Pilgrimage to India
2012 Pilgrimage with Yogi Acharya Lama Gursam — 14 nights / 15 days
Delhi • Dehra Dun • Lumbini • Kushinagar • Varanasi • Bodhgaya • Taj Mahal
This is a journey through South and Northeastern India that follows the footsteps of Buddha! You will enjoy daily meditations and profound teachings with Yogi Lama Gursam, who will accompany you through every aspect of the trip. Highlights include Dehra Dun, where you will visit Jangchubling Monastery and meet Buddhist Masters such as H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche; Lumbini, where Siddhartha Gautama, the Shakya Prince and the ultimate Buddha was born in 623 BC; Kushinagar, the place chosen by Buddha for his Mahaparinirvana, or final exit from this earth; Varanasi, where you will witness life and receive teaching on the banks of the Holy Ganges river; Bodhgaya, the place where in the 6th century BC, a young ascetic, Siddhartha, attained enlightenment to become the Buddha, and founded Buddhism; Vultures Peak, where Buddha delivered the Heart Sutra, and Nalanda, the first ancient university of Nagarjuna. Our last stop is Agra, to see the wonderous Taj Mahal.
Day 1 — Delhi
You will be met on arrival by Lama Gursam and ever helpful Lama Jamdor and your tour guide, Tenzin, and taken to your hotel in Delhi where you will spend the rest of your day and one evening. Tenzin and Lama Jamdor have 15 years of experience guiding pilgrims in India. This countries energetic capital offers a panorama of fascinating images as you begin to settle in.
Day 2 to 4 — Dehra Dun (Drive by coach)
Jangchubling Monastery is the central institute of the seat in exile of the Drikung Kagyu Order of Tibetan Buddhism. The Institute was founded in 1985 by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche. It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, outside Dehra Dun, in the northeast of India. Here you will meet masters and yogis of this lineage and receive teachings From Lama Gursam on developing a good heart and the 37 Bodhisattva Practices. You will also visit the renowned Tushita Stupa.
Day 5 and 6 — Lumbini, Nepal (Drive by coach and overnight sleeper train)
Here you will visit and tour the birth place of the Buddha and also receive the foundational teachings on the wheel of interdependent origination and the practice of calm abiding meditation with Yogi Lama Gursam.
Day 7 — Kushinagar (Drive by coach)
This is the place where Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana and was cremated. It is an international Buddhist pilgrimage center for the followers of the Buddhism, many who wish to visit this place at least once in their lifetime. Meditation and teachings on living free and dying free with Lama Gursam will prepare you to experience Varanasi.
Day 8 to 10 — Varanasi (Drive by coach)
In this heavenly and spiritual place called Varanasi the life and activities in the city revolve around the holy river. Life on the banks of the Ganga begins before dawn when thousands of pilgrims, men, women and children, come down to the river to wait for the rising sun. Here you will take a boat cruise down the river. This is one of the most extraordinary experiences of a visit to India. Here in the ghats you also will meditate and receive teachings with Lama Gursam on the great commentary on Mahamudra known as the Ganga Ma in the same place where Tilopa bestowed this deepest of teachings on to his disciple Naropa.
Day 11 to 13 — Bodhgaya (Train)
Two full days and three nights with time on your own, silent calm abiding meditation and Ganachakra feast offering with Lama Gursam at the Mahabodhi Temple complex where at the western side stands the large and historic Bodhi Tree under which Shakyamuni Buddha, then known as Gautama, attained enlightenment some 2540 years ago. You will also visit the historic Vultures Peak in Rajgrir where you will receive the transmission of the Heart Sutra and you will also visit the Nalanda historical site which founded about 1200 years ago.
Day 14 — Agra (Sleeper train to Delhi and drive by coach to Agra)
Here we will visit and tour the Taj Mahal, one of the Wonders of the World, created by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. There is also the option to visit come other monuments.
Day 15 — Return to Delhi
Pilgrimage to Nepal
Boudhanath • Takmo Luchen • Swayambhu • Naropas Cave in Pashupati • Vajra Yogini great power places • Pharping; Guru Rinpoche Caves and Yogini Temple •Langri Lungten • Stupas of Patan • Drikung Monastery • Pokhara • Sanku Newari Village
We extend our invitation to you to join in this Vajra Yogini Pilgrimage and teachings in Nepal, March 3rd to 18th 2012. We will be visiting and practicing in all of the major Buddhist Stupa sites and Vajra Yogini sites and power places of the Kathmandu Valley as well as taking a small trip to Pokara to Tal Varahi and Mount Maccapuchre for three days. Yogi Lama Gursam will be giving empowerment of Lion Faced Dakini and guiding Daily Meditations on the recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra, calm abiding and Mahamudra in the Dasang Monastery. Inclusions are all accomodation and transport; luxury class with AC including a hearty breakfast, trek and gear, all teachings by Lama Gursam, and daily yoga classes are optional. This is our third Vajra Yogini Pilgrimage and we are so pleased to be offering this again.
