October 21 Uttarkashi

Most of the yatris would agree that waking up in the Tapovan ashram was similar to entering a state of meditative contemplation. The presence of Swami Tapovanji Maharaj was easy to feel and difficult to deny.
After everyone had eaten breakfast, Guruji invited everyone to see Gurudev’s kutia.  There, the yatris observed the humble dwelling of a master in the making.  Later that morning, Guruji shared that it was the 26th anniversary of his sanyasa diksha. He described how spending that day in Tapovan Kutir made him feel very blessed.  Guruji then proceeded to describe, very movingly, how he met Gurudev and how Guruji came to Uttarkashi.
We made a pilgrimage to the nearby Soumya Kashi temple, which is over 6000 years old. Individual abhishek (oblations) was done by everyone.  Then we had lunch, rested, drank tea and then had satsang with Guruji.  He described the five most important places for the different stages of spiritual seeking.  Varanashi is ideal for shravana, Haridwar and Rishikesh are considered the best for mananam, and Uttarkashi and Gangotri are optimum for Nididyasanam.  After coming to Uttarkashi, Guruji’s advice was for all the yatris to just abide in their own selves.  Following that, we performed a samashti padukapooja for Guruji’s sanyasa diksha day. The ceremony was most certainly a culmination of that day’s descriptions by Guruji of his initiation into the wonderful world of Chinmaya Mission.
Chinmaya Mission’s foundation is based on two different dynamics given to Gurudev by his two gurus: the intense unwavering tapas of Swami Tapovan Maharaj, and Swami Sivananda’s love and compassion for all. Gurudev’s style of teaching and imparting knowledge can be seen as a combination of both.  Guruji explained that the early members of Chinmaya Mission were the bedrock that provided the foundation upon which the organization is built today.
At 6:30 in the evening, we performed both Tapovan and Ganga aarti.
During satsang with Swami Dhyananandaji, he explained that Chinmaya Mission’s origins are in Uttarkashi. He wonderfully described how the importance of Uttarkashi is described in Skanda Puranam Kedar Kand.