Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta
As understood by Seekers

Being with myself

YEAR 2020

YUVASATYA DUBAI

SUMMER SPIRITUAL RETREAT

VISIT TO MUMBAI

VISIT TO DUBAI

RETREAT NOV 2019
SREE DAKSHINAMURTY STOTRAM

VISIT TO UK

VISIT TO SOUTH INDIA

RETREAT JULY 2019
SREE GURU PURNIMA

SAADHNA DAY

SREEMAD BHAGAWAD GEETA
& SREE TAPOVAN JAYANTI HOMAM - DECEMBER'18

ACT, ACTION AND AWARD

THE ENIGMATIC AUM

KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE

VISIT TO AURANGABAD

SREE ISHWARA MAHA ABHISHEKAM

TULA BHAAR

SREE GANAPATI ATHARVASHEERSH UPANISHAD

PYRAMID OF LIFE

PRASHNOTTARA SOPAN

SHIVAAPARAADH
KSHAMAAPAN STOTRAM

FEAR

OTHERS

Pilgrimage to Sree Kedarnathji & Sree Badrinathji

- Mythili


Hari Aum!

With blessings from Maaji and all Great Gurus...... Our spiritual life journey with HH MaaPurnanandaji was started in year 2007, At this point I would like to thank Rama ji and Umashankarji for inviting MaaPurnanandaji to Dubai for the first time.

Dear friends whatever I write - is purely my experience of the holy pilgrimage.

In October 2007, because of our purvajanmapunyaMaaji and Manish ji stayed at our place on their first official visit to Dubai. They stayed with us for a week. At this point I have to thank my mother for constantly reminding me to ask Maaji for a pilgrimage toSree Kedarnath and Sree Badrinath.

Maaji and Manish ji were kind enough to accept the request.
Then Manish ji started planning meticulously for the trip.
The Pilgrimage was planned to start on 24th June 2008 & end on 2nd July 2008.
We were 22 of us eagerly awaiting for the holy journey.

To accomplish the purpose of a pilgrimage, Manish ji gave a complete list of slokas that we might have to chant. Food items were procured that we could take for the pilgrimage, walking pace, outline of dress code, medicines, flask etc.... The coordinators were allotted for different tasks Each single thing was beautifully planned by Manish ji.
I learnt so many things from him, Thank you so much!!

The pilgrims were divided into six groups and were allotted a topic, which would be presented by every group during the trip. The presentation could be in any form, dance, drama,singing or any other creative method. It was mandatory for each member of the group to participate. The groups were given 30-45 minutes to present their topic. The exciting part of it was that the best presentation would be rewarded by Maaji.

Day 1

On 24th June early morning, all of us assembled and Maaji did small puja and arati for the safe journey and with all the excitement our pilgrimage started.

All the cars were following Manish ji's car, Suddenly DAMAL sound heard......

One of the cars was hit by a truck from behind. Fortunately no one was hurt in that accident but the car was damaged & could not be used for further travel.
It took a while for another car to be arranged and in the meantime we were waiting at SISS. The program was delayed by 2-3 hours but this turned out a blessing for a devotee (Yadavji) in Delhi who joined in that moment.
We left SISS for Haridwar. We reached MohyalAsram at Haridwar around 3 pm. We were stunned by the respect and love they showed towards Maaji, though we arrived late, everyone at the ashram were eagerly waiting for us to serve lunch. After room allotment, we all left for Haridwarghat to have darshanof Mother Ganga.

Darshanof Mother Ganga, for the first time brought tears into my eyes. So many times my mother had described the scene, bur direct experience was overwhelming. I could not take my eyes off from GangaMaa, flowing with full force. Aim of thousands of people gathered there was to have the holy dip at the river & see the arati.

