Pilgrimage to Varanasi
Guru Purnima at Lahiri Mahasaya’s in Varanasi 1 – 3 July 2023
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 on this one day of the year.
In the same neighborhood is Satyalok, an ashram which has been passed down in Lahiri’s family. We’ll meditate there, near Lahiri’s samadhi, containing a portion of hithates.
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 Hari and other teachers from 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 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.
Saturday, 1 July
|Arrival on your own at the hotel (flights arriving before 12 noon), check-in.
|3:45 pm||Opening gathering, introduction, and sharing
Boat ride, meditation, and Ganga Arati at Dashashwamedh Ghat
|Dinner at hotel|
Sunday, 2 July
|5:30 am||Sunrise boat ride to Trailanga Swami temple for meditation
Breakfast at hotel
|Visit Dashashwamedh Ghat and meditate at Satyalok
Afternoon darshan at Kashi Vishwanath Temple
|If time permits, visit to the ashram of Anandamayee Ma
Dinner at hotel
Monday, 3 July, Guru Purnima
|Energisation, chanting, meditation, and satsang at hotel
Meet to walk to Lahiri Mahasaya’s home for darshan
Check out of hotel
For most flights we expect to leave hotel for airport about 12 noon
When possible we will reach our destinations by boat. Taxis and autos cannot negotiate the narrow lanes close to the river, so we will also do a good deal of walking. Our hotel’s central location means we need walk no more than 20 minutes at a time. However, the pavement can be uneven, with many steep steps down to the river. Weather will be hot. One needs to be in good shape to manoeuvre the lanes and ghats of Varanasi.
Rooms have simple furnishings, a/c, and attached bath. Breakfast and dinner included.
Arrival and Departure
You would arrive on your own to the hotel. Taxis from airport take one to 1½ hours, cost around Rs. 2000.
Our hotel is located in the main market, just 500 meters before Dashashwamedh Ghat. Access from airport is by private taxi only, not larger vehicles. Road is closed to cars 5 to 8 pm, due to the Ganga arati.
The pilgrimage officially begins at the hotel after lunch on the 1st, and ends at the hotel before lunch on the 3rd.
You would arrive morning of the 1st, if possible, and depart late afternoon or evening of the 3rd.
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.
Hotel room for extra night is about Rs. 5500 single, Rs. 6500 double, including dinner.
Double occupancy: Rs. 23,000 per person.
Single occupancy (private room): Rs. 28,000 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 pay for single occupancy. If you snore, we ask you to room with someone you know well or pay for single occupancy.
The programe fee includes all group transportation; lodging; breakfasts and dinners; and group tips. Not included in the fee are lunches, snacks, and beverages; travel to and from Varanasi; transfer from the airport or train station to the hotel at times other than indicated above; medical care should you need it; donations at ashrams; and personal hotel expenses such as room service or laundry.
A completed application form and payment are both needed to confirm your space. We ask for full payment at the time of application.