Sreemad Bhagawad Geeta
As understood by Seekers

Being with myself

YEAR 2021

YEAR 2020























The Magical Retreat With Many Gurus
(Kedarnathji Teertham)

Arya Poduval
Dubai, UAE

Hari Aum!

This year’s retreat started on the 14th of July, which coincidently marks the 10th anniversary of our Spiritual home, SISS at Noida NCR. We have been fortunate enough to be together and begin our retreat on this special day, on a wonderful topic – ‘Sree Uddhav Geeta’. Although it was only a two-day event, Maaji had so brilliantly extracted the essence of the text, giving us a clear understanding of the contents and enlightening us further into Spirituality. The text beautifully explained the story of Lord Dattatreya and his 24 gurus, through a conversation between the Lord Sree Krishna and his dear friend Uddhavji during Lord’s final teaching.

The analogy of each Guru’s teaching and the explanations derived from them were all so enlightening. I was so amazed to know the depth and level of observing the subtlest things in nature through our senses. The more we think about it, the more we realise that what nature is trying to tell us is so obvious and clear, but we fail to pay attention to it. All it takes is a bit of awareness of our surroundings. What I have learnt is that all of these Scriptural teachings tell us the same thing, most of which is just common sense, but our ignorance and conditioned mind often prevents us from noticing and acknowledging what is before us. And somewhere in the back of our minds, we all know these things already, but we fail to make an effort and look at things with attention, and appreciate, reflect and contemplate upon them.

The core message of Lord Dattatreya is ‘Never judge by surface appearances but always seek a deeper truth’.

Apart from the deep eye-opening sessions, we had our lighter moments as well at SISS. We were blessed with the opportunity to listen to Maaji’s composition of the Happy Birthday song, also written by Her Holiness in Sanskrit, to coincide with the celebration of Manish uncle’s birthday. We had an amazing cake to celebrate the occasion. We are all looking forward to many more birthdays to play the newly released, refreshing Birthday Song.

On 16th the auspicious Guru Purnima day we performed the Guru Paaduka Puja, which was as always, the most precious time for us to express our reverence and gratitude to our Guru parampara, to which we are highly indebted. The Puja was so divine, filled with positivity and all of us could truly feel the presence of something magical with the Gurus around. A group dance was offered at the Holy Altar by the four girls Riddhima, Shreya, Swastika and Uma, that had us all mesmerised throughout.

After concluding the Puja, we had a surprise Audio/Video release of the Sree Guru Paaduka Stotram, a unique rendition, initiated by Manish uncle and performed by some of the Dubai devotees. The entire track; along with the beautiful visuals and added creativity of the magician Manish uncle, brought most in tears through this touching gesture. This was one moment that we all will never be able to, rather never want to forget. We go through the same emotions every time we play the music video.


After the unforgettable two day retreat, a few of us went on a Spiritual trip to Kedarnathji. This was by far, the most out of the world experience that has been so utterly beautiful, yet so hard to describe with such limited vocabulary. Our journey had started at six in the morning on the 17th.

We started our road trip from SISS to Haridwar, where we had lunch and rested at a guest house before heading to Har ki Pauri to take a dip in the holy river, Ganga. When we reached the banks of the river, I was slightly nervous thinking about the temperature of the water and people stealing my slippers. I know, very silly. But the moment I entered the water, although cold, I felt so refreshed. The bit of tiredness and lethargy that was lurking in me was washed off in an instant. Then I went under the water for my first dip and all I can say is Oh. My. God! The feeling was phenomenal. The rush I felt in that cold water was just something else and despite the water being chilled, I felt the warm arms of Gangamaa embracing me. All thoughts were erased and my mind was blank. I had no distractions and it felt like someone was pulling me into a warm, comforting hug and once I was out, I didn’t feel cold at all. I didn’t want to stop or get out. After a few more dips, we got out and dried ourselves in time for the Arati. By then, the sun had set and everything was so beautiful with the Arati and the golden lights.

The next day, we left for Guptkashi, covering Devprayag and Rudraprayag on the way. The two confluences were so beautiful to look at, with the clear water so peacefully flowing. Just the sound is so surreal to hear. Alakanandaji was flowing alongside with us throughout, giving us pleasant company. We couldn’t resist going down the valley to enjoy the water at the river and my feet went numb with the chilling temperature.

But the scene was so wonderful, I didn’t want to leave. Eventually, we reached our next destination, where we visited the Guptkashi temple. The first thing I observed up there was the atmosphere. It was so peaceful and serene, with the most spectacular view of the mountains stretching for miles. At the temple, there was a small pool which also was so interesting to see. The flow of the two rivers Ganga ji and Yamuna ji were brought down through two paths, and out of two Nandis, they merge into the pool. Again, the cold water flowing was so refreshing and so pure, drinking it makes you feel so refreshed and energetic. It was interesting to know from the temple priest the history and the stories behind the temple.

After a good night’s sleep, all were well-rested and fresh, early the next day. We were prepared to head on up to Kedarnathji. To reach the top, we had to go up to Sonprayag, from where we were taken to Gaurikund, the starting point of our trek. In the beginning, everyone was so excited to start the journey to the top, the majority of us decided to trek. Not comprehending the intensity of it, we all started onward. After negotiating the steep a bit, each of us ultimately took a mule to climb the rest of the way. Even I folded at 6.5kms. I felt so dejected to have not completed the trek because I really wanted to, but in the end, it was only two who accomplished the task. Nevertheless, reaching the top was a totally different feeling. The view was so divine and vast I couldn’t comprehend it all at once. Instead, I just stood there in awe of it all. When we reached the temple, none of us could believe that we were finally there. It was looking so beautiful with green mountains all around on both sides and just behind the temple, next to the different shades of green was a range of dark rocky snow-covered mountains. It was all so majestic, something unimaginable and almost unrealistic.

As if this was not enough, the next day, early in the morning at about 4.00 am, we had gotten the opportunity to sit in the temple for Puja, secluded and peaceful. This experience is impossible to put in words. The whole ambience, the purity and divinity, everything was just so surreal like an out of world experience. It felt as though we were protected in our bubble, in the arms of something so familiar, yet unfathomable.

My apologies for getting carried away by the magnanimities of Lord’s creation that we saw because of which I completely missed out on the fun time we had during the travel, the chai breaks. The cosy cottage stays; the meals en route, the off track visits such as the one to Sree Vashishtaji’s cave; the one of deer crossing;the monkeys; the pony ride; the parathas and Maggie; the rocks by the river that had their own stories to tell; getting mobbed by the butterflies; the book shop; the divine tracks on road; the mountains holding the trees and so much more of such endless little moments of joy. The best part of the trip was the evening when we used sit together and have our presentations, followed by recap of our day and some very serious Scriptural discussions with Manish uncle. These sessions were highly enlightening and we feel blessed to have had his company. Each of the team presented their topic so innovatively and that just enhanced the overall understanding of the Yatra. Otherwise this would have been just another ‘been there seen that’ kind of trip.

I am grateful to Maaji and Manish uncle for this experience and I am so glad I had the opportunity. I am especially thankful to have had spent some time with Manish uncle this visit and learn so much from him. He is truly a gem of a person and my fondness and admiration towards him grows each time we meet. My thanks and respect to all the elders whom I accompanied. They were all so nice. I am particularly amazed at the discipline they all followed, because of which the entire trip progressed precisely like clock-work; exactly as it was meticulously chalked out by Manish uncle. Everyone took care of their respective roles so diligently that no one even got to know who was doing what. That was the level of discipline and perfection, which made the trip so seamless. Of course, the biggest factor was His Grace.