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Darshan: Face-to-Face with the Cosmos

The word ‘darshan’ means ‘to have a glimpse of.’ Darshan is traditionally used to describe the moment when we behold a deity, an Avatar, a saint, or an enlightened being.

The experience of darshan is highly revered in the Vedic tradition, as just seeing such a being can cleanse the karmas of lifetimes, and create a deep and lasting transformation in the receiver.

Darshan is something far beyond mere physical ‘seeing’. Like many mystical Sanskrit words, it is a word that cannot be translated; rather, it has to be experienced.

Darshan is ever-present

Darshan is the powerful superconscious vibration that is present around an Avatar at all times.

Although we usually speak of ‘getting’ the darshan of an evolved soul, an Avatar does not actually ‘give’ darshan – He simply radiates darshan. Just as the sun continuously radiates light, whether anybody is present to receive it or not, the Avataric consciousness is forever radiating its presence. The auspicious moment when each receiver is able to ‘catch’ it becomes the moment of darshan for that individual.

Darshan can manifest in many forms

1. Physical – in the presence of an enlightened Master or an Avatar

2. Physical – in the presence of an energized deity

3. Perceptual – An intermediate level (between 2 & 3) would be the darshan of the ishtadevata or deity in the form of the Master (e.g. people seeing Sai Baba or Meenakshi in Swamiji’s form). This is not directly perceiving, but using the existing form to project/perceive the desired form. It could be a mental projection that is the result of a deep yearning on the part of the devotee, or an actual vision granted by the deity or saint, who makes himself available on the astral level.

4. Perceptual – in the form of a previous incarnation now no longer in the physical body e.g. Mahavatar Babaji.

5. Perceptual – in the form of the image of a deity (ishtadevata). Perception can happen in the waking, dream or meditative state.

6. An instantaneous and direct intuitive grasp of the formless consciousness. This is rare; it usually happens through the intervention of the Guru, or very rarely, spontaneously. This is called Anupaya.

Science of Darshan

The breathing space of an Avatar is like an extension of His physical body. It is a living healing energy field. A receptive devotee can momentarily experience the expanded space of the Avatar, or a deity energized by Him. This allows the transmission of Cosmic energy into the devotee’s space. Infusion of this energy results in quantum entanglement and causes the neurons of the devotee to mirror the space of perpetual completion radiating from the Avatar or energized deity, at a biological level.

Mirror neurons are special neurons that can observe and mimic the actions of other neurons through imitation. But unlike classical imitation, mirror neurons can activate and process all the observed movements or information without the physical act of imitation. That is, the entire body can silently and without movement, recreate what is happening elsewhere, through a process of direct observation. This is what happens during darshan as well as Deeksha, which we will discuss later.

The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism Nithyānanda Paramashivam says:

“When you come into my breathing space, suddenly, your mind gets entangled with my no-mind. Entanglement is only at the thought level. If your muscle memory gets entangled with my muscle memory, it is called entrainment. And if your bio-memory gets entangled with my bio-memory, it becomes enlightenment. Entanglement becomes entrainment and entrainment becomes enlightenment.”

Entanglement, Entrainment, Enlightenment

The science of quantum entanglement, entrainment, and enlightenment can be elucidated further.


In physics, quantum entanglement usually occurs between energetic subatomic particles.

A thought too is nothing but a small packet of energy released by the cells in the form of subatomic particles. Scientifically, the thought-free space of an Avatar would be filled with virtual particles, unlike that of a thoughtful human mind.

The absence of thoughts in the Avatar would not allow entanglement to be transferred from the thought energy of the devotee into the Avatar’s mind. On the other hand, due to the high energy of the Avatar, the virtual particles having no thought patterns would rush to fill the space of the devotee, entangling with the devotee’s thought particles and creating entangled virtual particles in the devotee, leading to a temporary no-mind state.

During quantum entanglement, the entangled particles acquire oneness in action, irrespective of their separation in space. This is what Albert Einstein termed ‘spooky action at a distance’, and explains the phenomenon of long-distance healing by the Avatar.

Darshan also has lasting effects, because the quantum correlation between the two systems (ie. the Avatar and the disciple) survives their separation in time as well as space. So the Avatar’s space continues to influence the disciple’s space for an extended period after darshan. This would explain the delayed effects of darshan recorded in certain devotees, who continue to experience an accelerated speed of healing of diseases for weeks or sometimes months following a single darshan.


