[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 3, December, 1881, p. 75]
[The following stories related by Dr. Ram Das Sen are commented upon by H.P.B.]
The following story was related in the presence of a large assemblage of friends and acquaintances by the late Babu Abhoy Charan Newgy, an assistant surgeon in the employ of the Government of Bengal.
He had not long been in charge of a hospital at a certain station in the North-Western Provinces. Accustomed to sleep out of doors during the warm weather, he often slept on an open terrace adjoining the dispensary building. Once, on rather a sultry night, he had retired to bed and was composing himself to sleep. There were a few chairs left standing close to his couch. Suddenly a sound as that of the rustling of a person’s dress or something like it, startled him. Opening his eyes he saw before him, sitting calmly in one of his chairs, his predecessor, the late assistant surgeon, who had died a month previous in the premises of that dispensary. Babu Abhoy was a stoutly-built man, and of a frame of mind quite proof to superstitious fears or anything like nervousness. As might be imagined, he was not in the least frightened. He simply ejaculated a low sound of surprise, when the apparition floating over a high wall gradually disappeared. The whole scene took place in a clear moonlight night.
Gobind Prasad Sukul was an inhabitant of Nattore, in the district of Rajshahy, Bengal. When we first saw him at Berhampore, in Murshedabad, he appeared to us a thin, wiry skeleton of a man, on the wrong side of 50, with sharp, angular features, a mysterious look about him, and who was constantly muttering something to himself. Admission into the house he resided in, was strictly denied by him to all visitors. He used to always dress in scarlet cotton stuffs and
was a frequent visitor of ours. When sitting in our presence, he would, if requested, take up a pinch of earth, and putting it into his left palm cover it with the other, and breathe into his joined hands; a minute or two after that, opening his palms just enough to let us have a glimpse, he would show us a gold coin, or a flower, the latter each time a different colour and variety. It is said he held converse with “Spirits.” Many a person is known to have won lawsuits, and many a one to recover his health—though apparently hopelessly gone, through the mystic instrumentality of that strange personage.
Editor’s Note.—We need not notice the subject of article II, as it is very clear that Gobind Prasad Sukul was a man who had possessed himself by some means of considerable occult powers. But we will say a few brief words about the “ghost” of the assistant surgeon. The apparition was that of a man, who had died a month previous—within the premises of the dispensary he appeared in, and where he had lived and breathed his last. The “Astral Light,” or, if our readers prefer a more scientific term—the ether of Space—preserves the images of all beings and things on its sensitised waves; and under certain atmospheric and electric conditions, more often furnished and determined by the vital magnetism of “mediums,” pictures and scenes subjective, hence invisible under ordinary normal conditions, will be thrown out into objectivity. The figure of the apparition may have been but an accidental and meaningless reflection on that “sultry,” electric “moonlight night,” of the image of one whose figure was, owing to a long residence and death of that person on the premises, strongly impressed upon the etheric waves; and it may also have been due to the roaming of the “animal soul,” what the Hindus call Kama- and Mayavi-rupa, the “Illusionary Body” of the deceased person. At all events, it is but the Spiritualists who will insist that it was the spirit or the conscious “Ego of the dead Assistant Surgeon,” the Occultists maintaining that it was at best the “shell” or the astral form of the disembodied man; and giving it as usual the name of an “Earth-bound Elementary.”