How to see the hidden demons within? || Acharya Prashant (2019)

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Question: There are certain things that we can observe very easily. But there are certain things that are not very obvious, that cannot be detected obviously.

I have noticed this very recently that when I get into discussions related to Spirituality, especially with my wife, it becomes more of a competition than discussion, and becomes a matter of ego.

There may be many more such hidden tendencies which I am unable to observe generally. Is there something else that can be done to dig them out?

Acharya Prashant Ji: Everything will show up in your behaviour.

Behaviour can remain externally defined, and disciplined, and regulated only as long as the conditions in which that behaviour is being displayed remain pre-defined and pre-regulated.

If your meditation and Spiritual practice have any worth, then your external conditions will change. And when your conditions change, you will no more be able to negotiate the new conditions with old behaviourial patterns. So new behaviour patterns will emerge. Those new behaviour patterns are bound to tell you something about yourself.

Please understand this.

You are living a neatly adjusted life in which there were only a few people that you would meet on a daily basis. Even if there were variations, those variations were well-regulated variations. So when the external conditions are regulated, then your response to those conditions, which is your behaviour, can also afford to remain regulated. Right?

(Referring to different participants of the camp) I very well know that in the course of my day I would either meet him, or him, or her, or her. And because these are the people I usually meet, and that too only in pre-defined contexts, so my behaviour can safely be regulated and correct.

But if your Spiritual practice progresses, then you will break-out of this environmental cocoon. You would step into new environments. And there you would meet new people, new situations, new contexts. So new behaviours would anyway come forth, and they will tell you who you are.

So for example your spiritual practice may bring you to a place like this – the camp. And here you will need to face situations that you usually don’t come across. And now your old, disciplined patterns of behaviour won’t work. Something else will show up. And that which will show up will tell you something about yourself.

Questioner 1: So as we keep becoming comfortable, we should break the patterns?

Acharya Prashant Ji:

If you want to know something new about yourself, go to a new place, or meet new people.

Those interactions will tell you a lot about you that remains hidden within you.

We used to have pretty raucous camps in the past. So all the decent ones would be identified in the first hour itself – the decent and respectable ones. A special list would be made, the blacklist. These were the ones who need some special treatment.


And those camps were not organised in such decent and socially respectable places. They would be happening in some interior of a forest, or beside some river, or in a village where you have to trek for three kilometers to reach the venue.

So in the morning, the decent ones will be firstly gently told to wake up – too gently to wake them up. Just to tick a box – “You see we cautioned you. Please wake up.” And then when the temperature would be two degrees or four degrees centigrade at 6 a.m., there would be a little harmless bucket of cold water splashed on them, and then the real decency would break out of the self-imposed discipline. Or there would be mud-baths, or somebody being thrown into tanks.

Is all this giving you some ideas about this camp?


Questioner 1: Acharya Ji, it’s so neat here.

Acharya Prashant Ji: Oh! There is the beach.

And such treatment was specially earmarked for the decent ones. By the third day, fourth day of the camp, people were only left with the gross indecency.

Change the environment and see what all lies hidden within you.

Often the insistence to not to change the environment comes from a fear of that which lies hidden within you.

Question 2: Why are we scared of that which is already hidden within us?

Acharya Prashant Ji: That’s Love. Is it not? Yes.

If you acknowledge what lies hidden within you, you will have to expose it, live with it, work for it. And if the thing within you is actually big and beautiful, you may even have to let it command you.

It’s actually a strange thing.

We are not really afraid of demons within, we are afraid of the Godliness within.

Demons, we make peace with.

Questioner 2: We even nurse them.

Acharya Prashant Ji: We may even nurse them.

It’s a quid pro quo.

Watch the session video: How to see the hidden demons within? || Acharya Prashant (2019) The transcription has been edited for clarity.

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