Day 9: Rishikesh

Dinner Blessing

The blessing above is posted inside Anand Prakash’s dining room in Rishikesh, where authentic Indian food is served three times per day. From sambar to kofta to tikka masala, this ashram prepares the best sattvic meals that’ll keep one’s mouth watering throughout yoga class.

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Day 5: Vrindavan

Murti of Sri Prabhupada

As the Vrindavan Sky cried her summer tears, I visited the ISKCON Temple (Krishna Balaram Mandir) and got myself better acquainted with Srila Prabhupada’s message of Krsna Consciousness. Born and raised in India, His Grace was instructed to move to New York in 1965 to spread the word of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (founder of bhakti yoga), teaching sanskrit, Vedic principles, mantra chanting, sattvic cooking and other immersive lessons that would help spiritual seekers everywhere reconnect with their true nature.

At first, I couldn’t understand how simply chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare could reconnect us, but after reading how this present Age of Kali (a time of low ethics) has convoluted the heart with greed, deceit and jealousy, I realized that simplicity is what makes it so effective. Not only does the mantra’s vibration cleanse the heart, but it puts one in a spiritual place. And once there, you can begin to see how the material body isn’t truly you—

the soul that drives it is!

And it’s eternal!

So grab a harmonium, mridanga and karatalas and start chanting.

 

Final Night in Jaipur

During my last evening in Jaipur, I visit the oldest museum in Rajasthan, the Albert Hall Museum. Inside, I admire the exquisite decor and myriad of paintings, sculptures and textiles from India and other regions of the world (including ancient Egypt).

Afterwards, I enjoy a traditional Rajasthani dinner and head back to my treehouse hotel, Jaipur Inn. Overall, my stay in Jaipur is bittersweet: although I’ve learned so much, met so many amazing people and seen things forever ingrained in memory, two days had not been enough. I could have done so much more with more time. In other words, if you are planning a trip to the Golden Triangle, do yourself a favor and stay at least 4-5 days in Jaipur.