Specialty of Aryavarth
• A man born in Aryavarth tries to leave this
earth forever, while one born elsewhere tries to
stick to it.
• Every true Aryan considers death as a failure
and works for a glorious departure.
• Over millennia, this attitude might have been
polluted by materialism and dwindling courage
and wisdom of man, but this basic concept of it
is far from dead.
• It is alive and kicking, reverberant, vibrant in
• The very regret of wastage of time in materialism is the
quality typical of the Aryans. This statement holds good
for 80%-90% of the people.
• All those who condemned this culture during this
lifetime, will regret during the end, when thought
ceases and the more powerful consciousness points an
accusing finger at the mind.
• When the mind dies, the consciousness wakes up. Like
the full moon rising and the oceans rising with it.
• A Yogi can remember all moments of his departures,
which are wonderful. Interestingly, he deliberately
comes again and again, for others’ sake.
WAYS OF APPROACHING GOD
• Praartana or Prayer is the basic form of
• Next stage is Mantra japam, i.e, chanting the name
of the lord.
• The third is dhyanam or meditation
• The fourth is samadhi, or absorption where mind
and buddhi disappear.
Yaatra – Indian understanding
• Prayaanam is mundane travel. Yaatra is
purposeful journey, pilgrimage!
• Pilgrimage symbolises the inner journey
and strengthens it
• Widens our understanding of our culture,
heritage and history
• Establishes and enhances the sense of
belonging to this great country
• Enables one to go above bodily needs and
teaches community living
• Pilgrimage is a great humbling experience
Yaatri, the pilgrim
• He is simple, humble and has set his mind on the
• He looks not for creature comforts, considers
himself very fortunate to be a Yaatri
• He is always grateful to God for being a tiny
creature in His vast Kingdom
• He looks upon fellow pilgrims as different forms
• He eats a little, speaks very little and is always
immersed in the thought of the Lord
• He realizes that 90% of the Yaatra is over once the
sankalpa is done
India, the pilgrim’s delight
• Every inch is holy. Every grain of sand is sacred. Every
corner tells a thousand tales, of incredible variety and
beauty. A compendium of spiritual centres.
• Bhaarat is a living deity. Going around it ensures
• We are not idol worshippers. We are ideal worshippers.
• Everything symbolizes the formless, all pervading Truth
• We are not the body. We are spirit divine, pure and free
• Every pilgrim realizes this in some way or the other
• Pilgrimage is much more effective than study
• Pilgrimage is experiencing the nature of God and
enjoying the beauty of nature
Greatness of The Himalayas
• Para Mahimalaya. Who can speak even one percent of the
greatness of the Himalayas?
• Unless one is able to see or visit at least one place in the
Himalayas, his existence or life in India is not complete.
• Even for the sake of mountaineering or river sports or
hunting, one should visit. It will do him good, whether he
desires it or not.
• Kalidasa describes Himalayas as the soul of the Devas.
• It is not a range of hills but a series of deities, full of
beauty and mystery. The crown of the Divine Mother!
We Are Protected
• India is protected by nature. The
Himalaya is a great protector.
• Himalayas extend to the Karakoram
into Afghanistan in the north-west.
• There are also the passes. What more
protection can one think of?
• The oceans and the Himalayas have
enabled the people to live in their own
chosen path for thousands of years,
till the advent of the marauders.
The three key stages
• Awareness • Jageshwar
• Transit point • Kedarnath
• The ultimate goal • Kailash
MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE OF
• Becoming aware of the ultimate goal of one’s
existence is jagruthi.
• Jageshwar is the lord who bestows such an
awareness, such an awakening.
• Once the waking up takes place, the goal,
Kailash, is seen.
• It is the ultimate physical point where physical
existence reaches its finale owing to Jagruthi.
• One must go with the attitude that there is
nothing, no further stage beyond this.
KAILASH AND IT’S SIGNIFICANCE
• Kailash is the highest, the 14th, the ultimate Loka in the
• Mt.Kailash represents that point on Earth. People also
go there physically, make a parikrama and pray. But,
physical proximity is not the only way to reach Kailash.
• Anybody who keeps Kailash in his heart reaches it. One
may leave the body anywhere, but the soul reaches
• One who could do both enjoys more and is more
• ‘Kailash is where we came from. That is where we must
KEDARA- ITS MEANING
• Peak of a mountain, Trinetra,
wish- fulfilling tree.
• Hence Kedara natha is presiding over the
most sacred mountains. Why?
• For the sake of those who look at it. Just
one look. That’s it.
Kedarnath – a few basic details
• One of the 12 Jyotirlingas
• Altitude : 3581 metres. The Kedar hill is 6940
• Area : 3 sq kms.
• Population : 301 (1991 census)
• Accommodation : Birla house/Marwar house
• Season : May to October (May is preferred for
witnessing glaciers and avoiding rains)
• Climate : Ice cold during day and at night…???!!!
• Food : The tea shops provide a minimum food
My mother started it all…
• Planned to take my mother and a few friends.
• Master asked, “Why don’t you take a hundred
people with you?”
• Friends from Vizag, Tadepalligudem, Eluru,
Balusupadu, Warangal and Hyderabad joined,
besides my mother, father and sister from Chennai
• The ultimate number was 120! Age group: 8 to 80!
• Let us see a part of this group, mostly from Vizag,
just before the sumptuous breakfast at REC,
Warangal, so lovingly organized by friends there.
