Swami Satyananda speaks about Atma Darshan:
Know that within man’s consciousness there is a point that is light. When you have lost a valuable ornament in a room, you take a torch light and search every corner of the room. Eventually you come to the place where the ornament is lying. You focus your torch on it and it becomes illumined; you can see it clearly. In the same way the focus of higher awareness is placed on the Self. The Self is Atma. The Atma cannot be seen by the mind or experienced by any empirical sense. But in meditation, there is a state of consciousness when suddenly there is a great experience from within you. It is called the Divine Vision – the vision of the Atma – ATMA DARSHAN
Atma or the Supreme Reality manifests itself at different stages. The mind is one of these stages and you cannot obliterate the mind. You can only purify the mind and remove the dross. Then at the very nucleus of the mind, the Atma will be revealed. This is Atma Darshan.
In the pursuit of our day to day lives, our attitudes towards Karma have become purely materialistic. Every time we think about spiritual life, we think in terms of renouncing Karma. But this is not the right attitude. Karma can never be a bondage. Karma Yoga is any action done with the higher awareness. Nature has created Karma as a scheme for man to evolve and to know the behavior and deeper stages of the mind and through the mind, to achieve spiritual awareness.
Therefore I named the ashram with this idea in mind. Atma Darshan will be the physical manifestation of an inner aspiration – a spiritual community where people will live and work together in a spirit of ultimate understanding. It will be a place where sadhakas from all walks of life, all religions and nationalities will find a total balance between the inner and the outer – where the highest consciousness is translated into everyday living.
You cannot live without action. Therefore let your actions be performed as a service to the evolution of all beings and you will enjoy a life of utter freedom, simplicity and bliss.
Just as you improve the quality of the body by exercise or you improve the quality of your house by insulation and cement, in the same way, a yogic life style can transform the quality of your mind.
My disciples have understood this and they have dedicated their lives to the teaching of yoga and to the spiritual guidance of humanity at large. Therefore this ashram will be a very important landmark in the history of the world. It is necessary for you to help develop it, but it is more important for you to feel that it is necessary. Basically man is spiritual but if we do not protect and develop our inner lives, then man is bound to meet with disaster. Through a yogic lifestyle you become your own master and gain mastery over the forces of life.
Atma Darshan will give you the opportunity to learn and practice that life style under guidance from swamis established in spiritual life.