Play Darshan

Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Issues

Administrative Issues

What type of internet connection do I need?

A broadband intenet connection (cable, DSL, Satellite, DS1) will be required to receive the video darshans streamed via the internet.  The video darshans are encoded at 300 kbps and you will need an internet connection capable of receiving at a sustained rate of 300 kbps in order to view the video darshans uninterrupted.

The audio only darshans are encoded at 22 kbps and are designed for people using dial-up connections capable of receiving at a sustained rate of 22 kbps.  Your connection will have to be approximately 33 kbps or greater to receive the 22 kbps audio stream uninterrupted.

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How do I determine the speed of my internet connection?

You can get an idea of what your real download connection speed is by visiting any number of websites designed to measure your connection speed.  The following link will take you to one speed test that reports fairly accurately your actual upload and download connection speed.  Run the test several times from different test servers to get a better feel for your actual connection speed.

The best measure of whether your interent connection is capable of receiving either a 300 kbps video stream or a 22 kbps audio stream is to play the audio or video samples provided.  Once you have Windows Media Player Series 9 installed, click on "Play Samples" on the navigation bar to your left.

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Why do I have to login with a username & password every time I play a darshan?

The Mafu audio and video darshans that we offer streamed via the internet are encrypted and protected from unauthorized viewing with Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology.  When you attempt to play a darshan you will be directed to a login page where you will have to enter your username and password in order to authenticate that you are a registered subscriber.  Once your username and password is authenticated you will be linked to a DRM server and a license will be sent to your media player granting you the right to play the darshan one time.  Each time you play a darshan (up to 3 times) you will need to provide your username and password so that you can acquire a new license.

Click here to view a complete series of screens, with instructions, that you will be presented with when attempting to play an online darshan.

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Why can I play a darshan only 3 times?

We have set a limit of three playings of the audio and video darshans to give you an opportunity to watch/listen to each darshan and then to review part or all of it again. Watching part of a darshan counts just the same as watching a darshan from start to finish.  You can play any combination of audio or video darshans up to 3 times.

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Does playing a partial darshan count for my allotment of 3?

Yes.  Playing a darshan partway counts the same as watching a darshan from start to finish in terms of your allotted three plays.  Before you start playing a darshan you should set aside enough time to watch the darshan from beginning to end.

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What happens if I lose my internet connection?

If you encounter technical difficulties such as dropped dial-up connections or intermittent broadband connectivity and you use up your three playback opportunities before having viewed or listened to an entire darshan, use the form on the "Contact Us" page and send an e-mail explaining the difficulty you have been having along with a request for 3 more playback opportunities.  On the form, set the Category to Technical so that the e-mail is routed properly.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail when your playback opportunities have been reset.

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Why is the video image small?

The video image is sized at 320 pixels by 240 pixels in order to keep the required internet connection speed as low as possible so that a large cross section of people with differing types of broadband connections can receive the stream.  We are currently offering only the one size so that we can make this program available at the lowest cost.

The video image can be expanded but the picture will look less sharp because the same amount of information will be spread out over a larger area.  You may prefer to expand the picture and move back from your computer monitor which compensates for the lack of sharpness.

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How do I make the video image larger?

To make the video image larger, position your mouse cursor over the media player once it is playing and right click anywhere on the player.  Then select "Zoom" and then "Full Screen".  When you are ready to exit full screen mode you can either hit your escape key or right click anywhere on the full screen image and then select "Exit Full Screen".

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What causes the player to pause and say "Buffering"?

Windows Media Player will pause while playing back a darshan and display a "Buffering" message in its status bar if the speed of your internet connection drops below the minimum speed of 22 kbps for audio only or 300 kbps for video.  In this condition the player has exhausted its buffer (reservoir) of data to play and must pause to refill it before it will begin playing again.  If this is a chronic problem you should  investigate obtaining a faster connection to your ISP.

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Why does the picture move in blocks?

The video image may move in blocks or in a slideshow fashion when your internet connection cannot receive the video information fast enough to display the full 30 frames per second in which it is sent.  If your internet connection speed temporarily drops below the approximately 300 kbps required, Windows Media Player will adjust the number of frames displayed per second to prevent the stream from being interrupted altogether.  If your connection speed improves, Windows Media Player will detect it and will resume displaying smooth video.

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How do I resume playing a darshan in the middle?

If for any reason your audio or video stream gets interrupted and you would like to resume playing from the point at which you left off, you can randomly jump to any point in a darshan by moving the slider button with your cursor and left mouse button.  You will notice that the time corresponding with the slider button position will be displayed in the black status bar portion of the media player.

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What do I do if I get a popup window asking if I want to backup my licenses?

