Many come to Amma for darshan. Darshan literally means: ‘a vision of the divine.’In India darshan commonly means visiting a holy person or a holy place. Amma’s darshan is very special. She welcomes each and everyone into her arms in a motherly embrace. Her embrace is for many the highlight of their visit to Amma’s program. During the embrace Amma sometimes whispers ‘My darling son’or ‘daughter’or ‘darling, darling, darling’. She looks at you with a dazzling smile and gives you prasad: a blessing in the guise of a sweet and a rose petal.
Amma’s embrace is free of charge, just like access to the program
Tokens are being distributed one hour prior to the program. This occurs on a first come, first served basis. It is unnecessary to register or reserve darshan tokens up front.
For the morning programs a limited amount of darshan tokens are available. People who have never met Amma before will be prioritized. The evening program’s have lesser restrictions: usually everyone can have their turn for darshan. Amma will be embracing people until very late at night.
Because of the ever increasing number of visitors, it will unfortunately not be possible to receive darshan every day. Therefore please be advised that it is unlikely you will receive darshan immediately upon arrival and so prepare for a (long) wait. During your waiting time you might want to meditate or enjoy Amma’s presence and/or the music. Another option during that time is to sign up for seva (unconditional service). For many Amma’s darshan is the highlight, but simply being near her are a meditation and a blessing in itself.
We would like to invite you to not focus on darshan solely. Being close to Amma in itself is extraordinary. Seeing her radiating love while embracing others, as well as enjoying the entire atmosphere can be a huge inspiration. During darshan there nearly always is music. Often, especially during Devi Bhava night, Amma’s own orchestra is playing devotional music. (Devi Bhava is an extra festive part of the last evening and night of the program, during which Amma’s energy is sensed by many as extra powerful. Devi Bhava literally means: In Devi’s mood. Devi is an Indian goddess.)
As soon as your token number appears on the signs in the center of the hall, you may go to the start of the darshan queue with your token. Stewards will be present to advise you of the proceedings. It is very important to make sure Amma’s body is unburdened as much as possible. At the end of the queue you may put any objects like big hair clips, earrings, or your glasses in a little basket in order to prevent Amma from hurting herself while embracing you. After darshan make sure you pick up your belonging.
Darshan with family or friends
It is possible to receive darshan together with family or friends. In which case each receives darshan individually first, after which Amma embraces all together. If this is your wish, please make sure to queue together.
Having something blessed by Amma
It is possible to ask Amma to bless a photo of a friend or family member. This you can do by handing a photograph to Amma during your darshan. She will subsequently bless it and hand it to one of her assistants. They will ascertain you get it back after your darshan.
It is also possible to have pictures of Amma, meditation mala’s (necklaces with beads) or mantra bracelets blessed. These you can hand to Amma during darshan. Please make sure you have not worn them before. Amma will bless it and put it around your wrist or neck.
Prepare for Amma’s darshan?
In the past, this question has been asked to Amma directly. Underneath an exposition from the book: From Amma’s Heart, Conversations with Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, by Sw. Amritaswarupananda.
Question: How should people approach You in order to get Your darshan strongly?
Amma: People are of different natures. Amma receives everyone equally – gives them all the same opportunity, the same love, the same darshan. She discards none, because all are Her children. However, depending on the receptivity of the receiver, darshan will be different. Darshan is always there. It is a never-ending flow. You just have to receive it. If you can completely withdraw from your mind for at least one second, darshan in all its fullness will happen.
Question: In that sense, does everyone receive Your darshan?
Amma: It depends how open the person is. The more open, the more darshan they receive. Though not fully, everyone receives a glimpse.
Question: A glimpse of what?
Amma: A glimpse of what they really are.
Question: Does it mean they will get a glimpse of what You really are as well?
Amma: The reality in both you and in Amma is the same.