|INDIAN PILGIMAGE wtih Raghunath|
January 24th-February 5th 2014
THIS PILGRIMAGE IS CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED SOON! AS MY WIFE IS EXPECTING OUR 5TH(!) CHILD 1/20/14 i ask for you blessings!
please check this site or sign up for the mailing list (www.raghunath.org) to find out the new dates! my unannounced 9/28-10/10/13 Retreat to the Ganges/Vrindavan is sold out except for one space. If interested contact JC@yamatalent.com asap for more details or registration
Back to the motherland! The home of yoga, mystics, mantras, sadhus, chanting, samaosas, Ayurveda and most of all devotion and love! Without a guide it’s easy to get lost in the craziness of modern India. To decipher the mystery Raghunath will be that guide to introduce you to spiritual India. Visiting like yogi’s- not tourists. We’re not going to park it at some hotel and do asanas. This is the real deal. Raghu will take you to the holy cities and villages that have been dear to the yogi’s and devotees since before recorded time. He will teach asana, and philosophy regularly and give reading assignments from books of ancient India so you can enter into the mood. More than tourism it will be a chance to learn and grow. We’ll learn meditation techniques, bathe in sacred rivers, and dine on authentic and excellent vegetarian food. Because he has spent a lot of time in India with sadhu’s and saints, We will meet up with other guides, friends, Vedic astrologers, palmists, & swami’s whom Raghunath knows of, or has known intimately for years. We’re going to deepen our understanding of yoga culture. With a proper guide India can be a portal to another time-an ancient spiritual culture. It still exists side by side with the modern. As you discover it you will consequently discover your self a little more and then your life will never be the same. Space is limited so we invite you join the adventure.
“The trip to India with Raghu was amazing. As a first time visitor I felt completely at home. And with Raghu as our guide we were true yoga pilgrims! It was a real treat to have Raghu share his wealth of knowledge with us. Our bus trips were filled with lively discussions and readings from holy books. We saw and experienced a lot. I definitely recommend going to India with Raghu”.
-Peter Barnett, Yoga Teacher and owner of BLACK DOG YOGA, Sherman Oaks,Ca.
This itinerary will take us to sacred cities, festivals, Maharajs' palaces of ancient times, thriving ecstatic temples, an eco-farm for intensive study-I'm truly excited and inspired. Check out the itinerary I've put together for a play by play description below.
note:you will purchase a ticket flying into Mumbai (Bombay) and departing from New Delhi
This trip will happen in 3 parts:
Part I: Mumbai: Flower Festival, Gateway of India, Elephant Cavesand the Govardhan Eco-Farm, Darshan with Radhanath Swami.
1/23-28th- fly out of your country arrive in Mumbai. Airport pickup (generally we arrive in the evening of 25th). We're staying at a nice hotel (by western standards) near by Radhanath Swami's ashram. The first day we recover from flight. go to music / book / clothing shops. I will take a group harmonium shopping for those interested, as i teach harmonium on the trip. Next day we will practice yoga, meet with Radhanath Swami, one of my favorite people in the worlde and in the evening is the amazing flower festival which is an out of control night of kirtan with 4000 devotees at Radhanath Swami's ashram in Chowpatty Mumbai. 1 ton of flower petals from all over India will be showered up the altar and the kirtan. It's quite an amazing night and often the peoples highlight of the trip when i've gone before. We are special guests and will have private darsharn with Swamiji. Great food is provided by the ashrams east/west restaurant for us.
The next day we will head off into Mumbai for some transcendental sight seeings as we go to the Gateway to India then hop on a ferry for Elephant Island. There we'll enter 3 incredible and ancient and massive monolithic cave temples of Brahma, Shiva, & Vishnu first discovered by the Portuguese.
In the morning after our yoga class we'll head out of the city to an incredible leading edge eco-farm 2 hours into the country developed by some of Radhanath Swami's students who are engineers studying sustainable living. We'll be staying in beautiful earth homes, practicing yoga on a traditional hardened clay floor, and get into deep study, kirtan, incredible local cuisine. Our chilling out on the country farm will be peppered with various classes, ayurvedic treatments, reading, a class on flower garland making...and we're hoping Radhanath Swami as well as some other choice teachers will join us. We won't be just sitting around- I'm creating this time away from it all NOT just to chill out in nature (which is wonderful in a country getting very industrial) but a chance to study deeply ancient texts and go deeper into our yoga practices, pranayama, meditation and kirtan and appreciate simple & sweet country life.
