It is often believed that divinity and ungodliness cannot exist at the same place at the same time. However, I beg to differ in this matter. My experiences have revealed that often I end up encountering some demons whenever I visit temples or simply sit down to pray. It is often mistaken that people go to the temple to pray. Unlike Churches and Mosques where people gather to pray together, temples are the places which house our deities and we go there to have a darshan (दर्शन) of our deities. Although there is no direct English translation of the word darshan, people often use English words like ‘visit’ or ‘see’ as a substitute.
Has it ever happened with you that you have intended to visit a dear friend after a long time in order to have some personal or intimate conversations, but to your dismay, your time and space have already been expropriated by some other guests at his/her home? I sometimes get the same feeling within temples if ‘my times’ with my diety get disturbed, largely owning to these demons. Our conversations with our diety are not verbal, rather they are telepathic. But often these channels of telepathic conversations get disoriented by some obscured demons, much like those mythical rakshasas (demons) who were always bent upon disrupting the yagnas of the sages.
Now, there are extrinsic demons and intrinsic demons. These extrinsic demons are often beyond our control. You really cannot have control over the other people who are visiting the place of worship. In a crowded temple, it is obvious that one is likely not to have a clear view of their diety. One may also be distracted by external factors such as noise, commotion, etc. Since we cannot control these extrinsic demons we can only choose to remain calm.
Intrinsic demons are more spontaneous and are likely to pop up when least expected. Do you remember the Hollywood movie “The Exorcist” where the devil would retort whenever shown a cross? Well, these intrinsic demons too tend to get restless whenever we choose to pray, meditate, or simply visit our Gods at the temples.
You may have noticed that often when you wish to have ‘your time’ with your diety, you encounter either an itch or a pain, sometimes you even start feeling hungry. Your mind may start wandering, and you are reminded of things that really don’t matter at that time. Some people have even confronted the thoughts of lust, just like me. Then you may also experience inferiority complex looking at others praying so diligently while you are trying hard to concentrate. Now, how do we tackle these intrinsic demons, which often spring out from our minds? The good news is that we can control these with some little effort, if not easily.
With a little practice, you shall be able to ignore these fiends. It is your ignorance, that ultimately calms them down thus proving “ignorance is bliss”. I personally feel that God or almighty tests our faith, devotion, and sincerity through these little demons. If we overcome them, our path to God is clear.