It took a while to get used to the chillness of the water & by holding protection chain we took holy dip chanting "Ganga Mata Ki Jai". Arati at Haridwar was an amazing experience with lakhs of people from different parts of India assembled at the banks of the holy river chanting Ganga mataki jai & focused to have the darshan of arati - example of our great culture.
With so much blessed feeling we came back to ashram and after dinner we all assembled to watch the presentation by Naidu ji, Ramesh ji and RanjaniRamnath on "Importance of Discipline". All of them insisted on discipline in every day routine would improve handling all other activities.
Maaji added valuable points about discipline and Manish ji briefly explained about next day's program. Our day 1 events came to an end with sweet flowing thoughts about river Ganges and full exciting dreams about next day.

Day 2

With more excitement all of us got ready for Day 2. After having breakfast at the ashram we continued our journey towards Sree Kedarnath.
Now I have to write about our Innova drivers. I had never been driven with such skill before. We were all stunned by their mountain driving skills. The first part of the journey was ok. I looked happily through the windows and enjoyed the scenery. Once the car started climbing Himalayan mountains with speed (80 - 100 kph) I suddenly started to feel the churning of an ocean inside my stomach, which I attempted to soothe by shutting my eyes. It was like a roller coaster, with sharp hairpin bends, soaring crests and plummeting troughs. I was sitting, once in a while opening my eyes to view the scene.

There are so many prayags on the way to Sree Kedarnath. At 610 meters above sea level, we stopped at Rudraprayag, one of the panchprayags - confluence of river Alaknanda from left and river Mandakini from right. We could see Alaknanda in light colour with full force merging with calm Mandakini in dark colour. It is said that, Sri Naradaji was blessed by Lord Shiva in Rudra form at this place. Rudraprayag blessed with nature's beauty with Majestic Himalayas, gushing waters of sacred rivers. The road to Sree Kedarnath diverted from Rudraprayag. We had lunch at Chandrapuri (GVMN) and continued our journey towards Sonprayag.
We reached the base camp at Ashok Vatika by the evening.

Recap

When we reached Ashok Vatika at Sonprayag, first thing welcomed us was roaring flow the river Mandakini few steps below. With the same love and respect all the people at Ashok Vatika took care of us. After dinner and Manish ji's briefing, we all went to bed little early as we had to reach Gaurikund - base of Kedarnath by 5:30 am next day.
Sonprayag lies at the confluence of rivers Basuki and Mandakini at 1829 mts above sea level. Gaurikund is 5-6 kms from Ashok Vatika at an elevation of 1982 mts above sea level. Gaurikund is the start of the 14 km trek to the Shrine of Shree Kedarnath ji.

Day 3

Preparation
We were warned us about the unpredictable weather conditions during the trek, from scorching sun to extreme cold, rain, wind and snow. Since plenty of shops available, there was no requirement of carrying lunch.
At Gaurikund, the moment I stepped out of the car and looked around I was struck by the stunning beauty of the place. A few steps we had to walk from the dropping point to catch the palki or horse, that distance I struggled to walk because of the slope.
After reaching the boarding point, I was shocked by the tangent at which the trek was going, felt little discomfort in my stomach, fear in my heart whether I would be able to see Kedarnath ji. I felt little sad, that myself & Muralijididn't accompany my parents, during their pilgrimage to Kedarnath in 1993.

Trek
According to my mother's order our family took palki, some chose to walk whereas others strode the horse. With great excitement our trek started with big "Kedarnath ki jai" !!!!
As much as possible we followed each other. The rules, while sitting in palki or pony the person had to bend forward and should not fall asleep. Two eyes were not enough to capture the beauties of Himalayan sceneries.One side mountain decked with sudden flash of water falls and other side with beautiful valleys, with roaring Mandakini flowing with full force.

Fortunately on that day the climate was mostly clear, cold and windy without much rain. Since the journey would take 4 -6 hours, we stopped twice or thrice to have refreshments. As we ordered maggi noodles for lunch, the shopkeeper fetched water from the water falls across the shop. Noodles was extra tasty with Himalayan fresh water.

Suddenly we could see the snow cappedKedar peak, a flash of excitement ran through our nerves, indicating our goal was near. Finally when I reached SREE KEDARNATH, my feelings were like the extreme climate of the Kedarnath, swinging between blessed, crying, anandam and a mixture of much more!

