Bhakti Marga

Darshan, Puja and Yagna ceremonies

Vishwananda darshan1 vishwananda darshan2

What is Darshan? It is sweetness. It is love. It is transforming my consciousness and opening my heart. So many things I have experienced during Darshan with Sri Swami Vishwananda.

From the moment his photo was put in front of me, I know Sri Swami Vishwananda was my way. The first time I saw him was in Providence, Rhode Island where he gave Darshan. Many people came from as far away as Georgia, Colorado and Cananda to be at the feet of this beloved Swamiji. Ah, but let me not get carried away. Let me speak a bit about Darshan.

The word Darshan means basically "to see" or "to get a glimpse of". It is to get a glimpse of the Divine through the Spiritual Master embodied before you. It is a Blessing delivered through his touch directly to you. One of the purposes of Darshan is to remove energetic knots in the spine and throughout the body which prevent the free flow of energy.

the God-given life-energy that sustains our bodies and flows through everyone, is centered and sent to the heart. This energy makes the heart vibrate stronger and helps to open it. Sri Swami Vishwananda.

My fist meeting was so beautiful. I found myself living in my heart and almost a feeling of being able to walk beside the Lord. I found a certain confidence without egoism that I hadn‚€™t experienced before. I could tell I was being asked to dig into parts of myself that I had not yet explored. All of this was lovingly guided as if he was within me taking each experience with me.

It is important to understand, that the love which may be felt during Darshan is the love of the own inner Self, the own divine Soul. Sri Swami Vishwananda

The atmosphere at the Darshan is an opportunity for all those present, to turn away from the turmoil of daily life, where we are constantly being challenged and distracted, and to go inside and begin the journey to our Self. The evening started with Swami guiding a meditation which was followed by Bhajans - the singing of devotional songs - songs of God. Then Swami offered everyone present Darshan. We knelt in front of him and he touched each of us on forehead (third eye) and the back of the head (the medulla point). After which it is best to go sit and quietly meditate. Bhajans were being sung the whole time and it is a wonderful experience.

Looking at it from the outside, Darshan is and encounter with Swami Vishwananda. On the inside however, it is and encounter with our own inner self.

Sri Swami Vishwananda says this: To receive Darshan or blessing from a Master is a help, but it doesn't lead to 'enlightenment'. It doesn't release one to do daily meditation, introspection and other consistent spiritual practices.

He goes on to say: Nonetheless, Darshan and the peaceful atmosphere created by singing the divine names can be a significant support on the path.

I encourage everyone to experience the Divine Blessing - Darshan - of Sri Swami Vishwananda. You may also feel drawn to participate in Yagnas or Pujas ceremonies.

The yagna ceremony is a fire ceremony. It invokes the energy of specific deities, calling them into the ceremony to help us release and heal. During the ceremony there is the singing of prayers to the diety - often 108 rounds per mantra or song. Also there is offering to the fire itself. Usually fruit, coconut, a mixer of grains and ghee are offered to the fire. With each offering and prayer there can be releases of our karma, energy blockages and illnesses which are given into the fire to be burned or transmuted. In this ceremony one can also offer their goodness to the diety being called upon. You may ask for help for yourself or other. Some yagna ceremonies are done for specific healing or purposes. Sometimes specifically for mother earth. No matter which yagna ceremony you may attend it can be a beautifully powerful and moving experience.

Another ceremony that one may find themselves drawn to is Puja. Puja is the offering to a specific diety. It can be a statue, picture or whatever you feel embodies the form of God that you feel most drawn to; for instance a statue of Christ or Krishna, Mother Mary or Lakshmi. Whatever form of the Divine you feel closest to. In a puja ceremony you can offer the diety incense, flowers, food or drink. You are showing your devotion to God within this image. Some people feel it is like caring for a child, others like caring for the mother, some a brother or sister or even their beloved. This is a ceremony that can be completely personal and brought into your own home. Many of us have icons of saints or deities in their homes already. Lighting a candle each day at the alter of your heart's choice of icon is another offering of puja.

To find out more about Darshan and other ceremonies or about Sri Swami Vishwananda please visit: http://en.bhaktimarga.org/

My work is to open the hearts of people and make them realise they have infinite love within themselves ‚€” and that it is very easy to give this love away unconditionally to others around them." - Sri Swami Vishwananda

Jai Gurudev

Glory to God and Guru

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