June 23, 2013 Comments Off on Darshan’s Mystic Power
Little is known of the guru’s grace or the power of darshana in Western culture. Darshana (more popularly darshan) is a Sanskrit word meaning “vision, seeing or perception.” But in its mystical usage, it is more than that. Darshan is also the feeling of the emotions of a holy person, the intellect, the spiritual qualities that he has attained and, most importantly, the shakti, the power, that has changed him and is there constantly to change others. Darshan encompasses the entirety of the being of a person of spiritual attainment. In India, everyone is involved in darshan. Some at a temple have darshan of the Deity. Others at an ashram have darshan of their swami or on the street enjoy darshan of a sadhu. And most everyone experiences durdarshan. That’s the word for television in India, meaning “seeing from afar.” Even this seeing, through movies, news and various programs of mystery, tragedy, humor, the fine arts and culture, can affect our emotions, intellect, pulling us down or lifting us up in consciousness. Seeing is such a powerful dimension of life, and it affects us in so many ways, inside and out. Darshan, in the true meaning of this mystical, complex and most esoteric word, conveys all of this.
The concept of darshan goes beyond the devotee’s seeing of the guru. It also embraces the guru’s seeing of the devotee. Hindus consider that when you are in the presence of the guru that his seeing of you, and therefore knowing you and your karmas, is another grace. So, darshan is a two-edged sword, a two-way street. It is a process of seeing and being seen. The devotee is seeing and in that instant drawing forth the blessings of the satguru, the swami or the sadhu. In turn, he is seeing the devotee and his divine place in the universe. Both happen within the moment, and that moment, like a vision, grows stronger as the years go by, not like imagination, which fades away. It is an ever-growing spiritual experience. The sense of separation is transcended, so there is a oneness between seer and seen. This is monistic theism, this is Advaita Ishvaravada. Each is seeing the other and momentarily being the other.
Darshan embodies shakti. Darshan embodies shanti. Darshan embodies vidya, perceiving on all levels of consciousness for all inhabitants of the world. It is physical, mental, emotional, spiritual perception. Hindus believe that the darshan from a guru who has realized the Self can clear the subconscious mind of a devotee in minutes, alleviating all reaction to past actions and alter his perspective from an outer to an inner one. Darshan is the emanating rays from the depth of an enlightened soul’s being. These rays pervade the room in which he is, penetrating the aura of the devotees and enlivening the kundalini, the white, fiery, vapor-like substance that is actually the heat of the physical body in its natural state.
In the Orient, whenever the cloud of despair covers the soul of a devotee, the darshan of a guru is sought. Whenever it becomes difficult to meditate, his grace is hoped for to lift the veil of delusion and release awareness from the darker areas of mind to soar within. Consciously merge into the inner being of yourself, and you will know your guru when you find him. – Lesson 303 from Merging with Siva by Satguru sivaya subramuniya Swami