Rishikesh – Yoga Mall of India – 03 Mar 08


We had a great day in Haridwar and Rishikesh. You get many impressions on such a day. We went in a cable car up the hill and down again, took pictures on the hill and in Haridwar of the big Shiva statue. We then went to Rishikesh where we spent the rest of the day. It is anyway a wonderful, powerful place and with the river Ganges flowing right through it is just amazing but here, too, I have to realize how it changed with the time. It is much more commercial now and I had the impression somehow that it is like a yoga mall, an enourmous shopping center, where you can get yoga in different forms at each corner. There is a lot of 'show business' going on if you see how many gurus live and teach in this city. We also saw some foreigners walking around with a card hanging around their necks which read 'I am in silence'. Okay, first of all it seemed a bit funny to me, as I never had any sign like this in my times of silence. When someone asks you a question and you do not answer it, they will know that you are in silence. There is no need to show this with a card. However what made this even more funny was the fact that some of them were chitchatting all the time! It is like spirituality combined with showing off. And I believe this is the influence of their gurus who are in the mentioned 'show business'.

I felt very good and was happy that I could walk around in the city without any show, propaganda or anything that belongs to the guru life that I have left many years ago. When we were walking towards Lakshman Jhula, one of the bridges across the Ganges somebody came close to me and greeted me. I recognized him as the Yogi whom I had met two years ago in the Zurich airport in the transit lounge. If he had not asked me maybe I wouldn't have recognized him but when he greeted me I remembered him. He was flying to Canada on that day and my flight was in direction Germany. His name is Yogi Vishvketu and he brought us to his ashram for dinner. He is a lovely man who spends half of the year in Canada and half of the year in India, teaching yoga. It was very nice meeting him there especially as it was not planned. Tomorrow we will start early to see a waterfall and natural caves nearby and then we will go back home to Vrindavan.

Fake, Guru, Silence, Yoga

5 Replies to “Rishikesh – Yoga Mall of India – 03 Mar 08”

  1. Someone was telling me yesterday that at the end of an amaerican-led workshop on happiness he recieved a certificate for the happiness work he did in the groups- everyone got one. It is a very Western, or at least very American thing to want reassurance and notice. Seems silly, but there you go.

  2. I had heard lots of things about Rishikesh before coming to India. It seems like a hotspot for yoga tourism, which is probably why I heard about it in America!But I’m SO relieved and delighted that I chose to visit Vrindavan and this ashram… I knew I was drawn to it for a reason. And it has been a very fulfilling experience so far!