In life, we meet people as though by “coincidence” or by “accident”. But if we look deeply, there is no such thing as an accident and there is a reason for everything. Fortunately for me, I came across Anaadi Foundation a couple of months ago, and their work, in terms of their contribution to human well-being and larger impact to the society, has definitely overwhelmed me. You cannot ask for more from them and their recent Himalayan yatra was a blessed one for my family and myself.
Rishikesh The yatra started on 27th May from Delhi. The first place of visit was Rishikesh, and, as its name denotes, what better place for spiritual endeavour than “Rishikesh” — “Lord of the senses”. (denoting mastery over the senses)
We checked in at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, and visited Vashishta Gufa located on the banks of river Ma Ganga. It was a heavenly place and we had a wonderful bath in Ma Ganga and a peaceful meditation in the gufa (cave). The evening sunset and Ganga Aarti at Parmarth Niketan was simply awesome. There are no words to describe it, for it is to be experienced.
Tunganath I should say this trek of 4 kms set the warmth for us; there were beautiful pathways throughout, steep but motivating you to climb. I was not aware that Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world and the highest of the five Panch Kedar temples. It was a wonderful darshan and in all these places we were blessed to meditate under the guidance of Shri. Adinarayanan and listen to the spiritual bhajans of Smt. Smrithi.
Chandrashila Next, we reached Chandrashila, which is 2 kms above the Tungnath temple. We again had the awesome experience of climbing the peak which gives a 360 degree view of the Himalayas. We realized we were on top of the world! We had a great meditation session and listened to words of wisdom from Shri. Adinarayanan.
Omkareshwar Temple During winter the Utsav Doli of Lord Kedarnath is brought from Kedarnath to this place (Omkareshwar temple). Winter puja of Lord Kedarnath and year-round puja of Lord Omkareshwar is performed here. We did peaceful worship and meditated.
Guptakashi and Kalimath We also visited the very ancient Guptakashi and Kalimath temples. It was very amazing to know the history behind those temples.
Kedarnath What can be said about Kedarnath, except that it is a must-experience for everyone who is born on Earth! We were blessed to visit this holy sthala considering various climatic, environmental and other conditions. It was the learning experience for life, leading one to experience the Divine within oneself. I should say that Shri. Adinarayanan and Smt. Smrithi have been great leaders in this journey of inner experience. I always remember the definition of a leader — A leader is “a person who influences a group of people towards the achievement of a goal” and without him or her we would have not achieved what we achieved. They set the things right from the start and geared up both physically and mentally to face the challenges of the yatra. One cannot look for a better organization or group primarily because they are very simple in their approach and they certainly have a greater purpose in life.
I would summarize by saying that it was a great learning experience for my family, a lot of fun, a lot of emotions, and all through the 9 days we saw only the Himalayas and the Ganges. In fact, after tasting the pristine waters of Ma Ganga, bottled “mineral” water tasted like poison to me!
Throughout the journey I learnt from different kinds of people. The best lesson for me was when we were climbing Kedar. The conditions were tough and the path was slippery, with slopes in between. I noticed that a lot of horses could not manage their steps and were falling. However, they never bothered about the small falls or failures, and every horse reached Kedar. But in our life we get disturbed with small issues and once we fail we don’t regain our strength to reach the goal that we have set for ourselves. I felt that we fail or fall when we are placed in a new environment which has greater challenges. We should do what is needed to reach the goal rather than give it up in the face of those challenges.
Special thanks to Anaadi Foundation and their leaders for their devotion and time. Om Nama Shivaya