In Western society, thirteen is sometimes considered an unlucky number. However, for 21 seekers, the 13th Chinmaya Inspiration Yatra was the most fortunate of times. Over two weeks, Shri Vivek led our yatris from India, Canada, and the U.S. to the holy land of Maharashtra, the outward expression of their inner journey.
They began their time together at Sandeepany Sadhanalaya, meeting Pujya Gurudev at His home. Even amidst the noise of Mumbai, they basked in the peace of the ashram as they let go of their outside lives.
Gurudev then guided them to Chinmaya Vibhooti, where Pujya Guruji so lovingly spoke on Aparokshanubhuti. During those seven days, Guruji also led daily meditation classes, teaching the yatris the steps needed for tapping into their true potential. Having the younger minds of the group – our Balvihar kids – as part of the Yatra was even more wonderful, as they helped rediscover the wonder of this divine knowledge. Guruji jokingly suggested Vivekji carry a flag to keep the yatris all in order and loved when they took His request seriously!
Trying to discover the first-hand experience within, the yatris engaged in satsanga, sadhana, and seva every day. Children and adults alike spent their breakfast, lunch, and dinner times by serving food to all the camp attendees. Some of the yatris climbed the nearby mountain, pushing themselves to focus on the present, only on their next footstep. Together they welcomed in the new decade with Vishnu Sahasranam, reflecting on the change they wanted to make in the upcoming years.
From the shastras, they were then guided to Bhagavan Himself. Departing Chinmaya Vibhooti on January 1st, the yatris traveled to Dehu, Alandi, and Pandharpur. They found themselves immersed in love for Bhagavan Vittal, manifested through the great Saints, Sant Tukaram and Jnaneshwar Maharaj. Every second was filled with devotion, from singing bhajans in line to actually touching Bhagavan Vittal’s feet. With the blessings of Guru and Bhagavan, the seekers completed their Yatra on January 2nd at Chinmaya Mauli.
Throughout these yatras, seekers have journeyed far across several countries and continents, learning and growing along the way. Rather than limiting the spirit of the yatras to only a few weeks, the yatris have taken various Sankalpa to raise funds for various parts of our Mission over the years. Over the course of CIY I – V, 100,000 USD was raised for CORD Siruvani. Following this success, 100,000 USD was then raised by CIY VI – X yatris for the education efforts of Chinmaya Mission Trinidad.
With gratitude in their hearts, on December 31st, Shri Vivek and the yatris present took on a new Sankalpa. Over the next five yatras (XI – XV), together they pledge to offer 100,000 USD for Pujya Guruji, largely for the visionary efforts of Chinmaya Vibhooti. Through these efforts, they hope to transform their two-week yatra into a lifestyle of serving, learning and growing.