Ganga – This is a sacred river and I have been listening about this river since my childhood. I heard great stories about this river but never had any desire to go to the river. I thought its some river in North India and I did not have any inclination for travelling. I did not even dream that some day in my life, I will be sitting in Ganga river and doing my meditations. But life is life and it has full of surprises. In 2016 January or so, my mentors Ruchi Sanjil announced intensive meditation program in Ganga River of Rishikesh. Thats the first time I thought of going to Ganga river
Again, my desire to be part of this program is not because of my love for Ganga. Its because of the admiration I have for my mentors. Whatever my mentors taught or organized or sold, I wanted to consume it because I know they will do a fantastic job and it will be worth my money and time. So, with all the enthusiasm, my husband and I signed up for the first Ganga program in 2016.That was the time I was newly married. My husband and I did not have any inclination for honeymoon or travelling. So, we did not plan anything for travelling and this unexpected Ganga program became our honeymoon.
Though we signed up for the program and though I knew the ability of my mentors, I still had doubts in my mind like – can I really stay for a week in Rishikesh? Will the accommodation be comfortable enough? Will I be just doing meditations and eating food meant for monks? Will the program be too intensely spiritual? (I am an ordinary spiritual practitioner and my mentors are brilliant practitioners. So, I had my own doubts). On top of it, I had asthma in 2016 and I did not know if I can survive in Rishikesh for a week. At one point, I even thought of dropping from the program.
Finally, with all these questions and hesitations in my mind, I went to the program in 2016 and all my questions were answered. Program was very well organized thanks to the hard work put in by Ruchi Sanjil and Ruchi’s parents who stay in Rishikesh. Since 2016, Ruchi Sanjil have been conducting Ganga program every year and my husband and I have attended all 4 Ganga programs till date. Below are the things I loved about these Ganga programs.
1. Accommodation is very comfortable. I was not forced to become a monk sleeping on the floor suddenly for the program. Limitations and comfort zones of a modern spiritual seeker like me are well understood and taken care of.
2. Food is too good. I dint have to struggle for food or suddenly change my food habits.
3. Program has right balance between meditations, fun, theory. Its amazing to experience such balance. Sometimes, spiritual programs become too intense or lack right direction. But Ganga program is well designed with right balance in place.
4. My connection with Ganga river has improved with every year. Initially Ganga river was just a river for me but with time, Ganga river became “mother Ganga” to me. She has become part of my personal experience and I get a smile on my face whenever I think of Ganga river. The cool water of Ganga, Ganga arti, our walks by Ganga river and intense meditations in the lap of Ganga river – all these have created for me a strong association with Ganga river And when I read the modern science findings about Ganga river, my love and admiration for Gaga river increased all the more.(https://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/2016/sep/24/It%E2%80%99s-scientifically-validated-now-Ganga-water-is-%E2%80%98holy%E2%80%99-1524518.html)
5. I got to learn so much in these programs because of the well-researched subjects presented by Ruchi Sanjil.
6. My experience of meditating in Ganga river with a big group of Arhatic Yogis is priceless. With the cool water flowing around me and the company of Arhatic Yogis lead by brilliant couple Ruchi Sanjil, I experienced many wonderful meditations which enriched my spiritual journey.
7. I got to meet so many wonderful Arhatic Yogis and they have become great friends in life. I cherish these friendships and the learnings I received from these spiritual buddies.
8. My understanding of Arhatic Yoga deepened thanks to the wonderful presentations of Ruchi Sanjil on this subject. Deep Sessions of Ruchi Sanjil on 5 pillars of Arhatic Yoga helped me appreciate and value Arhatic Yoga better.
9. My husband and I fell in love with travelling. After our first Ganga program, we travelled to many new places and did intense meditations in our own way. Our first Ganga program experience inspired us to visit various ashrams, temples, rivers across India to meditate and in these travels, we experienced new dimensions of life which expanded our thinking and perspective about life.
10. These programs enabled me to practice not only Arhatic meditations but also intense mantra sadhana in the most sacred river of Hinduism.
11. Ganga programs have fun element too – again in moderation and structured manner. There was enough time for participants to go for rafting , shopping and explore places in Rishikesh of their own interest. As part of this fun time, My husband and I went to Vasishta Guha near Rishikesh and I can never forget the silence I experienced there.
12. The program has enough time for group practices and personal practices. Every spiritual practitioner may have his or her own way of practicing spirituality. This freedom is given to the participants.
13. My life became better and better with every Ganga program. When I introspect about my health, quality of relationships, financial health, emotional stability, mental strength, I have come a long way from what I was in 2016. There is still lot to grow but the amount of progress I made in these 4 years is incredible. These yearly programs added value to the daily spiritual practices I do.
Every Ganga program is a unique experience and I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to be part of these programs. Ganga program feels like a vacation on all levels – spiritual, mental, emotional, physical – which rejuvenates body, mind and soul. Huge gratitude to Ruchi Sanjil for conducting these fantastic programs. Bird’s view of Ganga program 2019 can be had at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Iwmb7xbclc
I wish all the participants of Ganga program 2020 loads of fun, laughter, joy, spiritual progress, material progress. May Ganga program 2020 be super joyful, super successful and blessed with divine guidance, divine help, divine protection as always. Har Har Gange!
Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu!