Sunday, March 2, 2008
Ganga-snana in Svarga Ashram
Making the walk through the park and Ganga snana a regular Sunday event. There was more traffic today as large number of pilgrims were making the trek from Rishikesh to Nilakanth, bringing a bottle of Ganga water to pour on the Bhola linga there. 25 km. there and back.
It was a bit like watching a Govardhan parikrama (at least in the old days), as the greater percentage of the participants appeared to be country folk, farmers, village people.
There is an International Yoga Conference going on at Paramarth Niketan, which is the biggest institution in Rishikesh, with the Swami Chidananda Saraswatiji Maharaj's picture on posters all around town. After my Ganga snana I went to have a bit of a quick look and listened to a Japanese "Shinto Yoga" teacher speak. He said, "Nowadays mostly young women are interested in yoga. 200 years ago, it was the Samurai."
True, there are lots of Western women in Rishikesh, today. Also lots of Yogi Bhajan types, wearing long flowing Sufi-type blue kurtas. The occasional expansive ochre-robed swami followed by a troop of disciples, like a flower surrounded by butterflies.
The Paramarth section of Rishikesh had a good atmosphere today, especially with that unusual combination of kheti kisans and svelte European yogis.
BTW, I notice that Swami Veda Bharati was supposed to attend this conference. He is not, he is tending to his own flock in some foreign land.