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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Within the Hindu world, one of the most ubiquitous devotional activities is that of darshan. The term literally means gaining a glimpse of the divine. It refers to seeing in both the active sense of making an effort to view something considered sacred or divine and the passive sense of receiving into one’s view the divine as presented. In the former sense, darshan can be understood as meritorious viewing; as such, engaging in darshan is advocated both as a duty of devotees and an act bringing great benefit through which the guru or a divinity shows grace.

Those of the Hindu faith will go out of their way to spend time in the presence of their teacher (guru) and/or travel great distances to see a particular holy person. The mere act of glimpsing the divine (which may be visibly presented in a person, a statue, or a sacred symbolic object, or invisibly as a vision of a supernatural being) is thought to convey the power, blessing, or merit of the object seen, quite apart from any verbal communication. Going to the large festivals held across India, where many holy people not otherwise accessible may be seen, provides the opportunity for darshan in a variety of situations.

The idea of darshan has passed to Sikhism, where the focus is upon the Adi Granth, the Sikh holy book that is seen as replacing gurus, and to Jainism, where images of the 24 ancient teacher/exemplars (the Tirthankaras) are the object of darshan.


Davis, Roy Eugene. Darshan: The Vision of Light. Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1971.
Malhotra, Sharan. Divine Darshan. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books, 1994.
Meher, Baba. Darshan Hours. Berkeley, CA: The Beguine Library, 1973.
References in periodicals archive ?
14) "O Visnu, approach this image and wake it up with thy embodiment of knowledge and the divine energies, which are concentrated in this one image," quoted in Eck, Darsan, pp.
In the Hindu practice of darsan the gaze is powered by both participants.
Central to religious observance in the Hindu tradition is darsan, the auspicious seeing of a divine being.
His own Global Diasporas: An Introduction (1997), Nicholas Van Heer's New Diasporas: The Mass Exodus, Dispersal and Regrouping of Migrant Communities (1998) as well as a study of the Sikh diaspora by Darsan Singh Tatla have already appeared.
Many mendicants will again visit the temple at the time of the evening darsan, when many people come to view and sing hymns to the ornamented Jina images.
Tenders are invited for deposit work by kesnik relaying of existing distribution lines in connection with the works under swadesh darsan scheme at sree padmanabha temple
Arunachala in 1948 and had a darsan (22) of the Hindu saint Sri Ramana Maharishi, which is said to have had a profound and lasting effect on his life.
Tenders are invited for deposit work of kshb- relaying of existing distribution lines in connection with the works under swadesh darsan scheme at sree padmanabha temple
Eck has explained how darsan, the "beholding" of the deity, is the central act of Hindu worship.