About Sree Kedarnathji
Sree Kedarnath is located about 3583 mts (11,755 ft) above sea level. Kedarnathtemple lies amidst the majestic snow capped Himalayan ranges.
Sree Kedarnath temple is an excellent impressive stone edifice believed to be built by Pandavas and revived by Sri AdiSankaracharyaji. It has Garbagriha and Mandapa. Behind Kedar temple stands the majestic Kedarnath peak at 6940m ( 22,729ft) in height. Chorobari Glacier, the source of the river Mandakini can also be seen. SreeKedarnath ji is one of the twelve JyothirLinga of Lord Shiva. Because of extreme weather conditions it is opened from end of April to beginning of November. The temple structure had been standing erect facing nature's fury for the past 10 centuries and has the endurance to remain in future also.

After darshan we had to wait at Brila guest house up there, or return back to Ashok Vatika.
Night at Brila guest house, Kedarnath (as narrated by Sri.Ramesh ji). Night was very very cold, somehow they took rest, could not sleep very well because of low oxygen level. Early morning they got up and were given hot water, with that they managed to get ready, after having tea, went to have early morning darshan ofKedarnath ji. At that time they were allowed to embrace Kedarji and took Lord's blessings. They also visited Sri AdiSankaracharyaji's meditation place. After having breakfast at the guest house, they started to climb down. It rained a little on the way back.

With that our blessed exciting day 3 came to an end.

Day 4

After getting ready, I apologised to Maaji for not meeting her at Brila guest house previous day. Maaji was upset because we missed the family worship at the Shrine.
The people at Ashok Vatika were worried, because of the heavy rains in Sonprayag, there could be snow fall at Kedar. So all of us anxiously waited for the others to arrive from Kedar. By noon everyone arrived. Fortunately there was no snow fall, only mild rain. After having lunch we were asked to assemble for the presentation by Radikaji’s and Ramnathji’s groups.

Radikaji and Narayanan ji explained the "Glory of river Ganges" with posters and Nandiniji acted as Ganga mata.

Ramnathji and his team mates Chaithanya, Harish and Vishnu debated over "Health food vs Fast food".

Evening we chanted Ganga stotram and did Ganga arati at the Mandakini river flowing few steps below Ashok Vatika. Before dinner we listened to "Sree Badri - KedarMahatmyam" by Balaji, Gomathiji, Unniji and Supraja. After taking blessings from Maaji and briefing for the next day from Manish ji, we concluded day 4 activities.

Day 5

Early in the morning we all got ready, Muraliji and Ramnathji coordinated with the drivers in loading the luggage. After taking group photos, and saying goodbye to people at Ashok Vatika, we started our journey towards the next dham, Badrinath.
We had breakfast at Monal resort at Rudraprayag. From there we reached Jyothirmath, the gateway to Badrinath by 4pm. Cars were flying like panchakalyani horses, another roller coaster ride, we reached Indian military base check post at Jyothirmath, waiting for military personnels to open the gate en route to Badrinath.......

Waiting at Jyothirmath...

Suddenly our drivers came running and the area was filled with a cacophony of car horns, the gateway to Badrinath was opened and our wait came to an end.
Jyothirmath is located at a height of 1875mts (6150 ft) above sea level. It is gateway to several mountain climbing expeditions

Badrinath
We reached Badrinath by the evening. Badrinath is a quiet, serene, beautiful temple town located between two moutains Nar and Narayan in Garhwal hill tracks along the banks of the Alaknanda river at an elevation of 3133mts ( 10,279ft) above sea level. We stayed at the Halvasia guest house.
After refreshing ourselves, we immediately left to have darshan of Sree Badrinathji. We walked through the winding pathways of Badrinath. We crossed the bridge over the river Alaknanda and reached the temple and had the darshan of SreeBadrinathji.
After dinner we all assembled in our suite for a meeting, as Maaji wanted to talk about something. The meeting was about to start when we heard someone scream outside!!

