hành pháp để được tha lực hô trì cầu mong tất cả chúng sanh luôn có duyên lành biết đến chánh pháp OM ah hùm

  5. Mô Phật !

    Mật Mai hoan bỷ tán thán thiện hạnh của đạo huynh Mật Từ đã dịch bài viết của Thầy sang tiếng anh, giúo cho nhiều bạn đọc hữu duyên biết đến chánh pháp.

    Cầu nguyện huynh Mật Từ sức khỏe vag những ước mơ thầm kính được viên thành. Om  Ah hum!

  6. Mô Phật.

    Mật  Diễm hoan hỷ  thiện hạnh của đạo huynh  Mật Từ  đã  dịch bài  viết của Thầy sang Tiếng Anh.  Giúp  cho các bạn đọc hữu duyên  biết đến chánh pháp  qua trang mạng chanhtuduy. Com  tìm  được nơi nương tựa chân thật   thông qua kênh vận chuyển vị Thầy.

    Cầu nguyện  ngọn đuốc trí tuệ được thắp sáng muôn nơi thông qua kênh vận chuyển vị Thầy.

    Con cầu nguyện  sức khỏe và  sự trường thọ Thầy Cô vì lợi lạc  chúng sanh.

    OM AH  HUM

  7.  Tantra Mahavita says:

    Querido Guru : Estamos profundamente agradecidos por sus articulos. Deseando poder disfrutar de sus maravillosas enseñanzas cada dia . Que nuestro Amado Guru tenga salud y pueda vivir muchos años para beneficio de todos los seres sintientes .Que todos los seres sensibles tengan la felicidad y las causas de la felicidad . Que todos los seres esten libres de sufrimiento y de las causas de sufrimiento . Que todos los seres sintientes nunca esten separado de la felicidad que no conoce el sufrimiento . Que todos los seres vivan en ecuanimidad libre de apego y aversion. OM MANI PADME HUM

  8. Tantra Mikaya says:

    dear holy guru. Thank you for your article the difference demons and bad souls. This article is very interesting and informative for me. I have read before that the soul wanders into a new body 49 days after death. I know very little about demons or bad souls and your explanation is very enlightening for me. As you know, I was educated without religion and had no spiritual connections. I often wondered if I have lived in a previous life. Sometimes I think I can feel that. I talked about it with friends and often wondered why my dreams are so real. I often dream that a monk takes me by the hand and says that it’s time for me to come home. I look around and see temples. I know I am in a different but foreign country. I feel calm and confident but I start to cry because I know that I leave beloved people behind. This thought scares me a little bit. I know that there may be several reasons why I have these feelings. I am also aware that souls find no peace to walk. In your article I learned to understand a little better. I have learned that we ourselves determine our karma. I am working on the path of liberation and I am trying to practice the Dharma daily. I bow to you holy Guru and your wise knowledge. May all be free from suffering. May all be healthy and happy. May our holy guru live long. OM MANI PADME HUM

  9. Simon Michael says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for this article may you help me like that little boy who die at 10 year but was able two remember his past life after reincarnation. so that I too will remember my pass mistake to correct the feature in other to avoid bad karma

  10. Simon Michael says:

    Dear Guru,

    Thank you for this article called demon and the death soul. May you give me the power to understand the tricks of demon in other not to fall there victim may you help me to do the right thing in other to avoid reincarnation into the low realm and incarnate in human form may you give us the spirit and power for not to worship demon

  11. Ashok Kate says:

    Very nice and sensitive article, guru.      Buddham namami

  12. Josh says:

    Guru,  thank you for sharing with us your great wisdom. This was a very interesting article and I’m sure that I will read it again. Mat Tu, thank you for your translation.

    Om mani padme hum

    May Guru and his consort have a long life for the sake of all sentient beings

    May all sentient beings find freedom from suffering

  13. Mật Phê Rô says:

    Kính bạch Thầy!

