The Darshan of the Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 12

Self & Other Than Self

It is taught that the purpose of Knowledge is Knowledge of Truth. From That, the darshan of the Eternal Self arises. Knowledge contrary to this is ignorance.

  • Knowledge of Truth – True Knowledge, from tattva (Truth is ‘that’, i.e., Otherness).

The purpose of Knowledge of the Absolute is to know the True Self, the Real You. It is from this Knowledge that Self Realization arises as enlightenment, the absence of ignorance.

In other words, Self Realization attained through Knowledge of Truth is enlightenment. Ignorance, which is contrary to this, is the state of not being enlightened. Knowledge of Truth is attained through experience in meditation, not book-learning. However, learning of it from those who have reached it, sets the stage so that this can take place. This is a reference to both guru and scripture as sources of learning.  

Attaining Self Realization is then accomplished through the darshan of the Self — you see your True Self and realize that this ‘Self’ is Other-than-You.

Darshan – ‘To see’: (1) to see something with the eyes, and (2) to see directly, without eyes, thus knowing with certainty that what you are seeing is Real. 

Darshan of the Self – You see your Real Self by means of your inherent power of sight — directly (without eyes). In this way, you obtain knowledge of the Self as Other-than-self, for if you are seeing the Self this begs the question, “Who’s looking?” Obviously, this Self is not the one doing the looking; the looker is You.

Pranam 1

This description of darshan explains why gurus give darshan for students, disciples, and other people who have come to them. The guru knows that he or she is the same as the one who pranams (bows down before them) in ‘what‘ it is that they both really are: Divine Absolute Imperishable Individuals.


Thus is pranam a powerful form of surrender, for it is the key to full surrender of oneself to Absolute God in meditation. This surrender is how Self Realization takes place. If you cannot put your ego on the floor and pranam before this Divine Other, you will not surrender sufficiently in your meditation to attain Self Realization. Pranam is the short cut to the Truth of You.


A jnani (knowledge oriented person) pranams because he understands it; a bhakti (devotionally oriented) pranams because he is lovingly committed; a yogi (action oriented) pranams out of gratitude for being allowed to do it.

If you are someone who is seeking Self Realization, this message is for you. If you are going about this pursuit by focusing on yourself, you should consider changing your tactics and instead, seek Absolute God as other than you. Then Self Realization will arise of its own accord in your meditation.

Self & OtherAs a human being you can only see yourself as if in a mirror, indirectly, whereas Self Realization is direct. Because you are human and have a mind with an ego at its core, the temptation, encited by the ego, is to think that concentrating on yourself is the way to Self Realization. But this will not work, for as a human being, Absolute Truth/God is obviously other-than-you. 

Tattva – Truth as other-than-you, from tat, ‘that’.

Multi Faces, One Mirror

By trying to reach Self Realization by concentrating on yourself, you are trying to reach Truth via the ego, so all you will get is ego, however exalted your experience may seem. You get what you worship, what you believe, what you surrender to, what you rely on. Hence the need for correct knowledge and understanding of Truth, and the surrender of yourself to That in meditation.

Many people try to reach Self Realization by means of the ego without realizing it. This is self-indulgence, and it is not going to work. It can’t work because Truth in the Absolute sense is other-than-self. Only from a place of Absolute Truth can one truly say, “I am That.”

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma

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From Durga Ma & Anandi

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The fulfillment of your purpose as a Spiritual Leader will demonstrate your own true nature, and your True Self will emerge. Aligned with your True Self in everyday life, you become a leader who exemplifies the possibility of sustainable joy, abundance and fulfillment. 

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“Every step you take pulls every one of us with you.” —Durga Ma

The Whole World Is One Family

5 thoughts on “The Darshan of the Self – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 13, Vs 12

  1. katritam

    Many years ago when I first heard that “I AM THAT” there was no understanding. I read that Jesus said the same and I contemplated deeply it’s meaning. Still not much of any real understanding. And THEN! much later I realized the Truth that “I Am That!”
    It happened in meditation as the thoughts and memories of what I desired so desperately in my early childhood flooded my mind, just as they had many times before: that I wanted so deeply and desperately to be loved entirely in a way that I could receive and “get” – Unconditionally! I know that many of us want this, and I let the feelings and sensations of incredible sadness and grief be there until suddenly I “GOT” that “I AM THAT”. I already AM THAT Divine Love that I wanted so desperately. It was truly revolutionary! I realized I did not need to get it from another, I already wasTHAT!. And then, flooded in meditation with this Love that pervaded all others and myself as well, i wanted to go out into the world and let that Love BE everywhere, with everyone, always, because that is WHAT I AM! And after that I had the thought that, even though I knew it was true, my mind realized it had to be true, because i had directly experienced it so fully, from within myself and shining outward from my body as well as from God and all others too.
    I AM THAT. Magnificent! And we are all THAT!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Greeting Durga Ma:

    Thank you for that. Those simple yet profoundly deep insights…are always welcomed. I will make a conscious effort to remember this liberating nugget of surrender. And I will definitely incorporate that wisdom into my meditative practice.

    GOD, Shakti’s all pervading activity and involvement is such an important yet basic principle to keep in mind-GOD/TRUTH is controlling the whole shebang, even if I seen to be the actor. Just contemplating that truth is in and of itself, revitalizing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post!
    Truth other-than-me-“Change the story we tell ourselves about our self.”

    One idea, I have transformed for meditative purposes, is incorporating one of illusionist, Darren Brown’s personal philosophies,”Change the story that you tell yourself and happiness/contentment will be appear.” For his purposes he is referring to his synopsis of Stoicism and its application to his performances and personal life. But for me, this can be altered and applied to meditation and seeking Truth other than me.

    Before meditation sessions, I tell myself to release the story of me and see/perceive what remains-what is. This includes the ahamkara (self shape/ego and all its reinforcements systems i.e. external expectations) that I have developed and have been reinforcing over time. It is proving to be fruitful endeavor in that I am able to be more surrendered.

    Thanks for keep pointing us to TRUTH/GOD
    Daniel (Dljames26)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent!

      I would suggest one more idea that has to do with ahamkara: When you begin your meditation, remind yourself that God, Shakti, is the source of all actions, no matter what they are, and that you are not the doer of these actions, even when it seems like you are. (The word ahamkara means “I do”, but the truth is that You don’t — this is Shakti’s realm.)

      Liked by 1 person

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