If you receive a popup window telling you that you have received protected content and recommending that you backup your license in case your original license is ever damaged, you should decline backing up your licenses by clicking on "No" and you should also deselect the "Prompt me to backup my licenses" check box.  There is no advantage in backing up your licenses because the type of license we issue is good for only one play and expires as soon as you play our content so there is no point in backing it up.

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I can't receive audio or video, and I suspect my firewall is blocking the stream.

Firewalls can restrict the ability to receive streamed media.  Windows Media streams use a different protocol (mms or rtsp) than typical web traffic (http) and if you are running a hardware or software firewall it may attempt to block the media stream.  The most common symptom of a firewall blocking the media stream from being received is that once you have received your license and you click on play, instead of the media player's buffer filling, which is indicated on the media player status bar by a message "Buffering: 14% complete", with the percentage increasing, the media player instead stalls at this point and the buffer never fills because the flow of data is blocked by your firewall.

If this is occurring to you, hopefully, your firewall will display a message indicating it is blocking the traffic so you can take some action to permit it.  If you suspect your firewall is blocking the media stream and your firewall does not give you a warning indicating that is, make sure your firewall is configured to display messages about when it is taking action to limit traffic on your computer so that you can intervene and permit the media stream.

If you are using a software firewall you may need to add a trusted site definition for the streaming media server we use to deliver our online darshans.  The domain name to use in setting up a trusted site definition is

The mms or rtsp streaming protocol used by Windows Media Player is a UDP protocol and you may need to configure your hardware firewall or router to permit UDP traffic.

If you suspect that your firewall is preventing you from receiving the sample files and you are having difficulty configuring your firewall, use the e-mail form on the "Contact Us" page to request assistance.  On the form, set the Category to Technical so that the e-mail is routed properly.

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How can I achieve the best sound quality with my computer?

We recommend that you use either headphones or that you use a good speaker system that has an amplifier built into it.  Typically the amplifier will be built into a bass or subwoofer unit.  Good quality speaker systems can readily be found for under $100. Most recent sound cards have headphone jacks and often headphone jacks are built into one of the desktop speakers.

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"An error occurred when processing the URL. Please contact EZDRM."

You will receive this error if you do not have Windows Media Player Series 9 and you attempt to play an encrypted darshan.  Upgrade your Windows Media Player from version 7.1 or earlier to the Series 9 player.

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AOL and broadband connections - special considerations.

If you have a broadband connection it is preferable that you access the streamed darshans using Internet Explorer rather than the browser within the AOL client.  The browser within AOL will force the darshan streams to come to you through the AOL network lengthening the path to your computer and unnecessarily exposing them to possible congestion within the AOL  network.  If you are accustomed to using AOL on top of your broadband connection for viewing web pages you should familiarize yourself with using Internet Explorer for web page browsing.

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Monitor goes to all black during playback.

If your monitor shuts off (goes black) during the playing of a darshan moving your mouse cursor should trigger it to turn back on.  To prevent this from happening again, in your control panel open the power management properties and set the "Turn off monitor:" option to "Never".

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Do you plan to offer this program for Mac users in the future?

The Mafu Online Homestudy Program is only available for Windows.  If you have an Intel based Mac you might consider dual booting both the Mac OS and Windows or you might consider using one of the Windows emulators like VMware Fusion to run Windows.

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Is Windows Media Player Series 10 compatible with this program?

Windows Media Player Series 10 is completely compatible with this program although not required.   The Series 10 version offers some nice enhancements to the user interface when run in a stand-alone mode and offers some additonal functionality not found in the Series 9 version.

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Windows XP Service Pack 2 compatibility

Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP is a large and significant update to Windows XP. SP2 enhances the security of XP in many areas including activating the built-in Windows Firewall.  SP2 will not conflict with your ability to receive streaming media licenses nor the streaming media darshans themselves.  Although SP2 provides many great security enhancements it may affect how some of your programs behave.  Please do your own due diligence in determining if SP2 is right for you.  You can read more about SP2 on Microsoft's site by visiting the following webpage:

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Can I sign up for the Mafu Global Darshan Study Program online?

We do not have an online sign-up form in which you can signup and provide payment information.  You can signup by e-mailing The Foundation for Meditative Studies office directly or by using the form on the "Contact Us" page.

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How do I change my username or password?

To change your username or password or both, use the form on the "Contact Us" page and send an e-mail requesting the change you would like made.  On the form, set the Category to Technical so that the e-mail is routed properly.  You will receive a confirmation e-mail when the change(s) have been made.

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What happens if I miss a week, can I review past darshans?

The Mafu audio and video darshans will only be available during their scheduled week so that we can minimize our administrative and hosting expenses and thus make this program as affordable as possible.

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