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Dear Kripalu Family,
I made my first trip to India in 2018 and would like to share some of the highlights with you, so I am writing a 5-6 part travelogue with some images. I hope you enjoy it, as it contains visits to places that are significant to our lineage. My two traveling companions were Umesh, Eric Baldwin, and Thakor Patel , an architect who runs the Kripalu Center in Indianapolis and spends half of his year in his hometown Nasari where he is building a temple that will serve that town. And as you know Umesh is a very experienced traveler, having lead treks to Nepal and Tibet, and tours in India. While in India he collects information for his upcoming website which will contain valuable Bapuji resources. For me it was a trip of a lifetime that I waited 40 years to take.

Our plan was to visit places that were significant in Bapuji’s life, meet people who knew him and collect stories, photos, videos and other things that are vital in keeping Bapuji’s message and lifework alive for us and others who might be inspired by him. We spent a few days in Mumbai, (Bombay),  then traveled to Nasari then through Surat to Baroda, (now Vadodara) and Kayavarohan which was our “home port” as we made side trips to Malav and other places such as the temples on the Narmada River where Bapuji lived for a while. To be in those places that I only imagined from reading “Light From Guru to Disciple” and other sources was a profound experience for me and being inside the splendid temple that Bapuji built defies description.
 
TRAVELOGUE 1 “MUMBAI”
The new airport in Mumbai is breathtaking with its gigantic columns that spread open at the top into the coffered ceiling. We took a cab to a hotel in the former British section of the city and from there visited the Sandhurst Bridge

Sandhurst Bridge
Sandhurst Bridge

where Bapuji contemplated suicide in despair for his futile life. We then went to the Divine Mother Temple, where Bapuji first met Dadaji.

Divine Mother Temple
Divine Mother Temple

That meeting is beautifully described in Rajarshi Muni’s book “Light from Guru to Disciple”.

With the help of Kawshek, a Bapuji disciple some of you might remember from the 1994 trip to India, we might have tracked down the secret hideaway where Dadaji taught Bapuji for 15-18 months. We drove past the Chowpatty Beach where they walked and talked together even though Dadaji could not be seen by anyone but Bapuji.

Chowpatty Beach
Chowpatty Beach

To be walking on the same streets where Bapuji lived as a young man and visiting some of his familiar places, temples etc., was an uplifting experience.

The streets in Mumbai are packed with pedestrians, cows, cars, scooters, bikes and pushcarts.

A Busy Mumbai Street
A Busy Mumbai Street

The dance of all that traffic has to be experienced. It is scary and it works. The traffic on the highways, however, is poop-in-the pants frightening. More on that in a later episode. Mumbai is a city of extremes and the wealth and beautiful buildings stand just above the worst squalor. People everywhere, trash all over the place, yet there is a deep culture of devotion , love and respect that permeates the personal encounters that we have. Indians as a whole are kind, giving and very resourceful people.

A Mumbai Street
A Mumbai Street

I am overwhelmed by their generosity.
 
A SPECIAL REQUEST
Muktidham was Bapuji’s home for more than four years and is our sacred place, the heart and soul center of our spiritual path in the west. It is in need of your generosity. Please consider becoming a donor by signing up on the website www.kyifamily.org and clicking on “Donations” or contacting Bob Rodini (Bhishma) bob@kyifamily.org. If you become a steward, we will send you a unique mug as a token of gratitude and a reminder to you of your generosity.

From here the Pilgrimage took its final journey from Rajasthan to Gujarat, across the desert plains, to the spiritual home of the Kripalvanandaji Lineage. The first stop was the ashram and temple complex at Kayavarohan, where the staff know some of our family very well. Hari (insert universal sign language for ‘very tall’) and Giridhar (universal sign language for ‘broad shouldered’) were the topic of conversation for hours. We made it in time for evening aarti and a simple meal before bed.

Kayavarohan Temple.

Bapuji was indeed smiling, as his sense of humor was clearly involved for the short trip to Malav Ashram and the Mahasamdhi Temple. Exiting the bus, Shambhu recognized a few of his colleagues from the Amrit Yoga Institute, now in residence in the ashram dormitories. Malav is the perfect spot to culminate a journey through India.

Pilgrims at Malav Ashram.

Kripalu Mahasamadhi Temple.

Consider joining us in 2019 when we travel to India again.

Jai Bhagwan,
Shambhu