What is the Rudra Yaga: Ardha Kumbha Mela 2019 pilgrimage with the Himalayan Institute?
A: The Rudra Yaga: Ardha Kumbha Mela 2019 pilgrimage is a large group spiritual excursion to the Himalayan Institute’s 30-acre campus in Allahabad, India from February 1-15, 2019. The focus of the excursion is an 11-day group practice of Rudra Yaga which consists of havan (ritual of sacred fire), mantra recitation, and meditation practice led by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.
Q: What will the Excursion encompass?
A: The Rudra Yaga: Ardha Kumbha Mela 2019 pilgrimage with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait includes the opportunity for continuing spiritual practice at the Himalayan Institute India at Allahabad including an 11-day Rudra Yaga group practice, mantra recitation, meditation practice, study intensive led by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, and day trips to nearby significant locations including the Ardha Kumbha Mela. The Excursion is focused on spiritual practice and the 11-day Rudra Yaga. In addition there will be time for study, yoga, reading, journaling, and walking.
Q: Why attend the Ardha Kumbha Mela with the Himalayan Institute?
A: The Himalayan Institute has unmatched experience in organizing this event. During both the Maha Kumbha Mela in 2001 and the Kumbha Mela in 2013, we hosted the largest group of Western seekers in Mela’s history—over 500 participants traveled with the Himalayan Institute each time. The serene environment we have created at our campus in Allahabad is conducive the starting, deepening, or concluding your personal practice and allows you to tap into the collective consciousness of saints, sages, and fellow pilgrims who have come to the Mela with one goal: inner healing and lasting change.
Q: What is Rudra Yaga?
A: The core practice of Rudra Yaga is centered on the sacred fire, both within and without. Essential components of Rudra Yaga are group practice of havan (tantric ritual of sacred fire), mantra recitation, and meditation. Our Rudra Yaga practice will be led and officiated by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, and all program participants will have the opportunity to join the practice and partake in the havan fire ceremony.
Q: What is the Ardha Kumbha Mela?
A: Celebrated every 12 years for millennia, the Kumbha Mela is the largest spiritual gathering on the planet. The Ardha Kumbha Mela is celebrated at the half-way point between every Kumbha Mela, and is imbued with the same spiritual qualities as the Kumbha Mela. Pilgrims, saints, sages, sadhus, and yogis belonging to many different paths and traditions come to the Kumbha Mela to share their knowledge and wisdom, to intensify their own practice, and to walk together on their spiritual journey. Tens of millions gather at the bank of the river Ganga (Ganges) at a time when the planets, constellations, and other celestial bodies are perfectly aligned, creating a powerful vortex of spiritual energy. This energy is further intensified by the collective consciousness of the saints, sages, and pilgrims who gather here with a single shared intention: inner healing and lasting change.
Q: How can I prepare in advance for this excursion?
A: To ensure that your pilgrimage to the Ardha Kumbha Mela and your participation in the Rudra Yaga bears maximum fruit, there are a number of preparatory practices you can do before you join us. These including learning the mantra for invoking Sri Dakshinamurti, a primordial sage and the rishi of all shakti mantras, particularly Sri Vidya mantra, and a practice consisting of 16 mantras of the Divine Mother Sri Vidya known as the Sri Sukta. If you are interested in committing more time and energy in preparing, let us know and we will share the very heart of Rudra Yaga which consists of six different sets of mantras. If you would like to undertake these practices, email us at [email protected] for recitation guides for the practices mentioned above.
Q: Where will I stay?
A: Participants will stay at the Himalayan Institute Allahabad campus in comfortable swiss cottage tents (accommodating up to 4 people) or twin deluxe tents (accommodating 2 people). Key amenities are provided for your comfort: comfortable swiss cottage tents and twin deluxe tents, shared eco-bathrooms with running cold water and hot water available, Yoga Hall, Lecture Hall, Guest Services and Marketplace, Sacred Grove havan and meditation space, Mahua Grove, on-campus walking trails, UV purified and filtered drinking water, and vegetarian meals freshly prepared from locally grown produce.
Q: Where will I meditate?
A: The Sacred Grove, overlooking the bank of the Ganga, is an ideal setting for meditation. Participants can also find multiple quiet spaces on our 30-acre campus which are suitable for meditation.
Q: Where can I do yoga?
A: Regular yoga classes will be offered in the Yoga Hall. You are also welcome to use this space during open hours for your personal yoga practice. If you plan to do yoga during the excursion, please bring a yoga mat with you as a vinyl or rubber yoga mat will not be provided. However, traditional India woven cotton mats will be available for purchase.
Q: What activities will be offered during my excursion?
A: In addition to the 11-day Rudra Yaga, there will be an 8-part study intensive with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, yoga classes, free-time for meditation, journaling, contemplation as well as off-campus activities such as day trips to the Kumbha Mela grounds, Vindyachal, Allahabad city, local village walk, and a boat ride on the Ganga.
Q: Where is the Himalayan Institute’s Allahabad campus located?
A: Himalayan Institute’s secluded 30-acre campus is located just outside the city of Allahabad in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Allahabad is accessible by train or plane. Daily flights are offered between Delhi and Varanasi, from which our campus is a scenic 3 hour drive. Allahabad is also well connected to Delhi by train. Our campus is ideally situated along the bank of the Ganga a short distance away from Sangam, the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati rivers. More details about our campus can be seen on the campus map in the Accommodations section.
Q: What is the weather like in Allahabad?
A: The month of February is the transition time from winter to spring. The weather is generally pleasant in February but mornings and evenings can be cold. Expect daytime highs in the 70s or 80s and overnight lows in the 40s to 50s. Cool, foggy mornings are expected so be prepared with layers, thermal base layers, hat, scarf, etc. See the suggested packing list for complete list of recommendations. Sturdy walking shoes and a day pack are recommended for day trips.
Q: How do I register for the pre-excursion Add-on to Agra and Jaipur, the post-excursion Add-on to Varanasi, or Sadhana Retreat Intensive at the Himalayan Institute Khajuraho with Rod Stryker?
A: To register for the pre- or post- excursion Add-Ons you may submit your Addendum(s) online or download and complete the paper Addendum(s) and send it to us by email or mail along with your payment details. Full payment is due at time of registration.