Part II of the trip: Jaganath Puri, Orissa
1/29- We fly to to Bhubaneswara, then take a bus to our auspicius destination of Jaganath Puri in the Eastern Indian state of Orissa. We will stay here beachside for four nights. Puri is considered one of the 4 major holy places of India. Puri is famously ancient for the massive cart festival (RathaYatra) that takes place every July where the devotees take the massive deities off of the altar on giant carts accompanied by millions singing their hearts out in kirtan accompanied by flowers, bugles and drums. The pomp and grandeur of this festival freaked out the British-which is where the English word juggernaut (huge, powerful overwhelming force) derived. This tropical land is rich in culture, bhakti or devotion, ancient temples, art, & dance. We will practice yoga everyday, study sacred literature, visit temples, and eat the incredible "Jaganath Prasad" or food offered with love to Jaganath that is not only wonderfully tasting but transcendentally surcharged with loving devotion. Plan on doing a lot of singing,
visiting holy persons,yogis, marma master, astrologers (if you want your chart done bring exact time of birth) and diving rich into the sacred yogic traditions of India.
2/1-2/5 Part III Vrindavan, Govardhana Hill, Food For Life Vrindavan fly back from New Delhi (maybe the Taj?)
Ok we're heading North now towards Vrindavan! We all pray to the Divine Godess Srimati Radha to allow entrance into this spiritual vortex considered by many as the most sacred place in the universe. Vrindavan is the land of kirtan, devotion, and Krishna worship as it is considered the land where child Krishna grew up and tended cows. It's a very popular pilgrimage spot from Hindu's and now for people all over the world. The Hare Krishna's have their main international center here as well as Neem Karoli Baba and a number of other sadhu's who have travelled west. Even ParamahamsaYogananda visits Vrindavan as a young man in Autobiography of a Yogi. We will meet up with Vrindavan local Dhanurdhara Swami (whom many of you know as a regular speaker in NYC at Yogamaya. I also have an intalian friend who has opened a school for the under priveledged. This man, Rupa, is amazing and has built from scratch a nursery-12 school, hospital, vegetarian restaurant, organic farm, soy milk factory, paper making. We will go practice yoga at the school one morning and have breakfast with him. Students love visiting him and the kids are super excited to see us. I remember going in to the nursery (because little kids get dropped off there 2-4) and having 12 kids jump in my arms at once. We all broke into tears.
We will also visit Govardhana Hill. One of my favorite pilgrimage spots. Where even the stones and the dust are considered worship-able and fullfill all desires. We will have lunch on near the hill but beware of monkeys! The monkeys run this village and are similar to the mafia.
Yes Vrndavan is holy-holy holy holy.....but it's also got the best shopping around for clothes, musical instruments, bookshops, deities, silver, neck beads and malas, inscense. Forget about it!! It's one stop shopping and it's at the end of the trip which makes it easy!
On the last day we will either say good by to Vrindavan, perhaps look for a local astrologer, walk around the village, go to the Yamuna or you have to the option to go to the Taj Mahal (this is not part of the itinerary and will incur a separate cost). I can help you organize that. It's about an hour and half away. Some take a cab and it's about $20 USD to get in. I hear it'spretty spectacular. I've never been (!) I never want to leave Vrindavan.
Then that's it. We get whisked off to New Delhi where we get our (generally) evening flight on 2/5 or super early in the morning 2/6.
"Raghu is an awesomely inspiring guide who makes this trip a true pilgrimage-a deep, uplifting, spiritual, life-changing experience."-Molly Davidson, Yoga Teacher,Laughing Lotus NYC
Flight Details and cost:
This will be a great pilgrimage and it will sell out!
$500 deposit is needed immediately to hold your spot. THIS IS NON-REFUNDABLE.
The entire trip if paid by December 1st is $2700. After that $2900.
This includes all meals. Airport drop offs and pickups (you must arrive and depart at specified times to get your airport pickup and drop included). All classes, lodging internal flights etc. Does NOT include international airfare or trip to the Taj Mahal. (if you want to go it can be arranged from Vrindavan on last day).
Leaving the U.S.1/23/14 to arrive in Mumbai (Bombay) 1/24/14
Leaving New Delhi the afternoon or Evening of 2/5/14 (some flights leave after midnight or early 2/6/14
if people want to stay longer i can also suggest and assist with arrangements.
AGAIN THIS IS A PILGRIMAGE. WE WILL SING. CHANT. MEDITATE. PRACTICE YOGA. VISIT TEMPLES. It’s not a tourism trip around India. It’s not super ritzy. There are no fancy American accommodations. There are trips and people that do those types India “packages”. This is NOT one of them. I say this explicitly so as not to mislead anyone.
That being said we will stay at comfortable and clean places. You wont be on some ashram floor.
This trip will sell out. I need a $500 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot sent as soon as possible to:
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADRESS
any information outside this website please contact:
JC Wang JC@yamatalent.com
Raghunath brings India to life for anyone who hasn't been there. He goes past the superficial and helps you understand the nuances of the spirit, the culture and the people. If you're even contemplating going-GO!" - Beverly F.- Los Angeles Ca.