    Con hoan hỷ thiện hạnh đạo huynh Mật Từ đã chuyển ngữ bài viết :VONG HỒN VÀ QUỶ THẦN của vị Thầy sang tiếng Anh, ngõ hầu giúp các bạn đọc hữu duyên được soi sáng bởi chánh kiến.

    Con cầu nguyện đạo huynh Mật Từ luôn hạnh phúc, hanh thông, viên thành mọi ước nguyện.

    Con cầu nguyện Thầy Cô sức khỏe, trường thọ vì đại nghiệp phổ truyền Yoga Thanh Trí, làm lợi lạc tất cả chúng sanh.

    Cầu nguyện tất cả chúng sanh được nương tựa bóng lành Thầy, Phật, Pháp, Tăng.

    Cầu nguyện đạo hữu Mật Hoàng Phúc thác sanh cõi lành.

    Om Mani Padme Hum!


  14. Tantra Mishataru says:

    Dear Guru, This was a nice article I read, its true after 49 days after soul reincarnation to one of the six realms, demons take their place to deceive the deceased loved ones about a certain event. I experienced too in couple of years ago, after my late dad’s grandmother’s death. Demons were stubbornly appearing in face of my grandmother in my dream. At that time as a christian praying to deva. I prayed and prayed and nothing happened. She kept on coming to me at night hours when I have retired to bed. At that time I thought it was her but doing some research I came to know even a demon can disguise itself to a lost loved one in order to fool us. Now that I have confirmed through you Holy Guru I find out now my research was accurate as I was harbouring doubts. Demons are really tricky they can make you believe anything that’s not there. Thank you so much for this wise teachings Dear Guru. I bow my head to your lotus feet.

    May Mat Tu achieve all legitimate wishes and achieve the joy that arises on the path of Enlightenment. And May Blessings of Lord Buddha be with you.

    Om Mani Padme Hum

  15. Tantraupatissa says:

    Dear Guru thanks for sharing this article. I learned a lot more on evil spirits by reading this article. This article is really interesting and I will read the complete reading this series of articles on evil spirits. Hope all beings get favourable conditions to pray for deceased once, so they can be reborn in good realms.

    May Guru and his consort live long for sake of other beings.

    May all beings be free from suffering and get enlightened.

    Om Mani Padme Hum..

  16. Mật Nhất Nguyên says:

    Dear Holy Guru,

    I have read this article a couple years ago and upon reading it again today, I realize how it has positive affect my life. The clear understanding of demons and the dead’s soul brought me a peace of mind in many occasions.

    I feel less frightened when reading and thinking about supernatural mysteries, like those stories mentioned in the article. I feel less attached and sorrow when facing the death of a family member. I focused on what is best to do instead.

    “To worry about what is not worth-worrying will increase disturbance. Not worry about what is worth-worrying will increase the disturbance.” Through this article written by the Guru, I have reduced my disturbance. I’m grateful for the lesson.

    May the Guru and His Consort have good health for the benefit of all sentient beings. May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha’s nature. May the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be over.

    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  17. Mật Tuyết Hoa says:

    Dear Guru,
    I have read this article.
    Thank you so much for meaningful article. It helps me know that the difference between demons and the dead’s soul from their nature and phenomenon. Thereby, I am understood that some tricks in order to satisfy demon own pleasures by way disrupt human beings, give vision the human’s dream, harass or epiphany as superhuman, which is all the wrong view. Through it, we are thankful for right view from Guru teaches us. It makes me avoid falling into superstition consequences. I am grateful Guru.
    May Guru lives long and have a good health for the sake of all sentient beings.
    May all sentient beings attain the happiness of Buddha nature.
    May the Covid 19 will end soon.
    Om Mani Padme Hum.

  18. Tantra Mitsharuma (Petra) says:

    Dear Holy Guru
    Thank you for the lesson about the difference between demon and dead souls

    May Guru have health and happiness
    May all sentient beings be free from harm and suffering

    Om Mani Padme Hum

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