21 Sep 2015

Following the Master: Kumbh Mela 2015 – Day 11 (The Final Day)

The Journey:

The final day of the pilgrimage was spent visiting temples around the area and performing kirtan. The highlight of the day was visiting the Trimbakeshwar temple and spending time with Swami before leaving India. The temple contains one of the 12 Jyotirlingas, the main lingas of India.

In addition to visiting the Trimbakeshwar Temple, the group also visited the birthplace of Hanuman. Interestingly, during the monsoon season, the winds are so strong that the water in the waterfalls is pushed back up the mountain, challenging gravity.

The group also visited the temple and ashram of Sage Kapila, where the main deity is Rama. In this place, Kapila, when he was 5 five years old, gave Brahma Vidya (divine knowledge) to his mother. This happened during Satya Yuga (the Golden Age). In this place, the great Guru Gajanand Maharaj lived and practiced sadhana for many years, attaining liberation and all his siddhis.

At the ashram there are two kunds (ponds/water reservoirs), where, for thousands of years, water has naturally flowed in. Despite there being no exits for the water, it never overflows. In ancient times, the Kumbh Mela would take place in these kunds.

Another interesting story here is that the southern area of the ashram was the place of Sri Shukracharya, the Guru of the asuras. He cursed the region and no plants would grow until Lord Rama, who was in exile, walked on this land. When his feet touched this ground, everything became green and blossomed.

Later in the day, the group visited a very beautiful Rama temple in Nashik called Mukta Dham. The main deity is Sita-Ram, but other exquisite deities such as Radha Krishna, Lakshmi Narayana and Hanuman were present. The group took the harmonium, mridanga and manjiras, and started a powerful kirtan. Many other people joined in the Hari Naam, clapping, singing and watching the group with curiosity. It was a great energy and within a few minutes the temple was full.

In the evening, the group spent the last few moments in the camp, which had become home for the past eight days, and had brought everyone together. The group had a candlelight dinner to create a special festive atmosphere, and then they received an extraordinary visit by the head of one of the biggest Akharas. He had a private exchange with Swamiji and then listened to the kirtan we performed especially for him.

The final moments of the unforgettable pilgrimage was spent thanking Swamiji for allowing the group to take part in this special mystical journey to the heart of spirituality in India, the Kumbh Mela. Through the Grace of the Master, everyone in the group was able to experience the Love of the Divine in their own unique way, and can now shine and share that Love with the people around them as they head back to their homes.


"It ended up being another late night, and by now, we were all exhausted and happy to catch a few hours of sleep that had been sorely missed. Next day we bade farewell to our beloved Guruji, who took off for a little extension of his stay in India as he travels on to the region of Pune with a small group of devotees, whilst the rest of us embarked on two big buses headed to Mumbai, where flights to Frankfurt, London, Moscow or Johannesburg were awaiting us. It was an unforgettable 10 days that we spent together as one grand family, and we will treasure the memories in the hearts." - Swami Vishwakurunandhanananda (a.k.a Swami Kuru)

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