The ashram family welcomes us to their Santosh Puri Ashram. Santosh means contentment.
Mataji came to India as a young girl with the hippie movement from Germany with many questions and in search of her guru. She found him in Baba Santosh on a remote river island on the Ganges. She lived there with him and a few cows for ten years in isolation and under the simplest of conditions. When they didn't have enough to eat, Mataji said, cow dung was made into chapati bread. After a long period of meditation, her guru sent her back into the world because she should gain experience as a woman in life and as a mother. But Mataji refused to leave him. The two then married and built today's Santosh Puri Ashram in the traditional ashram district outside of Haridwar. The place where a dreamlike oasis of calm and encounters has emerged today was overgrown. Snakes and tigers lived there. Babaji cleansed the place with his psychic powers and created a wonderful magical space right on the river bank. Today the samadhi of the two is there. Mataji left her physical body in February 2014.
To walk to the Ganges, one crosses the Sadhuforest, a narrow forest full of wild marijuana plants, in which many Shiva Babas and Sadhus have settled in tents and founded small communities.
On excursions we roam the Sadhuforest, swim through the many branches of the river, which is still very clean here, and cross the jungle in the national park. This wild area is home to wild tigers and elephants, but they remain hidden from humans during the day.
Yogasubmarine met Mataji in Haridwar at the Kumbha Mela, a big religious festival of the sadhus. It was clear to see that this woman has walked a very deep spiritual path in her life, which her three children continue to live today.
In the Ashram they hold inspiring lectures on Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, lead a traditional puja in the morning at 4.30 a.m. and in the evening at sunset and teach Hatha Yoga.
Even if you do not want to take part in the yoga program, which actually takes place all day, or if you prefer to sleep longer in the morning, then you will be able to feel this special vibration of the place.
And after a short time the Ashramblues in Haridwar sets in, this relaxed, carefree feeling of simply being full of devotion and being carried.
We take a city tour through Haridwar and look at the oldest aarti in the world. Thousands of people from all over India gather here every evening to celebrate the great light ceremony at sunset. You also have the opportunity to do a powerful puja just for yourself under guidance, in which mantras are recited and flowers are sacrificed in the water.
Optionally there is the possibility to go on a jeep safari in the national park. We have seen a lot of wild elephants.
We continue to Rishikesh by taxi.
Naga Babas, large and small, at the Kumbha Mela in Haridwar
The festival of the jug, at which bathing in the Ganges is particularly auspicious at a precisely determined time. The gods fought with the demons and a few drops of the holy nectar fell on three cities where the Kumbha Mela takes place today. Haridwar is one of them.
The Naga Babas, clad only in ashes, are the first to take a bath on the Kumbha Mela
Modern meets tradition
Sightseeing absolute insider places
Oldest Aarti in the world in the ganges
Cleansing Ganges bath on the river bank
Oldest city in the world