On Friday, 8th July, 2016.. Ashtavinayak Yatra started right time at 5.45am from Bandra with everyone ready at all pick up points in time!
Well beginning was half done!
Bus was just 10 days old brand new, with powerful shock absorbers, comfortable push back seats, great blue lighting & sleek furnishings!
Soothing monsoon climate, wonderful nature cheered our moods further with all the laughter through out!
After prayers & chanting of Ganapati Atharvashirsh, our dedicated Yatra coordinator Hemavati & young bright engineering student Shashwat welcomed everyone & inspired everyone to introduce themselves with music! This continued in between, as & when we had time for, next 2 days with all the joy & fun!
Starting with Darshan & Aarti of lake side Varadvinayak at Mahad, we had break fast at very nice nearby location, enjoyed by all, after meditation!
Then we Yatris had Darshan & Aarti of Ballaleshwar at Pali with fort like stone structure, followed by lunch with tasty Gulabjamun the same venue as in the morning!
To great surprise for many, we had pantry team & material travelling with us in bus, securing hygine & quality for everyone! After lunch, we had a Hindi movie Bajirao Mastani on VCD in bus, when others rested.
After having great Darshan of Mahaganapati at Ranjangaon, we had Pranayam & meditation in bus, rejuvinating everyone for Antakshari entertaining us all till end!
We all felt fortunate to get to stay at very neat & clean Dharmashala of Sant Gajanan Maharaj (Shegaon) in simple but neat and clean self contained rooms to be shared with 3 with all the bedding & more than enough facilities to take us required rest for few hours both the nights!
Saturday, 9th July, 2016..
We all Started around 6am having prayers, Ganapati Atharvashirsh, Pranayam Benefits – reading my recent article “Miracle Lady” on Uppin Ma followed by full fledged detailed Pranayam in moving bus, many famous Bhajans & Aarti of Ganapati & meditation in bus!
Had Darshan of Chintamani at Theur, where, after Aarti, we all did 1 Km Pradaxina in complete Silence!
Then we were blessed by Siddhivinayak at Siddhatek & Mayureshwar at Morgaon followed by Khandoba – Awtar of Mahadev at Jejuri, climbing up steep steps up the hill, in beautiful dizzling rains! Amazing site from the Temple down the hill tempted us have photo sessions!
By the time we reached Prati Balaji, the most beautiful temple of Balaji, Aarti & Naivedya break in temple made us wait in queue for about 45 minutes. We used this time for Pranayam & Meditation, rejuvinating ourselves. So beautiful, clean, pious, systematic copy of Tirupati!
We had “Everything is OK” talk by Guruji, followed by sharing by everyone’severyone their realisation thereon, followed by meditation & Pranayam, took us to Indrayani Kaathi, Devachi Aalandi, Sanjivan Samadhi of St Gyaneahwar at about 10 pm.
Ashok ji Tardekar from Mulund, who has visited Aalandi at least 40 times before, shared that this is the 1st time in his life, he could have Darshan & Aarti of Samadhi so much at ease & leisure! He beautifully narrated complete story of St Gyaneahwar & showed us all important place wherefrom Sant Gyaneshwar had entered Samadhi 700 years ago & also Suvarna Pimpal, Ajaan Vriksha etc! With his pravachan, each of us really found ourselves lucky & blessed!
The day ended though late at about 12after dinner, everyone felt themselves enriched as we had covered not only 3 Ganapati, but also Jejuri, Prati Balaji & St Gyaneshwar Samadhi, total 6 Darshans during the day with comfortable Puja, Aarti & chanting at every deity!
Hemavati was lucidly narrating stories of respective Ganapatis & deities before we reached there, making us aware of the importance of the place!
Though it was a very very busy day, Pranayams twice & Meditations during the day, with afternoon yogic relaxation maintained our energy so high that, all of us decided to visit Bhimashankar Jyotirling out of 12, next day, getting into bus at 5.15am! Bhimashankar was optional, depending upon time & energy. But our Icchashakti was unparellel!
Sunday, the 10th July, 2016..
Day started getting up at 4am, just with 4 hours of sleep, Everyone was right in time in bus at 5.20am & we all proceeded in ghats for Bheemashankar!
We never new what we were destined to experience our life’s most amazing moments there! We were welcomed by thickest fog (could not see objects even at 10 feet) , we never ever experienced before, along with forceful wind with showers blowing off our umbrellas!
Everyone bought plastic from adivasi vendor boys! For a moment, we were scared with such a climate & how we could climb down & up 100 steps for Bhimashankar Darshan. However, just in few moments, we all could let go, got adjusted & in next few minutes, reached this one of the most important Jyotirling out of 12, nearest to Mumbai, wondering how we missed it for years! Amazing place, where we were served specially prepared breakfast & hot drink in bus itself.
We all were blessed with unique treat of rain picnic with hundreds of streams & waterfalls all around, as a bonus, we never thought of!
Carrying those mesmarizing moments forward, with same rain we moved on to Girijatmak situated in the cave of Lenyadri, climbing up 328 steps! Almost everyone including senior cirizens, climbed up this unique hill easily, in spite of accompanying gush wind with showers! Our tour Manager Tejas had made arrangements for Vanabhojan there under a shade followed by fun club for ladies! Our Anita Kulkarni from Tarapur won Kashmeer Tour offered by Omkar Travels!
We moved on to the last spot Ozar in rains & there too we all got opportunity to have very easy Darshan & special Aarti of Vighneshwar, on the bank of picturesque Kukdi river!
As Mhalshej Ghats were closed due to land slides, we started our return journey through Pune. With traffic, we started at 6pm from Ozar to return Bandra onky at 4.30am, on Monday! We had sharing of experience, realisations, learnings from all Yatris, powerfully conducted in “Coffee with Shashwat” program followed by Pranayam at 10pm, Meditation & dinner at 11pm, on the way at one Veg dhaba!
Everyone including myself & Ashwini felt that had we not done this Yatra together this time, with 45 of us, we might never had visited for life time Ashtavinayak with Jejuri, Prati Balaji, Bhimashankar, Aalandi!
Though it was tight schedule, it was effortless & everyone was at complete ease & full energy throughout!
CA Mukesh Desai who joined with his full family, relatives, & office team captain, in spite of July season, says, I am not a religious person to visit temples, but I don’t miss a single SSY Aanan Yatra because, these have really helped me grow in my joy, health, OKness, overall wellbeing, balances life & tought me how to Live SSY!
Ashtavinayak Yatra was Successful Beyond Imagination, Blessed by Guruji, where each of us had an experience of higher ecstacy, fun, joy, love & spiritual growth through Sadhana, Satsang & Seva!
Our heartfelt deep Gratitude to everyone who participated & volunteered in making it Grand!
Everyone is looking forward to participating in series of our Yatras in 2016!