How Does One Become A Ghost?

‘Ghosts’ have always been a mysterious and fear evoking topic for most of us. Fear of the ‘unknown’ has affected every individual on this Earth since ages. The spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) has conducted research into the subtle world for the past 20 years with the objective to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.

What are ghosts?

When a person dies only his physical body ceases to exist. His subtle body (consisting of the subconscious mind, intellect, ego and soul, i.e. minus the physical body) continues to exist and moves on to the other subtle regions of the Universe.

A human being is comprised of:

• The Soul
• The mental body or the mind
• The causal body or the intellect
• The supracausal body or the subtle ego
• The Vital body
• The Physical body

What happens after death?

When one dies, the vital energy is released back into the Universe. The physical body remains on Earth while the subtle body travels to a subtle plane depending on its merits or sins and its spiritual level. If the spiritual level is lower the subtle body becomes heavy due to sins and excessive ego and as a result gets stuck in lower subtle planes of existence such as the nether world. If the sins are intense then the subtle body goes to hell and may exist there as subtle body or ghost. This means that ghosts are subtle bodies of people who have passed away having unfulfilled desires such as cravings for sex, alcohol (things that they can only experience through a physical body), revenge,etc. The subtle body of a person after physical death is defined as a ghost if their characteristics and intentions match the above. There is no special process as such which they go through to become a ghost.

What decides where do we go in the after-life?

When we die, our course in the after-life is decided by a number of factors such as:

1. The type of deeds done during the life-time.
2. The extent and the type of spiritual practice one has undertaken during lifetime.
3. The type of death – natural and peaceful, violent or accidental and the type of funeral conducted.
4. The rituals as per Spiritual Science done by the descendants after death to help the deceased in the
after life.

Who are likely to become ghosts?

People are likely to become ghosts after their death when

• They have many unfulfilled desires and many negative impressions in the mind.
• Many personality defects, such as anger, fear, greed, etc.
• A high amount of ego.
• They have harmed others and have the basic nature of harming others.
• Lack of spiritual practice consisting of progressive level of surrender of mind, body and intellect done
with the intention of God-realization.


Only people who have reached the 60% spiritual level and have low ego are able to proceed to the higher regions of heaven and beyond and do not become ghosts. The rest of humanity, when they die, finds themselves in the regions of the Nether world and Hell. Most subtle bodies in the Nether region are highly likely to become ghosts. All subtle bodies in Hell are ghosts.

In fact, even if one is a gentleman but doesn’t have enough spiritual strength through spiritual practice, he is liable to become a ghost when he dies. This is because he is attacked by higher level ghosts and is controlled by them.

Performing adequate spiritual practice as per the basic principles while alive ensures spiritual progress and greatly decreases the possibility of becoming a ghost.

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