Let us become nobler

Sanskrit word 'Arya' or 'Aryam' stands for nobility. Let us implore everyone to become noble, the Arya or Aryam. Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews, communists or capitalists, rich or poor, clever or dumb, weak, meek or bully. Uncomfortable perhaps are they with other, threatening peace. Ray of hope for the world is ‘include-all’ ideas of ancient Indian wisdom popularly known as Hinduism. Only they knew how to celebrate individuality of each person. Aryas respect ideas of others, respect way of worship of others, help others and become a noble citizen of this wide and varied world. Idea behind this blog is to bring out those ideas and help each of us become better than what we are. 'N' in the 'Aryan', by the way, was a mistake made by colonial 'experts' who wanted to underplay and undermine the culture and religion of those who they clandestinely enslaved.





Sunday, June 19, 2016

19- Kailash, Kathmandu and Kashi – A story of Shiva and me.


(A decade ago after a trip to Tibet, Nepal and India, I wrote down my impressions. It was not meant to be a book, however after it was read by some, it was suggested that if it gets published, interested persons can use it. However I thought (and still think) that the narration was more of a personal quest into Bhagavan Shiva and that it may not interest a wider audience. Therefore instead of commercially publishing it, I thought of placing it on a website of Publishing house Harper Collins’s website known as Authonomy.com. It remained on their website for people to review my narration for many years. However, last year, when Harper Collins shutdown Authonomy.com and I realized that some people still wanted to read my account, I decided to place all 26 chapters of that travelogue on this blog. Reader views and comments are welcome)


Chapter 19.  Manasarovar once again, now on the opposite shore.


By the time we had our lunch, our left-luggage, the duffel bags were brought out by Sherpas and we spent some time rearranging contents between Duffel-bags and Shoulder Bags. Group leader Gautam began to collect other tourists who had skipped the Parikrama because now it was time to bid final good-bye to Darchen and head for the Manasarovar on the first leg of return journey. Reunited with rest of the pilgrims, once again we became the same original group, albeit minus that one couple who had returned early on health reasons. We had done its western shore earlier and now it was turn of the remaining eastern shore to complete the Parikrama of the holiest lake.

 

We drove for long and then camped in tents, just on the edge of waters of Manasarovar. As the mercury had climbed down and as our tent was after all a canvas tent, could not hold more than what tents can hold against natural forces. We were exposed to bitter cold, wind and noise of wind that was continuously battering our tents. Tents were organized in a large circle with a small opening, presumably to minimize wind impact. And to further reduce the chilly winds, our Landcruisers were parked in the narrow opening. It was already late evening and was time for dinner. We huddled up in the open area in the middle of tents and Landcruisers for a hot dinner. Neither the hot dinner nor the protection of Landcruiser-wall was any relief; we decided to simply retire to bed early. Biting cold forced us to go to bed fully dressed with all our woolens, including the overcoat and the cap! But even that was not enough; a second blanket had to top everything else to cover us head to toe. As if the noise of wind was not enough, dogs barking, random thunder and spatter of light rain added their bit. I think hardly any of us slept that night.

 

It was fairly cold and windy even after sunrise. Though we did not sleep well yesterday night, was no problem. We were still charged with energy. It was probably due to one more important unfinished business, that of collecting holy water from Manasarovar. It was not mere ‘souvenir’ or a ‘coveted trophy’ to take home. It was more precious, it was ‘Prasad, the blessed holy water from the heaven, something that every Indian and Tibetan understands. All of us knew this and had included empty containers for this important liquid and ensured, rather double ensured that  containers were strong and that the water did not leak out, even after worst possible luggage handling at airports, in trains and in buses. We went in the lake slowly and carefully lowered the water bottles so as to not kick up mud from the lakebed. The last time when we had a dip in the Manasarovar, it was a shore characterized by stones and pebbles; while this part of shore was with soft sand, tufts of tiny grass shoots on the shore and a plenty of under water grass. We made sure that we filled clear water without soil, sand or grass. Everyone who would visit our homes would receive a spoonful of this water as ‘Prasad’.

 

Having mission accomplished, holy-water securely in bottles, we could afford a luxury of one more bath in the holy lake and sat there once again in Shiva-contemplation with Mount Kailash in front and Mount Gurla Mandhata in the back; counting our blessings.

 

As the trip was to end soon, entire group sensed separation that was eminent in a few days. It was visible in their talks and on their faces. Whenever we had the opportunity, we tried to exchange our addresses, emails and telephone numbers. Everyone decided to go for a photo shoot in the backdrop of Manasarovar and Mount Kailash to cover the entire group in one frame as a memory. It was a wonderful group and we had best of the times together.

Miraculous Reverberations


 

In the sequence of miracles, one experience that lasted for more than five-days can not escape recording here. It was the reverberations that enveloped me and some other pilgrims when we were in the proximity of Mount Kailash! Three worded mantra Om Namah Shivaay” continuously and unmistakably kept reverberating all over and around me. Inexplicable, I do not know how, but I was experiencing it as a non-stop chanting that was not only being heard in the ear but also was being felt in every part of my body. I concluded that the reverberations continued even when I was not listening when I was asleep. My conclusion was based on the fact that whenever I woke up during those few days in the vicinity of Mount Kailash, instantly vibrations became apparent. I woke up at different times of night and yet my first sensation was that of continuously humming chant all over my body. It was as if my body was enveloped in a body wrap that was emitting chant-vibrations into my whole body from all sides – something like what one would feel when one is caged up in an empty oil barrel and the sound is introduced inside the barrel.

 

It was certainly not me alone, many in past have heard reverberation of this or similar chant. I was told so by many people well before this trip. However this experience for me was like ‘Triple-Miracle’. This is hard for me to explain. But I must record what happened. I heard the reverberations and during the process I knew it at every moment, however while I was there and was still hearing them, it did not hit me as strange or miracle. I had heard of existence of reverberation from others and yet when I myself heard it, it did not strike as ‘oh yes I knew about it’. As if by magic, the idea that the reverberations are something amazingly strange phenomena did not cross my mind. So much so that when those vibrations, presumably faded out, it never occurred to me that they were absent now. I did not even notice when they ceased! And then suddenly I became aware that the vibrations were missing when I was good 3,000 km away from Kailash, sitting in my home. First miracle was that I was hearing the reverberations and the second miracle was loss of knowledge of my knowledge of it and third was sudden recovery of knowledge as if having come out of a spell.

 

After saturating ourselves to our hearts content in the waters of Holy lake Manasarovar, we braced for the return journey. We can now delight in the fact that we were now among the fortunate few who could successfully make this trip. If I could read minds of people, I am sure everyone read, O, God, thanks for letting us complete this pilgrimage and now let’s head home without any delay.  If possible, they liked to reach their homes this very instant. Everyone was suddenly silent, introvert and if some one was to do any conversation it was nothing short of boring. What a change!  However for us it was different, we had something else in mind. Our quest could complete only after learning some more about Bhagavan Shiva and not before resolving in our minds those ‘perplexing’ imageries surrounding Him.

 

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