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 yogis; 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 yourself a little more and then your life will never be the same.
Still a few spaces left to join Raghunath on this Indian Pilgrimage, September 27th-October 9th, 2014!
What the Video Students made of the last Pilgrimage!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be a part of amazing adventure. Scroll down for details and to hear the experiences of others who have taken this journey in years' past.
$2600 USD (includes a $500 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot; this trip will sell out!)
The $2600 includes:
• Pick up & drop off from/ to New Delhi Airport (DEL).
• All internal travel
• 3 meals a day
• All classes and white water rafting (weather permitting) in the Ganga
• All yoga sessions & classes given by Raghunath.
The $2600 does NOT include:
•Rickshaw rides in Vrindavan (however these are inexpensive)
•Your visa or passport. A tip is appreciated by my Indian assistant if you'd like his help; not mandatory.
If you're interested and have questions contact me immediately at: email@example.com.
CODES OF A YOGIC PILGRIMAGE:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM RAGHUNATH
On this trip, everyone is expected follow the codes of a yogic pilgrimage.
Everyone is expected to eat exclusively vegetarian or vegan. No meat, fish or eggs. There is no consuming of alcohol, smoking of any kind or any drugs. None of that is welcome and we reserve the right to ask anyone to leave without any refund for breaking any of these codes of conduct. We take this very seriously on a pilgrimage.
There are many trips to India where you can sightsee and be a tourist. This is NOT one of them. I say this repeatedly , so as to not mislead anyone. We will practice asana, pranayam, meditation, do a lot of kirtan, tell the stories of ancient India, chant mantras and sing our hearts out aloof to public opinion. jai. If this is not the trip for you, that is ok. If this sounds like what you've looking for please read on-as it's quite wonderful.
“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.
"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
"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
The itinerary is left slightly flexible because in India sometimes I choose to change plans if there some -thing/festival/or holy person that we may run into unexpectedly. This is the mood of a pilgrimage. We are seeking experience and I will not be too tightly bound by an itinerary.
But for the most part this is it:
Notes: The trip OFFICIALLY starts: September 27, in the afternoon
Check in is at 4pm-you can't check in before 4pm, so book your flight accordingly.
You can expect to be picked up and brought to the hotel; make sure to send your flight itinerary to: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc’ me: email@example.com
Although the trip starts then, many will arrive later in the evening. We are leaving exactly at 4:30am the next day for a 6 hour bus trip to Rishikesh. That being said, many choose to come a day early to stay in New Delhi and get used to the time change (10.5 hours), shop, sightsee, or purchase a harmonium. I'll do that as well. If you come a day early I can book you in the hotel we're staying in (please tell me immediately and note you will be responsible for the extra day’s cost for the hotel and food). I will even extend the airport pickup if you choose to come a day early. any earlier, and you must arrange pick up yourself.
Arrive in Delhi International Airport. Check in is at 4pm. (picked up personally by us and taken to your hotel)
September 28th - Oct. 1st
Travel to Rishikesh
Rishikesh is the center of yoga culture; an ancient village in the Himalayan range. The ancients say Rama, Vishnu and Shiva all were here. In the modern age, Vivekanda, Swami Rama Tirtha, Swami Sivananda, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi all lived, studied or have had ashrams here. The Beatles came here in the 60's. It's been a place of pilgrimage before recorded time and the sacred Ganga (Ganges) flows through its center. It is a regular pilgrimage for millions of spiritualists, a home to yogis, saints, gurus, ashrams and always has been.
Here Raghunath will teach, and set the intention of the trip and show how to travel as a pilgrim. Raghunath will teach mantras and songs for kirtan so be prepared to spend a good portion of this trip singing. For those of you who want to learn how to lead kirtan, or learn harmonium Raghunath volunteers his services and will assist you in picking out a harmonium for purchase and how to play it. Besides bathing in the Ganga, weather permitting (and the weather is pretty wonderful at this time) we will white water raft down the Ganga singing and chanting the entire way. It's quite spectacular.
In these next few days besides our morning yoga practice we will hike to a waterfall, visit sacred temples, bath in the Ganges, learn India Bhajans (devotional songs), stop off at the ancient Cave Ashram of Vashistha where his descendants and followers reside at the river ashram and have darshan of Vashistha's Shiva diety.
