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11th – 24th of February: India Bhakti Yatra 2018 a Pilgrimage with Petros & Visvambhar

In this unique pilgrimage, hosted by renown Bhaktas and Yogis (Visvambhar & Petros) we will visit the Land of the Krishna Lila, Vrinadavan and beyond.

Petros says:

We will explore Temples, Ashrams and Saints following the footsteps of Lord Krishna. We will guide with local friends, contributing with stories of the Lila, personal insights and of course ongoing Kirtan. This will be a special celebration and unique experience, coming to the roots of Bhakti Yoga and leading to the gates of the Himalayas – two of the most sacred places on earth: the Yamuna River with the Braj Area and Rishikesh on holy Mother Ganga.

Visvambhar says:

I am thrilled to be co-facilitating a retreat/pilgrimage to India Feb 11-24. The special aspect of this retreat is that we will be spending 10 days exploring the Holy Land of Vraja, including Vrindavan and Govardhan, the playgrounds of Krishna and Radha.

I spent many years of my youth practicing Bhakti and learning from teachers in this sacred land. My father brought me on a one-month walking/ barefoot pilgrimage around Vraj (Vraja Mandala Parikrama) when I was 5 years old. Since then I have been blessed to undertake that same pilgrimage over 9 times.

I feel honored to be able to share the sacred stories and moods of these places with the retreat participants. We will dive deep into the essence of these mystical portals to the spiritual realm through discussion, singing and association with the saints that still walk amongst us in these holy lands. We also expect to have many bhakti teachers and musicians join us, as we ourselves also want the uplifting association.

We will spend the last few days relaxing on the banks of the Ganga in Rishikesh, at the foothills of the Himalayas. This will allow for a time of deep connection and contemplation.

Arrival Day: please arrive at Delhi Airport on the 11th February

11th – 15th February: Goverdhan (Programm starts on the 12th)
15th – 20th February: Vrindavan
20th – 21th February: overnight Travel from Vrindavan to Rishikesh
21th – 24th February: Rishikesh

Departure Day: we recommend a domestiv flight from Dehradrun Airport (Rishikesh) on the 24th February

Govardhan:
Yoga and Satsang at Kusum Sarovar, day trip to Badrinath, Shiva Ratri in Kedarnath, day trip to Barsanda and Nandagaon

Vrindavan: Shopping at the Loi Bazaar, Parikrama circumambulation, Temple Visits, day trip to Gokul, boat ride Jamunar Arti.

Rishikesh: Ganga Arti, Vashishta Cave, Paramarth Niketana Ashram

Ya can be understood as the movement of spreading outwards which is similar to going on a journey while Tra expresses a feeling of (an internal) recollection, or re-assembly  after the outgoing movement.

A Yatra is a pilgrimage to places outside and within that help us experience our path in a way that supports our holistic growth, insight and spiritual renewal.

These external places are mostly temples and rivers while the inside journey is inspired through specific timing and meeting with beings of great wisdom, who know of our internal mapping. There are spots where the divine is intuitively present and experienced. Every day, huge numbers of Yatris (pilgrims) visit these sacred places to have “Darshan” of their favourite gods or goddesses. Darshan derives from the Sanskrit verb “drs”that means: to see. So they are seeking to see the divine but also to be seen by the deity. It brings them spiritual renewal as for example taking a bath in the holy river Ganga.
The ancient “Puranas” of India are large literal volumes containing stories of the makings of the universe as well as fascinating tales of innumerable gods and goddesses. The geography of the Puranas coincides with that of the entire Indian sub-continent. Countless places mentioned in these ancient texts are alive today and are important places of yatra (pilgrimage).

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