On the afternoon of January 6, 1981, Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami and thirty-three of his devotees departed Honolulu on Northwest Orient Airlines bound for Tokyo on the first leg of a five-week pilgrimage through Malaysia, Sri Lanka and India. Travelling with Gurudeva on the 1981 India Odyssey are Palaniswami, Arumugamswami, Yogi Kumar, Sadhaka Aditya, Sadhaka Param, Kanda Aran, Isan Aran, Gayatri Ananta Devi, Adiyan Haran, Kriya Haran, Jothi Kandiah, Jothi and Ramya Kumara and their daughter Anjali, Shama Kumaran, Thamby Kumaran, Nitya Nadesan, Ravi and Shakti Devi Nadesan, Satya and Savitri Palani and their son Jyothi, Ravi Peruman, Deva Rajan, Asita Nadesan Ramos, Vel and Saroj Selvan, Aran Sendan, Deva and Amala Seyon, Lila Shaktidevi, Prashad Shanmuga, Indivar Givanathan, Dr. Devananda *** and Markandeya Vaylan. Dr. S. Sanmugasundaran will be joining the group in Sri Lanka and Sri N.K. Murthi and his son Sankaranarayanan will join the group in India.
In the past thirteen years there have been eleven such pilgrimages, known as Innersearch Travel/Study Programs. This year's 1981 India Odyssey is the twelfth such program and is very much a tirthayatrai, a traditional pilgrim's tour of the sacred temples of Saivism. In addition to temple worship, the pilgrims enjoy special classes and talks from Gurudeva and the two swamis travelling with him. Along their route, many local religious societies have arranged lecture programs and receptions for Gurudeva.
The thirty-five day program begins with a day each in Honolulu and Hong Kong enroute to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where three days are spent attending the major temples. Next they travel to Sri Lanka, where they spend three days in Colombo, four in Anuradhapura and Tiruketisvaram, and five days in the Jaffna area. Then they fly to Trivandrum, South India where they begin a full twelve-day pilgrimage through the major temples of Tamil Nadu, ending with a four-day stay in Madras. The final three days return them to America via Singapore to Honolulu.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.