Darshan in Hinduism

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

In Sanskrit, the word “Darshan” means the sight, or the vision, or the apparition, or the glimpse. It is used for the vision of the divine mainly of a god or a very holy person or artifact. Darshan is the way to see with reverence and devotion in order to receive the grace and blessings.

Touching the feet or pranam or charansparsh is also the way of showing respect and an integral part of Darshan.

The images of the deities as found in the temples are designed based on the explicit details and instructions found in the vedic texts called Shilpa Shastras. They are installed in the temples in an elaborate ceremony called as Prana Prathistha.

The Supreme Being comes to dwell in the temple to accept worship and attract the eyes to concentrate and meditate on the Deity.

In time, the body, the mind and the senses of the devotee become spiritualized through darshans. So, the darshan of the god is important for spiritual enlightenment.

One more important thing to note here is that darshan is not simply a matter of viewing the Deity in the temple, but to one who is spiritually realized it is a matter of experiencing the Deity and entering into a personal, reciprocal exchange with the Supreme Personality in the form of the Deity.

When the devotee views the deity with all pure feelings and adoration, the deity is also believed to gaze at the devotee. Then there will be a spiritual exchange wherein the god begins to reveal his personality to his devotee.

For those who have experienced this spiritual exchange with god, the worship of the Supreme Being in the form of deity moves up to a different level with no limit for the spiritual love shared between the deity and the devotee.


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