काश्यां हि काशते काशी, काशी सर्वप्रकाशिका।
सा काशी विदिता येन, तेन प्राप्ता हि काशिका ॥
In Kashi, shines the inner effulgence
‘Kashi’-the inner awareness illumines everything.
One who knows that Kashi alone has reached Kashi.
(Sankaracharya’s Kashi Panchaka v4)
‘Kashi’ – the city of effulgence! The heart of every Hindu leaps to divine heights the moment he hears ‘Kashi’. Every Hindu considers dropping his body at Kashi as the highest attainment. Sankaracharya says that Lord Viswanatha transmits the highest knowledge of Brahman to those who live in Kashi.
Innumerable sages have lived in this city, which according to modern researchers, is at least 5000 years old. Sankaracharya started his mission here. Even Buddha gave his first sermon at Kashi. Sri Ramakrishna had the vision of a ‘Swarna nagari’ (golden city) when he beheld Kashi from a distance. Tulsidas wrote Ramacharitamanas here. Kabir lived here. Trailinga Swami, a mighty yogi, lived for almost 280 years in this city. Such is the glory of this city.
With Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi’s grace and Sri Nochur Acharya’s blessings, a satsang is being envisioned by a few devotee volunteers in this holy city of Kashi. This saptaham (seven-day satsang) is planned by the banks of Ganga Mata in the punya ksethra of Kashi, from October 12-19th 2019, with Sri Nochur Acharya gracing us as the Yajnacharya.
These yearly jñāna-yajnas of Acharya at various holy cities are highly looked forward to, and it blesses over a thousand eager devotees every year. Haridwar, Hrishikesh and Kolwan are a few places where we have successfully conducted these satsangs in the past. And it is due to the request of many eager devotees that this year we are considering this holy city of Kashi as the satsang venue.
However, we are finding that the various costs that go into conducting such a large-scale satsang are much higher in Kashi compared to other places such as Rishikesh. The non-availability of large ashrams with clean and comfortable accommodation means that we are having to consider nearby hotels. Also, facilities at most ashrams are quite minimal, with general cleanliness itself appearing to be questionable. Hence, keeping in mind the well-being and comfortable stay for devotees, we have decided to arrange most of the accommodation in hotels that are clean and of a good standard.
In addition to the higher cost of accommodation, the costs for pandal, dais, seating etc. are also proving to be much higher in this city.
Taking into consideration of all the above, following are the proposed registration costs per person (approximate), based on the type of rooms opted by devotees (with % availability of such rooms in brackets):
Rs. 10,500 per person, if devotee opts for a Non-AC room in Ashrams (15% of the rooms)
Rs. 12,500 per person, if devotee opts for an AC room in Ashrams (15%)
Rs. 15,500 per person, when devotee opts for an AC room in hotels (70%)
(Registration cost above includes food, accommodation,and other satsang arrangements)
Although we are trying our best to keep the costs as low as possible, the costs in Kashi are clearly at a higher level compared to that in Hrishikesh. Even our announcement now is only a trial to verify whether we can conduct this satsaṅg given the above considerations.
We would be very much be blessed if devotees can give their valuable feedback, encouragement and support. You are welcome to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Prof. Anantharaman (98404 28506) or Sri. Nandakumar (93600 88935)