Journey to India with Yogini Kaliji
December 23, 2015–January 4, 2016
Journey to India 2015 with Yogini Kaliji took place from December 23–January 4 with visits to Mysore in South India and Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra, and Brindavan/Mathura in North India. Nearly 40 participants from the USA, Australia, Europe, China, India, Israel, and Russia enjoyed a perfectly-paced program of TriYoga classes and evening satsang, Datta Jayanti at Datta Peetham ashrama, shopping and sightseeing. A special highlight during the tour was celebrations for TriYoga’s 36th anniversary, marking the beginning of a new 12-year cycle.
The tour began in Mysore, Karnataka State in South India. Tour accommodations and TriYoga programs were at the beautiful, world-class Windflower Resort and Ayurvedic Spa. Each day included TriYoga sadhana with Yogini Kaliji and visits to Datta Peetham ashram for Datta Jayanti programs with Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.
Yogini Kaliji offered TriYoga flows, prāṇa vidyā, and jñana.
The natural beauty and solitude of the Windflower make it a perfect location for the retreat.
Yogini Kaliji led evening satsang with call and response style chanting, jñana, and question and answers. Tabla maestro Prasann Salkar traveled to Mysore from Goa and accompanied Yogini Kaliji during evening satsang bhajans. Prasann also played during flow classes, providing a perfectly meditative musical background, and taught introductions to tabla and bells. Yogini Kaliji studies tabla with Prasann, and he has many TriYoga students who study tabla, dholak, and rhythm bells with him via Skype.
TriYoga 36 was celebrated on the Vedic (lunar) anniversary December 29. Kaliji taught a beautiful class while Prasann played tabla. Satsang featured electrifying chanting that brought most to their feet dancing. TriYoga teacher Monika from Berlin, Germany read a deep, insightful, and beautiful testimonial she wrote for Kaliji and TriYoga. The Chinese TriYoga group performed a choreographed dance for Kaliji that ended with them forming the shape of a heart, and Ma Mei sang a song to Kaliji in Chinese. The celebrations concluded with delicious vegan anniversary cake!
On December 27, Yogini Kaliji was honored with the award “Sri Mudra Nidhi” by the Third International Sri Vidya Conference in Mysore. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji was the presiding guest at the award ceremony.
Yogini Kaliji was also a presenter as part of the “Pontiff Session” at the Sri Vidya Conference. Kaliji’s presentation on mudra included mudra jnana, a demonstation, and a slideshow of a few of the over 1200 mudras that have flowed through Kaliji’s hands. Sri Datta Vijayanandathirtha (Bala) Swamiji from Datta Peetham was also a Pontiff Session speaker.
The tour in South India concluded with TY36 celebrations. Next, the tour group traveled by air from Bangalore to the magical, colorful, and ancient city of of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state, North India. Tour coordinator Deepak greeted participants on arrival with traditional garlands.
That evening the group traveled by bicycle rickshaw on an exhilarating and eye-opening ride through the streets of Varanasi to the famous ghats along the Ganga River. After boarding a boat and venturing onto the river, they witnessed the evening arati performances along the ghats, then participated in the traditional arati ceremony of offering lamps and flowers to the Ganga. From the boat, the group also witnessed cremations taking place on the Manikarnika and Harishchandra Ghats—for Hindus, the Varanasi Ghats are considered one of the most auspicious places for this ceremony.
The group returned to the river the following morning, experiencing the beauty and mystery of the Ganga and Ghats as the early fog lifted.
Peaceful Sarnath, located just east of Varanasi, is the site of Buddha’s first teaching.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a Śiva temple located near the Ganga in Varanasi, is one of the most famous temples in India and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingam (most important Śiva temples). A small group accompanied Yogini Kaliji at 5:30am to visit the temple before the immense crowds of pilgrims arrived. The early morning atmosphere; the quiet, narrow alleyways of old Varanasi; and above all the energy of the ancient temple and the Śiva Lingam itself made this an unforgettable and powerful experience for all who made the journey.
Following Varnasi, the group flew to Agra for a visit to the Taj Mahal, the most visited tourist attraction in India. Agra also offered many opportunities for shopping.
Next, the tour continued to Vrindavan. The highlight of the Krishna sites is the magnificent Prem Mandir, a Krishna temple completed in 2012.
TriYoga student Shaker, originally from Afghanistan, traveled to Vridnavan from Delhi with a friend for his first meeting with Yogini Kaliji. Shaker is a well-known practitioner and teacher of mixed martial arts, and he runs a very successful martial arts school in India. He learned about Kaliji and TriYoga while still living in Afghanistan, and immediately began teaching what he learned to his martial arts students to help them with strength, flexibility and relaxation through the breath. Following unimaginable challenges in Afghanistan, Shaker and his family relocated to India and started their lives anew. Shaker is thriving in India, and was very happy to finally meet Kaliji and members of the tour group.
The group remained together for as long as possible in the airport, no one wishing for the magical tour to end!
Deepak was a wonderful coordinator for the North India tour. He runs Hanumant Gems in Rishikesh, and many of the tour participants purchased his exquisite mala beads.
Kiki provided Chinese translation and helped to coordinate the Chinese tour group.
Traveling with Yogini Kaliji were the team of tour coordinator and travel secretary Hari, and assistants Dr. G, Ganga, Santoshi, and Rishi. Special thanks to Hari for his invaluable assistance that helped make the wonderful tour possible and a great success.