Trip to Northern India – 2013

In Feburary of 2013 the Interfaith Center sponsored a trip to India. First we visited the Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh. This ashram sits on the banks of the Ganges river. Each evening there is a moving evening prayer service called “Aarti” which included chanting, candles, and prayers launched into the river Ganges.

Then we moved in a rural area near Rishikesh and stayed in a wonderful guest house right on the banks of the Ganges. We did yoga, dreamwork, meditation, and playing as we heard the Ganges rush by.

On the Hindu sacred day of the Kumbh Mela, we went to a nearby town, to Haridwar to the Hindu ashram of Sri Ganapati Swamiji of Mysore. This ashram is also on the banks of the Ganges. We met Lama Tenzin from Dehra Dun in Haridwar so that he and the children could swim with us on the last sacred bathing day of the Kumbh Mela. Our group included many Christian women from the US, a Jewish woman from the US, 22 Buddhist orphans from Dehra Dun, Lama Tenzin the Buddhist monk, and numerous Hindus from the ashram. What an interfaith event!!!!!

Our last adventure began by moving to two beautiful guest houses near Dehra Dun, the home of Lama Tenzin’s orphanage. During these days we did volunteer work with Lama Tenzin and his kids, we went to a Buddhist nunnery and heard them chant, and we relaxed near the bird sanctuary near our guest houses.

On our first day in Dehra Dun with Lama Tenzin, Lama and the kids took us to nearby Mussorie, a beautiful hill station in the Hymilayn mountains. We hiked up to the top of an amazing viewing station. At that place Lama and the children had a Buddhist flag ceremony for us. We wrote on prayer flags the names of people and situations for which we wanted prayer. The flags were sown onto the strings and hung high in the sky for the wind to blow the prayers to the Divine. The children chanted as the flags were launched.

we read to kids, did art work, looked over homework , gave gifts of computers and gifts of school supplies to these amazing kids. 

After the group trip concluded, Rick Smith and Susan Smith went south to Swamiji’s ashram in Mysore to attend Shivaratri and to meet with the Hindu teacher there. 

Comments are closed.