What is True Darshan?
15 October, 1972 – Boston Massachusetts; later this talk was published in the July 1973 issue of Sat Sandesh
The word darshan means literally seeing. But the main thing, at the background, is: what motive? The motive may suggest something blessed; or quite the reverse. Masters came in the world, and those people also saw them who persecuted Them, you see. And others drew benefit also, according to the degree of the motives within. If you see Him as a man, at the level of man, if you see a learned man, you’ll have that effect; if you see Him as something higher in man, the spirit in man, you’ll have that level, that thing. But seeing means when you and the other become One, through the eyes. Eyes are the windows of the soul, through which soul peeps out, radiates, with whatever intoxication it has. So, seeing means, to be quite cut off from all outside; you forget everybody else, no attention anywhere. Whole attention is seeing; where? Into the eyes, which are the windows of the soul. And if you are receptive, you’ll have that.
So there is radiation of each man, I think. Those who are developed in a certain way, they have got radiation that way. And the word darshan, using the terminology of the Saints, is when two become One. No duality remains. You are not even aware of your own body. This is the point: you are a conscious entity; and the other is more conscious. So you will get more consciousness. It is the plate – now I use the word ‘plate’ on which you can have the Bread of Life and the Water of Life. So as I told you, Word is made flesh; and the Word is radiated through the eyes, which are the windows of the soul. If you look into it, intently, minutely, so much so that you forget yourself, you can eat more of the Bread of Life.
I am the Bread of Life that is come down from Heaven. Whosoever shall partake of It shall have Ever-lasting Life.
And later on, He said,
Eat me and drink me.
Eating and drinking comes how? By developing receptivity.
This is the true meaning of darshan. You can have suchlike bliss for a short period; that will give you more than you might expect in your meditation: there you will come in contact with the Light and Sound Principle, but here you will have by radiation – a boost, you see.
So darshan is one word; another is pershan, which is also used in the East. Pershan means ‘by seeing, go and be absorbed into it.’ Then comes the word harshan – I’m just quoting further. Then you become like a field that has just been watered – quite fresh, quite jolly, quite peaceful. When water is given to the fields it is just like harshan. So darshan does not mean only ‘seeing’; darshan means pershan, too. And pershan means harshan, also.
So whenever you come in contact with anybody, at whatever level he is, you’ll have that thing. It is very dangerous, I may also point out to you, to look everybody in the eyes: whatever he radiates, you will have that thing – he may be worse than you, he may go higher. So never look into the eyes of others unless you are convinced that he is more than a man. If you see him as a man, he will give you manhood, from the level of man; nothing more he can give you.
So darshan helps a good deal; it is a sort of boost, an incentive. And I’ve seen men who, by ‘seeing,’ withdrew altogether. That is truly darshan – when you don’t remain aware of the body, whether your eyes are open or closed. You invert, you rise above, you are in a state of conscious samadhi. The Ultimate Goal of darshan is that. Not simply sitting by Him while the mind revels outside; that is no darshan. Or you judging whether He has good clothes on or bad clothes on; not that. You have to rise above body consciousness and also see Him above body consciousness too. That ‘seeing’ will come through the eyes. In that case you do get more, because you give more; and it will help you in your meditation, too. Have darshan and in that darshan be absorbed.
Generally, we use the word darshan, of course, but the meaning underlying, at the back of it, is like that. You can contact your soul with that soul – through the eyes. Pershan means, by seeing, you go into the eyes and contact that which is radiated from Him. So if you look into the eyes of others who are imbued, excuse me, with worldly things, then you’ll have that radiation. So it is always safer not to look into the eyes of others – not a whole lot unless you can have darshan of someone of whom you are convinced that he is much better than you are, developed in a Spiritual Way. So darshan means that.
When you are developed, you forget yourself – even with your eyes, you are gone. This is the ultimate result of darshan; true darshan is like that.
Otherwise, all the world over sees the Master going around, coming round, talking like that, this and that thing. But the underlying principle at the back is devotion. Single-mindedness. Where two become One. I am not speaking of the physical body, but the soul which by radiation comes through the eyes, when the disciple comes face to face with the Master, eye to eye, and four eyes meet. When the two eyes and two eyes meet, then really you get a boost.
