Resources of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition

Khumba Mela January 2001

Now, about the Kumbha Mela next year January. "Noisy place! Don't go!"
Lynn: "Would you like to talk a little about what you'll be doing there so that people know. I don't think that people know a lot about it."

Many of you are doing this Saumya Mantra practice. You know, this practice has really helped a lot of people. It has brought peace in many families. It has reduced dissentions in a number of centers where people have actually really used it together. On myself, I've been really, very, very, very happy, very fulfilled by what has happened by this one practice. It is known, but it is not commonly applied by people for this purpose by the teachers. I hope you have read my little booklet, "Special Mantras." If you have not, please do.

We do have this tradition of special fire offerings into a sacred fire. The normal tradition is that whenever we do a purushcharana, a long observance of a particular mantra, then we do a further ten percent of that. Like if you did 100,000 repetitions, 10,000 of that is done with special fire offerings, if you have seen those fire offerings. Until you have really participated in one . . . Those who have come and have sat in my fire hut will tell you what happens, you know. It's a whole different energy. It's not fire. So, for the seven days we'll be at Kumbha Mela we'll be doing his purna-huti, this final offerings and some meditations.

This occasion of Kumbha Mela is an occasion when you can see the whole of spiritual India in one place. Teachers of every possible path, every possible denomination, okay, every possible practice, each one with their own tent and teaching, preaching, chanting, something going on. It's a sort of a spiritual smorgasbord. You can just drop in five minutes in this tent and five minutes in the next Swami's tent, and five minutes in the next swami's tent. You won't be able to finish the whole complex, because once you sit down in some place, you will really want to sit. Okay, every teacher, every master, every charlatan pretending to be a master, every master pretending to be a charlatan – also there are those. So, I admit it will be an exercise in trying to withdraw from all the sound; but it all this kind of sound, of singing, chanting. In all the camps some lecture going on, some teaching going on.

We will be there nine days. The program is to arrive in Delhi in the 17th of January. We have one devotee-initiate who is taking care of the bookings from Canada in Regina, Arvind Patel. I think you have his name somewhere in your information for Canada. The tour begins on the 17th of January when you arrive in Delhi. We booked the best hotel in Delhi for the night of 17th Jan. On the 18th we fly to Varanasi because Allahabad, which is the city of the Kumbha Mela, does not have an airport, so we bus you down to Allahabad, to our campsite, which is along in the same complex, in the same area where all the other similar campsites are. You arrive there the 18th night. On 19th morning we start what call the yagna, the fire ceremonies. There will be time to walk around and see the place and so on. And I'm going to make sure that you have a big orange scarf somewhere or a name tag or something so somebody can find you. What I do if there is a large group, is I divide the group up into subgroups and then group leaders, you know, who are then responsible for your go together with the subgroup; don't just wander off.

All the big tent cities and so on are built by the Indian military. They take care of the hygiene. You would be surprised that you can have a tent city of ten million people and modern-day hygiene, and water supply, and electricity, and everything. I have to build a special camp for the purpose. This is where most of the expense is. I have decided to take a loss because I want the people to come. During that whole month there are three major processions. These are the processions of the Shankaracharyas and the Mandaleshvaras and so on. These are the people who are the first ones to go and take the holy immersion at the right time. I have decided to participate in one of them. That will be on the 24th, which is the main one. After the religious leaders, the Shankaracharyas and the Mandaleshvaras, have taken their dip, then the rest of the people do. I won't advise you to take the dip at that time, because at the confluence of the two rivers, Ganga and Yamuma, which are always considered holy. . . .

We do the final offerings, 26th of January. That night we sleep right there at the campsite. And 4:00 in the morning we leave from there through a forested mountain area. We are taking a detour to an area known as Vindyachal, which in the Ramayana story is known as this place of where Rama and Sita spend their time in exile. Those forests, very holy places, very silent places, sacred places. And then through that detour, then 27th night we arrive in the city of Varanasi. You know what Varanasi is. It has its own richness. It's both Oxford and Vatican together, you know. There also we've booked the best hotel, Taj Varanasi for 27th night. 28th and 29th we do some sight-seeing in Varanasi. On 30th, in the morning, we go to Sarnath, which is a whole ancient complex around the spot where Buddha preached his first sermon. Then from there, we go directly to the airport. On the 30th evening, take a flight to Delhi. You can book your flight back on the 30th night, so we say good-bye to you at that time there on the 30th night. We have not arranged a hotel for you. If you want to stay, then the hotel can be arranged, but that's on your own. Or you can take a bus to Rishikesh and join the Yoga-sutras Volume Two study. We are doing from the 31st after all the ------(?) is young and fresh. So that is how the program is.

The closing date for registration was originally the 30th of May, but I have found that many people have not taken that seriously, and they are still thinking about it and so on. And if for the Canadian economy you need a concession, we have thought about that also. Just let me know, you know. At least at 20% concession is possible in the price. There are some areas in which I definitely cannot, simply cannot, because there are definite expenses, you know – how much I have to pay for the hotel and so on. Okay. So I'm keeping the registration open. And for Canada, you can send the registration to Arvind Patel. All right. So, it will be a rich and tiring and exhausting and fatiguing and a fulfilling program. And you will be surprised. I mean, it's not going to be a five-star hotel at the campsite, but it's also not some bare, simple tent somewhere. There are toilets. There is flowing water, this, that and so on. Then immediately after that – and I think that's a mistake – I should have given myself a few days free in between, but we'll see. Then immediately after that is the Yoga-sutras Volume Two study. And then what do we have after that? We have Adhyatma Yoga Week. And we have Silence Retreat. Silence Retreat starting from 13th of February, somewhere there.