Published: 6 November 2022 | Written by Gopalakrishnan Venkatesan
Om Gurubhyo Namah
A lesser known fact to me until last year was that our beloved Swami Rama, decades back, has started the service of donating food, grocery, vegetables, clothing etc to the sadhus, sadhakas living at Himalayas to survive the winter season as they don’t get access to these during this time. This service, with so much of love and care is still continued by the ashram with greater efforts in terms of planning and execution of the service. What an endeavour it is!
On 2nd of Nov 2022, a team of 7 people started in two vans carrying all the needed stuffs from ashram to Gangotri. It was a 3-day trip in total covering 600Kms altogether.
In the scriptures it is said that the sadhakas keep traveling to the source of the river while they keep progressing spiritually as a sign of going to the roots. We all were travelling to the source of mother Ganga to meet those sadhus and sadhakas and offer the noble service started by Swami Rama. Ganga, the mother of all rivers, was flowing along-side the road, in between the mountains, and when eyes were closed, She was flowing inside. The scenic beauty, snow peaks were a visual retreat to one’s eyes which silences the mind without any effort and one is at peace. What a scintillating trip indeed!
We stayed at Harsil on day 1, a town known for apple plantations, 25kms ahead of Gangotri. Though it was freezing cold at night we started around 6am the next day from the hotel with all excitement for the service. Having reached Gangotri around 7.30am, we started unloading items from the two vehicles to bring them to Mauni Baba’s ashram. The ashram is shallow deep in the valley and the vehicles stopped on the road. It took almost 5 hours for 7 of us to unload, categorise and arrange the stuffs, a humongous task.
By noon, Mauni Baba in complete silence started distributing stuffs to sadhus who arrived in. He in-turn had put in tremendous effort in-terms of collecting the requirements from the needy, passing it on to ashram, distributing the same with all check and balances. Terrific efforts were put in by Rabindra Ji, Surendra Ji, Pt. Kushalananda Ji & Pt. Deepak Ji. They had all the highest level of energy to accomplish this toughest task with all smiles. What an inspiration they are!
On our way back, day 2, we stayed that night at Uttarkashi and the next day (day 3) early morning, we visited Kashi Viswanath temple and offered our prayers and started back to ashram.
Thoughts were still lingering around Gangotri, the snow peak mountains that surrounded us, the frequently changing weather, the soothing melody of the passing by river, a group of sadhus & practitioners, smiling, helping each other and receiving all the needed stuffs, the scent of the plants and trees in the surrounding, the prasadam etc… It was a great treat for the 5 senses for lifetime. These evergreen moments captured in the memory will be there till the last breath. Just remembering of this experience now, pulls in all the 5 sense inward takes into a deep meditative state. What an overall lifetime experience and opportunity it was!
I sincerely thank Swami Ritavan Bharati Ji, Rabindra Ji and Divya Ji from the bottom of my heart with all gratitude for this opportunity and also on behalf of my friends who joined the trip in person and on-behalf of those who contributed.
Gopalakrishnan Venkatesan has been associated with the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama ashram and the Himalayan Tradition for many years as a student. He lovingly offered his services to the ashram and redeveloped the new AHYMSIN and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama websites through his web development company – SolutionChamps Technologies.