Then you get into the very life which is radiated. This is really what darshan means. Have you ever forgotten yourself like that? I have seen many people like that, who were devoted: they were gone, although their eyes remained open. Because there was receptivity there. And the more receptive you are, the more benefit you can derive. ‘Seeing’ – not seeing – ‘seeing’ means becoming, I would say now, and this is the word used: darshan. This is why Maulana Rumi says,
If you sit by a Saint for one hour, that will give you more than if you do penances for a hundred years.
It is something like taking the burning fire from somebody. The other [penances] is just preparing – how to prepare the fire, start it burning. I think that becomes the great fortune of someone who develops that way. Man learns one third by word of mouth, two thirds by receptivity. So devotion is very much a necessity. As a student with his teacher, so is a disciple with his Master. The disciple just enters the grave of the Master – this is the word used in the East. And such a man has, I think, such a great thankfulness – gratefulness, I would say, to the Master, for that which you get from Him. It is not mere teaching or lecturing, this or that; it is something substantial: this is the Bread of Life which is to be eaten – without teeth. (Chuckles) Soul eats that Bread, when you become wholly soul, devoid of all body and senses and everything. So such a darshan is the beginning of contacting that Power within him – a direct charge. And Masters, when They transfer Their mission to another, They charge through the eyes. That’s a gift of God, you see.
Daily meditation helps in that way; you become accustomed to withdraw your attention from outside and come up to the eye level. Such a man who develops that way, naturally he can derive more by coming above body consciousness. And that is the Bread of Life and Water of Life, or Nectar of Life. So when you have darshan, the best thing to do is to go into meditation; you’ll have a boost like that. You come here, sitting, talking, here, there, looking all around – ‘Oh, there’s the Master – there is darshan and darshan, you see? a vast difference. This is really what is meant by, what in my mind I have come to know by, darshan.
Darshan is pershan – to come in contact, soul with soul. And that permeates the whole body. And when you have harshan, you become all drenched with the radiation that you get. There are stages. These things are not given in the books, that’s a pity; references are given. So these the disciple develops. Therefore the physical presence of the Master is a necessity. But if one develops receptivity, he can derive that benefit even from thousands of miles away.
If your Master is living the other side of the seven oceans and the disciple this side, direct your attention there, so much so that nothing remains between you and Him.
You see, with radio, with television, you can see men and hear their voices. That has been proved scientifically; and this is spiritually. Science is going to prove certain laws of nature which are hidden – not all that True Religion has got, but many of them are coming up. Outer demonstrations will be given, like radio and television. So man is, what you say, a very perfect plant which can see God and talk with God. But tuning is required.
So physically I might be – because God takes work from everybody – I am also under orders, you see, not independent. So we are to depart tomorrow morning physically; those who belong here, remain here.
So this is the lesson to be learned. And this will be perfected only when you are regular in your meditation – and also by weeding out all imperfections within you through the diary. By putting in more time in meditation, you will be helping yourself. Master is only pleased to see His children growing up. Every king wants his son to be a king, not a minister. Every Saint wants those coming after Him to become Saints.
As you think, so you become. Thinking, not at the physical level, but spiritually. That Power is within you. You simply have to turn your face to Him. And that Power works all through. There is no space without it. You can attune yourself with it from thousands of miles. This is the main thing to be learned by meditation. And not simply sitting for half an hour, an hour, seeing Light, and coming back. That is the way, of course; that will help you; but it is not all. Unless you develop that receptivity, it is not sufficient. That God-into-expression is everywhere. Where is It not? By sitting here, we have simply to link with that.
Physical bodies are the plants, you see. When the plant is quite clean, no dirt in it, then you receive the message – everything is clear.
For that, purity of heart is required. That is why sometimes Masters pray:
Oh God, I am grateful to You, because You have kept this secret from the worldly-wise and given it to the babes.
Babes are very innocent.
Suffer little children to come unto me, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
They’re innocent; they’re innocent, I say. If a man grows older and becomes innocent, what more is wanted?