The simultaneous and synchronous movement of energy in two or more biological systems is called Entrainment. This phenomenon can easily be studied on the brain waves using the EEG technique. A similar process can happen at all cellular levels (not just neurons), and would still be considered Entrainment.


At the tiniest of biological levels, which are molecular or sub-molecular, energy is stored and transmitted in the form of the life force called biological energy. An Avatar is a pure expression of Cosmic energy, His very core physiology is different at the genetic level from that of a normal person. Transmission of the Avatar’s bio-energy into the disciple affects the fundamental physiological changes necessary for the disciple to experience the state of Enlightenment.

How to receive Darshan

The important thing in darshan is not ‘what to do’, but ‘how to be’. As mentioned earlier, darshan cannot be given, but it may be ‘drawn’ from the Source by the receiver, by tuning into this superconscious vibration.

Darshan is a powerful cleansing process that brings up the unconscious mind to the receiver’s conscious scrutiny. The intense vibration of darshan causes the hidden layers of the unconscious to erupt, releasing both physical and psychic blocks in the receiver’s system and cutting through the layers of unconscious negative patterns built up over lifetimes. His physiology can change in the presence of Cosmic Consciousness, and his bio-memory effortlessly ‘learns’ the expression of enlightenment.

For the receiver who is ready, darshan can be the moment of permanent and irreversible transformation.

Darshan in The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism Nithyānanda Paramashivam’s words:

“I always say, ‘Darshan is the enlightenment technique for lazy people!’

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says beautifully, ‘If you want to scare away some birds sitting on a tree, you don’t have to do it one by one. Just clap loudly once, and all the birds on the tree will fly away.’

In the same way, in the Master’s presence, you don’t have to work on your samskaras (engraved memories) one by one. You don’t have to work so hard! The Master’s powerful darshan is the one ‘clap’ that can destroy all your samskaras once and for all!

Preparation for Darshan

The Darshanopanishad, which is part of the Sama Veda, clearly spells out the preparation a devotee can make to get the maximum out of darshan:

  • Tapas (Spiritual discipline)
  • Santosha (Completion)
  • Astikya (Conviction in the existence of the Divine)
  • Dana (Benevolence towards all)
  • Ishvara Pujana (Gratitude to the Divine)
  • Siddhanta Shravana (Listening to the Truth)
  • Hri (Humility)
  • Mati (Faith built on conviction)
  • Japa (Constant remembrance of the Divine)

This space of approaching darshan is akin to an internal tirtha (pilgrimage), which is far superior to the external tirtha.

Darshan serves as a conduit for the constant inflow of Cosmic energy, allowing one to maintain continuous awareness in all the states of being – wakefulness, dream, deep sleep, and beyond.

Once darshan has become a complete initiation within the receiver, it is possible to receive darshan in any of these states.

Darshan in Large Congregations

Large congregations influenced by the presence of Avatars or saints, or massive events like the Kumbh Mela (the largest spiritual congregation on the planet) open up the space of the seeker or devotee due to the highly charged atmosphere and the mirror-neuron effect happening on millions of people at the same time.

The Supreme Pontiff of Hinduism Nithyānanda Paramashivam describes this phenomenon:

The Master is like a radiating light. Your body and mind is like a mirror. When you sit in an unclutched® way in the Master’s presence, all your bodies and minds become mirrors reflecting the Master’s Consciousness. They get focused like laser beams, aligned and polarized towards the Master’s Consciousness. So his bio-energy is simply transmitted into you. Your body becomes light and just flows in the ether.

If you keep five such mirrors in front of a single light, the illumination is going to be five-fold, because five mirrors are reflecting the light, and the whole area is lit intensely.

Now, if 10,000 mirrors are kept in front of the same light, can you even imagine what will happen?

In the same way, when 10,000 people sit in the Master’s presence in an unclutched® space, the same Superconsciousness is reflected 10,000-fold, and an intense Superconscious energy field is created. If 10,000 bodies and minds focus themselves on the Master’s Consciousness, it becomes equivalent to 10,000 enlightened beings sitting in samadhi. This is what I call creating Shambhala on planet Earth!


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