Once a wise thinker said “When our plans align with God’s, we succeed!” .The same thought could be portrayed a bit differently and elaborated as follows from a spiritual standpoint – “When a sankalpa is made by a pure mind that has surrendered to the Supreme Lord, it is not a desire or wish of an individual ego but a will of the Divine…it has to succeed!” Our Sri Ramana Vichara Yatra is a perfect example of this.


Our Swamiji had a thought at the start of the year – why not undertake a yatra across our country with the aim of spreading and sharing Bhagawan’s teachings among our fellow beings? That spark grew in magnitude and splendor and unfolded as an amazing 61-day yatra across 15 states including Satsangs on Bhagawan’s life and teachings at 20 locations at different parts of Bharata desha.

The main aim of the Yatra – sharing Bhagawan’s teachings with people across Bharat desha was fulfilled in totality. In addition, Swamiji and the yatris had an unforgettable experience traveling across the length and breadth of our country, visiting numerous (108+) temples, holy places and places of historical & cultural importance – a real ‘Bharat darshan’. The Yatra was planned as one of the most important initiatives as part of AVM’s ongoing 10th year celebrations and turned out to be a blissful experience for all those involved. It is our humble offering at Bhagawan’s feet on the occasion of our ashram’s 10th anniversary.

Having given you an overview of the Yatra, we nowrecap some of the key highlights that decorated the two-month long program.

Flag-off at Tiruchuzhi

Deciding the starting point of the yatra was rather simple. It was at Tiruchuzhi – the holy land where Bhagawan came into this world to bless us all. On June 1st, ‘Sundara Mandiram’, Bhagawan’s birth home, was packed with devotees from all over for the flag-off ceremony of the yatra. The function started with chanting of Aksharamanamalai and few more hymns on Arunachala followed by Guru Paada Puja to invoke Bhagawan’s grace and blessings. Swamiji then addressed the gathering and explained to them about the whole idea of the yatra post which some senior devotees shared their thoughts on the occasion. After lunch prasada, it was time for the official flag-off of the yatra vehicle which was done amidst chanting of vedic mantras and slokas. A perfect start to a beautiful journey!

North India Pilgrimage & Camp
Mid-way through the yatra, we had a special program – a 5-day North India pilgrimage and a 4-day spiritual camp at Varanasi. Around 20 devotees were part of the pilgrimage while around 18 joined for the camp. The pilgrims had an opportunity to visit Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Triveni Sangam at Prayagraj (Allahabad) before finally reaching Varanasi. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, who were thrilled to visit the holy lands where Sri Krishna and Sri Rama had lived centuries ago. In the camp, Swamiji shared the meaning of two beautiful texts – Sivaparadha Kshamapana Stotram and Sri Ganga Stotram. The campers had a blissful time listening to the texts and contemplating on the high-flown thoughts of Acharya Sankara. Their joy knew no bounds while exploring the city of Varanasi – the Kasi Vishwanatha Temple, especially the stunning new corridor that has been constructed recently, Kasi Visalakshi temple, Ganga Arati on the banks of Ganga Mayya, and many other temples big and small. Guru Paada Puja for Bhagawan was performed every day and Sri Chakra Puja was performed on the last day. On the whole, the pilgrimage and the camp turned out to be an
unforgettable and soul-stirring spiritual (re)treat for everyone!

Sri Ramana Ananda Lahari

Having seen highlights from the start and mid-way of the yatra, it’s now time for the finale. After a successful 60-day journey, Swamiji and the yatris returned to Chennai on July 30th to a rousing reception. The program was themed ‘Sri Ramana Ananda Lahari’ – celebrating Bhagawan’s grace that was experienced in abundance in and through the yatra. H. H. Swami Atmaghanananda ji Maharaj, Head, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Puducherry, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered an inspiring talk on how religion forms the base of and is an indispensible part of our culture. Our Swamiji shared some of his best moments from the yatra and why it was a special and eye-opening experience. All those who contributed towards the success of the yatra including the yatris, coordinators and service providers were felicitated with a memento on the occasion. One of the central aspects of the evening, in addition to welcoming the yatris, was the musical concert by M. S. Subbulakshmi Group from Rajapalayam. The concert saw a group of young children sing heart-touching songs on Bhagawan Ramana, beautifully orchestrated by their teacher Sri. Umashankar. The entire yatra team and the devotees present were left in total fulfillment and bliss at the end of it all.


To Bhagawan’s Feet

The yatra cannot end at Chennai can it?! It had commenced at Tiruchuzhi and so had to end at Tiruvannamalai. On July 31st morning, the yatra vehicle accompanied by two vans of enthusiastic and charged up devotees made its way to the holy land of Arunachala. It was the final lap of Sri Ramana Vichara Yatra. Having started early, the group reached Sri Ramanasramam in time for the morning arati – a blissful start to the day! The yatra was officially and whole-heartedly offered at the feet of Bhagawan!

After the arati, Sri. Venkat S. Ramanan, President of Sri Ramanasramam addressed the devotees in an informal and natural setting post which Akshara manamalai and Padigam were chanted. After having sumptuous prasada, the group left to our ashram where after some rest and refreshing, Guru Paada Puja was performed to round off the monumental 61- day marathon.

Of course, everything happened beautifully thanks to Bhagawan’s grace and compassion. But that grace flowed through many well-tuned instruments who were part of the yatra as sincere sevaks. AVM is truly grateful to all of them for their dedicated seva and support in ensuring the Yatra unfolded beautifully as planned and in some cases, much better than planned!
All His Grace! Sarvam Sri Ramanarpanamastu!