All of us rushed outside to see what had happened, we found Balaji on the floor outside. He was brought inside and fortunately a doctor was found at that hour. After his examination, where he suspected a 4th grade fracture in the leg, gave a pain killer injection, as much could not be done at that time. Like that, day five ended sourly.

Day 6

As per the doctor's orders, the ambulance arrived early in the morning to take Balaji to Jyothirmath military hospital for further tests. Manish ji took Nandiniji in his car and followed the ambulance. Their daughters Supraja and Supreeta stayed back and continued the pilgrimage.

BADRINATH TEMPLE
TheBadrinarayanan temple is located opposite to Nar Parbat, the Narayan Parbat is located behind Neelakanda peak. The brightly coloured temple has a conical Garbagriha, darshanmandap and a sabhamandap.
The main saligram idol of Sree Badrinathji and others idols were recovered fromAlaknanda river and enshrined by Sri AdiSankaracharyaji in 9th century. The other idols were Sri Kubera, Sage Narada, Uddava, Nar and Narayan.
The temple's head priest is traditionally a Nambudiri Brahmin from Kerala, South India. To our surprise Sri Vishnu sahastranamam is chanted at the Garbagriha everyday morning and evening.

TaptKund
TaptKund is the hot spring located below the Shrine. The water temperature is about 55 degrees Celsius, while the environmental temperature is usually below 15 deg C. It is considered to have medicinal properties. Pilgrims take bath here before going to the temple.

Tarpan
Since Maaji explained the importance of giving pindatarpan at Badrinath, all of us decided to give tarpan for our family ancestors. As we made arrangement for that on the previous day itself, we all left for that and children had a yuva session with Maaji.

After taking bath at TaptKund we walked further up and reached the place to give tarpan at what seemed to be the highest point in the town. It was a wet cold and windy day.
After finishing the tarpan we all met at Saket restaurant for our brunch. We did a little shopping, bought pictures of Badrinathji and small krishna statues (bommai) pendants etc., and came back to the guest house.

In the evening it was our group presentation, myself, Chitraji, Supreeta and Supraja(instead of Nandiniji) on "Vastu and Rituals". Chitraji gave introductions to vastusastra, then she called vastu expert Rangamani (myself) to explain it in detail. Using the guest house hall as model house, Rangamani explained how to arrange the house as per vastu, using all the people present there including Maaji.

We did small house warming ritual also, and other simple every day rituals like putting rangoli, lighting lamp etc... were beautifully explained by Supreeta using Bharatnatyamabinayas with Supraja's narrations.
After dinner at Saket, our day 6 events concluded with Maaj's blessings and briefing about next day's program.

Day 7
Started with a thoughtful message from Maaji. Meanwhile the doctors at Jyothirmath advised urgent surgery for Balaji. In response to this Manish ji took Balaji on a marathon, most adventurous 25 hours nonstop journey fighting against all odds to reach Delhi and admitted him to the hospital for further treatments. I can say with total conviction that only Manishji with his virtue of love and fearlessness could’ve undertaken this herculean task!!

Important Day
All of us took bath at Taptkund and breakfast at saket, set out for our days program. After a short drive, we reached a place called Mana.Mana is the last village located on the border with Tibet, 3kms from Badrinath. We took a short trek walk up, reached the place where we saw 5000 years old Sri Vyasjigufa (cave).

The pandit at the cave welcomed Maaji with great respect, made all of us to sit in front of beautiful SreeVyasBhagwanmurti and talked about how SreeVyasji wroteMahabharatha and other scriptures sitting in this cave. A few feet away from the cave, the river Saraswathi thundered through and as a result SreeVyasji could not concentrate, so he asked Saraswathi to go underground and flow silently.

We were so blessed on that day, sitting with our Guru and listening to the Mahatmyamof SreeVedvyasji.
Then we worshipped Vyasji's stenographer, Ganesh ji in a nearby cave temple. From there walked to the river Saraswathi. Here Saraswathijiflows between two boulders and crashes down with a great roaring sound. At this place we got glimpse of Mother Saraswathi before she goes underground.

