Cradle of Kriya Yoga
7-10 October 2016
The oldest surviving city in the world radiates timeless wisdom. Many of India’s greatest saints, like Adi Shankaracharya, Gautama Buddha, and Mahavatar Babaji lived here. Here Paramhansa Yogananda first met Swami Sri Yukteswar. Here lived the now famous, but ever humble, Lahiri Mahasaya who, with the blessing of Mahavatar Babaji, resurrected Kriya Yoga and began a quiet revolution that has spread around the world. We’ll meditate at Lahiri Mahasaya’s grandson’s home which has relics and Lahiri’s ashes.
We’ll visit Kashi Vishwanath temple, and Dasaswamedh Ghat where Babaji and his sister Mataji appeared before Ram Gopal Muzumdar. Another stop is the temple of Trailanga Swami, Lahiri Mahasaya’s 300-year-old friend, with whom he’d meditate.
Our Hotel, a short walk from the Ganga, permits easy travel by boat. A 10-minute walk is Ananda Moyi Ma’s ashram, where we’ll meditate. We’ll take a boat on the Ganga, chanting, meditating, and watching the sun rise; and at sunset we’ll witness the Ganga arati.
We’ll visit peaceful Sarnath, just outside Varanasi, the place of Buddha’s first discourse after achieving enlightenment.
Friday, 7 October
Arrival on your own in morning or afternoon, drive to hotel, check in
Dinner and opening gathering at hotel
Saturday, 8 October
6:30am: Energisation on hotel terrace, walk to Ananda Moyi Ma’s for meditation.
8:45am: Breakfast in hotel
9:45am: By boat to Shibendu Lahiri’s ashram, meditate with relics.
Pause outside Lahiri Mahasaya’s home.
Walk 15 minutes to Dasaswamedh ghat, market area
Lunch at your own expense
Walk back to hotel along ghats (25-30 min) or return by autorickshaw
Sunset boat ride and meditation
Dinner at hotel
Sunday, 9 October
5:30am: Sunrise boat ride, chanting, meditation; visit Trailanga Swami temple
Breakfast in hotel
Optional visit to Kashi Vishwanath temple
Late afternoon boat ride, meditation, flower offering, and Ganga arati
Dinner at hotel
Monday, 10 October
8:00am: Depart hotel
9:00-11:30am: Visit Sarnath
12:30pm Arrive at airport
(for those with afternoon flights)
Arrival and Departure
As pilgrims will be coming from different cities, you would arrive in Varanasi on your own, meeting the group at our hotel. For those flying from Delhi, we can try to fly together Delhi-Varanasi on an afternoon flight on the 7th, and departing Varanasi in the afternoon on the 10th. The hotel is about an hour’s drive from the airport, and taxis can drive right up to the hotel. Taxi from airport can cost from Rs. 1500 each way. The pilgrimage officially begins at the hotel before dinner on the 7th, and ends at the hotel or airport after breakfast on the 10th.
Accommodations, Meals, and Transportation
We’ll stay at the 3-star Banaras Haveli, almost right on the river, a 5-minute walk to Assi Ghat. Breakfast and dinner included. Areas of Varanasi close to river are filled with narrow lanes, complicating ground transportation. As a group we’ll organise boats making the ghats easily accessible. From the river one must walk, sometimes up steep steps, for 15-20 minutes, before reaching other means of transport, like autorickshaws. All our destinations except Sarnath can be reached by boat and short walks (with many stairs). We’ll travel to Sarnath in Tempo Travellers, directly from hotel.
Double occupancy: Rs. 19,000 per person.
Single occupancy (private room): Rs. 26,800 per person
If you don’t have a roommate, we’ll try to connect you with another single pilgrim of the same sex. If a roommate can’t be found, you’ll pay single occupancy. If you snore, we ask you to room with someone you know well, or pay single occupancy.
The programme fee includes all group transportation; lodging; 2 meals a day; and group tips. Not included in the fee are most lunches, snacks, and beverages; travel to and from Varanasi; transfer from airport or train station to hotel; medical insurance or medical care should you need it; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses such as room service or laundry.
Completed application form and first payment of Rs. 5000 required to confirm reservation. Payments by cheque or bank draft payable to “Ananda Sangha Delhi”, or online transfer, or in person in Delhi by cash. Contact us for online bank transfer. Your participation is confirmed only when we approve your application and receive first payment. Balance of the fee is due by 1 September, 2016. In case of cancellation, Rs. 1,000 of fee is non-refundable. Cancellation close to departure date may incur additional costs.