If you are thinking of making a pilgrimage to Skanda Vale this summer, you may find this short article helpful. More practical guidance is also available in our pilgrims guide.
A journey of pilgrimage is something sacred, undertaken with great reverence. It is a noble act of devotion; an offering of sacrifice for the true devotee who wishes to forge that link with the Divine which will bring Grace and Anandam into their life.
Through every age, all religions and cultures, the urge to make a special journey to a holy place has filled the hearts of people from every level of society. Wherever there is a site of worship and excellence in the world, the power of God is focused into a reservoir of Grace available to anyone who is drawn to it.
Skanda Vale is one such place and evidence of this Divine magnetism can be seen in the ever-growing numbers of pilgrims now coming to our temples. However, of the many thousands of visitors we get each year not all will have understood the true meaning of such a journey.
Preparation for pilgrimage
To make a pilgrimage a person should come with the right attitude and frame of mind. Suitable preparation for the journey should be made in heart, mind and body. In ancient tradition a person would first do a puja and pray before setting off, asking for blessings and protection for the journey. On returning home safely he or she would do another puja and give thanks for the Grace of being able to make a pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage also means simplicity of life. A true devotee will leave behind the luxuries of the world in order to have a mind free to worship God without distraction. Through the sacrifice of comfort the Divine will bestow blessings in appreciation of the effort made to make a sincere pilgrimage.
For this reason, we provide simple accommodation for genuine pilgrims. It means having to rise early by 4.30am for the pujas, and having to make do with basic facilities for showering and breakfasting. But the Divine will respond to your efforts with such an unfathomable love and sweetness that you will breeze through your trip and leave with a feeling of lightness and joy.
In order to carry that Grace back with you to your home you must hold on to it mindfully. If you have numerous other excursions before you reach home you will lose that feeling. This is why we also discourage visits by groups organised as part of a sight-seeing tour.
To get the maximum benefit of a pilgrimage to Skanda Vale you should come correctly prepared straight from your home and return directly without any sight-seeing to distract your mind from the purpose of your trip. In this way, as in the ancient traditions, the true devotee will gain the Grace of God to heal and guide their life.