For a member of a Hindu faith, darshan is a form of ceremonial worship. Unlike the process of praying, chanting mantras or performing sacred rituals, one performing darshan is expected to do nothing more than look at the image of a god, sacred person or divine being. That act of looking is enough to bring spiritual fulfillment.
Darshan can happen in front of a home altar with a picture of the deity, in a temple or other sacred place, or in a vision during meditation. It is believed that the sight is reciprocal between the devotee and the deity, which deepens the experience of darshan even more.
Yoga darshan, or yoga-darsana, is largely based on samkhya-darsana with samkhya meaning “that which explains the whole." The key difference is that yoga assumes the existence of God, who is the model for the one seeking spiritual release. Yoga darshan is concerned primarily with the acquisition and perpetuation of two states of mind: the state of the one-pointed mind (ekagrata) and the state of inhibited mental functions (niruddha).