DARSHANA (roughly Philosophy)
भवम तेरी भवानी अपार,
सकल ब्रह्मांड में वो साकार,
नाद की गूँज सी,
परमानंद की बूँद सी,
परम प्रेम की वो अभिव्यक्ति,
ओ अर्धनारीश्वर वो तेरी शक्ति,
त्रिकुटी के ज्ञान सी,
भृकुटी के मान सी,
जो किया आलिंगन परे सहस्रार....
तू हुआ निरगुन, वो तेरी निराकार....
~ Adiguru Prakriti
Darshana/Darshan is not the same as Philosophy
Philosophy is a Greek word and can be broken down into two words as 'Philo' and 'Sophia'.
Sophia means knowledge, empirical knowledge and Philo means liking. Philosophy means love for empirical knowledge. If you surf the world-wide-web for its definition, you will find it as below -
the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.
Philosophy is a Mental Activity, It stays at the level of Mind.
The word Darshan or Darshana means "to see", but not just through your eyes, instead, through your whole being, through your entire existence. And your existence is not just physical. It has a subtle dimension to it. In other words, it means "to perceive with 5 senses or physical existence and the subtle existence". To perceive through the third eye is Darshana. To perceive subtle dimensions of life is Darshana. To perceive through Atma without the filtration by Chitta (Mind/Emotions/Memory) is also Darshana. The more a spiritual seeker evolves, he/she develops their subtle existence and starts perceiving not just through eyes/ears/5 senses, but also through their whole being, all 5 Koshas/Sheaths of existence. For such seekers, entire physical existence is evolved and the ability to perceive expands to the subtle parts/koshas of their being.
Darshan is not a Mental Activity, instead, its a perception beyond, Mind, Physical Body & Senses.
Hence there is a stark difference between Philosophy and Darshana. They are sort of opposite terms. There is a huge difference between philosophical subjects/knowledge and Darshan Shastras. Foundation itself is totally different for both. Philosophical subjects/topics/books are meant for mental/empirical knowledge only, while Darshan Shastras are for the evolution of the Being, for seeking the higher purpose and ultimate truth, permanence in life.
The English language doesn't have words/vocabulary for the Subtle dimension of life, and hence most Sanskrit/Hindi terms/words are roughly, approximately, loosely translated to English. Such translated words do not convey the meaning of the term in its entirely and are often the strip-down, chopped-off version. For example, translating Atma as Soul is entirely wrong, and translating it to Consciousness does chop-off most characteristics of Atma, except the one characteristic which is "Consciousness". Translating it to "Self" again conveys the incorrect understanding as most people are familiar with Physical/Psychological Self and are not able to leave the idea of individuality.
Hence next time you read Yogic or Spiritual texts/books/articles etc, make sure you understand the concept in its entirety, else seeking will become an everlasting journey, which in reality it is not.
There are 6 Darshan Shastras (Texts) given by ancient sages/Rishis as below -
1. Nyaya Darshan: Logic and Reasoning
2. Vaisesika Darshan: Vedic Theory
3. Sankhya Darshan: Creation
4. Yog Darshan: Self-Discipline for Self-Realization
5. Purva-Mimamsa: Elevation Through the Karma
6. Uttar-Mimansa or Vedanta: The principles of Vedas
All the above 6 Darshan Shastras were compiled to take care of worldly matters as well as the spiritual progression of a human being. Seekers must study these Darshan Shastras, especially the Translations done directly from Sanskrit or Hindi (which has been translated from Sanskrit). Never read the commentary over commentary over commentary, it loses its real meaning and depth. Seekers who do not know Hindi or Sanskrit must learn Hindi at least so they can read such texts with all purity, instead of reading the diluted/polluted versions.
Seeking/Spiritual Journey is for the brave ones, tough ones and learning Hindi language and/or Sanskrit language must be done as part of it, so as to understand the concepts properly and be able to chant Mantras with the correct pronunciation. A lot of Gurus avoid teaching Mantras to those who cannot pronounce it correctly.