The Balaji Mandir near Mehandipur, Rajasthan, has a reputation for healing evil spirits, demons, bhuts, prets or ghosts which afflict people. Hanuman Ji (Lord Hanuman in a child form) is also known as Bala ji, or Balaji. This Balaji mandir, or temple, is a tirtha, or pilgrimage site for people suffering from evil spirits. Daily, thousands of pilgrims, devotees and spiritually suffering people in tirtha-yatra, visit the shrine in the hopes of being cured from any negative spiritual possessions. Demonic and ghostly possession, trances and exorcisms are all commonplace at this Balaji or Hanuman Ji temple and thus the Mehandipur Balaji is pilgrimage site which is believed can offer a power deliverance from spirits.
Legends differ in detail but say Hanuman self-manifested into an image at that place, so the Temple was built there to commemorate Hanuman Ji. It is reported that people at Shri Mehandipur Balaji Mandir are in trances, hypnotic states and even chained to walls awaiting deliverance. Devotees come in greater numbers on Tuesdays and Saturdays for these are the days of Balaji. During Arti, or worship, screams of the possessed can be heard and people lit on fire and dancing erratically in trances can be observed.
Bhuts and Evil Spirits in Veda Pusthakan
Truly evil spirits have afflicted people through history. Why? Where do they come from?
The Veda Pusthakan (Bible) explains that Satan, the one who tempted Jesus in the wilderness, has leadership over a multitude of fallen angels. Ever since the first humans listened to the serpent, these evil spirits have oppressed and control peoples. When the first humans listened to the serpent, Satya Yuga was terminated and we gave the serpent and his spirits right to control and oppress us.
Jesus and the Kingdom of God
Jesus taught with authority about the Kingdom of God. To show he had the right to that authority he cast out the evil spirits, demons and bhuts that torment people.
Jesus heals the demon-possessed
Jesus had many encounters with evil spirits or bhuts. Though known as a teacher, the gospels also record many times when he healed people of evil spirits. The gospels record his first encounter like this:
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.Mark 1:21-28
The Gospels later on describe a healing where people had tried to chain up the possessed man, as in Mehandipur Balaji Mandir, but those chains were unable to hold him. The Gospel records it like this
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.Mark 5: 1-20
As the Son of God in human flesh, Jesus travelled around the countryside healing people. He went to where they lived and becoming acquainted with their oppression from bhuts and perts and would heal them simply by the authority of his spoken word.
Jesus heals the sick
On March 17, 2020, the Mehandipur Balaji temple closed its doors for an indefinite period due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Though popular for healings of evil spirits, devotees there are vulnerable to this new infectious disease. Jesus, however, delivered people not only of evil spirits, but also of infectious diseases. The Gospel records one such healing like this
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.Mark 1:40-45
Jesus’ reputation to heal grew so that crowds thronged him, just as they do at Balaji Mandir (when it is open).
38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.Luke 4: 38-41
Jeals heals the lame, blind, deaf
Like today, in the time of Jesus pilgrims would perform pujas at sacred tirthas, hoping to be cleansed and receive healing. We look at two of the many such healings the gospels record
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”
12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.John 5:1-15
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”Matthew 9:27-33
Jesus raises the Dead
The gospels record occasions where Jesus even brought dead people back to life. Here is one account
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.Mark 5: 21-43
Jesus has had such an influence for healing that in countries where his way has had sway for a long time, there is so little evil spirits that most people in these countries now doubt the existence of evil spirits because they never see manifestations.
A foretaste of the Kingdom of Heaven
Jesus cast out evil spirits, healed the sick and raised the dead not only to help people, but also to show the nature of the Kingdom that he was teaching about. In that coming Kingdom
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”Revelation 21: 4
The healings were a foretaste of this Kingdom, so we could see what the victory over this ‘old order of things’ would look like.
Would you not like to be in a kingdom of such a ‘new order’?
Jesus continues to demonstrate His Kingdom by commanding Nature – showing himself to be Om in the flesh.