And this darshan word – what it conveys is this: If you develop that way, well, you’ll have wonderful progress. And in the outer way, just remain in contact. Just put in as much time as you can. And as you come in contact with that Power within you and everywhere, then you need outer guidance. Physically, man may be away; simply sit down and turn your face to Him, that’s all. Cut yourself off from all outside, from the body too, and you’ll derive the full benefit. The outward contact is simply to maintain diaries, which is also for self-introspection: criticise yourself as you would criticise others – don’t spare yourself. All the shortcomings that come to your notice, put down and weed out. Only saying, ‘I am a sinner, I am a sinner,’ that won’t do. Weed out. And also, side by side, develop spiritually by giving time. Two hours is the minimum, you see, that is enjoined: one tithe – two and a half hours. It is not binding that you should only stick to that much; the more you can give, the better.
I told you, in 1912 I knew a Muslim philosopher; he was a Spiritual Man, too. He used to come to me, and I also used to meet him. There were orders not to let anybody enter his house – strict orders. I was free, of course. I used to go and see him praying in the Mohammedan way for hours. So one day I questioned him:
Well, the Muslims have to say prayers five times a day, bow down, and stand up. But you go on for hours. Why?
Five times are enjoined; that each man should do. And more I do to earn His pleasure.
If you want to earn the pleasure of God and God in man, snatch away as much time as you can, after you’ve attended to other duties which you have to perform; that is what is wanted.
Take these words to your heart and live up to them; you’ll become wonderful, I would say – that’s all I can say. If a father sees his son growing very splendidly and wonderfully, then how proud he is. The teacher is proud of the student who gets very high grades; he is pleased to see his children rising in life. Similarly, Masters all say They are very pleased to see the people who are coming to Him going higher.
Our Master used to say,
If I succeed in taking one man to Sach Khand, I think my life will be crowned with success.
Very proud, you see; that’s giving life to the other. That life comes through the eyes; that’s a gift of God, you see. He wants to give it; He likes many people to derive benefit from there.
This is what I wish you to take to your heart and live up to it, the most you can; and more help will come at every step – from without, and from within also. Outwardly you must remain in contact; that is what is wanted. For contact are your diaries. Sometimes we think we are sufficient; we are not sufficient. Man learns and unlearns all through life. I hope you heard me there: I am still a student. Newton was a great man of knowledge – he discovered all these outer laws of nature – he said,
I am picking up pebbles on the seashore of knowledge.
No Master ever boasts; He says,
It is His Grace working.
He sees that higher purpose and becomes humble. Humility is the ornament of a Saint.
So these are the things to be learned. There may be chances of meeting again physically, but spiritually we are all One – only we are to just turn our faces and develop receptivity. This is what is wanted. Very interesting subject; scriptures speak of it. So to have knowledge is not sufficient unless that becomes a part and parcel of our life. No matter how much food we have to eat, only that much will help you which is digested. Otherwise you will become selfish, arrogant – ‘I know so much.’
So something substantial has been given to you, with the Grace of God and with the Grace of our Master. The more you come into contact with that, the more you live up to that, the more Bread and Water of Life you will be given within, the more you’ll derive benefit. By having that Bread, you see, nothing remains to be known.
The Vedas say,
What is that, by knowing which, nothing remains to be known?
That satisfies our mind and everything.
So these are a few words I am just telling you. After this evening’s talk is over – tomorrow we have to go, physically, after all; it is His orders. So don’t forget it, I would say. He is within you. Try to live, develop receptivity in you, and remain in contact. Of course that adds to my work, but I gladly take it up. When I see you are progressing, what more is wanted? How much joy I’ll feel when you have all become ambassadors. I wish you all to be like that. Then your duty also becomes something more: what Christ said to His disciples when He sent them around to tell people,
What you heard in your ears, speak from the housetops, to let people who are seekers know what is what.
So my wishes are with you all, one and all; I wish you progress. You see, Masters come, They work through disciples; that message is carried on from heart to heart. So in you I see a greater hope: you people have to take our places, you see. The Ultimate Goal is to have the Beatific Vision of God, that’s all. And in no other body than the human body can we have that. Fortunate we are that we have the man-body, and still more fortunate we are, that we have met with Someone Who has given us the Bread of Life – a contact, little or more – we are to develop it. And that development will come only when we keep His commandments.