The route and distances
• Delhi to Rishikesh : 224
• Rishikesh to Sitapur via Devaprayag : 208
• Sitapur to Gowrikund : 07
• Gowrikund to Kedarnath : 14
• From Gowrikund, the trek to Kedar begins
• After halting at Rishikesh for the night, we
proceeded to Devaprayag
• Prayag is confluence of two rivers. Here, Baageerati
and Alakananda meet
• Ganga is Mandakini in the celestial world,
Baageerati at Devprayag and Ganga from Rishikesh
• The confluence was a picture of awesome beauty,
the bath in the ice cold water refreshing and the
darshan of the Sadhus inspiring
Night halt at Sitapur
• We reached Sitapur, 21 kms before Kedar in
• Welcomed by the Himalayan cold
• Settling down in such weather in a modest
accommodation was not easy for many….
• We were granted the first darshan of the
Kedar range from Sitapur at sunset…
• Next morning, we reached Gowrikund, with
packed refreshments. There is a hot water
• We started our journey to Kedar by a
hundred horses, a few dholies and some half-
• It was tough, thrilling, risky, beautiful and
GOWRIKUND To KEDARNATH
• It was literally uphill all the way! A rugged path trodden
by many great souls, many humble devotees of the Lord
and of course by my Master, the most beloved one..
• The chill was gnawing at the bones, the low air pressure
mocking at the lungs but the pristine beauty of Himalayas
stunned the senses.
• Each one of us was alone, in more than one sense..
• The pony-wallahs, the coolies and the vendors were full of
simplicity and friendliness
• Glaciers greeted us every now and then, right on the
SIGNIFICANCE OF KEDARNATH
• Kedar is the place described as Mahaprasthana by ancient texts.
In other words, it is the ultimate terminus, or the goal of the travel
of the soul.
• It is the last point on physical earth from which the soul can take
off. After this, there is no other point of travel.
• It is from Kedar that the soul is taken to the Final Destination,
• Kedarnath receives only the final prayer. Anything else is
• The Pandavas, their wife and mother had the Darshan (not
physical appearance) of Krishna during their journey, who
delivered them to the higher worlds. The temple still has the
sculptures of the Pandavas and Krishna.
• This is an ancient method where the
person would reach the peak and throw
the body into the valley.
• The body fell down, and the soul soared
upward. There is a great difference
between jumping into the valley and
throwing the body into it
• Many people have done this.
PANDAVAS AND MAHAPRASTHANA
• Mahaprasthana was an ancient tradition that the
Pandavas followed. When the sages and yogis sat in
meditation in the Himalayas, they had already lost their
body consciousness. They were history.
• When Pandavas heard of Krishna’s ascent from this
world, they wasted no time in crowning Parikshit.
• Then they took to Mahaprasthana from Hasthinapur to
Kedar on foot.
• They decided to simply keep walking till they dropped
• They were halting in the night, with just some minimum
food once a day, till they reached the foothills of the
Himalayas. They then took water occasionally, then
stopped even that.
• Yet they had enough energy and health to keep walking.
Kunti was alive and with them, and then fell dead. They
kept walking, watching Kedarnath.
• Due to inherited Samskaras, they were walking with an
empty mind. That is why they were able to receive
Kedarnath’s grace. Round about Swarnaprayag,one after
another fell dead.
• Only Yudhistira physically reached the Kedara peak, where
Yama and Indra, in the garb of a dog and an effulgent
celestial being tested his Dharmajnana.
• There is a monument for Aadi Sankara which
contains his kamandalu and dandam.
• One version has it that the monument has been
erected because Sankara left his body there. This
is true. Sankara did not come back anywhere. He
ultimately went to Mahaprasthana and left his
• Sankara belonged to the fifth century after
Buddha, undoing what he did.
ATTITUDE IN THE Yatra
• One may have seen many holy places, each
incomparable, but may this Mahaprasthana
grant the final journey when I leave this earth,
without obstruction, without hindrance.
• The rest of life on earth must be faultless,
which means selfless.
• We may indulge in many things, earn Papam or
Punyam. Both have to leave us.
• Even Tapas should be ultimately offered to the
Lord on a platter. Shivarpanam.
• Knowledge, action, penance, learning,
punyam, everything is left behind.
• Other than Kailash, there should be no other
goal in mind, and the goal is reached
• Since anyone born on the earth can never be
inactive, in the absolute sense, all the karma he
performs should be resultless.
• If there is merit, let it go to the world. If there
is demerit, let it be burnt when my body is
dropped. Gnyanagni. This is the attitude.
On a basic level
• It should be minimum attention to the
home behind us.
• Healthy energetic food in minimum
• Those who have the strength to walk, the
energy to walk, should be able to walk.
• Totally shift attention to the location, the
goal of the journey. Destination.
Face to face with Divinity, all of a sudden………
• Badari means a pear, or Indian apple (regi pandu).
Large fruit with a small seed.
• Ancient story has it that Mahavishnu performed tapas
here, under a badari tree.
• The tree was Mahalakshmi, who sustained him with
• Nara and Narayana, the twin sages, are said to have done
Tapas in this hermitage.
• Krishna left his penance, wisdom of the world (prapancha
jnana) here. He is spiritually present in Badarinath.
• The Bhagavadgita is better understood when studied
ATTITUDE IN BADARI
• “Let my home be Badari, thinking only of
Kailash. Let Vishnu do His penance in me
on Kailash. You are the Jagatguru, You
are the protector of the world, You are the
doer, You are the one acted upon, You are
the action and it’s fruit. So I must be a
part of You, I must be filled with You,
meditating on the ultimate goal of all
BADRINATH – Basic Details
• Altitude : 10,248 feet
• Weather : 9 to 10 degrees centigrade to sub
• At Tapt Kund, the hot water spring, it is 55
• A full fledged township with all facilities
• Brahma Kapalam, the ultimate place for
obsequies and appeasing generations of
• Hills of unimaginable beauty and mystery