I think of this as the Maya Darshan. When I first went to Arunachala it was covered in the clouds. I could not see it. I hoped that I would be able to see it the next day when I went for my maiden Pradakshina around the Mountain.
I started along with my cousins early next day at about 4.00 AM. I had slept very little and had rushed out to see whether the cloud cover had receded. Unfortunately it had not.
On the Pradakshina path I walked slowly hoping for the clouds to lift. It was after I had covered a substantial distance that I thought I could see the peak as the clouds were slowing lifting away.
My first thought was the Mountain was sooo small. However I uttered heartfelt prayers to the peak which looked like a pointed triangle.
Stunningly the clouds behind the peak slowly lifted off and I saw awestruck at the Elephant Darshan of Arunachala.
I realized that the peak which I had thought to be Arunachala initially was the Parvathi Peak, a symbol of Maya.
I remebered Sri Ramakrishna's teaching that unless the Mother Goddess who is veruly Maya permits...one cannot see Isvara.
Here too my first full darshan of Arunachala was accomplished only I had 'worshipped' the Maya peak. It looked as if the Goddess in her compassion gave way for me to see the Lord who had smilingly emerged from behind her.
Truly the path to Isvara is by permission from Maya. Here are the photo graphs to explain what I mean.
This is before Arunachala disappears behind Maya. I could not see this becoz the cloud cover was very dense and it was dark.
This is Arunachala hidden behind Maya.
The Lord emeges at this angle and this is the place where I had my first darshana.
Moe Arunachala darshans to follow.