Sadhana Camp 2010 and Teerth Yatra with Swami Abhedananda

All the way from Durban, South Africa, Pujya Swami Abhedananda conducted a 4 day Sadhana Camp in Siddhabari from 7-10 June, 2010, which was followed by a pilgrimage Yatra to Vaishno Devi, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Vrindavan. 40 delegates, who arrived in India from South Africa, many for the first time, were joined in by delegates from Singapore, America, Australia and also from various parts of India which made the number of campers to roll over 75.

Swami Abhedananda brought all the campers from across the seas to Sidhabari, the most cherished abode of our Pujya Gurudev, so that even they could experience the divinity in the ambience here, and revel in the beautiful camp text – Sri Guru Geeta.

Swamiji shared as to how the spiritual texts start revealing themselves to those who have Supreme Devotion for the Lord and the Guru equally. He said that one who surrenders to the Altar, gets all the powers of the Altar. The knowledge flows automatically. This is called anugraha. When it is said that one should serve the feet of the Teacher, it indicates the ideal on which the Teacher stands. The Guru is the amplifier of the Lord’s words. Every bit spoken by Swamiji was a live demonstration of his unfathomable and silent guru bhakti for Pujya Gurudev and Pujya Guruji.

The campers also visited CORD and Kapil Muni’s Ashram in the evenings. The next destination in the yatra was Ma Vaishno Devi Temple – one of the oldest temples in India. From Vaishnodevi, all devotees travelled to Haridwar and spent a day visiting some of the very prominent pilgrimage spots like “Maya Devi” temple and “Daksheshwar Mahadev” temple. Campers also visited Har-ki-Pauri and had a dip bath in the holy Ganga, before witnessing the most spectacular Ganga Aarti.

After a night stay in Haridwar, devotees left for their next destination – Rudra Prayag, where Swamiji took everyone to have darshan of the old temple of Lord Rudra, wherein it is believed that Sage Narada did Tapas. The same holy place witnesses the confluence of the two great rivers – Alaknanda (coming from Badrinath) and Mandakini (coming from Kedarnath). After a fulfilling darshan in Redra-prayag, devotees moved forwards for the darshan of Lord Shiva at the holy Jyotirlinga pilgrimage of Kedarnath. Upon reaching Kedarnath, the campers were welcomed by snow-capped Himalayan peaks and nature’s pristine glory, which was a breath-taking sight to witness. Lord Kedarnath in the form of a Shiva-linga which resembles the hump of a bull, is in full splendour here, and devotees were able to perform a very fulfilling Abhishek with their own hands, in the dead of night at 1:30 a.m. The next day devotees had darshan at Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s Samadhi, and also a few other prominent temples and “Kunds” in and around Kedarnath temple.

After a night stay at Rudraprayag, campers reach the pious Badrinath Dham next day and attended the evening Vishnu Sahasranam Archana in the sanctum sanctorum with Pujya Swamiji. The next morning, a ritualistic and complete Abhishekam of the Lord was performed on behalf of all the campers by Swami Abhedanandaji, which was a divine experienced to be witnessed. Thereafter, devotees went for darshan of some important pilgrimage sites like the Saraswati river, “Vyas Gufa” and “Ganesh Gufa” – the caves where Bhagwan Veda Vyasa and Lord Ganesha wrote the great epic Mahabharat.

Next morning, the delegates reached Haridwar and on the way covered important sites like Devprayag and Rishikesh. The last lap of the Yatra was at the holy Vrindavan where the group visited important places like Kaliyamardan Ghaat (where The Lord danced on the serpant Kaliya to teach him a lesson), Cheerharan Ghaat, Gokul, bank of Jamunaji, Raman Reti etc. In the evening they had a fulfilling darshan of the phool bangala (temple decorated with scented flowers) at Bankey Behariji.

The nest morning in spite of all the tiredness and heat, all visited Nidhi Van, Sewa Kunj and Madan Mohan Temples. After lunch it was time to leave for Delhi, from where the South Africa delegates along with Swamiji would take their flight to Pune (Kolwan). The Durban campers were lucky to be Pujya Guruji for a weeklong camp in Vibhuti where they celebrated Pujya Guruji’s 60th Birthday.

Throughout the trip the chantings of Hanuman Chalisa and bhajans kept the landslides at bay and kept clearing the mysterious and curvy mountainous course. It was only the grace of Pujya Gurudev and Pujya Guruji acting through Swami Abhedananda that made the whole yatra so comfortable and enjoyable. The campers thanked him profusely and requested him to keep showering his grace on all of them throughout. Swamiji also in turn, thanked all the people involved in organising the camp so well and also remembered Pujya Gurudev and Pujya Guruji gratefully.

To view the photographs, please click here

Categories: Spiritual Retreats