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People approach the saint-type primarily to get what is called in India a darshan. This may be variously translated as a glimpse, a spoken blessing, a sight, a view, an initiation, or a silent benediction. He is a phenomenon and they stand at a distance to gaze at him, to admire him, or to be overwhelmed with awe by him. The few minutes or days or weeks or months or years taken up--the duration is immaterial for extension in time does not change the nature of the happening--leave the devotee with the same character, the same consciousness that he had before the meeting. Its service is to portray the goal, not to bring him nearer to perfection in any way. The delusion that the longer they stay with him the farther they travel on the road to perfection remains a delusion still. The darshan leaves them with their weaknesses and faults, their egoism and animality untouched. The work of getting rid of these things is theirs to undertake and no darshan-magic can be a substitute for it.

-- Notebooks Category 1: Overview of the Quest > Chapter 6: Student-Teacher > # 708

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