Darshan - Sight or Vision

In his reflection, a devotee is granted darshan of Tenth Guru Gobind Singh.
In his reflection, a devotee is granted darshan of Tenth Guru Gobind Singh. Artistic Impression © [Jedi Nights]


Darshan is a Gurmukhi word of Sanskrit origin which means appearance, behold, glimpse, interview, see, sight, vision, or visit.

Main Meaning: In Sikhism, darshan, generally refers glimpsing, seeing, sighting or viewing, or having a blessed vision of a person, place, or thing, of spiritual, or historic, significance:

  • Person, or divine being - Envisioning, or interviewing a spiritual person, teacher, guru, divine being, God. Historically one might have had darshan of any of the ten gurus. In present time one might have darshan of the holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib. Darshan may also refer to having an inner vision, or appearance of, divine presence within during prayer, or meditation.
  • Place, or location - Holy ground with gurdwara, shrine, or temple commemorating a historic event.
  • Thing, or object - Historic icon, or relic.

Secondary meaning: In Hinduism, darshan may also refer to one of the six schools of philosophy, the various religious sects, or a type of crystal earring worn by a practicing yogi.

Pronunciation: Dar shun. Dar rhymes with car and sounds like dar as in dark.

Alternate Spellings: Darsan


In Sikhism, it is common to use expression in conjunction with darshan such as " beg, get, have, take, want, darshan". To long for darshan is a common theme in scripture:

  • "Man Bhairaag bhaiaa darsan daekhnnai kaa chaaou ||
    My mind has become detached from worldly desires and longs only to behold a vision (darshan) of God." SGGS||50
  • "Meraa man lochai gur darsan taa-a-ee||
    My soul longs for a blessed vision (darshan) of the Enlightener."
  • "Har darsan kanou man lochdaa Naan piaas manaa||
    For a blessed sight (darshan) of the Lord, my soul does crave, O Nanak, and my yearning mind thirst." SGGS||133

Darshan of Spiritual Sovereign:

After witnessing a light in the East upon the birth of the son of Mata Gujri and Guru Teg Bahadar, the Muslim saint Pir Sayid Bhikhan Shah traveled for several months over a distance of about 800 miles to beg darshan of the ninth Guru's son Prince Gobind Rai, only to be turned away because the Guru himself had not yet seen his son. The Pir fasted until granted darshan.

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Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Darshan - Sight or Vision." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, learnreligions.com/darshan-sight-or-vision-2992846. Khalsa, Sukhmandir. (2023, April 5). Darshan - Sight or Vision. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/darshan-sight-or-vision-2992846 Khalsa, Sukhmandir. "Darshan - Sight or Vision." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/darshan-sight-or-vision-2992846 (accessed June 9, 2023).