We bought small plastic cans from the last Indian shop there and Maaji herself gathered Saraswathi water from a small stream for all of us. Here we saw the famous BheemPul, which according to belief, was where the Pandavas started their journey towards heaven. During this journey Draupadi was unable cross river Saraswathi so Bheema lifted a huge boulder and placed between the gorge.

Looking across the other side we could see a small temple for Draupadi where she attained moksha, Maaji explained further up, deep through the Himalaya mountains into Tibet, temple of all Pandava princes was located at different points where they attained moksha. Seeing these places along with Maaji added more value to our pilgrimage and made us all feel blessed.

In the evening we went to Badrinathji temple again, this time we assembled at sabhamandap where the murthi of SreeAdiSankaracharyaji was established. Maaji explained the great works of Sankaraji and how he rejuvenated our old scriptures and culture. I just turned back, saw so many people were listening to Maaji's discourse. They also took blessings from Maaji.

We had darshan of Sree Badrinathji again, after dinner we assembled for the final presentation by Muraliji, Vrindaji, Master Vishnu and Master Sanatan on "Rishi Culture".
Muraliji narrated two stories and Vrindaji explained about the Sapta Rishis.
Sanatan acted as Badrinathji and all the children were Sapta Rishis.

With that day 7 came to an end.

Day 8

As we were scheduled to leave from Badrinath at the crack of dawn, we were all up and ready quite early. Before getting into the car I glanced around me at all the snow capped Himalayan mountains. Feeling like an ant among giants. To smash ego - go pilgrimage!!

Holding Badrinathji in our hearts, we left Badrinath for Jyothirmath. On the way because of a landslide we got delayed, reached Joshimath the holy peeth which was established by SreeAdiSankaracharyaji. We had darshan of SpatikLinga.

We saw the breath taking 2500 years old mulberry tree which is said to grant wishes - The Kalpavriksha. It is believed that SreeSankaraji did tapasya under this tree. The tree was so vast, that we visited the tapasya place of Jagadguru INSIDE the tree.
As Maaji explained the purity of Rudraksha mala sold here, we all bought the mala according to our personal requirements. Because of insufficient time at Jyothirmath we had some delicious bananas for breakfast and started towards Rudraprayag. After breaking through the traffic we stopped at Monal resort at Rudraprayag for lunch.
By evening reached the last leg of our pilgrimage Rishikesh. We were all given the finest accommodations at SomanyBhawan, Rishikesh.

Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a city in the foot hills of Himalayas beside river Ganges at 372 mts (1220 ft) above sea level. It is the gate way to Himalaya & spiritual path seekers. It is a city famous for its yoga, meditation, ashrams and many beautiful temples.

Since our boat trip was cancelled because of unforeseen currents, we took a short walk along the Ram Jhula bridge where reached the market place. We bought some books and ayurveda products, had lassi and walked back to Somany resort for dinner.
After the dinner, Maaji announced the best group presentation.


Maaji's judgement was based on: Costume changes, within time limits, equal performance by all the members and amount of factual information - Our group's presentation on "Vastu and Rituals" won first prize from Maaji!!! All of our group members received the Lakshmi Narayan murti from Maaji.

Day 9

Next day morning we took a few pictures at banks of river Ganges, after breakfast we left for Delhi. On the way, at Grand Sheetal, we had our lunch. Since Smt. Amritaji arranged dinner for all of us, we went directly to her house.

We were inspired by the hospitality of Amrita ji and her family and the way they took care of the tired yatrigas, the mouth watering dinner. They were Maaji's surprise arrangements with Manish ji and Amritaji

We were so happy to see our HERO MANISH JI after three days. Finally our holypilgrimage came to an end, all of us were very happy and with so many memories took blessings from Maaji, once again thanked Manish ji for all his guidanceand being an inspiration to all of us and said goodbye to the others.

Jai Shree Kedarnath ji !!! Jai Shree Badrinathji !!! Pranaams to Maaji!!!!! Danyavaad!!!!!!

SHUBAM

Please forgive me for any mistakes, hope you enjoyed the pilgrimage as much as we did. See you soon, in our next holy pilgrimage!!!!!!
Until next time