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Yatra 2018 Experiences : Journey to the Himalayas

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

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