You will arrive at Kathmandu Tribuvan airport and be transferred to your guesthouse in the heart Boudhanath Stupa Circle. Here we will rest, enjoy and settle in for the evening
Day 1 — Boudha
We will explore and enjoy the inner and outer Boudhanath Stupa Circles which are the center of Tibetan culture in Kathmandu of sacred importance. After the arrival of thousands of Tibetans following the 1959 Chinese invasion, this temple has become one of the most important centers of Tibetan Buddhism. From above, Boudanath Stupa looks like a giant Mandala, Boudhanath Stupa is closely associated with Avalokiteshvara, whose 108 forms are depicted in sculptures around the base. The mantra of Avalokiteshvara - Om Mani Padme Hum - is carved on the prayer wheels. Daily, hundreds of Tibetans chant their prayers while doing Kora, walking around the stupa praying. This area is a veritable sanctuary of peace and calm where we will join in the Kora and also enjoy some lovely Boudha restaurants. Lama Gursam will offer a teaching on Refuge and refuge vows at the Da Sang Monastery. You will receive your Tranquility Spa Certificate.
Day 2 — Takmo Luchen
When the Buddha gave the teaching on the four noble truths, in the assembly receiving the teachings were a mere five human beings. Once in a previous life, the Buddha was born as the youngest of three princes. When he was only five years old, they were in a forest playing some games. They came to a cave where they saw a wounded female tiger with five cubs. The mother tiger was very weak and was unable to provide food for the baby tigers. The Buddha's older brothers went to search for some food, and they asked the young prince to stay near the cave to take care of the mother tiger and the five cubs. While the Buddha was taking care of the wounded tiger and her five cubs, he began to think that it was not proper to kill other beings and give their flesh to the tiger. With great compassion the previous Buddha gave his own body to the five cubs and their mother as an act of generosity and the Buddha prayed, "Right now I am only able to give temporary help to these starving beings, just removing their hunger, in the future may I be able to teach them and lead them out of suffering existence." As a result of this karmic connection, the five cubs attended that first teaching of the Buddha in the form of his first and only human students.
Day 3 — Swayambunath
Stupa and Bidyeshvari Vajra Yogini site. We will make the short trip in the early morning from Boudha to the glorious 2000 year old Swayambunath Stupa located in the center of the Katmandu valley. Here at the second main Stupa in Kathmandu we will again join in Kora and make offerings of flowers and incense in the traditional manner. Nearby we will also pay homage to the flying Vajrayogini Yogini site. Afternoon will be teachings as the Da Sang Monastery.
Day 4 — Pharping
The Asura Cave and Newari Yogini Temple. The area of Pharping is sacred to practitioners of Vajrayana Buddhism for it was here that Padmasambhava, the 8th century Tantric sage, achieved enlightenment. For centuries Pharping has been a center for spiritual practice and, besides the two caves where Padmasambhava and his consort Shakyadevi meditated, the area has many monasteries, temples, and residences of revered Tibetan masters. The rocks surrounding the caves continue to manifest an extraordinary phenomenon called rangjung, in which sacred forms such as Tara arise spontaneously from the living rock due to the intensity of spiritual energy that pervades this area. Pharping is the birthplace of the Pham Thingpa brothers, the heart sons of the glorious Naropa. Marpa the great translator stayed here for a long period as well.
Close to the town, in a beautiful and blessed temple, there is a magnificent and sacred statue of the Sky Dancer, Vajrayogini from whom many practitioners have received visions and prophecies.
Day 5 — Traditional Drikung Kagyu Monastery, Nayapati
Here we will experience a traditional Tibetan Buddhist Monastery life in the Drikung Kagyu tradition and be able to greet the monks, Rinpoches and children living here, receive blessings and view the exquisite traditional artwork inside the main temple
Day 6 — Ancient City of Patan
In the Durbar square, situated in the heart of the city, we will visit the enchanting, artistic courtyards and stupas many of which are Nepal's finest pieces of stone architecture. The Golden Temple Buddhist monastery is a three storey golden pagoda of Lord Buddha built in the 12th century. Just down the road from the Mahabuddha stupa
Day 7 — Langri Lungten
Here we will take the day to travel to the holy site where Buddha Sakyamuni gave prophecy and have a picnic in the traditional Tibetan style from the lookout point where the Stupa is situated. The Stupa is 25 feet high and decorated with thousands of prayer flags. There is a shrine which was once the residence of Akshyobhya Buddha. We will lead a meditation on Calm Abiding.
Day 8 — Bouda
Practice, teachings and meditation with Yogi Lama Gursam in Bouda at the Da Sang Monastery and Ganachakra Offering in the Center of the Boudha Stupa.
Days 9, 10 and 11 — Pokhara
We will visit Tal Varahi in Pokara and enjoy an optional moderate trek for two nights and three days in the Annapurna Mountain range. We will take part in Gurung village life and native foods and observe the majestic Mount Machapuchre.
Day 12 — Sanku
This Vajrayogini powerplace is the third of the four. Just outside of a small Newari village, this is an ancient temple where Vajrayogini manuscripts in Newari were discovered as far back as the 11th century. However it is thought that the practices existed there long before that. The meditation place of Marpa and many great sages, it it an incredibly energetic and active place of worship preserved and maintained by modern day Newari families and is the place where they hold the Kumari Puja of the living goddess every year.
Day 13 — Pashupati Nath and Naropa's Cave
In the morning we will set out to the power place which is known to be the Mandala of Chakrasamvara where Naropa and Tilopa meditated in their caves. Nowadays there are Sadus who reside here and the main Temple and is used primarily as a sacred place for the Vedic Hindu worship of Shiva.
Day 14 — Boudha
We will have one more day to enjoy the Stupa life, rest and receive teachings and take a look at the fine Tibetan thanka art and statues available. We will also be happy to assist anyone who would like to make a purchase. You will have a chance today to use your spa Gift Certificate.
Day 15 — Departure from Nepal