When in Goa...

  • Vibha Kumar and Siddhartha Barik, Hindustan Times
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 10, 2014 19:34 IST

We’ve all gone to music, art, literature and even food festivals every now and then – but not many have had the opportunity to attend an esoteric life spirit festival. Simply because nothing of the sort has ever been conceptualised and put on the floor before. So, when we were invited to Zambhala, the yogi in us couldn’t contain the overflowing energies in anticipation, and we were more than excited to have an experience like never before!

Organised by 70 EMG and held at Bardo on Ashvem beach, Goa, on December 21 and 22, the setting couldn’t be more perfect. The festival witnessed the coalescing of the world’s greatest Yoga experts, spiritual teachers, practitioners, healers, musicians and artists.

Renowned Yoga guru, Jehangir Palkhivala, opened the fest doing the Mother Sequence of Asanas: Yoga for Joy and Peace, following which Bindu Maira, a crystal healer and tarot card reader, did a one-hour workshop exploring healing energies of crystals. When we caught up with Maira, she echoed what we observed, “What is most astonishing for me is to see the shift in the age-group of people that are seeking the higher truth, the shift in consciousness today is like it has never been before.”

Shaolin martial arts demo by legendary Shaolin Kung Fu grand master, Shifu Shi Yan Fang, and Shifu Kanishka Sharma, India’s first Shaolin monk, was also one of the highlights. The Sufi whirling session by Zia Nath and the past life regression session by Dr Newton Kondaveti and his wife Dr Lakshmi were also packed.

Martin da Costa, CEO, 70 EMG, said, “India is the spiritual home of Yoga and the search for personal enlightenment. It’s very exciting to create Zambhala here. It was wonderful to see over 2,600 people at the very first edition!”

The festival was quite an experience – where can one find a sufi, a shaman, yogis, tarot readers, aura healers, dream interpreters, crystal healers, past life regressors, monks, channels, meditators of various techniques, artists and musicians come together in the same space? The festival closed with ‘Sacred Dhuni’, a large bonfire made at the beach to call on the fire elements to burn and cleanse – a metaphor for burning one’s karmic residues. 

The evening then took a merry turn with a musical performance by Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator. Also, we felt that while the overall organisation was at par with any international festival (the washrooms were super clean at all times, which is an achievement I think), the food prices were exorbitant. A salad must not cost Rs 500, especially at a festival which has immateriality at its core.
Having said that, we can’t hardly wait for the next edition of Zambhala!


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