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Sacred Journey to South India with Andrew Harvey

Join author and teacher Andrew Harvey on a pilgrimage in honour of Lord Shiva to the great temple sites and spiritual power places of South India.

The land of South India is a holy land that has given birth to many saints and sages who have in return impregnated the country with their sacredness. There are many shrines, temples and natural monuments (mountains, lakes and more) dedicated to Shiva, embodied divinity, scattered across Tamil Nadu. It is the land of great mystics, it is where India’s great avatar Lord Krishna walked, where Ramana Maharshi made his home, and Andrew Harvey’s own beloved teacher Father Bede created his ashram and lived out his days.

Tour Description

Andrew Harvey has his roots and soul in South India: he was born and spent his formative years here, with her temples and sacred sites as his childhood playgrounds. The South of India is distinct from the North, sheltered from foreign invaders until the British Raj, it is the true bastion of Hindu traditions. In South India the caste system was much less enforced resulting in a far friendlier and balanced society.

Spiritual teacher & tour guide Andrew Harvey speaking at AurovilleThis is an exquisitely crafted pilgrimage where Andrew will introduce deep spiritual practice, and South India’s incredible sites and temples will create the perfect space to receive the most stunning visual and sensory experiences. Our local guide and expert, Narinder Kumar, is a beloved friend of Andrew’s, a resident of Delhi, and a dedicated devotee of Lord Shiva.

The journey begins in Mahabalipuram with a sightseeing tour of the Shore Temple and other marvels, before moving on to the former French territory of Pondicherry (Puducherry), with its distinctive colonial heritage, and home to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. From here we will visit the progressive, experimental town of Auroville, a manifestation of Sri Aurobindo’s vision, and then on to Chidambaram, the Capital of the Cholas, with its famous Natraja Temple. In Tanjore (Thanjavur) we will visit the Brihadeshwara Temple, a brilliant example of the major heights achieved by Chola temple architecture. We then change pace with a 2-day stay at Shantivanam Ashram, where Father Bede first stayed in 1957-8 and subsequently took over stewardship in the late 1960s when the Ashram become internationally renowned as a centre of dialogue and renewal. We round out our journey in Tiruvannamalai where Sri Ramana Maharshi lived and meditated for 54 years. Here we will visit the Arunachaleswarar temple and take a walking tour of Mount Arunachala.

Strolling through the Shore Temple complex, MahabalipuramAndrew will share the fruit of his 40-year journey into Hindu mysticism, especially Saivism and its astounding vision of God the dancer, as well as diving deep into the evolutionary vison of Sri Aurobindo, and into the expansive universal vision of Christ consciousness that Father Bede Griffiths, the greatest Christian mystic of the 20th century, gave to the world.

Andrew will discuss the concepts of Sacred Activism and his vision of the contemporary world crisis in both its desperate and positive aspects. Sacred Activism is the fusion of the most profound and grounded mystical knowledge and peace combined with focused, wise, radical action in order to preserve the environment, ensure human rights, protect all animal species and transform the political, economic and cultural systems that engender war and the continuation of obscene and devastating poverty.

A meditation space at the Shantivanam MonasteryAndrew will also be giving essential and very powerful practices for the Hindu and Christian traditions that will profoundly deepen our experience of sacred India.

There will be many opportunities for connection with the soul of South India and its people through stops for tea, informal meetings, and, of course, the intimate knowledge of our tour leaders. Times for reflection and introspection are equally built into this journey to assist with learning and transformation.

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