Beliefs and/or practices pertaining to the practice of exorcism are prominently connected with the ancient Dravidians in the south. Of the four Vedas (holy books of the Hindus), the Atharva Veda is said to contain the secrets related to magic and medicine. Many of the rituals described in this book are for casting out demons and evil spirits. These beliefs are particularly strong and practiced in West Bengal, Orissa and southern states like Kerala.
The basic means of exorcism are the mantra and the yajna used in both Vedic and Tantric traditions.
Vaishnava traditions also employ a recitation of names of Narasimha and reading scriptures (notably Bhagavata Purana) aloud. According to Gita Mahatmya of Padma Purana, reading the 3rd, 7th and 8th chapter of Bhagavad Gita and mentally offering the result to departed persons helps them to get released from their ghostly situation. Kirtan, continuous playing of mantras, keeping scriptures and holy pictures of the deities (Shiva,Vishnu,Brahma,Shakti e.t.c) (esp. of Narasimha) in the house, burning incense offered during a puja, sprinkling water from holy rivers, and blowing conches used in puja are other effective practices.
Main Puranic resource on ghost- and death-related information is Garuda Purana.
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