Back in the lap of mother India. Where the goddess Ganga flows through with her turquoise blue waters down from heavens through the dreadlocks of Lord Shiva. By the green foothills of Himalayas. A doorway into the mystical mountains. Rishikesh. One of the holy cities of India.
Holy-man and saints, rishi’s and yogis, in a birthplace of yoga, all meeting and merging into their sadhana. Spiritual practice. Seeking for the truth. Divine. Something so magical and mystical of this place. Words just can’t describe those feelings and energies arising once there.
10 days of deep pure soul harmony and life in sadhaka grama. Spiritual seeker village of Swami Rama. Soulful connections and blessings of those on path of enlightenments. Merged by blissful surroundings and peaceful butterfly wings, gently shaking the air. Sweet scents of blooming flowers on the walks after meditation.
Into another 10 days by Laxman Jhula. Auto rickshaw rides through the crowded streets and noise of horns. Liveliness from the pilgrims and tourists all crossing the iconic suspension bridges together with the motorbikes, monkeys and holy cows. Too many selfie requests. Finally indulging into vegan cakes at German bakeries. Little bit of shopping and visiting our lovely Tibetan lady at her beautiful store. Grounding back to life in society world. And those special walks by dream river, watching boats rafting through the white waters. People bathing in the pure body of sacred Ganges. Shiva Shambo mantra playing in every music shop and resonating on the streets. Long craved Ayurvedic massages for the mind-body-soul. Whole body melting into warm healing oils. Daydreams finally into reality.
Anand Prakash ashram. Yoga as a whole. Akhanda Yoga. More mantras. More breaths. More rituals. Early morning walks still under the velvet dark night sky for morning practice. Chilly winds from the mountains and peaceful quiet streets. Wholesome practice with Yogrishi Vishvketu. Into beautiful soulful agni puja. Worshiping the fire through chants and rituals.
Bhakti yoga of devotion. Blessed evening with Govind Das. Benefit kirtan for Ramana’s garden children’s home. Releasing the voices and vishuddha chakra blossoming through mantras and singing. Opening the heart for the connections with universal sound. Ecstatic movements and freedom.
Ganga aarti. The special ceremony honouring the Mother Ganga. Every night, without exceptions, mantas are sang and the eternal fire lit. People gather and worship the purifying goddess, offering the prayers and puja, colourful marigold and rose flowers floating with the stream of the river and twinkling the little lights under the starry sky.
Rishikesh holds a very dear place for me. And on this visit, it kept showing me and teaching me the duality or diversity where I have been diving into the practice of unity. I was learning to accept the both and see everything as a creation of Divine Mother. Learning tantra.
Baba. Every day, I was practicing my karma yoga, sharing the money with wandering sadhus, and sometimes the children by the river selling puja. But this baba touched my soul. His beautiful eyes were full with unconditional love. So much gratitude and light radiating from his being. I felt like you could see the whole vast universe from his eyes. But there is a story I will share some other time of him and this lesson of balance.
And besides baba, there was also this little beautiful girl that keeps sweet memories for me from Rishikesh. Poonam, meaning full moon. She embodied this kind and caring feminine energy. Together with her little brother, Tulsi, she walks around the rocky beach selling puja for the tourists. But she stood out from the rest when she offered the offering for free. We spent hours chatting with her and sharing cultures and her dreams. Coming from poorer but honest family, she is modest but so open minded, wise and intelligent. She never asked us for money so it made me want to give her something even more.
With the blessings of these sweet kids, we all also took a dip in the ice cold Ganga waters. Well.. they actually were swimming while I holding on to their hands step by step allowed my body to be merged into the sacred river. Head under the water. Blessed under her holiness, the thoughts of the cold dissolving and this feeling of purity and lightness. Warmed by the mother sun. Blissful soulful moments.
With 9h delayed train, our soul journey took us further down to another holy city of India, Varanasi.