Guru Purnima at Lahiri Mahasaya’s in Varanasi
12-14 July 2022

One day of the year, on Guru Purnima, Lahiri Mahasaya’s home in Varanasi is open for devotees to have darshan. To be in his home, for even this brief darshan, is a unique blessing.

Varanasi, the oldest surviving city in the world, radiates timeless wisdom. Great saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Gautama Buddha, and Mahavatar Babaji lived here. It was in Varanasi that Paramhansa Yoganandaji first met Swami Sri Yukteswar.

Here lived the now famous, but ever humble Yogavatar, Lahiri Mahasaya, who, with the blessing of Mahavatar Babaji, resurrected Kriya Yoga and began a quiet revolution that has spread around the world.

The home where Lahiri Mahasaya lived, meditated, and taught his disciples, is preserved as it was when he was there, more than 100 years ago. It is available for darshan only this one day of the year.

In the same neighbourhood is Satyalok, an ashram that has been passed down in Lahiri’s family. We’ll meditate there, close to a portion of Lahiri’s ashes.

We’ll visit Varanasi’s famous Kashi Vishwanath temple, and Dashashwamedh Ghat where Babaji and his sister Mataji appeared before Ram Gopal Muzumdar. Another destination is the temple of Trailanga Swami, Lahiri Mahasaya’s 300-year-old friend, with whom he would meditate.

Our hotel is less than a 10-minute walk to Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Manikarnika burning ghat, and Dashashwamedh Ghat, where at sunset we plan to attend the Ganga arati.

This pilgrimage will be led by Keshava, Daya, and Hari, teachers with Ananda Sangha Delhi.

Ananda Pilgrimages are not so much about sightseeing and doing as about being—being in a place of high spiritual vibration and learning to relax and open your heart to receive the blessings. Meditating as a group in these holy spots reinforces their power. On pilgrimage, we meditate together in the mornings, and at each place, we visit. The flavour of the pilgrimage is inward—one of communion and meditation.

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Proposed Schedule

Tuesday, 12 July

Arrival on your own at the hotel, check-in

3:30 pm Opening gathering, followed by boat ride, meditation, and Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat

Dinner at hotel

 

Wednesday, 13 July – Guru Purnima

6:00 am Energisation exercises, chanting, and meditation at the hotel
Breakfast at hotel
10:00 am Meet to walk to Lahiri Mahasaya’s home for darshan
Meditate at Satyalok, by Lahiri’s ashes
Stories at Dashashwamedh Ghat
Return to Lahiri Mahasaya’s, and/or walk ghat area
Lunch at your own expense
Free time
Optional walk on ghats to meditate at the ashram of Anandamayee Ma
Dinner at hotel

 

Thursday, 14 July

5:30 am Sunrise boat ride to Trailanga Swami temple for meditation
Breakfast at hotel
Kashi Vishwanath temple, Manikarnika Ghat
Lunch at your own expense
Free time
Departure
(For those on evening flights we may have additional activities together)

Getting  Around

This is a unique pilgrimage in that we are doing it during the monsoon! We’re making our schedule tentative, with the option of adding additional group activities, but knowing that rain could change our plans—or at least make them more interesting. It is even possible that the river level may be high, not allowing for boat excursions. We will use boats as we can, but will be prepared to reach all our destinations on foot. Our hotel’s central location means we walk no more than 30 minutes at a time. The pavement can be uneven, with many steep steps. The weather will be hot. One needs to be in good shape to manoeuvre the lanes and ghats of Varanasi.

Our Hotel

Hotel Ganges Grand, Godowlia Crossing, Varanasi. Rooms have simple furnishings, a/c, and an attached bath. Breakfast and dinner included.

Arrival and Departure

You would arrive on your own at the hotel. Taxis from the airport may take 1½ hours, cost around Rs. 2000.

Hotel Ganges Grand is located in the main market, just 500 meters before Dashashwamedh Ghat. Access from the airport is by private taxi only, not larger vehicles. The road is closed to cars from 5 to 8 pm, due to the Ganga arati.

The pilgrimage officially begins at the hotel after lunch on the 12th and ends at the hotel before lunch on the 14th.

Flights

You would arrive the morning of the 12th, if possible, and depart late afternoon or evening of the 14th.
Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai have a number of direct flights.
From other cities, you may need to combine flights.
Also, many trains reach Varanasi.
You can also choose to arrive a day early or stay a day later in Varanasi on your own.
A hotel room for an extra night is about Rs. 4600 single, Rs. 5000 double, including dinner.

Also, many trains reach Varanasi.
You can also choose to arrive a day early or stay a day later in Varanasi on your own.

Programme Fees

Double occupancy: Rs. 19,000 per person.
Single occupancy (private room): Rs. 24,000 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 need to pay for single occupancy. If you snore, we ask you to room with someone you know well or pay for single occupancy.

The programme fee includes group activities, lodging, two meals a day, and group tips. Not included in the fee are lunches, snacks, and beverages; travel to and from Varanasi; transfer from airport or train station to the hotel; medical insurance or medical care should you need it; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses.

Payments

A completed application form and payment are both needed to confirm your space. We ask for full payment at the time of application.