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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.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(8) Eck has shown that, while there were iconic images earlier in India, it was not until temples were constructed (beginning at least in the fourth century C.E., in the Gupta period) that the images would be used in worship (see Eck, Darsan, pp.
Originally shown in static pose, with her children and with features that magnified awe-inspiring eyes to elicit darsan, a style that some old families strive to maintain, the goddess became portrayed in the 1920s as a dynamic, anatomically correct feminine figure slaying the demon, which became increasingly theatrical from the 1960s and sexualized in the 2000s.
LEICESTER: 6.40 Just For Mary, 7.10 Jumeirah Moon, 7.40 Final Delivery, 8.10 Al Wajba, 8.40 Darsan, 9.10 Ascription.
(1) Diana Eck, Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India (2nd revised and enlarged edn.), Chambersburg: Anima Books, 1985, p.
I raised my hands, letting the new generation do justice to the vanilla ice- cream minus the darsan ( honey- drizzled fried noodles).
According to Diana Eck, the Hindu custom of darsan grows from a belief that when one looks upon an image of the divine, one is seeing and being seen by the deity (3).
Rastriya mul niti tatha shree panch maharajdhiraj sarkarbata kshetriya bhramanko silsilama baks bhayaka marga darsan ra so ko karyanawyankalagi shree panchko sarkarle leyako nirnayaharu.
Brett Estep, the Darsan Trio and the Divided will provide the music on Saturday for the annual Nerd Ball III: Geek Chic Gala.
(2) In Sanskrit the word for both 'philosophy' and 'seeing' is darsan and the 'philosopher' is known as seer.