The village is scenic and riddled with temples and ashrams to explore as well as well as Ayurvedic shops, treatments, book stores, clothing etc. There will also be free time as you would like it. In the evening we will have either a sat song (spiritual discourse, kirtan or light yoga class) This is Raghunath's prerogative. Early on the 1st we will get on a bus for 20 minutes down the Ganges to the village of Haridwar.
October 1st – 3rd
Travel to Haridwar
This is another holy pilgrimage spot on the Ganga which literally means the Dvara or gateway to Hari (the Lord) as it is lower than Rishikesh and considered entrance into celestial regions. We will witness and take part in the majestic Ganga Puja (offering of flowers and lamps to the sacred river during sunset). It's quite awe inspiring as pilgrims from all over India and the world offer their love to this flowing deity whose waters fulfill desires and cleanse the consciousness. Ashrams and temples are everywhere for exploring, as well as incredible bazaars for transcendental consuming. We will be staying right on the Ganga and after our morning yoga class on the hotel terrace over-looking Ganga Ma (amazing!), we have the option to bathe right there, while brahmanas are doing their morning puja (worship). Please be prepared for fantastic vegetarian food along the way. Ayurvedic massage is also available while we are there for an extra charge.
October 4th - 9th
Travel to Vrindavan
Depart for a 8-hour ride by train to Vrindavana. This is not Amtrak. The train is simple. DO NOT expect American trains. American accommodations. American roads. etc. It's an experience. Please don't come with an attitude. It ruins it for everyone.
The holy town of Vrindavana is the stronghold of Krishna Bhakti. Here we will have a chance to deeply immerse ourselves in the culture and practice of Bhakti following in the footsteps of the great saints who have come here for many centuries. Those who have been here before know of the mystic nature of this special holy place where Bhakti comes naturally.
We will settle into a beautifully designed hotel with peaceful gardens, just near the exquisite Iskcon Krsna Balarama Temple with its gorgeous deities, intimate courtyard and ecstatic kirtans.
The entire time in Vrindavana will be spent absorbed in all the limbs of Bhakti-yoga including kirtan, hearing from sacred texts, associating with very saintly people, and visiting special holy spots and temples. There are always auspicious surprises and unique opportunities arising in Vrindavana.
Some of the things we plan to do are…
· Take a nature walk along the old banks of the Yamuna River with its rich soil nourishing various trees and flowers, exotic birds such as parrots and peacocks and genuine simple villagers living simple devoted lives.
· Visit some of the main temples of Vrindavana and experience the amazing atmosphere that goes with each one.
· Experience incredible kirtans at dusk at the intimate courtyard of the Krsna Balarama Temple.
· Taxi ride out to the holy pilgrimage site of Govardhana.
· Hear the history and significance of this holy place and visit Kusum Sarorava, a bathing kund with its beautiful sandstone buildings and ghats.
· Visit the Bhaktivedanta Ashram which was previously a maharaja’s private palace and be guests for lunch there.
· Visit the holy Yamuna River and the impressive Kesi ghat, giving us a chance to walk the narrow streets of Vrindavana and experience the atmosphere of this holy city.
· Visit two charities that melt your heart. Firstly, the Sandipani Muni School, a place where children from the surrounding villages can freely attend coming from the poorest of the poor. Attend their assembly in the morning and get a chance to meet them and dance with them with such love and affection. Visit their classrooms and experience their environment. Meet the wonderful man behind this vision and see all the work he has done and continues to do. Secondly, visit Care for Cows. Abandoned and injured cows are brought to this sanctuary to be taken care of for the rest of their lives with love. Caring for cows is part of the Vrindavana culture. These cows are full of affection and here you will have a chance to make friends with the cows, feed them and give lots of hugs!
In the evening we have a private closing ceremony. Sing. Speak our realization and say an official goodbye. In the evening we usually go to the temple for one of their ecstatic kirtans.
Generally on the last day people have the option to go to the Taj Mahal (this is not included but we can assist you to get there and even arrange a guide) as it's not far from Vrindavan. Or many will choose to stay and explore Vrindavan's holy places or spend the last day at the incredible bazaar. Check out is at 11am Taxi’s will be arranged to take you (if you are leaving India then) in the afternoon to Delhi International Airport (takes around 4 hrs) for your flights.
Ready to come along on this pilgrimage? Register at the BookRaghu@yamatalent.com
F.- Los Angeles Ca.